A Question about Croquet's Philosophy on Multi-user 3D Environments...

Lawson English english7 at mindspring.com
Mon Feb 10 14:34:51 PST 2003

Being an avid (far too avid) Everquest player, I can attest to the fact that
EQ has problems when too many people are in view (or even in the same zone)
at once. The Bazaar, a zone for buying and selling where the player can
leave his avatar unattended in merchant mode, generally has between 300 and
500 people in it at any given moment and the video lag is so bad that most
of us set our video settings to the lowest useable parameters before
entering the zone. If we forget, it can sometimes take literally 5 minutes
to turn in a circle and leave the zone.

There are lots of interesting issues to be had with a massively multi-player
game like EQ. The players are constantly coming up with activities the
designers never envisionsed. For instance, it is possible to find scripting
programs online to allow one to automatically hawk your wares in the bazaar.
This is incredibly annoying as the same message scrolls past your screen
over and over again.

Someone discovered that if you cast the levitation spell on the offending
merchant and then bump into them over and over again, you can actually
maneuver them down the aisle of vendors into the "arena" where player vs
player dueling rules apply, and then kill them.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan Kay" <Alan.Kay at squeakland.org>
To: <squeakland at squeakland.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 4:54 PM
Subject: RE: A Question about Croquet's Philosophy on Multi-user 3D

> Hi Darius --
> This email list is for parents, teachers and children who are
> concerned with the "etoys" part of Squeak. Croquet stuff can and
> should be discussed both on its own list and on the squeak.org list.
> To answer your question: remember what has happened to the
> "Victoria's Secret" website on the occasion of special promotions
> they've done, especially connected with TV. At some point capacity
> gets exceeded. So there is nothing new here. The first practical
> limit in Croquet is in the number of polygons that can be displayed
> by one's own 3D accellerator. This limits both the scene complexity
> and the number of people who can be in view. This is why Everquest,
> even with its farms of servers, trys to spread visitors out over the
> world so there are never more than a few in view at any given time.
> Cheers,
> Alan
> At 1:28 PM -0800 2/6/03, Darius Clarke wrote:
> >Hello Everyone,
> >
> >Just curious...
> >Have Croquet developers and Croquet users considered what effect
> >"flash crowds"
> >might have in Croquet in terms of avatar space and multiple users
> >simultaniously moving the same 3D object?
> >
> >Definition of "flash crowd":
> >
> >"Larry Niven's 1973 SF short story "Flash Crowd" predicted that one
> >consequence
> >of cheap teleportation would be huge crowds materializing almost
instantly at
> >the sites of interesting news stories. Twenty years later the term passed
> >common use on the Internet to describe exponential spikes in website or
> >usage when one passes a certain threshold of popular interest (this
> >may also be
> >called slashdot effect). "
> >
> >http://info.astrian.net/jargon/terms/f/flash_crowd.html
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Kim Rose [mailto:Kim.Rose at viewpointsresearch.org]
> >Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 09:41 AM
> >To: Andreas Raab; 'Alan Kay'; 'Dave Smith'; 'David Reed'
> >Cc: darius at inglang.com
> >Subject: RE: A Question about Croquet's Philosophy...
> >
> >>  This has been a very interesting discussion and certainly reminds one
> >>  of the many layers (computer architecture, social, economic etc.,
> >>  etc.)invovled in building a shareable, open space like Croquet.
> >>  thanks,
> >>    Kim
> --

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