[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation
i.collyer at ntlworld.com
Thu Oct 4 23:47:44 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001
Matt Mihaly wrote:
> It's been a bit quiet lately, so I thought I'd just write down
> some thoughts I've been having tonight. They're probably not
> original thoughts, but perhaps they're worthy of some discussion.
> This list seems to accept the maxim that you can't generate
> content fast enough to keep up with player consumption of
> it. Surely, though, that can't be true. There doesn't seem to be
> any inherent relationship between player consumption rates and
> developer generation rates that would raise consumption rates as
> generation rates are increased, so there doesn't seem to be any
> barrier, in principle, to attaining this.
> There are a couple ways to do it that I can think of, and I
> differentiate between the creation of breadth and the creation of
> depth, for reasons below.
> 1. Simply outspend the users. Put more and more developers on the
> - This seems like a financially infeasible solution, so it's
> not really worth considering. It can, of course, be used to
> increase both depth and breadth.
> 2. Increase the power and capability of development tools.
> - A long-time, on-going process, but tools seem to be a lot
> more effective at breadth creation rather than depth
> creation. Algorithmic content has so far been shallow.
> 3. Increase the complexity of the game/world.
> - The example that made me think of this is chess. Chess is a
> simple game, but the rules interact in such a way as to create
> a game of sufficient complexity that it's never been
> solved. It's not possible to talk about an optimum strategy in
> chess (at least yet. It'll be solved eventually, presumably.)
I think it helps to view this 'content race' problem as a
mathematical equation where, in order to meet demand for new content
the following must be satisfied:
ContentCreationRate * NoOfDevelopers >= ContentConsumptionRate
NoOfDevelopers >= ContentConsumptionRate / ContentCreationRate
An interesting point to note is that this is _independent_ of the
number of users, which prompts me to question why everyone is
discarding option 1 above so quickly. Surely with a sufficiently
large paying user base simply increasing the number of developers is
a viable option.
However, if your revenue doesn't meet the cost of employing the
required number of developers (or if you'd simply like larger
profits ;) ) you can either increase the 'ContentCreationRate' with
option 2, or decrease the 'ContentConsumptionRate' with option 3.
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