Here's a good one.
I'm working on the Item Compendium slash Monster Manual dealie, and I've got to add the basics of the Time Period and Settings Filter, y'know, the thing that let's you specify when a certain kind of pistol was invented (so the server will know not to distribute that thing as loot before a certain date) and whether or not the thing (whether its a monster or an item) you are adding is from a magical or mythological world or a non-magical and historical world (that's the only thing I'm using the "Settings" Filter for at the moment, although it'll probably be used for other things eventually, like the Parental Guidance and "I don't wanna see anything that doesn't have a four-star rating" system and stuff).
So anyways, the Settings filter is kinda adaptable as I go along, 'cause its more of a "list of checkbox things" than a drop down box type dealie, but the Time Period one isn't that way, its gotta be good from the get-go and stay good the entire time, I can't decide to change it around later without monkeying everything up.
At first I was thinking of just making it something simple with ten choices or so, something like:
... and whatever.
But while that's nice for folks who suck at history, y'know, when they go to add shit to the game, it sucks ass for everything else, like College Professors who wanna do historical shit and stuff heh.
So then I was thinking I should make it a drop-down, and do things century-by-century.
That actually looks pretty good, at first, y'know, like...
...blah blah blah.
But then you get into like, how far should I go back?
Y'know, like, should I be doing 6100BC, 6200BC, 6300BC?
Ancient Egypt only goes back to maybe 40000BC or so.
And the "prehistory" line is 50000BC.
Maybe I should go back century by century until I hit that 50000BC thingie.
Or go back to 5000BC and then start going by milleniums or something.
I dunno, I'm not a history expert but from what I remember of junk, history starts "drying up after that 10000BC line, y'know, you start saying stuff like "he was a guy from 9000BC" when you start going back that far heh.
And the different sorts of weapons and armor dry up around there too, I mean, I could go by the old Bronze Age and Stone Age crap, I guess.
And since this isn't just used for items, like, it isn't just used for inventions, it isn't just used for stuff like bronze swords and flintlock pistols and different types of armor, its also used for monsters, with the specifically good examples of Dinosaurs and Giant Prehistoric Sea Creatures and crap, where the information for when they lived could be pretty cool and useful for the game engine (and its only a trip to the wikipedia away), 'cause I could use that to populate the planet with monsters that fit into all those different Jurassic Ages and shit, which would be kinda kickass (although the "loot" would suck, y'know, cause they ain't gonna "drop" chainsaws, guess I better make "dino burger meat" worth something ahaha).
And then besides the "going backwards" crap, I could tighten the resolution of the "modern" era, so that there'd be a 1960s, and 1950s and shit.
And then there's the totally fictional future stuff, but that's kinda easy, I mean, I guess I could divide that up some, just for the fun of seeing where folks placed their stuff in the future exactly, y'know how its fun to make up those future history things and all that heh.
Well, whatever, I'm gonna keep programming other stuff around this and just do it kinda cheesy at first but if anybody's got a good idea for a list of Time Periods or some kinda kibitz about 'em lemme know.
One of my favorite books of all times is Asimov's Chronology of the World, I might just cheat and use whatever the hell he went with, 'cause he's hella-smart.
Mmm, mebbe I should just let folks do exact dates for things, I was trying to avoid stuff like that, not just 'cause then I'd have to test and make sure you entered something that makes sense, but because the human measurment and display of Time isn't really all that universal around the globe, its one of those formatting things that gets messed up in different countries and stuff, and my code has to be able to wield this stuff mathematically to do certain things.
And the ISO 8601 "internationally accepted standard" of yyyy-mm-dd is not good enough for me, man, y'know, we need us a little more than yyyy heh.
Even if we were willing to put up with the whole Anno Domini dealie (which the standard can't even do anyways even though that's the cultural bias its based on ahaha).
Well, I guess its better than converting everything we find into that Year of the Monkey shit AHAHA.
Goddam humans, ain't we supposed to be able to think ahead a little or something I mean c'mon seriously wtf here we go again with that Y2K shit all over again AHAHAHA.
Anyways, if I do allow specific dates, then you got the beginning of that cool "Time Traveler goes back to the day before something was invented or something important happened" kinda shit.
I guess I might as well try to figure out how to do that.
That sorta gets me into thinking about how some things quit appearing after a certain date, and how I don't really have anything set up for that, although you do always got stuff like World War II guys that ain't heard that the War is Over and the Loch Ness Monster and whatever, so mebbe that ain't such a big deal.
It actually kinda works out in an organic way, 'cause of the way things are put into the game randomly, as we get closer to modern times, we know more junk, so there's bound to be more modern stuff than older crap, which will make the older crap not show up so much.
Plus I could weight that "age" thing in a negative way, to make old stuff more rare in modern times.
So that's not so bad.
Although I should probably hook up something server side so that ancient romans don't end up fighting a lot of dinosaurs heh.
Which puts me right back into that "needing a bunch of time categories" thingie anyways ahaha.