[MUD-Dev] Scripting Languages and Magic

Edward Glowacki glowack2 at msu.edu
Wed Oct 8 08:59:31 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

On Tue, 2003-10-07 at 17:22, Patrick Dughi wrote:

> I thought that a magic scripting system would be an excellent
> choice not for players, but for my content creators.  The impact
> of a scripted-spell system for players would be minimal; few may
> struggle through the learning phase, and as was noted, getting
> metrics on random scripts to insure balance can be difficult,
> though it could be done.  In the end though, it doesn't seem worth
> the massive effort it would require.

I don't think I ever followed the logic far enough to deduce its use
as a development tool, but I did pretty much rule it out for
something that everyone could/should do.  Its appeal is fairly
narrow, it's entrance requirements are high (at least to do anything
non-trivial), and the learning curve can be a big deterrant.

But it might make sense to players access on a limited basis.  Make
it known through-the-grapevine that scripting is available if you
ask the right person about it.  Make an area or a server or
something where they can run free with it for testing without
affecting the game, and see what they come up with.  Let them submit
finished scripts to you and your developers for approval, sanity
checking, and balancing.  If it passes approval, allow them to learn
the spell and use it in the game at large, and somehow make it
available to other players as a canned spell (i.e. so they can't
look at its internals).  Maybe name it after the creator, like
"Biff's Big Ball O' Fire", give the character a
cash/EQ/stat/whatever bonus for it, whatever.  With something like
this, you don't inflict the complexity upon everybody, but those who
enjoy it can use it as a way to show off their prowess, earn fame,
gain money or power, etc.

> If you had to have some sort of dynamic spell system for players,
> I recommend that you stick with a mix-n-match spell creation
> system, with simple drop-down menus and toggles.

Yeah, mix-n-match is probably the way to go.  You could allow
GUI-based tweaking of parameters within that though.  Say with the
basic fireball spell, you could have sliders for speed, power, and
size.  Increasing any of them costs more to cast, decreasing reduces
casting cost, so for the same cost, one player could have a really
fast but weak fireball, and another player could have a slow but
powerful one.  Combine this with mix-n-match, and you provide a lot
of variety without the trouble of a scripting language.


Edward Glowacki			glowack2 at msu.edu
A PBS mind in an MTV world.
	-- Author unknown
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