Letters to the editor
- Tony Wooster
- Michael "Talien" Tresca
Mutinies and You
- Scott Danzig
Cartoon - The Mud Slinger
- Rebecca Handcock
Permanent Death Sliderule
- Eric Rhea
Value on a MUD
- MSKing the hellcat
Seek and Discover
- Lord Ashon
So, You Want to Be an Admin?
- Jesse Seymour
Enter your email to be informed when this site is updated.
So, You Want to Be an Admin?
by Jesse Seymour
The mud community, on an average, is seeing the birth of 10 would-be muds
per day. Many of these muds last for five or maybe six days then they
disappear. Why? The answer is quite simple really. The admins in charge
of these muds did not have enough technical knowledge to run the mud
successfully. Also, they could not find any one willing to help them code
areas, and they burned themselves out trying to tackle it alone.
Running a mud is a very big job, and should be handled by a team of at least
10 people. This team should include a design team, to design new areas,
objects, and quests; an area builder team, to code the areas, objects, and
quests that the design team creates; and a mudlib team, to code and design
new features and modifications to the mud library.
Seeing as there is a shortage of coders and builders, and a surplus of muds,
many would-be admins will not get anyone to help code their muds. They may
post on every newsgroup possible, send out millions of email messages, and
advertise on twice as many sites, but still no one will volunteer to help.
There might be a few lucky newbie admins to put together a small team and
create a successful mud, but it shouldn't be counted on.
In order to acquire a team of successful coders, the admin must first learn
to code himself. Then, he can at least create a newbie area and make a few
modifications to the mud library to show that he has something original.
Then, his chances of having people volunteer to code for his mud increase
slightly. But there is more to it than that. The admin has to have an
established player base, a fully populated environment, and an extremely
However, a fully populated environment and an established player base are
hard to come by if your mud isn't very well known. So, as you can see, this
all forms one vicious cycle. In order to break out of this cycle, some
steps need to be taken. First, you need to have a server on which to run a
mud. Second, you need to install a mud library that is easy to rip apart
and put back together. My recommendation for this is a TMI mud library.
Out of all the libs I looked at, TMI seems the easiest to customize. Third,
you need unique areas, commands, skills, and such. After all this is done,
your chances of succeeding increase by about one third.
Customizing a mud library is not as easy as it sounds. Although some are
easier than others, there is still lots of hard work involved. You need to
know basic C, or whatever language your mudlib is coded in, and you need to
understance basic programming concepts. Also, you need to have a clear and
established plan of what features you want to add, and those you want to
remove. Planning is critical to your success, if you fail to plan then you
plan to fail.
Now, many mud veterans will tell you to forget running your own mud and to
code for someone else's mud. That is sound advice, and pretty darn good
advice too. But the best way to learn something is to do it for yoursef,
and running a mud is a lot different than coding a mud. Allthough it is
unlikely, it is possible for the admin of a mud to not know anything about
coding and still run a successful mud.
Once you are able to do all the things I discussed here, then you shouldn't
need very many people to help make your mud a success. You should know
enough to stand on your own two feet, and shouldn't have to clutter the
newsgroups with posts begging for help with all the simple things. Then,
you will no longer be regarded as a mere "newbie", but as someone who is
willing to put forth the extra effort and create something unique, something
that can grow to take a life of its own, so to speak.
March 2001 Imaginary Realities, the magazine of your mind.
© Copyright Information