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PsyMUD: a MUD for Linux

Pete Brown - 06 March 2010

When I went to my first college (more on why it was the first shortly), I used to play on a lot of MUDs. MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) were the thing for on-line gaming at the time. The only other real alternative were BBS-based games (usually turn-based) or forking over serious cash to play checkers on CompuServe. This was pre-commercial internet (1990/1991), so MUDs were full of computer science students at various colleges (read:"nerds"). I even saw one of my friends go get married to someone he met on a MUD, in 1991. Trust me, back then, meeting someone online and marrying them was not common.

I spent so much time playing MUDs that I failed out of my first college (University of Lowell). I'd play for 12-14 hours straight, all night, then go sleep all day. The computer lab doors would lock you out at 10 or so, so if you wanted to stay in there after that time, you made the choice not to leave the lab, affectionately called "The Dungeon" by the CS students that hung out there.

The nice thing was the cool grayscale graphics terminals would free up once the grad students went home to bed, so you could have multiple MUD characters (or multiple MUDs) open in different windows at the same time. For most MUDs, this was verboten, but we did it anyway, and beat the pants off the people stuck on their single VT100 and VT220 terminals. Smart Unix (yes it was some flavor of Unix at the time, not Linux) terminals = WIN.

The only power drink we had back then was Jolt cola. Take some Jolt with a couple no-doz and you could go for days. I personally just preferred Jolt and candy.

Oh, and once in a while, I'd go to a class :)


I gave up mudding for a while while I actually got my CS degree elsewhere, until 1996-97 or so when I moved from New England down to Maryland. At that time, I met my (now) wife on a MUD. Some say I stalked her there, but hey, whatever works :)

Anyway, after staying away from them for a bit, I got the idea to write my own as a fun little Linux project. So, in spring 2000, I conjured up the idea of PsyMUD. Like so many of my ideas, it started strongly, then fizzled out when the hard problems were solved.

I had a Linux box as a dedicated firewall at the time. Consumer hardware firewalls blew, and I was one of the first users on a brand new cable network (I was the tech's first install) so I wanted something good. I also had a separate Linux box I used to tinker around with. I played with Linux at a Boston Computer Society meeting in the early 90's. I understand it was a pretty early build. Every so often after that, I'd pick up a new build somewhere and see how it was doing. Given that MUDs were all on Unix boxes in college, it seemed natural to write the MUD for Linux.

So, here it is in my lab section. If you can do something useful with it, please do. This is the very beginnings of a MUD, written in GNU C++ (2000-era) for Linux.

PsyMUD MUD for Linux

posted by Pete Brown on Saturday, March 6, 2010
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