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Running a MUD sever.

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Posted by Loki   (44 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Sat 25 Jan 2003 01:53 AM (UTC)
I can't help to notice that there are a lot of posts asking for advice on how to start a MUD
what server to use, how to compile servers. I rarely see anyone bring up the real issues
and the questions that you should be asking your self. Usually if you ask these questions
to yourself, you might find out that you know the answer already.

1. Do I have time to run a MUD?
2. Do I have the mentality to run a MUD?
3. Do I have the experience to run a MUD?

Some people seem to be under the misconception that MUDs are easy to run. This is far from
the truth. It takes a lot of time and dedication. Being a Implementer is a way of life. Constant
hassle, grief, and heart ache. Anyone who is even thinking about running a mud is crazy. I
know, This isn't the case with you. You have a fresh Idea, you're smart, and you are going
to make a MUD like no other. It is going to be the #1
MUD in the whole MUD universe.

Reality check: 90% of all the MUD in existence will fail.
90% of the implementers of those MUDs had the same visions.
80% of those implementers failed before they started.

Some naive persons think that all they have to do is pay for hosting. They
Hire staff and they want to sit back and have everything done for them.
They don't realize that the are going to have to listen to every problem everyone
Has, that everyone expects the implementer to treat his or her problem as the priority,
And they are the ones who have to answer to the players for the behavior of the staff.

How is the Best way to start a MUD? By playing of course. Search for your codebase
by testing them out. Once you have found a decent codebase, that you enjoy, play
with that codebase for at least 3 months or until you have learned the codebase from
a players perspective. Then see if that MUD is hiring. If they are, apply for a building
position. DO NOT go to 20 different MUDs. Stick with only one. Once you have building down,
request another position. You should be in that MUD's staff for at least a year. Work your
way to the top, learning everything from your staffs' point of view.This will allow you to
make more sound decisions as an Implementer. After everything, You should have had at
least a year of Staff experience on a productive MUD with a decent sized pbase. If you
can't accomplish this then chances are that you are not ready to run your own MUD.

Don’t let this post discourage you. This is my opinion. This is just something to
think about before you start investing a lot of time and effort into making a
vision that you may have come to life. Running a MUD takes a level of maturity
along with determination and patience. If you don’t have these qualities you
may see your vision go down in flames. Don’t fret, these qualities may come
with time.

Endless Dreams
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Posted by Boborak   USA  (228 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #1 on Sun 26 Jan 2003 04:35 AM (UTC)
I couldn't agree with you more! I'm fortunate that my RL job normally allows me the time and access to at least sporadically work on my mud while at work. Overall I spend an average of 12+ hours a day actively working on code, areas, ect. and it still doesn't seem like there's enough time in the day.
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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (22,928 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #2 on Sun 26 Jan 2003 10:51 PM (UTC)
I agree with Loki, and wanted to add that a decent MUD will probably take "full time" a handful of people, not just one. By "full time" I mean as much time as you can spare, assuming you have a day job, or go to school or college or something. I would suggest you need people to:

  • Code (improve the server C code)
  • Build (make new areas, do mob programs)
  • Administer (add spells, skills, check things work)
  • Newbie help
  • Player management - dispute resolution etc.
  • Promote the MUD - do web pages, answer emails etc.

Bearing in mind that MUDs normally operate 24 hours a day, and you may only be available between (say) 6 pm and 11 pm, you need people to help oversee the MUD when you are asleep or at work, eg. someone from England, Australia, New Zealand, or other parts of the world in a different time zone.

You don't have to do all of the above, you can run a stock MUD server with stock areas, and not bother helping newbies, but I doubt you will get many people playing.

If you just want to have some quiet fun, by all means download SMAUG, DoT or ROM, and just play when you feel like it with a friend or two, but don't expect to take the world by storm as the next "most popular MUD".

- Nick Gammon

www.gammon.com.au, www.mushclient.com
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Posted by Rash   United Kingdom  (56 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #3 on Sun 09 Nov 2003 04:53 PM (UTC)
I have to agree with everything you have all said!
Hosting a MUD is a lot harder (and more tiresome) than it may first seem, and trust me this is very true!

I'v played a SMAUG MUD (Dyre, dyremud.com 2424) for 6 years... iv experimented a few times on things like Ages Of The Ancients (mud.wolfpaw.com (cant remember the port))
which i think is wolfpaw/rot... and also Vampire Wars (Before it was taken down.) but SMAUG has allways kept my attention.

Now why am I posting on a old topic? because I'v seen to many of my friends thinking "Oh look a MUD, i know lets do one!" and then starting out and paying hosting etc... before going "ahh this is crap no-ones coming to play!"

So really... think before you leap or in this case before you host... and to expand on what Nick and Loki and Boborak said... You need quite a bit of staff so dont expect to do it all yourself...


1. At least 1 Immortal to overview the Mud as awhole. Watch out for nasty players sort out trouble, just look after everything, making sure everything works...
2. I would say about 2-3 builders MINUIMUM to supply fresh areas to keep your mud expanding.
3. 1 or 2 Immortals to welcome newbies and to help them through their early days... (VERY IMPORTANT if your code is heavily modified and they have no idea what 'draw' or even 'level' does!!!
4. Advertise lots! This is really every imms job... spread the word... just remember not to brake other MUD Policys... i.e. advertise on another muds forums or advertise ON another mud (thats vey bad!!!) Place's to advertsie could be Kyndig.com, here (if Nick allows that??? im not sure) and also the mud connector! (one of the best places!)
5. dont forget Code imms (for improving code such as maybe adding support for Portal or sounds? or how about making that who command look alot nicer? you need code imms to do it!

You could of course, do all this yourself... (I did for the first month or so... but be ready for long nights, and even longer coffee bills!!!!!)

Anyway my thoughts on this past subject :-P

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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (22,928 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #4 on Tue 11 Nov 2003 09:21 PM (UTC)
This is such an interesting topic I have put a link to it on the "topic header" page for this part of the forum. Yes, announcements are OK on this forum, there is an Announcements section for that purpose.

- Nick Gammon

www.gammon.com.au, www.mushclient.com
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Posted by Nick Cash   USA  (626 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #5 on Wed 10 Dec 2003 06:24 AM (UTC)
Heh, I know its an old thread, but I would like to say that I was exactly like that. Oh, a mud, free code base, must not be to hard. That kind of thing. But afterwards I realized how much work was involved. However, instead of giving up, I tried to learn. And thus far, after countless hours of work, argument, more work, lots of caffinated drinks, lost weekends, and tireless nights I have come to have my very own game. Its truly something I can be proud of. I know the the previous posts seem kind of discouraging, telling you to think things trough and all (which is hard for some people), but in the end you can sit back and see some of the people having a good time and think, "Look at what I've done. I built that from the ground up. Its mine." For the most part anyways, make sure you abide by your license's.

Anyways, I guess what I'm trying to say is don't get discourged if it doesn't work at first. Half the fun is making it (or in my case, breaking it), and the other half seeing people have fun on it. Don't give up, keep trying. In the end its really worth it, or I wouldn't have spent the last 3 years doing it. But above all, make sure that at least in the end your having a good time, and remember, its a learning process too.

~Nick Cash
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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (22,928 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #6 on Wed 10 Dec 2003 10:16 AM (UTC)
Well said. My posts were not intended to discourage, a few years ago I knew very little about MUDs, and it took time to learn what I know now.

If you put the time in you can find it very rewarding, and fun. I suppose the point is to not expect that you can come from knowing nothing to running a great MUD in a weekend.

However if you organise a few friends to help, or have a lot of time and energy yourself, then you can have a lot of fun, and a great learning experience to boot.

- Nick Gammon

www.gammon.com.au, www.mushclient.com
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Posted by Aidan   (8 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #7 on Sat 14 Feb 2004 11:48 PM (UTC)
I agree with what everyone has said here. I'm living proof of it, in a way. I've played many MUD's throughout my years on the Internet, and earlier on BBSes. A couple of my geek friends and I decided a few months ago to try our hand at running a MUD. I had the experience and knowledge to get some of them started down the road. Several of them are still learning the ins and outs of playing a MUD. Others had played a MUD before and they're helping me design some areas and the like. We're having a ton of fun...but it's slow going at times. It's been three months and although we have a few areas completed, it's only about 400 rooms worth. Meaning we have alot more work to do. The best advice I could give anyone who wants to run their own MUD is make sure you enjoy MUDding and make sure that you can enjoy running your own MUD. Then just be willing to take it one step at a time.
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Posted by Uru   Canada  (67 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #8 on Tue 09 Mar 2004 05:32 PM (UTC)
I agree to agree with all everyone has said. I'm just starting and my mud isn't even online yet. It actually started way back in 196... wait, I digress. It actually started last year. I started downloading Game Creation Tools/Software, etc, just to learn some crap.

Then, I stumbled on MUDs, Mush's, and all that other funny sounding stuff; got destroyed in God Wars, fought with some Hands and Legs in another MUD, then found out you can make your own.

It's a lot of work but I enjoy it and maybe, in another galaxy, someday in the future, I'll have my own MUD up and running. For now, I'll experiment with progs and watch monsters beat each other silly... live and learn, eh?


"What does not kill us makes us stronger."
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Posted by Nick Gammon   Australia  (22,928 posts)  [Biography] bio   Forum Administrator
Date Reply #9 on Thu 20 Oct 2005 09:37 PM (UTC)
I have added more information to this general idea - see the forum posting New C++ codebase. In that I describe various questions you should be able to answer before starting a new MUD (or modifying an existing one extensively).

- Nick Gammon

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