[MUD-Dev] Mass Creation OLC Functions (idea from Elder Games)

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Fri Mar 19 00:59:41 CET 1999

On Thu, 18 Mar 1999 19:09:40 -0700 
Chris Gray<cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA> wrote:

> [J C Lawrence:] 
> [Description trimmed of a solid in-world base for a constantly
> changing world.]

> That meets my critera, because it has an in-world reason for the
> changes.  I'm not at all sure I'd enjoy playing in it, however, but
> that's a personal preference thing (I get lost easy in fixed
> worlds!)

The thing about that deleted description is that it is perfectly
adequate to describe our current RL reality with its seeming
predictability (or at least well known level of surprise), as well as
working well to describe the amorphous disorienting melange common to
nightmares.  Take your pick.

The effects can kick in however in very subtle and pleasant ways as we
discussed in the ur-object threads:

  You walk down the beach and find a key.  Is it the key to Castle
Crack?  The long lost key to the Hidden Kingdom?  The key to a half
rusted treasure chest still lost at the bottom of the ocean?  Or just,
well, a rather rusty and sandy key of no notability at all?  

  You have the key to Krak, but drown at sea when your ship sinks.
Some MUD years later, what are the odds that a random fish caught out
of that ocean would have the key in its belly, or that the fish eagle
transfixed by your arrow would have it tangled about one talon by a
fishing line, or that it might be the glitter at the bottom of a tide
pool, deep under the wrack?  They are all finite and definite odds,
same as it turning up in a mud clump, found while digging a new well
for the village.

You (the server) don't have to decide that fact until the last
possible instant -- when some event occurs that requires the key to be
identified, such as an identify spell or trying the key in Castle
Krak's lock (works?  Key to Krak.  Doesn't work?  Key can be anything
_except_ Krak).

This of course also allows your code to attempt to "direct history" by
instantiating suitable objects at "interesting" times.

Your world is fluid, instantiated only on demand, and in general
computed rather than simulated, or at least simulated only when there
is someone (NPC or human) to see the simulation.  Your computation
could be a perfectly accurate simulation, or you could fudge for
interest.  Your pick.  

The definition and implementation of "interest" is of course the
intriguing one.  Given a world, even a mundane and mechanically
predictable world that operates by such principles, ust what *is*
interesting, and how can you program that, enhance it, for the world
so that it actively encourages drama by fostering serendipity?

Heck, at a computational level, what is "drama"?  

J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                            Internet: coder at kanga.nu
...Honorary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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

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