New browser based text adventure MUD coming soon

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Before I talk about ArchaicQuest here’s a little background into what a MUD is. A lot of people I have spoken to pull a confused face when I mention I’m developing or play a MUD. Iv’e only met 1 person who knew what a MUD was. There was also a time when I didn’t know what a MUD was and I’m an avid RPG fan. I stumbled across these text based gems when doing some googling for a deep RPG to try that was 3 years ago and I never looked back.

Confused about what a MUD is.

What is a MUD

Multi User Dungeon is the widely used term for the acronym MUD. I have also seen it referred to as Multi Undergraduate Destroyer. Due to their addictiveness potentially causing students to spend too much time mudding instead of studying.

They are virtual worlds you connect to using a telnet client. Below is the welcome screen of my favourite MUD known as Dark & Shattered Lands

DSL-MUD Connection Screen
I spent many years learning and playing at Dark & Shattered Lands

Why do people still play MUDs

I can’t answer for everyone but for me what drew me in was all the options, the large number of skills and spells, an even longer list of features and the feeling of being lost. The complexity and scale wow’ed me and I wanted to master it.

I never mastered DSL mud but I did become a skilled player killer. The thrill and excitement of PK combat was one of the main reasons I played. Also one of the reasons many other people play muds and no kidding , you will feel adrenaline pumping through you as you rapidly type Murder for the 1st time.

These are big worlds you step into, each area or room as they are known as is fully described; telling you what you see and what exits are available to you. These are only the obvious ones, for the keen adventurer and explorer there is a lot to uncover and discover by searching for clues you may find a hidden exit leading you to find a secret or plummet to your death. Many people enjoy exploring and discovering every aspect of the MUD.

A large map of Ankh morpork
Showing off the sheer scale of MUDs, each circle is a room in the city of Ankh morpork from Discworld Mud

There is also the social aspect of MUDs the role playing and speaking in character to others is really fun and really makes your character feel alive and part of the world. I have fond memories of great RP moments and these will never leave you.

Why are you making a MUD?

Now you know more about what a mud is, why am I making one instead of playing one?

I left my favorite MUD after it became apparent that if I wanted to become better at PK I needed to spend hundreds of dollars on my character to improve them which I didn’t want to do.

So here are my reasons

  1. I can’t find one I love, every one has something I don’t like. Some MUD’s match my criteria of good RP/PK but equipment doesn’t get saved so you have to go get some every time you log on or some require you to find an inn to save and quit. Realistic maybe but sometimes i need to leave straight away. Others are Pay to Win, some are even pay to play!
  2. I wanted to learn C# and thought building my own mud would be a pretty good way to learn and I have learnt a lot!
  3. I have a 2 year old son that I hope one day will enjoy my creation and explore my world and learn (I think it’s a great way to improve his reading, spelling, typing and maths) as well as have fun.

How will ArchaicQuest be different?

  • There is no Telnet for my MUD!
    • I wanted to build a browser based MUD to make it easily usable by anyone with a device and an internet connection. Connecting to a traditional mud is too technical for some people and I suspect is partly the reason why players on MUDs are declining.
  • It wont be a pay to win MUD
    • In the future it may accept donations but anything gained that way will be able to be gained by playing the game normally so there will be no disadvantage to players who haven’t donated.
  • It will have quests!
    • Fun quests not a quest master who sends you after a mob every 30 minutes. I’m talking proper side quests with stories to them. And less of the kill 20 rats quests.
  • It will be RP-encouraged MUD but not forced
    • I really hate it when I see a character running around called spiderman in a medieval fantasy setting it really kills it for me. My world will require players to have a name fit for the setting and players must not talk about xfactor or other pointless things that are not in theme of the game. Unless it’s on the Out of character chat channel
  • Aims to be deep and feel alive
    • NPC’s will roam the world, go to work, do chores, visit other towns
    • NPC’s will respond to your actions and have conversations with you
    • Quests could change and shape the world
    • No where is safe, want to raid the mages clan and burn their library of spell scrolls, go for it!
    • Everything Most things will be possible

It’s opensource and will always be free to play

Another reason why it’s different, it’s fully opensource with the MIT license. When I planned the project I originally thought it would be cool if it was a community project where the player had their say and everyone was able to make changes to the code, add new area’s, quests, puzzles, items etc.

So far this hasn’t happen and I hope it changes soon as I will be old and gray by the time I finish what I have planned for ArchaicQuest. I have had a lot of interest in the project though and a guy called Fonol built the Inn you find in Anker.

How much of ArchaicQuest is built?

The world is small about 45 rooms at the moment which I write on the train to and from work. Under the hood though there is a lot of code. I have created 74 commands such as movement, object interaction and skills and spells.

I’m currently coding and adding mage spells heavily inspired from other MUDS and the SMAUG code base.

Currently on ArchaicQuest the Character creation is done although there is no info yet about classes and races.

There is a starting tutorial which introduces you in to the game in a fun way instead of dumping you into a newbie school. (Work In Progress)

NPC’s do and say stuff and some even have dialogue tree communication.

You can fight players/mobs

This is really high level, there is more to it. it’s been in development for a year now!

When will ArchaicQuest be finished?

Never, probably. There will also be something to add. For launch I aim to build 500 rooms to explore, with another few hundred ready to go in not long after. There is also the logging and other analytical tools to add to keep tabs on the performance of the mud. I’m hoping this year I can say yeah this is good. Let’s go live, until then the test server is active to try out but don’t get too attached to your character.

How can I help?

How can you help? Star the repo on github, fork it and make a pull request. If you aren’t a coder you can post you ideas on /r/ArchaicQuest to get them considered for inclusion in the game. Or just drop in to say hi 🙂

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