[MUD-Dev] In-Game Languages

Matthew D. Fuller fullermd at futuresouth.com
Sun Apr 4 17:51:37 CEST 1999

On Sun, Apr 04, 1999 at 10:00:12AM -0600, a little birdie told me
that Chris Gray remarked
> How does someone with the given language skill read the output? Do they
> simply get the untranslated version, and others get the translated version?
> Does this work for written material too? (It could - you would just have
> to have a language flag on all text, and do the translation on final
> output to the player, so that a player could carry around a Dwarvish
> book, and finally read it after learning the skill.)

This sort of thing has crossed my mind before.  One of the more
interesting facets that comes to mind (that I've never seen properly
explored, even if it is possible) is how to deal with partial skill.  Of
course, having X% of the language be 'readable' randomly is easy, if a
bit unrealistic.  But a more 'real' way would be better, not to mention
more fun.

Consider how you learn language; generally, you learn more common words
first.  Ignoring practical constraints on storage, you could keep track
of how many times a character has 'seen' this word in a language he is
growing in proficiency in.  On the basis of that, you can determine a
sort of cutoff point at which he 'understands' that word, and thus can
translate it.  If you wanted to go even further overboard, you could keep
track (somewhow) of context as well, track grammar, etc.

One rather useful application of this in game design is to let players
choose which 'language' they use to communicate at a point in time; so
you could be in a room with 2 friends, each of which speaks a language
the other doesn't, and communicate semi-privately with one or the other.
Of course, you never know when one might sneakily learn (though never let
on by speaking) the others' and be eavesdropping on you...

Matthew Fuller                  |    fullermd at over-yonder.net
Unix Systems Administrator      |    fullermd at futuresouth.com
Specializing in FreeBSD         |    http://www.over-yonder.net/
"If it doesn't work the first time, bring more ammo the second"

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

More information about the mud-dev-archive mailing list