Re: Distribution pack?

From: Shane P. Lee (
Date: 03/13/01

I'm not exactly an old-timer on this list, but I have been around for
longer than a few months. While I have seen a few minor messages on
the subject of Zip-MUDs, this is the first time I've seen one get so
big so fast.
When I first decided to start a MUD for the first time, it wasn't under
the intention of creating something, but more to see if I could do
it. At that time, I was building for a MUD that had one of the best
coders I have ever met, but I won't mention Caniffe by name:P
It started just like every other clueless-newbie MUDs out there: I
grabbed a copy of the latest circlemud (bpl14 at the time) and had
a friend with brief experience with coding start it up for me.
When I realized that stock circle didn't come with OLC, I didn't know
where to turn. Since my only partner was another builder with no
programming experience, I was lost.
I turned to my pal (the coder whose name I'm not mentioning:P) who
snagged a copy of bpl14 with OasisOLC patched in already. We call
these things Zip-MUDs. So now I had a stock MUD with the capabilities
of growing larger.
My partner started recruiting builders left and right, and with them
came ideas geared towards making the MUD better (more player-friendly).
So once again, yet another friend came to my rescue. He added a few
minor tidbits, like scan and auto-quests. At this point, the MUD was
flourishing with new players. Most of them didn't mind the fact that
the only playable zones were stock, but I was beginning to sweat.
I had never intended on actually producing a MUD at that point, I
was only playing around.
Next thing you know, there's a reference in Mud-Connector pointing
to my slightly-more-than-stock MUD. So we were spammed with new
players on an hourly basis, all looking for something new and exciting.
Well, next thing you know my builders aren't building, they are
out playing with their mortal characters, and when their Imms were
online, they were using them to cheat. Since I had spent quite a bit
of time teaching them to build, I was hesitant to start laying down
rules and regs.
Soon, my "for-fun" project had turned into something full-time, which
my new wife and son didn't appreciate very much at all.
When my wife got sick, I finally had my excuse. The game was shut
down and opened on a new server with only myself and my original
partner working on it in our spare time. That didn't last long
either, but I had accomplished what I had set out to do, which was
learn and grow. I discovered the mistakes I made, and promised myself
I would never make them again.
I experimented with a few other codebases, and started learning how to
code. My first lesson was learning the difference between a coder
and a programmer. While it is entirely possible to be both, there is
a major difference. A programmer can be compared to a major car
company engineer. While a coder can be compared to a shade-tree
Once again, I grabbed a Zip-MUD (bpl14 with OLC+). This time, I went
out and invested in a "C for Dumies" type book and set out to make
a real MUD.
After bugging more than a few friends via email, I was pointed to
this mailing list. I quickly discovered the FAQ, mailing archives and
various "how-to" docs and snippets on the circle FTP site. We have
lift-off! I started minor (new classes and races) and worked my way
While my original MUD is now collecting virtual dust on my hardrive,
I am now a full-time (literally) coder for an up-and-coming MUD with
great potential, writing my own original code and contributing back
to the community that gave me a start at doing something I love.
I still make mistakes and I still have questions, but now I can fix
my own mistakes and most of my questions are about theoretical
applications of my ideas.
So to those people who say that Zip-MUDs are detrimental to the
'Circle Community', I liken it to someone saying that pine trees are
detrimental to the forest. Look around folks, these new MUDs ARE the
community, at least part of it.
I generally answer ONLY newbie questions on this list. Questions that
have to do with areas I have already been through. Anyone who takes
the time to run my name through the search at the mailing list archives
can easily attest to this.
I'm not a programmer. I'll probably never be as good as Del, George or
Patrick. But damnit, I'm a good coder, it's what I do and I'm proud
of it.
So, if there is anyone on this list that I have helped in any way,
please think twice before slamming Zip-MUDs, stock MUDs or newbies
trying to find answers to questions they don't understand.

-Shane P. Lee a.k.a. Fire

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