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Old 12-10-2014, 04:06 AM   #1
Zoticus
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Seeking advice

Hello -

I am a dabbler, so excuse any mistakes or misuse of terms in this post.

I have been looking into the idea of building/coding my own mud, and using it as the real reason to finally galvanize myself to give up my free time to learning a proper programming language. To that end, I've been doing some reading, and have decided that Lua is likely the mix of power and user friendly syntax that I'm best capable of grasping.

That said, most engines I've read about are written in C or C++ - with a couple outliers like CoffeeMUD being written in Java. I've done some research - though it's difficult to do, since much of the mud coding community at large seems to have made up their minds and thus are not talking about it any more - and as far as I can tell, it appears entirely possible for me to find a nice, strong engine and then write my own custom mudlib on top of it in Lua that'd let me have all the doodads, whistles and other cool stuff I could possibly think of.

Please, correct me if I'm wrong. The whole point of this endeavour is to learn and give myself a hobby that might also translate into an applicable real-life skillset, which learning to code my mostly-capable-but-not-really system in zScript back before CMud even existed never actually did.

If I am right, could someone please point me in the best direction to take from here out? I'm one of those tremendously clichéd wannabe coders with a bunch of ideas I'd love to bring to life, but there's so much to learn, I'm not really sure where to start.

Thanks for any help or advice,

Zoticus

p.s. I can, and gladly will, go into detail on the sort of world/experience I'm hoping to create, but I'm not even sure such a thing is needed, given what I'm asking for here. As with the rest of this topic, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:02 AM   #2
plamzi
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Re: Seeking advice

You also have the option to work with a server written in a modern scripting language like Python, Ruby, or JavaScript (node.js). Evennia seems like a really strong offering in the Python department, and I recently published early builds of a pretty feature-full node.js framework.

Using a scripting language makes a lot of things easier and faster in a MUD server, especially given your focus on scripting mobiles and finding "a hobby that might also translate into an applicable real-life skillset". All three frameworks are pretty hot, and great to have on a resume.

You're not wrong that the details of your idea are separate from your choice of codebase, but that's assuming that you're looking for a really barebone one. Some servers come with more than the basics, and are especially good at fast-tracking certain types of games. So if you can share some broad strokes, folks may be able to give you a better recommendation.
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:24 PM   #3
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Re: Seeking advice

Hello -

Speed and stability are two major interests, obviously. The reason I'm looking most at bare bones engines that I can build on top of is twofold -

Firstly that it means I'll have more to learn. I have a nasty tendency to shortcut myself, and rather than learning how to properly do something from scratch, I'll modify something that already exists until it does what I want. While this isn't a bad thing, it does mean that I ultimately have issue moving forward with new ideas that don't have an existing variation I can work with. It also means that I don't know how to streamline or optimize very well, since my work ends up a frankenstein project.

Secondly, it'll keep licensing fees either very low, or non-existent. I don't plan - and may never plan - to monetize the project, but removing or avoiding issues in that department from the start seems like a good idea. This is largely a hobbyist endeavour, and may forever remain one. But if it does gain the traction to be a self sustaining hobby, that'd be nice too.
--

With regards to my plans, they're pretty simple. I've played many free-to-play and commercial muds alike, and while many have features I appreciate (especially the polished feel of the Iron Realms offerings) none of them have the setting, or the complete array of options/opportunities. A small sampling of things I'm interested in incorporating:

o Balance based, involved combat - those who've played Iron Realms games know what I mean.

o A more modern setting. Nearly every mud I've ever encountered is medieval in nature. I'd like one that mixes more modern ideas with some desirable fantasy/sci-fi flavorings.

o A game-within-the-game setup. That is, people have their 'player avatar' that they connect to the game with and is usable within an 'out of cannon' area. A place where players can talk and post things and generally interact with other players as players. Upon exiting the designated 'out of cannon' area, players would select a different avatar to interact with the game world. This avatar, unlike their 'out of cannon' avatar, would be subject to permadeath rules and such. Part of the reason I want to do it this way is to negate the need for a forum system, but also because it'd let me implement things like a bank/storage system that's tied to the main account, so that even in a permadeath situation, players aren't forced to start entirely from scratch. While many RPI enthusiasts would say that defeats the point, I say it opens up more avenues of exploration and opportunity- people are less inclined towards bold actions when it'd lose them months of time investment. Obviously, the storage/bank system would have some limitations, so that brand new avatars aren't as desirable as long lived ones.

o A system of reward/prestige that encourages the play of a single, long term avatar over many alternates. This would also help discourage people from rolling a character, banking/storing things and committing suicide to start over.

o Reactionary quests/npcs - different races would react differently to one another, some quests would change based on allegiance or other criteria.

o A player volunteer shell system. Allowing those who've proven their strength as role players to create or inhabit NPC's to strengthen and further the lore of the game.

o Instanced bashing on a smaller scale. While most areas would be 'classic' in that mobs/quests would respawn normally, I'd like a few areas where one could be guaranteed to quest or bash even at high traffic times.

o A dynamic identity option for the rogue/stealth class. One thing that always struck me as restrictive was that player names would become instantly recognizable signs as to who and what they were - forcing players to create alternate characters to explore different avenues. This felt particularly restrictive for those who played stealthy classes, who should be able to blend/adapt. I'm hoping to create an ability that'd allow them to disguise themselves as a different, unique PC for purely role play purposes.

I've seen some games that give you a generic descriptor line, and your name is unknown to a person until you introduce yourself. This is -sort- of what I'm talking about, but I'm thinking of something that'd allow you to adopt a different appearance/name entirely - even to those who do know you. It'd be entirely for role play, so most combative actions would strip the disguise. It'd open up new avenues of exploration and espionage, I think.
-

As you can no doubt tell, my major interest is role play, with a side of bashing/grinding. I actually enjoy grinding a character to a higher level, but I understand that some people don't. I've found that many games with a level system are sort of restrictive as to the avenue that pacifist characters or people who simply don't enjoy the grind can take, and I'm hoping to strike a balance.

That's more than enough for now, though I'm eager to hear more suggestions as to where I can start learning to begin bringing my vision to life.

Zoticus
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:53 PM   #4
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Re: Seeking advice

Hi Zoticus and Welcome!

I'm not sure if your whole idea is just to learn how to code or get experience in development so don't let this post discourage you. If, in fact, you are wanting to build your own game, here is a Thread that is invaluable to the beginner:

http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/mu...r-own-mud.html

Good Luck and Enjoy!
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:54 PM   #5
Zoticus
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Re: Seeking advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
Hi Zoticus and Welcome!

I'm not sure if your whole idea is just to learn how to code or get experience in development so don't let this post discourage you. If, in fact, you are wanting to build your own game, here is a Thread that is invaluable to the beginner:

http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/mu...r-own-mud.html

Good Luck and Enjoy!
Hello -

I've read that topic! I came across it in my search for information before I made this topic. I've met steps one through four - though, my maps are less than solid, finite ideas and more like ideas fleshed out a bit - and am on step five, thus this topic. Steps six through ten are good, too. Well, eight is gonna need more research, but we're not there yet. I don't have a thing to host to focus on hosting yet.

Thanks for helping, it's greatly appreciated.

Zoticus
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:41 PM   #6
Newworlds
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Re: Seeking advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoticus View Post
Hello -

I've read that topic! I came across it in my search for information before I made this topic. I've met steps one through four - though, my maps are less than solid, finite ideas and more like ideas fleshed out a bit - and am on step five, thus this topic. Steps six through ten are good, too. Well, eight is gonna need more research, but we're not there yet. I don't have a thing to host to focus on hosting yet.

Thanks for helping, it's greatly appreciated.

Zoticus
No Problem!

Sounds like you are on your way.
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