Building blocks II

Last post defined quests as dramatic situations, next up is:


I’m going to mix up rooms, sectors, and areas. Everyone is familiar with ROM-like sectors, and many muds define rooms as either Indoor, Outdoor, Forest, Mountain, Desert, Ocean, ShallowWater, Swamp, Road, Urban, the list could go on and on. Here is a hypothetical room definition.

[Parent] (if you want the room to inherit from another room)
[Sector type]
[Indoor or Outdoor] (to decide what time and weather messages to show)
[ExtraDescs ()]
[Exits ()]
[Affects ()] (simple affects like increased healing, mana regen, etc.)
[Scripts ()] (extended scripts, messaging and so on)

Pretty standard stuff. Let’s go out on a limb and add a tenth element:

[State ()]

Some places seem to share universal characteristics; they’re joyful, sad, mysterious, plain, dull, exciting, dangerous, lively, breathtaking, lonely, scary. Now it’s somewhat simplistic and inaccurate to sum up a place in a couple of words, but this is a simulation, after all, and a game at that. Room state can model these affects for each room or more likely across many rooms — a lonely mountaintop, a lively marketplace.

You could simply model this with scripts, but it seems useful to keep track of the element separately and give it some importance, as many things could refer to it.

A second criticism is that different characters respond with different emotions to certain circumstances. Will a dark cave scare a vampire? Will a marketplace be ‘joyful’ to a Lich Lord of the 66th Negative Plane? Certainly not. However state does not specify how a character should respond, only what the state is compared to some neutral non-realistic average.

On the other hand, our dark cave might scare a brutal thug lowlife, but not the Lich Lord, but they both wouldn’t find the marketplace joyful. So where are these two characters in relation to the ‘neutral average’? You could get around this by specifying a [state:value] on all objects, though that does seem like a lot of overhead if you use a lot of states, so to keep things manageable, don’t use a lot of states.


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