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Do androids dream of electric sheep?
Questions and answers about the latest and greatest.

Some of you know I've been working on some Top Secret projects for a while now.

Well, one of them has seen the light of day, and we�re all very excited about what's happening as a result.

Ladies and not-so-gentlemen, I give you: The Babble-On Scripting System v1.0.

Babble, from the Tower of Babel: (Genesis 11:1-11) a tower built by Noah's descendants (probably in Babylon) who intended it to reach up to heaven; God foiled them by confusing their language so they could no longer understand one another.

The scripting language is an English-like interpreted command/argument style language which supports variable assignment and substitution. The Babble-on Script Engine is a linear parsing engine which interprets the scripts and executes them.

Scripts, while static in their command structure, support dynamic arguments through variable substitution.

What does this geek speak mean? It means people can write an "English-like story", a sequence of steps and actions, to make someone see or do something.

It�s very powerful because it means that people who don�t know how to code and still construct linear sequences of events where everything can be added dynamically at run time. This means the script can be used on anyone and it will look like it was customized for them.

It�s changing and simplifying how we code just about everything, and allowing us to really put the power of �interaction� in the hands of the non-coder.

As powerful as this is, it is but a mere a building block in the grand scheme of this. The scripting language supports the concept of extending the language in a very easy and powerful manner.

It�s so easy to write Babble-on scripts, that we are considering giving the players the ability to write scripts for GM integration for the purpose of enriching the MOO. An example might be a few different brief �shower� scripts, or �response� scripts for the npcs or things like this.

Please note that we are not saying that we are doing this, so please don�t start submitting scripts. We will release the language specification when and if we do.

The sky�s the limit on what�s possible with these for GM�s. GM�s are able to manipulate the underlying workings using English like commands, giving them the ability to really do amazing things with this.

I�m now beginning work on �The Lip-Sync Conversation Engine�. This is a higher level Engine for tying together Babble-On scripts into intelligent conversations (think how Afterthoughts works). I estimate this will take me a bit longer, but will be well worth the wait, as GM�s will then have the ability to construct entire non-linear conversations for NPC's through a very simple and powerful menu driven �Conversation Editor�.

I welcome your comments on this. Would anyone be interested in writing scripts to help the MOO (not your character)? What kinds of scripts would you like to write? How could you see this working?

Looking forward to your comments!
Back like a super villan!

I have but one word.......


Ahem.  Thank You

I'd love to do it. I'd love to do anything at all to
help/contribute/work on the MOO. I love it, and the more
Gibson I read the more inspired I am to want to do
something. So when it gets to a point where you guys
want player-contributed scripts, keep me in mind. I
might not be capabale of doing it, but I'd love to give
it a try. My first thought is a good idea that is stolen
from Minority Report: what if instead of just seeing
these commercials now and then, they commercials are
more interactive? And change now and then, so people
actually pay attention to them? So instead you might see
something like "Kevlar! Do you go home at night, and
find yourself lonely? Never again! Kevlar, for the next
week we've got a 20% off special on all Porn Puppets!"
You know, something to that affect.
Cool idea.
That is EXACTLY the type of thing I'm looking for.

Scripts can be that simple: A TV commercial that is customised to the person viewing it is a GREAT example. They can also be very complex.

If your interested, the accual script might looks like this:

tell the %player this "Hey, %N? Do you ever get that not so fresh feeling?"
pause for about 7 seconds and then
tell %player "You do? I used to to, until I tried new Vac-u-puss! You should try it too!"
pause for another 12 and
tell the %player "It really works! Here, why don't you try it for free?"
pause 5
create a $vacu-cupon and call it "%cupon"
move the %cupon to the %player
tell %player "A cupon slides out of a slot in the wall and you instinctively grab it."

This is a 100% parseable script, and runs AS-IS with no changes what-so-ever to it. It's a VERY simple example of the type of things were using it to do. Obviously we arn't going to be making and moving cupons to you every time you walk through a door, but minus the cupon stuff the script is exactly the type of thing were looking for.

Great suggestion! Perhaps we could see a few more?


I also have to say Wow *grins*
Sorry but I have no ideas for this, at least yet, but I have a negative question.....
Won't this cause lag?
Does the babble-on "code" have to be interpreted for every instance of it into standard moo code, or is it fully integrated?
And even if it is it's obviously less efficient in terms of Moo execution, but will that make a noticeable difference. Hmm reminds me of the sony vs nintendo design philosophy debate. Power or creativity.
I'm probably making a big deal out of nothing, and you may have already answered my question.....

Oh and the speach of tongues, the confusion, seperation form a single speach was a good idea as it prevented the spread of informational viruses, such as chritianity *grins some more*. But I know to little on this subject.

Yes, it does add overhead. Yes, it's more efficent CPU cycles wise to write code to do it instead.

It's also considered difficult by the common-folk's standards to write code. It's even more difficult to design good code. And so this gives us a much needed level of abstraction so both GM's and coders can quickly and easily write very complex interaction at the sacrafice of CPU cycles.

We also have the luxary of living in the modern world with CPU's that execute over 2 BILLION instructions per second (2ghz).

LambdaMOO was written C (Not C++) over 10 years ago at a time when a 12mhz CPU was pretty damn fast, and designed to be VERY fast and efficent (mostly at the cost of memory size) because it had to do alot on these relatively slow machines.

So while your statement is valid (yes, it adds overhead) your assumption is not. The box this is running on is hardly taxed for CPU Our averadge lag is 0 seconds, and I assure you that the minuite it hits 1 second, we'll be taking a LONG HARD look at what the hell were doing wrong.

Any and all lag you have experienced in the past has been bandwidth related and not CPU related.


Well, here's one considering how the gangers have been lately ..

how about if the gangers (or any NPCs) were actually talking, having a 'scripted' conversation.  They could be ...

Talking about the player
Talking about other players
Giving IC tidbits for plots
Babbeling randomly
Harassing players by name
Attempting random actions (pickpocket, poke ...)

If there was a street preacher he could be quoting scriptures (real or imagined) and customizing them to the audience ..

Shopkeepers could advertise specials

If I understand this right, the things you could script an NPC to do, (and I assume to happen on a specific trigger?)  Are limitless!

It reminds me a bit of a twist on the age old question of AI vs human.  Now, we really could wonder if an NPC is scripted, or puppeted.

Could outdoor descriptions be changed to reflect say the change in the weather/position of the sun .. you know, make it really gloomy looking when it's cloudy and rainy, when the 'sun' is bright, you see every detail of every bit of garbage .. smells increase .. maybe make it harder to hide outdoors

Yeah, count me in, I'll help ..

Trancer sees it.
Max absolutely sees it. Right on Max. Now your cooking with gasoline. To answer all your questions: Yes, yes, and yes. Oh, and yes. You can do all that and more with very little effort.

Johnny sees it. He's cranking out situtation specific extensions to the language like a mad man, which will make it very simple to write situtation specific scripts such as bartending scripts and other situtation/context specific scripts where it's cumbersome or impossible to do what you need with a simple 'force'. But even without thoes, you can still do exactly the type of thing your talking about. And yes, they're absolutely 'triggered', or they can just run and pause for lengths of time before contiuing... like going back and forth between two people talking. It simple to add functionality like pausing for a random range of time so they seem to wait random ammounts before saying their next line but it's always a sufficently appropiate pause, not to long, not to short.

The GM's see it. They've allready put together one really amazing script together and the result was spectacular. They're working on some others which will allow us to add some much needed and requested functionality to the game which really wasn't feasable to do before.

Yes, I think we need to do this. Any more voulenteers?


I'm sorry I can't offer any suggestions at the moment..  my brain is hurting because i just got out of class..  But good lord, guys.  It seems that recently you admin-folk have been pumping out some seriously large-scale projects.  Needless to say you guys are fucking impressive as hell.  Wish I knew how to do that stuff..  ;_;..  Keep up the good work!
Yeah, I had thought of the same thing as Lotus when I saw Minority Report, I loved the idea of having the interactive ads, and everything that scans your eyes and recognizes you.

I would love to do some of this pseudo-coding to help out SD and I'm sure I could have never-ending streams of ideas if I put my mind to it.  How about having video cameras on Gold occasionally follow your movements, maybe minor alarms go off if you step in the wrong place, or electronic voices that address you by name and inform you that you are being watched.  It would be neat to have random attempted thefts on Red. Like you're walking along, and then you get a message like "A youth runs by you, making a quick grab for your wallet and just missing before he disappears into an alley."  Possibly more messages that have to do with the weather, like when it's raining having messages that describe you stepping in puddles or being hit by water dripping off a roof above you, or being splashed by passing cars. That would make for good detailed RP.

Sure, this is a really great idea and I look forward to seeing what it does for the game!

Thanks Kevlar!

Allright guys, we've moved some long standing mountians around and here's the deal:

There's a new BgBB Forum Called Script Development.

If you want to do scripting for the game, Please go there. I'm going to be posting topics, example scripts, and answering questions there.

This is a moderated (to the extent all the forums are moderated) By Invitation Only forum. If you don't have access and you think your qualified to write scripts for the game (Not for your charcater), please type help scripting and follow the instructions there.

I look forward to contiuing this conversation there. I have a great feeling about this. Were allready up here crankin away on some more advanced ones and some more simple and long over-due ones. With the players creatativity, vision, and efforts having a direct outlet in the game, I think we can really do amazing things.


P.S. You may find you allready have access if your interested. Go take a look.

(Edited by Kevlar at 12:48 am on Sep. 11, 2002)

What if you're not too sure about the scripting but have ideas just the same?
In your case I  suggest you apply and read just the same.

I've got an idea that's right up your alley.


Wow do you relize this was just minutes before 9\11 Incident? Thats wierd. I love how you can come back and reminisce of old times on the BgBB. And yes this has nothing to do with the thread but just wanted to state.
(Another shitfaced post)

(Edited by ReeferMadness at 1:00 pm on Mar. 25, 2008)

I think we need more androids. ALA blade runner. Not just android characters, but NPCs, or integrated into the storyline. There have been a few events involving robots/machine humans and their corporate creators...can we have more?
It would be interesting to have non-clonable PC's with a lifetime of 1-6 months with a preset skillset and no ue growth that were badass. Oldbie grade. However, make them hunted by the law and ultimately destined to fail.

It would probably contribute to newbies staying too.

Giving people power with no long-term consequence is rarely a good idea. Dude with regular character gets permed by other dude with equally-UE'd character. Dude generates 6-month powerchar, deliberately becomes enemy of other dude who killed his earlier character who, being a long-term character, is weaker at this point in time. See the problem?
Is Kevlar still the running contact for access to the scripting forum or is someone else? I know nothing's really been done with it for a while so it's why I'm asking.


I can take care of that.  Hit up an admin on xhelp and have them send me a moo mail.
You are all set.