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Talanthas
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Joined: 26 Mar 2001
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 3:10 am   

Suggestion
 
The descriptions I've read of zMapper so far suggest that it is largely a tool for creating graphical maps based on exploration of existing areas/zones. This is fantastic, but I think it may not be reaching the tools full potential.

I'm an imm on a small startup mud, and I find that one of the hardest aspects of building a new area is visualizing what I'm doing. Meticulous notes and sketches only help for designing the area, not actually building it and correcting errors.

That said, do you intend to have enough flexibility in the database that we can define attributes for objects and monsters in a room? rather than just saying that they exist in a room, this would allow us to fully define each and every object (either by just repeating an already existing object, or defining a new one) Add to that some triggers and scripts, and we can then build graphically for a text-based mud.

I don't know if I expressed my thoughts clearly here...Let me know if you're interested in clarification.

Talanthas
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Zugg
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 6:43 am   
 
That kind of functionality is planned for the future. First I'll need to convert the Database module in zMUD to use ADO. This will happen later this summer. Then I'll be able to tie together more of these features and let you add object/monsters to rooms in a useful way that you can export for building a zone.

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Talanthas
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2002 10:51 pm   
 
I don't want to bug you or your development team, Zugg, as I know you have a lot to do.

However, I did want to bring this thread forward again, and ask if you have a schedule as to when you intend to have this kind of functionality ready for use?
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 12:56 am   
 
Actually, at this time the conversion of the Database Module in zMUD to ADO is on hold. It took a lot longer to do the mapper conversion than I expected, and my new estimates show that it will take about 4-6 months to convert the Database Module to ADO. I'm not sure there is enough demand for this to warrant this kind of effort.

Doing an entire MUD creation tool that handles monsters and objects is probably beyond the scope of zMapper. For now, zMapper is intended more for just the geometry of an area.

However, since zMapper uses a standard database format, there is no reason why other tables couldn't be added to the database to handle stuff like monsters and objects, with links to the rooms they are in. With the open database format used by zMapper, perhaps some other developers will write some helped tools for handling more aspects of MUD creation.

For now, zMapper is just going to handle the geometry of your MUD layout, and not the rest of the object data. For some MUD code bases, this will be fine. For other code bases where mobs and objects are more integrated in the area creation process, zMapper will be less useful.

Sorry I had to go back on my previous statement. But I have to match my limited time and prioritize based upon all of my customers. zMapper and zExplorer *will* be getting a lot of time and work this year now that the new public version of zMUD is completed, but the focus will still be on using zExplorer to handle maps for MMORPGS rather than for MUD building.

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Talanthas
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 1:32 am   
 
Well, that's life.

I wish there were a way to convince you to go ahead with this functionality, but I understand that money talks. Gotta pay those bills.

But, as a closing argument, I just want to make two more points:
1) I like and TRUST your products. That's why I bought zMapper on faith (regardless of whether or not you put this functionality in, I think it was money well spent); random developers make me leery.
2) Third party integration issues are not fun. I was hoping to not have to deal with them, especially as I don't speak all the computerese to solve any specific problems myself.

Like I said, I understand that you have to pay the bills so I don't really expect this to change your mind. But I am keeping my fingers crossed.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 6:30 am   
 
Definitely keep your fingers crossed, because who knows what interesting things will get added to zMapper. As I mentioned, zMapper will be a big project this year with lots of stuff added to it, and it's possible that something will get added to meet your needs.

My main message was that the database module within zMUD itself was probably not going to get rewritten at this time. But I always keep these ideas in the back of my mind so it's always possible that something will happen within zMapper.

And I appreciate your confidence and comments about Zugg Software products. I do try hard to please as many people as possible. I think I've proven that over the past 7 years with zMUD, and over the past 2 years with AC Explorer. zExplorer and zMapper are new, but will be handled in the same way as their user base grows.

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Talanthas
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 1:58 am   
 
Hey Zugg,

I saw some posts where you said you intend to do a lot of work on zMapper in the coming months.

I don't know if the type of functionality described in this thread is part of the plan, but if it is you might want to check with the folks who write the Offline Room Builder (ORB). They seem to have some of the intricacies of working with area files figured out. At least for SMAUG and related codebases.

Maybe you could collaborate or something. I don't know how that would work, but I leave that to your business manager.

Website info: http://www.shadow-lands.com/orb/

Talanthas
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 5:55 pm   
 
Thanks for the link, I'll definitely check that out.

As far as an update on current zMapper/zExplorer plans, I'm mainly working on the remote server scripts right now that will allow people to share their maps using zMapper and zExplorer. My current long-term goal for zMapper over the next year is to make it into a viable area building tool. I want to support various different code bases, and SMAUG is certainly one that I'm interested in. Once I get closer to this kind of functionality, I'll certainly look into other similar projects like the ORB and see what can be done for compatibility.
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Ralgha
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Joined: 13 Aug 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 5:28 am   
 
So the idea is that zMapper will write an area file in various codebase's formats? That's cool. Will it have plugin capability so we can write plugins for codebases that you don't include?
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 6:12 pm   
 
That's what I'm hoping for, although any sort of plugin architecture can't be added until the basics of the rest of the program are working. So, it will be a while yet before I can get to that, but it's on the plan.
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Talanthas
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:58 pm   
 
This is great news, Zugg!

I can't wait till a working beta is ready for test!
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Talanthas
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Joined: 26 Mar 2001
Posts: 12
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 2:09 am   
 
Heya Zugg!

The doggedly faithful (or is that annoyingly persistent? ;) hasn't gone away.

I was just wondering what the outlook is for using zmapper as a builder's tool?

Thanks much for putting up with me,
Talanthas
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Zugg
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
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Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 2:39 am   
 
Read the other notes in this forum and the News Year letter on the main home page and you'll see that unfortunately zMapper is on hold for now. I have no ETA for when I'll be able work on it again, but it will be at least a year, sorry.
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