Imaginary Realities 2000 January Edition

Summary of January 2000 issue of Imaginary Realities. Imaginary Realities was an ezine dedicated to MUDs.

Summary of "Designing God" by Scatter ///\oo/\\\

Scatter was a staff writer and Dawn Whispers MUD "High Lord"

Start designing your MUD's pantheon from the beginning of designing the MUD. Choosing a no god system opens up the possibility for players to gain god like status and power. Having gods, allows for their motivations and conflicts to spawn quests and adventures for the players.

If gods exist in the MUD's mythology, they could be fictional, rather than real, NPCs in the world. If fictional, then the change in leadership of a religion would greatly affect the role and beliefs of that religion.

Thirdly, some gods could be real NPCs, while others are mythical, only.

Answer these four questions about your gods:

  • Who are they?
  • What do they want?
  • Where did they come from?
  • Why are they here?

Differences in worship beliefs of one god can be as interesting to the world as having multiple gods.

"The style or type of gods must be decided. Should it be a pantheon where each god represents one or more emotional concept like love, hate or war; do they embody aspects of life such as time, fate, chance or death; or aspects of the natural world such as air, the sea, the forest; natural forces such as fire, storms, earthquakes; or ways of life such as law, chaos and balance."

The pantheon could be filled with individuals with personal agendas. Those agendas could be good or bad for humanity, or of no affect on humanity.

"What is the nature of the being called a god, does it really live and can it die or be destroyed or banished?"

The above questions can be answered even if they pantheon is only mythological rather than real, too.

"Each god needs one or more religions, each religion needs holy books and doctrine, prophets and legends, holy symbols and icons, styles of temple and organization, ceremonies and rituals of worship, a calendar of holy days and festivals, a hierarchy of priests complete with dress codes, titles, symbols of position, rights, duties and obligations."

Summary of "How Young is Too Young?" by Holly Fanelli

Holly was a Discworld creator and player.

Younger creators--pre-teens--do not share the conversational interests of the older creators. This causes some tension on the creator channel when younger players monologue, or older players start talking about adult topics.

Solutions include creating a separate under-age creator channel that all creators can participate in, or not accepting younger creators into the team.

Summary of "I Think, Therefore I Role play" by Sanvean

Savean is the Overlord of Armageddon MUD.

Armageddon MUD (Arm) is a mandatory roleplaying MUD. Admins are know to be gruff with players that don't roleplay properly, and even kick players that refuse.

A huge improvement to the game, was the addition of a the 'think' command. Only the player, and admins can see the echoed back sentence, but it has helped with roleplaying immensely. Also, admins can cause the player to 'think' adding a level of revelatory elements to the game.

Think has the syntax of


Think then echoes back the "You think, " and the sentence/word to the player and any watching admin.

Summary of "Why do a 3D mud?" by Tommi Leino

"The project was active from year 1995 to year 2002. Initially the project started as a MUD (text-based Multi User Dungeon), then became a 2D roguelike-game, and finally a 3D game."

Majik started as a Diku MUD. They switched to LPMud (MudOS) and ref4rained from used stock libraries to avoid lock-in and allow for easier customization.

Combat, and especially ranged combat, proved difficult to create in a way that allowed a map of the action and spectators to watch the multi-room combat. All the difficulties of creating a satisfactory combat system resulted in a rewrite to version 4.

In version 4, special downloadable client programs were used to get past the limitations of telnet. The combat customizations turned Majik 4 into a 2D Rogue-like game, mostly.

"We got the fourth incarnation to the point where the base code was almost ready. You could go shopping, cut an orc's arm off and eat it afterwards, improve in skills, cast spells, use different combat maneuvers, solve puzzles, and generally do almost anything you could imagine being in the initial base code. It just was lacking the world. While waiting for it to build up, we had an extreme urge to break the limitations found in our engine by one way or the other."

Height and terrain were the next problem to tackle, and that couldn't be handle unless Majik became a 3D game. At first an isometric 3D client was tried, but that turned out to be more difficult than moving over to pure 3D.

Summary of "The World Does Not Need Another (Diku) mud" by Jeff Bennett

Jeff was a Software Engineer in Rochester, New York. He worked on Grimhaven MUD formly known as SneezyMUD.

Stock MUD libraries have damaged the MUD community.

Originally, there were very few MUDs due to technical and administrative challenges. This led to a concentration of players and developers on those few MUD servers. This was good for the community.

Diku MUDs tended to release their code bases to the public, and better servers were available and easier to find and install a pre-made MUD on.

"While the increase in the number of muds might make the maintainers of mud lists happy, it has also diluted the overall mudding community. Fewer players play each mud, meaning there are fewer ideas offered when problems occur. Unfortunately, the availability of the stock muds makes going your own way all too easy. No longer is there any compelling reason to correct a wayward mud through debate or reasoned discourse."

This lead to a downward spiral where new players don't find thriving communities in the MUDs they join. Also, most MUDs have a cookie-cutter feel, due to premade worlds they start with.

"Now, I'm not advocating that distribution of mud code should be abolished. Obviously, no one wants to keep reinventing the wheel. But it sure would be nice if the stock mud distributors placed more restrictions on the people that downloaded their stock."

Summary of "The WorldForge Gaming System" by Bryce Harrington

The game described in this article summary can still be found at

The goals of WorldForge is to create the first game that allows "creating immersive, persistent role-playing worlds that are free to play, and free to change - and graphics rich". With the exception of graphically rich, MUDs have already succeeded at these goals. Ultima Online, iD, Blizzard, and others have made attempts, but have not released much for free.

"In allowing anyone to run a copy of the game, we will force WorldForge to always be free to play. While we are not going to put a restrictive license on the game preventing pay-to-play use of the game engine".

WorldForge will benefit from being opensource. It will allow much custimization through configurations, and it will allow for modules called toolboxes to add features.

Additionally, like advanced MUDs, gamers will be able to alter and build the world themselves, including the creation of new types of objects, buildings, or even new styles of shirts.

Player macros or scripting will be allowed. This provides for combat advantages, or removal of potential drudgery in the game. "At the extreme, a character that is fully scripted is akin to a 'mobile', only better because it has a human watching over it, enhancing it, and in effect doing the AI development for the game administration, for free." AI facilities are built into the game.

At the time of the original article's writing, WorldForge had been in development for a year. [EDITOR'S NOTE: In 2023, WorldForge is still actively developed.]

WorldForge has made great strides in its first year, and gathered a large team of artists and musicians that any professional game house would be proud of. "We're currently focused on a series of milestones leading up to the production of our next release target, a working game called "Acorn". This will be built using our AI engine Cyphesis, and will provide a true, playable game."