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

Matthew D. Fuller fullermd at over-yonder.net
Wed Dec 22 00:23:41 CET 2004

On Mon, Dec 20, 2004 at 03:54:16PM -0500 I heard the voice of
Michael Hartman, and lo! it spake thus:

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

> If you know in advance that the majority of your customers will be
> from the United States, does that inherently necessitate the use
> of the English system (feet, yards, miles, etc.)?

> Or is it still feasible to use the metric system?

Since with a little math it's trivial to express any quantity in any
such system, and since computers are good at math, why wouldn't it
just be another option in the players' interface, how they'd prefer
their units?  Sure, it might be easier to store in metric, but
there's no reason I can think of why a player shouldn't have
information given to him in stones and furlongs and nillets instead
of pounds and meters and minutes if they want.  Remember, too
internationalization issues with numeric representation (N,NNN.NN
vs. N.NNN,NN vs N NNN,NN and so on), so ideally you'd already be
piping those numbers through some sort of formatting function, so
why not adjust units while you're at it?

After all, shouldn't quantities of gold and silver be expressed in
the troy/apothecary system anyway?  8-}

Matthew Fuller     (MF4839)   |  fullermd at over-yonder.net
Systems/Network Administrator |  http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/
           On the Internet, nobody can hear you scream.
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