Mud Connector Introduction

A MUD is defined as a multi-user domain, multi-user dungeon, or multi-user dimension, all of which are referring to the same thing, an environment where multiple people may be logged on and interacting with one another. Note: Originally MUD was defined as ‘Multi-User Dungeon’, indicating the multi-player aspect applied to popular single player adventure games of the time like Dungeon and Zork.

Although a common misconception is that all MUDs are games, in truth most of the MUDs out there are games. MUDs can be (and are) used for numerous other purposes including education, research and general socialization. Most of the muds you will find listed on the MUD Connector are indeed games and because of this we will try to introduce some of the more common forms you will find here.

The first mud was created by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle at Essex University in 1979 (for those interested, the now obsolete predecessor to the C language, BCPL was used for development, with some assembly language routines used). The original version merely allowed a user (player) to move about in a virtual location, later versions provided for more variation including objects and commands which could be modified on or offline. The goal for developing the first MUD was to test a newly developed shared memory system, the gaming aspect came later.

In 1980 Richard Bartle took over with development. For a more detailed description of these events please visit Richard Bartle’s Mud Site. Additionally, The MUDdex, created by Lauren P. Burka includes an email written by Richard Bartle to clear up common misconceptions about the beginnings of MUDs.

Note: The original MUD1 still survives, but no longer runs under the name ‘British Legends’ at Compuserve. MUD1 has been revived by Viktor T. Toth and is now available at http://www.british-legends.com/. This version is not an update of MUD1, but a faithful port that accurately reproduces all aspects of the original, even including most of the bugs.

If you are looking for a detailed graphical history of mud servers check out Martin Keegan’s The Mud Tree. The page illustrates the hierarchy and relationships of the majority of mud servers and is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of muds.

I have put together a short guide designed for helping those of you who have not yet started mudding, but are desperate to learn. The document itself mainly serves to point new users to other resources available on the net as well as covering some other stuff you might not find. Don’t expect an encyclopedia, just a quick-start guide! 🙂 This document is available via the web at the following link Help Getting Connected

Although you might cringe at the thought of a “Mud Flavor”, this is (IMHO) the best way to refer to the Many varieties and families of MUD that are available. I will try to provide an adequate summary for each of the families of mud which are available together with links to more information and credits to contributors.

AberMud Family AberMud was created in 1988 at the University of Aberystwyth in the UK (giving the mud its name). The original creators were Richard Acott, Alan Cox and Jim Finnes. Dirt3 is a modern continuation of the original code which is growing in popularity, it was created by Gjermand Sörseth and Alf Salte. AberMuds introduced such things as bulletin boards to muds, stressing the capabilities for player interaction. In an AberMud, only the wizards may build, distinguishing this type of mud from the freeform TinyMud descendants.

For more information visit:
Jargon – Mud
Multi User Dimensions at LUDD

Dikumud Family Dikumuds are similar to what would be expected from an online version of AD&D. In its stock form a Dikumud is based around a home with heavy tones of Norse Mythology. This is not coincidental however, the original creators all being from Denmark. Dikumud was created in 1990 by students of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen:

  • Sebastian Hammer
  • Katja Nyboe
  • Tom Madsen
  • Michael Seifert
  • Hans Henrik Staerfeldt

Their motivation was to make a better Abermud with more emphasis on player interaction. Since its inception Dikumud has branched off into many popular code bases, some of which are:

  • Circlemud (Fairly stock with many bug fixes made and the code nicely cleaned making it easier for mud developers. Author: Jeremy Elson)
  • Merc (Heavily modified Diku, many feel Merc muds are more suited for newbies. The Merc mud school being evidence of this. Authors: Michael Chastain, Michael Quan and Mitchell Tse)
  • Envy (Heavily modified Diku. Authors: Michael Quan and Mitchell Tse).
  • Silly
  • DaleMud
  • Copper
  • ROM (Stemmed from Rivers of Mud, created by Russ Taylor)
  • DikuII (Continuing project for Michael Seifert, Hans Henrik Staerfeldt, Sebastian Hammer, and Lars Balker Rasmussen.
  • Smaug
  • AckMud

For more information visit: The DikuMud FAQ.

JavaMud The JavaMud server, written entirely in Java by George Reese, supports easy extension in much the same way as LPMud, excepting using Java as the programming language. It uses a relational database to make objects persist, and in the future will allow for distributed Java clients and playing areas. The extensions supplied with it when released will be fantasy/combat extensions, though you could write any type of mud using it. It currently supports intermud communication using the I3 protocols. The only server currently using JavaMud is Imaginary Mud Server.

JavaMud information provided by George Reese
For more information visit: JavaMud 2.0.

LPMud Family The LPMud server is unique from the others in that rather than providing a game, the server provides a language, called LPC, which allows users to interact and modify their environment. What is currently known as LPMud was authored by Amylaar and is often referred to as the Amylaar driver. The original server was created by Lars Pensjö, who came from an AberMud background. According to George Reese: “Today any mud programmed in LPC is an LPMud, which includes DGD, MudOS, LPMud, and CD as well as others. There is no theme basis or atmospheric commonality among them. Most forms of LPMud are combat-oriented because their class libraries are combat-oriented. Among the various libraries are Nightmare, Lima, Foundation (non-combat), Discworld, Melville, LPMud 2.4.5 and TMI-2. These classes define the atmosphere of the game.”

LPMud information provided by George Reese and the LPMud FAQ
For more information visit: The LPMud FAQ.

Talkers A Talker can best be described as an international text-based computer conference call in a virtual neighborhood setting. It’s not hack-and-slash or role-playing like MUDs, nor is it straight talk like IRC. On a Talker, residents (permanent characters) have more control over their individual environments. A resident may choose to talk with people in one of the many public rooms, hide away in one of their own private rooms, join a channel for discussion, or chat with a group of friends over the infamous friendtells. Each Talker differs in theme, size (anywhere from 30 to 15,000 residents), and specialized features such as clans, channels, or mock currency. Residents have numerous privileges including having friendlists, news and mail capability, and creating aspects of their description.

Talkers began in 1990 with the program “CatChat” at Warwick University which, ironically, used an LP MUD driver and had snoop capability. Daniel Stephens then took Talkers one step further with “Cheeseplant’s House” which had similar commands, was a dedicated Talker, and, most importantly, did not have the ability to snoop. Simon Marsh then coded what was intended to be a multi-player game environment named “Elsewhere”. This later evolved into the first EW-too Talker, “Foothills”, which was also the first Talker outside of the UK.

The founders and contributors of Talkers may still be found on several Talkers, primarily the two oldest: “Foothills”, which is located at toybox.infomagic.com 2010; and “Surfers”, which is located at surfers.org 4242.

Many thanks to Simon Marsh (Burble), Michael Wheaton (Footsteps), and Daniel Stephens (Flickering) for history and input; and to Leen Kievet (Xample) and Matthew Riddle (Zot) for proofreading.

Talker information provided by Erica Hamm (Ariana) For more information visit:

Talkers List (by Grim)

Talkers.WS TinyMud Family In 1989 TinyMUD was created by Jim Aspnes, a graduate student at CMU. As opposed to the hack-n-slash feel of AberMuds and combat-oriented LPMuds, TinyMUD was created for players to hang out, converse and build virtual worlds together. From the freeform nature of TinyMud emerged many other forms including: MUSH, MUCK, MUSE, MOO and Mux.

  • MOO – MOO (Mud Object-Oriented) was first created by Stephen White. A popular form of MOO, LambdaMOO, was created by Pavel Curtis in 1990, derived from White’s initial server. LambdaMOO is currently being maintained by Erik Ostrom. In a MOO everything is an object, including rooms and people (players). Each object has a unique identifer number which can be used to reference it, as well as other properties of the object such as name. Steven White was the author of the first release, TinyMUCK 1.0.
  • MUCK – According to ‘Types of MUDs’ (site no longer active) TinyMUCK was the first code base to branch from the original TinyMUD code. other concepts TinyMUCK added @actions and moveable exits.

For more information visit:
The MUDdex
Nick Gammon’s MUSH Reference
The MUD Resource Collection
The COW Ate My Brain (A Novice’s guide to MOO programming, part I)


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