[MUD Admin] Suggestions on what to do to run a MUD

From: Doppleganger Software (doppsoft@TZC.COM)
Date: 08/29/98

I found this while skimming through some of my old mail archives.  It was
in response to someone who asked how do I run a MUD, or start running
one.  This may be old advice, but it is still VERY valid today.  Some
changes have been made, mostly added thoughts.  Comments are welcome.
And personally, I think this has a lot to do with CircleMUD, as Circle is
considered to be one of the most 'stockish' MUD bases out there, these
suggestions really are designed to avoid that.


It is a common mistake for people to try to run a MUD after playing on
one for a while.  It looks quite simple, but it is not.  The route I
suggest is as follows:

- Play on the MUD, and talk to the people and learn about the MUD.
- Work your way up to being an immortal.  Obviously, some MUD's don't let
you do that, so try and find one that does.  Even then if they don't,
just the playing is worth it.
- When you gain immortality on one MUD, learn the rules, ask lots of
questions about them, especially why.  It is important to understand why
MUD's have certain rules.
- Play as immortal for some time, rising in the immortal ranks.  It may
sound strange, but many MUD's don't have a very good immortal 'rising'
system where those with the best ability rise.  On many MUD's, friends
get promoted, and enemies get demoted.  Those are not good places to be.
- Come up with a concept for the MUD.  Look for ideas of what you want
the world to be like, and how you want things to be.  Think up ideas for
code at this time as well.  Keep them all documented, and in a safe
place.  I have lost a lot of info at this stage of the game because I
- If you don't know how to code in C, learn. You can run a MUD without
knowing how to code, but it is NOT EASY.  In order for the MUD to improve
you either have to trust a stranger, or find a friend who shares your
vision of the MUD.  Also, with being the coder, you are the absolute
controller of the MUD. If there is any debate, you run the MUD, no one

This part only applies if you plan to code on the MUD, or whomever you
get to code on your MUD.

- Get a copy of the stock code that you want to run.  If there is a
mailing list about that source code, get on it.  Read all the coding
documentation, fead the FAQ, and learn everything you can.  Watch the
messages on the mailing list and learn.  Start by taking a snippet of
code, if you can find one, and patching it in.  Try doing it by hand, and
seeing what the code is actually doing.  Take one of your ideas, and try
to implement it in the MUD.  If it doesn't work perfectly, try changing
something.  If it still doesn't work, ask for help.  Make sure you tell
them you are a newbie.  Be sure to post all details of errors or problems.
People often avoid helping newbies simply because they don't give enough
details on the problems.  The best thing to do is say what you want it to
do, what it actually does, and what errors crop up.

- Keep developing until you have the MUD close to your vision.  It is a
good idea to start getting a few friends to come on and help test, as
well as build if they can.  No one likes coming on to a MUD and seeing
stock zones....and those that do are rare.

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but a good MUD is worth the time
and effort.  The biggest mistake a lot of people make is to see another
MUD, and just start running a stock MUD from the proverbial box to try
and re-create it, and not learning how or why a MUD runs so smoothy.  It
is an investment of time and effort.


Also, some other things, since it actually pertains to the discussion
about multiple coders, with you being the only coder, you don't have to
worry about control issues, something that multiple coder MUD's will
always have, unless they have a software style liscence agreement in
place (You know, if it breaks, it's your fault, even if I did it, if you
talk about it with me, it's my idea, if you give me the code, it's mine,

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