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Old 06-22-2008, 03:37 AM   #1
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MXP + Map

A fair few muds out there use maps to display information about the local area to players, three that I can think of that do it well are Achaea, Evarayn and LowMUD, and each of these three does it in completely different ways.

Now, this thread is not so much about talking about Maps in MUDs as it is about an idea of mine which I'm looking for some feedback on. Essentially, what I am looking to do is make some sort of MUD system based around a map and clickable MXP links.

For instance, every "Character" in the ASCII map that was sent to the character's client would be a clickable MXP link that would display a list of options for that location, such as looking at it to get more detail, or if there was a person there, looking at them, targetting them with a weapon, etc.

The reason I was thinking about this was that I personally am a big fan of Science Fiction and / or "Modern" (in the sense of the word as used by Reneissance scholars) roleplaying environments, and one thing that has always bothered me about the (very few) good non-medieval MUDs on offer is that the whole system always feels like some kind of "Hack" of the old medieval system - essentially I feel more like I'm playing a "skinned" game rather than a game designed to take advantage of a modern setting.

So I wanted to do something that would perhaps be very different from other MUDs out there and go for something new. This would essentially do away with the idea of "Rooms" as such, and simply have people on a grid (perhaps multiple grids for different areas), and they would instead see / hear things from the local area on the grid, rather than their room or whatnot.

Basically I'm looking for feedback on the idea - are there, for instance, any examples of other MUDs that have tried to do this and succeeded / failed? Are there any particular features that should / shouldn't go with it? Do people think it would be a playable environment to be in?

I would actually be approaching it losely with the intention of making it an RPI Mud, though not necessarily very strictly to that genre.

A few other random notes:

* The direction you were facing would be important. You would have a field of vision, and you would only see things in front of you

* I would approach the display of the map much like a graphical application, and use virtual rays to determine what to display based on which direction you are facing. The map would always be drawn in the same shape (seen below), but would display dynamically what you could see. Essentially it would be like a very low resolution graphical display.

* Objects would obscure things behind them potentially. No more magical hiding, you actually have to use your terrain.


Some examples of early design mud output (keeping in mind that each and every character would be a clickable link):

> look
...................|..          .................   
  ....T...........|.T         ...............
     ..T..........|.T.#      .|....T......
You are standing on mown grass. The sun is high in the sky, to your right. A light breeze blows from behind.
> people
Nearby you see the following people:
A tall, blonde-haired man (in front of you) [near]
A lithe, dark-skinned woman (to your left) [some distance away]
> (clicked on the * on the map near the center)
There is a tall, blonde-haired man standing upon mown grass
Options (also clickable links)
Look at a tall, blonde-haired man
Appraise a tall, blonde-haired man
Aim an ivory-handled revolver pistol at a tall, blonde-haired man
Move towards this location
Add this location as a waypoint in a more complicated movement
You hear a tall, blonde-haired man say, in English, "Hello there old chap, fancy putting away that gun you're carrying?"
You barely hear a lithe, dark-skinned woman say, in English, "I think ... says much ... character."
> (clicked the "Look at a tall, blonde-haired man" link)
You look at a tall, blonde-haired man.
Looking to have only recently departed his years as a 
teenager, this young man still bears traces of acne along his 
face and neck. Standing taller then most around him, but with a 
certain lankiness to him, his sandy-blonde hair falls down past 
his ears and just over his eyes. This man moves in a casual 
means and with an easy speed, and stands with a slight slouch.
He is wearing:
<on the torso>       a white cotton shirt
<over the torso>     a fur-lined, black leather jacket
<on the legs>        a well-worn pair of blue jeans
<about the waist>    a brown leather belt with a chrome buckle
<on the feet>        a pair of white sneakers
You can also:
Appraise a tall, blonde-haired man
Aim an ivory-handled revolver pistol at a tall, blonde-haired man
Move towards a tall, blonde-haired man
Add a tall, blonde-haired man's location as a waypoint in a more complicated movement
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:36 PM   #2
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Re: MXP + Map

In my opinion, too much clicking, not enough typing. But I'm oldschool man so don't take my input too seriously. I think learning the commands for a mud and stuff is half the fun. I prefer the Point+Click to be left to GUI games.
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:13 AM   #3
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Re: MXP + Map

Well the idea would be that you could also type the commands. For instance, when you typed "People" and saw the list of people nearby, you could LOOK TALL, or whatnot.

The nature of RPIs is that they're already quite a bit slower than regular muds, so I don't think the use of the mouse will detract from anything. Unless 90% of RPI players are 1 finger peck typers, I reckon they spend the vast majority of their time staring at their screen doing nothing anyway.

The clicking is a shortcut to allow more complicated things to be done. They could have text analogues but many of them would be beyond the average player's level of concentration.

The fact that it would list all of the options available too means that there is less of a learning curve for a new player.
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