[MUD-Dev] Continuous versus Discrete Functions

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Wed Dec 19 12:40:20 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


-----Original Message-----
From: John Buehler <johnbue at msn.com>

> This pattern is fairly common and I'm stumped as to why the
> discrete function (apparently implemented as tables or cascading
> conditionals) is the function of choice for system designers.  My
> time on flight simulators showed me the power of continuous
> functions - especially when multiple continuous functions are
> contributing to the outcome of any activity.

Two reasons:

  1) Players seem to hate discontinuous feedback from the system.
  To them, something either works, or it does not.  This tends to
  reflect itself as extreme criticism of any portion of the game
  system that provides a spectrum of outputs.

  2) Linear functions require less CPU.  A discrete function can use
  boolean or integer math, a coninuous function almost demands the
  use of floating point math.  When handling hundreds of players and
  thousands of NPC's on a single box, fast is good.

--Dave

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