Grid building theory?


  • Tutorialist

    I'm not working on anything, but I was looking back at the Build Tutorial I did. And I was briefly looking over exits. And had a thought:

    Would it be helpful if exits in a room were set up the way players normally are? So that the parent lists them one line at a time, and gives a short-desc of that exit?

    -- EXITS -----------------------------------------------
    Harbor Bar <HB>     A wooden door with a port-hole style window, sits in the middle of a squat, brown building.  A neon sign flashes 'Harbor Bar, open'.
    Nestor's Bay <N>    Northward down the boardwalk, or down different flights of stairs, leads to the heavily polluted Nestor's Bay.
    Wicked Nights <WN>  A brightly red painted building, with the silhouettes of women in the likewise red windows, is accessible through a black door.
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    

    Thoughts?

    This might be too long examples.


  • Pitcrew

    I like it. Builders would have to control the length of the short-descs, not a problem.


  • Coder

    I like it too, but, I'd say keep the exits dark and that way it wouldn't clutter up the room descriptions. So there'd be a +exits command or some such which would then list the exits with their descriptions like you have.

    Some people won't like that of course, think it'll slow things down to much. I don't agree, I've always felt non-mud games should be slower. Once you learn the grid you won't need to +exits anymore, and there should be travel code like +taxi's or whatnot also.

    I've also found that subway hubs also work well for easy transport around the grid.


  • Pitcrew

    Wow, I love the idea of an exit short-desc!! I think that's fantastic!



  • This might work, but it also comes with its share of problems that might have to be addressed.

    First, the look of the thing. Exits in two columns with their alias directly after them managed to still look clean, but on these, you're going to have to worry about the length of the actual exit name, the length of the alias (which is usually no more than 3 or 4 letters, so not a bit deal), and -then- the length of the short-desc, or else you're going to get into very unpretty things eventually. It might be more helpful to arrange them as a table, if you're doing a top-down list.

    Second, the number of exits in any one location could quickly become staggering in a list format and lead to a hell of a lot of spam. For instance:

    ----> +Views in this location <-----------------------------------------------
    Build Guide                             Twilight Network                      
    ----> Directions <------------------------------------------------------------
    University City <W>                     Pigeon Hill <S>                       
    Commercial District <N>                 Historical Waterfront <E>             
    ----> Exits <-----------------------------------------------------------------
    Out of Conetrol <OOC>                   Six Feet Under <SFU>                  
    Medical Examiner's Office <MEO>         Flow Dynamics Gym <FDG>               
    Von Braun Life Sciences <VBLS>          Catholic Church <CC>                  
    WFRE Building <WFRE>                    CHIME Museum <MU>                     
    Waxen Wonderland <WW>                   Pay It Forward Pizzeria <PIF>         
    Atlantica Mall <ATL>                    Public Library <PL>                   
    House of Spirits <HOS>                  Regus Tower <RT>                      
    Sinful Temptations <ST>                 Lockerbie Condominiums <LC>           
    Lovelace Couturé <LOV>                  Uplifting <UL>                        
    Presbytery <PRE>                        Dippin Donuts <DD>                    
    Cavanaugh Design <CDG>                  Municipal Building <MB>               
    Cavanaugh Building <CVB>                                                      
    =========================================================> IC Area - B02 <====
    

    Can you imagine how that spammy monstrosity would look in a list format?

    Perhaps a better option would be to simply code an alternate look command, much like brief, that provides that handy list format at-a-glance to reduce on the amount of screenspam?



  • @Cobaltasaurus I really like this.

    I did something similar many many moons ago with MOO code, but the layout was very different and it was more text-flow than list format. (It's the way the room parent was set up for that core, about, uh... 15+ years ago, before the more SGP style of formatting became more the standard.)

    It essentially had a paragraph at the end of the desc composed of the exit list. With the examples above, it would have looked more or less like this:

    A wooden door with a port-hole style window, sits in the middle of a squat, brown building. A neon sign flashes 'Harbor Bar, open' <HB>. Northward down the boardwalk, or down different flights of stairs, leads to the heavily polluted Nestor's Bay <NB>.

    (etc., and the actual exit names and aliases were ANSI'd if I recall.)

    The list format is more clear. That old MOO style is more compact (which can sometimes be relevant if a room has a mountain of exits in it) and I always liked the way it flowed with the actual desc.



  • If you could separate the sphere-exits to only be visible to that sphere, I think that would help with the spam.

    Or maybe only list exits available to the public? I don't need to see the plethora of player-builds I can't get into, anyways, when I just want to find a decently desc'd place to eat some peeps.


  • Tutorialist

    @Derp said in Grid building theory?:

    This might work, but it also comes with its share of problems that might have to be addressed.

    First, the look of the thing. Exits in two columns with their alias directly after them managed to still look clean, but on these, you're going to have to worry about the length of the actual exit name, the length of the alias (which is usually no more than 3 or 4 letters, so not a bit deal), and -then- the length of the short-desc, or else you're going to get into very unpretty things eventually. It might be more helpful to arrange them as a table, if you're doing a top-down list.

    ETA: You should be worried about exit name whether you're doing columns or something else. If I remember correctly the exit parent on fallcoast (and ones that were used elsewhere) were actually set up so you'd have 3 columns, and would move down to 2 if an exit name was too long. I disagree that the names followed by aliases in columns look "clean". Sure, it's an easy enough system to follow, but that doesn't make it clean or pleasing to me.

    It's a list of names. Sometimes those names are descriptive enough for me to follow what the building is, sometimes they aren't. Hell. Then you have the exits that are "old warehouse" or "dirt road" off of grid rooms that tell me absolutely nothing about where they lead. Which gets pretty infuriating when you're looking for something.

    (True fact: I had to comb through fallcoast one night to try and find the mage hide out. I couldn't find it on grid because through the 10 million other builds, and finally resorted to the wiki.)

    ...which leads right into my terser, original point below.

    Second, the number of exits in any one location could quickly become staggering in a list format and lead to a hell of a lot of spam. For instance:

    ----> +Views in this location <-----------------------------------------------
    Build Guide                             Twilight Network                      
    ----> Directions <------------------------------------------------------------
    University City <W>                     Pigeon Hill <S>                       
    Commercial District <N>                 Historical Waterfront <E>             
    ----> Exits <-----------------------------------------------------------------
    Out of Conetrol <OOC>                   Six Feet Under <SFU>                  
    Medical Examiner's Office <MEO>         Flow Dynamics Gym <FDG>               
    Von Braun Life Sciences <VBLS>          Catholic Church <CC>                  
    WFRE Building <WFRE>                    CHIME Museum <MU>                     
    Waxen Wonderland <WW>                   Pay It Forward Pizzeria <PIF>         
    Atlantica Mall <ATL>                    Public Library <PL>                   
    House of Spirits <HOS>                  Regus Tower <RT>                      
    Sinful Temptations <ST>                 Lockerbie Condominiums <LC>           
    Lovelace Couturé <LOV>                  Uplifting <UL>                        
    Presbytery <PRE>                        Dippin Donuts <DD>                    
    Cavanaugh Design <CDG>                  Municipal Building <MB>               
    Cavanaugh Building <CVB>                                                      
    =========================================================> IC Area - B02 <====
    

    Derp, with all due respect, there shouldn't be that many things in one grid square. Or not all of those exits need to be public. That shit is spammy without having short-descs. This isn't a matter of "oh no too much because you added BLAH" that's a matter of "what the fuck are you people doing to your grid?"

    Another grid square should have been made, or something should have been done about the exit parent long before that mess happened.


  • Pitcrew

    I love the idea of the shortdesc descriptions being all in a list just like players and objects do now on some games, for public exits only. So like, grid square exits and the diner. That's super useful. Then you could have a command that displays the same thing for ALL exits, including private ones. I think that would address all concerns.


  • Tutorialist

    @Sunny Yeah, I was just telling my SO: "If I ever do another grid, I'll probably have personal builds-- like houses, and sphere things be dark, and a command to show what's in the area".

    On darkwater we didn't go so far as to make the exits dark, but we did color code exits. Private rooms were gray, changeling builds were green, werewolf was yellow, and mortal was cyan. It was helpful. But we also didn't have a player base anywhere near as build as fallcoast, or as many exits.



  • @Cobaltasaurus
    I'm not a fan of this. Too much clutter. The fact that your exit names will eat up about 1/6th of your 'short desc' information is also a limiting thing. Make the exits transparent, people can look thorugh them to see what's beyond.


  • Coder

    @Bobotron This is ok for streets and maybe businesses, but not private homes/locations. It should be a flag that is toggleable at creation.



  • @Lithium
    That I can get behind, yes. Toggles or optional flags, but make any 'public exit' transparent so you can look through it.



  • @Cobaltasaurus said in Grid building theory?:

    Derp, with all due respect, there shouldn't be that many things in one grid square. Or not all of those exits need to be public. That shit is spammy without having short-descs. This isn't a matter of "oh no too much because you added BLAH" that's a matter of "what the fuck are you people doing to your grid?"
    Another grid square should have been made, or something should have been done about the exit parent long before that mess happened.

    Well, it's not my game. I didn't approve that. As a build staffer I would have done something about it long ago (not that I'm a build staffer on -this- game, but that's what I started as, for clarity). But the point I was trying to make is, you're trying to introduce a syntax standard for exits, and these things do exist. Whether you agree with the premise or not, some games think that this is perfect acceptable. And as such, I think that a brief version of the available exits, with an optional longer version command, would be the preferable method to do that.

    Your syntax is good. I like it. I'm not sure that I like it as the default, though. Bobo's idea of making an exit transparent is good, but limited, as it'll give you the room desc beyond, and not the desc of the exit itself, which tends to get spammy in a real hurry.

    At-a-glance should be your default, with various levels of detail available as players want them. The KISS method, etc.


  • Tutorialist

    @Bobotron said in Grid building theory?:

    @Cobaltasaurus
    I'm not a fan of this. Too much clutter. The fact that your exit names will eat up about 1/6th of your 'short desc' information is also a limiting thing. Make the exits transparent, people can look thorugh them to see what's beyond.

    It's been my experience that making people do extra work, even it is as simple as three key strokes (l b enter), they aren't going to do it. I think there might be a way to put in short-descs without it being too cluttered. Could be done for only public things-- like public businesses, but not for personal rooms, or for grid exits that are specifically 'down the street'.

    @Derp said in Grid building theory?:

    @Cobaltasaurus said in Grid building theory?:

    Derp, with all due respect, there shouldn't be that many things in one grid square. Or not all of those exits need to be public. That shit is spammy without having short-descs. This isn't a matter of "oh no too much because you added BLAH" that's a matter of "what the fuck are you people doing to your grid?"
    Another grid square should have been made, or something should have been done about the exit parent long before that mess happened.

    But the point I was trying to make is, you're trying to introduce a syntax standard for exits, and these things do exist.

    I think you're putting way too much weight on a suggestion. I'm not at all trying to introduce a syntax standard-- (I'm not sure syntax is the correct word here). I'm half-making a suggestion half-asking a question. 'Is this a thing that would be helpful?'. I am in no way saying: Every game ever should do this. Hell, I'm not even working on a game to say 'Well, my game is going to do this'.

    Your syntax is good. I like it. I'm not sure that I like it as the default, though. Bobo's idea of making an exit transparent is good, but limited, as it'll give you the room desc beyond, and not the desc of the exit itself, which tends to get spammy in a real hurry.

    Like I mentioned above, I think there's a way to make this something that works but isn't too cluttered or spammy. I think that this would be helpful to players navigating a grid. Especially after having navigated many-a-grid myself.

    Frankly, my all time favorite grid never got used. It was my Caprona grid that didn't have exit names listed at all, they were put throughout the desc, and it was up to the players to move where they went. (I thought the exploration aspect as amazing. However, probably not helpful or ease-of-access-friendly).



  • @Cobaltasaurus said in Grid building theory?:

    Frankly, my all time favorite grid never got used. It was my Caprona grid that didn't have exit names listed at all, they were put throughout the desc, and it was up to the players to move where they went. (I thought the exploration aspect as amazing. However, probably not helpful or ease-of-access-friendly).

    This is kinda what the MOO approach was like; I loved that one for the same reasons. It vibed more immersive, somehow. It felt more 'literary' in a way, like it reinforced the whole 'interactive fiction, and details are important' vibe.


  • Tutorialist

    @surreality said in Grid building theory?:

    This is kinda what the MOO approach was like; I loved that one for the same reasons. It vibed more immersive, somehow. It felt more 'literary' in a way, like it reinforced the whole 'interactive fiction, and details are important' vibe.

    Yeah, I really loved that grid. I still want to run/do it someday, but I think it isn't very 'easy to use'. I'd probably have to code a +guide or +exits, so people won't get angry.



  • @Cobaltasaurus I'd be willing to be a testbot on that, since I have to grid things some time this year, possibly, and could pass along whether people scream or not. An +exits command that returns something like the list shown at the top would actually be kinda epic in combination with the desc-flow version, I'd think.


  • Tutorialist

    @surreality I can dig out the caprona grid sometime and show it to you. I think its still up. otherwise I'll need to go digging in databases.



  • I would <3 to see how it could be done in MUX, definitely, and that would be very appreciated. MOO was pretty easy because of its existing exit format. My room parent fiddling skills are still... dodgy. I can sometimes almost not break everything. (But it's better than last year? I figure that's at least progress!)


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