Thu Jun 5 10:16:41 New Zealand Standard Time 1997
My name is Raph Koster and I was invited to join the list by J C
Lawrence, who suggested that I post a brief hello and introduction
with some (lengthy) background.
I've been involved with muds and online gaming since late 1992 or
so... As Ptah, I run LegendMUD along with my wife.
(http://mud.aus.sig.net or telnet://mud.aus.sig.net:9999) It was one
of the first classless muds, and also (I think) the first historical
theme gaming mud. My job there is essentially as creative director
now, though because of job pressures I have been less and less able to
participate actively--fortunately, we saw that coming and moved to a
new organizational structure with a staff capable of handling things
without much supervision.
It's based on the template-style architecture of Dikus, but has
evolved considerably since then (scripting languages, greater
configuration of the game from the database, etc) and is currently
sort of evolving into a weird hybrid of LP and Diku. We run a lecture
series which has often had topics of interest to the mudding community
at large, so we post frequently with ads for the lectures, which you
may have seen. There are probably some design choices in Legend that
may be of interest to the list.
As those of you in the professional online gaming community may know,
LegendMUD was the mud raided by Origin for talent when it began
development of Ultima Online. (Origin beat Mike Sellers and his
Meridian 59 project to hiring me by about two weeks). Our original
head programmer, myself, and my wife (and for a while, Legend's head
builder as well) all work on Ultima Online. My title on that project
is "Creative lead" and I have been responsible for the design of the
ecological simulation layer or "resource system" as it is termed by
the press, much of the game economy, the AI systems, most of the
skills system, coding of most of the skills proper as well as all of
the NPC AI scripting, writing the libraries for UO's script language,
and some town layout and the like.
Obviously, especially since Ultima Online is not yet publicly
available (soon, soon), I cannot discuss too many details about the
architecture and algorithms because of confidentiality--especially
since some of our direct competition is on this list (Hello, Jeff
Kesselman, nice to meet you). But what I can discuss, I'd be glad to.
I've been posting regarding the "state of the art" in mud development
for years, but have fallen silent in the last year or so, and welcome
the chance to participate in a list with low noise and high interest
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