Simulation, just how much? (was: RE: [MUD-Dev] Uniqueness of Games)

Adam Martin ya_hoo_com at
Thu Oct 11 13:53:17 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Derek Licciardi" <kressilac at>

> My only real comment with this is that it is wonderful in theory.
> These same players that couldn't be bothered by the "simulation"
> side of your game, will be the first players to bitch that the
> economy in the same game is completely broken and worthless.  The
> balance lies somewhere in the middle as you say, but the middle is
> not as easily defined.  When economies rely on things like
> distance, resources, harvest productions, money availability, and
> other realistic notions, it is there that the game designers have
> to make their decisions about simulation and how far to take it.
> I tend to believe that things like hunger, thirst, shelter,
> safety, protection, and regional distance are some of the most
> critical pieces of a well balanced economy.

Hunger is a classic example. I got really really really fed up of
several Rogue derivatives (including some BBS door games) which got
overly accurate on the whole hunger thing and were impossibly hard -
just because you kept dying of hunger all the time (approx 90% of
deaths were due to starvation).  The only way of playing the game
was to hope you found a ring of food in the first few levels, or
else give up and start again! Unsuprisingly, the games that were
most mean in this respect never seemed to gain any lasting

I ended up just thinking, Why don't you go all the way and take
account of the diseases that are flourishing in these dungeons, and
just kill the player 2 minutes into every game of some horrible
plague? You'd probably improve the game - at least players wouldn't
get their hopes up!

Adam M
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