[MUD-Dev] Mass Creation OLC Functions (idea from Elder Games)

Nathan F Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Fri Mar 19 10:19:22 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


On Wed, 17 Mar 1999, Matthew Mihaly wrote:

:On Tue, 16 Mar 1999, Nathan F Yospe wrote:
:
:> On Tue, 16 Mar 1999, Matthew Mihaly wrote:

:> :I agree that this is potentially interesting as a theoretical example, but
:> :those sort of areas sound AWFULLY boring to play in. It'd be like making a

:> Yeesh! Doesn't *anyone* read the archives first anymore? OK, I think the
:> old champion of the world generator had better step in once again. There
:> is nothing in those traditional Diku/LP descriptions a good program (I'm
:> refering to my own) can't match or better. A book? Maybe not. Certainly,

:> There are a few test clips from a (partially) autogenerating engine from
:> one of my earlier versions in there...

You didn't read the archives yet.

:Well, traditional Diku/LP descriptions are crap. Further, we weren't just
:talking about descriptions, but about the mobiles that inhabit it, etc.
:Just making an area and unintelligently populating it with a bunch of
:goblins or whatnot is incredibly boring, imho. I think all areas should
:have a story behind them and a history, etc, else they are just boring.

:You say that a piece of software can't generate good sci-fi (I agree...a
:computer is incapable of producing any even semi-readable fiction) and I
:challenge you to write a piece of software that can generate a good area
:(ie one that has personality).

This is from before the (purely) autogenerated era, but most details and
background were autogenerated. This is all in the archives... the source
for the driver and the area source exist only on a backup tape and a Jaz
disk that might be damaged anymore. I lost a computer a while back... in
any case, this is from one of the earlier versions of Physmud, which was
on the whole embarassing:

    A rocket streaks by overhead, but misses. Something explodes against the
    bulkhead you are behind. The arkhen'yet captain gestures. An arkhen'yet
    soldier screams in agony as Rose snaps off a burst of plasma tracers 
    from her plasma rifle.
    > dirt captain
    You are thirty meters away from a troup of several arkhen'yet soldiers, 
    in a spotlessly clean metal floored room... some primal instinct 
    suggests that you seriously reconsider trying to kick dirt in the 
    arkhen'yet captain's face. Kher'grrah throws a thermal grenade into the 
    center of the mass of arkhen'yet soldiers.
    > dirt captain anyway
    Against every better instinct, you dive out from behind the bulkhead and
    charge several arkhen'yet soldiers, intent on kicking dirt in the face
    of the arkhen'yet captain. A cold blue pain cuts through your body,
    almost an ecstacy in its intensity. The world seems to fade, stretching
    away... something is very, very wrong... you can't feel your body.

And another:

    > look
    The flat green plain stretches away into a distant ridge of hills to
    your right. Sixty meters to your left, a crop of trees springs up, thick
    and forbidingly twisted. The strange, flat grass crunches under your
    feet, releasing a pungent scent. Ahead, thirty meters off, a twisting
    blue stream makes its slow, twisting way out of the small dark forest.
    Sparse clouds drift by overhead.
    Something streaks by overhead with a roar. A cluster bomb explodes ten 
    meters off ahead to your right! A piece of turf flies by, but misses 
    you.
    > run
    You start running toward the stream.
    > run forest
    You turn toward the forest, running as fast as you can. A roaring sound
    reaches your ears. The forest is thirty meters away. Something roars by
    overhead, leaving the impression of a silver streak in your eyes. A 
    whistling sound reaches your ears. An impulse makes you dodge left, and
    a reddish object streaks by your right ear. The missile starts to climb,
    but impacts into the forest. You keep running. The forest is ten meters
    away. You dodge as branch as you reach the edge of the forest. You stop,
    winded, to catch your breath. You are just within the edge of a small, 
    gnarled forest. Ahead and to each side, crooked black branches tangle 
    together, making it impossible to pass without considerable effort. 
    Mushrooms grow out of the mulch and rot at your feet, and there is a
    damp smell to the air. The sun filters through the treetops, almost
    entirely gone by the time it reaches you.
    > look plain
    You turn around and stare out through the edge of the forest. The plain
    stretches out into the distance. Far ahead, the flat green plain 
    stretches away into a distant ridge of hills. Thirty meters ahead and to
    the left, a twisting blue stream makes its slow, twisting way out of the
    small dark forest. Far off to the right, a fence surrounds a complex of
    buildings.
    > hold rifle
    You pull your plasma rifle out of the leather holster across your back 
    and cradle it in your arms.
    > reload rifle
    The current bolt has a full charge. You don't need to reload.
    > hold grenade
    Shifting your plasma rifle into one hand, you detatch a sonic grenade
    from the strap across your chest and prime it.
    A pack of about twelve Logran drones is approaching from the direction 
    of the complex of buildings. They are about 300 meters away.
    > focus logran
    You adjust your optical cybernetics to focus on the pack of Logran 
    drones. There are fourteen of them. Magnification is at x300. The pack
    is led by a class three hunter. The Logran drones are carrying laser 
    rods. The Logran hunter c3 is carrying a rail cannon. They are heading
    in your direction. They are about 250 meters away.

They aren't fine literature, but I trust they are at least semi-readable
fiction. True, the first one was a nonrandom area, and the second was at
least partially planned, but the text was almost completely "generated".

More to the point, I am hard at work on a *far* more advanced version of
Physmud, based on a simulation server and a language/concept translation
client. The client, with the full resources of the host computer, does a
far better job, even in the preliminary versions, of sounding "human" in
its descriptions than that engine above ever did. Unfortunately, it does
take forever now... I will probably port it out of Java soon. Can anyone
recommend a good cross-platform C++ GUI API? Unix, Win32, (maybe) MacOS.
Maybe not because I think the mac is dead, but because I'm thinking that
anything for the mac should be Yellowbox/OPENSTEP and Posix, not carbon.
If they're going to provide the *good* tools, use 'em!
--

Nathan F. Yospe - Born in the year of the tiger, riding it forever after
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Dept of Physics, second year senior (joy)
(On Call) Associate Algorithm Developer, Textron Systems Corp, Maui Ops.
yospe#hawaii.edu http://www2.hawaii.edu/~yospe Non commercial email only



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