MUD client

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A MUD client is a computer application used to connect to a MUD, a type of multiplayer online game. Generally, a MUD client is a very basic telnet client that lacks VT100 terminal emulation and the capability to perform telnet negotiations. On the other hand, MUD clients are enhanced with various features designed to enhance the gameplay of MUDs.[1]

Standard features seen in most MUD clients include ANSI color support, aliases, triggers and scripting. The client can often be extended almost indefinitely with its built-in scripting language. Most MUDs restrict the usage of scripts because they give an unfair advantage, as well as the fear that the game will end up being played by fully automated clients instead of human beings.[2]


The first MUD client with a notable number of features was Tinytalk by Anton Rang in January 1990, for Unix-like systems.[3] In May 1990 TinyWar 1.1.4 was released by Leo Plotkin which was based on TinyTalk 1.0 and added support for event-driven programming.[4] In September 1990 TinyFugue which was based on TinyWar 1.2.3 and TT 1.1 was released by Greg Hudson and featured more advanced trigger support.[5] Development of TinyFugue was taken over by Ken Keys in 1991. TinyFugue has continued to evolve and remains a popular client today for Unix-like systems.[citation needed]

TinyFugue, or tf, was primarily written for Unix-like operating systems. It is one of the earliest MUD clients in existence.[6] It is primarily geared toward TinyMUD variants.[7] TinyFugue is extensible through its own macro language, which also ties to its extensive trigger system.[7][8] The trigger system allows implementation of automatically run commands.[9]

Another early client was TINTIN by Peter Unold in April 1992.[10] In October 1992 Peter Unold made his final release, TINTIN III, which was a much more mature and feature rich program.[11] Development of TINTIN was continued by Bill Reiss who announced the release of TinTin++ 1.0 in July 1993.[12] The client gained popularity quickly because of its easy to use scripting language and the popularity of DikuMUD for which it was designed. Being open source with originally no license restrictions, many current clients like GGMud, MudMaster, and Pueblo are based on TinTin++.

Following on from TINTIN's success, Mike Potter was keen to produce a Windows port of the client resulting in the release of zMUD 1.0 in December 1995.[13] zMUD was initially licensed as freeware, but Mike Potter realized that he could make a living from sales of the client and started selling zMUD 4.0 as shareware in September 1996.[14] zMUD is particularly noted for its automapping capabilities.[15][16]


  1. ^ Levine, John R. (1997). More Internet for Dummies. IDG Books. p. 199. ISBN 0-7645-0135-6. A better way to connect to a MUD is by using a MUD client program: a program specifically designed for MUDding. A MUD program is really a telnet program that has had various MUD-related commands added.
  2. ^ Raph Koster (2008). "A brief history of botting". Everyone’s advice to a newbie was “get a client,” followed by the lengthy caveat that a given mud had specific rules about what was permissible. In other words, the third-party tools were seen as something that added invaluable interface enhancements, but that also afforded a bit too much power.
  3. ^ Anton Rang (1990). "TinyTalk 1.0 is now available for anonymous FTP". TinyTalk is an interface to the TinyMUD system. It replaces telnet, and adds many new features.
  4. ^ Jason Downs (1990). "TinyWar does exist! Here it is..." The program you are using now. Tinywar is a modified tinytalk, the later program originally written by Anton Rang. It's a telnet clone, with MUD-specific features.
  5. ^ Greg Hudson (1990). "TinyFugue 1.1.4 released to anonymous FTP". TinyFugue is, I believe, the most advanced TinyClient to date, incorporating most of the features of TinyWar 1.2.3, the features of GrimJim's TT 1.1.jwl-2 beta, many of my own enhancements (such as extensive reentrance, trigger priority, and trigger probability), and input/output windows.
  6. ^ Mulligan, Jessica; Patrovsky, Bridgette (2003). Developing Online Games: An Insider's Guide. New Riders. p. 453. ISBN 1-59273-000-0. 1990 [...] The MUD client tinyFugue is available now in version 1.4 Beta.
  7. ^ a b Shah, Rawn; Romine, James (1995). Playing MUDs on the Internet. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 257. ISBN 0-471-11633-5. TinyFugue [...] Commonly known as tf. Designed primarily for TinyMud-style Muds, although will run on LPMUDs and Dikus. Features include regular expression hilites and gags, auto-login, macros, line editing, screen mode, triggers, cyberportals, logging, file and command uploading, shells, and multiple connects.
  8. ^ Busey, Andrew (1995). Secrets of the MUD Wizards. SAMS Publishing. p. 200. ISBN 0-672-30723-5. The TinyFugue system has long been a popular client interface for players of MOO, MUCK, and many TinyMUD-derivative systems. With a robust feature list supporting multiple sessions, macros, triggers and automation, command history and other functions, TinyFugue offers users maximum control over their environment. Although more recent programs such as Tintin++ have gained large followings, many MUD players continue to use TinyFugue because of its power and flexibility in the hands of an experience client programmer.
  9. ^ Cheong, Fah-Chun (1996). Internet Agents: Spiders, Wanderers, Brokers, and Bots. New Riders. pp. 256. ISBN 1-56205-463-5. There are also front-end client programs, such as TinyTalk, TinyFugue, and Tintin, that provide an easier interface to the MUDs for their human players. They can handle some of the more routine work—for example, automatically greeting anyone who enters the room.
  10. ^ Peter Unold (1992). "TINTIN - a dikumud client". (T)he K(I)cki(N) (T)ick D(I)kumud Clie(N)t (hell I simply wanted it to be called TINTIN....)
  11. ^ Peter Unold (1992). "TINTIN III released". TINTIN III is a mud client special designed to help dikumudders. It runs under various UNIX implementations.
  12. ^ Bill Reiss (1993). "where to get tintin++". Since berkeley removed its diku base, I have put a copy of tintin++ 1.0 beta on in the pub/mud/diku directory. From here on, I will most likely be putting the updates to tintin++ there.
  13. ^ Mike Potter (1995). "New Winsock MUD Client: zMUD". zMUD is a powerful client, with many features of TinTin++, as well as graphical interface features such as customizeable buttons.
  14. ^ Mike Potter (2006). "About Zugg Software". Sep 1996 zMUD v4.0 is released as Shareware -- Zugg Software officially formed
  15. ^ Dodge, Martin; Kitchin, Rob (2000-09-02). Mapping Cyberspace. Routledge. p. 153. ISBN 0-415-19884-4. One interesting approach that attempts to achieve this is, is one which automatically records movement through MUD space, using this information to dynamically map the spaces visited. Such an approach has been adopted by the zMUD client, from Zugg Software, which includes the automapping tool shown in figure 8.5. zMUD can be configured to decode the room descriptions, and to record the standard cardinal walking directions, teleports and one-way links.
  16. ^ Bartle, Richard (2003). Designing Virtual Worlds. New Riders. p. 481. ISBN 0-13-101816-7. Some clients (zMUD is the best-known) constructed for use with generic textual worlds can automap arbitrary room connections, exploring a virtual world exhaustively to produce an accurate map.

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