[MUD-Dev] NWN gets more MUD-like (again)

shren shren at io.com
Mon Feb 3 20:43:33 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

On Fri, 31 Jan 2003, Sean Kelly wrote:
> shren wrote:
>> On Wed, 22 Jan 2003, Freeman, Jeff wrote:
>>>  But the guys listed below my stuff claim to have solved that
>>>  problem, and say they have real-time db access working. This
>>>  could be absolutely huge for NWN online worlds....IF it
>>>  works. The biggest change will be that it will allow multiple
>>>  server worlds to function. Right now each world is a little
>>>  island, with no sharing of information between them...even
>>>  though they are SUPPOSED to be just parts of one big game
>>>  world.
>> Rewriting the core game scripts to use the database and writing
>> some useful database schema for the game to use is almost as big
>> a task as actually allowing the queries.  Not that this isn't
>> incredible progress if it does what it says it does, but there's
>> still a lot to be done.

> I think the schema will tend to be customized to the game server.
> I've already thought about a bunch of additions I'd like to make
> that would only be appropriate for a multiserver system.  I've
> also thought of a few interesting additions to the wrapper program
> to add some nifty features to NWN (did you know that scripts
> stored in the \override directory are executable by modules and
> not cached after they're run?).

Your first sentence makes my spine feel like a pack of gremlins and
a coterie of lightning eppenlings are playing rugby on it.  I've had
many jobs that involve me working with an existing database
structure, and you know what?  They've all been bad.  Every single
one - horrible.  Some of them beyond repair.

I understand that you see a lot of potential.  Hell, I see a lot of
potential.  But this goes against NWN's core successes.  With NWN,
almost anyone can build modules or even semi-persistant worlds.  Set
this pack writing SQL table structures and they will produce some
true horrors.
I love the power of it, but I think that mostly what we'll see are
lots of servers using 3 or 4, or maybe as many as a dozen, packages
built with the enviornment.

> As for some technical background -- the DB system is using a
> parent process to run the game engine in debug mode.  They're
> allocating a couple large blocks of memory in script and then
> watching for changes in those blocks.  This relies on the fact
> that the engine won't reallocate a memory block unless more space
> is needed to store a larger chunk of data.  I had concerns about
> performance degradation but apparently there isn't any to speak
> of.

I've read about it some.  I'm suprised it works so well.

> All in all, getting real DB support in NWN is going to allow for
> some amazing things.  Especially since some SQL servers can run
> external code as stored procdedures.  Oh, the possibilities...

When you write some cool stuff that works, please share it, as you
will be in the minority, I assure you.

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