Author Topic: Auto Room Descriptions  (Read 674 times)

Chalgyr

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Auto Room Descriptions
« on: 03/01/13, 15:16 »
I had some feedback on this from a few people, and thought I should share the conversation that I put to the imms. My last topic for today, but this is the conversation as it relates to the poll I posted (which does feel like it slants toward room descs not being worth the time).

To clarify, this is meant to be less work than more. The idea here would be that when you create a room, if you do not give it a room desc, it returns a generated view based on the variables (which maybe we could set on some global level or room level?), but if you want to type in a 2-5 sentence desc, that is what shows up instead of the generated one. The hope is that if players do not REALLY worry about room descs a lot, this could speed up building time a ton. I have gotten a handful of notes from builders already stating that they spend more than 80% of their time writing the room descs, and if we could bypass those, zones could be done in a matter of a couple of hours, not days or weeks.

I started a poll on this topic, and I think it might be useful to help speed up building of zones. The idea is that if a room desc is left empty, it will then draw upon several other variable sand craft a desc when the player 'looks' (or enters the room, essentially doing an auto look). It would accoutn for several things like time of day, weather, season, sector, maybe material if you are indoors, and maybe ed add descriptions.

Off of the top of my head, here are a couple of examples I put down:

It is early in the morning and the skies are somewhat overcast.  The wind
is blowing fairly hard, and in doing so is causing the dry autumn leaves
above to rustle against one another like a chorus of whispers.  There is a
hut nearby. 

The kinds of key triggers for the above might be:
 
time: 6am
weather: cloudy/windy
season: autumn
density: high
sector: forest
condition: good
position: outdoors
 
The same terms could be used to pull different data or pull it differently
and maybe generate a desc like:
 
The wind is blowing fairly hard, and in doing so is causing the dry autumn leaves
above to rustle against one another like a chorus of whispers. The trees are
close enough together that the wind is somewhat broken up. The grass is untrampled
and the surrounding woods healthy - thiving even. There is a hut nearby.
 
Or maybe it pulls slightly different variables in the 3rd room, flagged the exact
same way and looks like:
 
It is early in the morning and the skies are somewhat overcast. The trees are close
enough together that the wind is somewhat broken up. Three is a hut nearby.
 
 
And indoors example:
 
There is mid-afternoon sun shining brightly nearby outside. The wooden walls are in
excellent condition. There is a table, a chair and a fireplace nearby.
 
Triggers might be:
 
Time: 3pm
weather: sunny/calm
season: summer
density: low
sector inside
structure (maybe only used for inside sectors): house
material (same as above): wooden
condition good
position: indoors
 
Variant desc of the same room if you were to leave and come back might be:

The warmth of the summer sun is shaded from inside. The wooden walls are in excellent
condition. There is no sound coming from the outside elements. There is a table, a chair
and a fireplace nearby.
 
the material thing - maybe a reference to stone walls instead of wooden if material changes.
maybe cracked stone if the condition is poor. if there is a storm with wind, maybe the wind outdoors
can be heard howling...
 
Anyway, those are some random thoughts I had on the topic
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Chalgyr

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Re: Auto Room Descriptions
« Reply #1 on: 03/01/13, 15:18 »
Two pieces of feedback I got from builders that I will list here, because it was so similar:

Basically, I could build zones at least two or three times as quickly this way. We would want to make sure that we have a good number of variables, and there is a lot of ramp-up time involved in setting this up, but I think we would see a lot more areas completed and it would be less intimidating to prospective builders.
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Chalgyr

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Re: Auto Room Descriptions
« Reply #2 on: 03/01/13, 15:19 »
And one other bit of feedback I got from someone else (a builder) via note:

Room building takes up about 80% of building areas and I think would be the biggest/largest NVA (non value added) aspect of building.
 
Someone like me would waste a lot of valuable time making seasonal /dark/light room descriptions rather than putting in that extra quest or two, or really nifty set of mobs..  just to get the area done in a timely manner.
 
Not to mention... the typos and support needed to fix/resolve  areas on a constant basis.
 
If you could still allow builders the option to 'add' onto the auto description it wouldn't take away from 'hints' for quests or items that can be interacted with in the rooms.   (this would also help players note rooms they want to pay more attention in)

So all around I think it's a great idea!
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Daklore

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Re: Auto Room Descriptions
« Reply #3 on: 03/01/13, 15:48 »
Honestly, most people don't even -look- at room descriptions. Even in Achaea, where they have very strict rules on room descriptions, almost no one actually -looks- at them. They just run through with a brief description like most of us do on kotl and ignore it.

As someone who has built, I like having an area be looked at... but as a player... I zoom by and never really take notice. In places that are designed for roleplay--like a kingdom--room descriptions are necessary. Especially if someone writes a story post, the setting can often inspire actions in the story... heck, even in the RP.

Outside of that ... I doubt anyone would -truly- notice.

There are already rooms on main that have no description at all.
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Tylon

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Re: Auto Room Descriptions
« Reply #4 on: 03/01/13, 18:17 »
I'm going to start off by saying I'm a bit biased here. I spent a good deal of time years ago building and the builder that trained and monitored me required certain lengths and content in room descriptions. As a result when I stumble upon lazy descriptions (auto-descriptions, repeated ascii-art or descriptions, 1-2 sentences, etc.) I get a little put off by them. It's not so much an issue of reading the room descriptions because many I don't spend a great deal of time reading, its just more of a feel. If I walk through a zone where time was obviously not spent on the description, its just irritating.

So at least for me, I prefer rooms that are either well crafted or mud systems where room descriptions are just taken out altogether and replaced with a coordinate map. Anything in the middle is rough.