[MUD-Dev] Libs for 3D Client/Servers

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Tue Jul 3 17:10:51 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Hook <bwh at wksoftware.com>

> I'm curious what the list membership would think of a product that
> was basically a "graphical MUD in a box".  Something with a set of
> libs for a server, client, database, etc. and that lets MUD
> operators create and manage their own 3D graphics MUDs for smaller
> scale operations (I'm thinking along the lines of hundreds of
> simultaneous users on a server).
> I believe MonoLith has something like this in their
> LithTech/LithWorlds stuff...is this interesting to many people?

> The big problem I can think of is that, even with sufficient
> tools, there is a lot of complex art that needs to be created, so
> the step
> from text MUD to graphical MUD is a pretty steep one.

I think it would have potential, especially if it was not GPL'd
(some other version of the copy-left scheme, that allowed the
operators to collect money and even make a profit would be fine).

The key point would be graphical assets, I'd suggest hard-coding
that format and make it unchangeable by the users. If any new
capabilities were needed, then you could incorporate them in a
backwards-compatible way.  The biggest barriers to entry for such a
product would be the problems it poses for someone who makes a
popular variant, can't afford to serve everyone who would like to
connect but doesn't want to throw his work into the public domain,
and conversely, building up a large enough "Open Source" community
of critical assets like art and models.

So I'd "copy-left" liscense all of the graphical assets and scripts,
so that the dragon model created by Joe Artist can be picked up by
Sam Scripter and given a skin made by his art student friend without
a lot of fuss, but under a liscense (perhaps based on the FreeBSD or
LGPL liscense?) that allowed the operator to make a profit.  And I'd
keep the engine itself under a traditional liscense, so I could make
money selling copies of the base client and maintain control of the
core codebase, keep it from forking into incompatible
versions. (under such a liscensing scheme, the way to make money
would be based on your reputation as an operator, it's the only way
you could compete with someone operating a clone with the same
scripts and graphical assets)

Basicly, NWN without a few of the restrictions that will scotch
third-party tools and commercial projects for variants that turn out
to be more popular than the originator can afford, or the LithTech
engine without the huge up-front cost.  In fact, something close to
a MUD-flavored version of Gas Powered Games and the V12 engine.  Not
quite the same, like GPG would be if you could download new FPS
games into your purchased copy of T2 and play them (well, in a way
you can, but again not under terms that allow the originator to make
any money).

--Dave Rickey

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