Choosing a Setting
Letters to the editor
- Delphine T. Lynx
Generalized Design Rules when Implementing Content Systems Driven by Players
- Eric L. Rhea
Dweezel's Guide for the Beginning Thief
Dump Alignment Now
A Face in the Crowd
- Wes Platt
Cartoon - The Mud Slimmer
- Rebecca Handcock
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Welcome to the glossary for this wonderful magazine. In this glossary you
will hopefully find useful meanings for all those mud words you never
quite knew what they meant.
Some of the items in this glossay I have used from the Mud-dev FAQ
maintained by Ling.
- Abermuds are one of the very old sorts of muds, it was originaly
written by Alan Cox after seeing MUD1 in action on the DEC-10's.
- Administrator on a mud. These are usualy the people that own the
database, mudlib and/or codebase.
- A Robot of some kind. Robots are generaly computer controller characters
in the game that do specific things, examples are things like Julia in the
A newbie is someone who has only recently begun to participate in some kind of activity. When we're born, we're all
life newbies until we get experience under our belts (or diapers, whatever). You're a clueless newbie until you've got
the hang of MUDding, basically.
- Refers to a specific kind of RP where each
player's personal 'storyline' is paramount. All players are aware
of, and sensitive to, the needs of each player for their story, and
all actions are completely consentual. This is a type of play often
found on MUSHes.
A creator is one of the people in charge of implementing new parts of
the mud. They are sometimes called Immortals or Implementors, depending
on the mud you are on.
A cyborg is defined as 'part man, part machine.' In the MUD world, this means that your client is doing some of the
work for you. For instance, you can set up many clients to automatically greet anyone entering the room. You can
also set up clients to respond to certain phrases (or triggers). Of course, this can have disastrous consequences. If
Player_A sets his client up to say hi every time Player_B says hi, and Player_B does likewise, their clients will
frantically scream hi at each other over and over until they manage to escape. Needless to say, runaway automation
is very heavily frowned upon by anyone who sees it. If you program your client to do anything special, first make
sure that it cannot go berserk and overload the MUD.
- Diku muds were written by a group of people at the DIKU University
in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1990.
A very popular mud that runs using a database of rooms
and a C harness, very quick and low impact on cpu usage.
A dino is someone that has been around for a very long time (cf. dinosaur). These people tend to reminisce
nostalgically about dead or nonexistent MUDs which were especially fun or interesting.
- A system design alternative to polling loops. Objects generate
events, which are processed in their proper order by the event
handler. This is frequently clearer and far more efficient,
especially with large numbers of objects. Examples are a torch
generating an event to burn out in two hours, or a spell generating
an event for an earthquake to occur in four seconds.
- A virtual economic system wherein there is an
ongoing influx of new items into the game (usually via a reset model)
and a hopefully corresponding outflow, usually accomplished through
object attrition involving equipment danage, rent fees, etc. It is worth
noting that traditionally, designers have been unable to easily come up
with a big enough drain to handle all the 'water.' This is as opposed to
a "Closed economy" in which an attempt is made to close the loop,
creating new objects only when old ones are used up.
Flaming is when someone shouts at another person in a vain attempt to convince them that whatever that other
person said or believes in is unconditionally wrong or stupid. Avoid getting into flame wars, and if flamed, laugh it off
or ask someone else what you did wrong.
Fluidity of Identity
- Referring to the difficulty of positively identifying
a single person who takes many guises in a game world. Any particular
action against one of those guises is fairly ineffective; they choose
another and continue. This makes it very difficult to pin down
troublemakers. ATtempts at identifying people based on their hostname
(site deny/allow), e-mail address (email registration), credit card number
(for commercial ventures), or just asking really, really nicely are all
easily circumvented, especially when it is easy to create new characters or
accounts (that is, the process is short and automated). This frequently
makes it difficult to implement 'real world' solutions to in-game problems
such as psychotic killing sprees. Once you catch someone and lock them away
or put them to death in RL, they are gone. When you do this on most muds,
they just log on two seconds later with another character.
A furry is an anthropomorphic intelligent animal. If you've ever seen Zoo-bilee Zoo on The Learning Channel, you
know what I mean. Furries are not unique to MUDdom - they originated in comics, and can usually be found at
comic or animation conventions and the like. Generally, any MUD character which has fur and is cute is deemed a
furry. Most furries hang out on FurryMUCK, naturally.
On some games the Administrators call themselves Gods, see the description
- Short for 'game-oriented play' or possible 'goal-oriented play'.
This is usually a competitive style of play usually oriented around
the accumlation of various resources (money, power, combat ability).
- In Character, used on role playing muds. It means your talking
in the voice of the character your roleplaying.
Short for Immortal, which is the word used for the people who create
and maintain diku muds.
Imp or Implementor
- Some muds have a distinction between people who create areas on the
mud (Immortals) and people who code the actual mud driver itself
- A type of mud, stands for Lars Pensjö mud. The first free mud to
offer a fairly complicated programming language in which the mud itself
Certain client programs allow logs to be kept of the screen. A time- worn and somewhat unfriendly trick is to entice
someone into having TinySex with you, log the proceedings, and post them to rec.games.mud.* and have a good
laugh at the other person's expense. Logs are useful for recording interesting or useful information or conversations,
- Non-player character.
- Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, this is things like
Ultima Online, Everquest and most other commercial muds.
- A type of Mud, the acyonym stands for 'Multiuser Object Orientated'.
- Multi-user dungeon, Multi-user domain, Multi-user dimension,
Many upset dragons.
Multi User Forth, it is a programming language used inside MUCKs.
A roleplaying mud base. This doesn't actually stand for anything, but
it looks cool!
- Character created on goal-orientated muds those sole purpose is to
supplement a player's primary character by supplying services such as
equipment repair. Mules usually have skills that cannot be obtained
without creating a new character but are perceived to be undesirable to
play. For example, an alchemist class could be considered unenjoyable
to play but due to their special ability to repair equipment, the regular
players create mule alchemists just to access that ability.
A roleplaying mud base. Stands for Multi User Shared Hallucination.
The Internet (the network which connects your computer to mine) is made up of thousands of interconnected
networks. Between your computer and the computer which houses the MUD, there may be up to 30 gateways and
links connecting them over serial lines, high-speed modems, leased lines, satellite uplinks, etc. If one of these
gateways or lines crashes, is suddenly overloaded, or gets routing confused, you may notice a long time of lag time
between your imput and the MUD's reception of that input. Computers which are nearer to the computer running the
MUD are less susceptible to netlag. Another source of lag is if the computer which hosts the MUD is overloaded.
When netlag happens, it is best to just patiently wait for it to pass.
See TinySex below.
OC or OOC
- Out of character, user on role playing muds. It means your
talking as you, not the character your roleplaying.
PK or Player Killing
The answer to this question varies widely. On most combat-oriented MUDs, such as LPMUD and Diku, player
killing is taken quite seriously. On others, it's encouraged. On most TinyMUDs, as there is little to no combat system,
player killing is sometimes employed as a means of showing irritation at another player, or merely to show emphasis
of something said (usually, it means "and I really mean it!"). It's best to find out the rules of the MUD you're on, and
play by them.
Obviously, this really means character killing, not player killing - there haven't been any cases of homicidal maniacs
killing MUDDers for using up all the terminals, yet.
- Remort is an option available in some Diku muds that allow characters
who have maxxed out their levels to drop back to 0th level in a different
guild and work back up again. Getting to the maximum level is always a
problem in muds which have a hard limit on the number of levels.
Reset of Repop
- Usually a function called in a mud at irregular intervals, the
purpose of which is to put back the game, or some fragment of the
game or game world into a known state. Typically this might mean
locking an opened door, or resurrecting an NPC that was killed by a
player and putting him back to guard the door, Resets and repops
are common on games that promote repetitive actions for advancement.
- Real Life. Used to refer to the world that is not a mud.
- Role playing.
- Role playing Game, a pen and paper based game where you take on roles
and play them out in adventures. This sort of mechanism often influnces
mud game design to some degree.
- A single layered skill web. Skills are directly weighted to
each other. See skill web.
- A skill system where skills have a single parent and
several children. A skills at the bottom of the tree being very
specialised. Skills higher up the tree will affect the value of
skills further down.
- A non-heirarchical two layered skill system wherin each
skill is weight-related to an arbitrary number of attributes, and
the improvement of skills therefore automatically improves related
skills. Examples of skills might be rowing and flycasting, examples
of attributes, strength (upper arm) and precision (forearm).
Spamming, derived from a famous Monty Python sketch, is the flooding of appropriate media with information (such
as repeated very long say commands). Unintentional spamming, such as what happens when you walk away from
your computer screen for a few minutes, then return to find several screenfuls of text waiting to scroll by, is just a
source of irritation. Intentional spamming, such as when you repeat very long say commands many times, or quote
/usr/dict/words at someone, is usually frowned on, and can get you in trouble with the MUD administration.
One of the original types of mud a Tiny is a specicialy roleplaying based
mud in which anyone can build using a certain commands. It has several
derivaties, MUCKs and MUSHes both oww their start to TinyMUDs.
TinySex is the act of performing MUD actions to imitate having sex with another character, usually consentually,
sometimes with one hand on the keyboard, sometimes with two. Basically, it's speed-writing interactive erotica.
Realize that the other party is not obligated to be anything like he/she says, and in fact may be playing a joke on you
(see log, above).
On some old LPmud games the people in charge of developing the mud were called
wizards. These days they are mostly called called creators or immortals.
Imaginary Realities, the magazine of your mind.
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