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Old 08-30-2002, 05:01 PM   #1
Neranz Laverani
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"There's no workman, whatsoever he be, that may both work well and hastily."
- Chaucer (c. 1343 - 1400)

How long on average does it take you to build an area?

Please include the size of the area.

Do you sometimes feel rushed into providing quanitity at the expense of quality?

Neranz Laverani, Seeker of Knowledge
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Old 08-30-2002, 05:17 PM   #2
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It really depends on my mood. My largest achievement was an fairly large (100+ rooms) area, with some nice mprogs and stuff, some dialogues etc. area, which I've created in something like two days.
Althought most often I can't create more than ten rooms per day, and often I just log in, spawn some mob or object, edit a pair of descs, and then log back off
I know I'm lazy !

and, no.. I never was rushing in building.. Its an art
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Old 08-30-2002, 06:15 PM   #3
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I think it depends, for me, entirely on the type of area I'm building. I can build a 50 vnum connector area that is mostly paths and rivers and the like, with a few forest creatures or desert animals, in a day or two of 3-4 four hours a day. Not sure if the editor appreciates the work though.

It takes me at least a week to build a small (50ish vnum) area with a theme to it. Two weeks if it includes an area quest or the like. And that is only if I'm not swamped at work and can actually devote time to the area.

I built a 350 vnum city, full of mobs, shopkeepers, objects, secret places, and area quests, in about a month once, but I was feeling inspired to work. I think I put about two hours a day into it. Maybe a bit more.

As for feeling rushed, definitely at times quality might suffer. It really depends on the rest of the staff and the goals of the builders and admin. If the goal is a quality area and everyone in general sees value in hanging out in your area messing with details for a few extra weeks, then I'm all for doing so. But I have without a doubt sped through areas in the past and not added all the nice extra touches when admin was pressuring for "more rooms!" over "better areas!"
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Old 08-30-2002, 06:19 PM   #4
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The time shortest time frame it took me to build a 15 room zone (my very first, it was the clan hall for my clan) was about a week. I was allowed to build on a separate port and create the area. I got input from all the members to build it in a manner that the group would like.

Generally it takes me about a month for a easy zone. Something more complex with lots of detail and progs generally take me about 3 months, and this is general a 100 vnum area. I tend to be very particular on my zones so I check it over constantly to make sure I captured everything I wanted to convey in the zone.

I would say an average of a few days to a few weeks would be a good rule of thumb. Depends on the builder too, everyone has their own style of building and life outside to mud that may influence the time frame to complete an area.

Hope this helps
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Old 08-30-2002, 08:19 PM   #5
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I average 2-3 months for every 100 rooms in an area. My areas are usually 100 rooms or 200, I tend to not build in incriments of 50 if I can help it (seems off to me).

If I'm inspired in an area, I can do it in a month, but that's rare. There's something about doing 10 rooms a day or more that just burns me out, so I try not to do it.
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Old 08-30-2002, 11:55 PM   #6
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Since I tend to be my worst critic, it usually takes me longer than "normal" to build any type of area, whether it be a 10 vnum connector, 50 vnum clanhall or 250+ area. It took me as many as 3 days to build the connecting rooms, almost 2 weeks to build the clanhall and up to 6 months to build the 250+ area.

The mood I was trying to convey for the 250+ room area isn't one easily gotten on a whim so I spent many days just sitting on my thumbs staring at the screen. When a not-so-creative, but good imho, idea would hit me, I'd hastily add it to the mob/room/whatever and then go back later and tweak it to fit the theme. The progs were also a p.i.t.a. Since I was hesistant to just "settle" for the easiest prog to make something work, a full day, sometimes 2, was put into making one prog so that it wouldn't detract in any way from the atmosphere. Since I'm a huge fan of quest areas, it also had 3 or 4 quests, so that became a major headache for me to get them all the mesh in just the right way.

The clanhall was easy but I made it harder than it should have been. Once the foundation was set, I added "perks" and secrets then tried to get into the mindset of a new player/member so I could make the secrets obvious without having to erect a billboard saying "HEY! THIS IS HERE!"
I figured since *I* like finding new things no matter where I'm exploring, someone else might get the same kick.
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Old 08-31-2002, 01:21 AM   #7
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My first area took my about a month. It was very basic and the room descs were all alike. To the north is a road, to the northwest, and northeast is a dirt path, etc...

Then I started another area. I took me about 3 weeks to make descs for 80 rooms, connect them all, make doors, put in locks, added a couple progs, finished all the mobs, and started the items. It would take me another 2 weeks to finish it, go over it, etc.

It all depends on the type of area to me I guess.
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Old 08-31-2002, 05:43 AM   #8
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As already was stated, it all depends on the zone. I can whip out a 400 room grid zone with identical room descs and no extras in 3 minutes, but who'd be interested?

What takes time is to build a quality zone, where everything interacts within a given theme; rooms, mobs, objects and scripts. What takes time is to think out good and consistent Quests, which are challenging without being ridiculously hard. What takes time is to research within a theme and write interesting and consistant descs for everything, and to put in all the extra descs with hints about quests and hidden objects.

In our mud exit descs are obligatory, and we also have listen/smell descs for all rooms and smell/taste/feel descs for all objects. Extra descs are optional, but strongly encouraged. Naturally all these extras take time, especially for the builders who use OLC.

For me, who mainly build in file, it's a lot quicker, but I still usually need around 100 hours effective work for a 100 room zone. And if it's a complicated one I need a lot more. And about 80% of that time is spent before I even create the zone in OLC, I write everything down in  MS Words and spellcheck it, before cutting and pasting it into the OLC files.

Nobody in our mud is interested in crap zones. We still have a few old zones that haven't been updated yet, which are pretty lousy, but the players hardly ever go there. And sooner or later all those old ones will be updated to our current standards as well.
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Old 09-04-2002, 09:38 PM   #9
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I would guess that an average area with some mprogs would run me on average about 5 vnums per hour of work. How many hours per day/week/month depends on RL. I have been on the build port non-stop for 18 hours before, cranking away the whole time minus short breaks. Then again I have been MIA from the build port for months at hand so...

I once built a 100 vnum area in just a couple weeks beginning to end, but it wasn't anything too fancy.

Personally I probably spend more time on reading, researching, deciding if what the MUD needs can fit into the areas theme and planning the area than actually cranking away in the OLC editor.
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Old 09-05-2002, 02:24 AM   #10
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Depends on the depth of the area... an extreme example would be a current project of mine (in LPC):

Size: 4 rooms, 3 NPCs
Time: 6 months (and still going, due to RL )
Lines of Code: 2146 (and rising)
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Old 09-05-2002, 02:57 AM   #11
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i've built over 15 areas (the smallest at about 70 rooms, the largest is over 800 rooms and still expanding - with help). for me, i go in spurts. if i am inspired i can knock out a zone in a few days (this is usually when school is not in session and the gf isn't around). But, i would say that my zones probably average 150 rooms and that, on average, they take me about a month to build.
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Old 09-05-2002, 05:27 AM   #12
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And after having finished an area, there always is the question, at least for me, do I really call this area finished now? I more than once got back to one of my "old" areas just to add a couple of new mob progs, throw in the one or other new twist for the explorer or added yet another quest. So for me, an area is never really finished. And be it only in a redefining of random encounters that will be a bit better defined for certain levels, it can give the area a whole new twist.
As for the orginal setup of an area, for me it mainly depends on the mood and of the ideas that I currently have on mind. When being in the mood and creative, I can hammer out a 50+ room area in less than a day. On other days, I rarely make more than a handful of items.
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Old 09-17-2002, 02:55 PM   #13
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Progs added I can do a quality 25 vnums area in about a working day. But the formula doesnt double, like 2 days for 50, it works what seems to be a triple theory...

Anyways, it varies too. If I really like an area Ill want to put attention to detail, but if its something that just needs to get in, I might not do as many eds or things...
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Old 09-17-2002, 05:17 PM   #14
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I actually build fairly fast. I can build a 25-50 room area in a day. However, I also plan out my areas in advance. (little maps, mobs, eq, items etc) I highly suggest this. It doesn't take much time to build if you write stuff down before hand. I usually map out the area, then make a list of mobs and the eq they will wear. Then I go onto random items and such things. It is a really efficient system. On average, I can build a 100 room zone in round abouts 3 days including setting up resets, mprogs, spellchecking and testing. I find that the thing that takes the longest for me is going though and making sure I like it.
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Old 09-17-2002, 07:12 PM   #15
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Just a tip for those who plan out your areas on paper before you startup the OLC: check out something called "ghost" board, it is a posterboard with really faint graphed lines in it. 1 board is just about perfect for a 500-800 vnum area, and might manage a compact 1000 vnum area. I also find it is _really_ nice to have a visual lying around for me as I link other areas to it (all the room vnums are listed on the board, hehe) and it is also nice as I decide to add other additional rooms to flesh it out.

I know some of you already know about this stuff, but some don't and I know it really helped me a lot when I stumbled across this stuff at the local Mart.
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Old 09-24-2002, 11:12 AM   #16
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Generally when I build, I do so in 50 room blocks, and I spend a week or two per 50 rooms. Not because it takes me that long, but because I want it to take that long.

It allows me to keep ideas coming in, and it allows me to QC the area as I go and add in all the little things that really bring out an area.
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Old 10-08-2002, 05:47 PM   #17
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My average area is about 100 rooms. I never make an area without mob progs, at least 5 lines of room text, and usually a miniquest or two. This usually takes me two to three days to complete.

I once made an area, 150 rooms, packed with mprogs, 2 miniquests, two secret areas... 3 days.
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Old 10-12-2002, 04:10 PM   #18
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I think about a month for the average area is not out of line, but that being said, the wait for the area is usually longer. If I'm really excited about an area, I tend to obsessively concentrate on finishing it so I can do an area relatively quicker. Also, I tend to ask for help in writing descriptions as some people like writing room descriptions and others enjoy creating mobs. The most time-consuming bit would be the scripting (i.e., push button, give item to mob to get a quest object, etc.). Since scripting is generally important and scripting privileges are not given to all builders, a lot of times the waiting period to get an area done depends on when a scriptor can get to it (much to the frustration of the builder).
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Old 10-31-2002, 05:03 PM   #19
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Being a newbie builder, I tend to take it slow, doing it in bursts of up to 15-20 locs a day, and then I still have to learn how to script got to put some life in there...

It's tricky to be inventive, but using colour and variety in descriptions always makes it nicer for players.
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Old 10-31-2002, 06:47 PM   #20
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I define the theme in my head, do the map on graph to determine how large a zone is needed to accomplish the goal of my theme then create and connect the rooms. After that, I start filling in the redits adding or subtracting from the map to make the area flow consistently. I choose 10 rooms at a time to completely finish before I progress to the next ten and strongly recommend that to any builder. I found out the hard way that doing 100 and having to go back and do exit descrips or extra descrips is really a pain in the arse and bores most to tears.

For the scripts and coding to support the area, I rely on experts to design around my stated desired effects. I'm way too old a dog to learn new tricks like coding or scripts though I do know how they work and can read both fairly easily. This stuff should be a team effort anyways so it all works out good and to the betterment of the Mu*.

So far, my zones average short snips of 25 or so rooms to sets of close to 1k and can take anywhere from a week to 2 years to get to playable. I do get team mates to help me with the big ones though, probably cause I'm an HImp but they do wonderful jobs and welcome to share in it.

In my experience, a zone is NEVER truly done and just gets to a point of playability by mortals. Once it's proofed and playable, it should get implemented and then fine-tuned to the current state-of-the-art existing in your code. An example: We've recently incorporated stay_terrain for mobs into the world and that tremendously affects how !mob should be used. Mobs with no pockets shouldn't carry gold. Mobs with no hands shouldn't wield weapons. Each time these concepts are adopted, we have over 6k mobs to adjust and modify not to mention the redits.

Overall, I guess build the way you are comfortable to a set minimum standard and try and improve on that standard as much as you can. Actually CARE about what you do and how it comes across to the mortals you're building it for. Once you've proven you meet the standard, nobody should have to look over your shoulder except as a team interaction or zone interaction thing. Your zone when finally "finished" is just "playable" and I expect you will modify and improve further as the capability increases or you have reread for the 50th time and decide it just doesn't flow right.
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