Tagged: Development

Cosrin: A New Dawn

Today I tried out another roleplaying enforced, fantasy themed MUD, much like the MUD I wrote about yesterday.  I made Greri, a human fighter on Cosrin: A New Dawn.   Character creation was short and simple on this MUD, which is something I usually prefer.  The faster I can jump in and start playing, the better.

I opted to go through the new player training on this MUD, as I usually do when trying out a new MUD, and boy am I ever glad I did.  Most of the MUDs I play are based on derivatives of the Diku codebase, and have similar commands.  This MUD uses a custom codebase, and things didn’t exactly work the way I expected them to.  This was a bit off-putting at first, but by the time I finished the  tutorial areas, I actually began to like some of the differences, such as actually having to type to advance on my opponent before attacking with a melee weapon, and entering an attack command every round, instead of having combat be pretty much automatic like on many diku style MUDs.  You can also mix two items to create new items, which is a neat feature.

The hardest thing to get used to was having to hold items in my hands before I could use or wear them, instead of being able to use them directly out of my inventory like I am used to.  I am still undecided as to whether this adds depth to the game, or is just annoying.  It is something I can see being a big barrier to less MUD savvy players.

This MUD is also pay to play if you want to advance past level 30.  I don’t have an opinion one way or the other about pay to play MUDs, but I will rarely try one that isn’t at least playable for non paying players.

All in all, I had a good time on this MUD today, and will probably log back in sometime soon.

Sword & Pen MUD is Moving

English: Sword of Caliph Umar, with later hilt

English: Sword of Caliph Umar, with later hilt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As you may know, sword and pen mud hasn’t been very accessible lately.  I posted a notice on Top MUD Sites describing the problems.  I haven’t had much time to mess with the MUD lately, because I have been busy working on some freelance web design work that has fortunately come my way lately.  However, I did manage to get a copy of CoffeeMUD up and running on my VPS.  I will soon be moving Sword & Pen MUD to this new host.  This will provide a faster and more stable connection than is currently possible with our current host, which is just a copy of the MUD running on my friend’s server at his house.  While I am very grateful he provided me the use of his hardware, and internet connection, the time has come to move to a bit more reliable set-up.

With this move, changes will be coming to Sword & Pen MUD.  These changes will take me some time to implement, so it may be a little longer than I would like before Sword & Pen MUD is fully back online, but I can assure you, it will be well worth the wait.  First,  Sword & Pen MUD has been upgraded to a newer, more stable version of the CoffeeMUD codebase.  Also, you will find that the stock world is now gone, and I am currently building new areas to replace it.   As previously discussed on this blog, nights will no longer cause room darkness, and players will no longer be affected by hunger and thirst.  Food and drink will now exist only for roleplaying purposes, and as  healing items.  I am also enabling the player introduction system in order to encourage roleplaying.  Players will now have to introduce themselves to each other by name before they can see each others names.

Sword & Pen MUD is really more of an experiment in building and running a MUD, rather than a serious MUD right now, but I hope this project will continue to grow and evolve into something myself and others can enjoy, and something we can all be proud of.   If you have any additional tips or ideas that can help me out, share your thoughts in a comment!

MUD Connector Owner Stepping Down

The Mud Connector's logo

The Mud Connector’s logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my last post, I talked about the trouble over at The MUD Connector, and the sudden shutdown of the forums.  Yesterday, I logged back in to The MUD Connector to see if their were any new developments on this situation, and I found that the forums were still down, and this message was posted:

I want to offer an apology to the TMC members for the events that took place these last few days on the forums and which have now resulted in the current unavailable state that they are in. These events have opened my eyes to the fact that I can no longer be a part of the community. Please email me if you are interested in taking over the website, when contacting me please describe your involvement with MUDs, with the TMC community and any skills that you feel you bring to the table which will help you run the site. Please do not expect an immediate response as I expect this will be an exhaustive process as I try to find the right person. -Icculus

All things considered, I think this was the best decision this site owner could make, both for himself, and the rest of the MUD community.  I would like to thank Icculus for all his hard work building and running this site over the years.  This site, along with Top MUD Sites has been an invaluable asset to MUD gamers over the years.  It was on The MUD Connector, all those years ago, where I first discovered this hobby.  This is were it all began for me, so despite the current problems there, and despite all of my own harsh criticisms, this site, and it’s creator, will always hold a special place in my heart.

Today, I logged on to the site, and found that the forums were once again available in read-only form, and the following addendum was posted on the news section of the site:

Update 7/31/2013 – I realized that the above explanation doesn’t really answer the question about why the forums are down and I will be restoring the forums in read-only mode shortly. I believe the more recent threads I was involved with should provide explanation. I know these threads illustrate my administrative side at its worst, full of hasty, erratic and irrational decision-making, in short the behavior of someone no longer fit to be a community administrator. I also feel they shed light on a community that is unforgiving, unnecessarily harsh and unwelcoming and I hope that under new management the community overall can grow to be more respectful and caring for one another.

So that’s it I guess.  I, along with the rest of the MUD community will be anxiously awaiting news on who will be taking over this site.  I am hopeful that Icculus will make the right choice, and bring in some one who will unsure in a new era for the MUD connector, that will make it once again an asset to the MUD community, and a place were new players, like I was all those years ago, can come to discover the hobby.  Once again, thank you Icculus for all your years of heard work on this site.  Good luck in all your future endeavors, and god bless!.

Sword & Pen MUD Launches This Week

Swords from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Centuries

Swords from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Centuries (Photo credit: One lucky guy)

Today I am pleased to announce the official launch of the Sword & Pen MUD.  This MUD is based on the coffeeMUD codebase, and features classic areas that should be familiar to players of ROM based MUDs.  The Sword & Pen MUD will serve as a fun social hangout for readers of the Sword & Pen blog, and anyone else who wants to stop by.

For those of you that want to try your hand at building, either through OLC, or with CoffeeMUD’s powerful and easy to use browser based building environment, Sword & Pen offers you the opportunity to experiment with building your own areas and quests.  I will be putting builder applications online shortly.

Keep a lookout for the new Sword & Pen MUD page that I will be adding to this blog, which will contain information on how to connect to the Sword & Pen MUD, and how to sign up for a builder account.  I look forward to hanging out with my fellow MUDers and meeting new friends on Sword & Pen  MUD, as we create worlds and go on epic adventures together.  This may be starting out as a simple, stock coffeeMUD, but I hope this project will evolve into much more!

The Importance of the MUD Community

Empire MUD Logo

Empire MUD Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Working on my MUD can get pretty lonely sometimes.  I am just one lonely guy, with no other builders or players, working on a MUD by myself.  I would love to go out to the boards, and start advertising for builders, but I would just be one voice amongst countless others begging for people to come build their MUD for them, and make no mistake about it, that is how most “builders wanted” ads for new MUDs that I see are perceived.  A lot of people on the boards advertising for builders come across as fly by night hacks that just expect a bunch of builders to come along and do all of their work for them.  Well, I’ve got news for you guys.  That’s not the way it works.   I don’t want to be so presumptuous.  I would rather build up my MUD own my own for a while,  hopefully to the point where I can attract a small, but loyal player base, and then hopefully I can get some folks in my player base involved as builders.  In my eyes, that’s the way it’s done.

All that being said, that doesn’t change the fact that it is still pretty lonely starting out, working all by myself, and trying to keep myself motivated.  I have a lot of work to do, and no one to share the burden.  I have no one to bounce ideas off of, and get meaningful feedback.  I have no one to offer me a few kind words of encouragement when I am not feeling particularly energetic or creative, and no one to appreciate my work.

This is why it is important to stay plugged into the MUD community, and not just get lost and isolated working on my own game.  That is why I try to read blogs about MUD gaming, and comment on those blogs, and why I try to stay active on the forums.  I try to contribute to the greater MUD community in a positive way, and be a responsible member of that community.  We are a small niche community,  and if you behave irresponsibly as a MUD implementor, word travels fast.  Everyone chats on the same forums.   So that I am not building my MUD in complete isolation, I have made it a point to appease the MUD clique so to speak, and in return, I have gained a valuable resource as I learn about building my MUD.

It never ceases to amaze me how some people just don’t get this.  They show up on the forums, out of nowhere, and right away start running their mouths and pissing everybody off, acting like they know everything.  All I’m saying is, I don’t want to be one of those guys.

Looking for a Good RP MUD

Role-playing

Role-playing (Photo credit: mricon)

To work towards the goal of building my own MUD game, I have been looking for a good MUD that is similar to the style of play I am looking for.  Basically, I am looking for a MUD where roleplaying is required.  The MUD I play the most, Aardwolf, is a good MUD, and I have a lot of fun playing it, but it is not a MUD for roleplayers.  I am going to start going through the lists of MUDs on sites like Top MUD Sites, and The MUD Connector, and looking for an RP MUD.

There are a ton of roleplaying MUDs out there, some good, and some bad.  I find it difficult to put into words exactly what I am looking for in a roleplaying MUD, at least until I spend some time trying a few out and getting a feel for what I like, and what I don’t.  I know I want to be able to talk to other players in character, but I also want to have access to OOC chat channels and rooms.  I want to immerse myself in a good story, but I also want to have the freedom to go off and do my own thing.

As I try out a few of these MUDs, I will post my thoughts here at Sword & Pen.  These won’t be reviews as such, because I feel that you have to play a MUD for a considerable amount of time in order to be able to write a review that really can illustrate what to expect from any particular MUD.  Rather, it will be more like a journal of my own thoughts and experiences playing each MUD.

If you have an suggestions on MUDs to try that might meet my requirements, leave a comment.

tbaMUD

I’m taking some time today to play on the tbaMUD test port on tbaMUD.com:4000.  As far as I can tell, this port doesn’t get a whole lot of action.  There is never anyone on the “who” list when I log in.  A while back, Rumble, the head of tbaMUD, posted a note on the tbaMUD forums asking for people to poke around on the test port and look for bugs and typos and such.  I thought it would be fun to take a character in each of tbaMUD’s four stock classes through all 30 mortal levels on this test port, and while doing so, report any bugs or typos in order to help Rumble and the rest of the tbaMUD staff.  After I am done doing this, I will resume working on my area on the builder’s port, if Rumble hasn’t deleted my area yet.

I would eventually like to make my own MUD, but I need to hone my skills as a builder first, and then learn how to code in C.  The builder’s academy is the best place I found so far to help me reach those goals. If you have ever wanted to be a builder on a MUD, but don’t know where to get started, I highly recommend tbaMUD.com.  The community there is very active and friendly, and there are plenty of folks there that will be eager to answer your questions.

I started making an area called “Deepmeadow” a while back on tbaMUD, but I sort of ran out of steam, and didn’t get anywhere with it yet.  I would still like to build that area though, but I may make some changes to my original idea, with the guidance and advice of the rest of the tbaMUD community.  It is supposed to be a starter town for new players, with shops for basic supplies, and a couple quests to help introduce players to the story of the area.  It was originally supposed to be part of a larger world I was building, but I have decided to make it a stand alone area that can be plugged into any MUD.

If I do get My own MUD up and running at some point, I will definitely still stay plugged into the tbaMUD community, because they are always friendly and willing to provide help and support.  I will probably still use tbaMUD as a build port, because there are always at least a couple people logged on to their build port that I can talk to.  Building a new MUD can be a lonely experience, with no other builders or players logged on, so tbaMUD will help me fight boredom and loneliness, weather I am working on areas for my own MUD, or others.