[MUD-Dev] Wilderness

Freeman Freeman
Wed Aug 1 16:41:59 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com wrote:
> Jeff Freeman  wrote:

>> Take this map, for example:

>> 	http://home.swbell.net/cynack/maps/205BB.jpg

> Aren't you approaching this backwards? The reason maps like this
> existed was surely related to speed of travel and size of the
> world.

Not just speed of travel and size of the world, but also because
people quite literally had very little concept of where things were
in relation to other things.  They knew if they traveled from "A" to
"B" to "C" then they could get to "D".  They didn't know where "D"
was in relation to "A".

And maybe I'm thinking, I don't want them to be able to find out.
Maybe they could discover "E" though, and learn that by traveling
from "A" to "E" then they could get to "D" right away.

The idea that something might happen to "C" or "B" and therefore
necessitate the discovery of a new route is something I hadn't
considered, but I like it.

> Trying to 'inflict' the maps when they aren't a result of the
> world and peoples perception thereof seems to be arse-backwards if
> you see what I mean. You need to create an environment where those
> kinds of maps are the natural result, and I don't feel randomly
> changing the world with lots of auto generated content counts.

Yeah, I don't like the idea of randomly mixing things up either.  I
like the idea of very infrequently, mixing things up in a
predictable, somewhat logically consistent manner.  The lake becomes
a swamp and a swamp could become a forest, but a lake never turns
into a desert.

Say, some huge region of the world is "forest", and it is always
forest.  You'll never go there and not find forest.  But as to
whether you find something *in* the forest, or what you find - that
could be a lot more dynamic.  Specifically, if you travel from "A"
through the forest ("X") and find a route to "E" ("the big swamp
region"), even though you normally travel to "E" by going to "B",
"C", and then "D" first.

I guess what I'm shooting for is changing the routes from point to
point (slowly - and ideally as a result of player activity because I
like that sort of thing), rather than changing the points
themselves.

In other words, there'd be no sense of direction.  Players wouldn't
travel "North".  They'd travel "thataway", and that might take them
to some location (by a shorter or longer route) than if they'd
traveled their normal route.  Within a point (a specific town,
forest or swamp), they could travel north, south, east, west,
whatever.

Say, here's a town, with a forest next to it, and a road to a
castle.  From the castle, you can travel to the town, or to the
swamp.

You travel to the forest from town.  Now you can wander around in
the forest all you want to, but unless you discover some previously
unkown route, the only place you can go from the forest is back to
town.

Someone else might discover a route from the forest to the swamp.
Now from the town, anyone could travel from the forest to the swamp
(and vice versa).

> The areas changing is great, but changing the spatial
> relationships in the world seems odd.

Yeah, I want a way to do it without it seeming odd. :)

> Going back to your original desire to have vasts tracks of
> wilderness, perhaps you could create the world-perception you
> describe by shaping the transport systems of the world around it.

Not so much to have vast tracks of wilderness.  What I mean by
"wilderness" is "the stuff that connects points of interest".  I
don't like long boring walks through featureless terrain either.

> Were you to implement this caravan idea, you could also expand so
> that people could create trade routes between settlements. If the
> travel along the routes is faster, then you can have similar rules
> for caravans containing cargo and defense of said caravans etc. If
> people decide they don't like the costs associated with
> transporting cargo in a proper caravan, then they _could_ try to
> forge off on their own off the route, but its going to take them a
> long time. Thus you can control things enough to support proper
> arbitrage. In addition, you could use some of these tracts of
> wilderness as farmlands that are actually to scale. This all
> really appeals to me!

Yeah, that sounds pretty nifty.

> I still contend that vast barren wastes won't add anything to your
> game however :)

I agree.
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