[MUD-Dev] Reusable plots for quests

coder at ibm.net coder at ibm.net
Tue Oct 28 09:02:42 CET 1997

On 26/10/97 at 10:12 AM, Adam Wiggins <nightfall at user1.inficad.com> said:
>> [Travis:]

>I think the solution to this is simple: develop your game concepts (such
>as resource values, in this example) as a seperate thing from the actual

It can be difficult to guarantee that there are neither positive or
negative feedback loops within a resource system.  Having either type will
tend to lead to your system either impoverishing itself as resources leak
out the entropic hole, or drowning in resources as the loops build.  The
really nasty thing is that the balance point often owes a lot more to
behaviour than it does to mathematic equality (eg heat entropy).

Having your world die a heat death doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun
towards the end there.

>If shops are simply willing to trade their goods for
>something that they think is of equal value to the item being sold, and
>is something that they can use elsewhere to barter for products they
>might 'want' themselves, then a shopkeeper simply takes gold coins
>because they have a perceived value to her, and because she knows that
>she can trade them for other goods and services elsewhere in the town. 

Okay, said shop takes gold, maintains a local hoard for hard times, and is
generally very well off and successful.  The local market is then flooded
with gold.  Said prosperous shop keeper is now a pauper, can buy nothing
as their gold is valueless, and has damn little to trade.

Market economies are not necessarily stable and can be actively
manipulated.  Have a look into the fun had with futures markets some time
(I used to play that game).  Its probably worth while examining the
attempted cornering and take-over of the silver market in the early '80's
as a good example of the mechanics.  (Yes, one single individual very
nearly successfully tokk over and monopolised the entire world silver
market thru playing futures)

>Thus if you drop several tons of gold in the town square, the perceived
>value of gold becomes incredibly low and likely some other material will
>take over as the main form of monetary exchange.

Good comparisions here are the arguments for having currency based on a
hard standard (such as gold) or merely a virtual object backed by
confidence (such as the idiocy prevalent now).  Without commenting on
which side I think is more supportable, there are good arguments on either

>> I've been throwing massive change tokens in here deliberately as they are
>> much easier to manipulate in a discussion than more minor stuff with its
>> more measily and indeterminate side effects.

>Plus, it's just plain more fun to think of examples for...

Well, yeah...  Far be it from me to be needlessly difficult.  <kof>

>Basing a game on any sort of fixed story like Star Wars means that you
>will have...well, a fixed story.  An interactive world should define
>itself by its settings, motif, and devices...the story is created by
>those existing in the world.

No, you're being to generalist.  Even a fixed Star Wars theme allows for
considerable creation _within_ the theme.  You coudl have the entire Star
Wars scneario duplicated exactly from the movies etc, and then place the
players as minor or ancillary items within that setting.  Everything
proceeds rather nicely, with comparitively minor items and events assuming
appropriately huge significances relative to players, while the Star Wars
saga rolls on blithely in the background.

>> The other problem here, is that you have created a system with sufficient
>> fluidity that it is going to require continuous admin maintenance,
>> tweaking and cajoling, to keep the thing working.  You are going to have
>> to have a continupus feed of Admins who are very literally married to the
>> game.

>It depends.  If you want some sort of coherent story going at all times,
>then yes, you're talking about a MUSH.  If you're willing to let the
>stories just 'happen', then I don't see why admin intervention is
>necessary at all.

The sysyem will require meintence and tweaking to fill those little leaks
and holes as mentioned above, as well as to flesh out the base design in
advance of the approaching players as they migrate into near areas of game

>> Yup, but this is an entirely different game really.  It also requires the
>> game and the plaeyrs to constantly re-invent the game as it progresses, as
>> the base fundaments of the game will be changing over time.  This is not a
>> Bad Thing, its just very expensivce in time and Admins.  The really really
>> nice aspects of this, are that game history suddenly starts having real
>> import. Who what where and when within the game world is now of actual and
>> real importance as these are player made and driven changes, with lessons
>> to be learned and used again in the curent state.

>Again the 'base fundaments' need not change, just the paterns created
>with them.  I think of it like a big bag of leggos.  It's the same bunch
>of bricks regardless, and no one will be fooled into thinking that it's a
>different set if you make a different object from it.  But does anyone
>really care?


>> Yet that same sense and fact of continuance could be a real value.  All of
>> a sudden you have a real and organic world.  That fact will tend to
>> attract a certain class of players who stay and play for very long periods
>> (years?  decades?) whiule others loiter only till the conclusion of the
>> curent drama.

>I see this as a good thing as a player.  I tend to mud in spurts - log
>onto a mud for a while when some interesting things are going on, then
>after a few weeks get bored and drift away.  I may come back later
>(usually as a different character) if I have the urge, though.  Anyhow, I
>usually start playing because some major change has happened in the game
>world - someone sends me email saying "Hey, an army of greater dragons
>just wiped out Tarsis!  Check it out!"  I usually drift away when things
>cease to interest me, but it would be a lot more fun if these renewels
>came on a regular basis and in a more potent form (most of the mud rather
>than just one city being wiped out) and if there was a definite
>conclusion to each era, so that there would be a more definite conclusion
>to that given session, rather than me just getting bored with it. 
>Naturally you could always stay on, but that would be a good point to
>decide you're going to be done for a while. As opposed to the ongoing
>soap-opera/comic book style of current muds, whereby there's rarely fixed
>conclusions, except for small bits of a given story wraping up.

Hehn.  Exactly.  Conversely I tend to play with very definite goals in
mind.  I log on, check out the game, decide if I'm interested, and if so,
define what I want to accomplish there, and in what style and manner.  I
then set about doing that, modifying the goal and manner as I learn the
game, and typically abandoning the game as soon as I determine that all
that remains between me and my goal is rote application of structures
already learned.

That is of course until I find a *really* neat game, but there are few of

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

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