Tactical Interest Was Re: [MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #142 - 4 msgs

Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt hhs at cbs.dtu.dk
Fri Sep 17 12:47:18 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Thu, 16 Sep 1999, Spin wrote:

>   As I embark off on a totally new project, I'm striving to totally avo=
> such quantisation, however I'm not sure that I can do without it. Aside
> from pregnancy, has anyone ever encountered something that was best
> simulated with a binary type variable? The only other problem I see wit=
> this is the need for objects to carry around a large number of values f=
> what they affect and by how much, but as my game is to be a sort of rea=
> time diplomacy, there won't be a huge number of affectable things to
> start with...
> Cheers,
>   Malcolm.

My felling is, the more you make abstractions, the fewer states things
have. For example, you could abstract combat to be either
{win,loose,stalemate}, as indeed is the case in diplomacy. Binary (or
ternary, or few-nary..) should be used where a much more gradual
difference would not give much to the game, other than confuse the player
and obscure game mechanics. I guess you could implement things like
'x% blindness' but it would be very hard, and often many of the actual
uses will be shown by a binary or ternary component {you see it,you see a
vague description,you see nothing} (assuming textual interface).=20

In all, 'best' depends on do you go for realism, or do you go for
gameplay. Simply consider if the gameplay/player needs the extra
complexity, and if it will allow you to do 'more' for the player, and wha=
this will bring to the gameplay.

Also avoiding quantization is also a step away from realism. Often the
human mind does not use 100 levels of quantization when percieving
something, like 'How good am i at math' is not measured in 100 degrees
of percent, but much more abstract. So even if you have a finegrained=20
set of values, sometimes it gives you a plus in gameplay if you choose to
present them by fewer states, because this allows the player to get an
easier feel for the state of the objects/himself/whatever. Ofcause the
descriptions need to keep the player on the right track, but that is a
game balance issue ;-).

Hans Henrik St=E6rfeldt   |    bombman at diku.dk    | work:  hhs at cbs.dtu.dk=
address:                |___  +45 40383492    __|__       +45 45252425   =
 Dybendalsvej 74 2. th, | Scientific programmer at Center for Biological =
 2720 Vanl=F8se, Danmark. |  Sequence Analysis, Technical University of D=

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