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Old 02-15-2016, 06:11 AM   #1
Pootytangx
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Looking for advice Coding/MUDing

I've been a MUD veteran for over a decade now but I never bothered to learn any coding languages. Here lately playing MUDs hasn't been nearly as fun as it used to and I've kinda been toying with the idea of learning to code. Maybe even go to school for it if I can pick it up some on my own and think it will be worth my while to pursue.

I was curious if the MUD community could help me out with some advice as to which direction I should take to just get a taste. Is there a stock mud I can download and tinker with as an admin? Which coding language should I focus on right now that would really assist me in tinkering with a MUD. Should I just find an established MUD and see if one will take me under their wing as a builder and learn things that way? Would it be better to just go through all the programming tutorial videos on Youtube and leave the MUDing part alone because its too complex for a newbie to code?


I spent a handful of hours one night watching an HTML for beginners video and was able figure out a few things. It was pretty basic to understand and if I could pick up coding as easy as that I'd really like to jump in it head first. I've got nothing but time at this point so I don't mind a huge undertaking but I really want to be sure what I'm delving into is the right choice for what I'm interested in doing in the long term.


Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:06 PM   #2
Ide
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Re: Looking for advice Coding/MUDing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pootytangx View Post
Is there a stock mud I can download and tinker with as an admin? Which coding language should I focus on right now that would really assist me in tinkering with a MUD. Should I just find an established MUD and see if one will take me under their wing as a builder and learn things that way? Would it be better to just go through all the programming tutorial videos on Youtube and leave the MUDing part alone because its too complex for a newbie to code?
There are many muds available at http://www.mudbytes.net/files/ . Unfortunately that site is going through a redesign so it's harder to search for the files you want atm. However what you can do is find the codebase type of a mud you currently enjoy playing and look up that tag (if you like a Circle mud, narrow down the list to Circle tagged files). Mudconnector and/or Mudstats will tell you the type or you can ask on your mud of course. If you need help on which specific server to download, or how to set it up once you download it, you can ask here.

If I were you I would choose the mud first and then the language. It's more likely that you'll go through a lot of codebases looking for one you like and to see how things are done, so focusing on a language will be unnecessarily limiting IMO, if your goal is to tinker with muds. If your goal is to learn a language well of course that's a different story.

If you don't currently have a home mud, it may be quixotic to find a 'home mud' to work on. People recommend that advice a lot but I don't think it applies as much if you don't currently have a home mud you spend a lot of time on anyway, one where you've built up relationships and know the terrain.

Muds can be complex not just because they are games with many interconnecting parts. People write code over many years, often with ad hoc design and homespun solutions when a well maintained library of code would have been a better choice, and add incidental complexity that has nothing to do with the game design itself. However IMO that's part of the fun of working on a mud. Besides the games themselves the code has a charm and appeal that doing coding tutorials does not.

Sure you'll have to supplement your learning with tutorials (and a beginner's tutorial would be a good start in whatever language you pick first), but if you want to work on muds my advice is to do exactly that. Good luck!
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Old 02-15-2016, 04:27 PM   #3
plamzi
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Re: Looking for advice Coding/MUDing

To add a few points to Ide's great reply:

* Whatever you do, remember to have fun. That's important to remember in a hobby, otherwise you just end up putting it down.

* Don't waste too much time asking other people's advice. If there's a game out there you love and want to contribute to, be direct and ask. If there isn't, find a codebase that excites you, an idea for a new game that can keep you working long and hard, etc. Just do it. There's no perfect path--everyone cuts their own.

* Develop a thick skin when it comes to sharing your small triumphs. There will be at least ten critics to every one applauder. That's just par for the course.

* If you find yourself slogging endlessly and getting depressed by lack of progress, change it up. Maybe find a more immediate goal that will give you some satisfaction when you reach it. Or join a good game with some playerbase on the side where you can see your code in play immediately.

Good luck.
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:25 AM   #4
Centauri
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Re: Looking for advice Coding/MUDing

Coding for my MUD has been a long path indeed. 11 years now, almost 12. it took years to learn object oriented ways of doing things, and even longer to learn some of the existing core objects and how to manipulate such things.
Along the way, its been fun, and interesting. new areas developed, code came along with it in support of that new area. Ideas formed for re-usable code in objects which could be applied all over. Suffice it to say that its been as much fun building objects with interesting code inside them, as the areas themselves which use these things.
Of course, there are more and less efficient ways to code things, and both work, but the effeciency scales up over time. Tis the nature of code, to learn what works, and what doesnt.
I started my own mostly because getting quota from the LamdaMOO gods (ARB) was like pulling teeth, and I really wanted to do my own thing and learn it all anyway, necessitating my own play system. I'm glad I did!
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