[MUD-Dev] Breaking down the walls

Brian Lindahl lindahlb at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 12 22:05:38 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: Matt Chatterley <matt at eldoops.co.uk>

> I think I understand. :) basically, the information received by
> the player depends on just what they are paying attention to at
> the time. Thus a character whose main focus is simply 'run away
> very, very fast over the fields' is far less likely to take in the
> details of the scenery than one who is simply strolling along and
> drinking in his luxuriant surroundings.

Correct, that is how I envisioned it. Another example would be a
thief who is attempting to pick a lock. He probably is so absorbed
in the task, unless he focuses his attention lightly, that he will
not notice much of anything going on around him. For each activity,
a minimum focus level is attributed, as well as a balance focus
level. A balance focus level basically says, your skill in an
activity directly translates as a ratio of 1:1. If you focus at a
higher level on the task at hand, your skill is modified for the
better. Less than the balance focus level, and your skill is
modified for the worse. The minimum focus level is basically where
your skill hits 0, and is used for calculation of the sliding
scale. If no focus level is attributed to an object before an
activity is initiated, the balance focus level is ascribed. I
imagine players using flavorful verbs such as glance, peer, gaze,
concentrate, focus, deeply focus, lightly focus, look, watch,
etc. to achieve focus levels on an object before an activity if they
decide to not use the balance focus level. A heirarchal list in a
help file should help players understand where in the list from no
focus to high focus where the verbs will stand.

> The last thing which I want to do is to create a wilderness
> environment around 'areas' (which might as well be viewed as
> 'levels' or 'dungeons' in a more conventional CRPG), which is
> simply a big space in which to get lost, and in which one cannot
> often expect to meet other characters. :P

This is the basic idea of my regional design. Every terrain, area,
building's boundaries can be described by the set of polygons where
another terrain, area, or building ends. For example, a
continent(sand or rock terrain) is surrounded by an ocean, grass
starts inside the base terrain of the continent, and forests usually
start within grass terrains. Clearings are simply grass terrains
inside forests, while a hut in the forest could lie partially on the
forest terrain and partially on the clearing. I hope to tie regions
to only convex polygons since the operations on convex polygons are
significantly faster than those of concave, but we'll see how it
goes. Each terrain's set of polygons which describe it's boundaries,
is an object of type 'wall'. For terrains this 'wall' would simply
be an intangible, invisible wall. For buildings it could be
derivation of a wall object, be it a rock wall or a wood wall. Now
when something passes outside a polygonal region, be it sound, a
line of sight, or vision, or object, the entity is passed to the
wall object, which then decides whether to pass it through or
not. Basically walls act as a 'mediator' between one region and
another. I plan on using reference counting for these walls to save
space, since many walls will be identical.

I went into more detail than I had wanted, and I'm sure, by now, you
have a good idea as to how I plan on creating my world,

-Brian Lindahl, coder of 'The Cathyle Project'
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