Advanced Topic - Doing it differently.

Christopher Bunting cbunting99 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 5 00:51:19 New Zealand Standard Time 2005


Hello All,
I know there used to be various coders on this list from way back,
while most people are probably not looking to do anything of this
depth, I figured that I would make the post here since it does relate
to my rom codebase. Please note: Allot of this post contains my own
personal opinions based on my experience with muds over the course of
many years so it's not directed to anyone.. They are just my
thoughts..

----- Start of Post -----

 I've had various ideas in the past on how I want my mud to be
different. I had at one time tried to get ideas from the web but the
problem I see is that everything regarding muds is so standardized
that it's unbelievable.

We have all of these great telnet clients like ZMud, Portal and tons
of others. But no one has ever really developed one aimed at mud
developers to incorporate into thier own games..

And then, we have various muds working to incorporate the use of mysql
to do back end functions and such. While all of this stuff maybe sound
good, I think the biggest problem is that in my personal opinion,
these developers have missed the point..

General muds have worked great for years and there was never a need
for this back in the mid 90's.. I have yet to see a mud with a
playerbase of that size today who had even thought about doing this.
Aardwolf has had in excess of 400+ players on at many times. I've
never heard mention of them using a database. Why change what already
works well. Hence, it would be nice if that much effort was put into a
mud client that we have never seen.

The great thing about graphical games is that stress is taken off of
the server because players are given a specifically written client
just for that game.. Like UO, Quake, and so on. It's beyond me why
Smaug was the only mud I ever knew of that attempted anything close
with the Realms Client or whatever. But if I remember, it was windows
only.

I, myself have been looking into writing a client that could connect
to a mud and would also hold the majority of files that most diku
derived muds hold in memory.. Meaning that the mud client would
include the help files, general gaming notes, contain the motd and so
forth all within the encryted files. The player downloads the client,
logs on, the client checks for updates for new helps ect and downloads
them in the background.. I think a typical mud can be expanded greatly
if the server / client aspects were seperated.

If you are familiar with the RoaClient and the set of c scripts that
you can incorporate into your mud for sending the motd, boards, eq
lists, who list, sound files and such, then this is what I am after.
But I'm not just looking to have scripts, I'd like to offer an open
source frontend/client as well. That's the only drawback about Roa, no
source for the actual client and hence, it too only runs on windows.

I see nothing wrong with doing this in terms of files client side.
Some may say that it would make it easier for players to expose the
docs or info contained within the files.. But It doesn't matter
because even with RoaClient, Zmud and others, I can copy the text of
any mud at any time.. It's ashame people do this but I know I've seen
muds with 100% original areas that were copied and reused elsewhere.
However, A specific client with it's own protocal/encryption could
help stop this.

I guess overall, I'm looking to do something more like UO and general
3D games in terms of the seperated client/server. I'm not looking to
build a grapical mud. Although bmp, gif, jpg login greetings, motd's
and map support would be nice. I'm just not trying to reinvent the
wheel and worsen the system resource load due to external databases
and everything else. The client should support all of this by issuing
simple commands, not sending full files. Meaning that if the mud send
the send motd, the mud client would do all of the work on the client
side.

The problem is that there isn't anywhere to look. I've thought about
using the front end from something like Quake 2 and incorporating the
text capabilities from the mud into it but Quake is a commercial
product and it would appear that there would be too many issues using
it along with a modified codebase like mine (Rom24) which has been in
development for about 3 years now.

Does anyone have any ideas or links to something like this or docs
about this. I don't want an actual client, I would just like to find
info on sending/receiving files and updating things client side.
Encrytion of files and so on. There has never been any open source
clients with overhead maps or anything of the nature being shown and
updated 24/7 on the client side that I have seen. These are just some
of the many things I'm looking to achive but just don't know where to
start.

Please post any of your ideas or thoughts if you would,
Thanks
Chris
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