[MUD-Dev] Breaking down the walls

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Wed Jun 12 07:27:15 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

Matt Chatterly wrote:
> I'm looking to make my world a little more freeform. Of course,
> that isn't to say that there won't be any rooms (That'd just be
> silly!), but rather, that the transition between them should blend
> into the time spent in them more. Instead of:
>   You are in a yellow room.
>   Exits: North, East.
>   ] go east
>   You are in a blue room.
>   Exits: West, North.
>   ... ad nauseum ...
> I was aiming more for a system where you might see:
>   You are in the middle of a yellow room. Passageways lead north and
>   east.
>   ] walk east
>   You are at the eastern end of a yellow room. Passageways lead
>   north and east.
>   ...
>   You are in a narrow passageway which runs east-west. You can see a
>   yellow room at the west end, and can just make out a blue room at
>   the east end.
>   ...
>   You are at the west end of a blue room.. etc

Well, that's still a room-based system. I mean, to me, at least, a
room-based system basically means a system of interconnected
nodes. Just as what you think of as a room can have multiple 'rooms'
in a MUD, a field can have multiple 'rooms 'in a MUD.

> I'm wondering how well a sort of 'freeform' (or roomless, coord
> based) world will scale to a text game, and how to implement the
> user display. It seems to me that I'll have to do a fair bit of
> work with semi-dynamic text descriptions (which isn't a problem;
> just an observation).

If you want to see an example of how Achaea displays our coordinate
map, have a look at www.achaea.com/achaea_ohmap.gif. Ignore any of
the text or coordinates, insofar as mortals don't see the
coordinates and such. The viewer is at the @. One of our major
cities are the # on the grey background to the right of the
river. The + is a road, the . on a green background is a valley, the
. on a black background is a plain, the M are mountains, etc.

The overhead map is definitely not where most of the action takes
place. It's boring, because it's dynamically generated. It does,
however, serve to allow us to create more of a feeling of distance
between some areas. (The way we implemented it was that we took a
.gif map of the continent that I made using a map editor, and turned
it into the overhead map. Most of the overhead map also has
node-based rooms 'underneath' it, and you enter/leave the OH map
from specific points on the node-based map. Not all of the OH map
has node based equivalents though, so you can force players to go
over the VASTLY larger OH map (The current continent is 1000 x 1000,
which is a lot more rooms than the node-based map, where all
descriptions and such are custom written).

> My concerns are more that this doesn't make it too conceptually
> hard to design, build and play in the areas on the game!

Personally, I think people are crazy to ever make coordinate-based
systems the focus of a text MUD. If you want room-less MUDs, play a
graphical MUD, I say. Text is better off focusing on what text is
good at, I feel.

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