From: Mo McKinlay (M.McKinlay@BEKON.COM)
Date: 11/08/98

Hi folks,

I appreciate that this may not be the most appropriate place to post this
message, but it's the best place I could think of to get a whole bunch of
MUD brians thinking about something at the same time. ;)

If you have no interest in contributing ideas to something new, stop
reading now, as if you don't, you'll get bored.

Right, now hopefully I have your full attention. Here's the deal:

I'm starting to design a new MUD, which although not based directly on
CircleMUD, will encompass many of the features of CircleMUD that made it
so popular. With this in mind, I'm setting out to create something a
little different, and I'm asking for any ideas people may have as to what
thier ideal MUD would be. If I like the idea, and I get around to writing
the code and using it, I'll make sure you get credit for the idea, so
don't worry, I'm not going to run off with you're dreams...

As far as concepts/ideas go, this is what I have so far:

- Combining the level/zone systems so that levels are zones and vice

Let me expand on that a little...I'm fairly certain that, done properly,
this could work. The idea is that you start off on level 1 (obviously),
and you have practically no experience, and are in an unfamiliar zone.
That works, as you wan't to explore, find out where things are, and it
gets addictive. Now, instead of progressing to the next level when you hit
a particular experience level, you progress to the next level (and the
next zone/group of zones) when you get a key of some description. After
you pass through to level 2 (or 3, or 4, or whatever), your experience is
reset (albiet not to zero), and the door locks behind you, leaving you in
another unfamiliar area with little experience and no idea where you're
going, and the whole thing starts again, except that this time, you've got
some food, armour, and so on, to help you along.

Now I know that a lot of you will probably frown upon the very idea of
doing this, but I honestly think it could work, especially in combination
with the other ideas I've got to go with it.

Another advantage is that the levels/zones can be reasonably few in
numbers, but each of them being quite large and not overly easy to
complete. As experience is reset at the beginning of the level, adding new
levels afterwards isn't so much of a problem as it is with CircleMUD now,
as there's no re-juggling of exp. calculations to be done.

- To complete a level, you need to solve a puzzle (or two)

When you start each level, you're given a puzzle, which may or may not be
the same as somebody else's on the same level. The puzzle can be treated
just like an individual quest, but in the end, only you can solve your
puzzle (as if you don't, you don't get a key for the level), but you can
get help from other players on the same level with the same or similar

Obviously, the levels would need careful engineering to make it work
properly, but if done correctly could work a treat.

- Graphical client (don't laugh)

One thought that crossed my mind, was the possibility of having different
sorts of clients (in addition to the bog standard MUD client or plain
telnet). The obvious spring to mind (web-based clients), but they tend to
be a little tacky (although some of the Java telnet clients aren't bad),
but something that I did think about was DOOM. Now the sources for DOOM
are freely available (for Linux at least), and my thought was this - what
if DOOM was patched & hacked to pull data from a TCP/IP host on a specific
port, and was able to keep a decent inventory, along with different body
positions for wielding, etc. It'd too slow over a SDU connection unless
the protocol was very optimized, but for people with permanent connections
(i.e. students), it'd be great. Which ties in with my next idea...

- As good on your own as it is with others

Apart from the long winded title, it's not really an idea, more of an aim.
The first CircleMUD derivative I produced was successful mainly because if
there was nobody else about, it was very playable on your own, but if
people _were_ about, you could chat with them, go round in groups, and
generally have a laugh. Now I know that wasn't a trait of my MUD, more of
many MUDs in general, but to be able to harness that ability of a MUD
right down to a tee would be really cool - you'd have pretty much the
ultimate gaming system (providing the game itself was good!).

Well, that's about all I've come up with really, and I'm not really
expecting anybody else to come up with any revelations, but a few
suggestions would be nice :)

If you've got this far, I'm very impressed...



Mo McKinlay
Development and Support Manager
IDSS Department
2 North Place
T: +44 (0) 161 476 1300 x224
F: +44 (0) 161 476 1311
E: M.McKinlay@bekon.com
W: http://www.bekon.com/idss/

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