[MUD-Dev] Re: Dynamic muds

Arlie Stephens arlie at netcom.com
Fri Sep 24 06:55:30 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On Mon, Sep 20, 1999 at 05:37:48PM -0500, ryan wrote:

I'm responding a little late here, as I was on vacation when this thread 
started. However, a fast scan of other folks' comments suggests my 
viewpoint is different enough to be worth posting. 


> This really doesn't cover what I was getting at. I don't need/want to know
> how to
> program this or how you go about doing it, I want players/admins/and especially
> builders' ideas on the subject.
> 
> Builders - Are you willing to put the extra code forth to make rooms much more
> versatile as season and day/night changes occur? Possibly other things as
> well.

As a builder, I do dynamic rooms, but only when it is important. In 
particular, I do changing room descriptions for "quests", but not seasons,
weather, or time of day. For example...

| You are in a greenhouse. It looks ill cared for. All the plants appear 
| wilted, many seem to be dying. There are aphids on the rose plants,
| and some sort of animal has been digging in the earth. 

may become

| You are in a busy greenhouse. Gardeners are working industriously to 
| repair the damage caused by their recent absence. 

once the player has solved the problem of the absent gardeners. 


What you won't see from me is:

| You are on a busy city street. You see hurrying business men, harried 
| shoppers, the occassional street vendor all enjoying the balmy spring 
| sunshine.

Becoming:

| You are on a deserted city street. Even the thieves and beggars have 
| abandoned it, to crawl into whatever shelter they can find from the 
| freezing temperatures and the omnipresent snow. One night watchman 
| passes hastily, making his rounds as fast as possible, shivering 
| and wishing for an indoor desk job. 

> Admins - Have you done this system and found it to be successful with builders
> a/o players?
> 
> Players - How much of an addition do you think dynamic rooms are to the
> atmosphere
> of the game?

I see 3 sorts of dynamic room descriptions:

1) descriptions that change based on player actions, where the change is 
   relevant to the player's concerns (see first example above).
2) descriptions that have a semi-automatically generated weather/time based 
   addendum. 
3) descriptions that change drastically based on weather/time factors (see
   second example above).

I like type (1). 

I rather dislike (3). It confuses automapping clients (making non-fun work 
for the player). In extreme cases (fortunately rare, or perhaps even 
nonexistent) it confuses the player too. It may add some realism, and can 
make for enjoyable reading (if the builder writes rather better than 
my contrived examples), but it doesn't add much to the *game*. 

As for (2), I'm indifferent to it. It doesn't make me more immersed in 
the game reality, and the (generally) repetitive appended text is boring,
and often doesn't blend nicely with the rest of the room description.
It is also often hilarious when some builder uses it incorrectly, and 
I see day-night cycles underground, or "It is snowing here" in the 
royal ballroom (accidentally set to be "outdoors"). However, a lot
of folks seem to like it, so I regard it as harmless. (It does make
me slightly more likely to switch to "brief" mode, however.)

I should probably mention (if it isn't obvious) that I'm a gamer, not 
roleplayer or simulationist, though I do like good writing and consistent 
worlds. 

> These are the questions which I am looking for answers to, as they are most
> important
> in this developmental step of my mud.

I hope you are getting something useful out of the various viewpoints here. 

--
Arlie

(Arlie Stephens						arlie at netcom.com)



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