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Old 05-01-2006, 09:04 PM   #1
Shane
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One of the things about this hobby that makes it unique is the gateway it provides between two seemingly unrelated skill sets - coding and creative writing.  I am intrigued by the concept of people coming together using technology to create these interactive environments, and how people find their way in and out of building and/or coding muds.

What I want is to piece together a list of things that people can use to get started creating muds, along with their pros and cons.  

A few of the things that are catching my fancy right now are Cold C, DGD, Coffeemud, and the MUDBUILDER site.  Also, AIME, which is a sort of derelict codebase but which still holds interest for me being listed on SourceForge and being open source.

I don't know exactly how to get this kick started, except to say again that what I want is some sort of ongoing input into how people have used different software to get muds up and running, and what they consider the plusses and minuses to be.  If the thread takes off at all, I will from time to time compile a breakdown page of some sort and post it intermitantly.

I may also end up talking to myself...  

Anyhow, here goes nothing.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:33 PM   #2
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It all really depends on what you want to make. Before doing anything, get a design for your game down on paper. Once you have that, look at what codebases out there have the most features in common with what you want to make.

That's for creating a "hobby" mud, if you want to go commercial your options are pretty limited.
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:06 PM   #3
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What is your experience with any of the above applications? It seems Cold C and DGD both would be simply tools with which to build a mud from scratch. It seems DGD is under the Skotos umbrella, although I just recently discovered iChat uses it, and there appear to be numerous options open if you want to try to go commercial with it, though fundamentally it is indeed very expensive.

There are no codebases that in and of themselves seem to do what I want, though there is at least one implementation of a mud in MudOS, highly modified, that comes close, that being Accursed Lands.

The purpose of this thread for me though is not so much to find out what I need as to sort of lay out what the features are of all the codebases, applications, languages and so forth out there that could be used, and what if anything any of them have prepared already in the way of worlds that already exist.

Diku and LP are obvious choices, and I welcome input about them as well.

I want to create a chart basically, perhaps a little more involved than the website http://www.andreasen.org/newmud/ in terms of discussing in depth the capabilities of codebases that are actually up and running, rather than a list of ones that may or may not be up, may or may not be supported, and that sort of thing.

ColdC, languages like Ruby, and so forth, get tossed around when people ask about getting a game started as well, and I would like to see more in depth information on how it is people think they could be used, or even what exactly is already included in ColdC for that matter.

What would eventually come out would look something like this:

Name: LpMud
Function: Server software for telnet with included interpreted language based on C.
Pros: Free to use, widespread support.
Cons: Older codebase, may not be used commercially.
Comments: Here I would attempt to break down anything and everything anyone had to say about their experience with the software being discussed, including perhaps for LpMud the difference between the driver and the mudlib, for example.
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:31 PM   #4
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ColdC, while I haven't personally used it yet, I have heard is pretty good.

When it comes to working from scratch... make sure you are a good coder, or have one on your team. Expect to spend tons of time, and have basically no free time(unless you want to spend many years coding it) until it is finished. We, at Persistent Realms have been doing just that, and it can be stressful. luckily we've finally reached a point where the end can be seen, and that is a good feeling. Rapture has been great for speeding things up, and taking care of a lot of the networking side of things for us.

Name: Rapture
Function: Handles all networking things required to run a mud, allowing you to concentrate on the actual world development.
Pros: IRE gives really good support, thanks a lot for that Matt and Chris. Relatively simple(yet powerful) language that is designed specifically for muds. Stable. Can be used for commercial games.
Cons: Expensive.
Comments: We use this for Ilyrias and it has sped up development quite a bit.

Now, since you're obviously thinking about running a mud... I'd point you to an excerpt from circlemud.org

Quote:
Originally Posted by
If you're already an old hand at playing MUDs and you've decided you want to start one of your own, here's my advice: take a vailum, lie down, and hide in a dark closet until the desire goes away. Just playing MUDs is masochistic enough, isn't it? Or are you trying to shave that extra point off your GPA, jump down that one last notch on your next job evaluation, or get rid of that pesky Significant Other for good? If you think silly distractions like having friends and seeing daylight are preventing you from realizing your full potential in the MUD world, MUD Administrator is the job for you.
My favorite quote, and so true.
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Old 05-01-2006, 11:44 PM   #5
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That was hilarious!

If I were to be interested in making a mud, I think I would volunteer at Accursed Lands if they would have me. I think a good mud needs a lot of people to work on it and a distinct vision of some sort. I would be truly amazed if a mud engine came out that was both truly powerful and had the capacity to be started up out of the box and run by someone with only limited coding experience.

Believe it or not, my interest is not in being a mud admin though. My interest is in facilitating the creation of a community to step into the growing gap between Diku and LP and the more advanced engines, most of which seem to be inexorably moving towards private use and inaccesible licensing fees.

No offense! Heck, if I could bring down 100k a year for a program I would too.

A big part of what has formed this hobby though is the up and down interchange between players and coders - coders who game, and gamers who code, and how the two distinct crowds contribute in their own special ways and interact and create one community. This dynamic simply is not going to be available if the hobby continues to move towards privately owned, licensed engines that are light years outside the reach of the typical hobbiest.

And thankfully we're not quite there yet, so that's a good thing.

Thanks for your input! I am not by any stretch of the imagination biased against the industrial strength software, and who knows, out there somewhere may be a sugar daddy willing to sponsor some sort of a wizarding process so people can work their way into coding on a Rapture based mud just like the good ol' days.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:26 AM   #6
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Let me pipe up with my totally biased opinion that Dead
Souls LP mudlib is super easy to set up. The windows version
you just download and run. The unix version you download,
compile, and run. It's specifically configured to be easy
to start up a mud with minimum hassle.

Take a look at the intall FAQ: http://dead-souls.sourceforge.net/ds-inst-faq.html

I'd be very interested to know your opinion of how that
lib stacks up to Accursed Lands.

I'd be delighted to have the lib I work on included in your list.

-Crat
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (cratylus @ May 02 2006,01:26)
Let me pipe up with my totally biased opinion that Dead
Souls LP mudlib is super easy to set up. The windows version
you just download and run. The unix version you download,
compile, and run. It's specifically configured to be easy
to start up a mud with minimum hassle.

Take a look at the intall FAQ: http://dead-souls.sourceforge.net/ds-inst-faq.html

I'd be very interested to know your opinion of how that
lib stacks up to Accursed Lands.

I'd be delighted to have the lib I work on included in your list.

-Crat
I can see LP is going to be a long entry eventually.  

I wish I could do that comparison.  I am supposed to be working even as I type this...  *glares up at Baram's favorite quote*

It's a pretty short list just now, but thanks and I will definitely slip this in under LpMud/MudOs/Mudlibs.  

Fair enough?

P.S. Oh cool, I can just pop it on my laptop. Already my simpleton mind is pleased! Yeah this will make that whole comparison thing a lot easier when I get a few minutes to string together.
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:02 AM   #8
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It just occured to me that we are going to have to be very careful about licensing issues because I personally do not know how they all interact or which they all apply to.

Isn't MudOS under LpMud's license? Does it play nice with GPL?

I am also a little confused because this mudlib appears to be the driver and library all in one, at least on the Windows version as I peer at the installation instructions.
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Old 05-02-2006, 06:00 PM   #9
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Ok, a quick primer on LP.

There are two parts to an LPMud. The driver, and the lib.

The driver is the C program that accepts telnet connections
and does i/o, calculations, etc.
The lib is the set of files that describe the mud: rooms,
combat, etc.

There are various LPMud drivers: MudOS, DGD, CD,
LDmud, etc.

Each driver has its own licensing. None that I'm aware of is
actually GPL.

There are various LPMud libs. Skylib, Lima, Dead Souls, etc.

Each lib has its own licensing. Dead Souls is GPL.

The way Dead Souls does it is to package the source
code with the mud distribution, so you get the lib and
the driver in one download. This is pretty standard practice
historically (though some libs don't do it). Nightmare, for
example, Lima, and Discworld come prepackaged with their
driver also. Minor clarification: Nightmare *came* with it.
Nightmare's no longer available.

In the case of the Windows DS version, the source code
is also included, and as a convenience to those who do
not have cygwin or dont know how to use it, a pre-compiled
binary of mudos is included.

As to being careful with the licensing, yes. Care
has been taken to comply with the known licensing
requirements of both cygwin and MudOS. The Dead
Souls lib itself is GPL, and for technical reasons, it's
pretty much not possible to violate the GPL license
with Dead Souls.

-Crat
http://dead-souls.sourceforge.net
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (cratylus @ May 02 2006,19:00)
Each driver has its own licensing. None that I'm aware of is
actually GPL.
The Shattered Worlds LP driver is licensed under the GPL. I can half remember there being some dispute over this at one time, but according to the distribution it is GPL.
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:05 AM   #11
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Thanks guys.

I had a flat today which put me even more murderously behind than I was while diddling around here yesterday. Please don't give up on me. I will be back and try to organize what we have so far in I would hope about a week. Perhaps less if I catch an unforseen break.

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Old 05-03-2006, 09:22 AM   #12
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Name: Inferno
Function: Handles all networking issues and offers a powerful object-oriented interpreter layered on top of the server. Install, log in and start coding.
Pros: Ridiculously stable. The language is simple, sort of a cross between Python and JAVA, and was built for the sole purpose of creating virtual text worlds. Contains a huge, rich set of predefined script functions for handling object location, dynamic string substitution, and just about everything else. Object specification is built in.
Cons: Largely undocumented. Runs in RAM.
Comments: The Inferno platform is a highly modified version of Lamda MOO.
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Malifax @ May 03 2006,10:22)
Name: Inferno
Function: Handles all networking issues and offers a powerful object-oriented interpreter layered on top of the server. Install, log in and start coding.
Pros: Ridiculously stable. The language is simple, sort of a cross between Python and JAVA, and was built for the sole purpose of creating virtual text worlds. Contains a huge, rich set of predefined script functions for handling object location, dynamic string substitution, and just about everything else. Object specification is built in.
Cons: Largely undocumented. Runs in RAM.
Comments: The Inferno platform is a highly modified version of Lamda MOO.
Having a hard time figuring out where to find it using just Google.

http://www.ke9.com/index.html

That looks sort of neat, but I don't think that's the one you are talking about!



Download and license info probably ought to be added to the form I made earlier, sorry bout that.

Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:34 AM   #14
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The page you linked was our game, but we shut it down a year ago. The platform used to build that game is what I'm talking about. The only place you'll find it is on our server, so maybe I shouldn't have posted about it in your thread. We're using it to build Shadowfall.
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:40 AM   #15
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Name: Dead Souls
Function:
Pros: Ease of installation, cross platformer.
Cons:  *shrugs*
License:
Comments: Take a look at the intall FAQ: http://dead-souls.sourceforge.net/ds-inst-faq.html

Name: Inferno
Function: Handles all networking issues and offers a powerful object-oriented interpreter layered on top of the server. Install, log in and start coding.
Pros: Ridiculously stable. The language is simple, sort of a cross between Python and JAVA, and was built for the sole purpose of creating virtual text worlds. Contains a huge, rich set of predefined script functions for handling object location, dynamic string substitution, and just about everything else. Object specification is built in.
Cons: Largely undocumented. Runs in RAM.
License:
Comments: The Inferno platform is a highly modified version of Lamda MOO.  Shadowfall.

Name: LpMud
Function: Server software for telnet with included interpreted language based on C.
Pros: Free to use, widespread support.
Cons: Older codebase, may not be used commercially.
License:
Comments:  Here I would attempt to break down anything and everything anyone had to say about their experience with the software being discussed, including perhaps for LpMud the difference between the driver and the mudlib, for example.

Name: Rapture
Function: Handles all networking things required to run a mud, allowing you to concentrate on the actual world development.
Pros: IRE gives really good support, thanks a lot for that Matt and Chris.  Relatively simple(yet powerful) language that is designed specifically for muds.  Stable.  Can be used for commercial games.
Cons: Expensive.
License:
Comments:  We use this for Ilyrias and it has sped up development quite a bit.
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Malifax @ May 03 2006,11:34)
The page you linked was our game, but we shut it down a year ago. The platform used to build that game is what I'm talking about. The only place you'll find it is on our server, so maybe I shouldn't have posted about it in your thread. We're using it to build Shadowfall.
Just be prepared to be pestered occasionally by people popping by.

Which I feel sure is part of the point anyhow.
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Shane @ May 03 2006,11:42)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Malifax @ May 03 2006,11:34)
The page you linked was our game, but we shut it down a year ago. The platform used to build that game is what I'm talking about. The only place you'll find it is on our server, so maybe I shouldn't have posted about it in your thread. We're using it to build Shadowfall.
Just be prepared to be pestered occasionally by people popping by.

Which I feel sure is part of the point anyhow.  
Yeah, sort of. But I'm very proud of the platform and the exceptional power of the API. It's completely unknown and professionall quality.
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Malifax @ May 03 2006,11:34)
The only place you'll find it is on our server, so maybe I shouldn't have posted about it in your thread.
Are you making the engine available in any way? There doesn't seem much point including it on a list of tools people can use to create muds if it is not available to anyone else..
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (cron0s @ May 03 2006,11:51)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Malifax @ May 03 2006,11:34)
The only place you'll find it is on our server, so maybe I shouldn't have posted about it in your thread.
Are you making the engine available in any way? There doesn't seem much point including it on a list of tools people can use to create muds if it is not available to anyone else..
Which is why I said I shouldn't have posted. My apologies.

BUT, I would highly recommend Lamda MOO to anyone who considers himself a good coder and is looking for a clean, stable platform. Lamda comes with no strings. There are no licences so if you want to build a pay-for-play you're free and clear.
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Old 05-03-2006, 01:22 PM   #20
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I'll probably split the list into open source and licensable sooner or later.

Will add MOO and MUX in as soon as I can, or if anyone else wants to lay them out in format, for for it. Then I will just cut and paste it together like I did the previous list.
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