Discworld MUD Retrospective

To date, the greatest blows to video game-related commentary include John "Totalbiscuit" Bain passing away and Richard Cobbett shutting down his various columns. And lacking in fresh Cobbett content, PC Gamer has been republishing some of his older stuff. Which leads us to this retrospective dedicated to the fan-made Discworld Multi-User Dungeon.

If you'd like to know what this impressive project that's been live since 1992 is all about, you should check the article out. Here's a few paragraphs to get you started:

This is a full-on RPG setting with combat and guilds and magic systems and missions; minigames and quests and crafting and religions to join, with skills ranging from basic things like weaving to mastering the Agatean Tea Ceremony. I do not pretend to be an expert on this one. At all. Really, I'm just pointing an iconograph at it and trying not to accidentally burn the city down around me.

To get started, you can either play in your browse or by downloading a clientThe main page(opens in new tab) offers full 'getting started information'. The web client that didn't work for me but might for you. I used one of the downloadable ones instead. Touch wood, you'll see the main menu. Torchwood, a bloody awful Doctor Who spin-off. Do not get these two things confused!

The adventure starts in a special newbie area called Pumpkin Town, deliberately away from all the Discworld stuff specifically, though it wastes no time establishing a quirky tone. In the Equipment Emporium's weapons department for instance you'll find a sign reading "If you must run with the weapons, please run towards the door". This being a MUD, the parser isn't as advanced as you'll find in many interactive fiction titles, and there's lag between submitting a command and getting the response back, as well as short waits during passages. Not a problem, but something to be aware of.