Hi guys. I'm interested in your thoughts regarding the number of rooms which would most "feel" like the proper spacing (as well as movement points/travel considerations) of a city block. I'm tinkering with one of the two major cities of my prospective MUD, and so I'd like it to feel large with adequate room for expansion of future rooms/buildings/player construction, but not so large as to feel cumbersome or tiring in the context of navigating a MUD as a player. The city is on a grid layout, and at present I'm tinkering with 5x3 rooms to represent the main roads and smaller sidestreets, with intersections at every 6th/4th room. I considered 3x3 as well, but I feel that 5x3 leaves more options to convey the size and dimensions of a given building.
Is 5 rooms too cumbersome for the length of an avenue between two intersections in a modern city grid? What are your thoughts in general?
12 Feb, 2015, Ssolvarain wrote in the 2nd comment:
I think it really depends on your interest in detail.
Personally, I'd fit a major city within 2-300 vnums. I'm not one for unnecessary distances.
But… if I wanted it to do the area right, I'd figure out the layout, then come up with a key for distances, and work out vnums from there.
You also don't necessarily want a basic, generic grid of streets. Remember, cities are built over time and often conform to geography. While you might be tempted to just say "I'm building a big city grid, with 5 rooms between intersections," keep in mind the above. Even stock Midgard isn't a simple grid.
"You stand in front of the great Govenor's Tower, the heart of beaurocracy in CityTown! Glass windows climb the walls at least up into the clouds, but you can't see further than that."
> enter tower
"There is no door on this part of the building, try the eastern corner."
> e; enter tower
"The service enterance is closed to the public. Maybe you should use the main enterance, on the north face of the bulding?"
> sigh;e;n;n;n;n;n;w;enter tower
"The main enterance is located in the CENTER of the north face.
Personally, I would treat every room in a city as either filler space, or useful space. If it's useful space, there needs to be a room for every feature you want to present to the players. So, if you're in a hawker's alleyway with a dozen shops, the alleyway either needs to be a half dozen rooms long (one cart/shop on each side), or it needs to be a hub style thing where you "enter shopname".
OTOH, if it's a filler room, all it needs to do is describe the environment nicely so you can adjust the scaling.
By that, I mean you might have dense parts of the city where each "room" has several features and you might need a dozen rooms to cover the equivalent of a city block. But in other parts, there's nothing of interest to the player, so each city block might be just one or two rooms. It's a bit disconcerting to jump scale suddenly all the time, so a good compromise is to map out your dense areas, making them use the same fine-grained level of detail, then place transitional areas around them where it's not quite as fast moving and empty as the generic parts of town, but also doesn't make the player tromp through dozens of rooms that don't do anything.
The only downside to doing it this way is that if you have a mapping system, it has to understand room sizes as well as just counts. MOST text muds that have maps assume all rooms are the same size, even though the entire benefit from using rooms is that you can convey the size in the description and thus not need as many "filler" rooms. :)
Here's an example one of our focus cities toshiro:
As Quix pointed out there are filler rooms (the roads) then the interest rooms etc. There's also room to expand between roads, which I would enjoy both as a builder and a player, if there's actual interest added.