[MUD-Dev] Spherical World Design

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Sat Jul 8 14:29:11 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

Michelle Thompson wrote:
> Philip Loguinov wrote:
> > For a text based mud, I'm trying to design a round world for my planet
> > rather then using a flat grid. I've gone through several ideas including
> > using rooms and not using rooms, but every time I run into complications
> > which don't have a... clean solution. Here are the ideas i've concidered:
> > 
> Compare a sphere and a twenty-sided dice.  The twenty-sided dice could be
> considered a representation of the sphere using equilateral triangles.  With
> the 20 triangles though, it is not as smooth and round as a sphere.  To make
> it appear more like a sphere, you would have to increase the number of
> triangles.  If you had 80, it would appear to be more like a sphere. The
> advantage of equilateral triangles is that each one can be divided into four
> more equilateral triangles.  Then those four each can be divided into four
> again.  When nothing specific has been designated for an area, it can be left
> in the large triangle state. When an area needs to be assigned, a larger
> triangle can be divided by four as many times as you need. One of the
> smaller equilateral triangles can be broken down into uniform hexagons for the
> rooms.

I almost posted this idea.  We talked a little bit about dodecahedrons in
the archives, though we never got into navigational algorithms.  I had 
used a particularly large one in my Rolemaster campaign as a basis for world 
travel and mapping.  In any event a hexagonal grid can be superimposed on any
triangular face.  The caveat being that it leaves a triangle at each of the
vertices.  In the case of a dodecahedron, those triangles will form a 
pentagon at each of the 'sphere' vertices.  The issue of creating a textual 
user interface to a hexagonal mapping grid is problematic.  It does work well
in graphical games with isometric viewpoints.  I believe the old TSR/SSI
games used it on the tactical level.

I think using polar coordinates is also a good solution as it divides 
the world up into polar rectangles.  One could decide that at some
arbitrary latitude (artic-circle for instance) to use a circle to
represent the top and bottom of the world.  Especially if you don't
plan on anything interesting in those artic regions.

R. Woolcock has some good ideas on separating the mechanisms involved
in traversing wilderness areas from those used in traversing room areas.
Check the archives. :-)

It's my thought that one could define vast tracks of wilderness merely
in terms of polar rectangles defined by polar coordinates.  The size of 
the rectangles does not matter.  Each polar rectangle is associated with
it's own climatic table, random flora and fauna table, and perhaps seeds
to generate a fractal terrain image.  

When something "interesting" is developed by builders, like a city, a 
village, a castle a lair, a road, etc.., a room based regular area is 
carved out of the polar area, and the polar-area is remapped around 
this area into smaller polar rectangles.  So navigation from a 
wilderness polar area into a room-based regular area is handled by
exits which translate polar line coordinates to a room and vice versa
by exits which translate room to a polar point coordinates. 

So users mechanisms for movement and travel are dependent on the
type of area one is currently in.  A mechanism for allowing the 
sighting room areas (cities, etc.) as landmarks would be useful.

Anyhow that's my two cents.

--* Jon A. Lambert - TychoMUD        Email:jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com *--
--* Mud Server Developer's Page <http://tychomud.home.netcom.com> *--
--* If I had known it was harmless, I would have killed it myself.*--

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