Some of the first multiplayer games I played were text-based MUDs. Theiraccessibility, the imagination required, and the variety of places to spend time was great. Myself and a close friend had a few favorite places to haunt online, and had a blast exploring other people’s worlds.
We stumbled through Apocalypse, played Shades of Evil at its height, cyborged our way through Thunderdome, and finally got sucked into BattletechMUXs of various kinds. Times changed, we moved on to greater things in life, but I keep catching myself looking back at MUDs as an ideal gaming medium for me. This may sound strange to some of you, which is why I made sure to add that “for me” part at the end of that last sentence.
But why would anyone want to play these crummy, crude, text-based games when there are so many massive, beautiful titles to spend time and money on?
These crummy, crude, text-based games offer a minimalistic, focused way to game. They are typically free, they can be developed and iterated upon rapidly, and new content is exponentially easier to add than to a graphical game. The element of imagination is perhaps the single strongest appeal to me in a MUD.
I am sure by now that some are wondering where I’m going with this. To that, I answer: I am once again spending some free time hacking on a game concept I’ve been mulling over in my head for a few months. I’d like to borrow desirable elements from my favorite games, and make something that is fun for me, and hopefully others, to play.
I have no idea if I’ll get far enough to have something playable, but I have finally, after a few years of thinking, found an overall idea that I like and can make progress towards a clear goal on. More to come on this later, but I’ll be doing the development in the open on GitHub. While the more astute of you can find the project already, I’ll hold off on announcing anything until I have something interesting to show (if ever).