[MUD-Dev] Request for ideas

Leland Hulbert II lhulbert at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 6 16:35:35 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Ian Collyer wrote:

> There are two problems which prevent a closed ecosystem from
> working in a MUD environment.

>    Scenario 1. Players cannot interact in a meaningful way with
>    the ecosystem

>      This basically a closed simulation with the players as mere
>      passive observers, great if that is what your players like
>      but it reduces the significance of the ecosystem to little
>      more than eye candy.

>   Scenario 2. The players' characters are part of the ecosystem

>      Much more interesting but inherently unstable.  The root
>      problem here is that your ecosystem is no longer closed,
>      players login and logout and new players join the MUD.  The
>      fluctuating number of concurrent characters in the game make
>      it impossible for any sort of equilibrium to be reached.

> An interesting question is how one could model evolution and
> natural selection in such an environment.

An idea that has some merit, is to combine the two.  Create a
"one-way" ecosystem.  Have some virtual area of the mud where Orcs,
rabbits, whatever breed and multiply.  Allow them to wander away in
to the "real" MUD whenever population is high enough.  Tweak the
virtual area so that you get a consistent immigration into your MUD.
This prevents extinction (even if your virtual zoo dies off, it's
simple to tweak the parameters and start over.)  Keep the rules the
same in the "real" mud, and your players will see what looks like a
real ecology, not knowing that it is being seeded by some source
that they can't destroy.
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