Would it not be better to name this "Mechanical System" or "Mason Mechanical System"... "Machines" is a bit to general for such a pretty specific content. (Didn't we agree on keeping the global namespace for general stuff?) --Jae 13:44, 15 March 2006 (CET)
This is generic.
First paragraph on the page contains:
- Generic enough to work with games of different generes
This is not tied to mason, neither is it only mecanical.
--zzorn 13:59, 15 March 2006 (CET)
Still believe it's not generic enough for the "Machines" title. Generic for different game designs, sure (I think). But generic enough for "Machines"? Don't think so. "Machines" means, for me, anything I can use/control (non-living in most cases). Not (necessarily) stuff I can design/build/construct.
Too clarify a bit more: for example, the "Contacts List" page is generic in that most (surely all the ones I've played) games have a "friends list", and the contacts list is just a (needed) generalization. Not very many games would use this system for machines.
And just be very clear to avoid any bad feelings my stubbornness may cause (;)): this is not an attack on the system as such, this is just about the name of the page.
--Jae 14:14, 15 March 2006 (CET)
Well, pre-programmed machines would still use the Control Panel style interface (e.g. hardcoded vending machines). If they can just do one thing they are probably items that provide an action (instead of being modeled as machines in the game) (activate stealth cloak, use lockpicker, and so on).
A Machines page wasn't really needed for anything (unless there is much to say about various hardcoded machines?), so I picked a shorter name in favour of a longer one. Agreed that the page name might reflect the designability of the machines though. Perhaps it could be called Designable Machines, or Machine System, or Modular Machines, or something such. Following that pattern, we'd need to talk about Designable or Buildable Houses too, instead of just Houses...
Perhaps Modular is a good word to use for this purpose.
--zzorn 15:03, 15 March 2006 (CET)
Nodes-What are they?
Looking at this proposal, it seems that it is pushing for hard-coding these sub-classes of some generic Node. While there is logic in this solid categorization, this limits what the user can build to only what the developers have thought of.
One limitation that makes itself immediately obvious to me is the hard-coded interface to the outside world. All you have is 'movers','throwers' and 'control panel'. If the user wanted to make a conveyor belt, or a mine train, I'm not sure how you could do it, let alone a drivable mech that chops down trees, or a fighting clank ala Girl Genius. (A steam and clockwork robot, if you didn't get the reference)
I think rather than even defining these categories, we instead only have a generic 'node' and the user defines what it does. Optimally each part of all machines would be a piece in a physics simulator, but the computational complexity of a single user's machines would be enormous, let alone an entire community. It is important to have some access to the outside world, so devices can be made interesting, so at least some of the parts must be treated in a physics simulation, but at the same time, many constructions will do the same thing no matter where they are. These can be treated as "black boxes," and have no trouble being implemented with the proposed system. Thus, you could cram the engine of your steam car into one of the proposed nodes, with a drive shaft coming out and control panel inputs coming in, but the wheels and body of the car would have to be accessible by the physics engine. --Dread