[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag+flames@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag+flames@ifi.uio.no>
Mon Sep 24 11:17:04 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Eric Rhea wrote:
> On Wed, 19 Sep 2001, Peter Tyson wrote:

>> 4. let the players create content?
 
>>   First, divide content between
>>     a) physical stuff (more terrain, monsters etc)
>>     b) intellectual stuff (events, stories etc)

> I'm glad someone mentioned this. It seems to be the little dog
> that everyone overlooks in the pet store whenever you talk about
> content generation. And dammit, someone needs to pickup that dog!

There are of course smaller worlds that do this. For large games you
get the painful lag, bandwidth and server load issues. (in addition
to the quality issue you raise)

> of the world is setup. I do think that in the majority of cases it
> would be possible to allow the players to add content, but there
> are some cases where it would be exceptionally difficult to pull
> off and not bring over a hoard of issues.

Considering that competitive MUDs spend years to get the balance
right (or never manage), it certainly bring up many issues in a
system with global resources.

I've previously argued for the basic idea found in the IRC model,
i.e.  autonomy and more locally bound resources. Except it should be
less disconnected than, say, Furcadia. The role of the system is to
provide the infrastructure, common grounds and the glue between user
created areas.

> I think the total solution would be to balance player generation
> with both designer and system generation.

Are you suggesting an editor? The trouble is that users generate
lots and lots of disconnected content. Can you really afford to pay
someone to make this coherent and usable?  Or are you going to curb
users so much that they merely configure the world, rather than
construct (boring).

> And so with that note, I think an optimal situation would be to
> have the creative power of the designer lay out the region and the
> various ecologicalmembers it then should contain, then use various
> system scripts to bring the region to life. Once that has been
> achieved, the players should be equipped to move in and assist or
> detract from the ecology and the region itself, assuming the world
> state can support it of course.

Hmm, this doesn't sound like user generated content, but assuming it
is:

  1. If your system is competitive then players will spend their
  energy on creating areas that have no aesthetical value, but
  rather build "factories" that works as harvesting farms.

  2. If you allow them to build in the same area then they will
  harass each other (either by building something "shameful" next to
  other people's property or destroying their creation by other
  means). (not necessarily bad, but I am sure you will get whining)

  3. Ugly suburbs make it difficult to locate the pearls.

  4. They won't tolerate that you remove their creation. They won't
  tolerate that you keep their creation after you kicked them out of
  your system. (+ copyright issues)

--
Ola


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