The topology of a MUD is simple, one-dimensional text. A sample MUD room may be:

You are standing before a grand altar flanked by smoking urns and candles. A heavy smell of burning incense is in the air. This must be the high temple of Odin, where the dead come and pray to have their bodies restored. You see a grand archway to the north from which a brilliant orange light shines.

You can go : north, south, east.

Thodin the swordmaster.

Your character moves from room to room by moving in different directions - north, south, east, west, up, down etc. Each room is characterised by a paragraph (sometimes more) of text describing the room and its contents. In its room description, there may be objects worth investigating. In the above example, possible items are highlighted in yellow. You may be able to exa <item> to find out more about it.

Directions are highlighted here in purple. These indicate the possible directions in which you can move. In most cases, you need only to type in the first letter of the direction to move there, eg. 'n' for north or 'u' for up. Occasionally, some rooms have hidden exits and these will not show up in the room description.

If there is another player, an NPC or an object in the room, they will appear after the description. These can also be 'exa' -ed in detail. If it is another player, you may actually initiate a conversation with him/her. If it is an object, you may be able to pick it up and examine it more closely.

Terrain types may differ from MUD to MUD, depending on the whim of its coders (self-proclaimed Gods or Wizards). In general, each MUD would have a generic town area with the basic amenities of a pub (for healing), a church (for praying), a post office, a shop and an adventurer's guild or town hall where notices about the game are often posted. And various wizards will code their own 'domains' ie deserts, forests or other fantasy lands which add on to the generic town area and give each MUD its unique flavour. Travelling from room to room in some MUDs may consume some stamina points. Indeed, the size of a MUD is often measured in terms of how many 'rooms' it contains.

In LPC terms, rooms are objects with several properties - long description, lighting levels, whether it is a no-fight room etc. The lighting level affects the ability of the player to 'see' the text description. If the lighting level is set low by the coder, a player in the room may only see:

>It is dark.

He or she may require the use of a torch or magical orbs in order to examine the room in closer detail. This acts a degree of realism to the game.

Back to the Mud Tutorial

ArtemisWorks 1996