[MUD-Dev] Self-organizing worlds (was: Elder Games)

Mik Clarke mikclrk at ibm.net
Tue Mar 16 22:03:15 CET 1999

B. Scott Boding wrote:

> Chris Gray wrote:
> >
> > [Scott Boding:]
> >
> >  >It seems though that the problem doesn't necessarily lie in how to give the
> >  >character more characteristic to enhance, but to provide the player with more
> >  >challenges and exploring. I suppose this becomes a situation though of trying to
> >  >lay the track before the train gets there. I've always wanted to try and develop
> >  >a self-expanding universe, but I've never had the time to build something like
> >  >that. Has anyone toyed with that concept?
> >
> > Toyed is exactly the right word. I'm very slowly heading in that direction,
> > but don't expect any results worth talking about for a couple years, at
> > the rate I'm going!
> >
> > There has been discussion of this on the list before (as usual!), but I
> > don't have any specific references. Try searching for "paths",
> > "fractal", etc.
> >
> Not to beat a dead horse, but I just wanted to share this idea. I'm going to
> search the archives right after this email.
> I've always thought it would be stylish to use Artificial Life techniques for
> realm maintinance. It would require some AI as well, but it could produce a much
> more rewarding effect. I've always hated how monsters and rooms just regenerate
> on schedule. I thought that if you introduced a population into a realm, and let
> that population perpetuate itself that it would make for an interesting effect.
> If players overharvest the monsters, it actually works against them.
> Not just for combat though, but instead of resetting a room and removing the
> contents, have monsters that actually go around and clean up the areas. They
> could even collect the goods and sell them, or use them to re-equip their army.
> I'm getting a little fanciful here but it would be interesting to see the
> difference.

Well, you'd have to carefully monitor the population to avoid a couple of obvious
problems:Ye big, powerful mobs breed like rabbits and soon there's nothing a newbie can
Ye good xp/equipment mobs become extinct because the players killed of the breeding

You might want to consider something like the following.

Offworld you have a simulate 'hometown' for the mobs, where they live and breed in ALife
simulation.  Every one in a while a representative of them is created and sent into the
world.  He wanders around and maybe survives or maybe dies.  If he dies, his parents
breeding rights are reduced, if he survives. If it makes it back to the 'homeland' (or
survives for x+ hours) then he enters the gene pool as breeding stock.  You'll need a
breeding scheme that will give mobs some sensible behavioural alternatives and while
will be resistent to drastically changing the mobs stats.  Xps should probably be tied
to genes and can only be earnt by real world adventuring (ie by killing PCs and other
mobs).  Prepare to have  fair bit of CPU churn in the back ground as the mobs slug it


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