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Modernizing Mudserver?

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Posted by koekhaos   (3 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Wed 06 Jun 2018 02:48 AM (UTC)

Amended on Wed 06 Jun 2018 02:55 AM (UTC) by koekhaos

Message
I've been a long term player of a MUD called Carrion Fields (since 1996), though I don't play anymore now, and have always been surprised there are no modern MUD servers out there while tons a MUD clients have been made. I've been brainstorming ways to create a more modern MUD server in which you can add or modify content easily and live without any real programming experience needed. I haven't seen much in the way of any MUD servers like that, but if anyone knows of one, let me know.

So here's the dream. I'm using wxWidgets to create a server and client solution. The idea would be to support traditional telnet on both but to have advanced connectivity features as well to allow for graphics, secure accounts(encryption and password hashing), music, maps, character panels, etc. The client could also have the admin/immortal option when enabled to their account that would allow them to do various things based on their privileges. So they could create new items, areas, classes, etc. You could have a live update that would pause the game for a moment, merge in changes, then unpause the game so no reboots for changes to be applied.

For how some of this would work, the idea is to separate actions a server can complete, such as send text, apply damage, move object, etc, all placed into a list of their smallest pieces. This way you could create new skills or encounters in a block like script by putting your building blocks together in a certain order with specific variables. Another dream would be for different servers to have a gateway system so if they belong to specific "realm" of servers then players could be passed between them through a set of server APIs. They could then have experiences in new "worlds" as they adventure. Other systems I've thought about are an asset system where writers, artists, musicians could list their works and people could pay for them with in game or real currency or trade for them by some other means.

The idea for making it more interesting would be using wxWidgets for cross platform so it could be used on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. I'd also like to get it on Steam so people can have a more mainstream access. I'm an amateur programmer learning as I go so it's been slow, but I've gotten an extremely basic server going that can just return messages its received. I've ran it on Windows, Mac and Linux so far and have even purchased a VPS to test it on and it works great. Obviously, that's just a start and I need to start programming the meat of it but I was curious if anyone else was interested in something like this as I may decide to go open source eventually, though right now it's a bit of a pet project as I am learning a lot by figuring out how to make stuff work. I will need testers too as I go such as a network stress test shortly.

As a side note, I've found vultr.com for cheap, easy vps hosting and it works great with a huge amount of built in options and none of the fluff! I tried Bluehost first, but oh my goodness, their support and security practices were terrifying. They actually asked for part of my password as verification for a simple support question which left me just baffled as no modern companies should do that! I only mention all this because I saw a previous post, which is now locked, where people were talking about virtualbox or such for having Linux and this vultr.com site charges by the minute, but it ends up really cheap like $10 month for a host that could probably even be too much for a mud server. Was just surprised to find them so good and wanted to share since it could be neat for easy test environments of MUD hosting. :) I can't say long term though, since I just signed up.
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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (21,677 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #1 on Wed 06 Jun 2018 06:47 AM (UTC)
Message

This is indeed a wonderful dream. :)

I’ve been thinking of similar things in the past, but have come up against what I think is a big problem: People don’t play MUDs much any more.

As an example, look at the post dates on this web site. There was a gap of 7 days between two posts (30 May 2018 and 6 Jun 2018). It used to be pretty busy, where we would be answering a dozen questions a day.

I think your idea of wxWidgets is great - cross-platform support would be ideal.

A secondary problem is: Even with the most fantastic server engine in the world, and the most fantastic client, you still need content. That is, cities, villages, quests, mobs, and meaningful balance so that there isn’t one weapon that kills everything, and another that is useless.

My suggestion is to assemble a small team:

  • People with imagination to think up a virtual world, places, towns, cities, forests, etc.

  • Programmers who can implement both your client and server

  • Level-designers who can take the imaginative ideas and turn them into numbers. For example, what amount of damage does a level 3 Orc do, using his sword?

  • Support people who, when the server goes live, can attend to issues like people dying and losing all their gear, or what to do with a server glitch.

I think it can be done, but I also don’t think that one person can do it. Good luck with your project, maybe someone will volunteer to help with it. :)


- Nick Gammon

www.gammon.com.au, www.mushclient.com
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Posted by koekhaos   (3 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #2 on Wed 06 Jun 2018 04:01 PM (UTC)
Message
I'm hoping by getting it into Steam we will attract a new generation who just don't know about MUDs. I'm also hoping I can ask lots of questions from you as I muddle my way through this if you are willing. :)
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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (21,677 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #3 on Thu 07 Jun 2018 07:36 AM (UTC)
Message
You are welcome to post other questions. :)

- Nick Gammon

www.gammon.com.au, www.mushclient.com
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