Viability of a Graphical CircleMUD

From: Tony Robbins (
Date: 07/29/00

Here I am, roasting away in WAY too warm weather, eating slices of dried
apple, thinking, 'I wonder if graphics would be a nice addition to a

My conclusion?  Probably not.

My logic in why a graphical CircleMUD (or MUD of any general type) would not
be that great lies in the fact that graphics are, well, visual.  This means
that the creator of a MUD needs to have a fully realized graphical world.
It would be a rare event.

But the question I ask will not be whether or not a graphical CircleMUD is a
good idea, only if it's viable.

Think back a few months...  Remember the two-day Diku/Verant battle over
EverQuest being a DikuMUD derivative?  Apparently many took it to be a
plausible effect, but a sworn statement from Verant ended the argument.

Regardless, I want to see what input you have about adding graphics
capability.  Especially in these areas:
a)  the MUD client.  Unless there were some proprietary MUD graphics
protocol (or MUD protocol in general), each MUD would have to have a
completely unique client to handle its graphical needs.  What are other
options?  MXP?  RIP[1]?  An actual MUD protocol, rather than interpreting
stuff after it comes through telnet[2]?

b)  the MUD server.  Would you consider CircleMUD's socket handling and I/O
to be efficient and powerful[3] enough to handle the extra information that
would be required to make it a graphical MUD?  Would you even make an
attempt to make it remain a capable text-based MUD?

c)  the graphics.  2D, like in Diablo?  3D, like EverQuest?  3D, like VRML
(hey, it's going to be big, I'm telling you)?  How would that affect the way
the MUD plays?  Would you go to real-time combat (this would definitely
destroy it for trying to make it available for text-based as well)?  What
are some other issues you'd worry about here?

d)  cross-platform capability.  Would you be trying to support clients on
Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and whatnot?  Would that urge you to write your
client in something like Java, or just port the program to each after
writing in C++ or another language?

Any other point people would like to point out?  It would be an interesting
pet project to take up.

[1] - Smaug, I believe uses RIP.  I used to use RIPscrip (I believe they
actually left the `t' off, but I don't know) BBSes.  Remember LORD?  Is that
the kind of MUD you'd make?

[2] - I'm not sure I really understand the scope of this.  Many have
suggested a MUD protocol.  I am still trying to comprehend exactly what this

[3] - Poor word choice.  I'm just saying, would adding information to deal
with graphics overload what CircleMUD can realistically handle, the way its
telnet handling currently works?

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