[MUD-Dev] Metric vs. English System of Measurement in Games

olag at ifi.uio.no olag at ifi.uio.no
Tue Dec 21 13:24:11 CET 2004

Michael Hartman wrote:

> The game design question this raises is what should a developer
> use when create a new game world?

I assume you mean a MUD which players are meant to play for a long
time.  If it is from a particular era then the units are obviously
given. As a player I think I would have preferred that the units
chosen were unique, special and perhaps a bit fun. However, I would
prefer to have just one type of unit for each measure to avoid some
tedium. This is just me, of course...

In general I think one should strive towards strengthening the world
and "a sense of culture":

For instance, if there are lots of turtles in the game world then
maybe the unit for length would be a "turtle": His boat was 20
turtles long.

If it is an evil culture then maybe the measure for the volume of
liquid would be "skulls": He drank 3 skulls of blood.

So, if the game has multiple cultures you might have to do
conversions when you get to a new part of the world. Thus
strengthening the RP aspect of the game. Ought to be acceptable
unless precise measures are critical for gameplay.

Could also be used for small jokes:

  For a troll 1 bag = 1000 litre
  For a human 1 bag = 30 litre

  The troll: You pass - me gets bags of golds.
  The troll shows you his index finger.
  > sigh
  You sigh.
  > give troll 1 bag of gold
  The troll: Ugly, cheating, nasty human thinks troll stupid?
  The troll grabs your bag.
  You fly through the air.
  You are in the river. You are getting cold. You are wet.

To cut it short: for a MUD I think you are asking the wrong
question, unless you want a realistic contemporary setting.

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