[vworld-tech] State of the art / Text muds

Peter A. Harkins ph at malaprop.org
Sun Apr 4 11:02:42 PDT 2004

Hash: SHA1

On Sun, Apr 04, 2004 at 09:32:34AM -0000, Richard wrote:
> Is there any change in how builders go about their work these days?
> Have any muds created advanced tools or environments for their builders
> to use?

Many LPCs have OLC -- online creation -- of rooms, but it's not yet
something standard. The mudlib I've been working on, SIMud, has taken a
unique 2d area-based approach to building rooms.

An area is a painted with an in-game editor. The basic idea is that the
terrain types (hills, plains, river) are your pallete, and you move the
cursor around to paint them. We've got commands for pen down/up and box
filling, and that's been plenty so far. Several areas can be "stitched"
together so they form one continuous place. Some examples of maps:

An area is broken down into rooms that measure 10 tiles wide and 6 tall.
This is an arbitrary size that fits well on a default 80x25 terminal screen;
we could change the constants and regen the rooms to be a different size on
a mud-wide basis if we wanted. Inside a room, each tile is 5x3 characters
tall, and we round them off slightly for aesthetics. Players take up one
character, buildings average around 4x3; we're willing to be a little
cartoony with sizes. Some in-room screenshots at: http://simud.org/features

Inside each room, we generate objects for terrain types. If water is painted
in the room, you'll be able to drink from the river. If there's grass, you
can walk to it and bunnies will eat it. Room descriptions are generated from
contents and appear next to the room map. An example from where I'm standing
is: "This is Foothills of the Ridge Mountains. Two shacks, a cottage, a
house, and a blacksmith's shop are built here. Lush green grass is growing
here. No landmarks visible." It's a bit plain, yes.

We do still have more traditional rooms. These can have maps (as in the shop
interior from the screenshots linked above) or be unmapped (as in
traditional mud rooms). We have a 'dig' command to create and link rooms,
and commands for setting the room title and description. Room descriptions
can include dynamic strings that are dependent on day/night, and such.

Our code is online for the browsing at http://simud.org/doxygen, we'll be
releasing the mudlib when we finish some more major features, hopefully
sooner rather than later. It's a very nice system, and we've been really
pleased with how fun it is -- it's a nice halfway point between a text mud
and a graphical mud. It's entirely playable with telnet or a mud client, and
we've left some hooks for a more graphical version.

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