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PsyMUD: MUD for Linux

In Spring 2000, I decided to write my own MUD from scratch, in C++, on one of my Linux boxes. Once the perceived hard problems were solved, I lost interest in the project and the source code just atrophied. I've dug it up, and think it may be of interest to folks who remember MUDs, or who want to write telnet servers for Linux or other servers. I'm releasing the source to everyone to play with. Have fun!




If you're not familiar with MUDs, I suggest you check out the Wikipedia Entry on Multi-User Dungeons (or Domains if you weren't in a D&D-style one).

Basically, a MUD was a telnet server, that hosted tens (or hundreds for the popular ones) of users at a time. Each user would telnet in, often to an IP address of some server running in a computer science department at a college, and use the command line to move their character through a virtual dungeon. The experience would look something like this:

Temple Square 
   You are standing on the temple square. Huge marble steps lead up to the
temple gate. The entrance to the Clerics Guild is to the west, and the old
Grunting Boar Inn, is to the east. Just south of here you see the market 
square, the center of Midgaard. 
Beastly Fido is here. 
Beastly Fido is here. 

> inventory 
You are carrying: 

Beastly fido hits you HARD. Ouch! 

> north 

The Main Street 
Pychlist is standing here, wielding a sword 

Beastly Fido enters the room, snarling 

Psychlist DESTROYS Beastly Fido with his sword. 
Beastly Fido is dead. 

> look 

The Main Street 
   You are on the main street crossing through town. To the south you see 
the entrance to the temple Square. 
Psychlist is standing here, wielding a sword 
The corpse of Beastly Fido is here. 


You get the picture. It was actually fun to even type up the description for this post. :)

If you were on a really popular MUD, you'd get "spammed" with update messages from all the other people in the same room, sometimes lag due to the slow connections and CPU loads from back then, and then find out you were dead once your line freed back up. Still, it was fun.

Advanced users on MUDs could create their own rooms, items, traps, monsters and more. The MUD universes grew organically from within the games themselves. It was addictive.

I've included a gzipped tarball of the source code in the links below. It has been 10 years since I tried to do anything with the source, so no guarantees that it will even compile. However, it's interesting to look at and learn from.

Be sure to check out the related blog post for some interesting historical context.

2 comments for “PsyMUD: MUD for Linux”

  1. Petersays:
    Did you ever used to play BatMUD? It was one of the largest 15 years ago and I believe is still around. I remember that many MUDs actually had a scripting language used by the admins to create new rooms. I was one of these for a short time on BatMud, I think the programming and making really hard monsters was more fun that typing n, s, e, w until your fingers hurt.
  2. Mike Brownsays:
    I remember MUDding back in the day. But I found a more social place called TinyTIM. Everyone had the ability to script from the start. You'd get your own room and from there you could carve out an experience for your fellow MUSHers (Multi-User Shared Hallucination). Lot's of fun. I wonder if any of the old crew still hangs around there...it's been a long time since I last logged in.

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