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Session Name:

MUD: Messrs Bartle and Trubshaw's Astonishing Contrivance


Almost all today's MMOs are direct descendents of MUD, yet few developers have played it. This talk, by one of MUD's two co-authors, describes the thinking behind its design and corrects some of the commonly-held misconceptions about what it must have been like to play. It also explains why it is that although MMO development has advanced dramatically since 1978 there are still some areas where early MUDs were more capable than today's behemoths. The present can learn from the past; the good old days are yet to come.

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  • GDC Online 2010
  • Richard Bartle
  • Professor, University of Essex
  • free content
  • Design
  • Design