[MUD-Dev] Dynamic Descriptions

Nathan Yospe nyospe at mac.com
Wed Apr 13 06:38:32 New Zealand Standard Time 2005

On Apr 10, 2005, at 11:23 PM, Alistair Milne wrote:
> Nathan Yospe wrote:

>> In any case, I'd like to hear what others here think of having
>> descriptions flow in a stream of awareness (from the character
>> perspective) instead of as a periodic "room" spewed at them...  >

> I'd have a problem maintaining the attention span necessary to
> play that kind of game.  If the "room descriptions" are
> dynamically changing with the gameplay (thus requiring more
> attention) and are interleaved with your own actions instead of in
> larger-sized discrete chunks, there's a risk I'd miss something
> important in the spam.  It's different in a graphical mud, because
> at any time you can glance around and recap, but reading back
> through a page of text looking for the nuggets of information is
> much harder on the brain.  On my brain, at least ;)

That's a good point. What do you think the optimum granularity of
text would be for attention and quick recognition? If (to make an
point) you accept the proposal of a world based on objects with a
proximity, instead of 'rooms' - thus losing the description block
presented as you move from room to room - what would you want the
presentation (in a text game) to be? I prefer frequent updates of
individual features of the world, rather that large gloms of many
unrelated descriptions, and smoother streaming has more appeal in my
ideal, but I can see the detractions you cite. I don't look at it as
a "room description", and I intend that the engine actually make an
effort to highlight things of higher importance, bold and italics,
or paragraph format, or what have you... but it does put a different
split to the game: immediate vs ongoing events, where classic muds
have location vs event as a model.

Could be interesting to delve further into the psychology of that
assumed split between location "description" and event "message".
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