[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation

Adam Martin ya_hoo_com at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 3 10:34:54 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


----- Original Message -----
From: "Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt" <hhs at cbs.dtu.dk>

> The problems that might arise from 'single, flexible character'
> design is that every character in the game ends up exactly the
> same.

> As was described, some of the design in the game allocates needed
> skills exclusively (you cannot be the best at everything) by the
> skill system as well as the spaceship design. However 'trying to
> find holes in the system' is healthy, since the holes will be
> found by the players, and if these holes effectively breaks parts
> of the gaming system for others, it effectively breaks the
> game. There is nothing wrong with 'single, flexible character',
> but it has to be balanced between the two extremes of

>   "every character is identical" : where cooperation is not needed
>   and the individual character posesses all skills
>   needed. (effectively Quake?).  

Even in Quake, given the clear behavioural differences among
human-controlled players, even with almost no differentiable
character attributes (What gun you have, how much armour, pretty
much covers it), I think you have over-simplified your concept. The
game characters being inherently (in terms of game rules)
non-differentiable is independent of whether co-operation is needed
and also whether the player/character symbiote (?!) possesses all
the necessary skills for the game, and even more importantly whether
other players perceive a difference in the characters of the people
they are playing with (again, referring to Quake, I would boldly
claim that this is true even without chatting to people).

In the days of team deathmatch, before the arrival of Team Fortress (which
marked the point where class-based play really took off within Quake),
people slipped into roles within the teams according to their own skills,
and even according to how they "liked to play the game" - e.g. some people
loved camping, others liked mano a mano battles with the opposition, others
like wading in providing a team-mate with support.

I appreciate that I'm touching back on multiple "Is there a
separation between the player character, and the human that controls
that character?"  discussions, but I think when you suggest that
every character might end up the same, it becomes important to point
out that even if it appeared that way to the game, it would never
appear that way to the players, and given the play-style based skill
allocation should hence never actually end up that way as far as the
game is concerned.

Adam M
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