[MUD-Dev] New Beginings

Acius helpsfamily at attbi.com
Sun Jun 2 03:34:24 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

Drylar Levre wrote:

> Well, I've been lurking and learning for a few months now, and
> decided to inquire as to opinions. I've been working with a
> text-based mud, diku in origin, with rom influence for a few years
> now. I belive it's time to move onwards and upwards to a more
> challenging goal. As it stands, I've aquired decent knowledge of
> C, and a taste of C++. If I would like to attain my goal, I'm
> wanting to create a graphical mud that: handles 'simple' 3D (ie
> Warcraft or AOE), basic sound effects as well as music,
> cross-platform for Windows and Mac (with the ability to handle
> more, but at least those as a starting point), and that can be
> expanded upon. I'd throw in completely bug and memory leak free,
> but that is every (I hope) programmers wish. What I'd like input
> on is; what would be a good cross-platform language to learn?
> What would be good models to study (I learn best by example)? 
> Where can I find good, quality programming resources for
> cross-platforming online games?  When it comes to the questions of
> Artist and Composers, those I can handle.  I need to learn where
> to go to begin on the groundwork for what I hope to become the
> next great multi-user online game.

Cross platform languages: Theoretically Java is good for this, but
in practice you can also do very well with C/C++, and it's much
faster with a wider existing codebase. It is essential that you have
access to all your target O/S's (or know someone who does) and that
you compile for those O/S's regularly to make sure the code is still

As far as libraries go, you might want to look at SDL -- it's the
one I've heard the most nice things about (www.libsdl.org). It is
LGPL, which means that you should use it as a DLL if you wish to
make a closed-source commercial product, but at least making a
closed source product is legal with the LGPL. SDL lets you use
OpenGL, compiles on several O/S's (Windows, Linux, Beos, and
Macintosh), and does a fairly good job of using hardware
acceleration. It also has a huge number of libraries, for things
like sound, networking, fonts, etc.

Another possibility for cross-platform gaming is ClanLib,
www.clanlib.org. I've only looked at it briefly -- it seems to be
well designed, but I am not sure how flexible it is. ClanLib is
designed for 2d games (but both of your examples, WarCraft and AOE,
are 2d games by the usual definition). These guys have posted a lot
of sample games, many with source code.

Last off, avoiding bugs and leaks mostly requires knowing what
causes them, and coding very carefully and methodically. Don't write
anything beyond midnight, and to paraphrase Einstein, "make it as
simple as possible, but no simpler." The most useful preventative is
a lot of experience.

-- Acius (Adam Helps)
Acius at Walraven

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