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Welcome to MUD Game Programming the first comprehensive book on the art of developing text-only Multi-User Dungeon games. Although everywhere you look you see the latest 3D rendering and graphical simulations, MUDs and text-only games are still going strong and indeed are experiencing a retro-resurgence with more and more developers creating games of this nature. There are a number of reasons for this. First, anyone with a terminal and Telnet can play these games , so that's always cool. But more importantly I think, game developers all over the world have a strong desire to learn network-programming skills, and MUDs are a great place to start. Unlike their real-time big brother with complex predictive algorithms, compression schemes, and mind numbing optimizations, MUDs don't take much in the way of network mastery. If you can send packets with sockets or Dplay, you are over-qualified.
With that in mind, the author, Ron Penton, has created the quintessential book on MUD game programming. He starts with network basics, teaching you everything you need to know to create a socket class on a Windows- or UNIX-based machine along with creating C++ classes to wrap all the details of making connections and transmitting data. Then based on this communication class, he builds a MUD, aptly named "SimpleMUD," to illustrate each concept of MUD programming until you have attacked each problem that arises when developing such games. By the end of the book you have a complete, fairly robust MUD called "BetterMUD" that contains all the major features of a contemporary MUD game. In fact, it's probably better than most and with a little work can be the starting point for a professional MUD, if you want to go that route.
In conclusion, if you missed the 70s and 80s, but are fascinated with Dungeons and Dragons, MUDs, and using your imagination rather than an nVidia accelerator, MUD Game Programming is definitely for you. Even if you never see yourself making a MUD, I still highly recommend this book to everyone in the game biz. It should be required reading for those interested in game- related topics such as large-scale network programming, database management, and synchronization techniques. Good luck, and when exploring your favorite MUD, do what I do when you see someone in the room:
ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK, RUN.
Premier Press Game Development Series Editor
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