[MUD-Dev] Sustainable Ecosystem

Dave Rickey daver at mythicgames.com
Fri Jul 21 09:34:29 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Raph Koster <rkoster at austin.rr.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Thursday, July 20, 2000 9:13 PM
Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] Sustainable Ecosystem

>Actually, at one point I did get a lengthy letter from a researcher into
>computer simulation fo ecological systems from the acsdemic world, and he
>outlined solutions to all of UO's problems or suggested ssources for
>reading. I alas have lost the letter, but even beyond that, I'm not
>interested anymore in getting UO's level of simulation most of the time
>because of the level of CPU usage. But in any case, an expert in the field
>has assured me that you can in fact have a simulated ecosystem capable of
>surviving catastrophic decimation of the overall population. I just have no
>idea how. :)
    That may be a mistake, to shelve it for those reasons.  Moore's Law is
our greatest asset, the overhead that brought the server's to their knees in
UO beta will eventually be a trivial portion of the capacity available.
Similar to what happened with server-side 3D simulations of *everything*
having to do with gameplay for FPS, for a long time it was non-feasible,
then it was possible and there was a race to add to the amount of players a
single server could handle.  Now rather modest server hardware can handle
enough players to bring even the heftiest clients to their knees, so
mod-makers are getting a lot of excess CPU to work with.  The amount of
(interpreted script based, yet) logic being performed constantly by the
Renegades mod for Tribes is pretty impressive.

    By the same token, our algorithmic content tools can easily create
worlds far larger than we can hope to fine-tune and populate by hand, cf.
Asheron's Call.  An eco-system simulation as part of an OLRPG not only
strikes me as possible, I think it's inevitable.

--Dave Rickey

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