Game talkUO’s resource system

 Posted by (Visited 45308 times)  Game talk
Jun 032006
 

Recently, some readers asked for posts that were more game-design centered. Since there was talk recently of the virtual ecological modeling that a Second Life user created, I thought I might talk a little bit about how the original resource system in Ultima Online worked. It’s more virtual world design than game design, but it has a lot of implications for game systems. Pretty much everything I am writing here has been published before in one place or another, but a lot of the old UO interviews and articles are not on the Internet, so it’s all been lost, and I imagine folks newer to the whole virtual world thing may never have heard about it.

This will be long, so I’ll break it into a few posts, probably.

A bit of background
I’ve written before, albeit briefly, about how the system came to be. Kristen and I conceived of it in rough form during the long car drive from Tuscaloosa to Austin, or on the way back — I can’t recall which. Somewhere, I still have the notebooks for it all; we were talking at the time about how to make a new MUD with a better form of crafting.

This was in early 1995. Neither The Sims nor Thief had come out yet, but for those of you who have played those games, much of the underlying design principle is the same, even though the game mechanics wrapped around them are radically different.

The way crafting had worked in the earlier Diku-derived muds, and in fact still does in many of them, is via a recipe system. First, understand that a given item in a typical MMO system will be identified by its template name or number, which is a unique identifier for the “master copy” of an item. All actual items are spawned by creating an object with the characteristics of the master copy. The master copy will sometimes have random factors in it.

A recipe simply says “if you have any of the item IDs in list A, and any of the item IDs in list B, you can use them up to create an item from list C.” List A may be a set of things like kindling, logs, lumber, or planks; list B may be nails, screws, metal rods, and metal bands; and list C will have in it things like chairs, tables, barrels, and so on.

Generally, each possible item in list C must have its own custom recipe designed, specifying which item templates can be used and in what amounts. If someone adds a new type of wood building material — such as wood blocks — then every recipe that uses wood must be updated to permit that as a new ingredient.

The the system generally stops; it’s used for the purpose of creating craftables, after all. There’s no applications towards larger-scale systems such as AI.

Abstracting properties
The core of what Kristen and I had talked about on that road trip was putting abstracted properties onto objects. Rather than building a recipe out of the item ID numbers for every object that worldbuilders had made that was “raw wood,” we would instead track that the object was made of wood. And then the crafting code could just query, “is this wood?” and if so, do things with it.

In the end, we ended up with slightly more than that. Big kudos here go of course to the rest of the original core UO team, who all contributed to one degree or another on these concepts.

We ended up saying that a given object (which was still defined in a template) could have as part of it, a set of resources. A resource was just a label — nothing more and nothing less. (Much later, in SWG, that team would introduce the concept of resources with stats, but that’s a post for another day.) The server had a list of the resources that existed in the world, and designers could create new ones fairly readily. Resources were things like METAL, WOOD, and CLOTH. But they were also things like MAGIC and PLAYER and other such abstract qualities.

Maslow's Hierarchy of NeedsA given object was capable of treating resources in the following ways:

  • It could have a PRODUCTIONof a resource — as many as it needed to. This meant, effectively, that the object was “made of” this stuff. Each production entry consisted of the resource tag, the current amount of it, the max amount, and the regrowth rate. If there was no regrowth rate, then the object would not replenish itself when the resource was removed. If there was, then it would grow back that resource should it be consumed in some manner. All objects, pretty much, produced something. The other three types of resource fields were mostly only used by AIs.
  • It could have a list of FOODresources. The foods had a stomach size, a bite size, and a minimum amount that could catch its interest. Basically, it would try to find objects with the resource it wanted to eat, as long as the amount there was above its interest threshold; then it would eat away at it at a rate based on the bite size, until it had so much that the stomach was full. If the object in question was alive (eg, a mobile and not just an object or a corpse) it would attack it first and kill it, then eat. If it ate all the resources on something, we would actually delete the object.
  • It could have a list of SHELTERresources. The desired behavior for SHELTER was that it just hung around near the object producing stuff. The parameters on this one were basically like food, but there was one other wrinkle. Instead of a stomach size, it had a “home” flag, which meant that once it found a shelter that satisfied it, it would remember where it was and go back there. In the case of many monsters, I had hoped that once they picked a lair, they would actually drop whatever goods they had acquired somewhere near their lair.
  • Lastly, there were DESIRES. Again, there was a total amount of a resource they wanted, there was a minimum amount they would try to get in one go, and then there was a flag called “aversion.” If they found something that was big enough to want, and they still wanted more, they would try to pick it up. If they couldn’t pick it up, then they would just hang around near it. If the aversion flag was there, then the opposite would occur — they’d be scared of it, and try to stay away.

You’ll notice that this is darn close to ripped straight out of Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs. And in fact, AI attempted to satisfy its FOOD needs first, followed by its SHELTER, followed by its DESIRES, just as in Maslow. Alas, we didn’t get around to allowing our AIs to have self-actualization.

A rabbit, then, might look like:

  • PRODUCEFUR in a small amount, and doesn’t regrow it; and MEAT
  • EATGRASS, FLOWER, and VEGETABLE, up to a small stomach size, in small nibbly bites.
  • SHELTERin GRASS or BUSH, but treat BUSH as home if they’re a decent size
  • DESIRE nothing, but have an aversion to anything that produces CARNIVOREMEAT

Conversely, a wolf might be

  • PRODUCEFUR in a medium amount, and doesn’t regrow it; and CARNIVOREMEAT
  • EATMEAT, up to a small stomach size, in medium bites.
  • SHELTERin TREE or CAVE, but treat CAVE as home if they’re a decent size
  • DESIRE nothing, but have an aversion to anything that produces CARNIVOREMEAT

Stuff like pack behaviors were layered on top of this, so wolves, being pack animals, could have a DESIRE to be near other wolves. When animals were in a pack, they were supposed to add up their needs, so that a pack of wolves would start ignoring bunny rabbits and start being willing to tackle bigger game.

Lastly, the (in)famous dragon example:

  • PRODUCESCALES in a medium amount, and doesn’t regrow it; and a huge pile of CARNIVOREMEAT
  • EATMEAT or CARNIVOREMEAT, up to a huge stomach size, in big bites.
  • SHELTERin MOUNTAIN or CAVE, but treat CAVE as home if they’re a decent size
  • DESIRE GOLD, GEM, and MAGIC

I’ll post later about how this was supposed to work in terms of AI behaviors, the way the world populated its data, and why it all didn’t work.

  60 Responses to “UO’s resource system”

  1. Starting post:UO’s resource system by at Google Blog Search: design home

  2. Kristen and I conceived of it in rough form during the long car drive from Tuscaloosa to Austin, or on the way back — I can’t recall which.http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/06/03/uos-resource-system/ When Origin asked me and my wife for a design sample when we applied for jobs, we sent them the design for the resource system, which was basically a system for attaching abstract qualities to game objects, so that generalized systems could act upon

  3. “A Theory of Fun,” finished blogging a series of articles that describe the process they used to create the resources system used in Ultima Online. Some interesting stuff in there from a virtual world design standpoint. Here are the three articles:Part One

  4. Zubon of Kill Ten Rats has a post on RMT this week I need to read. Particularly after I worked to boot a pro-farmer out of their guild last night on Turalyon (WoW). Raph presented a design overview and quick history of theresource system in UO in a 3-part series this week. It’s really good, and I enjoyed it because I didn’t realize the *whole* ecosystem was originally dynamic (procedurally generated). Meaning: the system ascribed motivations to the AI. So, animals would seek out their

  5. More Interesting AI Raph Koster has posted a GOLD MINE of information on the ecological / economic systems of Ultima Online (seepart 1, part 2, and part 3), and a discussion on the “dumbing down” of NPCS in MMORPGs. Raph’s comments go on how these sophisticated plans for Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies were eventually deep-sixed in favor of maintainability and simplicity (not to

  6. over on Damion’s blog. An interesting post where Damion talks about his distaste for use-based systems, as demonstrated by how an Assassin in Oblivion has to go hopping through fields collecting flowers in order to increase his skills. UO’s resource system on Raph’s blog. This fascinating post, in three parts, talks about the goals, design, implementation, and final removal of the UO ecology system. Really interesting stuff. In both cases, the core argument is that the game should be “realistic”. Damion

  7. I’ve now written two posts that were far lengthier than I anticipated, about the way that UO’s resource system was originally intended to work. The first dealt with underlying data structures, and the second with applications of those data structures to the actual world. I want to talk a bit about future directions that we didn’t get to pursue. Cool ways to use what we already had The mining system in UO was an example of

  8. of not subscribing to his blog feed. Today, I went back to the blog by chance and found some great posts he has made recently on game AI. The series of three posts began when he was commenting on Raph Koster’s recent posts regarding Ultima Online (here, here and here). In that first post, Jay talks about how perception is reality in games. In the next post, he pontificates on points he picked up at an old GDC session on how to make AI more believable. Finally,

  9. I can’t explain why, but I always look at my memories in UO through rose-colored glasses. I remember playing back in 1997 and getting PK’d all the time as I mined ore (which was always gone due to the now-defunctresourcebank system). I took some time off for a few years but eventually found my way back. A lot had changed in my time away, but I found a good group of friends to help me through the transition. UO was a sandbox in many ways. Origin Systems provided the

  10. Ah! Glad you’re posting this. Nice to have a handy reference to point people to show what I mean when I tell people, “Your first version of that ecology you’re coding up probably won’t work the way you expect.”

  11. Ironically, the first version did work as expected. But that version didn’t survive alpha, because it was, well, alpha-level code. The second version, which is what we tried to get working during beta, is what failed. And we never did do a third try. :(

  12. […] A bit of background Ive written before, albeit briefly, about how the system came to be. Kristen and I conceived of it in rough form during the long car drive from Tuscaloosa to Austin, or on the way back I cant recall which. Somewhere, I still have the notebooks for it all; we were talking at the time about how to make a new MUD with a better form of craftingCrafting bezeichnet handwerkliche Berufe und Ttigkeiten von Spielercharakteren.. This was in early 1995. Neither The Sims nor Thief had come out yet, but for those of you whoWarhammer Online von Mythic Entertainment. have played those games, much of the underlying design principle is the same, even though the game mechanics wrapped around them are radically different. The way crafting had worked in the earlier Diku-derived muds, and in fact still does in many of them, is via a recipe system. First, understand that a given item in a typical MMO system will be identified by its template name or number, which is a unique identifier for the master copy of an item. All actual items are spawned by creating an object with the characteristics of the master copy. The master copy will sometimes have random factors in it. A recipe simply says if you have any of the item IDs in list A, and any of the item IDs in list B, you can use them up to create an item from list C. List A may be a set of things like kindling, logs, lumber, or planks; list B may be nails, screws, metal rods, and metal bands; and list C will have in it things like chairs, tables, barrels, and so on. Generally, each possible item in list C must have its own custom recipe designed, specifying which item templates can be used and in what amounts. If someone adds a new type of wood building material such as wood blocks then every recipe that uses wood must be updated to permit that as a new ingredient. The the system generally stops; its used for the purpose of creating craftables, after all. Theres no applications towards larger-scale systems such as AIArtificial Intergence, Knstliche Intelligenz (meist von Computergegnern im Spiel).. Link: UOUltima Online von Electronic Arts.s resource system 150)?150:this.scrollHeight)”> __________________ The tools suck! — Raph Koster […]

  13. Since I’ve never had the chance (or desire, honestly) to play UO, I’m in the dark. Did a system anywhere close to resembling this AI actually make it into the game? After that second failed version did UO end up settling with the tried-and-true “monsters wander around the area that they are spawned in, and may or may not be aggro” AI?

    God, I hate that AI.

  14. While reflecting on this, I realized that you could use mutation to simulate evolution using this model. And the chaos theory stuff would apply: different starting conditions would likely (but by no means certainly) produce wildly different ecological systems, and a lot of them would outright fail just because of pure chance.

    Oh, and you need to elaborate on “work as expected”, because when it does and then fails in beta, something happened and I’m sure everyone who read that wants to know what. =P If I remember what little I know of UO correctly, it was a human element, no?

  15. What I remember about the early UO ecology was:
    1. You’d go into the forest and see an eagle fighting a deer or a wolf fighting a bull.
    2. You could never find much of whatever animal you were looking for, because they would be hunted to near-extinction by other players.
    3. It was eventually taken out when you guys couldn’t get it to work right. :)

    It would seem that it could work with proper balancing of the numbers. But I suspect that whatever those proper numbers are, the result would be a system that looks pretty much like any other, with lots and lots of fairly predictable spawns so players can get what they want and not have to deal with the fact that what they’re after has become suddenly rare because something else threw the ecosystem out of kilter. And then you have to ask yourself if all that work on a dynamic ecology is really worth it, if you’re going to have to constrain it to such an extent that it never has a big impact on gameplay anyway.

  16. […] Comments […]

  17. […] Last time I wrote about the basic structure of how the resource data worked in the original design for Ultima Online. Now I’ll talk a bit more about applications of that data. A world with properties […]

  18. Raph wrote:
    Ironically, the first version did work as expected. But that version didn’t survive alpha, because it was, well, alpha-level code.

    What got added into or left out of the beta version? Do you think the alpha system would have worked even with the player behaviors you saw later? Or, would you have had to make more adjustements?

    Intersting stuff, Raph. Keep it coming. :)

  19. […] * Update, 6/4:  In Comments, Raph says my description is "overstating a bit" (I stand chastened), and points us to Part I in a series of posts on his blog about incorporating artificial life in Ultima Online– absolutely do not miss. […]

  20. It’s been a while, but my recollection is that the alpha version had all of the above data structures, but maybe not the pack behavior. It had creature skill advancement, and it had AI hunting and stuff. I don’t think the full lair behavior ever worked. It did have the desires, even down recursive container searching — orcs would kill you for gold you had hidden in a backpack. It did not have spawning as described in the second post.

    The beta version had more or less the same functionality, but it had the “spontaneous generation” spawning and the closed economy loop. But it also had creatures in sleep mode, and incredibly slow behaviors (I distinctly recall watching the programmer show me a demo of a bear seeking honey and shelter — and watching it take multiple minutes to find the honey that was right there on screen with it).

  21. Too bad none of this was around by the time I got to play UO. It would have been interesting to see in action.

    Dark and Light tried (or is trying) some simulationist mob behaviours. In my brief experience, mobs would migrate away from dangerous areas (where they tended to be killed) to safer areas.

    Unfortunately, this resulted in there rarely being mobs of the appropriate levels within a day’s march of the starting area. And I mean ‘day’ somewhat literally (travel required effort, albeit boring effort on the part of the player). Maybe they’ve addressed this issue now though, I haven’t played recently.

    It’s interesting that you’ve brought up Maslow’s heirarchy in the context of AI, considering it was a theory of human motivation (players = human). Perhaps you’ve already written on it, but I’ve always though Maslow’s heirarchy is prime territory for the design of features for engaging PLAYERS. Sorry for the tangential comment (I do think its an important topic, though).

    I’m not an expert in psychology or Maslow’s theory (and certainly, I’ve read much that suggests his theories have weaknesses), but games can include features that help to satisfy at least the top three needs from Maslow’s heirarchy, thereby providing powerful motivation to play.

    Belonging: Features which allow and reward participation in group structures such as player towns; guilds; economic associations.

    Self-Esteem: Features that allow players to excel or be superior. In a massive context, this implies a need for massive opportunities for excellence. Examples include having variety of professions or abilities (or customization of broad professions or abilities) and segmentation of the population (regional, product type for crafting).

    Self-Actualization: Sandbox games can provide players with the opportunity to express themselves in their own way and do so to a degree not possible in the real world, letting them virtually be all they (or more than they) can be.

    Most games include some of these aspects, but I haven’t played a game recently that does many of these things well. SWG did well, for a while, imo. EVE (I haven’t played) sounds like it might also do well on this front.

    It would be interesting, for me, to see a game design focused on psychological factors. I have a sense (as an outsider) that many games start first with concepts of game mechanics, theme or backstory, or worse still, graphic engine, rather than from the first principles of human motivation.

  22. […] Raph Koster has a series of articles on aspects of the AI that was intended (but not fully realized) for Ultima Online (my first graphical MMO and a game for which I still have fond memories). […]

  23. My fondest memory of the UO fauna were that they took very measured steps — bear, wolf, or rabbit … they all took one step at a time … one sloooow step. You were never in any danger of being chased down and mauled.
    Which really isn’t any different than today in games, but the “UO One-Step” was always an amusing dance to me.

    Another interesting discussion would be ore spawning. That was an interesting science to follow. And, yet another amusing UO dance — walk eight steps, mine until depletion, walk eight steps …

  24. […] Raph Koster weighs in with a fascinating discussion of what went into UO’s gloriously failed ecology design. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 to come). Ultima Online still has one of the most advanced economy models, years on. Only Eve currently comes close. Suffice to say I’m stealing like a bandit taking notes. […]

  25. I’ve seen Maslow’s Hierarchy cited and used in relation to explaining player behavior. Running a blogsearch on Terra Nova yielded this, which is vaguely interesting. (I could’ve sworn there was a much more interesting post on the subject, but I guess not.)

    What I haven’t seen is using Maslow’s Hierarchy as a basis for creating gameplay, as you suggest. I’m sure it’s been suggested before, but it hasn’t happened to my knowledge.

  26. […] Virtual ecology I could write about virtual ecology, but I think Raph Koster is much better at explaining it. I usually don’t agree with him but this is the first time he shows something I actually like. The following shows how UO was originally designed (it was never fully implemented). It would be nice to see this implemented in WAR or other games. I am not sure why games almost always use the old aggro system, spawn system, etc. Anyway, just read the following links. http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/06/03…source-system/ http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/06/04…system-part-2/ […]

  27. […] I’ve now written two posts that were far lengthier than I anticipated, about the way that UO’s resource system was originally intended to work. The first dealt with underlying data structures, and the second with applications of those data structures to the actual world. I want to talk a bit about future directions that we didn’t get to pursue. Cool ways to use what we already had […]

  28. […] Just FYI, Raph Koster, author of "A Theory of Fun," just finished blogging a series of articles that describe the process they used to create the resources system used in Ultima Online. Some interesting stuff in there if you’re looking to build a more environment-based RPG (as opposed to scripted, console-style). Here are the three articles: Part One is about the underlying data structures. Part Two is about the application of those data structures to the virtual world. Part Three is about the future directions they didn’t get to pursue with UO, and an ample source of ideas for your own creations. Those articles reminded me of the permeating magic discussion we had a while back, and makes me want to go back and revisit it. Heh._________________Visit the Sacraments web site to play the game and read articles about its development. […]

  29. […] Issue 7 seems to have some of the best CoX content to date, judging by comments from the test server. All the comments I have made about Striga Isle and thematically flavorful contacts are borne out in spades. … For spoilers, you can visit the test server boards. Two sample threads: The Last Strike Force Civic Squad and various contacts UOs resource system on Raph Koster [Jun 05, 2006 – 12:51 AM] 0 Comments UOs resource system on Raph Koster […]

  30. […] rnum=Math.round(Math.random() * 100000); document.write(”); Ultima Online Chatzone MAIN    UP    REPLY UO’s resource system Zappa 12.195.89.1306/6/2006 12:45:54 PM This explains alot about how things worked in the game that us players were only able to delve into on the bare surface. It is a very nice read on something that few people notice.http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/06/03/uos-resource-system/http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/06/04/uos-resource-system-part-2/http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/06/05/uos-resource-system-part-3/ […]

  31. […] I loves me some Raph Koster. He has a discussion of Ultima Online’s resource system that spans three articles, and is completley worth a read. He references the ‘Playing to Bake Bread‘ article he wrote a while back in the article, and I should point out that’s well worth a look too. We ended up saying that a given object (which was still defined in a template) could have as part of it, a set of resources. A resource was just a label — nothing more and nothing less. (Much later, in SWG, that team would introduce the concept of resources with stats, but that’s a post for another day.) The server had a list of the resources that existed in the world, and designers could create new ones fairly readily. Resources were things like METAL, WOOD, and CLOTH. But they were also things like MAGIC and PLAYER and other such abstract qualities.  […]

  32. […] A fairly interesting read, from Raph Koster, on what went into the Ecology System in Ultima Online. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 (still to come). Turns out it was all about the bunnies!! _________________Grim The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense. – Tom Clancy. […]

  33. […] UO’s resource system on Raph’s blog. This fascinating post, in three parts, talks about the goals, design, implementation, and final removal of the UO ecology system. Really interesting stuff. […]

  34. […] Raph Koster wrote an interesting three part post (post one, post two, post three) about the resource system in Ultima Online, how it was suppose to work, and why it didn’t. What is really interesting, at least to me, is how the resource system was suppose to tie very heavily to the behavior of creatures. […]

  35. […] Found this link on Stratics, it’s to Ralp Koster’s Website where he discussed how the resource system in UO was developed and all the neat things that never got implemented. Koster was one of the original developers of UO Ralp Koster’s Website This is the first page of three, second one is found after “The Sunday Poem: Greenfield” so just browse ahead. Here’s another interesting post by him._________________It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, it is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning, [I am in control of my addiction!] It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. […]

  36. […] selected Teeside as my Uni next year for a computer games programming masters. Today I worked on a C# DirectX Form that’s a basic tile engine. With only a DirectX enabled form (clearing a panel to apackaged bundle of analogies. Pick up? (Y/N) target=”_top”>Furl | Newsgator | Rojo | MyYahoo # posted by Dan @ 12:06 PM    Comments: Post a Comment Links to this post: Seelinks to this post   posted by @ if (typeof BL_addOnLoadEvent == ‘function’) { BL_addOnLoadEvent(function() { BL_writeBacklinks(); }); } […]

  37. […] I’m a few days late on this, but Raph’s recent three post series on how the original resource system for UO was developed is worthwhile reading(part 1, part 2, part 3). I recommend these articles not only for the obvious reasons of examining what was attempted before and why it failed, but because these links will be of particular interest to anyone who has taken the time to read my thesis and found the material within of value to them. What was tried in UO is a practical example of some of those ideas, and I certainly would have included this work as a reference had I been aware of it at the time. […]

  38. […] The ORIGINAL UO This is a series of articles written by one of the original designers of Ultima Online, Raph Koster. He used to work at Sony Interactive or whoever produced Star Wars Galaxies, which was supposedly UO’s successor. I never played it, I don’t know. These articles describe the way the world of Brittannia was supposed to have worked. They’re a little geeky, and you need to understand at least a little bit about how computers work and games are programmed to really wrap your head around how amazing this idea was. It never made it to UO’s release because of technical difficulties (slow computers back in 1997). However, I think it’s worth a read, and might be worth some consideration the next time the team goes to revamp monster spawns or wants to add quests or anything like that. The article is broken up into 3 parts, and they don’t link to each other, so I’ll link them seperately here. UO’s Resource System: Part 1 UO’s Resource System: Part 2 UO’s Resource System: Part 3 […]

  39. […] One such solution was 8×8. I’ve mentioned before how UO internally divided up the map into “chunks” of 64 tiles, 8×8 square, and stored the invisible resources on a “chunk egg,” an invisible object that represented the amount of wood, grass, and os on to be found there. This also meant that the chunk egg was a unique object with an id. […]

  40. […] “I really like my [MMOGs] to embody user creativity. I also dislike cliques, so I have tried to design so people who wouldn’t normally hang out together come to realize each other’s importance in the world, the value of their roles in the society, that sort of thing. So I try to have interdependence as a key feature – people relying on each other, not in the moment-to-moment sense, but in the sense that our modern lives would fall apart if there weren’t people in a zillion jobs doing things we never think twice about, from stocking grocery shelves to manufacturing pens. The heart of UO was in many ways the original ecology system, which I wrote about at some length on my blog. It didn’t pan out, but even what we managed to get in there did in fact open up a lot of doors. I think we hit a _uacct = “UA-293306-1″; urchinTracker(); […]

  41. […] Ultima Online’s Resource System I […]

  42. […] In thinking about the UO resource system in recent posts (1, 2, 3), I also got to thinking about other things that we either wanted to or tried to get the NPCs to do. Today, NPCs have gradually evolved more and more towards being quest dispensers. Originally, we wanted NPCs that would give the illusion of life. […]

  43. […] Raph’s blog and what he is saying. How I forgot to have Raph Koster’s blog listed eludes me. But recently he talked about the ecology that was originally planned/attempted in the early UO and the reasons that it didn’t work (Part 1, 2, 3).Which is very interesting to me, since I have been reading up what I can. In a strangely related piece UO had helped me while reading “Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity”. In the preface Dr. Holland uses the word “untrammeled”, which is a word that I never expected to see in print and only know the meaning because of the facet debates (putting it nicely). Someone had found and listed the definition of trammel: literary restrictions or impediments to freedom of action and is the name of the non-pvp facet in UO (I can only guess that the designer that came up with the name might not have liked the idea of non-pvp facet). Side note, the book is pretty good, but it can be hard reading for a layman and probably a bit deeper than what could be workable for a game setting.Raph also has a great write-up about NPC’s. Where he compares them to “pellet dispenser”, which isn’t far from the truth. Also nothing breaks the suspension of reality when you have a NPC with a big green “!” above their head.I can only hope that the right people are reading Raph’s ideas (despite my desire, I don’t kid myself about being able to build something so complex). Who knows, maybe someone with lots of money to throw around could get Raph and Richard Bartle together to design a MMO. […]

  44. […] UO’s resource system on Raph’s blog. This fascinating post, in three parts, talks about the goals, design, implementation, and final removal of the UO ecology system. Really interesting stuff. […]

  45. […] 08:47 PM here’s a nice one i’d like to see: Raph’s Website UO’s resource system ______________________________ Use the middle mouse button on Here for forum rules, if […]

  46. […] never saw the light of day, atleast not how they invisioned it. These articles can be found here, part 1, part 2, and part 3. These are very interesting reads by the way. I think anybody who enjoys MMOs […]

  47. […] UO resource system articles (1, 2, 3) have been translated to Hungarian over at the new site […]

  48. […] UO’s Resource System (part 1) UO’s Resource System (part 2) UO’s Resource System (part 3) […]

  49. […] series of articles by Raph Koster on UO’s (planned and never fully implemented) Resource System: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 This is pretty much the reason I got into MMOs in the first place – I was […]

  50. […] you just made me very happy ~~ it’s ON the LIST! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here’s Koster talking about it (part 1 of 3) – it’s a fascinating read. E. Jeremy Dalberg UO Community […]

  51. […] 㡼ɥꥪåȤäˤĤ[Jeremy](7.30 PDT) Koster […]

  52. […] that didn’t MAKE it into UO, like the dynamic ecosytem.If you have no idea what he’s talking about,http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/06/03/uo … ce-system/http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/06/04/uo … em-part-2/http://www.raphkoster.com/2006/06/05/uo … […]

  53. […] design differences, such as whether the underlying systems are simulationist or not. Arguably, for example, one of the weaknesses of Second Life is that it began from […]

  54. […] nicht alles verstanden… muss noch darüber nachdenken :-)Bis dahin kann ich das hier empfehlen:UO's ressource systemUO's ressource system 2UO's ressource system 3by Raph CosterUngefähr so möchten wir es […]

  55. […] part of an R&D project at SOE that was never used for anything. It worked, though.Here was born the resource system. When we were asked to submit design samples, the resource system is what we sent in. It was more […]

  56. […] systems that I'm not going to go into much detail here. Needless to say you should read up on the original resource design for Ulima Online and how it evolved if you want to consider closed […]

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