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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    XNA for possible backend to a Hyperion-like text-based game (AKA MU*)?

    XNA for possible backend to a Hyperion-like text-based game (AKA MU*)?

    In short, I’m looking for a library, tool, package, etcetera which handles at minimum 2D coordinate systems and at best 3D ones. For those a bit unfamiliar with MU* there’s a bit more in-depth explanation at the bottom of this post.

    In my text based game, I want to know the spatial relationships between objects, but I will be expressing the objects and their relationships though text rather than graphics. In addition, I want to be able to use or create a tool to build 3D world’s geometry (buildings, trees, etc.).

    I don’t think there is enough benefit to try to fake the world coordinates as I’d like to implement generating fairly accurate maps from the data as well as some basic in game physics. After all, at this point why not just give the world builders 3D tools rather than having them trying to approximate a 3D environment?

    My question is where to begin and what other tools should I be looking to use? Are there XNA based world building tools? What if any, open source tools engines implement coordinate based systems? Also, has anyone seen any tools that take data from a 3D game and render something like Google’s 3D maps? If you’re unfamiliar, go to Google maps, enter ‘bryant park, new york, ny’ then some up a bit and you can see that parts of New York now render as geometry. Eventually, I’d like to make something along those lines for creative to build the game world.


    In short, I want to attempt a 3D MMO where the result of in-game actions are expressed though text. There are MU*s which attempt various coordinate systems, but looking over my list of features it seems that I should simply implement a virtual 3D world. If for no other reason, I’d be learning part of 3D MMO design.

    I thought about building and using some more complicated schemes for implementing room based text-games, but then realized that why go through all that effort when to some extent I’d be reinventing a non-standard wheel?

    Traditionally, a number of MU* type text-based games begin as a series of rooms linked together by exits. A room linked to another room via a ‘south’ exit is perceived as being ‘north’ of that room (these games often lack a sense of where they are in relation to each other as they are often simply a block of rooms linked together with exits). Some MUD expand on the concept of location by placing rooms in zones (a block of rooms in a zone); these zones may themselves have rudimentary x,y relationships to each other allowing the devs and players to have a sense that ‘zone A’ is north of ‘zone B’.

    For example: A dev creates an explosion in ‘zone A’, the game engine can recognize that the text message sent to players in zones outside of ‘zone A’ can reflect a general direction.

    ‘Zone B’ might see:

    Sounds of a distant explosion reverberate from the north.

    However, within ‘zone A’ the engine only knows that the ‘explosion’ is in the zone. You could conceivably trace room exits, but as your chain of exits gets longer than “one” the greater a chance that you’ve being inaccurate (without going into a long explanation, rooms in MUDs are usually not of fixed size, therefore you cannot determine distance if you only have a number of rooms – one room can be larger than 10 others – think of a auditorium and a bathroom).
    There are many clever tricks one can do to spoof actual relationships of distance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Las Cruces, New Mexico
    I think you should write your own engine for this. Make your own map format along with hooks so you can get sensor information at any location. I'd suggest looking at extending InkScape as your world building tool. You could set elevations by adding tags in "rooms" that set their elevation. I have seen it used in conjunction with Houdini to procedurally generate 3D Environments very quickly. You might want to use Houdini to generate and render maps. It is more friendly to external scripting than Max or Maya.

    I would probably use JBOSS and java for the server and C# with Silverlight for the Clients.

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