Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

21 August, 2006

In the olden days
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 6:46 PM

I was talking to a friend (the co-editor of the book I’m editing), and we were discussing the issue of text MUDs and how much harder they were back in the day. We kind of laugh when people talk about the “grind” in modern games because some of the older (and more popular!) text games had a definite grind to them.

We found it amusing that two guys in their early 30′s were talking about how kids these days have it so much easier than we did. We were metaphorically waving our canes at the kids and yelling for them to keep off our lawns.

Later I was joking around with another friend and talking about text MUDs again. I said:

Text MUDs were games where you had to type commands to do things in the world. Like this:

You are in a vast plain. There is a school uphill to the north about 10 miles away. It is snowing hard.
> go north
You walk 10 miles, uphill, in the snow, to the school.

You are at a school. Your home is uphill to the south about 10 miles away. It is snowing harder than before.
> go south
You walk 10 miles, uphill, in the snow, home.

And that’s the way we liked it!


  1. We LOVED it!!

    Well, if progress is about creating less work for us, then mission accomplished. Hell, we don’t even have to use our imaginations anymore.

    I love pretty pictures as much as the next guy, but for those players too young to have experienced the text adventures of (for me) the late 70′s/ early 80′s, they missed out big time, imo. If you let yourself, you could get sucked into the theater of your mind that no amount of CG animation could come close to touching today.

    Then again: Mazes & Monsters

    Comment by chabuhi — 22 August, 2006 @ 4:45 PM

  2. I so agree with your statement about using ones mind to generate the pictures. I still play, and develop, text MUDs for a reason… I love them!

    Comment by Joseph Monk — 23 August, 2006 @ 9:12 AM

  3. I sucked at muds, I couldn’t type for crap and always got lost. Graphical games were a godsend for me. Although my compleat inabbility to type without looking at the keyboard still means that I am mostly mute in these games, but at least I can move around and fight.

    Comment by Agmon — 27 August, 2006 @ 7:58 AM

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