[MUD-Dev] Monthly FAQ Posting

Ling K.L.Lo-94 at student.lboro.ac.uk
Sun Mar 21 18:15:36 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

Mud-Dev FAQ

Last modified:   21 March 1998

1. Introduction
2. Frequently Asked Questions
3. Previous Topics
4. Scenarios
5. Resources
6. Glossary
7. Changes, To Do & Acknowledgements

Please email any corrections, suggestions or constructive criticisms
to Ling, elkll at student.lboro.ac.uk.

Recent Changes:

990321 -- Scenarios: Added two more scenarios, The Stamp Collector's Dilemma
		     by Dr. Cat and The Tailor Problem by Marian Griffith.
	  Glossary: Appended generic event-handling C source code to the term
		    "event" courtesy of Adam Wiggins.
		    Added new definition, "mule".

			1. Introduction

The following may also be found at the list's homepage straddled at


List charter 

The MUD Development mailing list is not platform, language or game specific,
but concentrates on discussing the design and implementation of any and all
MUD servers and systems.  Another large related topic is game design.  This
does not mean that the details of a specific server or game design point
can't be discussed in excruciating detail, or even that server or game
source can't be bandied about and picked over, just that the list isn't to
become a religious stomping ground for your platform, language, server, or
hobby horse of choice.  The topic definition is not limited to technical
areas: social engineering, cultural considerations, applicability of
technical addresses to "soft" problems, and other less rigorous avenues of
investigation are also fair game. 

The goal is high signal, low noise. The MUD Development list is NOT an
email version of the rec.games.mud.* newsgroups.


Also from the same page is a message for the commercially orientated amongst

Note from the list owner 

The list has a number of members who work professionally in the field. Their
presence raises certain concerns for intellectual property, trade secrets,
copyrights, etc for the list and for list postings. The below should give an
overview of this area, what I expect of list members, commercially affiliated
or otherwise, as well as the intended character of the list.

As list owner I expect all list members to be responsible for what they post.
The rules are obvious: If there is something your company or affiliations
does not want publicised, then don't post it to the list. If you see one of
your commercial or other partners post something to the list that shouldn't
have been, then don't bring it up on the list -- take it to direct email.
Raising such issues on the list will be used as an excuse for removing

Please do not use this as an alibi to start adding disclaimers to your posts.
You are the members on this list, not your companies. If it isn't your
opinion don't write it. If you are reporting someone else's opinion, state
it as such.

If a post is written as a representative of your company or affiliation, then
identify it as such.  Adding a signature which identifies your affiliation is
not enough.  That can be too easily automated and is not an explicit statement
of representation.  A leading paragraph identifying the source or
representation placed above all the textual body including the attributions,
will do (keep it short).

Commercial grandstanding, advertisements, chest puffing, or other forms of
promotion are not appreciated on the list and will be rewarded with removal of
membership. The list is an expressly non-commercial venue. It is intended as
an intelligent and free discussion by peers in the field, both hobbyist and

Membership of the list is not a right. You are here as my guests. This is a
private list run as a personal contribution to the field. I trust the list's
membership to behave accordingly.

Posting to the list may be considered analagous to having a conversation in my
living room using bull horns while the windows are open and everyone has tape
recorders. There is no secrecy, or control of the dissemination of data once
it is posted.

And on a final note: Attempting to invalidate or discourage a discussion or
avenue of investigation on the list because it strays too close to a
commercial project's field or other such interest will be deemed an
intentional personal insult and due cause for permanent removal from the
list along with all associates.


J C Lawrence, MUD-Dev list owner.


			2. Frequently Asked Questions

1. What should I do now I have joined?

If you have not already, please read the rec.games.mud.* FAQs to
familiarise yourself with all the different sorts of muds out there, see
<URL:http://www.cs.okstate.edu/~jds/mudfaqs.html>.  Take some time to
browse through the list's webpage.  It may be found at
<URL:http://www.kanga.nu/~petidomo/lists/mud-dev/>.  Answers to most list
operation related questions may also be found there.

2. How do I post?

Posting on the list is a privilege which may be obtained from the list
owner (who resides at mud-dev-owner at kanga.nu).  It is suggested you lurk for
a while to get a gist of how things work on the list.  When you do approach
the list owner for posting privileges, attach your intended posting.

3. What is the accepted standard for posting?

In short: No more than 80 columns wide, and only use 7bit ASCII.  If
you are posting from a country/language which uses "special"
characters, such as with umlauts or other diacritical marks, then
please ensure that your mailer properly MIME wraps them.  Most modern
mailers will do this properly.

MIME, HTML, RichText and similar are discouraged.  This encludes
"vcard" attachments from NetScape mail and similar.  Small MIME
attachments, such as a graphic used to illustrate a point discussed in
the text of a message are acceptable.  The guiding rule is that the
brunt of the value of a message must always be in the text.

A reply to another posting must have at least the name of the original
author if your mailer does not automatically prepend one, eg:

  >On  4 Jan 98 at 22:20, Boffo wrote:
  >> Buffy <Buffy at players-r-us.com> wrote:
  >>> I just found a cool mud at <URL:http://web.mud.com>
  >> Golly Gosh!  Cover me in eggs and flour and bake me for 40 minutes!

These are commonly referred to on the list as "attributions".

Web pages are usually referenced in angled brackets as above.  

When quoting a log from a game, put at least two spaces at the start
of each line so that when it is quoted it does not become confused
with other conversation text:

I have a maze in my game:

  > look
  You are in a maze of twistly little passages, all alike.

Isn't it neat?

Will be quoted as:

>I have a maze in my game:
>  > look
>  You are in a maze of twistly little passages, all alike.
>Isn't it neat?

Use a bit of common sense when quoting.  Include enough of the
original message to make sense; no more or less.  Avoid quoting an
entire post with a one line reply (btw, one line replies are bad :).

Also, don't be afraid to change the subject heading to something more
relevant if the topic has strayed somewhat (usually happens to most

Oh yeah, and a sensibly sized signature.

4. What is meant by high signal to noise ratio?

The noisy postings include messages which essentially say "I agree!"
and add no extra value, or those that do not relate to the purpose of
the list (like what you had for dinner, how your codebase/driver is
clearly superior to all others in existence and why language such and
such is better than such and such).  Try to keep on topic and you
won't go wrong.  However, the list is infamous for long postings which
start with one topic and end up rambling on about something else
completely different towards the end.  But so long as it is regarding

5. I just made a post about such and such but no one responded to it!

There could be several reasons why no one has answered to your
posting.  If it was to start a new thread, it could have been that the
topic has just recently been discussed.  Try waiting a while before
bring it back up again.  If it was in answer to a current thread,
other list members will have read it but just might not have anything
to say on that point right then.  

6. What's all this Bubba business?

Bubba, Boffo, Buffy and friends are all typical mud players bred for
test scenarios devised by various list members.  Originally procreated
by J C Lawrence (how, I don't wish to know), they have since come into
widespread use amongst the mud usenet groups (much to J C's amusement).

7. Aaargh!  The traffic is too much!

Perhaps switching to the daily digest mode would help?  Please refer
to your invitation for the appropriate information.
[NB: Since the change to Petidomo, this is no longer supported but
     I believe it is being worked on.  In fact, 70% done as of Jun/98. ]

8. How do I access the archives?

List traffic is archived daily and housed at:

9. How do I turn off the list while I'm on holiday?

There is a "nomail" feature which keeps you subscribed whilst not sending
you list traffic.  It may be activated by mailing mud-dev-request at kanga.nu
with the body of the text as follows:

  nomail <your email address>

To turn it back on after the holiday, substitute "mail" for "nomail".
Note the email address is optional.

Posting privileges are retained so you may find the same feature useful
if you post from several email addresses but would like to receive mail at
just one (don't forget to get posting privs for those addresses).

For more complete information, please take a look at both
<URL:http://www.kanga.nu/~petidomo/lists/mud-dev/#tune-out> and

			3. Previous Topics

Here's a list of practically all the topics discussed since the list's
creation up to the end of Dec 98 (early traffic may be missing):

Server design:
 Affects vs. spoofs
 Security concerns of spoofs
 Component based bodies vs. aggregate bodies vs. atomic bodies
 Rooms vs. coordinate spaces vs. mixed forms of the two
 Methods of handling coordinate spaces: neighborhoods, tree forms
 R-Trees, R*-Trees, 3d arrays, Quad/Oct trees 
 Automated population containers
 Event models
 Internal process models
 Security models
 Multi-threaded server design [conflicts resolution?]
 Database design for a server
 Use of transactional databases in a MUD server
 How to avoid resets
 Parsing systems, and language development tools
 Design of internal MUD languages
 Variations on event-driven design
 Disk vs. memory based designs for MUD servers
 IO Socket efficiencies.
 Telnet protocol and terminal emulation
 Design of Object IDs and Object ID recycling
 Artificial probability systems
 Virtual rooms, virtual objects, virtual mobiles
 Sending mail from within a mud server
 String handling and memory
 Verb handling - global vs. local vs. mixed
 Generic objects
 Object assemblies
 Collision detection
 Client scripting and scripting prevention
 Graphical interfaces
 Must have books for programmers
 Web vs. Telnet

Game design:
 Classes of players and what they want from a game
 Levels vs. level-less vs. abstracted levels vs. level-comparatives
 Keeping a goal progression without levels
 Handling of character inventory and representation of inventory
 Families and their impacts on clans, multi-charring, and tactics
 Character senses, representation and extension
 Re-usable quests or plotlines
 Generic quest creation systems
 Rumor systems, handling rumor propagation, and rumor decay
 Placement of characters in the MUD-world predator totem-pole
 Handling of character death as an in-game event
 Perma-death vs. resurrection
 Economic systems (and lessons learnt by prior experiments)
 Energy-style ecologies and economies
 Ecologies for MUD worlds
 Inter-player communication systems
 Perceived danger levels for characters
 NPC AI, goal-oriented NPCs, intelligently automating NPCs
 Player characters as NPCs/monsters
 Wounds and trauma systems
 Combat systems (round based, no rounds, interactive, etc.)
 Combat messages
 Combat scripting and action
 Dynamic descriptions and perception
 Views on the "undead"
 User command interface design
 All about bows, longbows, crossbows, etc.
 Festivals and in-game mud games
 Supporting both RPers and GOPers
 Virtual chemistry/alchemy
 In-game political and social structures 
 Implementing mundane professions (or Nation of Shopkeepers)
 Methods of integrating PK (coexistence with non-PK)
 Handling poison and disease
 Inebriation and drugs
 Dragons - a number of viewpoints
 Spoken and written languages  
 Food - interesting or irritating
 Starting characters or creating characters
 Amalgamud specification document
 Alignment vs. reputation 
 Character positions and rank point system
 Automatic name generation
 Learning and skill progression  
 Classless systems and profession-based systems
 Physics and the mud universe
 Hard sci-fi vs. science fantasy
 Character places of their own
 Character henchmen and servants 
 Thieves - ideas  
 Allowing players to affect the world
 Group play and group dynamics
 Spells and spell-casting systems 
 Characters - heroes, nobodies, or prey species
 Game balance
 Hive minds
 Traps and riddle lists
 Representing character stats - numeric, descriptive and graphic
 Settings for mud worlds
 List members' inspirational fantasy and sci-fi books
 Handling and building of large trackless areas
 Gods and deity systems

Mud Administration/Philosophy
 Lorry's document on wizarding
 The morality of logging and snooping
 Problems with socializers
 Social control and engineering
 Dealing with "problem" players
 Is the virtual world real?
 Gender issues
 Bartle's mud papers
 The purpose of mudding
 Motivating builders and coders
 Role-play vs. Game-Only Play discussion
 PK vs. Non-PK discussions
 The infamous rape discussion 
 Habitat papers and anecdotes
 Overriding players' control of the character 

The following is a list of topics that appeared on the MudDev list in 

  Server Design:

  Event handling
  Socket programming
  Task parsing
  Byte code
  Java and Javascript
  Dynamic module loading
  DBs and Events
  Java threading
  Let's build a compiler
  Version control
  Intermud communication
  Nested coordinate spaces
  Persistent storage
  Transport layer UDP vs TCP
  Atomic functions
  Algorithms for storing free space
  Mapping - creating bitmaps
  Using SQL databases
  Mapping data into RDBMs
  DevMUD project

  Game Design:

  Mud economy
  Vast areas in muds
  Time travel and logging
  Unique items
  Gods and worshippers
  Terrain rendering
  Simulating future history
  Ultima Online's reputation system
  Bad game designs (What we hate about muds)
  Handling log out
  There can be only one
  Character development
  Teleportation code
  Leaving characters in the game
  Mud school
  Regulating player created objects
  In game bulletin boards
  Level-less muds
  Describe concept
  World persistence
  Random numbers
  Combat intelligence
  Darkness visibility
  Thoughts on languages
  Recursive look
  Equipment fitting
  Implementing god
  Marian's tailor problem
  Room descriptions
  Prescience rules/handling telepathy
  Map-making programs
  Stack-based NPC AI
  Multiple currencies
  Command parsing
  Affordances and Social method
  Fun vs. realism

  Client Design:

  Netscape Clients
  Netscape Gecko
  Graphical Mud perspective
  3D perspective
  Net protocols for mudding
  Client side caching
  Using HTML in muds
  Trusting the client/ security
  DIS - client/server protocol

  Mud Administration/Philosophy:

  Administrative Responsibility
  Impact of the Web on muds
  PK debate summary
  The MLI project
  The Darkhole tests
  Wired on Ultima Online
  CGDC summary
  Laws of Online worlds
  Analysis and specification
  Mud web sites
  What is a mud?
  Storytelling vs. Simulation

[courtesy of Jon A. Lambert]

				4. Scenarios

Standard scenarios used to demonstrate various mechanisms.

Dragon's Dinner				- Alexander Weidt

            /(o__.       _____|  \                     |OcO|
 ---------/|-/|-(  ,__)-------|    |   |--------+++++++++/|_| - |_ -----------
       /\/ |/ |/ _ \++++++C+O+M+P+L|E+X+I+T+Y+++++O+F+++/f|  `-'  |
    |\/         / \/      "++++++D+|+S+T+R+I+B+U+T+E+D+( u|       |
 ___| . .____. /______________|   "|++++++S+Y+S+T+E+M+S+\n|_)___(_/-----------
  _| /| |_  || |_             |____|   |        "++++++++\| | | | \
 /__/LL__,) LL__,)                 |  /                    (__|__) \

Pretty picture depicting the famous `` Dragon's Dinner'' problem, by
Jutta Degener. 

The Dragon's dinner problem

One of the original goals for the DOME project was to provide a
parallel/distributed execution envirionment for an LPmud game
driver. LPmud is programmed in a langauge called LPC, which is derived
from C and enriched with constructs to enable object oriented
programming, complex data types such as associative arrays and lambda
closures. This is interpreted by the game driver which provides single
threaded execution semantics.  Items in the game are represented by
LPC objects which provide methods specifiying how they interact with
other objects in the game.

Consider the following problem (dubbed "Dragon's Dinner"). Assume, in
an asynchronous distributed system, that there are two room objects
(r1, r2) and a door object (d) that connects them. R1 contains a
hungry dragon (hd) and r2 contains an adventurer (a). The door is
currently open, the adventurer has just fled from r1 and is about to
close the door. The dragon, on the other hand, wants to go after the
adventurer. Code for the dragon is something like:

        if (d->is_open())

And the code for closing the door is something like:


Now what if the following happens: The thread that executes the
dragon's action has checked that the door is indeed open, while the
other thread which is concurrently executing on a different processor,
closes the door. This succeeds and the adventurer sees the door
closing. However, when control returns to the dragon's thread, it
still believes that the door is open and steps through it, much to the
surprise of the adventurer who sees the dragon walking through a
closed door, before being devoured by the dragon.

Naturally this is merely a race-condition dictated by the asynchronous
execution of two data-dependent threads. The main goal of the DOME
project is to provide a system where the component objects can be
programmed in a sequential fashion, but have the run-time support
resolve such race-conditions (in a deadlock free manner) so that
parallel execution can be achieved.

Alexander Weidt [June 1995] 

Uncertainty model			- JC Lawrence

Uncertainty model: A representation model for a MUD world or objects based
on the following principles:

  There are three types of objects in the world:

    1) objects which have an uncertain state

    2) objects which have a certain state.

    3) objects which don't exist but retain a certain state.

The state in question about an object can be its exact identity (eg, not
just a key but the key to Castle Krak, not just a worn out sword but The
Sword of the Great God Goo Goo, etc), or the exact state of that
identified object (a gun vs a loaded gun vs a toy gun vs broken gun etc).

The terms:

  -- All objects are indeterminate (unidentified) until identified (see
#1).  Such objects are referred to as "ur-objects", or occassionally

  -- Upon identification ur-objects are "realised" and become

  -- Objects that have been lost and are thus candidates for becoming
ur-objects again, or otherwise torn down are termed "lost-objects" or

The underlieing concept is that the resolution of the identity of an
object is done at the last possible minute.  All ur-objects have the same
innate possibilities of being any matching normal-object.  The decision on
whether any particular ur-object is actually any particular normal-object
is done only at the moment of successful identification (eg an ur-key
sucessfully opens Castle Krak).

The Stamp Collector's Dilemma		- Dr. Cat

Lots of people might like stamp collecting in your virtual
world. But those who do will never play with those who like other
features. Should you have stamp collecting in your world?" We know
that there are a wide range of features that people find enjoyable
in online worlds. We also know that some of these features are in
conflict with one another. Given the above, we don't yet know if it
is possible to have a successful world that incorporates all the
features, or whether the design must choose to exclude some of them
in order to keep the players happy.

The Tailor Problem			- Marian Griffith

Suppose Marian is (role)playing a tailor and in the game that is
a feasible profession. She learns the requisite skills and enjoys
her work, designing clothing for other players, and the opportunity
it provides to talk with many other players.

Along comes Boffo who doesn't like Marian, Tailors in general or is
just in a bad mood. He attacks, and kills, Marian, loots her shop
and leaves her to pick up the pieces.

The question now is: who should protect Marian from this? Marian
herself, being a tailor, has neither the skill nor the interest
in learning to fight and should arguably not be bothered with it.

				5. Resources

Anything notable and mud related that should be read/investigated.


  A Rape in Cyberspace
    The infamous article by Julian Dibbell.

  How it really happened...
    Richard Bartle's early history of MUDs.

  Killers Have More Fun
    An article by Amy Jo Kim.

  Lucasfilm's Habitat
    Detailed documents about an ambitious graphical mud. [JCL]

  Lydia Leong's MUD resource collection
    [Raph K]

  Marian Griffith's !Overlord project
    Full of information useful to mud designer/admins.

    A collection of documents including Bartle's, Dibbell's mentioned
    above. [Raph K]


  AlphaWorld: <URL:http://www.cs.cuc.edu/~sopwith/aw/>
    Anyone care to comment?

  AmigaMUD: <URL:telnet://mud.myrias.com:23>
    Chris Gray's custom mud.  Moving site. [Jun 1998]

  Armageddon: <URL:telnet://ginka.armageddon.org:4050>
    To my knowledge the ONLY truly successful full-bore RP environment
    based on a Diku-style server with full combat and the like. Often
    cited as such at any rate. [Raph K]

  Aturion Dynasty: <URL:http://aturion.com:4444>
    Almost all the muds done by Owen Emlen have interesting design 
    features to them too. [Raph K]
    [See also EmlenMud II]

  Avalon: <URL:http://www.avalon-rpg.com>
    Commercial text muds. Avalon has an interesting newbie tutorial
    mode, and room description generation code that is nifty
    too. [Raph K]

  Cold: <URL:telnet://ice.cold.org:1138>
    A branch off the ColdMUD (below) using the Genesis driver, sometimes
    referred to as Cold/Genesis or ColdX/Genesis.

  ColdMUD: <ftp://ftp.kanga.nu/pub/MUD/Servers/ColdMUD/>
    ColdMUD is for all intents and purposes dead.  Greg Hudson officially
    stopped development of it back in 1994, and I just 'branched' the
    ColdX/Genesis from it, rather than making an issue with people and
    continuing to call my development of it 'ColdMUD'. [Brandon Gillespie]

  CoolMUD: <URL:http://csclub.uwaterloo.ca/u/sfwhite/coolftp>
    Incredibly elegant server design. [JCL]

  Dark Sun Online: <URL:http://www.ssionline.com>
    Commercial graphical mud with turn-based combat in a real-time
    environment. [Raph K]

  DartMUD: <URL:telnet://dartmud.com:2525>
    A very ambitious LP mud with lots of good ideas which never seemed
    to have gelled together correctly.  Plenty of bugs.  A sequel is
    being worked on.

  DragonRealms (Gemstone): <URL:http://dragonrealms.net>
    Gemstone was and prolly still is the most popular mud in the
    world, period. It evolved into DragonRealms. [Raph K]

  Duris: <URL:telnet://duris.org:6666>
    A pk mud with economy?! [Down? Jul 1998]

  Eternal City, The: <URL:http://www.bignetwork/hc/ec>
    Commercial mud using the Cold server.

  EmlenMud II: <URL:http://degu.cs.indiana.edu:6669/em2.html>
    Looks like Owen Emlen is in the process of making a new mud.

  Furcadia: <URL:http://www.realtime.net/furcadia/>
    A commercial graphical mud by Dr. Cat.

  LambdaMOO: <URL:http://vesta.physics.ucla.edu/~smolin/lambda/>
    One of the pages for this MOO.

  LegendMUD: <URL:telnet://mud.aus.sig.net:9999>
    The first classless mud, strange diku/LP hybrid.  See Raph
    Koster's bio.

  Medievia: <URL:telnet://medievia.intersphere.com:4000>
    The most popular free gaming mud I know of. Pioneered the use of
    things like in-game spam ads for themselves and lack of due credit
    given for code (:P) but also has things like ASCII map terrain,
    large algorithmically generated areas, etc. [Raph K] 

  M59: <URL:http://www.3do/meridian>
    Ask Mike S.

  Mortal Conquest: <URL:telnet://>
    That game I can't remember with the whities and the darkies. [JCL]
    By Own Emlen. [Down, 1st March]

  MUD2: <URL:telnet://mud2.com:23>
    A licensed copy run by Bartle.

  MUQ: <URL:http://www5.biostr.washington.edu/~jsp/muq.html>

  Northern Lights:

  Realms, The: <URL:http://www.realmserver.com>
    Realms is a commercial graphical mud from Sierra.

  Shades: <URL:telnet://games.world.co.uk:23>
    TODO - get Bartle's comment here.

  Toril: <URL:telnet://torilmud.com:9999>
    One of two offshoots of Sojourn (other being Duris).

  Trash: <URL:http://games.world.co.uk>
    Somewhere in the webpage with Shades.  [Down, Sept 1998]

  Tron: <URL:telnet://polaris.king.ac.uk:3000>
    An out and out pk mud, more of an arcade game using ASCII maps than
    a mud in the conventional sense.  Not one for the faint hearted.
    Should you want a game but can't find anyone, drop me a bell.
    Start learning with disc or spider.  Be prepared to break your
    keyboard. [Ling]

  UOL: <URL:http://www.ultimaonline.com>
    Ask Raph K.

  Worlds of Carnage: <URL:telnet//carnage.labs.emich.edu:4000>
    The first Diku mud with an internal scripting language, called
    "easyacts." This code formed the basis of the MobProgs put into
    Merc 2.2. LegendMUD is a spiritual offshoot of Carnage, and Cythera is
    a literal offshoot.  (Interestingly, Damion Schubert, a designer on
    M59, was also a Carnage immort alum). Imperium Gothique's scripting
    was derived from either mobprogs or Carnage, not sure which. Carnage
    definitely had a lot of influence on the world of Dikudom. [Raph K]

Notable muds yet to be found:

  IOWA Project, The:
    TODO - dig up references in Bartle's MUD survey, browse LambdaMOO
           ftp site and MUDDev.
	   Keywords: MirrorWorld, Gods, Pippin ("Pip") Caudry.

    Did this not die some time back?  [Tho Keegan may yet resurrect it]

    Although MUD2 is up above.

    Died.  Will have to hang.  Unlikely to find any info.  Spawned Toril
    and Duris, main difference being the way PK is handled.  Search
    Dejanews for references?  (thanx Raph K)

Not so mud related webpages.

  ANSI and VT terminal codes in general:

  And in case you wanted to know more about VT-### in particular:

  Or ANSI terminals:

  AI Nodes/ANN:

  Amit's Games Programming Page:

  Anti-Mac interface:

  BSP trees:

  Image formats (esp PPM):


  VR programming tutorial:

Programming references to get the budding scratch mud coder started:

  BSD Sockets: A Quick And Dirty Primer

  With other relevant papers pointed to by:

  Vic Metcalfe's (vic at brutus.tlug.org) unix-socket FAQ can be found at
    Text version:
    HTML version:

  There's a nice leader page for the FAQ with other related pointers at:

  The TCP/IP applications FAQ can be found at (of course):

  The TCP/IP FAQ from comp.protocols.tcp-ip (probably also on news.answers
  etc) can be found at:

  The raw IP networking FAQ (most interesting to those of use doing
  custom clients or server inter-connects) can be found at:

  The TCP/IP resources list has all sorts of useful pointers:

  Including the various BSD socket programming tutorials:
    <URL:http://ccnga.uwaterloo.ca/~mvlioy/stuff/ipc_adv_tut.txt >

  The Unix Refence desk is another good reference:

  As is Unix Guru Universe:

  And of course, W R Steven's page:

			  6. Glossary of Terms

The list has managed to come up with its own jargon.  Here are some of
the current buzzwords:

Cooperative role-playing: Refers to a specific kind of RP where each
  player's personal 'storyline' is paramount.  All players are aware
  of, and sensitive to, the needs of each player for their story, and
  all actions are completely consentual.  This is a type of play often
  found on MUSHes.

Event: A system design alternative to polling loops.  Objects generate
  events, which are processed in their proper order by the event
  handler.  This is frequently clearer and far more efficient,
  especially with large numbers of objects.  Examples are a torch
  generating an event to burn out in two hours, or a spell generating
  an event for an earthquake to occur in four seconds.

  The following is a compilable example of generic event-handling code in
  C courtesy of Adam Wiggins.

---<begin code>---

#include <stdio.h>

typedef float Tick;			/* Time counter type */

/* Defines for event types */
#define EVENT_ALPHA		0
#define EVENT_BETA		1
#define EVENT_GAMMA		2


/* The event structure itself */
typedef struct SEvent
	int Type;				/* EVENT_x */
	Tick RipenTime;			/* time at which event ripens */
	void *Data;				/* any extra data to be passed to the callback function */
	struct SEvent *Next;
} Event;

/* Defininiton for the callback function type */
typedef void (*EventCallback)(void *);
#define EVENT(x)	void (x)(void *)

/* Event function prototypes - these should be defined somewhere else, like so:

      code to execute on event completion;

/* Master list of event callbacks, by type */
EventCallback EventCallBacks[NUM_EVENTS] =
{ EventAlpha, EventBeta, EventGamma };

Event *EventList = NULL;		/* Master event list */
Tick GameTick = 0;				/* Current game time */

/* Call this to add an event "time" ticks into the future */
void AddEvent(int type, Tick time, void *data)
	Event *newEvent, *e, *prev;

	/* Sanity checking */
	if (time <= 0)

	/* Create the event */
	newEvent = (Event *)malloc(sizeof(Event));
	newEvent->Type = type;
	newEvent->RipenTime = GameTick + time;
	newEvent->Data = data;

	/* Descend the list until a later event is found */
	for (e = EventList; e && e->RipenTime < newEvent->RipenTime; e = e->Next)
		prev = e;

	// Insert the new event before that event
	newEvent->Next = e;
	if (prev)
		prev->Next = newEvent;
		EventList = newEvent;

/* Call the function below during your update loop */
/* The parameter is how many game ticks have passed since the last update */
void EventUpdate(Tick ticks)
	Event *e, *next;
	int update = 0;

	GameTick += ticks;

	/* Execute each event that is due to ripen */
	for (e = EventList; e && e->RipenTime <= GameTick; e = e->Next)
		update = 1;

	/* Second pass, delete all ripened events */
	/* This part is done in a seperate pass in case one of the event callbacks
	   adds a new event, to avoid munging up the event linked list */
	if (update)
		for (e = EventList; e && e->RipenTime <= GameTick; e = next)
			next = e->Next;

		EventList = e;

---<end code>---

Faucet->Drain economy: A virtual economic system wherein there is an
  ongoing influx of new items into the game (usually via a reset model)
  and a hopefully corresponding outflow, usually accomplished through
  object attrition involving equipment danage, rent fees, etc. It is worth
  noting that traditionally, designers have been unable to easily come up
  with a big enough drain to handle all the 'water.' This is as opposed to
  a "Closed economy" in which an attempt is made to close the loop,
  creating new objects only when old ones are used up. [Raph K]

Fixed random seeding: Using a fixed value (such as a character's
  unique ID, or the character's position in XYZ space) to seed the
  random number generator, assuring that the same random number will
  always be rolled if the circumstances are exactly the same, but
  requiring no storage.  This allows parts of the world or its
  behaviours to be dynamically generated from the seed value as
  needed, and yet to have each "new copy" be the same as all the
  others because the seed calue hasn't changed.

Fluidity of Identity: Referring to the difficulty of positively identifying
  a single person who takes many guises in a game world.  Any particular
  action against one of those guises is fairly ineffective; they choose
  another and continue.  This makes it very difficult to pin down
  troublemakers.  ATtempts at identifying people based on their hostname
  (site deny/allow), e-mail address (email registration), credit card number
  (for commercial ventures), or just asking really, really nicely are all
  easily circumvented, especially when it is easy to create new characters or
  accounts (that is, the process is short and automated).  This frequently
  makes it difficult to implement 'real world' solutions to in-game problems
  such as psychotic killing sprees.  Once you catch someone and lock them away
  or put them to death in RL, they are gone.  When you do this on most muds,
  they just log on two seconds later with another character.

Functional roleplaying: A kind of gaming, whilst GoP motivated, is heavily
  tailored to the in-game reality.  There's no thee's or thou's, or even
  pretension of IC/OOC separation, but an awful lot of attention is spent
  by the player in working his character thru the game realities rules as
  it controls and affects his character.  Examples would include
  negotiation of reputation and influence systems, votes, political systems,
  clans and guilds and other similar structures, etc.  Appearance is not
  the key.  Function is. [JCL]

Global namespace: Referring to the fact that most muds rely on characters
  (and sometimes other objects) are given a single and unique name.
  Typing 'who' on most muds gives you a list of these; if you see
  someone named Bob you know that he is the only Bob in the world, and
  can't be confused with anyone else.  This is as compared to a system
  of generated descriptions to which players can attach proper names
  as they please, which may or may not overlap or match up with the
  names assigned by other players.

GoP: Short for 'game-oriented play' or possible 'goal-oriented play'.
  This is usually a competitive style of play usually oriented around
  the accumlation of various resources (money, power, combat ability).

Levels: For the purpose of keeping discussions generic, this term may be
  used as an abstract measurement of a character's ability, skill or
  expertise whether the game system is level-based or skill-based.
  Eg: "If a low level character tries XXX a high level character..."
  The precise details are not of interest as opposed to the impact and
  result of the undefined imbalance.

Lockless server or DB:

  Events request objects from the DB.

  If the object is not in the cache, the DB loads the object.

  The DB replies to the event with a read-only shared reference to the
  The event is added to the "interested parties" list for the object.

  If the event attempts to modify the object, a new local, event-specific
    copy of the object is made, and the changes are made to that.  A copy
    of the original reference however is still kept.

  The event (loosely) attempts to keep track of what members of the
    object it referenced.

  During the execution of an event. all external IO is buffered and held.

  Upon the event terminating it compares its copy of the original object
    (the local reference) with the object that's actually in the DB (may
    have been changed by events commiting during the current event's
    execution).  Some intelligence is attempted here to only compare those
    values etc which were referenced by the event.

  Should the original copy and the current-in-DB copy compare OK, then
    the event commits, the IO is released, and all its changes in its
    written-to copies are commited atomically.  This is the
    Compare&Commit, or C&C.

  If the C&C fails, the event is thrown away, all the copies are released,
    the IO is discarded, and the event is rescheduled to try again.

  There is also some background intelligence here where the DB watches
    the objects that are affected by event's C&C'ing, and will signal the
    other events that are members of those object's interested party list
    that they may be invalidated by the other event's C&C and so should
    kill themselves and reschedule.
                                  ref: DEMOS and the DOME project (JCL)

Markup language: An internal set of codes used by a server to generate
  semi-dynamic messages.  An example is "%c dives %I %o" which might result
  in "Bubba dives behind the wall", "A woman dives into the pool", or
  any number of other strings.

mud or MUD: It is not an acronym.  It is a collective term for all the
  types of games discussed on this list, including both RP and GoP.
  [NB: Another description may be found at the list's homepage
       <URL:http://www.kanga.nu/~petidomo/lists/mud-dev/index.html> ]

Mule: Character created on goal-orientated muds those sole purpose is to
  supplement a player's primary character by supplying services such as
  equipment repair.  Mules usually have skills that cannot be obtained
  without creating a new character but are perceived to be undesirable to
  play.  For example, an alchemist class could be considered unenjoyable
  to play but due to their special ability to repair equipment, the regular
  players create mule alchemists just to access that ability.

Object: Because most of the servers discussed here are
  object-oriented, the word object is being used in its general
  programming sense to include characters, locations, inanimate items,
  and so forth, rather than referring to only inanimate items as is
  typical in some mud servers.

Realism: This is not necessarily corespondance to the real world, but
  rather refers to internal consistency.  In many cases using the
  working of real world systems (physics, for example) is a good
  example for how to build a consistent system for a game world.
  To quote:

  "This is, of course, partially my invention, to suit the gaming world
   we are working on, and is not intended to mirror Real Life - just to
   borrow enough bits and pieces from it, so that it is recognized as
   somewhat structured (rather than totally whimsical) to the player."
							- Holly Sommer

Repop: See Reset.

Reset: Usually a function called in a mud at irregular intervals, the
  purpose of which is to put back the game, or some fragment of the
  game or game world into a known state.  Typically this might mean
  locking an opened door, or resurrecting an NPC that was killed by a
  player and putting him back to guard the door,  Resets and repops
  are common on games that promote repetitive actions for advancement.

Skill net: A single layered skill web. Skills are directly weighted to
  each other.  See skill web (NY)

Skill tree: A skill system where skills have a single parent and
  several children.  A skills at the bottom of the tree being very
  specialised.  Skills higher up the tree will affect the value of
  skills further down.

Skill web: a non-heirarchical two layered skill system wherin each
  skill is weight-related to an arbitrary number of attributes, and
  the improvement of skills therefore automatically improves related
  skills. Examples of skills might be rowing and flycasting, examples
  of attributes, strength (upper arm) and precision (forearm).
  [Note: I triple weight my skill web, so that there are direct
  connections to the condition of the character's body and mind, and
  so that the resiliance of same are improved by conditioning. Nathan Y]
  [Note 2: The web is modeled after a simple neural net design I found in
  Dr. Dobbs' Journal. Nathan Y]

Verb binding: Attaching verbs to an object, such as 'fly' to a
  jetpack.  The command essentially does not exist when you don't have
  the jetpack.

		7. Changes, To Do & Acknowledgements

990112 -- The Members: Whole section removed.  Look forward to an HTML
	  version to appear on kanga sometime soon (this weekend hopefully).

981213 -- The Members: Updated Adam Wiggins' bio.  Subjectively stripped
	  the bios of members that haven't posted recently, includes:
	  John Bertogio; Reed Copsey, Jr; Marc Eyrignoux; David Love (aka
	  Sauron); Katrina McClelan; and Greg Munt.  Expect the whole
	  section to go in favour of an HTML version in the New Year
	  integrating the thread titled "Current Projects".

981110 -- Just found a long lost email for FAQ alterations.
	  FAQ: Changed MUD-Dev links from /index.html to /
          The Members: Minor alterations to JCL's bio.
	  Resources: Link and brief for original ColdMUD added.
		     More links for Habitat added.
		     Displaced programmming links with those supplied by JCL.

980907 -- Resources: All things ansi and telnet related added.

980811 -- The Members: Matthew R. Sheahan's bio added.
		       Greg Underwood's bio amended.
	  Resources: Amit's Games Programming Page added.
		     Whole bunch of programming references added.
	  Glossary: "Fluidity of Identity" added.

980708 -- Snipped signatures from members' bios suggested by Alex Oren. :(
	  Minor typo and adjustments suggested by JCL.  Overdue addition
	  of MUDDex and Lydia Leong's MUD resource collection to Resources.
	  "Faucet->Drain economy" term for Glossary added.  Stole list
	  charter from homepage to act as a welcome message of sorts.
	  Small reorganisation of sections 1,2,3.  Added Bartle's early
	  MUD history to web link in Resources.  The Bungle link in Resources
	  disappeared, added back in, though different site.  Quietly dropped
	  Derrick Jones' bio (was empty).

980506 -- Moved the changes list to a section in the back, only the most
	  changes since the last post appear here now.  Appended Holly
	  Sommer quote to "realism" glossary term.  Added "functional
	  roleplaying" glossary term.  Updated Frequently Asked Questions.
	  Added networking tutorial web link to Resources.  Added Bungle
	  web link to Resources.

980428 -- New scenarios section,a couple more glossary terms and more
	  member's bios.

980308 -- Mailing list invite.

980301 -- Even more addresses for the resource section.

980201 -- More bios, more addresses for the resource section.

980107 -- Added a few more questions.  Previous topics now has its own
	  universe as suggested by Adam Wiggins.  Plonked in a resources
	  section.  Took out standard technical terms as suggested by Adam

971201 -- FAQ created.

To Do:  

  Conventions of example scenarios (Bubba, Boffo, Buffy, etc)

  List of references for specific scenarios/docs (Habitat/Great God GooGoo,
  Crystalline Tree, recognising Sting in the weapons shop, etc).

  Solutions for the scenarios?

  Obtain addresses for the muds in the resource section.

  Statement of topic definition (cf welcome message).

  Update previous topics section.


  Everyone on the list who contributed with a bio, everyone on the
list who posts and special thanks to Jon A. Lambert, Adam Wiggins,
Nathan Yospe, Raph Koster and lastly but definitely not the least,
J C Lawrence.

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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