#AREA Section

This page describes how to code an area description within an area file.
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The #AREA section tells the MUD the file name for your area, the in-game area name, the levels it is intended for, your name (as its creator), the area name for the summary displayed by the AREAS command, and the range of vnums used in its construction. Here's the syntax:

Area name~
{H{{fromlevel tolevel} {MCreator {TAreaname~
startingvnum endingvnum

There is an example at the end of this page.

Here's what the (underlined) terms mean:

is simply the file name of your area file. The game wants it for internal housekeeping purposes. Do not forget to place a tilde ('~') directly after the end of the file name, or your area file will not load!

Area Name
is the full in-game name of your area. This name is rarely seen in the game. The creators of ROM intended it to be visible to immortals only, but in DizzyMUD anyone can set their prompt to display the name of the area they are currently in. Do not forget to place a tilde ('~') directly after the end of the area name, or your area file will not load!

{H{{ fromlevel tolevel} {MCreator {TAreaname ~
This line looks a lot more complicated than it needs to, thanks to DizzyMUD's color coding syntax. There are color codes imbedded to make the level range appear in Hunter (dark green), the creator's name in Magenta and the area name in Teal (greyish blue). The color codes used to achieve this are {H, {M and {T, respectively. There is also a double left brace before the 'fromlevel'; this is needed to display a single left brace in spite of color coding. If you were to remove all these complications, the line would look like this:

{fromlevel tolevel} Creator Areaname~

{fromlevel tolevel}
fromlevel and tolevel are recommended levels for players wanting to adventure in your area. The fromlevel should be such that a single player of that level should usually be able to find at least something he can kill in there. The tolevel should be such that a player of that level can still make a few points by killing something in your area. Thus, you would code an area suitable for levels 10 to 20 like this: {10 20}.

There are three special cases where you code a keyword rather than a level range between the braces:

{ ALL }
is used to identify an area open to everyone, usually because it is a public meeting, recreation or commerce area rather than a hunting area. Midgaard and the Player's Playpen have this designation.
is used to identify an area designated as a clan territory for a single clan.
{ IMM }
identifies an area frequented by immortals, possibly imm-only.

In order to line up with the level specs of other areas in the output from the AREAS command, your 'fromlevel tolevel' should be 5 characters long inside the braces. Examples: {10 20} or { 1 30}.

This is where you take credit for your work. Your name goes here.

In order for your name to line up with others in the output from the AREAS command, your name should not be much longer than any of the other names you see there.

You may wonder about the difference between 'Area Name' (see above) and 'Areaname'. The first one is seen in a player's prompt and the second one is seen in the list produced by the AREAS command. That's all. In the interest of avoiding confusion, though, you should make the two the same or at least similar. Do not forget to place a tilde ('~') directly after the end of the areaname, or your area file will not load!

startingvnum endingvnum
This is the range of vnums in use in your area, including any reserve you may want to keep for future expansion. You may not code anything in your area with a vnum outside this range! The Dizzy MUD program checks that all vnums used in your area are within the range given in the header, and outputs an error message if this is not so.

No tilde follows this last entry in the area section. This may make a little more sense to you if you are aware that tildes are used to mark the end of text strings only. Names are text strings. Numbers are not. Certain letters used as codes are also not text strings. Just remember to be very aware of where tildes need to go, and where not. The MUD program is very sensitive to missing or extraneous tilde characters.

There is no 'section ender' for the #AREA section as there is for all the others. The reason for this is that the Area section contains a fixed number of entries, and there is no need to indicate when a variable number of something has ended.

AREA example
Example Area~
{H{{1 100} {MElrac&Sharra {TExample Area~
6900 6999

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  This page was last updated May 15, 2001