Multi-User online IF authoring tool proposal

0 views
Skip to first unread message

James Burrows

unread,
Feb 17, 2004, 9:53:18 AM2/17/04
to
I'm thinking about writing an IF authoring tool that will enable the
creation of online multi-user games that can be played across the
internet (via TCP/IP).

Firstly, are there any good ones in existence?

Secondly, is there anyone out there who is (seriously) interested in
helping to create one (if they can see improvements to what is already
out there)? I am a C/C++ coder with many years TCP/IP experience and
I have a framework for such a system in mind. If anyone is interested
in helping (coders or designers/ideas/testers etc) please contact me
for further details on: IF at EGGITSACURRY.ME.UK (strip out the words
egg and curry)

James

Rexx Magnus

unread,
Feb 17, 2004, 9:58:06 AM2/17/04
to
On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 14:53:18 GMT, James Burrows scrawled:

> I'm thinking about writing an IF authoring tool that will enable the
> creation of online multi-user games that can be played across the
> internet (via TCP/IP).

Is there anything that stands out as differentiating this from a MUD?

--
http://www.rexx.co.uk

To email me, visit the site.

Roberto Grassi

unread,
Feb 17, 2004, 10:38:51 AM2/17/04
to
Hi,

> I'm thinking about writing an IF authoring tool that will enable the
> creation of online multi-user games that can be played across the
> internet (via TCP/IP).
> Firstly, are there any good ones in existence?

ZINC, but it does not allow authorship but only playing
http://www.bits.bris.ac.uk/zinc/help/index.html

> If anyone is interested in helping (coders or designers/ideas/testers etc) please contact me
> for further details on: IF at EGGITSACURRY.ME.UK (strip out the words
> egg and curry)

Ok, i'll contact you.
Rob

--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG

Alex Warren

unread,
Feb 17, 2004, 12:21:41 PM2/17/04
to
James Burrows wrote:

> I'm thinking about writing an IF authoring tool that will enable the
> creation of online multi-user games that can be played across the
> internet (via TCP/IP).
>
> Firstly, are there any good ones in existence?

It depends on your definition of "good" really, but the latest version of Quest
comes with QuestNet Server Lite, plus a very small sample game and
documentation. You can download it from http://www.axeuk.com/quest/


Alex

--
alex at axeuk, and add .com for email address.
Make adventure games easily with Quest - http://www.axeuk.com/quest/
Analyse web site log files for free with Xlogan - http://www.xlogan.com/

Roberto Grassi

unread,
Feb 17, 2004, 12:28:15 PM2/17/04
to
Your mailbox is bouncing...

James Burrows

unread,
Feb 18, 2004, 3:16:56 AM2/18/04
to
"Roberto Grassi" <robg...@yahoo.it> wrote in message news:<db20ed19b47c6176eff...@mygate.mailgate.org>...

> Your mailbox is bouncing...
> Rob

You sure you got my address right? I've received mail this morning so
the account is fine: i...@itza.me.uk (change the z to an s)

Rexx Magnus

unread,
Feb 18, 2004, 4:22:14 AM2/18/04
to
On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 15:38:51 GMT, Roberto Grassi scrawled:

> Hi,
>
>> I'm thinking about writing an IF authoring tool that will enable the
>> creation of online multi-user games that can be played across the
>> internet (via TCP/IP).
>> Firstly, are there any good ones in existence?
>
> ZINC, but it does not allow authorship but only playing
> http://www.bits.bris.ac.uk/zinc/help/index.html

That looks rather interesting, an approach that I hadn't considered.

James Burrows

unread,
Feb 19, 2004, 4:51:32 AM2/19/04
to
OK, checked out Quest. From the look of it though, it seems it only
runs on Windows. Plus the fact you have to pay for it. Has anyone
here tried creating a multiplayer game with it? is it easy?

What I'm proposing is a server that runs on mac/unix/windows, using
TCP/IP as the data transfer protocol. Clients can be written in
whatever language/format the author wants (by client I mean the tool
used to play the games and interact with the game world on the
server). There would be a simple API (perhaps XML) for communicating
between the client and server, so "events" in the game could be
interpreted/displayed differently depending on how the client is
designed.

James

Alex Warren <happy...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<kaj430p6nbd3ou8cj...@4ax.com>...

Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Feb 19, 2004, 11:45:38 AM2/19/04
to
Here, James Burrows <goo...@itsa.me.uk> wrote:
> OK, checked out Quest. From the look of it though, it seems it only
> runs on Windows. Plus the fact you have to pay for it. Has anyone
> here tried creating a multiplayer game with it? is it easy?
>
> What I'm proposing is a server that runs on mac/unix/windows, using
> TCP/IP as the data transfer protocol. Clients can be written in
> whatever language/format the author wants (by client I mean the tool
> used to play the games and interact with the game world on the
> server). There would be a simple API (perhaps XML) for communicating
> between the client and server, so "events" in the game could be
> interpreted/displayed differently depending on how the client is
> designed.

You might want to take a look at Volity (volity.org), which is
essentially this, but built on top of Jabber (an open-source chat and
message-passing system). Volity isn't finished, but it's intended to
be a good general platform for non-real-time multiplayer games.

--Z

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
*
* Make your vote count. Get your vote counted.

Jayson Smith

unread,
Feb 19, 2004, 2:49:07 PM2/19/04
to
If you are a user on ifMud, you might check out the bot named Floyd in the
toyshop. He is a program which connects to the mud and offers Inform, Tads,
Hugo and maybe a few other types of games for online playing by mud users.
He also offers a few realtime, multi-player games written in Inform. The
most famous of these has to be the party game of Werewolf. This is a true
multi-player game, written in Inform. I don't know if "parrot stock
exchange" is still around, but it was fun too.
Jayson.

"James Burrows" <goo...@itsa.me.uk> wrote in message
news:65b3459e.04021...@posting.google.com...

Alex Warren

unread,
Feb 19, 2004, 5:19:01 PM2/19/04
to
James Burrows wrote:

> OK, checked out Quest. From the look of it though, it seems it only
> runs on Windows. Plus the fact you have to pay for it.

Well, yes. You can connect to a QuestNet Server via Telnet on any platform
though, and for playing games, Quest is free. QuestNet Server Lite is also free
so you can make a small multiplayer game for nothing.

Although Telnet can be used, Quest provides a better playing experience as it
has a more fully featured interface. Alternative clients could be developed for
other operating systems reasonably easily. If anybody is interested in doing
this, please let me know and I'll send you details of the protocol used.


> Has anyone
> here tried creating a multiplayer game with it? is it easy?

There are no proper games for it yet, since it was only released a month ago. It
is fairly easy to create games - as with single-player games, you can either use
the visual editor, or you can code by hand. A full reference guide is included
in the download, and is also available at
http://www.axeuk.com/quest/developer/asl/index.htm

Mike Rozak

unread,
Feb 19, 2004, 5:53:46 PM2/19/04
to
I recently read a book, "MUD game programming" by Ron Penton. You might want
to look at this.

It leads you through the steps necessary to write a very basic mud,
explaining the APIs for telnet, how to interpret commands, python for the
scripting language, etc. His solution is for both Linux and WinNT. I found
the book moderately useful.

My complaints are:
1) His parser is lousy, and I wish he'd developed a better one. Most muds
seem to be lacking in the parser category though.

2) The architecture he proposed for the objects (a list of properties with
some python scripts for functionality), is an OK solution, but Tads/Inform
provide a more flexible system. From what I've read of other MUDs, his
solution is better than what most MUDs have.

3) He doesn't go into multithreading much. (Although this may not be an
issue for a MUD (or text IF) since it's rare for a MUD to consume even one
CPU, let alone 2.)

4) His discussion of security issues is somewhat limited.

5) He just gets to the interesting bit of MUD programming (the scripting to
describe the objects and actions) and then runs out of book.


Richard Bartle's book on "Designing virtual worlds" is a very interesting
read. It is packed with information (but no code) for designing and dealing
with users. I don't agree with all his theories, but they're still
interesting to learn about. If you are thinking about writing an online IF,
read this. (It's like attending a driver's ed course to get your drivers
license, and being shown the movies of car accidents and the injuries that
result. It makes you think...)


I have a few other books about virtual worlds coming in the mail (hopefully
today) that I'll write up if you're interested.

--

Mike Rozak
http://www.mxac.com.au


Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages