[MUD-Dev] [DGN] Creating a MUD

Kwon Ekstrom justice at softhome.net
Tue Jun 4 22:06:59 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: "Edward Glowacki" <glowack2 at msu.edu>
> On Mon, 2002-06-03 at 06:36, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
>> From: "Richard Krush" <richard_k at gmx.net>

>>> Considering the above, I would like to ask people who have a lot
>>> of experience with MUD development or general programming
>>> whether I should do what I planned or postpone it until I get a
>>> degree in CS.

>> Just do it.

>> What's the worst that could happen? You could do a bad job. But
>> isn't that better than nothing?

> To expand on my earlier comments on this thread (in which I said
> "wait until after getting a CS degree):

> I think that working on pieces and learning about various aspects
> of the game in the meantime is definitely good (such as
> networking, combat system, movement, communication, etc.), but
> once you have the CS degree, you'll probably find that there are
> better ways to do a lot of things, and you'll probably want to do
> a complete rewrite to

You'll ALWAYS find better ways of doing things, it's what's so nice
about computers... there's always another way to handle it.  It's
almost guarunteed that something better is going to come out.

>> I think so. And I'll bet most other people think so, too.

> That depends on your goal.  If you want to write a MUD for your
> own enjoyment (the enjoyment being the writing, creating,
> learning, building, etc. as opposed to playing the finished game),
> then whatever you do can only be beneficial.

> However, if you want to release a game for the public, especially
> for profit, then I'd argue that a "bad" game (as in it's missing

Considering the original post, I assume he's writing this for his
own enjoyment.  If you're writing for profit then the degree will
help (But truthfully I doubt the degree will be worth squat compared
to the experience of actually working on a project).

> Sorry for playing devil's advocate here.  I'm not trying to
> discourage anyone from writing a MUD.  Far from it, I've got plans
> for my own too.  =) I just wanted to point out that good design is
> important in making a quality game, and that as you gain
> education, knowledge, and experience, the quality of your game
> will increase.

To quote the original poster "However, I liked the idea of the MUD
and eventually wanted to write one myself, which would be
interesting for me to play in." says that this is for personal

I haven't replied to his post (As I've been busy working on my own
mud and juggling my work duties) but I would personally recommend
starting with a base code, especially considering the admittion of
limited coding experience.  As several people have recommended,
working under an experienced coder would be a good idea, since most
"stock" muds tend to use poor design models (not that I'm impressed
with most of the work of casual mud developers I've worked with

The main goal in creating a mud like that would be personal
enjoyment (I personally work on muds because they're very
interesting mechanically, it's so much fun to tinker with the
settings and view the results) and to improve programming skills (My
work as a casual mud programmer has given me the skills I use at
work now... namely I'm the primary coder for a piece of software
we're selling for $60,000... which I credit to the invaluable
experience I gained as a casual mud programmer)

Sure, if you're going to write a commercial project... planning and
experience are invaluable.  I agree completely, I would wait for
prior work experience before attempting such a project.  The degree,
I could care less about.  No degree will ever prepare you for the
pressures of actually doing the job, getting your feet wet and
getting things done is the only way to do that.  Sure the degree
will help you with your design decisions, but until you've actually
managed a couple projects all the information does is muddy the

-- Kwon J. Ekstrom

P.S. Krushelnitskiy,

I'd seriously recommend getting a copy of a "stock" codebase and
familiarizing yourself with it's workings... play with the code for
a bit and try to get on with an existing mud.  Starting your own is
alot of work and too many amateur admins fail because of the lack of
experience.  Working with an actual playerbase is good experience.
Just don't forget the player, irregardless of what you do make sure
to keep their interests in mind when you write code.  Having your
own copy somewhere to "play" with is nice, it's not a "production"
server so you don't have to worry about breaking things... and
backup your code often (whenever you get something that works) so if
you mangle your code beyond repair you don't lose much.

Consider performance in whatever you do, minor details
matter... quite often better performing software requires more lines
of code.  Eventually with experience you'll get a feel for how
things work and then you could possible setup your own mud.

A misconception I notice alot with "stock" bases is that alot of
pressure is put on the coder when things go wrong... having been
somewhat of a wandering admin (generally fixing up dying muds) 90%
of the work that I notice with the most effect is tweaking things
using the online editors.  Making areas more interesting, and
tweaking skills and classes (most of my work is on smaug where the
majority of the skills are online-editable) Sure code work can
generate alot of interesting effects, but the majority of the work
with your standard mud bases is simply using the settings that are
already provided.  Minor code work and thoughtful tweaking of
already existing systems will give you more bang for your hours than
new complex systems.  Ironically, even knowing that I'm writing my
codebase from scratch because what I want done would take an ungodly
amount of work with existing mud bases.

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