Turbine's official Dungeons & Dragons Online website has been updated with a new developer diary, this time written by designer Jason Booth. Here's a sizeable portion to get you started:
One of the first things I created for Dungeons & Dragons Online is a simple script for handling doors. A door sounds like a simple object; it opens, and it closes. Originally that's all the script did, but as time went on, I realized that the door not only had a lot in common with other objects, but an enormous amount of possibility space hiding inside of it. By exposing that possibility space to our content developers, they can come up with a wealth of situations which are much more interesting than just opening and closing a door.
For instance, the door might be locked; how hard is it to pick the lock? Is it trapped? What kind of trap is it? Does it create a cloud of poison, or do arrows shoot from the wall when you open it? How hard is it to disarm? How hard is it to detect this trap? Does something happen when the door is opened or closed? Does something happen while the door is open or closed? Can monsters open the door? If I open the door, should a monster close it again? Does it care what state the door is in? Can I open the door, or do I need to pull a lever to open it? If the door is made of wood, can I light it on fire? Do I take damage from that fire? Can I run into the burning door, catch on fire, run into monsters, light them on fire, and kill them with that fire? Do I really need to create unique visual effects for all of these things, or is there some way to create an effect which knows how to apply itself to different objects?