[MUD-Dev] Re: Why did it take years?

Niklas Elmqvist d97elm at dtek.chalmers.se
Tue Oct 27 21:23:53 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

[Adam Wiggins:]
> My guess it that the first release of DevMUD will be pretty bad as a mud
> goes (ie, very few commands and whatnot).  The idea being that from *there*,
> someone could take it and turn it into a real, playable game.  Making a good
> engine is not the same task as making a good game.

Indeed. *My* guess is that a lot of the people interested in the technical
aspects of DevMUD are not nearly as interested (or even talented) in
building a world and being creative (I know I am not!). Therefore, once we
start to get a working framework, I am hoping that other members of the
MUD-Dev list, which previously have been quite uninterested in the
project, will come on in on the project and start *doing* things with it.
If not, I am sure we will get a bunch of uninteresting worlds with a lot
of things like "hidden bug" and "corrupt pointer"  mobiles and other
things which only programmers find funny. :) 

[Cynbe ru Taren:]
> >   On a quick scan, I see very little overlap between what the Muq
> > server does and what Golgotha does, so if you want an all-out
> > programmable distributed multimedia virtual world server/client, a
> > good quick estimate come from summing them: About 350,000 lines of
> > hardcode source and 500,000 total lines by the time you have a really
> > impressive softcode layer on top of it.

[Adam Wiggins:] 
> Yes, which makes stealing Golgotha as the client very attractive.
> Obviously a lot of work needs to be done with it, but this could
> actually be a seperate project from the server.  Also, the code
> seems quite well written and organized, but unfortunately
> they insist on a naming sceme that drives me crazy - all lower case,
> tons of underscores, and "_class" tacked onto the end of every
> class name.

(I also reflected on this -- I really *detest* underscores after more than
one feud with Ada 95, and you just don't write C++ with all lower-case!) 

I agree. I know I've pitched this before, but I believe that we should try
to assemble a team to do a DevMUD graphical client based on the Golgotha
source code -- this would of course require a set of server-side modules
to handle the stuff. It's not like we have to invest hundreds of man-years
to do 3D models, textures and stuff -- a fairly basic, texture-mapped,
fractal-generated (or otherwise) terrain with a minimalist world to go
with it, and we're set. Then we let people with *real* creativity have a
go at building the EverQuest-killer. :)

I think that if someone would provide something like this (that is, an
easily expandable and very powerful/flexible state-of-the-art (almost)
graphical MUD system platform) and release it under a nice and free
license, we would suddenly get hundreds if not thousands of new people
pouring into the MUD developer community and getting their minds to work
on this, not to mention the vast amount of hobbyist graphical artists, 3D
modellers and sound techies lurking out there awaiting somewhere to pour
their creativity. I think it would be a great step towards advancing MUD

In addition, it might be very useful to have a team looking at using the
DevMUD platform from the viewpoint of a graphical game. It will probably
uncover a lot of issues we would have missed otherwise and likely could
have severely limited the flexibility of the engine.

> Well look at it this way - the other choice is to a) write another
> LP clone or b) not do it.  I think an ambitious, but eventually
> unsuccessful project would be more fun than either of these.

Indeed. I forgot this in my earlier post on motivation. I really *like*
doing MUD programming, and with a team like this (I've almost worked alone
or near-alone before), I'll have a blast!

> Of course, you don't see me jumping up to volunteer just yet, now
> do you...:)

We'll get you in the end, Adam, you can be certain of that! :)

> Adam W.

-- Niklas Elmqvist (d97elm at dtek.chalmers.se) ----------------------
  "The trouble with being a god is that you've got no one to 
   pray to."
		-- Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

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