The History of Medievia

Medievia was started in 1991 by a group of people interested in such things. At first Medievia was a stock diku mud. A mud is short for Multi User Dungeon. The first few months, we tested many public domain mud packages including DIKU and Merc. Our first reaction was that the code, while free, was buggy and poorly thought out if you wanted a truly large game. We ran the original Medievia for a while as a standard Merc 1.00 Mud. Medievia II followed about one year after with much of the game and code re-tooled. At this point we may have been one of a handful of muds that were stable enough to be interesting. Our player base grew and along with it our interest.

Medievia III

In 1993, Vryce decided to do it again and we started work on Medievia III. Medievia III had things like formations, ANSI color, new undead death code, and a totally redone internal structure making the game much more stable and memory friendly. The result was the first mud with a vision. Our player base again grew quickly. We had our own machine by this time and our sponsor (Avi Freedman, owner of proved as stable as the mud. Vryce decided that Medievia was more than a passing hobby. As 1993 turned into 1994 he added feature upon feature until the mud was world renowned as the most stable and advanced mud. Early in 1995 we decided to yet again push the envelope. This time we wanted to PUSH it to the brink and that we did.

Medievia IV

Medievia IV represents the cutting edge in gaming technology and game design philosophy. By the time Vryce started thinking of Medievia IV he finally had a group of stable implementors. We now had the time to re-code the whole game with the design to handle 1500 on-line players. Shalafi had been around for a while by then. Shalafi had proven to be the first implementor capable of balancing all the world stats, objects, mobiles and world. We were ready. We began work on Medievia IV in early 1995. The first thing Vryce decided to do was wipe the world and rethink it all. Every mud around seemed to be following old 1991 DIKU technology and most muds have become very similar as no one wanted to jump ahead and recode their whole mud. When we were in the designing stages of Medievia IV we held many group idea sessions and decided we would drop the old world and attempt to make a world that more would seem much more realistic. We ended up recoding most of the game yet again. We no longer call ourselves a mud. There is just no comparing Medievia to most muds.

February 1st, 1996 Medievia IV opened to the public. Brand new and full of promise it remains the shining example of the mud community.

Medievia 4.0 was an extensive rewrite with the addition of the wilderness, dragon flight, trading, medlink, breath, new death and camping. These things were designed to be the basic building blocks of something much larger. We needed to first change how the game is played. We needed a large living world to develop.

Medievia 4.1 followed with more detail. We added the localized weather system, Hero battles and mindlink, not to mention the other dozens of "little" changes including ranged weapons and many others.

Medievia 4.2 added Kingdoms, Trading Mob factions, new Auction system and Catastrophes. Kingdoms allow clans to join up to form a kingdom, complete with Kings and Queens and royal titles. Of course no kingdom would be complete without taxes so we added those also. The Medievia economy is as complex as any game has ever envisioned. Trading Mob Faction code makes Mobs (monsters and critters) to form together in intelligent factions to ambush you when you trade. The new auction system allows auctions to take place at a much faster rate. The catasrophe module creates localized catastrophes which allow trading to be much more profitable and fun as areas devistated by these catastrophes need goods bad and will pay top dollar.

Medievia 4.3 added Clantowns, MLR (Multi-Level-Requirement), AutoQuests, DragonLairs, etc. Clans can now create a town. Once they own it the clan can expand and change the town at will. They can even state what the critters in the town look like. The clantown zones are fully playable. More than one clan can live in a clantown as many clans have sister clans and they want to stay united. The clantowns have clanshops at which players sell equipment too so as to make them profitable. The more rooms you have in your clantown, the more shops you can support. If you have enough shops you can even start to build your own clan castle! Mob Factions will attack clantowns regularly and even cause damage to the rooms. Clantowns will be taxed according to their size

Medievia V

Medievia V is in the programming phase of development and new features are being released as they are programmed and tested.. Medievia V has Mob Factions, Clan Ships, Dungeon Master, Towngames, Politics, Town Land, 3dZone Module, Adversary, Super Class, and many other new exciting features. Medievia V will be Google sized and ready for the whole world to play.

Today we have master programmes Ozymandias helping Vryce bring Medievia into the future. The time and dedication the God staff puts in is unimaginable. The future is always our concern, Medievia will be a better game tomorrow, and the day after. It is a never ending process that we do for the love of the game. It is amazing what that kind of passion can do!

There are some people that get on Medievia's case about starting as a DIKU Game yet today we do not post the DIKU Originators names on our title screen. Medievia is not a DIKU mud. We got our feet wet many years ago with a Merc beta release in 1991. That was 26,000 lines of C programming, Medievia V is over 600,000 lines of C++ 64 bit programming. DIKU mud did not work when you used it as it was full of memory leaks, poor design and an architecture that would never scale up to what we needed. DIKU was basically ABER mud re-tooled. Merc then took DIKU code and re-tooled it again.

Today Medievia is over a half million lines of logic code. Its internal architecture, structures, code, and design philosophies have nothing to do with DIKU.

Medievia II had the names of the DIKU authors on the title screen. We played by their rules. The fact is we sent in many bug fixes, ideas, and comments and if we were not always told to go away we may have never made Medievia for what it was to become. It was this attitude by the merc and diku people that gave us the fire to just go out and create something the people wanted, a free reliable and fun gameworld that will never close down and always be free.

Medievia III was more than re-tooled. It was re-written and proved to be one of the most stable and popular muds of all time. This was no easy task. It required re-thinking and re-designing everything again before we were bug free with no memory leaks. There is a reason Medievia was the first reliable and stable gameworld of its kind. It was a lot of work by many people that took years. The original Merc we started Medievia 1 with was just a small project to goof off with, and it showed. It was simple programming for a simple text game. We wanted to be more than that. Since then we have put in 18 years of non-stop work. We could create what was Merc in a week or two and we would have created something that worked, was reliable, and did not leak memory.

What happened was predictable. You have to understand why Medievia started in the first place. Way back in the day before Medievia we played on a few muds, Jedi, Adversary, etc. It seemed like every mud we played on was run by ego-maniacs. The only reason they ran these worlds was so that they can feel powerful. The people who ran these worlds also mostly hated each other. They would constantly flame each other on forums. It was harsh. I suppose the owner of Jedi mud was the same way. We accidentally figured out why their game kept crashing and when we tried to tell them we were purged. We played another mud for a while and there the owner/ego-maniac would pull all kinds of pranks on the players at anytime of the day. There were some female friends of mine who were basically textually abused by these owners, so to speak.

We had enough. We decided that we could also download this supposedly simple base code and start our own world. We would run it by a slogan, by the players for the players. What happened was predictable, we were hated. Right from the start we gained many players and the other muds did not like it. We then started actually adding features, god forbid we listen to the players right? We were now stable and that by itself made us very popular. We added color, clans, formations, etc, simple things, you would not believe what little came with Merc .

We were more than hated now, there was a movement from a few very vocal owners of other failing muds to attack us in anyway that they could think of. Some of what was done was comical, some insane, some continues to this day. Medievia is not here to placate owners of simple text worlds, we are here to truly explore what a text game is capable of. Muds have come and gone, countless in an endless stream, and all simple text games from simple downloadable packages. They come and they go and Medievia remains, still adding features, still pushing the technology envelope. Medievia will be here in another two decades and if some of these failed mud owners are still around I am sure that they will still be saying that we are based on DIKU and are thieves.

At some point we simply got tired of being compared to muds, or DIKU, or the whole nasty group of mud owners. It got so bad from our perspective that it became an insult to be mentioned with these mud owners and an insult to compare what Medievia was then to any of the current or past muds. There was no comparison. Medievia IV opened without the names of the DIKU creators on our opening title screen. We will not be putting them back. If you were to play Merc and then play Medievia you would understand why and why this is such a ridiculous argument. They are both text games yes, the space shuttle and a bottle rocket also work on the same principle.

Medievia IV again was much more than a re-tool. Medievia IV uses the latest SQL technology. It uses the latest byte code technology for loading of logic without rebooting. It uses the latest XML protocols. We have full blown windows applications for zone building, another for quest building, another for zone scripting, and yet another for map making. Medievia IV used our new HoloCode module that created a vast interactive real wilderness of 4 million rooms. It had all new code classes for monsters, rooms, objects, command parsing, network code, player files, etc. Medievia IV then added module after module. It is even written in a different programming language than DIKU as it is coded in OOP C++ and not the old C technology. There is no other game like Medievia.

Medievia V is yet another huge re-write with hundreds of thousands of new lines of programming and as many re-programmed again. Medievia has countless features that are built from more programming than the entire Merc release that Medievia 1 was based on, all of it in another language and programmed to a much higher level of standards. It is like asking the designers of a state of the art skyscraper to list the designers of the first house as co-creators.

The reason this talk continues is because a few vocal mud owners still hate us. They will really hate Medievia V when we open. Medievia III made any mud look silly by comparison. Medievia IV did the same to Medievia III and still most other muds have hardly changed, they are still just simple small text games. Medievia V makes Medievia IV look like just practice on how to design a believable gameworld, a real living breathing civilization and true forever virtual world. Medievia V will make history and a few vocal people from its past will always hate us and try to say that we are thieves and somehow stole the game. They will say that since we got our feet wet in 1991 with 26,000 lines of C coding to create Medievia 1 and that Medievia V at over a million lines of C++ 64 bit state of the art code is 'derived' from the original work. Trust me, there was not even anything 'original' in the work we started with and nothing 'honorable' about these vocal people who will always hate our success.

The mud world does not have to be a dog-eat-dog world unless some dogs do not listen to their players or do not constantly update their games. You should not blame Medievia for decades of work, especially when we feel like we are just getting started. The dog that is Medievia will only get better. We will never stop and I suppose those few vocal people will always hate us for it.

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