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Old 08-18-2002, 06:11 PM   #1
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Whoa- the idea just struck me. What if you had rooms- or even zones- that could change with the seasons in the mud world? Think- a certain mob or item, or perhaps even a part of a zone, could only be available during certian times of the year.

For example, in summer snowmelt on a mountain might make a stream overflow and cover part of a zone. But in winter, players would find snow and perhaps some treasure. Or maybe in spring players would have to contend with mud golems spawned from some magic and a downpour? Just a thought.
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Old 08-18-2002, 08:26 PM   #2
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That is called 'Dynamic Rooms' and is a good idea that does not get used much. The main problem is time, if you want to have 4 different seasons then you need 4 rooms rather than just the one.

There are more subtle versions, even a few lines changeing with the seasons is a nice touch. If the Mud makes good use of color that can also be used to show the differences.

The first thing that is really needed is a weather system, if it provides a nice variety of conditions the rooms can then reflect that. If you are interested in a somewhat abstract example here is something I did on a game a while ago.

When it rained for example I had a master control room that would take the description of a room that had rain and randomly add some splashes of blue. Light rain would mean 1-2 little bits of color, a long heavy rain could eventually turn almost the whole description blue. Since blue text is not that easy to read it provided a simulation of lower visibility during the downpour.

This was done on an LP Mud where you could easily grab and manipulate the room description on the fly. It would only last until the next reboot so it was not permanate. Not all codebases allow for this sort of flexibility but it did make the place seem a lot more dynamic than most.

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Old 08-23-2002, 06:40 PM   #3
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I've seen an interesting variation of this before. Rooms whose descs change depending on the time of day. In a city at night you might see a few people closing up their shops and heading home, whereas during the day there's plenty of bustling activity. Castles will look a different color depending on the angle of the sun. And of course rooms get brighter or darker depending on what time it is, as well as how many light spells are active in the area.

On another mud I've seen some pretty neat stuff done with weather, to the extent that if you're in the middle of a snowstorm you can't even see anything when you type look. They even have temperature.

So many nifty concepts that I wish I knew how to code, although I admit if I had my own mud it'd sorta take time out from being addicted to other ones.
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Old 08-24-2002, 03:05 AM   #4
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I've made a small variation of this idea in our mud, but not in all rooms, (that would mean way too much work to be worth the effort, since very few players actually appreciate subtle things like variations in room descs).

What I've done is a small orchard, where the trees change with the season. The main room description is season neutral, but the trees, which are objects, are bare in winter, flower in spring, are covered with leaves in summer and bear fruit in autumn.

You can pick the fruits, which are used for cooking and brewing skills, but you have to wait till the right season to harvest them. You can chop down the trees too, in which case there will be no fruit, of course.

Currently this is only in the test Port, but seems to work pretty nicely. It's all done with scripts of course.

I also have a garden, where you can grow your own vegetables - provided you get rid of all the weeds and animal pests, muhaha. (It's a really annoying feature and the players hate it. :-P)
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Old 08-26-2002, 05:59 PM   #5
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The originality of that idea is great! Being able to only do certain things, find certain items and certain times in the game is a great idea. Depending on the MUD, you could make that a main attraction for players. It would be great for RP and OOC. That idea is great, and I hope it could be used in all MUDs.
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Old 08-30-2002, 04:07 AM   #6
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On our MUD, we have a weather module coded. It acts almost like seasonal changes, but does not refer to seasons, just the properties that exist within each season, and it only adds to descriptiveness of the rooms, it does not affect players, mobs, or any other objects. This is on an LPMUD just to let you know.

I find your idea to have something of that likeness affect monsters, and other objects very intriguing, something I may decide to edit into the weather code on our mud, thank you for your wonderful insight.
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Old 08-30-2002, 07:04 AM   #7
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One thing that seems to work very well on one mud is having temperature along with weather, and various types of clothing provide different amounts of protection from such. I'm not sure how intricate it is since I haven't played it much (it conflicts with my main addiction ) but here's some neat ideas whether they've already been done or not.

Not only have warm clothing protect you in winter/cold climates, but have it be a detriment if you're wandering through the desert. Maybe different colors of clothing could even make you easier or harder to spot when trying to hide, depending on how well it blended in with the environment. If it was sunny, your armor could be very reflective (unless specially painted or magically treated or somesuch) as well as clanky and loud.

Maybe in winter you could go to a mountain and ski or something. I'm not sure exactly how this would be implemented, or what point it'd have other than RP possibilities, but there oughtta be different options available depending on the weather type. Maybe if you try to swim across a river (a common occurrence on the mud I play) in winter, you have a large chance of dying of hypothermia unless you're wearing special gear or have a warmth spell on. You could have umbrellas to keep out of the worst of a thunderstorm, and if it rained on your armor too long it could rust and make you move slower or at the very least make you replace your armor more often. And of course heavy snow would slow down travel times, maybe there's some villages up in the mountains that are inaccessible all winter unless you happen to be an ogre or similar, or have vehicles that can handle it.

I think it'd be really neat if you could only practice certain skills at certain times. For instance farming. You'd hafta find out what time of year which crops should be planted at, and climate and weather conditions could affect the amount and quality of what you harvest. This would also allow for spells affecting your crops, so if you've ever wanted to plant fields in a desert, you'd have your chance. Swimming and climbing and sailing and such could be made difficult or impossible depending on the weather conditions. (Or maybe you're trying to sail your ship one way, and you get blown off course, and discover a new island...)

There's so many possibilities here it's mind-boggling. I know most of it would be scary to code, but if anyone ever did it the results would be pretty cool.
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Old 09-23-2002, 06:41 PM   #8
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I would say that a majority of our rooms have different night and day descriptions, but I have to echo someone else's comments that room descriptions that changed with seasons would be great and it's something that we've been considering game-wide.

We already have a few NPCs that change based on the weather/time of year (such as a street urchin who hangs out by the stocks selling tomatoes to throw at prisoners in the summer and snowballs in the winter) but it's something we'd love to do on a broader scale.
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Old 09-23-2002, 08:40 PM   #9
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It can be succefully done, takes a bit of code tinkering to set up, and alot of creativeness from the room designer. Essentially you are building 8 different rooms, possibly more.. The trick to designing the rooms however is indeed being subtle about it. Change a line or two, but don't change the whole room description... Your players need to be able to recognize the room during all the seasons.

Adding room specific weather effects for the seasons is also a nice touch.

However, unless you have a good server and plenty of space and the money to support it, I wouldn't go too indepth with it as it does eat up alot of resources.
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Old 09-23-2002, 09:14 PM   #10
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Really you can go in depth as you want to as long as the code is put together right, it shouldnt eat much more resources than the normal desc.

From what I've seen there are two approaches to it all.  Hand-writing several descs for the rooms and alternating them out with time/season whatever, which works very well for real specific zone ideas that follow a very precise pattern.

The other is completely code generated descs that are usually used in connector/wilderness zones.  This is what I have done in our wilderness area.  The desc is based on the time of day, the weather, the season of the year and the surrounding areas.  It will also give information regarding nearby landmarks, wether people having been around cutting down trees or other craft related tasks, wether people have been stomping through the mud recently etc...

There are other muds that go into even greater depth and give you the descs based on how each race would percieve the surroundings.   All in all the possibilities are limited mainly by the creator's vision and skill.
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Old 09-24-2002, 04:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by
Tavish wrote:
From what I've seen there are two approaches to it all. Hand-writing several descs for the rooms and alternating them out with time/season whatever, which works very well for real specific zone ideas that follow a very precise pattern.

The other is completely code generated descs that are usually used in connector/wilderness zones.
There is also the middle ground, which is dynamic descriptions. Writing several alternative static descriptions for each room is wasteful of resources, particularly as not all aspects of a room are likely to change, and typically tends to be more of a "non-coder" approach. Equally, fully code-generated descriptions, while effective, lose that personal touch that many people like.

Dynamic descriptions, however, allow you to place tags and conditional checks within a description, giving you the best of both worlds. There are also several snippets available to do this, and many of the more modern muds utilise this feature.
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Old 09-24-2002, 09:55 AM   #12
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Dynamic descriptions are great. I use them on the game I build on. Not on every description, but if I'm refering to an important element, I put the variable before it that will mention if it is wet (from the rain) snow covered, etc. And I include some for the amount of light, time of day, type of air (crisp, muggy, etc). Fun as a builder, and hopefully interesting as a player.

Another thing very briefly alluded to ealier in this thread is actualy not about room descriptions at all, but more RP tools. On the game I'm playing these days, various herbs necessary for weavers, making potions, and other things are only available or only easily findable during certain times of the year. You can only cut at a tree so much before there is nothing left to cut down. The emits in the outdoor rooms change, with passerbys shivering from the cold, having the sniffles. Day/night emits are very clear, with lamplighters in the morning, street sweepers during the day. This is all in addition to regular emits giving the time of day, the weather, etc. I love getting a blast of cold air (reminding me it's windy out) in the middle of rping outside and immediatly digging around in my satchels for my warmest cloak. The seasons are very alive, including seasonal holidays that are common knowledge and celebrated.

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Old 09-26-2002, 01:57 PM   #13
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One easy way to do this is what we've done on EoC.  We added a look program to the room programs
to allow for room descriptions based on anything from the time of day to the
PC's race.  (Elves might notice something in the room that a Human wouldn't).  It's a fairly easy
patch that uses mpecho's to the different people in the room to receive different descriptions instead
of the main room desc.  It can get really fun, doing checks on peoples stats, etc if you wanted to.
Also, there isn't any new code that you have to add to areas that isn't already there. (in Smaug that is,
if you don't have room programs you'd need to add those I suppose.)

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