[MUD-Dev] question about tile-based games

AR Schleicher ars at nwu.edu
Sat Aug 14 18:12:56 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

At 05:47 PM 8/13/99 -0500, Wes Connell <wconnell at adhesive.com> wrote:

 >A couple of ideas. I've always liked the way UO handles this type of
 >thing. Allowing players to walk "through" other players/mobs, but make it
 >cost. In UO's case it is stanima points. Why not use a good thing? We
 >could even improve it. Have player configurable stances.

<some text about different stances deleted>

 >The stances could also be used in many other parts of the game system. Ie:
 >Suprise attacks would not be as effective if the victim were in a
 >defensive stance. Shop keepers would not sell to players in an aggressive
 >stance. Etc etc.

UO actually has a basic version of stances already, with combat mode.  On 
Origin's servers, however, the only significant difference between the two 
modes are interface issues.  (What does the primary mouse button do, and 
what does the character look like)  About a year ago, a UO server emulator 
named UOR (I think, it's been awhile) actually used a number of these 
stance characteristics.  Being in combat mode significantly raised your 
armor rating, however, you couldn't run while in it, and I think it may 
have even had the shopkeeper restriction as well.  It did seem to work well 
at the time.

 >Granted the previously discussed consequences would still exist. You would
 >just have to make the areas more logical. A hallway usually allows two
 >people to walk side by side. A tunnel would allow a single file line.
 >Unless of course you toss direction into the mix. Wasn't there a guy
 >talking about making 2x4 tiles? I would love to hear more about that.

Rectangular non-square tiles are interesting, however, after giving them 
some thought, they seem rather difficult to implement for a small amount of 
gain.  Here's some of the issues I came up with:

What do you do when the character is facing a direction that is not aligned 
with your tile system?  With a 3x3 tile, it works well to just keep the 
same 3x3 tiles.  However, with a non-square rectangle, you'd need to change 
which tiles were holding the character, and the result could be odd in some 
cases (a character taking up more or less tiles due to his orientation).

What do you do when the character wants to turn?  With a square, the 
character has enough space to do the turn already taken up by him, however, 
with a non-square, the character might be turning through some space that 
is already occupied by something else.

Since orientation is now more important, instead of turning in a direction 
and walking that way, you're now likely to want the ability to move in any 
direction while preserving your orientation, something that wasn't as 
important to have before.

Finally, to bring up an even more complicated situation, consider 
this.  Let's say we have a giant snake that is one tile wide, and five 
tiles long.  The snake is in a narrow, one tile wide tunnel, which reaches 
an intersection with another one tile wide pipe going perpendicular to the 
first tunnel.  For the snake to turn from being in the first tunnel, to 
being in the second, you have to either just instantly pop it around to 
have a different orientation (looks rather odd, and puts the tail of the 
snake somewhere the head has never been),  or you have to be able to bend 
the shape of the snake, into various L shaped configurations, as it moves 
around the pipe.  Now you have even more unusual situations to think about. 

AR Schleicher (Jerrith)
ars at nwu.edu (changing to ars at iag.net, slowly)

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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