[MUD-Dev] In-Game Languages

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Fri Apr 9 15:48:07 CEST 1999

On 02:19 PM 4/9/99 +0200, I personally witnessed Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt
jumping up to say:
>A con to this, is that players could
>write translators to automatically translate the text once the algorithm
>is 'hacked'.

I tend to think that the ability to partially "hack" the language -- since
less than half of the alphabet was used in the example, translating it into
anything really legible would be a big chore -- is a *pro*. I like skills
to exist with the player instead of the character. Most MUDs make all the
knowledge (except familiarity with the game world) a quality of the
character, so in the event of death, you lose everything. I prefer that the
character be less important to continuing the game with a different
persona. Stats shouldn't be as important as they are today. Permitting some
level of hacking tends to make some portion of your player base think
harder, and that's a good thing.

>the better the character is at understanding the language, the more
>whole words are written in plain. The seed for which words are plain
>should be playe dependant, and should depend on word size. What i propose
>is that the rest is simply exchanged with '.'. 

This is a good when you have a range of skill, but doesn't do much of
anything for someone without the skill... and if you have a boolean
"speaks/doesn't speak" setting, it's completely worthless.

>If you wanted to put some 'colour' on this, you should make a 'common
>mistake' table for each language where words are written up that have
>'special' meaning, or for some reason or are assumed to sound alike
>phonetically (in the language), or wording having meaning other than the
>litteral translation. 

That would be really, really hard to automate. Dialect and idiom really
ought to be handled by the player in a roleplaying context.


I'm sorry, I have to ask... do you mean "of course", as in "obviously"? Is
this an ironic comment on the process of speaking in different languages? ;)
| Caliban Tiresias Darklock            caliban at darklock.com 
| Darklock Communications          http://www.darklock.com/ 
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