hand-written areas: methods to maximize productivity?

I’m directing this at newer muds that need to write a lot of custom areas.

There is no doubt that a well written area takes a lot of time.

However, what I’m interested in is how do you absolutely maximize your productivity when hand-writing an area– that is, you have to do all the work of area creation and your codebase doesn’t use dynamically generated areas.

Mainly I’m interested in this because:

1. It’s very difficult for a new mud to find good builders.

2. As a corrolary to (1), if one person writes many areas for the mud they can achieve a flow and unity not usually possible for a large team of builders to achieve.

Some possibilities:

a) You write a script that will assemble room descriptions from a list of room elements that you can reuse. Anyone ever done that?

b) macros to assemble your area files in conjunction with mob and object templates that can grab values from a database?

c) a program to generate an area file outline from an orthogonal map?

d) quest module templates that can easily be plugged into different areas.

The goal would be to write an excellent 100 room area in two weeks and still have a life, a job, eat, sleep, etcetera. Yeah, excellence is subjective. But not that subjective.

What have you done?

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