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Clear as M.U.D.

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In among my mental churn, the idea of creating a M.U.D. keeps coming up. M.U.D. stands for multi-user dungeon, or later incarnations were multi-user dimension or multi-user domain. It is a text-based game that lets you explore a fantasy world (later systems expanded to other genres – sci-fi, cyberpunk, etc.) They were the precursor to such games as Everquest and World of Warcraft. Same type of game, just no fancy graphics. You use your imagination to create the world.

I think my love of text adventure games arose from the original Colossal Cave Adventure game. It was available to us in my high school computer class, back in the day when we had to use a teletype terminal that printed everything out on a long roll of paper. Our teacher used to fuss at us for using lots of paper rolls. We would type in what we wanted to do (‘look’, or ‘read scroll’, or ‘go west’) and the command would go to the remote server in the school district office, then return the response to our terminal to print out. We rushed through our assignments so we could have more time to play. Now kids play more advanced games on their phones. They’ll never know the frustration of getting lost in the ‘twisty turny passages, all alike’ or reaching the end and lighting the ‘rusty mark’ on the wand and blowing things up, or the thrill of using your imagination to create the world you read as text. Good times.

I’ve always wanted to either create or build upon a M.U.D. framework. Building upon an already established framework is much easier. As such, the foundation I want to build upon is a M.U.D. server called Evennia I picked this one for several reasons.

First off, it is built in Python, an elegant little programming language that I have some experience with. Second, it is a project I’ve watched off and on for a number of years. I’ve watched it develop and have been impressed by the way they have designed the system. It looks fairly developer friendly, and gives you a basic ‘blank’ platform to build your world.

Side note: I’ve thought about building a Python programming class aimed at homeschoolers, taking the students from a basic ‘I know nothing about programming’ to ‘Python master.’ I would end up teaching the students how to build a world in Evennia. Probably another pipe dream that will swirl endlessly in the mental churn, but it may come to fruition some day.

I think I’d end up creating some surreal world, something along the lines of Oz or maybe Wonderland. But stranger. It wouldn’t even need to be released to the Internet-at-large, I could run it on my local server and play all day. It might be interesting to put it on the ‘net somewhere and see if anyone else finds it and plays it. I don’t know. Again something for the mental churn.

Anyway, not sure why this arose to the surface of my thinking at this time. It’s not like I don’t have enough to do as it is. Maybe it is just my mind looking for a new way to procrastinate and avoid the responsibility of Real Life. Anyway, this would be a cool project to work on. If I shuffle it from ‘potential project’ to ‘I’m doing this’ I’ll be sure to let you know, dear reader.

Is there some similar passion project you’re sitting on? If so, leave a comment and let me know.

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