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Re: Modules: Building blocks for the Daft Adventure

by mattr (Curate)
on Jun 13, 2001 at 15:42 UTC ( #88034=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Modules: Building blocks for the Daft Adventure

It's been a while since I played D&D but I was thinking that your work might be extensible to general descriptions of inhabited virtual worlds. In that case I'd try and boil down your huge knowledge of D&D to the absolute basic minimum number of concepts you need to describe what playing D&D is about. Maybe the basic ideas of players, monsters, and Dungeon Master are something you want to use. I don't know how you intend to use the module(s) but I just read Neil Stephenson's The Big U and it describes using a huge computer to run the game (with a DM seated in front of it) while the players actually run through the sewers in 2-way radio contact.

Anyway you might want to check out Games::Maze in CPAN just for an idea of how to generate mazes and populate them. Maybe you don't want this because the mazes are all preprepared, but the point I wanted to make is to think about how this system will actually be used and try to conceive of the main scenarios for use. This may help you decide what metaphors for game play are useful and the objects can be defined naturally from that.

I'm not sure if you are trying to build something like an intelligent gaming board on a server somewhere that interacts with many browsers, or if it is just a totally abstract system of descriptions of gaming and objects in a game that doesn't suggest a certain implementation. Or is this maybe just for a single user? I think the real question is, are you trying to build a general simulation system (it might work for military simulations too) or a simpler gaming aid for a DM to use. The nice thing about modules is that it helps you compartmentalize your thinking, and keep it simple. Of course you can just dive in and not worry about doing lots of revisions!

If you are trying to a general system to describe and run all kinds of simulations of players in virtual worlds, then you can start from the ground up and try to describe what D&D is all about from the ground up instead of starting with advanced concepts like monsters and multisided dice.

But the idea of respecting Perl that came out above I think has more to do with taking care of how you choose the underlying metaphors on which your system is built. If they are powerful metaphors which resonate strongly with the realities of gaming, you will be able to extend them for a long, long time.

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Re: Re: Modules: Building blocks for the Daft Adventure
by Tiefling (Monk) on Jun 13, 2001 at 17:17 UTC
    It's been a while since I played D&D but I was thinking that your work might be extensible to general descriptions of inhabited virtual worlds.

    Granted. You'll have noticed, elsewhere in this thread, discussion of Call of Cthulhu and other systems. A major part of this project is the development of a text adventure system that can accept rules sets as additions.

    In that case I'd try and boil down your huge knowledge of D&D to the absolute basic minimum number of concepts you need to describe what playing D&D is about.

    I was thinking of boiling it down to 'what is a text adventure' and 'how do we make the format extensible' myself.

    Maybe the basic ideas of players, monsters, and Dungeon Master are something you want to use.

    Curiously combat and monsters in the sense of physical adversaries are inessential. And the Dungeon Master in my original concept was to be me, coding the behaviour of rooms, characters, etc, to be interacted with by the players.

    I don't know how you intend to use the module(s) but I just read Neil Stephenson's The Big U and it describes using a huge computer to run the game (with a DM seated in front of it) while the players actually run through the sewers in 2-way radio contact.

    How can I say that this would be a very bad idea? I am a member of a Live Roleplay group, and any suggestion that players might be sent into a genuinely inimical environment without any form of direct supervision is...frowned upon. The intended format would be players sitting at one or more terminals, taking turns to issue actions, to be parsed by the computer and used to alter the state of play. Something like a MUD, people will say, although my idea of the passage of game time mandates a turn-based approach which means it won't actually be a MUD.

    Sample output of a modern-idiom version:
    ------------------------------------------------------------ It's your turn, Dave. [16:24 GMT] This is Earlham Street, just north-west of Seven Dials. On the south-west side of the road is a small games shop, 'Orc's Nest'. Other quaint and curious shops line the road, and there is a market stall here selling gothic gewgaws. Further along the street to the north-west you can see Cambridge Circus, and the narrow streets of Soho beyond. The weather is slightly overcast, and seagulls overhead suggest storms in the Channel. A stallholder, a goth and a passer-by are here. You feel slightly hungry. What now? > nw Going north-west to Cambridge Circus. Next move at 16:26 GMT.

    That's just an idea, but I hope it captures something of where I'm coming from. D&D, CoC or whatever other rules system and campaign idiom the operator chose could be applied to the core program to produce an appropriate campaign. I've looked at Games::Maze - it looks interesting, but the idea of the system at hand is that it should produce a realistic, deterministic, mimetic world for game play. As to monsters, I agree with you - not yet. I suggested the production of a dice module because doing so would make the subsequent implementation of _any_ deeper rules system easier. So it's not what D&D is about, because if you ask that, the answer is 'first and foremost, it's a work of creation and imagination, and not about rules at all'.

    What does all this talk of metaphors mean? I've just got out of a meeting packed with talk of 'frameworks' and 'outcomes' and other civil service bafflegab, and I need a breath of fresh English/French/Swedish/Latin.

    Tiefling

    -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GAT d++ s:- a-- C++ UL P++ L++(+) E? W+(++) N+ o? K w+(--) !O M- V? PS+ PE- Y PGP- t+ 5 X+ R+++ tv- b+++ DI++++ D+ G+ e++ h!(-) y +? ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------

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