Issue 0x03 - 2017 is lying here, dead.

Greetings, adventurers!

Wow… what a year. As a community, we’ve grown a ton—and are continuing to grow every day—and the overwhelming support for this highly niche newsletter over the past few months alone has humbled me. With the year coming to a close, and new one starting, I wanted to take a moment to thank every one of the members of The MUD Coders Guild for making 2017 a year to remember. I have personally learned more than I ever expected from you nerds, and I look forward to cramming even more knowledge into my brain over the next 12 months.

Happy 0x7E2… err… 2018!

- Zach

P.S. - If would like to write an article for The MUD Coders Guild, or have a resource you’d like to share in an upcoming newsletter, please feel free to reply directly to this email. I would love to hear from you!

> notes

Off the Cliff ep1: Health Systems

Off the Cliff is going to be a new series where I do a deep dive into one of my own mechanical designs. Some will be more of a post-mortem on something that used to exist but was scrapped, some will…

The Help Files ep2: Warframe

With Destiny 2 uninstalled and my shootery action RPG glands left unsatisfied, I finally took the plunge on a game Steam has been trying to get me to play for years by gifting me weird looking things…

The Help Files ep1: Destiny 2

I finally gave into the Blizzard launcher nagging me about playing Destiny 2 with a free trial. I never played the first, but you’d have to have been living in a cave to not know it existed at the…

Identity Driven Design

Being a software engineer and a systems designer, I am generally immersed in “technical art fields” at all times. You can’t art wrong. You can art in ways that people might not like and you can…

Learning Curved

My MUD ran on and off for around a decade. It was almost always accessible in that time period but at times it simply had no players due to an intentional lack of advertising. The primary reason for…

> open source


Ataxia is a modern MUD engine written in Rust with embedded Lua scripting for game logic.


While we may generally be all about the text-based world, that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the beauty of a well-designed graphical game engine. LÖVE is an awesome framework you can use to make 2D games in Lua. It’s free, open-source, and works on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, and iOS.


Merchant.js is an interesting Javascript framework for creating idle games like AdVenture Capitalist.

> inventory

ANSI Color Codes

We’ve come a long way since the monochromatic beauty of phosphor monitors… but not that long. Because most MUDs are still accessed via relatively antiquated telnet protocols, many of them have to work with this incredibly limited color palette.


Icicle is an in-development game engine focused on delivering single-player text-oriented experiences. It foregoes the parser and button based interfaces of traditional text and hypertext adventures in favor of first person “mouselook” style controls, and presents itself mechanically as a single verb point and click adventure game. Oh, and it supports virtual reality!


Probabilities are hard, especially when trying to design a balanced and fair game. AnyDice is an advanced, online dice probability calculator created with roleplaying games in mind.

The Fell Types Modern Revival Fonts

The Fell Types Modern Revival Fonts are a callback to the printing presses of yore. An excellent choice for designing medieval-fantasy game logos, iconography, and websites.

> train int

Reading Simple Haskell

Reading Simple Haskell is a tutorial explaining the basic of… reading Haskell. A great place to start for the aspiring Haskeller.

Writing a Game Engine in 2017

We at The MUD Coders Guild thrive on creating new and unique gaming engines, so this article is of particular interest to us. While the premise is about writing a modern game engine in 2017, it has an interesting take on entity component systems.

Introduction to logic programming with Prolog

My heart goes out to the poor programmer who attempts to create a MUD in Prolog someday (and believe me, someone will). That said, Prolog is a fascinating language that I have some personal (and mostly positive) experience with, so this tutorial tickles my fancy in multiple ways.

Git Flight Rules

While it doesn’t have to be git, we all use version control (and if you don’t, then stop what your are doing and start right freaking now). According to An Astronaut’s Guide to Life, “Flight Rules are the hard-earned body of knowledge recorded in manuals that list, step-by-step, what to do if X occurs, and why. Essentially, they are extremely detailed, scenario-specific standard operating procedures.” This is like that… but for git.

OrgMode tutorial - YouTube

I’m not an Emacs user (#teamvim), so this tutorial went a bit over my head, but TMCG member @trevoke says “this is the best org-mode tutorial series I’ve seen, hands down”.

Conceptual Views of EMACS’s Architecture

Another Emacs thing. I dunno… seems cool I guess.

> cast 'inspiration'

Games on the Net Before the Web, Part 2: MUD

This is the second part in a three-part series about games before the modern internet and it is an absolute must read. It covers just about everything there is to know about the original MUD, created by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle.

Constructed Languages for Language Geeks

I just discovered the fascinating world of constructed languages, or conlangs, this month and I am completely enthralled by it. There is a whole community of language geeks who devote their time creating new and interesting languages, both written and spoken, something I think we can all agree is awesome.

A Revisitation of Help

Pulled from the Imaginary Realities archives, this is a great article about how to best structure and manage in-game help files.


TMCG member @gvanderest relates his journey from MUD player to MUD owner in this short, yet interesting read.

> afk

Chat & Slash

Slack is as ubiquitous as email at this point, so it’s no surprise that some enterprising madman created a Slack-based RPG to play. It’s easy to play for just a few minutes on your break or lunch and make meaningful progress. Plus, the game is turn-based, so you can pick up where you left off at a moment’s notice!

> quit

I’m a lean dog, a keen dog, a wild dog, and lone;

I’m a rough dog, a tough dog, hunting on my own;

I’m a bad dog, a mad dog, teasing silly sheep;

I love to sit and bay the moon, to keep fat souls from sleep.

The MUD Coders Guild is a community for people with a passion for creating text-based games. Join us on Slack!