[MUD-Dev] Re: Scaling a world.

Nat Blundell Nathaniel.Blundell at info-com.com
Mon Jul 24 17:12:19 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Sat, 22 Jul 2000 Saereth2000 at aol.com wrote:
> 	First off, I am sorry if my format is incorrect in this letter,
> as it is my first time posting to this list. I am wondering if anyone
> knows of a MUD which actually has 50k or more rooms. The reason I ask is
> in the MUD that I am currently developing one of our main features is
> going to be the geography. We have worked out a build system which will
> hopefully incorporate this and right now we are aiming towards around
> 60k+ rooms when we open. Any feedback would be nice.

I've developed a system for storing a cubic world 64K on each side. It's
basically a binary tree in 3D, thereby compressing the unused areas into
only a few bytes. It works fine, is fast and probably about as efficient a
way of storing this much data as there is.

Having a map this big isn't the problem- populating/defining it is. And on
top of that you have to have a game that allows players to travel vast
distances quickly- otherwise 90% of your billion or so rooms will never be

For populating the map I use a bit mapped image (e.g. GIF) to map converter.
This unfortunately is quite slow, but it seems to work fine. (It's slow
because I use IPC to ask the running mud server to make the changes. I'm
sure I could dramatically speed it up by just writing the GIF into the raw
map file.) One major advantage of this is that you can digitise a real map
of you favourite continent/island/town.

As a secondary form of population I have used maze generations, obviously
this only has use in the labyrinth sections of the map. Though with a little
imagination and tweaking of the maze algorithm, it can be expanded to, say,
defining the path of a river (+tributaries) through a forest.

If anyone has any other ways of defining large areas of maps I'm interested
to hear them.

Once this information is in I use code based on that developed by Richard
Woolcock and myself for the Dark/Last City mud (I believe the original idea
was his) to create dynamic descriptions of each room. With some careful text
processing and a lot of imagination Rich has been able to generate some very
lurid descriptions.

As far as moving around a large map is concerned- I'm waiting for Rich to
solve the problem, then I'll pinch his ideas :)

Nat Blundell

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