Re: Need help from you coders who've seen Dragonball Z..

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 01/16/02

> Okay...Im a newbie coder, and have a circle code thats been modified to fit
> a Dragonball Z theme.. I need help, and this is for you who know what I'm
> talking about, writing a fusion code. It would be for the Saiyan and
> Halfbreed classes only(There are no races, I didnt make the code, I just
> use it) There would be 2 versions, one would be a skill, and the other
> would be brought on by a item. What I need it to do is fuse the two
> character together for a set amount of time. Then the diffuse, and it could
> only be done like once a mud year or so. If there is anyone who can help me
> with this, I would be foreever grateful.

        I have 3 pieces of advice.

        1. Plan out your project.

         'to fuse the characters together' etc ...what does that mean?  Is
it for player characters?  If so, how do you handle that?  What if one
person wants to walk left and the other right?  How about if one person
wants to sleep and the other is trying to fight?  what happens if you die?
etc.   Does it work for npc's too?  WHat about equipment or money?  If
there's mail or banks, who's account does a withdrawl come from?  What
happens if the game crashes while they're fused and only one character
comes back online?

        Aside from all that, what does 'fuse' mean, by the numbers?  Do
you add their max hit points together?  Do you get a +hit bonus? I know
what DBZ is like, and if your mud is anything even remotely similar to the
way their battle system works, you dont' even have weapons, you have some
sort of attack skills and barehand fighting (and alot of swooping, inner
monologues about power levels, and the sort).  How does that affect your
fusion?  What does each character get when they un-fuse?  What happens if
the 'fused' character levels?  What happens if the fuse character gets a
spell or effect placed on them?


        What you've presented here isn't enough for anyone to actually
help you do what you want, except to have 12 messages asking questions
about what you really want.  Most people - if they don't see an actual
definite problem - won't help.  That's cause 90% of doing something new is
the architecture of it.  The coding, once you know what you want to do, is
usually just a matter of devoting time to it.  People here will help with
ideas, but generally, they won't expand on someone elses and then
implement it for them.

        2.  Don't bite off more than you can chew.

        If you can't program well enough to do it yourself, that's okay.
Don't ask for help on a project though (assuming you've followed advice
piece 1 already) - instead, ask for a coder.  Advertise as a new DBZ
themed mud that needs a head coder.  You'll do yourself and the mud a
favor in the long run.

        I have a suspicion that there's more than one fledgling programmer
out there who wants to be head programmer of a dragon ball z based mud.
It's popular right now, especially among the younger geeks (us older geeks
make do with tenchi and love hina... and hellsing and X).

        I don't recommend that you admin a mud unless you're also write
the code for it, but it IS possible.  I've just never, EVER seen it work.
People blow off any code-related admin duties, like flushing out project
plans for coders to do, or doing the play testing, or even stupid things
like deciding what the messages for a spell/skill/effect should be.

        If you're at this point though, you may want to ask if you are
really the person to be running a mud.  You will probably be alot happier
if you can just get a high position in a mud that you don't have to be
responsible for running every day.  That way you can concentrate on
getting your ideas out, instead of the actual work (there should be ALOT
of actual, literal work in the position of the head admin) involved in
making those ideas get implemented.

        3. Ask a specific question (or set of specific questions)

        Well, here is where I'd put an answer to your question, or pose a
solution to your problem.  Unfortunately, I don't have enough information
to know exactly what you're trying to do yet.

        "I want to have my characters have fusion by a skill or item" is
not a question.  It might be a debate topic if you phrased it: "How do you
think someone should implement a piccolo-like fusion ability in

        "How can I get identical output to go to two characters?" is a
question.  "Is it possible to have two descriptors attached to the same
character, and both can send/receive commands/output?" is an even more
interesting one.  Either of the two will get more response than what
you've typed, and more response means a better chance you'll get the
help/info that you're looking for.

        Try to think about what your end goal is, and each little step
that needs to be achieved along the way.  Work until you hit a little step
that you can't seem to get past, and THEN ask the list, or whomever for
help, for THAT problem.

        Personally, I use a whiteboard for the things that aren't small
enough to stick in my head.  I doodle little pseduo data structures and
flow chart-like things on scratch paper in meetings.

        If you're going to have a decent sized alteration to you code
(like this seems to be), you're going to want to write it all down, just
so you don't forget what cool side effect it has.

        In anycase, with what you've given, that's about all the help I
can give.

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