ummer vacations are over and work resumes in Evennia land! Here's a wagon-load of small updates on what's going on.
The Ainneve project
, the creation of an official, open-source Evennia demo game, has gotten going. The lead devs of the project are keen to make this a collaborative effort and there is a lot of good discussion and code being written. After some slowdown at the end of summer it's bound to pick up again.
Ainneve's a rare chance to see a full MUD getting developed from scratch out in the open. The current issue list
includes tags for difficulty and allows also newbie Python coders to jump in. Not to mention you have a chance to get valuable feedback on your work by seasoned coders!
So if you are at all interested in making a MUD, try out Python/Evennia or just get involved in a semi-big programming project, this is a great chance to do so.
Since a few weeks, there is a new issue of Imaginary realities
(vol 7, issue 3) is out. As usual I have an article in it. This venerable e-zine was revitalized to include articles on both MU* as well as roguelikes, Interactive fiction and others. Not only is this issue the most content-rich since the reboot, with this issue they have also spruced up their interface to make past issues easier to navigate.
- "A text MUD with a working ecology system" - in this article Molly O'Hara details the concepts behind simulating a functioning ecologic network in a game. Interesting stuff and some parts of this is certainly worth considering for any open-world game design. I wonder at which level of detail the system become more complex than the players can appreciate though.
- "Dispelling the gloom" by Tomasz Gruca is an interesting essay on the author's history growing up in the former Soviet Union and eventually finding text adventure games and interactive fiction, a passion he has apparently lately re-kindled. He makes the observation that the current "retro" trend of games have not really reached back to the text-based game world when it comes to mainstream acceptance.
- "How integral are letters and text to ASCII gaming?"by Mark R. Johnson goes into the practical use of ASCII in traditional rogue-like games (beyond nostalgia). This is a meaty article that goes into both text-as-graphics as well as the use of text for aiding imagination and suggest subtle puzzles in some classic rogue-likes.
- "Legend and the lore" ( to try to distill just why those games nevertheless was so appealing to him and how it can be applied in modern game designs like zombie-survival MUD Epitath which he is a senior developer for. Plenty of good observations here!
- "The bonds of mudding" by Clint Knapp writes about the community that can spring up on a long-running MUD, the interactions the friends and the relationships that could persist already long before "social media" became a buzz word. A warm text with plenty of anecdotes and examples and things to ponder for both designers and staff when wanting to cater for this type of player bonding.
- "The mercurial temperament at the end of the world" (Drakkos) discusses NPCs and how they rarely are as interactive as one would want (the term "vend a chat" is a good one I think). He then goes on to how they have implemented their "Mercurial" system for NPCs in Epitath. This seems to be a state-AI system where NPCs have moods that affects what they say based on their circumstance and relation to other actors in the world. Sounds really cool and since he goes into some details on the implementation there is a lot to ponder here.
- "Where do I begin?" by me, Griatch, discusses one of the more common questions we get in the Evennia chat - 'I want to make a MUD, but how do I begin?' This article starts before Evennia's Game planning wiki page - it discusses assessing your capabilities and resources in the form of programming skills, code bases and motivations to help you figure out what you can realistically accomplish.
Evennia Web client
In the pipeline I have some updates to Evennia's websocket/JSON MUD-web client component. These are changes that are intended to make the webclient easier to customize and hook into Evennia output using only HTML/CSS. More details on this will be forthcoming when I have more solid stuff to show. ______Image: The troll here a-cometh by Griatch
he Evennia example-game project is underway!
I was quite impressed with the response I got on the mailing list to my call for developing an Evennia example game (see my Need your Help
The nature of the responses varied, many were from interested people with little to no experience in Evennia or Python whereas others had the experience but not the time to lead it. It was however clear that the interest to work on an "official" Evennia game is quite big.
I'm happy to announce, however, that after only a week we now have a solid lead developer/manager, George Oliver
. Helping him on the technical/architecture side is Whitenoise
(who, despite a barren github profile, is a professional developer).
George put together a game proposal
based on the OpenAdventure
rpg, an open-source (CC-SA) ruleset that is also found on github
. The example game is to be named "Ainneve" and its development is found in a in a separate repository under the github Evennia organisation
All the relevant links and future discussion can be found on the mailing list
George and whitenoise have already made it clear that they aim to not only make Ainneve a good example Evennia game for others to learn from and build on, but to make the development itself a possibility for people of all skill levels to get involved. So get in touch with them if you are at all interested in Python, Evennia and mud development!
So thanks to George and whitenoise for taking this on, looking forward to see where it leads!
image from loveintoblender.
This for all you developers out there who want to make a game with Evennia but are not sure about what game to make or where to start off.
We need an example game
One of the main critiques Evennia get from newbies is the lack of an (optional) full game implementation to use as an example and base to build from. So, Evennia needs a full, BSD-licensed example game. I'm talking "diku-like", something you could in principle hook up and allow players into within minutes of installing Evennia. The Tutorial world we already have is a start but it is more of a solo quest, it's not designed to be a full multiplayer game. Whereas Evennia supports other forms of MU* too, the idea is that the systems from a more "code-heavy" MUD could easily be extracted and adopted to a more freeform-style game whereas the reverse is not generally true.
The exact structure of such a game would be up to the person or team taking this on, but it should be making use of Evennia's api and come distributed as a custom game folder (the folder you get with evennia --init
). We will set this up as a separate repository under the Evennia github organisation
- a spin-off from the main evennia project, and maintained separately.
We need you!
Thing is, while I am (and, I'm sure other Evennia core devs) certainly willing to give considerable help and input on such a project, it's not
something I have time to take the lead
on myself. So I'm looking for enthusiastic coders who would be willing to step up to both help and take the lead
on this; both designing and (especially) coding such an example game. Even if you have your own game in mind for the future, you still
need to build most of these systems, so starting with a generic system will still help you towards that final goal - plus you get to be immortalized in the code credits, of course.
Suggestion for game
Being an example game, it should be well-documented and following good code practices (this is something we can always fix and adjust as we go though). The systems should be designed as stand-alone/modular as possible to make them easy to rip out and re-purpose (you know people will do so anyway). These are the general features I would imagine are needed (they are open to discussion):
- Generic fantasy theme (lore is not the focus here, but it can still be made interesting)
- Character creation module
- Races (say, 2-3)
- Classes (say 2-3)
- Attributes and Skills (based on D&D? Limit number of skills to the minimal set)
- Rule module for making skill checks, rolls etc (D&D rules?)
- Combat system (twitch? Turn-based?)
- Mobs, both friendly and aggressive, with AI
- Trade with NPC / other players (money system)
- Quest system
- Eventual new GM/admin tools as needed
- Small game world (batch-built) to demonstrate all features (of good quality to show off)
- More? Less?
Great! We are as a first step looking for a driven lead dev
for this project, a person who has the enthusiasm, coding experience and drive
to see the project through and manage it. You will (hopefully) get plenty of collaborators willing to help out but It is my experience that a successful hobby project really needs at least one person taking responsibility to "lead the charge" and having the final say on features: Collaborative development can otherwise easily mean that everyone does their own thing or cannot agree on a common course. This would be a spin-off from the main Evennia project and maintained separately as mentioned above.
Reply to this thread
if you are willing to participate at any level
to the project, including chipping in with code from your already ongoing development. I don't know if there'd be any "competition" over the lead-dev position but if multiple really enthusiastic and willing devs step forward we'll handle that then.
So get in touch!