World/Area File Formats (was Re: bpl12 suggestions)

From: d. hall (dhall@APK.NET)
Date: 08/18/97

// thus on Mon, 18 Aug 1997 16:39:15 -0700, Jason virtually wrote:

> On Mon, 18 Aug 1997, d. hall wrote:
>> I'm made changes to the room file parsing to emulate something like
>> this. Although with OLC, a human readable format is less important.

Jason> I'd have to disagree.  Human readable should still be high on
Jason> importance. The only thing I use the OLC for is walking around the
Jason> zone making sure doors are set correctly, exits line up, etc.  Most
Jason> of the builders I've watched (using OLC) spend more time tweaking
Jason> stats than they do writing good descriptions, and trying to preserve
Jason> game balance.

Then again you're thinking about a system where the area creators actually
have access to the world/area files.  I've been on systems where this was
not the case, and the OLC was quite comprehensive to match, to the point of
having embedding scripting languages (I have been punting around the idea
of ePerl for special procs).

Jason> I'm still of the opinion that truely good zones come out of text
Jason> editors.

If a human can and/or must access the world files, I'm all for easily
readable formats.  Otherwise I am of the opposite opinion.  About 3 years
ago, I wrote source to "compile" a pseudo-script-like world files into a
binary format.  Again something that was punted around, which I borrowed
from Emacs, which can byte-compile elisp code.  The game server could read
either format, but read the compiled format much faster.  This was for
stable areas which you knew were reasonably secure.  I haven't seen that
code since I left college, and I wish I still had it, we get lazier in our
"old age". =)


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