[MUD-Dev] Wilderness

Kwon Ekstrom justice at softhome.net
Fri Aug 3 23:35:29 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

From: "John Buehler" <johnbue at msn.com>
> Ola Fosheim Grostad writes:
>> "Nathan F. Yospe" wrote:
>>> John Buehler <johnbue at msn.com> said:
>>>> The same with the wildlife.  Run a simulator to produce an
>>>> expansionist empire that then collapses and leaves ruins here
>>>> and there.  Run batch generators to produce individual features
>>>> that fit into the world terrain matrix, like caves, ruins and
>>>> such.

>>> Sorry for the second reply, but this has gotten me started
>>> again.  There are those on this list who may remember me for
>>> exactly this kind of wild design...  and even some who have
>>> accused me of blue-sky naivite.

>> The problem is more like: why do it?  Designers want control, and
>> quite frankly designers are going to produce more interesting
>> areas than any general algorithm can produce.

> I disagree.  I don't find hand-built content all that intriguing.
> It's limited and it tends to be arbitrary.  This works, that
> doesn't.  There's a pin in the corner of this room, but that table
> won't move.  Hand-built content tends to be interacted with in the
> generally-linear structure that the designers have in mind.  > I
> suppose it all depends on your expectations.  I like the idea of
> getting into a world and fooling around in it, using my
> imagination to come up with entertaining things to do.  As opposed
> to trying to figure out what the designers' imaginations came up
> with as entertaining things to do.

The problem is the assumption that there isn't a designer.  Which in
fact there is.  You still have to "design" these features into your
game.  If you write in the ability to move objects around within a
defined space, the space still must be defined somehow.  Either by
computer generation with seeded input or hand built by someone.
Preferably somewhere in between.

I have yet to see a computer simulation that can create the flavor
that a human builder can put into his/her work.  I do beleive that
standard builder tools are too human oriented, I'd prefer allowing
the builder control values and generate the basic area to work with,
and then supply the details.

Game physics still work the same regardless of whether a human or a
computer built it, I just think humans have more potential to
understand what humans want.

Persistance in the game world should be a major factor, players
should be able to interact with their environment in a meaningful
way, but any interaction they have has and will be designed by
someone, I prefer to spread the load to "builders" and save myself
some trouble.  In fact a considerable amount of my coding time is in
providing tools to the builders to do their job faster and better.
In the end, the world that the characters inhabit is what counts.

-- Kwon Ekstrom

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