Sunday, 25 May 2008 reading list

Reading forums like The MUD Connector, MUD Lab, Top MUD Sites and so forth, there are not a lot of posts covering original subjects.

... Are MUDs getting less popular? Allusion to a feature which needs implementing, implicit request for people to design it (or something). Description about yet another MUD programming language which someone is creating, appeal for ideas or comments. ...

I've always wanted to make a set of notes where I can just post summaries of and links to existing discussions on these topics. There's a range of resources, whether the MUD-Dev mail archive or newsgroup posts.

Given a little spare time, this is my initial effort. I am going through the Google groups archive of the newsgroup from the beginning onwards. Not reading the posts at this stage, but making a list of interesting looking threads. It is surprising how few threads of note (excluding crap like bickering over licensing) there are over the early years, 1992-1995 at least.

1992-07-04: Discworld MUDS

Terry Pratchett encouraging MUDs based on Discworld to step forward and be legitimised.
1992-07-31: Admin Burnout and the TMI Dilemma
Several posts which relate to my own MUD development experiences where it is all very well for people to have ideas, but when it comes down to it, you need programmers who are willing to code it.
1992-09-10: Australian MU* ban. Still in effect?
Apparently MUDs were taking a significant proportion of the Australian national link. Interesting note on the overhead of a telnet packet when the protocol is operating in character mode rather than line mode.
1992-10-09: Graphical MUDS?
A poll of what graphical MUDs were available for play, with some allusions to others that were in development (for what that's ever worth).
ATTN: skill based muds
Interesting discussion about skill training through use. Discworld MUD has a system called Taskmaster which was implemented four or five years later than this. Pinkfish from Discworld (David Bennett) can be seen participating in this thread.

EVE Online used to have skill training in this manner, but eventually it was discarded due to the implementational problems it involved in the one-world multi-node environment.

Eggert, who wrote EVE's "taskmaster" system was directly inspired by Discworld's implementation which he experienced as a player in university.
1992-12-03: Skills based systems abuse
Followup discussion on skill advancement through use.
1993-03-12: Magic
Discussion about magic systems.
A new type of player?
Allowing players to login and control NPCs.
Rooms? Who needs them?
Replacing the room-based model with a grid-based model.
Nightmare mudlib 2.4 for MudOS 0.9.16
George Reese makes a post announcing his new mudlib version, listing a range of features it provides. This is analysed by other posters and results in some interesting discussion about schools, guilds and more.
How to permanent character death
Discussion about permadeath. Leads to Alan Cox pointing out that this was the way it originally worked (in MUD1) and it was expensive.
Current position: April 23rd, 1995.


  1. Richard, this is pretty awesome.

    Are you looking at the mud-dev list too? Or is *.admin basically a mirror of mud-dev?

    best, George (Idealiad@TMC)

  2. I have a list of resources I would make my way through, if I continue doing this long enough.

    This is the order:
    - (this should be easier as a lot of threads were cross-posted between the mudding newsgroups).
    - MUD-Dev.
    - The main mudding forums (MUD Connector, MUDLab, ...).

    For the moment, I have found the time to do this. No guarantees as to how long it will be before one of my other projects requires time again. It's also inspiring me to do more work on my mudlib.

  3. Oh, and the newsgroups are distinct from MUD-Dev. Although there was some cross-over.

    I subscribed to MUD-Dev for most of its life and I recognise posts occasionally as I see them in the r.g.m.admin archives. The posters seem to have posted in both places.