[MUD-Dev] Re: Spell components, chemistry, and the like...

Hal Black hal at moos.ml.org
Tue Nov 10 19:27:17 CET 1998

On Tue, Nov 10, 1998 at 02:27:20PM -0800, quzah [sotfhome] wrote:
> >Gas would be steam I think you will find.  Are you going to deal with
> >elements that sublimate?  Like co2, goes straight from dry ice to gas and
> >has no intervening liquid state.
> >
> Or would it be "fog", or "mist", that's the reason I didn't put its
> name in there. I wasn't sure what of the three forms to call it. Any
> ideas on how to handle more than one name for the same state? This is
> a bit of a problem, due to the fact that "fog" and "mist" are generally
> colder than its solidifying temperature, where as "steam" is at its
> evaporating point or higher. I was hoping to keep it simple this
> way -- I could modify it so that it checks for its state under
> the "water" component, and if it needs its gas form, it is then
> forewarded to another component, where its pieces are made up of
> "fog","mist","steam". Though, this means adding another three variables,
> since we would no longer be asuming that the first state is always a
> solid, the next a liquid and the third always a gas...

Well, the thing with fog mist and steam is, those are mixtures of water
as a liquid and air as a gas, not uniform quantities of some element element
(or even molecules).  

Some more examples:
				whipping action
solid cream(l) + air(g)		-----------------> whipped cream(mixture)

				stirring action
water(l) + sugar(s)		-----------------> sugar water(mixture)

wood(s) + air(g)		-----------------> fire + smoke(mixture)

cornstarch(s) + water(l)	-----------------> "goop" (sometimes solid,
							sometimes liquid)
Try making some "goop" at home.  Get some cornstarch and mix in some water,
when you squeeze it it feels solid.  If you leave it alone, it turns to a
runny liquid.  Neat stuff. 8')

Anyway, the way that I'd do it would be to define some base type of matter
that can be some lump that is recognizable as a unit and has three properties:
quantity of mass, material, and form.

The material will define the density.  From the material and the mass, you
can find the weight.  Add in the form, and you can find the shape and volume.

quantity of mass is a number that tells you how much of something you have
  (grams, kilograms, whatever)

form is
   fluid(x)	liquids and mixtures in liquid form (may have a viscosity x to
		it as well.  Viscosity is "resistance to flow" - maple syrup
		would have high viscosity, while water would have low
   gas		A gaseous state, like air or helium
   granular(x)  solid, with X corresponding to the number of times the thing
		has been broken into smaller pieces.  So X=0 would be a single
		gold brick, X=1 maybe big gold nuggets, X=2 for gold gravel
		X=3 for gold sand, X=4 for gold dust...  etc.
   plasma	Certainly some more research is involved if you want to add
		plasma to your game.  But that would be very cool.  8')

material is what it's made of.  Could be a mixture, complex structure, or pure
molecular/elemental type.  Lots of room for development here, depending on how
involved you want to get.  (are animals and plants the same or different
subtypes of "organic", etc...)  There are mixtures, alloys, all kinds of neat
stuff.  Go to your college book store and sit down with a Chemistry 101 book
and thumb through it for a while for ideas.  There is some neat stuff in there.

You could also add a propery temperature.  And when an object's temperature
changes, you can see if it changes state based on the material.

Another thing to add for support would be a table of reactions, to see what
happens when various elements are put together.  To add some sophistication 
(and difficulty in testing!), you could make some rules about the way elements
react, and do reactions that way.

Good luck!  Sounds very promising!

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