Invitation to MUD Design Mailing List

coder at coder at
Thu Feb 13 19:05:11 CET 1997

Hey there -- as the system should have told you, you have to subscribe
first...  I'd love to see you in there.  Just send a message to
mud-dev-admin at with a subject of "subscribe" and wait for the

NB I've crossed this reply to the list.

On 12/02/97 at 09:31 PM, cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA (Chris Gray)
said: >> NOTE: I'm on a new job so will have little time to participate. 
Don't >> expect my old level of posting for a while.

>Aw, who's going to fill up my hard drive now?

<chortle>  I'm on a new contract at Charles Schwab, and they're being a
mite pushy about deadlines for me to have much time for the list right now

>I'm still in pretty much the same position as I was before. I'm quite
>close to releasing V1.1 of my system, which has lots of new features in
>the custom graphics client.

Pretty much the stuff we were discussing on Wout's list?

Writing of which, anybody heard from him?  He hasn't replied to several
emails, tho none of them bounced.

>I'll take this opportunity to ask a question that has come up for me.
>Anyone know how to map from RGB to HSV in colourspace? 

Not an area I'm familiar with.  I'd be real tempted to have a chat with
the TrueSpectra or ColorWorks people on that.  They're both pretty neat
chaps who are more than willing to explain the gritty details.

> I want something
>that doesn't need floating point, and is fairly quick. When loading
>images, I sometimes have to map the palette of the image to the palette
>the user is using in his GUI. I currently do this with some ad-hoc code
>that does a not-bad job, but I think I might do a better job using
>weighted differences in HSV space. My very old graphics text doesn't even
>mention colours in it! (I know - time to get a new one.)

Hopefully if you subscribe quickly enough you'll be in time to get any of
the other's replies.  (I have to turn in early tonight, so you'll have a
day lead before the list gets to re-spit this message to all the members).

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at
----------(*)                              Internet: coder at
.Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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On 20/03/97 at 11:28 PM, Adam Wiggins <nightfall at> said:

>> At the moment I've been intending to make the TrashCollectors (cf
>> earlier discussion with ChrisG on removing waste objects) do this as a
>> side effect of their normal rounds.  The base purpose of the TC's are
>> to accellerate object decomposition, and provide an amusing (cheap)
>> target and toy for users.

>I suppose this depends where you're trying to go with your system; as
>folks reading this list probably already know, I'm desirous of a more
>serious (as in, no 'cute' stuff) and realistic mudlib.  

I have two areas of concentration:

1) A MUD server which is capable of supporting and doing anything I
can think of, and expressing any idea, no matter how baroque, I can
come up with, without every tieing the server to any sort of game
form, or expressing anything game-specific in the server.

2) A Mudlib where I test out ideas from #1 and generally attempt to
create a milleau which bears little resemblance to reality (or any
fevered dream/nightmare), but which is more an internally logically
consistent universe whose fundamental rules are different.  

Its a very zen thing.  

In a way I'd like to end up with an entire hugely detailed and complex
closed ecology (with an implied economy) which is self-animating and
maintaining, where nothing is immortal or immutable and into which
players are injected as alien bodies (wolves in sheep's clothing?)
which are proportionately miniscule compared to the system/universe.  

I don't want any of this MUD-reality is a variation on real-world
reality or a variation on your-SF/F/whatever-book/author-of-choice. 
Some portion of the base rules have to be the same, just to maintain
comprehension, but from there its all fair game for fiddling.

#1 is in trouble right now.  I have a number of items that I just
don't know how to do.  cf amorphous blob, segmented bodies, composite
bodies, anonymous groups, etc.  

>...I like the
>above pretty well but personally I just don't want to see any
>'system' stuff while I'm playing the game, and the
>man-in-the-white-lab-coat falls into this category (as does doors
>locking behind you, when idiot zone builders don't flag their zones

I agree with man-in-the-white-coat comment.  However Tc's can be
painted to not appear as system units.  Oh, give them randomly
generated descriptions, make many more of them invisible, get rid of
the obvious object englobing and just use spoofs to accelerate decay,
re-badge them as wizard's imps that scurry about on errands or looking
for things for their masters.  There are many possibilities. 
Presentation never has to bear any relation to function.

NB I'd label having reset-if-empty flags in the first place just as
bad an idiocy as builders setting them on areas.

>Reminds me of an early experience on one of my first muds, in which I
>quickly found out why fighting cityguards was a bad idea:

At some point we ought to get back into interactive combat and combat

>> You get into coding a full economy -- a thing rife with positive and
>> negative feedback loops (cf Palace's early economy mishaps and happy
>> accidents).  Its something I don't think I'd even attempt.  What I
>> think would be easier, and provide a LOT more fun, is to implement
>> independant economies with their own internal methods of production
>> and consumption which are not dependant on other economies.

>Right, which was basically what I was saying when I said the system
>would have to fudge things a little bit.  Actually, fudge quite a
>bit, depending on the situation.  The main problem, as I said, is the
>size of the communities you're talking about here.  In my example
>above, your economy is basically a chain.  Chains are bad because if
>you break one link, every link above it becoems useless.  Real
>economies (especially one this advanced) are more like a tapestry,
>where tearing out a single thread doesn't bring things crashing down.

Err, you might want to look at that again.

Take our current "real world" economy.  Drop a nuke in the middle of
the Opec countries.  If you really want to drop another one in Siberia
and/or Texas.  You removed most of one thread -- no even an entire
thread -- just the major oil producing sources.  Watch the entire
world economy fragment.  

Want another one?  Create a bacterium which lives on metallic iron. 
Have it capable of breeding sufficiently to "eat" a 1lb iron ingot in
a week.  Watch the entire industrial complex go BOOM!.

Want a better one?  Coat the planet reasonably well (say 30%/40%) with
a good old standard fungus killer.  Watch all higher life on the
planet die withing 3-5 years.

No matter what you do, you're going to get chains.  You can try and
detect and protect core chains, making it increasingly painful to
threaten the chain/link (escalating negative feedback), but you can't
proof the system.

There's an old board game that was popular in Australia some years
back; one of the few intelligent Monopoly spin-offs: Poleconomy.  It
wraps the concepts of a money economy, production rates, and crude
politics into Monopoly.  It is comparatively easy for a decent one
player to break the economy, killing the game and causing everyone to
"lose".  It takes knowing cooperation by all the players to keep the
economy balanced and moving forward so one has the chance to win. 
Good game BTW.  Been looking for a copy state-side for years.

>> The nice thing about this sort of system is that it becomes self
>> balancing.  Opportunities for mana consumption exceed mana production,
>> so the system always runs starved (try to run it fat and you get
>> positive feedback).  While there can be synergy between the mana
>> economy and other economies, even positive and negative feedback
>> (again cf Palace and the guns and coins), you don't get the direct
>> causal dependancies where the stonemason can't build castles because
>> the lumberyard has no wood because the robbers robbed the bank so the
>> woodsman can't get paid for the trees he cut, and the elves can't sell
>> their silks anymore anyway (no money), and now pro0hibit all tree
>> cutting.

>Well as I said, you need a lot of sources.  This is the nature of an
>economy - base your production needs on any one source and it's only
>a matter of time before the bottom falls out on you.  

Notice also that Tc's can never become extinct.  Even if you got all
of the Tc's in the entire game located, and killed them all, they'd
all spit sports upon death and new Tc's would follow from there.

>Incendentaly, nice to see that we're getting back to the horrendously
>long and wandering messages that we had going last time around.  

A lot of that has to do with my manner of posting.  Typically I'll
open a reply here at work, and fiddle with it thru-out the day
(sometimes several days), adding ideas and reactions to the post as I
go along, spelling things out, failing to proof read, thinking of
twists etc.  That's why you usually only get one or two posts a day
out of me here.  It tends to make for long posts, but the idea flow is
also higher.

>love poping up the first message and seeing, "You've seen 3%" in the
>corner... :) (No, this is not sarcasm, if you're wondering.  I
>actually do love really long messages which are generally talking
>about something completely different by the time they get to the


The first chap who pops up here complaining that we don't change the
subject lines enough so he can ignore the threads he's not interested
in is liable to get summarily unsubscribed.  <kof>  This is a
discussion area damn it.  Synergy is the whole idea.

<yeah right>

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at
----------(*)                              Internet: coder at
.Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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