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The Future: Maps and the Universe

Universe Structure:  World structure is basically done... worlds consists of regions, regions of areas, areas of sites, sites of blocks, and blocks of squares (that you walk around in). The universe is a bit more loose: I'm planning to have parallel worlds (that exists in the same space, but you can switch between), and worlds that you can move between via portals etc. That isn't so inventive, so there will be other world-world relations, once I get off my ass. My brother wrote somewhere that you might get to the ethereal (parallel) plane by being gobbled by an ethereal beast. There should be some freakish creatures in these places, if there are any creatures at all. Entering another world might have odd effects - in a parallel shadow world, the player might act as a wraith to the locals.

Travel Abstraction:  There needs to be some way to account for provisions, etc. There should also be some notion of landmarks to aid in travel.

Ages and Character Death:  After a player dies, retires, etc., the game will usually advance the world an amount of time proportional to the world changes wrought by the player. So a pathetic character that just goes out and gets eaten by wild dogs will be a story related in the bar the next day to another player. If the player unites all of the towns in an entire region, the next player might come in twenty years later, when bards are already singing classics about the former player. If a mischievous player succeeds in destroying half of the world, the next player might start immediately afterward (to enjoy the aftereffects), or the next player might start several hundred years in the future. The game will use the time abstraction code to figure out what happened in the meantime, and it should be easy to find out (either the game will flat out tell you, or it will be easily accessible through oral and written histories).

World Structure:  I have sky-earth layering, but this can be made more complex (space-sky-earth-molten, etc.). The sequence can be any material type, really. There can also be X or Y layering as opposed to Z layering -- then things will really start getting strange. If there is no layering at all, the world will be a three-dimensional lattice of regions (these take up more space). There should also be limitless worlds. The current Z layered worlds are limitless in the Z direction (up to the constraints of the data type in the computer). They could also be made limitless in the X and Y directions -- these worlds would only be constrained by your computer's memory. This constraint is actually in place now -- if you fully discovered the current worlds (at a single altitude), it would take hundreds of trillions of bytes. I hope nobody has that kind of time on their hands, anyway.

Fake Maps:  When making a map of an area, the player's map should be prepared accurately (to avoid any use of pad and paper by the user). However, maps that the player purchases from others for instance should contain some level of inaccuracy or outright falsehood. It would be especially nice if the player could prepare such a map (to lead a general astray for instance).