[MUD-Dev] Command interface for Coordinate based world

&lt &lt
Wed Mar 22 16:46:24 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

On Wed, 22 Mar 2000 WriterDL at aol.com wrote:
> As near as I can tell there needs to be a way to set heading, speed and 
> possibly facing.  It should be possible for the user to look in a different 
> direction while moving, stop and turn around, take a sharp left while 
> running, etc.  Right now I have just taken the normal N, E, S, W, NE, SE....  
> keywords, added the verbs 'run', 'jog' and 'walk' and gone at it..  my 
> question is, is this too little control?
> I can see a system where the user types:
> >Heading 280
> >Speed 5
> >Facing 300
> But I think that would get old *real* fast and also isn't nearly as 
> transparent as the normal interface.  I'm also having a problem with facing.. 
>  in my hope to avoid numbers, I have 'look right', 'look left' and 'look 
> ahead'.  Again, not enough control?

I think the problem with this is that it is too low-level.  One of the things
that I like best about a text interface is that in many ways, it allows
a much more human level of control than the equivilent graphical one.
One a mud, I can type "get the large red sword" and expect to pick up the
large red sword, regardless of whether it is on the table, on the floor,
or hanging on the wall.  My character handles these details for me, and
I can concentrate on broader goals.  On a graphical mud, you are (usually)
required to navigate over to whever the red sword lies, and then identify
it somehow in 3space without actually naming it, hopefully not missing and
accidentally picking up the barrel on one side of it or the pair of pants on
the other side of it.

So to extend this to movement, I would expect that the user would want to
start out with the normal directional commands, and then be able to point
themselves at targets as they show up.  In some cases, it might even be
automatic.  Here's an example:

% look
You are on a road running north and south.  Nothing but open plains are
visible in every other direction.
% walk n
You start walking north.
% jog
You increase your pace to a light jog.
[time passes]
A building comes into view on the northwest horizon.
% look building
You turn your head northwest to view the building.
The building is a large stone structure with several smoking chimneys.
% go towards building
You turn to face a building to the northwest and continue jogging.
[time passes]
A large cloud of dust appears over the west horizon.
You turn your head west to view a large cloud of dust.
The cloud is a pack of hungry ogres headed right towards you!

etc.  In this case, there might be another cloud of dust over the east
horizon as well, but the player wouldn't see it because their attention
is facing the other direction.  Obviously you'd need to support "look around"
(scan?) as well as "look north" or "look cloud".


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