[MUD-Dev] The Virtual Ecology

Ling Lo ling at frost.slimy.com
Wed Aug 25 07:20:25 CEST 1999

On Tue, 24 Aug 1999, Chris Turner wrote:
> On Sun, 22 Aug 1999, Felix A. Croes wrote:
> >
> > Essentially you'd have two muds, a "real" one in which players  
> > move around, and a, much larger, "virtual" one in which everything,
> > including the people who are controlled by users in the "real" mud,
> > is just a statistic controlled by a simulated ecology (taking the
> > latter in the broadest possible sense; for the sake of argument, 
> > "there are always exactly 5000 wolves in the virtual world" is
> > considered to be a valid ecology).
> >  
> > Actually, I think that this could be a good way to simulate an economy,
> > though obviously one without emergent behaviours.  You can even solve
> > the spontaneous player creation problem: they are simply assumed to 
> > have entered from the virtual world, and the number of new players
> > created equals the number of people that moved out of the virtual world.


> Thats pretty much how I've planned on doing it, with one minor difference. 
> Basically the real stuff decays back into virtual after a while.  Say for
> example your player leaves the dragon's head on a pole out in the woods -
> someone else (player or virtual stat.) could easily come wandering along and
> walk off with it.  If a virtual being has it, then itself becomes another
> number in the system.

Hopefully using the power law for frequency of appearance as well as
events happening to the virtual item.  Coining the term virtual is quite
confusing since a mud object is virtual and we now have virtual virtual
game objects.

Bulk containers anyone?

> There was a really good thread some time ago (at least a year ago) about
> what to do if a vitally important object (the example was a key) was thrown
> into the sea.  This pretty much explains the whole idea, that since the
> location of the key isn't known precisely, then it could theoritically
> reappear some time later somewhere else.

Not only is it in the FAQ (I really, really should set up a web page), the
thread can also be found straddled at: 


> Another good example that springs to mind, is if a player walks into a
> village and torches the place.  The player could come back a few days later
> to find it's just a smouldering ruin and all the people have gone.  Come
> back a few years later and parts of the village have been rebuilt again.

Lazy simulation?  I'll let Nathan bring us pearls of wisdom since I
haven't actually given it any thought asides from using a pseudo random
but cpu expensive simulation.  (Imagine running SimCity for X amount of
time, just not viable.)

For the newbies and people with no long term memory, vaguely relevant
archive messages I can find:

Population Containers

How to handle log-outs in a totally dynamic world?

You may find the follow ups to the above interesting.

  |   Ling Lo
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