[MUD-Dev] The Endeavour Map and MUD Applications

Lo Lo
Tue Mar 21 13:26:03 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


I will have to apologise for breaking list conventions.  My email client
can't do the Correct Thing (and I can't change it, it's corporate).

	----------
	From:  John Bertoglio[SMTP:jb at pulsepoll.com]
	Sent:  Friday, February 18, 2000 3:42 AM

	> Justin Rogers
	> Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2000 10:55 PM

	>     Also, have you looked into using a geographic database to
create
	> your world.
	> I've looked into using GIS data to create a MUD exactly like the
	> world.

	I like this idea, but one of the reasons to build your own planet is
to make
	a "better" world. At the very least, one which is different. I
suspect the
	same methodology described in my original post would work great with
GIS
	data.

By the by, the Brit army types use latitude/longitude co-ordinates to
represent position on the globe, see entry on aviation navigation formulae
in the kanga library for hints on great circle formulae.  It can be used to
pinpoint positions very accurately although I suspect the number of trig
computations would put off gaming applications.

My reservation with using elevation data is the sheer size of it.  It's a
good bookshelf full of CDs although that includes vectors for rivers, roads
and cities.  Just make yer own using fractals. :-)

	> I
	> defined about 100 regions and then defined programs that would
	> populate those
	> regions using biological systems.  Once I had a fully functional
world
	> model with
	> GIS data and vegetation data built on top I put about 400 mini ai
NPCs
	> to work
	> in groups of ten and let them build and populate.  It was an ants
	> behind the glass
	> type of MUD because there was no PC integration.  But it was
rather
	> neat to watch
	> and the system was there in a way that I didn't need any world
	> builders to create
	> areas.  After about 3 months all my areas were created.

	This is a really interesting idea.
	I would be very interested in knowing how you did the world
generation.

Just to throw into the archives, the following is an outline of something
I've used to generate maps for wargames (of the non-serious sort) about a
decade ago, gosh, I feel old.  It uses the opposite, top-down, approach:

Generate a map, fractally I suppose.  At the time, I was young and naive - I
used a simple algorithm that randomly splashed peaks and lows on the map.
Several smoothing passes were then used to bridge the empty data between
peaks and lows followed by a quick histogram to figure out the sea level.

Scatter land with forest, jungle, desert, and for extra points, coz it's
harder, rivers.  Categorise sea into coast/lake/shallow, sea, ocean, etc.
Categorise land into hills, mountains, plains, forest, etc.

Next, tile the map into, say, 20 x 20 game squares = one tile.  Within each
tile, calculate the economic rating of the land in terms of food.  I
personally just added up assigned values of land, think Civ.  Extra points
were added if the land was coastal coz of fishies.

All the tiles that were rated over X points were then given a city, over Y
gained towns and various others had small villages, hamlets and things like
that.  Within each tile, the settlement(s) were placed in the best economic
spot possible.

Next, select a few of the cities with the best economics to be capitals and
for each, do a shortest path calculation to neighbouring settlements.
Mountains and hills being expensive on movement.  If the path was less than
2 days' ride, a road was laid down, that sort of thing.  Repeat for each
linked settlement until a network either reached 8 cities or there wasn't
any more close enough.  Each linked blob of settlements became a nation
state and the rest become indys.

That's it, really.

What I'd really like to do these days is take the 36 plots thing and
integrate that into an Alife engine so key characters are created during
world generation with motivations and stuff.  It would then be possible to
generate legends...  Although I suspect an injection of illicit substances
into the code might help (considering how bizarre legends can seem now we
have an established framework for "reality").

Ling



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