Just a bit of musing

Carter T Shock ctso at umiacs.umd.edu
Fri Feb 28 16:51:05 CET 1997

Along the lines of a graphical mud and clients...
I think one of the common problems is viewing these as a dichotomy. Yer
either on a TTY typing and reading, or you've got full blown texture-mapped
baddies to blow up. Doesn't have to be that way.

First off, I'm a _heavy_ proponent of clients. All of that junk that is
sent as text these days could be compressed into short binary messages and
allow for lots of customization in the process ("You OBLITERATE Ogg with
your deadly flatulance" becomes a 2 or 4 byte header followed by a couple
of bytes of state info.. how many points, who ya hit, etc). The client
becomes responsible for making text out of the binary spam. Now imagine a
client that is primarily a text region for all the fancy descriptions,
chat, hints, etc and has a small window where you show the player's
orientation with the world using simple stick drawings. Things that move
can be sent as binary locations and things that don't move can be
sent/cached by the client as a map. If you want the texture-mapped
run-around, play Quake (which, of course, I do :)  There's no reason that
the player's "view" can't be abstract. Make it a 2-D bird's-eye view (red
dots are mobs, blue dots are players, white squares are buildings,
whatever). The possibilities are really endless and not necessarily
complex. Now we stay sort of "open" because we can use arrow keys to move
around (out in the open an arrow might mean "head towards" while inside it
might mean "depart thru this exit"). 

It all depends on how "real" you want it.


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