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There are tons of resources out there dealing with MUDs. One of the most popular is the website http://www.mudconnector.com, which lists most active MUDs. You can go there and log into anything you want.
There are also books available on the topic.
Designing Virtual Worlds
By Dr. Richard Bartle (ISBN 0-1310-1816-7)
This is a fairly new book about MUDs and their predecessors, written by Richard Bartle, who helped make the original MUD game. It doesn't have any code in it at all and is mainly focused on overall design and gameplay issues, things that you should think about. Bartle gets into a fair amount of player psychology analysis as wella very interesting topic.
Overall, the book is written with professional developers in mind, people who charge money to play on their servers. This doesn't prevent it from applying to MUDs though.
Developing Online Games
By Jessica Mulligan and Bridgette Patrovsky (ISBN 1-5927-3000-0)
This book is also new, but is less related to MUDs than Designing Virtual Worlds . This book is instead focused on the planning and business sides of making massively multiplayer online games. It's an interesting read nonetheless, due to the inclusion of several post-mortems of popular MMORPGs, such as Anarchy Online and Dark Age of Camelot . You can see the mistakes those and other games made even before a single line of code was written. This book doesn't have any code in it either.
Massively Multiplayer Game Development
By Thor Alexander, et al. (ISBN 1-58450-243-6)
This book is published by Charles River Media, and if you know anything about their books, they usually put out collections of short articles in one hard covered book. This is no exception.
The book contains some good chapters. The chapter dealing with calculation of items in a MMOG is especially good. There's also a good chapter about implementing a sandbox for your scripting engine, an idea I talked about earlier. The basic idea is to isolate your scripts in a testing area of the game until you know they work. You can test your scripts in what is termed a sandbox without worrying about spreading "sand" over the rest of your game.
I won't go out on a limb and recommend this book to you if you're just a casual game programmer, however. There are a few chapters in this book that don't really have anything to do with MMOG game development, which is disappointing for a $60 book.
Game Scripting Mastery
By Alex Varanese (ISBN 1-931841-57-8)
This is a very good book. It's huge , and contains everything you might ever want to know about putting a scripting engine into your game, or even making your very own scripting engine. I hope you learned from the BetterMUD how important a scripting engine is.
The book covers several languages, such as LUA, TCL, and Python, and covers creating a completely new scripting language and interpreter as well.
Programming Role Playing Games With DirectX
By Jim Adams (ISBN 1-931841-09-8)
This book isn't very closely related to MUDs and MMORPGs, but it's still a great reference. Along with the networking and socket chapters of MUD Game Programming , this book should teach you everything you might ever need to know about making a really good game client for your servers.
Linux Game Programming
By Mark Collins (ISBN 0-7615-3255-2)
Linux and MUDs go together like peanut butter and jelly . You might not want to believe it at first, but eventually you'll catch on. Unfortunately, Linux is just so darned hard to get into, because it has a steep learning curve. Luckily, there are a bunch of books out there that take a game programming approach to Linux. This book teaches you all the basics about programming games in Linux, such as using the SDL graphic library, the OpenGL 3D library, and other things.
Programming Linux Games
By John R. Hall (ISBN 1-886411-49-2)
This is another good Linux book, and the best part about it is that it's free ! No strings attached. You can download it online at many places. At the time of writing this, it is available at http://www.overcode.net/~overcode/writing/plg/, but that may change. If the site doesn't exist, just google Programming Linux Games , and I'm sure you'll pick up a few dozen links.
I picked up a dead-tree version of this book anyway, because I still prefer to read books on paper.
Network Programming for Microsoft Windows
By Anthony Jones and Jim Ohlund (ISBN 0-7356-1579-9)
This book is the Winsock Bibleanything you ever needed to know about Winsock is in this book. The best part about it is that it goes into the more advanced Winsock features that you can't find in the standard Berkeley Sockets API, such as overlapped sockets. For any network programmer, this book is a must-have .
Unix Network Programming
By W. Richard Stevens (ISBN 0-134900-12-X)
If the previous book is the bible on network programming in Windows, this book is the bible of network programming in UNIX. The book goes over the entire Berkeley Sockets API with a fine-toothed comb, and it's virtually a requirement when working with network programming.
Data Structures for Game Programmers
By Ron Penton (ISBN 1-931841-94-2)
I may be a bit biased when recommending this book, but I feel that to understand any of the more advanced topics in game programming, you absolutely must have a solid foundation in data structures and algorithms. This book goes over almost all the basic data structures, as well as a bunch of advanced structures and algorithms, and will help you understand why using a priority queue for the BetterMUD timer system was a great idea, and why using set s instead of lists makes the BetterMUD more efficient.
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