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04:57 pm: Those crazy bastards
They appear to have totally updated Cryosphere to version 2.6, more than six years in the making. It doesn't yet have the web interface that I wrote 2 years ago installed on it. But this will happen.

This is quite weird.

Writing new MUDs was a perfectly reasonable habit when we started in the late 1990s. MUDs are tailor-made for bored students to write (none of this stuff with needing artwork, we were perfectly capable of writing adequate prose and good code) and perfect for them to play, being low-bandwidth. It had become a bit more eccentric in the early 2000s, when we did the big scenario rewrite and world-building. But there was a certain community out there. Now? Well, it's basically retrogaming, isn't it? Except not the fashionable sort. No 16-colour sprites for us, you see. As we hurtle through our 30s, Cryosphere is still there. Our hosting has gone from an account at CSLib to now a server somewhere in Germany that none of us have ever seen, and which we share with ElvenMUD. The same people log in from day to day, and for whatever reason use it to coordinate social activities with each other. There doesn't seem likely to ever be a mass inrush of players, even if one day we finish the world and the trading aspect of the game. It's reached a steady state.

We're having a 15th anniversary party in the autumn. In 2015 it will have existed for half my life. Will it still be there in 2022? Will our children and grand-children maintain it as a curiosity?

This entry was originally posted at http://morwen.dreamwidth.org/381479.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:jojomojo
Date:April 1st, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
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Ooh party! Do I get to come? :)
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:April 1st, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
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Sure! It'll be in October I think.
[User Picture]
From:jisha78
Date:April 1st, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
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I was actually wondering just this morning if they were ever still played. I had one on our atari ST that I LOVED, wish I knew what it was called. And I played the Hitchhiker's one, but never got past the Vogons despite knowing the book so well, it was just so hard. I heard witterings on choose-your-own-adventure books having a resurgence on Kindles, but I haven't seen any good examples yet. There is certainly potential though, and could be MUDs on them too. I think they always have a possibility of returning because they rely on imagination, which is always powerful.
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:April 1st, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC)
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There is a really healthy IF (interactive fiction) scene these days still, as I understand it. We don't speak to them much (although we were very IFy compared to a lot of MUDs which often emphasise combat)
[User Picture]
From:psyfira
Date:April 2nd, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
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Damn that Babel fish machine!

Edited at 2012-04-02 08:50 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:eldar
Date:April 1st, 2012 05:32 pm (UTC)
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I have reason to believe (not confirmed, just my own suspicion) that I failed to land a job because I wasn't open about doing MUD development whist still at Uni. I kind of brought up that I'd had experience with OO programming, then backtracked and didn't elaborate... probably came off as evasive and not necessarily to be trusted. Hmm.

Still, given the classic OO example is along the lines of...

class PolarBear extends Bear {
blah
}

and essentially that's what I was doing in my MUD programming on Zeb (okay, I don't think I ever actually made a bear, but there was a generic 'monster' object that every mob was based on).
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:April 1st, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
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I put the Cryosphere on my CV, had a tarball available to download, and the Head of Engineering actually logged in and took a look around. I think this helped (as I'd had no commercial C++ experience for a while).
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