[MUD-Dev] Wilderness

Brian Hook bwh at wksoftware.com
Sat Aug 11 16:06:53 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

At 11:49 AM 8/7/01 +0200, Ola wrote:

> Ack...  No romantic spots, eh?

In theory the "romantic spots" naturally evolve from what is created
algorithmically.  While some designers cry about the inability to
make terrain that fits their designs/stories, humanity has a history
of being able to invent stories and myths for the terrain that
exists.  I don't consider this a huge hardship =)

> You could say that.  Although that won't make your games more
> interesting than the physical world.

Fair enough, but I don't believe I've argued for this.  Getting back
to my original post, I was basically stating that what I wanted to
do, not that it was necessarily the best thing to do in all cases.

> all surface and no meaning.  So basically you need a very very
> complex model which covers both perception and experience in order
> to generate interesting content. IMO, this is a field for
> research, not a field for development :-).

I guess I disagree.  I've seen generated worlds based off a couple
random seeds that were very interesting to walk around and explore.
I think this is a completely viable model because the human mind is
so good at creating rationales for the existence of the mundane.

> You want the virtual world to be MORE REAL (intense) than the real
> world if you go for modelling.  As in art.  Experience should be
> more intense than walking in the mountains. If it isn't
> compelling, why would I play?

Once again, I disagree.  It doesn't have to be more compelling, it
just has to be compelling, convenient and interesting.  The fact
that you're the first person to explore the Doomish Mountains of
Phobos 4 is a thrill for many people.

> I'm not convinced of this. There are extremely simple game
> concepts with no content to speak of that keep hundreds of
> thousands of players busy for months.

Sure, and I don't think anyone is arguing against that.  But given
the emphasis on consumption of content and exploration in general in
computer games, I don't think the idea of "easily making a bunch of
content that is interesting" is particularly ludicrous.

I don't like vast sweeping expanses of nothing -- that's boring.
But I also don't like four highly detailed rooms and that's it.  I
kind of like both -- areas of interest, and large expanses of
"fairly interesting" wilderness.


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