MUD32 (.NET) Development Blog

Notes on Coding and Design of the MUD32 Mud Client by Matt Owen

Dynamic Locations

I love thinking about mapping. I know it's sad, but even though I've not had much time to work on the MUD code recently, I've spent a bit of time thinking about how a one-person MUD Admin can easily expand his (or her!) world by 100's of locations at time, yet only actually directly build the key few that add real content.

So for example, your key areas are a small village with 3 to 4 'shops', an Inn, and a bank. Those locations need to be hand built, but the surrounding areas do not - The fields, woods, paths, rocky hills etc. can all be dynamically created as the initial part of building the area, leaving the MUD Admin just the tasks of tweaking a few descriptions and making sure the exit pathing works correctly.

The tricky bit is how to easily generate the locations without it all looking like a hideous mess of random junk? My solution is create a visual graphical app that allows you to 'draw' locations on a low-res grid (i.e. 50x50). Each grid point is a location, and the colour you place on that point would determine what sort of terrain is in that location. Descriptions can then be dynamically built based on this information and the information of the surrounding locations. The app can then spit it all out in a variety of formats for easy import into the MUD location DB.

For example, using the image below, a description could be:

You are on a gravel path, leading north and east. To the south is a small pond, and to the west are some buildings.

Just an idea at this stage, I'll throw some code together and see what comes of it.

On 14/03/2014 at 12:38 ~
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