Area Archives

An area, also sometimes called a zone, is a file that holds the rooms, mobiles and objects in which and with which the players of a MUD interact. An area often is broken into many sections, or, as in the case of early DIKUs, the sections themselves are isolated into separate files, each of which holds an important, and common, collection of things. For example, in the ROM area format, a ROOM section contains all the rooms of an area, and a MOBILE section holds all the mobiles found in the area.

Common area files, or stock areas, appeared soon after the release of public MUD codebases. In fact, it's hard to find, even today, a MUD based on one of the public codebases without running into one or more of the stock areas released for that codebase. Without a doubt the most famous of the stock areas is Midgaard, typically the starting point for any player new to a MUD, which was released and rewritten to accomodate DIKU, Circle, Merc, ROM, Smaug and their derivatives. Other stock areas include Haon Dor, Miden'nir, the High Tower of Sorcery, the Elemental Canyon, and many more.

Not all MUDs use area files to store or generate their worlds: some use databases, while a few use dynamic generation. However, the vast majority of MUDs do use area files, and moreover use stock areas—finding people to write new, non-stock areas is a daunting, sometimes hopeless task.

A list of stock area repositories follows:

Curious Areas Workshop Among the earliest of stock area repositories, the Curious Areas Workshop, or CAW for short, remained online for over two decades after shutting its doors in 1996, providing vital content to hundreds of MUD admins who needed their worlds to breathe. In all, CAW released about a dozen areas and one builder's handbook, a guide written for anyone wanting to create an area of their own.

Today the site is found only in archived form. The link above, for example, points to an Internet Archive snapshot of the site. If that link doesn't work, someone wrote up an alternate take of CAW at Fandom (mirror.)

The archives above do not have downloadable area files; however, you can still find these areas in various corners of the web, for example at github. To simplify your search, here's a zipped archive of tbaMUD's copy of the Workshop's areas:

C.A.W. Areas

Handbook included. Just be aware that these areas may take some work to make usable.

ROM Area Sanctuary Hosted by Ansalon MUD, a Dragonlance-flavored text game, this repository hosts dozens of stock areas created for the ROM codebase, among them the areas mentioned in the introduction above. You also can find here several areas written for the MERC codebase.

Areas Directory | tbaMUD Development on the CircleMUD codebase stopped in 2006 and was followed immediately by the release of CircleMUD's successor, tbaMUD. tbaMUD hosts area files written specifically for CircleMUD, which should be compatible with both CircleMUD and tbaMUD. Notice the C.A.W. directory...

SmaugMuds.org This website hosts several codebase flavors as well as an area repository for the SmaugMUD codebase. There is no Midgaard; however, Elemental Canyon, Arachnos, and other areas written for older DIKUs are there.

About

Grim Wheel is a site dedicated to old school text gaming.

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I haven't yet finished or opened most of the links below. An asterisk marks each of these.

Development

Buildcraft* Articles which discuss the craft of building on Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs).

MUD Forums Links to offsite forums that concern themselves with all things related to Multi-User Dungeons.

MUD-Dev Where you can find archives of the former mailing list known as "MUD-Dev", as well as a link to the newest mailing list.

Imaginary Realities Archives of articles from the now-defunct online magazine Imaginary Realities.

Games

MUD Listings* Websites which list the many text games still in existence.

MUD Clients* Clients which you can use to connect to an active MUD.

Archives

Codebases The various public codebases in existence today.

Area Archives Areas for public codebases such as Circle, ROM and Smaug.

Miscellaneous* Links that do not fall easily into any category.