Mudlet Mapper

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Vadi
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Mudlet Mapper

Post by Vadi » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:53 am

This is the official proposals/planning thread of the Mudlet Mapper. Why a mapper? Because that's what originally Heiko and I wanted to do but had no decent client for it to be on. Now that Mudlet is getting quite usable, the next step after MXP would be the mapper.

Things that are in for sure:
* Will depend/be integrated into Mudlet
* Will be 3D (OpenGL) (think this)

Points related to the interface
- discuss how the map will "look", behave

Points related to mapping
- discuss exit tracking, automapping

Points related to ???

Please feel free to post your ideas, suggestions, and comments on what the mapper "as you'd like to be" would be. All feedback would be reviewed and the feature/planning stages will take it into account :)

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Vadi
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Re: Mudlet Mapper

Post by Vadi » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:56 am

My thoughts, going to categorize later

- should have a 2D mode where the camera is locked looking down
- allow for automapping (mapping as you walk by detecting exits and auto-linking)
- rooms are represented as blocks, not flat images as per sample screenshot

Iocun
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Re: Mudlet Mapper

Post by Iocun » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:01 pm

If it works nicely (i.e. reliably, fast, and looking good) this will surely be a great feature of Mudlet. I've always shunned the zMud mapper because it felt unreliable and slow.

While 3D has a great potential (seeing that a majority of muds are 3d in some way), I'm still a bit sceptical about it though. What I like about 2D maps is that they show everything without any "camera movements" etc. It's simply a matter of scrolling. Plus, they are easy to print, if needed. Simply offering a 2D mode that locks everything looking down isn't a full replacement of this, since that way you lose the down/up information all together.

So I think, if a 3D mapper is definitely intended, one of the main problems is organizing "camera movement"/angles in a way that lets you always see what you need to see, without requiring any cumbersome additional commands/mouse clicks to adjust the view.

The second main wish of me is great controllability: Aside from any automapping functions, I'd definitely want to be able to do everything manually/via scripts as well (i.e. create rooms, change room properties, find rooms, move to rooms, adjust the map view, etc.). Automatic stuff is great, but being able to control everything myself if needed is always the first priority for me.

As for looks: I agree with Vadi that I'd prefer blocks (or dots, or whatever) in contrast to images. I'd prefer the map to be as simple, clean and uncluttered as possible. Fancy graphics, shadows/glows, additional 3d-effects, etc. would just be distracting (and might slow things down unnecessarily), IMHO.

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Vadi
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Re: Mudlet Mapper

Post by Vadi » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:08 pm

I want fancy stuff. Won't slow it down at all either because we have video cards to do that, and I don't think we'll achieve crysis-like shader effects ;)

Should have a good medium between boring and good-looking.

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Jules
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Re: Mudlet Mapper

Post by Jules » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:45 pm

If the automapper can build me something like http://www.lusternia.com/map.php?file=i ... lm_map.gif then I will be very happy.

The only thing that I want for a mapper is something that will automatically map rooms and areas depending on the exits given to me, give me manual control of how it will look (say I map an area, but certain exits I want to leave out, I want to be able to delete or move said exits, etc), and allow rooms to be color coded, since I know that, at least in IRE MUDs, many rooms have differing attributes, such as rooms being forests or mountains, etc.

As long, though, as it follow's Mudlet's record of easy-to-use and simple design, I foresee a winner!

Iocun
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Re: Mudlet Mapper

Post by Iocun » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:11 pm

Vadi wrote:I want fancy stuff. Won't slow it down at all either because we have video cards to do that, and I don't think we'll achieve crysis-like shader effects ;)

Should have a good medium between boring and good-looking.
Well, personally I also tend to find the "boring" designs usually the most good-looking ones. Of all the mud maps I've seen, I've always liked the ones best that consisted of simple squares and lines (and were probably done in MSPaint...), and I never liked the ones with 3d effects, shadows etc. very much. I enjoy simplicity in these things.

Of course, optimally it would be configurable so every person can have it as boring or flamboyant as she or he desires.

davidk
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Location: avalon.mud.de

Re: Mudlet Mapper

Post by davidk » Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:48 am

Personally I would prefer it if the 3D-mode is optional. On GNU/Linux I couldn't get OpenGL to work ever since I upgraded to a bigger monitor (my computer and my graphics card is already quite old and the proprietary drivers aren't supported by NVIDIA anymore...). If Mudlet depended on OpenGL I could only run it on MS Windows.

When I made maps by hand (for avalon.mud.de) I usually used a simple text editor and entered them as ASCII-"graphics". This has the advantage that you can send them to other players using MUD-mail and I think even blind players were able to use my maps using a braille reader. So I guess it would be an advantage if the maps could be converted to plain text format.

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Vadi
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Re: Mudlet Mapper

Post by Vadi » Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:36 pm

Well... that's not really something we can take care of, and frankly ASCII mappers aren't overly fun. You have mudbot for that too if you like that sort of thing :| , and it's sort of 2010 now.

Bounces
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Re: Mudlet Mapper

Post by Bounces » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:57 pm

Vadi wrote:Well... that's not really something we can take care of, and frankly ASCII mappers aren't overly fun. You have mudbot for that too if you like that sort of thing :| , and it's sort of 2010 now.
Lol @ Vadi.

So to put in my two coppers, honestly the most useful feature I have ever gotten out of mappers is the ability to send a path to the mud based on clicks. For example the mapper knows that I am currently <here>. I mouse click on the map <there> and it calls the function speedwalk(here,there).

I am not sure how it would be implemented across many muds because different muds have different syntaxes for moving from room to room, but if it can be figured out that would be nice. :mrgreen: :idea: Maybe we attach to each path on the map (the connector between the two rooms) the command that is sent to the mud to move from one room to the other. It then can intelligently send those commands? I am not a script kiddie so I don't now if it is possible, just a thought.

Other than that I would primarily just like a automapper that captures exits well and then allows me to go in and clean up. For example, add rooms and paths that don't get caught by the mapper because they are not in the exits list (one prominent example from my mud is you sometimes have to "enter <room>" instead of just typing n,s,e,w,u, or d. The room is not listed as an exit, so the exit detect system wouldn't catch it. You just have to know it's there... :shock:

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Vadi
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Re: Mudlet Mapper

Post by Vadi » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:43 am

Alright. How about we follow an MVC model - with the viewer being a 3d one, or a 2d one, or an ascii one if you'd like. The model will be shared, just the views will take care of handling the display and visual navigation. Controller would be the same for them all too.

This also means we can, pretty much, start implementing it right now in Lua. But deciding on a very flexible framework to work for many muds (and be expandable, and integrate with systems easily) is something that needs to be done first.

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