[vworld-tech] Verbs or Updates or Both?

Mats Lidstrom mats.lidstrom at torpet.ac
Fri Feb 13 09:29:01 PST 2004

From: "Jim Purbrick" <Jpurbrick at climax.co.uk>
> In MUDs clients tend to send natural language verb-target style commands
> the server and receives natural language descriptions of the results.
> In NetVR systems clients tend to change local state and send state
> synchronisation messages to peers or servers.
> Could you use verb-target style communication in a graphical MUD? Would
> want to? What are the advantages of each style of communication?

Interesting question since this is exactly what I'm working on right now.
The way I've done it is to isolate the MUD part from the graphics part.
Instead of writing a description of the location I simply render it in 3D.
To simplify you could say that all descriptions and actions are graphic
representations. User input is mainly MUD-style commands but alson "point
and click" in the graphics window because sometimes you actually want to
specify _where_ on the floor you drop your hat. If I then type "get hat" -
my avatar simply walks up to the hat on the floor and picks it up. But you
could also right-click the hat and select "get".

The reason I'm mixing text and graphics boils down to "a picture says more
than one thousand words". Nowadays the average user have a _very_ short
attention span and it doesn't take many fractions of a second to read a
picture compared to half a page of text. But you can't draw everything. You
can't draw the smell of a rose, but you can describe it with the help of
text. As I see it there advantages and disadvantages to both sides, but if
you mix the advantages of graphics with the advantages of text you should
get something better than pure text or pure graphics.


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