[MUD-Dev] Re: Current Projects

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Fri Oct 9 00:50:34 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998


On 11:51 PM 10/8/98 -0700, I personally witnessed Alex Stewart jumping up
to say:
>
>In particular:
> * What kind of software are you working on? (MUD driver, MUD client, etc?)

I'm working on a Win95 MUD server and associated client. 

This is, of course, a stupid and pointless project which I am a fool for
pursuing.

> * Why?

Because I and most of the people I know run Windows in one form or another.
If I can build a server that runs under Windows, then all of the people who
have access to NT servers will have at least one MUD they can run which
isn't a port of a Unix MUD, and all of the people who use Windows will be
able to test their MUD locally. The client will mainly just have some
internal support for some details of the server.

Yes, I know nobody uses proprietary clients and Windows is a crappy POS
architecture and Win95 especially bites the big one and MUDs belong on Unix
and Windows NT might be okay but not for prolonged periods of time.

> * What are its features?

Nothing overly special. It's more or less like a Diku, but I'm not
referring to anyone else's code for it. 

Yes, I know nobody likes Dikus and text-based games are dead.

> * What does it do (will it do) differently than other things do?

Most of the stuff I can do to my current MUD, I have to do through a Unix
shell or by editing a text file. We've been trying to get away from that
everywhere else in computing; why do we continue to accept it in the MUD
world? I want to tweak my MUD's settings through a big dialog box with lots
of property pages, not through a three-meg config file. However, I still
need to have that same telnet-level access to the configs just in case I
don't have actual physical access to the machine... which makes things a
little hairy.

Yes, I know big dialogs with lots of property pages suck.

> * Any neat concepts involved?

It's really a whole series of servers, and the client is a whole series of
clients. In its current setup, it uses just short of a dozen TCP ports. We
already have a lot of nifty features and protocols available, so why not
leverage those things into being part of the MUD? The MUDmail is a
modification of SMTP/POP3, bulletin boards are handled a lot like Usenet
newsgroups, there's an internal finger and whois service, the channel
system is much like the IRC protocol, there's an FTP sort of thing going on
for distribution of information, the help system is a lot like a web
server... the general idea is that if you know how to use the internet in
general, you know how to use the MUD, and vice-versa. Portable skillset,
use the client (or group of clients) you like best.

Yes, I know it's a really stupid idea and too overly complicated to manage.

> * Any boring concepts being used in neat ways?

I think if the server runs under Windows, more people will be able to run
MUDs and run them more effectively.

Yes, I know that will just mean more people will open bad MUDs that nobody
likes and keep them open longer.

Why do this if I know the end result sucks? For the same reason Chrysler
released the minivan even though every market survey they did said nobody
wanted them, everyone hated them, and it was the stupidest damn fool idea
they'd ever heard. Because the public is notorious for not knowing what
they want even when it bites them in the ass, and the industry is famous
for not wanting to do anything too overly different. Ever see a toaster
that *didn't* look just like every other toaster the world has seen since
1950? Me either. Does that mean toasters are perfect?

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Caliban Tiresias Darklock     <caliban at darklock.com> | "Hell, you don't   
Darklock Communications   <http://www.darklock.com/> |  know me."         
FREE KEVIN MITNICK!   <http://www.kevinmitnick.com/> |    - Charles Manson  
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