[MUD-Dev] about MOO

maddog at best.com maddog at best.com
Fri Nov 19 18:31:49 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


The question of "why not MOO" is valid.  I can give you some perspective
on MOO since I am one of the mud dinosaurs and for a long time I inhabited
LamdbaMOO and a couple of other MOOs.

Several years ago I tried to help put out the first internet game book by
writing certain mud sections or getting other writers involved (mud admins
actually).  The my sections covered LP, MOO, MUSH, and Cold.  
One of the most heated topic of the time was that I had to promise to make 
it clear that MOO was not a game server and it ended up having its own 
section.  Even with that promise, a couple of MOOs still didn't want 
anything written about them.

It's been the nature of MOOs to have some really amazing technologies and
to rarely let the world know that all those things exists.  MOOs
advertised themselves as "serious" or "research" MOOs.
The effect was to discourage game versions of MOOs. Instead MOOs evolved
into various forms of media servers and were hidden inside other research
projects.

The best known is still LambdaMOO.  However LambdaMOO has had so many 
authors that the licensing issues are in a mess. No one has been able
to resolve that and a few years ago I was still warning MOO users to
stay away from the LamdbaMOO core for the licensing issues.  A better
alternate was Jay's House which I believe was licensed under one of the
open licenses.

The next problem is that there is no known publicly available game
server.  Even LPMOO is built on top of DGD and only provides the
ability to run MOO on DGD.  I have never seen even a simple LP lib
running inside the LPMOO.  One other attempt to make a Diku-like MOO
disappeared from the face of the earth after a promising start.

The alternative was Cold.  This project was started to address 
some of the defiencies in MOO.  The first lib was extremely lean.
But now it is a fully developed lib.  Both the cold lib and the server
are under an open license.  Once again some interesting technologies
if you know how to do the stuff, and of course no known publicly
available game server.

I believe that currently I have one of two open Cold game servers in the 
Milky Way.  The core was built by a former MOO madman that also built the game 
engine for Cold (Kipp).  Kipp was sort of vague about the
license of his "ColdHell".  ColdHell is designed for game which means you
can make mobiles easily and fight them if you want.  Other things are easy
to create such as doors and portals and such.  Not too hard to program 
either.  Also have Pueblo hooks. And some very interesting distributed
features so that I could carry objects to another Coldhell, enter another
server room or hear people talking from the other server and so on.
I don't really understand the mechanics except that I know it's fairly
simple to do.  In fact at one time I was casting fire bolts from my server
into another server's room. The ColdHell db is still available from cold.org,
but my core had several bug fixes and I don't know if they ever got back
into ColdHell.

If you want to see the world, its at madwizards.com 1150. If you don't have
programmer or builder priviledges about all you can see is some rooms,
sliding doors, a few mobiles, part of the old LP lib 2.4 something including
the troll  -- although he is not aggressive.  

I also am in contact with two wizards who know how to program ColdHell 
so if someone could ever come up with an interesting project, I would 
be willing to support any game development done on the server.
Actually everything has fallen apart since Everquest opened up.

Another note: a couple of people in the MOO list have talked about
a 3D mud.  So I suggested they look at Genesis3D engine instead of
trying to write their own.  Genesis3D is open source and includes
a network version. And then today I got email from someone involved
with Genesis3D and he wants to create a virtual worlds.

Lots of interesting little projects -- not enough critical mass to 
finish most of them.

frank



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