[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #286 - 13 msgs

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Sun Feb 20 00:39:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

"Dr. Cat" wrote:
> I don't know whether Dikus or
> LPs or the like use up a lot more computing resources than MUCKs do.  

They do, but primarily due to excessively stupid memory and processor
management. A decent design would solve a tremendous amount of that, and
I think people *here* are largely better at the design process than the
original Diku and LP authors were -- just because the software
development field itself is so much more mature. Certainly they write
vastly more efficient network code. ;)

> It's my understanding that games like
> Everquest and UO can only have a few thousand people per world before they
> need to go set up a second world, and a third, and a tenth, each totally
> sealed off from the others in terms of interaction of game elements.  If
> you're going to have a limit on your population at all, it should be as
> high as possible.

Not necessarily. What these worlds *lack* IMHO is a good in-game
explanation of why things on different worlds can't interact. Given
that, this liability could be overcome by simply making it an expected
"feature" of the game world. 

Distributed processing is Good. I've often toyed with the idea of
independent servers run by independent people, but with players capable
of moving between them transparently... but this creates way too many
"soft" issues that can't really be solved in software. Getting all those
independent people to agree on what players can and can't bring between
servers, for example, would be next to impossible. I could, of course,
fix things so players take NOTHING between servers... which would
resolve this problem... but then the benefits of moving from server to
server become fairly dubious. 

> Mind you, I should admit that voice chat changes all the math, and that I
> think voice chat will be ubiquitous and necessary to be a major
> communications app or multiplayer game in the future.  

I would disagree here, because I think it would be rather difficult to
maintain a role that way. I can "talk like a girl" all I want, but if
you heard my voice there is positively no way you'd take me for anything
but a big middle-aged man. (I may only be thirty, but I *sound* a lot
older and bigger.) Most people don't play games to be themselves, and
when I was much younger I adored the way I could act like an adult on a
text-only medium... and be treated like one. It's interesting and
instructive to be someone else for a while, but video and voice would
doom all of that... so I think the benefits of text channels far
outweigh the liabilities. 

> I prefer working on reliable, smoothly performing, high quality products.
> Call me old-fashioned - and call me not a millionaire yet, too.  But I'm
> very happy with the things I'm making, and most of the players seem to be
> too.

Personally, I would rather make a kick-ass product than a million
dollars. Lots of people have a million dollars. Comparatively few have a
kick-ass product. ;)

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