[MUD-Dev] Client platforms for rapid development of experimental worlds

Bruce Mitchener bruce at cubik.org
Fri Apr 19 23:33:43 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


Ola Fosheim Grøstad wrote:

> Computers are now quite fast and hardware graphics acceleration is
> pretty much standard. What viable platforms are out there for
> graphical client development?
 
> Some technology platform requirements:
 
>   A. provide reasonable customization through a programming language
>   B. reasonable access to networking streams
>   C. easy to implement chat interface
>   D. reasonably fast rendering engine / graphics interface
>   E. architecture which promotes evolutionary development
>   F. sound playing capabilities
>   G. desirable: no proprietary installation requirements
>   H. desirable: portability

What sort of graphics did you mean? 3D? 2D? Just providing for a
GUI?

Some possibilities that I've seen around:

TWin:

   http://tchat.research.att.com/

A Java-based client that speaks MCP with the server (MOO supported,
so nice rapid development on the server side as well).  A list
member has been working with this and has written a Mac MUD client
that supports TWin.  Maybe he'll speak up one day. :)

Erik Ostrom has posted to MUD-Dev before about TWin:

   http://www.kanga.nu/archives/MUD-Dev-L/1998Q2/msg00414.php

CGMud:

   http://www.graysage.com/cg/MUD/CGMud/

The Java client for CGMud supported 2D graphics and some GUI stuff.

Trebuchet:

   http://www.belfry.com/fuzzball/trebuchet/

Trebuchet is a TCL/Tk-based MUD client that supports MCP-GUI.

MCP-GUI:

   http://www.belfry.com/fuzzball/trebuchet/mcp-gui.htm

Some capability for doing GUIs in the client.

TkMOO-light:

   http://www.awns.com/

TkMOO-light has pioneered some interesting features, is written in
TCL/Tk and has some GUI tools that have been built to use it.  He
was also working on supporting TWin at one point, but not sure where
that effort is at now.

Andrew Wilson (the author of TkMOO-light) has posted about it and
some of his work with it to MUD-Dev before:

   http://www.kanga.nu/archives/MUD-Dev-L/1998Q3/msg00662.php

MUDZilla:

   http://mudzilla.mozdev.org/

Going nowhere fast, but a Mozilla-based MUD client using JavaScript
and XUL.

Pueblo:

   http://www.cubik.org/mirrors/pueblo/

No longer commercially supported, but open source (but pretty much
dead).  Used to support VRML, don't know if that is in the sources
that are public or not.

Tapped In:

   http://www.tappedin.org/

Tapped In is an educational project.  They had some web-based MUD
interfaces, but I've never used them.

CVW:

   http://cvw.sf.net/

Yet another MOO-based bit of software, including a client.

In the non-MUD-specific realm, there is Flash and Shockwave,
although they are proprietary.  But they have networking support
these days and can be used to rapidly produce pretty clients.
Shockwave's also got Shockwave 3D (including support for Havok's
physics engine).

I've been doing some work lately that used JavaScript and DHTML to
messages from the server for controlling some UI elements.  Fairly
interesting, seems nice, portability between browsers is a pain
though for various reasons.  Supporting just a single browser (like
Mozilla) would simplify it greatly.  Mozilla also has some really
nice tools in the JavaScript debugger and the DOM Viewer.

Cheers,

  - Bruce

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