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Dynamic World MMORPG Simulation

We are currently testing the possibilities for creating a full fledged Dynamic World MMORPG. The simulation uses a relatively simple program that fosters some basic player interaction on top of a natural economy.

Author: ironore

Simulation on Hold

Posted by ironore Monday July 7 2008 at 6:18PM
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Isn't that the way of it?  Disappointment and setbacks.  It turns out that the program could no longer perform the calculations after just 5 character files were created.  Not nearly enough to get some really dynamic interactions going.  I knew, and made clear, that there would be slow-downs and crashes, but I had anticipated things working for at least a little while.  I may try again on a faster machine, but it is unlikely to make much of a difference.  

One thing I had hoped to do besides see the basics of dynamic player interaction begin to take root, was to balance some of the arbitrary variables, such as resource extraction, replenishment, decay, build rates, etc. 

Perhaps I will do some of that while I work on moving things to a better platform.  Any suggestions?

About the Simulation

Posted by ironore Wednesday May 21 2008 at 1:28PM
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    The goal of this simulation is to experiment with the development of a dynamic world heavily influenced by player actions and interactions both with each other and within the game world.  These actions are hoped to combine over time to result in many complex and interesting scenarios.  The program is based on some of the basic principles of my MMO design and the current phase aims to test and balance some of the systems that facilitate having a dynamic world.

    To interact with the simulation, participants will receive an interface file with updated information on the state of the game world.  They will then enter inputs and commands to be sent back for calculation in the next update.  Along with use of the interface, participants are encouraged to communicate and interact with the use of mmorpg.com blog spaces which are listed in the Simulation Participants section of this main blog.

    Potential participants, please keep in mind that this IS a test, NOT a full-fledged game or even a beta in any sense that the word has come to imply.  The action may be very slow to develop, it may be difficult to get a feel for how things work.  This is by no means a polished, user-friendly finished product.  Bugs may be rampant, errors and crashes are expected to occur and, despite back-up precautions, we may have to start from scratch at any time, loosing all previous accomplishments.  Participants are expected to take all of this in stride, and simply focus on the dynamic interactions as they come, and invariably go.

    For those interested in participating, please browse the participant blogs and get a feel for where you might begin and what goals you might set for yourself.  Review the information in the Getting Started section of this blog and follow the instructions there carefully.

Getting Started

Posted by ironore Wednesday May 21 2008 at 1:26PM
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 I am ready to start taking the first participants for the simulation.

 

First understand and accept the following items:

  • This is very limited test of a few aspects of a much more complex overall game design.  The program used is rudimentary and the interface is mostly textual.  The action will most likely progress very slowly.  This is not a finished game by any means and the system might not even be able to handle as many calculations as we may soon be placing on it.  Someday a browser-based application with a more user-friendly and immediate interface is the goal, but for now testing will move forward however possible with what we now have.

 

  • It is assumed that for the purposes of the current simulation all participants are expected to keep all actions and dialogs appropriate.  While war and combat are represented, the main focus will be to keep language appropriate.  Any violation will most likely receive one or two warnings depending on the degree of infraction, but the administrator reserves the right to delete accounts and bar participation at any time.

 

  • As a preliminary requirement  you need to have access to Microsoft Excel in order to view/edit the  current input/output files for the simulation.  It is preferred to have the older versions of Excel (Pre 2007) but the newer version might work as well.   If you don't have Excel and can not access it anywhere, i.e. school, work, computer lab, library, friend's house, etc., then you might have to join up with someone who has it and work together with them.  They will do the actual inputs and will keep you informed of everything and you can correspond with them on the decision making.

 

~*~

 

If you are interested in participating here is how things work:

 

1) Contact me using an email account other than your mmorpg.com mail.  Send a message to iron0re@yahoo.com with a character name and perhaps a brief background and your choice of the following two starting scenarios: 

  • The first is with a group of settlers that have just arrived in a strange new land basically by going through a cave that is actually a portal from other worlds.  Not too original, but we need a clean slate for the world and if  you choose this option you might have access to some basic equipment and you can begin interacting with other participants right away as they all arrive in the same location.  The whole point to this option is so you can start with a slightly more advanced society with some explanation of where they came from, as there are no other cities or civilizations in the entire world at this point, so they must have arrived from somewhere completely different.

 

  • The other option is to be an indigenous tribe with very basic technology and located at a random location on the map (although you can specify if you would like to be in a cold or warm climate, near mountains, in the desert, on the coast, etc.)  If you choose this option you may not meet and interact with others for quite a while, but you never know.  

 

               So be thinking about those options and generate some ideas.

 

2) Once you are approved for participation we will correspond as I create an interface file for you and make it accessible at a unique personal link that you will be given where you can download the file each time it is updated.  You will then open it in Excel, and using the updated information it contains make any adjustments you desire before saving, closing, and emailing it back to me at the iron0re@yahoo.com address.  I then regularly recalculate all the updated files I have received with the main program code, save everything, and then upload the updated files to the unique personal links where they are downloaded, edited, saved, and sent back again as the process repeats.

 

3) Between updates you can browse around my blog here to get tips and help on using the interface as well as ideas on how to accomplish goals of various kinds.  You are also encouraged to use your blog in one or more of the ways suggested in the Simulation Participants section of this blog, such as for a more detailed description or to post an (appropriate) image of your character, town, tribe, flag, etc. as well as a place where others can communicate with you between updates.  If you choose to use your blog in this way I will link to it from this blog.

Basically participation can take as little or as much time as desired.  At a minimum one can download the file, take note of the current state of the simulation, and make a few adjustments before sending it back.  This only needs to be done every few days if desired.  Other participants will want to plan and communicate between updates and make all sorts of compositions based on their knowledge of the world to further their goals and policies.  It is all up to individual preference.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.  Thanks. 

 

Help Topics

Posted by ironore Wednesday May 21 2008 at 1:25PM
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A major part of the blog page will be to create a wiki of sorts of help and instructions on using the simulation interface and ideas on how to accomplish player set goals within the framework of the program.

In this section simply post replies of topics you need help with or think you might offer help on.  Then I will create a blog entry with the topic requested and everyone can read/add to it anything that might be helpful.

I will then most likely consolidate things and delete duplicate answers as time goes on.

 

One major bit of information for now would be a diagram of the user interface so participants may become familiar with it.  Right-click and view image in full page in order to see better or save:

Simulation Participants

Posted by ironore Wednesday May 21 2008 at 1:24PM
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    This will be a list of links to mmorpg.com blogs of participants in the dynamic world simulation.  It is anticipated that instead of an ongoing descriptive forum as the main focus of the simulation as in phase 1, individual blogs will be utilized for the social and communication aspects of the game beyond the rudimentary systems provided in the interface.  The interface provides up-to-date information regarding the state of the game world in a visual way, and it also holds descriptions and communicated messages.  However participants have to wait for each update to move things forward.  Blogs can provide an focused area where communication can happen in between turn updates and also allows for the use of graphics and live links.

    Also the blog can be continually edited by the owner and others who are given permission.  Descriptions can be updated, old information or posts deleted, and things can be kept organized.

Here are some of the possible ways the blogs might be utilized:

  • Different entries could serve as public message boards for specific locations controlled by the blog owner.  These entries can be deleted if control of the area is lost, and irrelevant or outdated replies could be deleted at will.  Descriptions for each area of interaction could also be continually edited.
  • Participants may want to post graphics such as flags or emblems of their empires and kingdoms, detailed maps of their cites, diagrams of their governmental structure, images of their architectural style, ect. 
  • A blog post could be used as an auction for trade commodities or services, or for putting in bids on construction products.
  • Blogs could also be the focus of new players browsing around to find a starting area as they join the simulation.  Special emphasis could be placed on entries for recruiting new participants and showing them the opportunities in each area, such as craft and trade opportunities, positions in government, entry into guilds, appointments for military posts, openings at special training academies, etc.  This would help players get started and also attract them to the needs of other participants, as it is much easier to have a complex and successful civilization with multiple people focusing on certain aspects.
  • Blogs can also be used to hold council with ruling participants and take votes, although for some matters private messaging systems or email might be better suited to the task.

Please keep in mind that a blog shouldn't reflect anything beyond the reality of the game world as represented in the interface.  Otherwise it will not be perceived as accurate and therefore not useful.  It should be viewed as a way to flesh out the foundation represented by the simulation systems, and as a way to facilitate communication more easily.

 

Bug Reporting

Posted by ironore Wednesday May 21 2008 at 1:21PM
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Here we will report bugs and see how many have experienced them and in what situations.

Participants are expected to report all problems and to never exploit them, lest they be removed from the simulation.

Design Discussion

Posted by ironore Wednesday May 21 2008 at 1:18PM
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This may actually just end up being a link to a discussion thread in the developer's corner forums.

For now anyone interested might check these links to know more about some of these ideas:

All forum discussion topics started by ironore on mmorpg.com

ironore's profile page with links to the most recent discussions contributed to

link to the old simulation discussion forum

Also feel free to add questions or comments to this blog posting and I will answer them as I can.