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Old 07-20-2010, 04:45 PM   #1
Ghostcat
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Preferred inventory type

I was just curious what y'alls favorite, and hated, kinds of inventories are.

I kinda dislike the hammerspace version; where you can hold a certain number of items completely out of sight in a blank void.

My favorite is the UL version. Want to carry something, but not hold it in your hands(you can carry one item in each hand)? Buy a container!
EDITED: was sounding too much like an ad.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:48 PM   #2
KaVir
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Re: Preferred inventory type

Most muds have a sort of "floating bubble" inventory, a mysterious place where equipment goes when you pick it up, separate from the stuff you're wearing. I guess that's what you mean by the "blank void"?

In my old mud I replaced it with something much like you describe - pick something up and it would be moved direct to one of your hands, and from there you could place it into one of your (worn) containers, such as a backpack, or the pockets of your jeans or jacket (it was a modern setting). Typing "inventory" would then list the contents of each of your worn containers.

It was a more "realistic" approach, but I found it actually detracted from gameplay - it wasn't "fun", it was annoying, particularly when you needed to shift around a lot of equipment. So when I started developing my current mud I decided to go back to the floating bubble approach - it's a good enough abstraction anyway.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:20 AM   #3
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Re: Preferred inventory type

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Most muds have a sort of "floating bubble" inventory, a mysterious place where equipment goes when you pick it up, separate from the stuff you're wearing. I guess that's what you mean by the "blank void"?

In my old mud I replaced it with something much like you describe - pick something up and it would be moved direct to one of your hands, and from there you could place it into one of your (worn) containers, such as a backpack, or the pockets of your jeans or jacket (it was a modern setting). Typing "inventory" would then list the contents of each of your worn containers.

It was a more "realistic" approach, but I found it actually detracted from gameplay - it wasn't "fun", it was annoying, particularly when you needed to shift around a lot of equipment. So when I started developing my current mud I decided to go back to the floating bubble approach - it's a good enough abstraction anyway.
Ugh, yes. I can see where that would be hideously annoying. I can't imagine how limiting it would be, how tedious, and ultimately how time-consuming.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:28 PM   #4
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Re: Preferred inventory type

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
It was a more "realistic" approach, but I found it actually detracted from gameplay - it wasn't "fun", it was annoying, particularly when you needed to shift around a lot of equipment. So when I started developing my current mud I decided to go back to the floating bubble approach - it's a good enough abstraction anyway.
I think that is a wise choice.

When I saw this thread title, I thought it would be basically a discussion of weight vs. slot inventory. I pretty much thought the whole "blank void" vs. "carried" items question was pretty universally decided.

Sure, that "blank void" is generally called a backpack or something, but even in graphical games you don't see an actual backpack (or any other packs) dangling off the character model. Why? Because people don't want to look like a vagabond.

In Threshold, we have a weight based inventory. It definitely adds some gameplay options. There are certain suits of armor that are desired largely because they provide a great armor-to-weight ratio. Some people will use Cloud Armor, for example, over slightly better armor that is heavier. The negative of weight based is that players are sometimes confused by it - especially if they pick up a few especially heavy items or if they forget they are carrying a large number of lower value coinage.

In Primordiax, we have a slot based inventory. By that I mean a fixed # of items you can carry. You increase this by carrying bags or packs, but you actually put items into these bags or packs. Players do this not only to increase their carrying capacity but also for organization.

Characters also have a build in quest item inventory that they cannot put items into or take items out of. It is specifically for things an NPC might give you for a quest or that you might find and need to take to an NPC. We do not make much use of this, however, as we prefer our items in the game to be more "realistic" and generally useable rather than specifically quest-flagged.

Lastly, characters have a trade inventory that can handle a couple items. This is basically a workspace for crafters to help them avoid accidentally using the wrong components or resources when they are making something.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:56 PM   #5
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Re: Preferred inventory type

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In Threshold, we have a weight based inventory.

...

In Primordiax, we have a slot based inventory. By that I mean a fixed # of items you can carry. You increase this by carrying bags or packs, but you actually put items into these bags or packs. Players do this not only to increase their carrying capacity but also for organization.
We use something between the two.

We've got a weight-based inventory, anything worn or carried is shown if you look at them. "Bob is a large dude. He is wearing a top hat. He is carrying a walking stick and dog collar." (Obviously, in-game descriptions are longer, since players tend to wear full sets of clothes...)

They still have containers, pouches, backpacks, sacks, drawers etc. which they can put items into. Those containers don't reduce the weight, though - but players still use them both for organization, and also to not look like they're carrying a cartload of items.

We have the concept of "slots" but only for worn clothing. A helmet and a hat would use the same "slot" - you can wear both, but one would cover the other. (So I could wear a helmet to protect my head, and put a wizard hat over it, so it's not obvious when someone looks at me that I'm wearing a helmet...) - code that gives benefits usually checks that a slot is empty, so you can't wear two metal helmets to get double protection.

Our characters are also inhumanly strong, since I've given them a huge weight that they can carry to avoid the annoyance of "I'm going to need to make three trips to deliver this money to the bank" when someone is heavy. Ideally I want to create special items like wheelbarrows that would let them move around heavy items, and set their carrying capacity to something more sensible. (But right now the only way to be able to move things like marble statues if you're a crafter is to let the characters pick them up and carry them)

In most cases, I find players don't want to be limited by weight, they want to carry anything they want for their roleplay, and when they're done, they'll self-clean out their inventory (they have rooms with wardrobes and other storage) - but our game is social, there isn't really anything to loot, so there's not a need to stop them carrying around a lot.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:57 AM   #6
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Re: Preferred inventory type

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We use something between the two.
So do I, but not in the same way as you. Each item has an "encumbrance" value, which is an abstract representation of both weight and awkwardness - for example, while a steel longsword would have a higher encumbrance than a bone longsword (representing the extra weight of steel compared to bone), the encumbrance would be lowered again if the player had the Straight Sword Mastery talent (representing a familiarity with wielding the longsword, or wearing it sheathed).

However the encumbrance only applies to worn and held equipment. Your inventory represents an aspect of your home plane, a pocket dimension so to speak, and is restricted only by number of items - i.e., there's a fixed number of inventory slots.

Because I don't generally allow players to wear or remove items during combat, their choice of worn equipment is pretty important. I often have to break newbies out of the "more equipment is better" mindset, as its not unusual for new players to load up with as much armour as they can physically wear, and then get frustrated when they can barely move.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
We've got a weight-based inventory, anything worn or carried is shown if you look at them. "Bob is a large dude. He is wearing a top hat. He is carrying a walking stick and dog collar." (Obviously, in-game descriptions are longer, since players tend to wear full sets of clothes...)
Nice - I've also put some work into generating descriptions based on worn equipment, but I must say I've found it pretty difficult to keep them down to a managable size (even without showing inventory).

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Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
We have the concept of "slots" but only for worn clothing. A helmet and a hat would use the same "slot" - you can wear both, but one would cover the other. (So I could wear a helmet to protect my head, and put a wizard hat over it, so it's not obvious when someone looks at me that I'm wearing a helmet...) - code that gives benefits usually checks that a slot is empty, so you can't wear two metal helmets to get double protection.
I do something similar. Each item covers one or more locations and one or more layers. A basic helmet covers the head on layer 4, but so does a hat, so you can't wear both. However a chainmail coif covers the head and neck on layer 3, so you could wear it under your helmet. You could also replace your regular helmet with a full helm, which is also layer 4, but covers the head, face and neck - however that would prevent you from wearing a mask, which covers the face on layer 4. You could also wear a hooded cloak over your full helm, and raise the visor, and people looking at you wouldn't even realise you were wearing a helm.

It also means I don't need to have "platemail armour" as such, but rather players can create the same effect by wearing a breastplate, bracers, greaves, etc, over the top of chainmail, and then wear padded clothing underneath.

However I understood the term "slot" in this case to refer to a literal number of items - like graphical games, where you can drag and drop an equipment icon into a specific slot. My approach to worn equipment wouldn't really fit with such a system, as an item can simultaneously cover multiple slots, and multiple items can fit into one slot.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:49 PM   #7
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Re: Preferred inventory type

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So do I, but not in the same way as you. Each item has an "encumbrance" value, which is an abstract representation of both weight and awkwardness
Smart. Our system is too "intelligent" to work properly. Items have a density, and a size (in square meters), from that the weight is calculated (and you could calculate other things, like "does it float") and the dimensions are calculated.
Containers, similarly, have those properties, but also have capacity. The capacity sets the dimensions, unless the container is marked as "flexible" (so an empty sack would only take up the space of a sack, while a full sack would take up the space of what's in it as well. But a treasure chest would always take up the same amount of space)

Rooms are also containers, so they have a capacity. As are characters, effectively what they are carrying is just "what is in the character container" and those carried items interact with the world in the same way that an item in a treasure chest interacts.

Problem is, this is too florid. Get the density of coins wrong, and a pouch of coins will take up a few square meters of space. Or maybe would weight a ridiculous amount.

Someone orders a new sword? Sorry, you can't post it to them, it won't fit in the postal package. No option for "just wrap it in brown paper and tie it with string" unless we specifically code that. Even though a sword isn't particularly heavy (well, not heavy enough that they can't post) - it's just clumsily long.

And the end result? Not much benefit to the game. If we had an encumberance rating for the size of the items, instead, that'd be much easier. "You can post anything of encumberance 4 or less" and be done. Which might mean lighter bone swords can be posted when steel ones can't, but that's no worse than the current problems.

And man, I need special commands to figure out the mass, density, etc. of items, because builders don't know what the appropriate values should be. It just makes their job unnecessarily harder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
I've also put some work into generating descriptions based on worn equipment, but I must say I've found it pretty difficult to keep them down to a managable size (even without showing inventory).
I love your clothing descriptions. We've also got the "long description" issue, but I don't really see it as a problem.
Our clothing, like yours, is layered. Wear boots over socks, and someone looking at you won't see the socks. Players also tend to only wear the clothing they want showing, so they'll wear "a jacket" and just pretend there is a generic shirt underneath that isn't worth mentioning in the description. So if it's long, it's probably because the player wants to show off all the clothing items.

We also don't bother describing how the items are worn. So "Bob is wearing a shirt" but not "Bob is wearing a shirt tucked into his belt" - halves the length, and in most cases it's obvious how an item is worn. That does cause some slight problems on items that aren't traditionally worn, or can be worn in multiple ways (if I'm wearing a handkerchief, is it over my face like a mask, or around my neck, or tucked into the pocket of my dinner jacket?) - our clumsy hack to get around that is to change the name of the item. So there would be a command to wear the handkerchief as a mask (something like "wear my handkerchief over my face" and you'd wear it, but it would become something like "...is wearing a handkerchief mask" or if they just wore it normally "... is wear a neckkerchief" and so on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
However I understood the term "slot" in this case to refer to a literal number of items - like graphical games, where you can drag and drop an equipment icon into a specific slot. My approach to worn equipment wouldn't really fit with such a system, as an item can simultaneously cover multiple slots, and multiple items can fit into one slot.
Mmmm, same with us, we don't count based on items, we either restrict based on covered location, or weight, or total space taken up.

But I guess the concept of "slots" still applies, when comparing between games. And we do have slot-like restrictions, like "You can only be wielding one weapon per hand" (although you can be *carrying* as many weapons as you want)
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:51 AM   #8
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Re: Preferred inventory type

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Our system is too "intelligent" to work properly. Items have a density, and a size (in square meters), from that the weight is calculated (and you could calculate other things, like "does it float") and the dimensions are calculated.
Sounds like a lot of work ;) I just pick an item type, select a material for it, and the encumbrance is calculated automatically from the two. Some attributes come from the item type, some from the material, and others are a combination of the two. So things like "does it float?" or "does it rust?" comes from the material, while things like "where is it worn?" or "what weapon table does it use?" comes from the item type.

When you're struck in combat, the item type determines whether the location is covered, the combined item type and material determines how much of the damage the item absorbs, the material determines what percentage of that damage the item receives, and the item type determines how many points of damage the item can withstand. So for example a leather breastplate can withstand a lot more damage (condition) than a leather jerkin, and a steel breastplate will ignore a much larger percentage of the damage (durability) than a leather breastplate.

The only thing I have to be careful of is silly combinations of item type and material - eg a cloth sword, or a platinum loincloth.

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Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
Our clothing, like yours, is layered. Wear boots over socks, and someone looking at you won't see the socks. Players also tend to only wear the clothing they want showing, so they'll wear "a jacket" and just pretend there is a generic shirt underneath that isn't worth mentioning in the description. So if it's long, it's probably because the player wants to show off all the clothing items.
I also include "naked" descriptions, so if you leave part of your body uncovered, it'll be explicitly mentioned. Makes it a bit hard to pretend you've got a shirt underneath ;) But I felt it fit better alongside the descriptions for inhuman forms, and it also means you can reveal things like scars or tattoos. It's also consistent with wearing a hat to conceal your hair or a mask to conceal your face, and means I can use the same (fairly generic) code to describe other humanoid forms, because you're probably going to pay particular attention to any uncovered body parts if you encounter something like this:

Long tendrils of oily black mist seep out through the eye holes in its mask, which conceals its facial features, and a helmet protects the rest of its head. It is wearing a breastplate over its shirt, and a pair of bracers are strapped to its forearms. It has a pair of trousers tucked into its boots, with a belt tied around its waist and greaves strapped over its shins. The figure is over five and a half feet tall, and floats a couple of inches above the ground, with tendrils of mist seeping out through the joints of its armour. Loose plumes of oily black mist flow from its back, trailing through the air behind it.

But even if they're completely human-looking, you need to write some sort of description, no matter what they're wearing - and if your description is based purely on clothing, what do you write when they're naked?

She is beautiful, with lightly tanned skin, dark green eyes and long soft pale white hair which reaches down to her waist. Her naked body is very shapely, with high breasts, a narrow waist and wide hips. She is over five and a half feet tall, and seems very sure footed.

But I guess this is drifting a bit off-topic.
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:00 PM   #9
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Re: Preferred inventory type

One way to combine a realistic approach and the floating-bubble approach is to only make items that you are holding useable in the game but still allow players to have that void where they can store their items. A good example would be potions: why should you be allowed to just throw down some potions in the midst of blazing combat? Well, for gameplay would be the answer to it, and gameplay would also be the reason not to. I want to highly discourage the use of potions in the middle of fighting in my code, so I'm making it where you have to stop fighting momentarilly (the MUD is co-ordinate based, so this constitutes getting away from your opponent) else you'll be in a very vulnerable position as far as fighting goes.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:02 AM   #10
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Re: Preferred inventory type

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Originally Posted by bobotehbee View Post
One way to combine a realistic approach and the floating-bubble approach is to only make items that you are holding useable in the game but still allow players to have that void where they can store their items. A good example would be potions: why should you be allowed to just throw down some potions in the midst of blazing combat? Well, for gameplay would be the answer to it, and gameplay would also be the reason not to. I want to highly discourage the use of potions in the middle of fighting in my code, so I'm making it where you have to stop fighting momentarilly (the MUD is co-ordinate based, so this constitutes getting away from your opponent) else you'll be in a very vulnerable position as far as fighting goes.
I had the same concern with potions and hoarding, and never really came up with a solution I was entirely happy with, but from an inventory perspective my approach is fairly straightforward: Whenever you hit (or get hit) your adrenaline timer is reset to 30 seconds, and you cannot wear or remove equipment until your adrenaline timer reaches 0. Up to four potions can be worn on your belt and drawn/sheathed in the same way as weapons.

Thus you can carry multiple potions around with you, but you can only use four during any particular combat.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:22 PM   #11
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Re: Preferred inventory type

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Thus you can carry multiple potions around with you, but you can only use four during any particular combat.
Though, you also have food to supplement this as well, with the same idea of limiting how much you can take with a digestion system. I like how you make it work, and it fits in the GodWars fighting style, I think, especially given that eating is delayed (one has to chew the food a few moments) and costs Action Points, but it's not something that would be as useful for what I have in mind. Actually, this brings me to wanting to ask a different question ...

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