Writing A MUD Engine Is Hard


I don’t mean just writing a basic telnet chat server with a few objects and commands you can interact with.  Any amateur programmer can do that.

No, I mean writing a full-featured MUD engine that supports all of the features MUDders have come to expect from a game like Basternae 3.  It’s really dang hard.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours working on this rewrite and it’s still pretty far from done.  The area format is still changing quickly enough that I don’t have a working zone editor I can pass out, and I still have a whole spawn engine to write (for those of you who know MUD internals, it’s more-or-less the Basternae equivalent of “resets”.)  I also have to write some sort of mob-action-scripting engine.

It’ll be worth it when I’m done because I’ll have an engine that has been completely written by me and nobody will be able to say what I can and can’t do with it, but it sure is arduous — it takes a damn long time to write 100,000+ lines of code (as you can see by noting that the B3 blog posts beginning about a year ago).  And I’m no newbie coder — I’ve been writing code for more than 20 years, MUDs for 6-8 years depending on how you count the gaps, and commercial code for 3 years now.

That’s why Basternae 3 isn’t open yet.  I could easily have taken the old zones and code up and just went with that, but that’s not something that supports my long-term plan.  Maybe I’ll mention more about that plan at some point.