Player-housing system design

 
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Grem



Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 36
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:11 pm    Post subject: Player-housing system design Reply with quote

This thread is for discussion regarding the design and implementation of player-housing systems. Personally, I have a couple topics for discussion that some of you may be interested in:

1. Dynamic 'house-space' (rooms that are generated for player-housing dynamically when a player gets a home) VS world-plotted house-space (Home is created in existing room within the world, either systematically or by an administrator).

2. Room descriptions - should players be able to design their own home descriptions? What kind of objects should be placeable in homes to descript it.

3. Storage - What kind of storage limits should players have on their homes? Should homes encourage 'hoarding'? Many players love to hoard equipment, but games such as Ultima Online have had major CPU problems with players hoarding millions of objects.

4. Cost and availability - How much do houses cost for players? Are homes available to all players? Is there limited space for housing? Do players build their own houses, or do they have to buy existing homes? If houses are placed in existing world space, what limits are there as to where players can build or buy their homes?

5. Home persistance - What kind of upkeep is required to keep the home running? Can the home be destroyed by outside forces? How should the home be defended while the player is logged out? Can the home be broken into or robbed from?
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Kyuss



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Southern Hellinois

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I skipped this and gave all players a vault which holds unlimited items.

Depositing and withdrawing costs money, based on total levels.

Players like to hoarde eq (Hell My chars hoard eq).

Quote:
3. Storage - What kind of storage limits should players have on their homes? Should homes encourage 'hoarding'? Many players love to hoard equipment, but games such as Ultima Online have had major CPU problems with players hoarding millions of objects.


Damn I Miss old UO.

Yeah the old backups used to take FOREVER! They would do downtimes on
Great Lakes at 4 am and it wouldnt come back up till 8-9am due to having
to backup everyones stored objects in their houses.
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Cornelius



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 42
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My conceptual design on this matter has each player starting in their own home... or a hovel really, a small space to call their own in the residential section of their hometown. The residential section is just an exit from a particular room within a city and when a player enters 'home' or whatever they are transported to their own virtual 'room' that can hold a limited amount of objects and some decoration.

Descriprions are generated from template based on what decorations the home has. Players can also 'invite' several people into their home. The size of the house will depend on the player's rank. Storage/visitor capacity and decoration will on a be per room basis.These starting homes cannot be broken into- it is the main storehouse for each player because their carrying capacity will very limited as compared with most other games- I want to promote hometown dependance (and patriotism) because of the city v. city conflict in the game and because I want travel to be rare and difficult, but rewarding (i.e. trading).

I will also allow players to build estates or clanhalls which will allow certain ammenities (farming fields, wells, stables, barracks, etc)- these may, however, be raided and even razed (if on wilderness). Unlimited space on the wilderness and limited space in hometowns (more protection) exists for these estates. City magistrates will be granted a manor within their city- this can also be raided and used to depose a city magistrate- conquer his/her city.

most zones in the game (estates included) are 'owned' by a player or faction and can be 'assaulted' by armies- player generated zones- estates, outposts, colonies, etc... can be annexed or razed- if a player is rented out inside a now destroyed estate they will default to their original home. The defense of these zones are handled within the army combat code which does not require the player to be online- the estate will defend itself using its internal defense force and if an army is also stationed at the estate barracks it will act on behalf of the defense.

Estates within cities are for senators and other important personell and cannot be assaulted by armies and so can only be raided- they will be permanently affixed to their owners- but are at the city magistrates control- so if a city magistrate is deposed it is likely the new one will kick out the local tennants and instate his/her own lackeys. Only those with estates within the city can vote on city issues.

But this interpretation is very particular to the type of game I am trying to create...
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Ashon



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Player-housing system design Reply with quote

Grem wrote:

1. Dynamic 'house-space' (rooms that are generated for player-housing dynamically when a player gets a home) VS world-plotted house-space (Home is created in existing room within the world, either systematically or by an administrator).


Dynamic 'house-space'. Is my vote. I don't envision actually creating the details of the house, but just a floor plan in an unfilled precinct of the town.

Quote:
2. Room descriptions - should players be able to design their own home descriptions? What kind of objects should be placeable in homes to descript it.


All of the items will be placeable in homes to describe it. And since we have implemented a Skotos-style Proximity system, the players will be able to get even more involved. And since I believe that players should be able to generate content within game rules, I will have skills that will allow players to paint/draw etc to personalize it even more.

I have no illusions that I will be able to predict the needs of the players, if there is a system in place that is conducive to player needs and wants, adding a specific type of item into the item database, should be easy to accomplish.

Quote:
3. Storage - What kind of storage limits should players have on their homes? Should homes encourage 'hoarding'? Many players love to hoard equipment, but games such as Ultima Online have had major CPU problems with players hoarding millions of objects.


Storage is an interesting question. And one that I haven't sat down and considered. But I know that I want to encourage hoarding. I want players to feel ownership of the game content. I want them not to feel like the game is limiting them in the 'fun' of what they are accomplishing.

Quote:
4. Cost and availability - How much do houses cost for players? Are homes available to all players? Is there limited space for housing? Do players build their own houses, or do they have to buy existing homes? If houses are placed in existing world space, what limits are there as to where players can build or buy their homes?


I'm planning on a tier based system. There will be apartments above shops in the cities. And will be limited in an abitrary number. There will be housing districts in town where houses can go one sale. But if players want to build their own houses, or castles, or towers or what-not, I want it to feel like they are building it. So I will develop some sort of 'construction' system, where players can hire NPC builders.

Quote:
5. Home persistance - What kind of upkeep is required to keep the home running? Can the home be destroyed by outside forces? How should the home be defended while the player is logged out? Can the home be broken into or robbed from?


Good questions. I haven't thought about it yet, but I figure that players will be able to acquire security for their homes, but that other players will be able to affect this. But I haven't figured out how to balance this to keep griefers from ruining the fun.
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Silverthorn



Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 12
Location: Waycross, Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since we are an LPmud, we are going to utilize Metaprat's original idea.

However, rather than just limiting our players to a fixed format and store the data in a large player's .o file, we are researching the possibilities of storing the data in several MySQL database tables. Then just using a daemon to run a select statement and build the area along with all of the exits and NPCs as well.

Its still just a theory at this time, but we think its possible.
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Sandra



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 7:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Player-housing system design Reply with quote

Grem wrote:

1. Dynamic 'house-space' (rooms that are generated for player-housing dynamically when a player gets a home) VS world-plotted house-space (Home is created in existing room within the world, either systematically or by an administrator).

We have plotted rooms within the zones that are available for houses. Players need to buy the initial room and then add on others as they wish, for an additional cost.

Quote:

2. Room descriptions - should players be able to design their own home descriptions? What kind of objects should be placeable in homes to descript it.

In order to stay within the theme of the mud, we chose to not allow players to design the room descriptions. The builders of each zone have done so. Players may suggest housing ideas though.
We allow them to place any furniture items they want in the house. Most houses also come with some when bought.

Quote:

3. Storage - What kind of storage limits should players have on their homes? Should homes encourage 'hoarding'? Many players love to hoard equipment, but games such as Ultima Online have had major CPU problems with players hoarding millions of objects.

We have a limit of 50 items per room, including furniture.

Quote:

4. Cost and availability - How much do houses cost for players? Are homes available to all players? Is there limited space for housing? Do players build their own houses, or do they have to buy existing homes? If houses are placed in existing world space, what limits are there as to where players can build or buy their homes?

Homes are available to all that can afford them. The space is only limited based on the builders of each zone. Some zones have more space than others. They 'buy' the main room, and then can expand on that based on options set forth by the builder.

Quote:

5. Home persistance - What kind of upkeep is required to keep the home running? Can the home be destroyed by outside forces? How should the home be defended while the player is logged out? Can the home be broken into or robbed from?

There is a daily 'rent' cost based on the house itself. It comes to something like 10% of the total cost of the house. Plus a 1:1 cost of any non furniture items within the house. Players can buy doors and locks for the doors to help defend the house. But we also have pke/nonpke and ownership rules that prevent items from being stolen unless they are both pke. You can break into them, but sometimes it isn't easy. Depending on the door and lock on the house.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Player-housing system design Reply with quote

1. Dynamic 'house-space'.

I tried this, in fact I tried virtual rooms originally. I had it mostly working, then ran afoul of the Diku light code (complicated by my own code that lets lights be set down to light the room). Now I just build normal room housing projects (Inns, hives, burrows, etc.) and use a flag on the rooms to signify they can be 'rented'.

2. Room descriptions.

Players can change the name and description of their rooms. They can buy furnishings (objects) in a store or with quest points, as well.

3. Storage.

Not open yet, so not a problem (yet). I'm thinking of a limit of about 20 objects, though I may increase that for smaller items. I'm not putting up with the 10K pfiles I used to see with the original player-as-a-moving-van concept.

4. Cost and availability.

Rooms cost 5 gold to rent, so they may as well be free. Players may purchase unique rooms for gold/QP, anywhere within theme, no limits, really. It's just like a clan room for one person, no? I might rethink things if I thought there was any danger of having more than 20 active players at once.

5. Home persistance.

Players have to have been active within the last month to keep their rooms. Otherwise, the pfile goes offsite. The contents of the room are saved with the player, so breaking in isn't much fun when someone's away. I just use the Diku "owner" field, so the rooms are automatically private. Owner names are saved in a file, and reloaded on reboot. It's much simpler without OLC. Smile
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Yui Unifex
Site Admin


Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 47
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about houses you can take with you?

In Aetas one of the major goals is for a spirit to obtain a soul. Now each spirit will be able to recede their consciousness to an inner plane which is used as a character management interface, but it's not possible to store items here since it has no form of its own, and nor is it possible to invite others inside. These restrictions are lifted when the spirit obtains a soul.

The amount of storage space directly corresponds to the amont of form your soul can take, and as a spirit grows in power so too will its soul. The soul has a different shape for each class in the game, reflecting their quirks. A demon's soul will contain the various other demons that were defeated and enslaved, making it quite dangerous for others to venture inside. An alchemist will use the soul as a catalyst for its transmutations, and so any spirits inside an alchemist's soul could lend their power. Empath souls are mazes configured by the player to allow power to flow to certain abilities, and would undoubtedly look quite chaotic to the non-empath.

So think outside the box a little. What unconventional housing designs can you come up with? Scratch player-built dungeons and cookie cutter houses. For a sci-fi mud, couldn't a player own a mobile star ship that doubles as a home? For traditional fantasy, couldn't a mage could create a huge locale in a portable dimensional rift?
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kelson76



Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 12:32 am    Post subject: Housing ideas... Reply with quote

I think each city should have residential areas. The houses are pre-built, with the size and area of town impacting the pricing.

Players can buy a house, and put items in it. They have a mini-OLC available to set descriptions and such, can buy guards and items to furnish the house. Players can also re-sell their house through a broker.

As residential areas fill up, the pricing on houses can increase.

I also like the idea of making money worth something, so every 5th level character can't buy a house. Also, I think it should be possible for theives to rob the house, but only to a limited extent, with strict controls to prevent someone from getting cleaned out. It should be very hard to rob a house. Also, as a final gating factor, the character data should be loaded to force the thief, if caught, to fight the player in a PVP style combat. However, since the player is not present, the thief would not be able to claim any equipment from the character loaded if it wins, more like a ghost of the character. So, the character being robbed doesn't actually die, but lower level characters will find it much harder to rob a higher level character.

Just some thoughts.....

- Kelson
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malaprop



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All but a few buildings in our world are player-built and owned. Players stand in the room where they want the upper-left corner of the building to be, type 'build shop' (or whatever) and a construction site appears. They gather the needed resources (generally wood, stone, and metal) and put them in the site. Construction takes a few minutes, and may in the future require NPC workers. So then the little ascii art house appears on the map with a door you can open/close/lock/unlock and a few rooms inside.

We don't currently have any customization: every building is the same (except mines, which have randomized layouts, payouts, and depth). We're trying to think of a nice system (both interface and storage) for the customization ideas we've come up with, suggestions welcome. Figuring out how we'll store different room layout plans and allow customizability in room generation is also kinda annoying.
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Falco



Joined: 24 Jul 2005
Posts: 15
Location: The Drawing Room

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if one's doing an RPI, there has to be some staff oversight on building to ensure it stays within theme. Given a chance, many a PC will opt for locations/designs that are incongruous with the environment and setting. Back on SoI, I used to get at least two emails a week (often more) from players wanting to build a cabin in the woods. They didn't stop to consider if the land belonged to someone or the fact that they'd be miles from town yet they still wanted jobs in town (or worse, miles from the far side of town). Plus, from the way in which many players couldn't afford housing yet wanted their longsword customized with a sapphire in the hilt and a dragon taking a shit engraved on the handle, PCs can't always be relied on to stay within reason.

That doesn't mean a game shouldn't try to service players' needs and wants. But it does mean that there has to be some oversight lest the setting and theme of the MUD, at least an RPI MUD, isn't damaged through player nonconformity.

Later,

Falco
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