"What are clients?"
Clients are programs, usually written in C, that connect up to
servers. Telnet is one such client program. Many clients written
for MUDs have special added bonus features through which they filter
the output; most, for instance, separate your input line from the
output lines and wraps words after 80 columns. Some also have a macro-
writing capability which allows the user to execute several commands with
just a few keypresses. Some allow you to highlight output coming from
certain players or suppress it altogether. Still other clients make
the sometimes tedious task of building new areas a breeze.
"Where do I get clients?"
Listed below is a list of clients, and a site or two where they can
be ftped from. If the site is down, your best bet is to ask around.
In general, ferkel.ucsb.edu (126.96.36.199) and ftp.math.okstate.edu
(188.8.131.52) are good places to look. Remember, first check if the
client in question is already on your local system.
"Do I need a special operating system to run clients?"
Yep, you sure do. Most use BSD Unix, although there are clients which
also run under SysV Unix with networking, VMS with either MultiNet or
Wollongong networking, and there's even one for IBM VM, and a new
one that runs on a Macintosh.
"What clients are out there, and how are they different?"
Here's a reasonable accurate listing of available clients. Please note
that we have not tested each of these, and they're not guaranteed to
work for you.
UNIX clients appear first, VMS clients next, miscellaneous clients last.
EMACS clients for UNIX appear after those written in C.
TinyTalk Runs on BSD or SysV with networking. Latest version is
1.1.7GEW. Designed primarily for TinyMUD-style muds.
Features include line editing, command history,
hiliting (whispers, pages, and users), gag, auto-login,
simple macros, logging, and cyberportals.
TinyFugue Runs on BSD or SysV with networking. Latest version is
2.0beta6. Commonly known as 'tf'. Designed primarily for
TinyMUD-style muds, although will run on LPMUDs and Dikus.
Features include regexp hilites and gags, auto-login, macros,
line editing, screen mode, triggers, cyberportals, logging,
file and command uploading, shells, and multiple connects.
TclTT Runs on BSD. Latest version is 0.9. Designed primarily for
TinyMUD-style muds. Features include regexp hilites, regexp
gags, logging, auto-login, partial file uploading, triggers,
and is programmable.
VT Runs on BSD. Latest version is 2.12. Must have vt102
capabilities. Useable for all types of muds. Features
include a C-like extension language (VTC) and a simple
windowing system. Typical client features can be
programmed. Does come with a VTC distribution file for
mud client support.
LPTalk Runs on BSD or SysV with networking. Latest version is 1.2.1.
Designed primarily for LPMUDs. Features include hiliting,
gags, auto-login, simple macros, logging.
SayWat Runs on BSD. Latest version is 0.2.18. Designed primarily for
TinyMUD-style muds. Features include regexp hilites,
regexp gags, macros, triggers, logging, cyberportals,
rudimentary xterm support, and file uploading.
PMF Runs on BSD. Latest version is 1.12.1. Usable for both LPMUDs
and TinyMUD-style muds. Features include line editing,
auto-login, macros, triggers, gags, logging, file uploads,
an X-window interface, and ability to do Sparc sounds.
TinyView Runs on BSD. Latest version is 1.0. Designed for use primarily
for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include screen mode, macros,
history buffers, line editing, and multiple connects.
TINTIN Runs on BSD. Latest version is 3.0. Designed primarily
for Dikus. Features include macros, triggers,
tick-counter features, and multiple connects.
MUD.el Runs on GNU Emacs. Usable for TinyMUD-style muds, LPMUDs,
and MOOs. Features include auto-login, macros, logging,
cyberportals, screen mode, and it is programmable.
TinyTalk.el Runs on GNU Emacs. Latest version is 0.5. Designed primarily
for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include auto-login, macros,
logging, screen mode, and it is programmable.
LPmud.el Runs on GNU Emacs. Designed primarily for LPMUDs. Features
include macros, triggers, file uploading, logging, screen
mode, and it is programmable.
CLPmud.el Runs on GNU Emacs. Designed primarily for LPMUDs. Similar
to LPmud.el, but with the added capability for remote
file retrieval, editing in emacs, and saving, for LPMud
MyMud.el Runs on GNU Emacs. Latest version is 1.31. Designed primarily
for LPMUDs and Dikus. Features include screen mode,
auto-login, macros, triggers, autonavigator, and it is
TINT Runs on VMS with MultiNet networking. Latest version is 2.2.
Designed primarily for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include
hiliting (whispers, pages, users), gags, file uploading,
simple macros, screen mode. See also TINTw.
TINTw Runs on VMS with Wollongong networking. See TINT.
DINK Runs on VMS with either Wollongong or MultiNet networking.
FooTalk Runs on VMS with MultiNet networking and BSD Unix. Primarily
designed for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include screen
mode, and it is programmable. See RispTalk below.
RispTalk Runs on BSD Unix. FooTalk with an interpreter for converting
a lispish language into footalk's language. See FooTalk above.
NO KNOWN SITE
REXXTALK Runs on IBM VM. Latest version is 2.1. Designed primarily
for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include screen mode,
logging, macros, triggers, hilites, gags, and auto-login.
Allows some IBM VM programs to be run while connected to
a foreign host, such as TELL and MAIL. (Warning: Ftp-ing
the module sometimes does not work. Try emailing
SESPC381@YSUB.YSU.EDU or SESPC381@YSUB.BITNET and he
should be able to send you the module via bitnet.)
MUDDweller Runs on any Macintosh. Latest version is 1.1d4. Connects
to a MUD through either the communications toolbox or
by MacTCP. Usable for both LPMUDs and TinyMUD-style muds.
Current features include multiple connections, a command
history and a built-in MTP client for LPMUDs.
MUDCaller Runs under MSDOS. Latest version is 1.00. Requires an
Ethernet card, and uses the Clarkson Packet drivers.
Does NOT work with a modem. (If you telnet in MSDOS,
you can probably use this.)
BSXMUD Clients These clients run on various platforms, and allow the
user to be able to see the graphics produced by BSXMUDs.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Amiga: requires a modem - amigaclient.lzh
For PC: requires a modem - msclient.lzh AND x00v124.zip
For X11: sources, version 3.2 - bsxclient.tar.Z
For Sun4: binary - client.sparc.tar.Z
Also available are programs to custom-draw your
own graphics for a BSXMUD: - muddraw.tar.Z
A few quick definitions
- Automatically logs into the game for you.
- Allows boldface or other emphasis to be applied to some
text. Often allowed on particular types of output (e.g. whispers), or
particular users. "Regexp" means that UNIX-style regular expressions
can be used to select text to hilite.
- Allows some text to be suppressed. The choice of what to
suppress is often similar to hiliting (users or regular expressions).
- Allows new commands to be defined. How complex a macro
can be varies greatly between clients; check the documentation for
- Allows output from the MUD to be recorded in a file.
- Supports special MUD features which can automatically
reconnect you to another MUD server.
- Screen Mode
- Supports some sort of screen mode (beyond just scrolling
your output off the top of the screen) on some terminals. The exact
- Supports events which happen when certain actions on the
MUD occur (e.g. waving when a player enters the room). (This can
nearly always be trivially done on programmable clients, even if it
isn't built in.)
- Supports some sort of client-local programming.
Read the documentation and README files
Some of these clients are more featured than others, and some require
a fair degree of computer literacy. TinyTalk and TinyFugue are
among the easiest to learn; Tcltt is more professional. Caveat Emptor.
Since many MUDders write their own clients, this list can never be
complete. As above, ask around.
"Is there any problem with running a client?"
Not usually. Clients can be large when compiled, especially if they
have lots of nifty features. They don't take up much CPU time at all.
It is recommended that you ask your friendly systems administrator or
other machine-responsible person if it's okay for you to install one
on the system, if only for the reason that someone else might already
have done so, and you might be able to save space by sharing with them.
If there's a no games policy at your site, don't try to sneak by it with
a client -- their activities are easily detectable. Be good.
"Okay, I know a client. Is that which connects to a server
? What is a server?"
...That which is connected to by a client. A server is a program which
accepts connections, receives data, mulls it over, and sends out some
output. In the MUD world, the server keeps track of the database, the
current players, the rules, and sometimes the time (or the 'heartbeat').
Servers are usually very large C programs which maintain a small-to-enormous
database of the objects, rooms, players and miscellany of the MUD.
Because of their size and their constant computational activities, servers
can be extremely CPU-intensive and can even be crippling to any other work
done on that computer. Do not ever run a MUD server on a machine illicitly
or without express permission from the person responsible for the machine.
Many universities and companies have strict policies about that sort of
behavior which you don't want to cross.
Of course, people who don't know any better start up illicit MUDs all the
time. Apart from the possibility of losing all your work and energy to
one press of a sysadmin's finger, there's no harm done to the player.
But we must stress: running a MUD where you shouldn't can get you into
a whole new world of hurt. Don't take the chance, it's not worth it.
"Are there lots of different kinds of MUD servers?"
There are probably as many MUD server types as there are MUDs. Since
everyone has their own opinions as to what MUDs should be like, and since
the server source can be edited, most MUDs have site-specific fixtures
in them. However, there are a few main protoMUDs (also called 'vanilla
versions' because they haven't been 'flavored' yet). Note that this
list is not complete, and that it may contain errors in fact or
judgement, but is deemed pretty much right as of this writing.
Corrections/additions are welcomed.
"My [client, server] won't compile! What do I do?"
Your first best bet is to check out the documentation and see if someone
is listed as 'supporting' (i.e. generally responsible for) the program.
If they are, send them a short, well-written e-mail note explaining your
hardware and software completely as well as a transcript of the error.
Do not post to the internet unless all other realistic options have been
considered and taken -- generally speaking, most readers will not be
interested in your dilemma and may get upset that you're wasting their
time. Since MUDs have probably been compiled on every single platform
since the Cyber 3000, there's a good chance that asking around the
subculture will get you the answers you crave. Do not mail me. I
probably won't know.
"What's a cyborg, and should I be one?"
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.
"So I should read the documentation of whatever client I select?"
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