[MUD-Dev] Containing automation?

Ling K.L.Lo-94 at student.lboro.ac.uk
Sun Jul 25 13:39:35 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On Sun, 25 Jul 1999, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
> On 05:04 PM 7/21/99 -0700, I personally witnessed Marc Hernandez jumping up
> to say:
> >
> >	The original plan was to have people build spaceships out of
> >building blocks (instead of the common: select hull size N, It has P ports
> >for weapons.  It has C cubic metres for cargo.  Select laser etc).  But I
> >found building a full spaceship out of such things is a monumental task.
> 
> Ultimate Universe does something similar. We have about 15 things that your
> ship carries by default, which are traditionally called "forward bay
> devices". Beyond that, there are "specialty device bays" which you can put
> other items in; anywhere from 5 to 40 of them. 

There seem to be three schools of vehicle design:

None, you use what you are given.

Modular, like Lego.  Popular, simple.

Parameter based.  Pick everything you want then calculate the costs based
on some complex formulae.

Lately, I've had a huge leaning towards having an actual R&D cycle.

Player submits design, game time passes whereby the thing is "designed".
Player gets feedback on feasibility, he then gets to alter the design or
carry on.  Prototype is built, tested to expose limitations (or not as the
case may be).  Done.

The main reason was to not overwhelm the player with options on designing
a vehicle.  Just limit the choice to a few types then let the player
design more later.  It also turns blueprints into a commodity.

> The real key to this plan is that any and all of those forty devices can be
> removed or replaced at any given time. You may, for example, go out
> exploring and need a vast number of unusual sensors on your ship. Since you
> don't need them all the time, when you decide to go into sweep-and-clear
> mode and run around killing everything, you can sell or discard the sensors
> you don't use often and replace them with weapons. When you log off for the
> evening, you can discard some of your weaponry and replace it with ship
> defenses in case of ambush. 

I've gone for the one drone = one function model where a ship would hold a
zillion drones to do the work.  Kind of similar with different fluff
around the edges.

What ever happened to the Star Trek mentality of "recalibrating" the
sensors? :)

> We've discussed a change in which we would split the available devices into
> "hardware" and "software" devices, with some devices needing both hardware
> and software, but I'm holding off on this concept for the moment because it
> may be too complex for people to understand.

How about all devices are hardware things but can be augmented with the
addition of software.  Or maybe have software that uses devices in novel
ways...

  |    Ling Lo
_O_O_  In flux, please use: kllo at iee.org

"I must create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's." - William Blake




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