$2,020
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
36
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, November 30 2015 6:59 AM UTC +00:00

WebMUD - MUD Evolved

Play an MMORPG unlike any other you've ever played -- best of all, let your character work for you with a unique AI scripting feature.

WebMUD - MUD Evolved

Play an MMORPG unlike any other you've ever played -- best of all, let your character work for you with a unique AI scripting feature.

$2,020
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
36
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, November 30 2015 6:59 AM UTC +00:00

About

WebMUD - An MMORPG Unlike Any Other  

You venture into the vast cavern, wary of the danger you know is about to descend upon you. Skulls and bones litter the cavern, gruesome reminders of what is at stake.  Suddenly, the Great Black Dragon swoops down breathing fire upon you and your party.  Two of your party members immediately drop to the ground, crying for aid.  Do you rush to their rescue?  Or do you focus your efforts on combat, bringing down the dragon?  These are the kinds of critical split-second decisions you will have to make in WebMUD.  

Create a character.  Start by choosing your race and class.  Do you want to be a warrior decked out with the heaviest armor and weapons?  Or do you want to be a staff-wielding mage with masterful control of the arcane elements?  You decide.  Build your character into an epic hero of the realm.  You're not alone in this task.  Your character will work for you, using our game's unique time-saving AI scripting system that is built into the fabric of the game itself.  Grinding (gaining experience for the sake of gaining experience) is a thing of the past with WebMUD.

In a nutshell WebMUD will be a live free-to-play MMORPG in primarily text form on the web, with online and offline scripting capabilities (currently called AI) and character progression and status tracking via web and eventually mobile. MUD stands for "multi-user dungeon" where several users are interactively playing in the same virtual dungeon. They became popular among early online pioneers during the dialup days and were the precursor to MMORPGs. My goal is to bring them to the main stage on the web for the first time it has been done successfully.

What kind of features are in WebMUD?

The game has numerous systems including selectable races and classes that are skilled in different areas with different abilities. As you would expect with any MMORPG, it has monsters, monster spawning, bosses, combat, experience, leveling, items (weapons/armor/potions/keys/light sources/limited (rare) items/etc.), money, shops, banks, spells (combat/healing/area of effect/damage over time/etc.), quests, stealth, lockable doors/gates, picklocks, thievery, traps, tracking of players, both pvp and non-pvp realms, participating in parties of players, gangs/guilds, ganghouses, and a variety of communication options including talking in the room, shouting to adjacent rooms, privately telepathing someone, gangpathing gang-mates, gossiping the entire realm, auctioning items, etc.

We also have a premium feature called AI scripting built into the game that allows players to automate certain tasks like attacking hostile monsters, picking up items, etc.  This will greatly eliminate the amount of manual grinding in the game.  That feature is enabled during development and testing, and all players will get a free two week trial once we officially launch at the end of November.

What makes this game special or deserving of Kickstarter funding?
To start, all of the game logic is already built and has already been battle tested on my previous game (GreaterMUD) over the past 10 years. The question isn't can I do it; I've already done it. The question is how long will it take me to port all the logic and features over to the web version. There's no risk of this game failing or vanishing. I am capable of doing all the technical work myself, including scaling up and out as the game grows; no need to hire IT or other backend developers. We will only need mobile and front-end client-side developers to improve the UI experience. I've invested 10 years of many of my nights and weekends into keeping the game up and running and it was always for free, so clearly I'm passionate and dedicated. WebMUD's online and offline scripting capabilities are unique in that the scripting is built into the server logic; your character can progress whether you're playing them or whether you're watching them or not. You can set up your character (by tweaking AI settings) so they will essentially script (staying in the game following your orders on how to behave in your absence) even when your browser window is closed. You'll be able to connect from any browser to jump back into your character's shoes or check in on them and give them commands from mobile apps. If you want to play by hand, you're free to do so without any AI scripting. We may even run one or more script-free realms for players that only want to play with others playing by hand. You get to choose how you want to play the game. You can play it strictly by hand like a traditional text-based MUD, or choose a more passive approach allowing your character to do nearly all of the grinding. I want to clarify this is different from other games out there where progression is automatic, in that this game involves a significant amount of interaction and advanced gameplay mechanics that make it a proper MMORPG. Your character is interacting with other players in the realm at all times, some live and some scripting. Several tweakable script settings will be crucial in keeping your character alive, active, and progressing. If the last game has taught me anything, the competition in each realm will be fierce.

WebMUD is technically more of a platform that can host several realms, each with their own set of content and settings. People interested in creating their own realms using the project’s web editor will have the ability to do so. For this initial push, the focus will be more on the first primary realm which has a medieval fantasy theme, but beyond that the possibilities for new realms including new genres (zombie survival?) are also exciting and limited only by the imagination of the content creator.

Users can have multiple characters spanning multiple realms
Users can have multiple characters spanning multiple realms
Character Creation
Character Creation
In game buying and equipping items
In game buying and equipping items
In combat
In combat

Risks and challenges

As stated previously, all of the game logic is already built and has already been battle tested on my previous game (GreaterMUD) over the past 10 years. The question isn't can I do it; I've already done it. The question is how long will it take me to port all the logic and features over to the web version, and how can we make that transition feel seamless on the web? There's no risk of this game and platform failing or vanishing. I am capable of doing all the technical work myself, including scaling up and out as the game and platform grows; no need to hire IT or other backend developers, at least not for the foreseeable future, and by then it should be profitable enough to pay full-time staff.

One unique challenge will be keeping the player counts low enough in each realm so that the experience is not ruined by there being too much information and communications thrown at the player too quickly for them to realize what's going on. For example, you wouldn't want one hundred people in a room all talking at the same time. We need to keep the player-base somewhat evenly spread out among all the realms and then also spread out inside each realm across thousands of rooms.

I'm taking the following approach to solve this:
1) Each realm is its own independent realm. If one realm experiences a technical failure for some reason, it doesn't take all the rest of the realms with it.
2) I'm currently using a cloud provider for hosting that allows me to quickly (within minutes) and easily start up new servers as needed across several geographic locations based on demand.
3) I'm building spam-prevention into the engine to prevent griefers and would-be griefers from spamming public channels and other communication methods.
4) I can create copies of realms very easily as needed, so if a particular realm with a particular set of content starts filling up, I will start a copy of it on another realm instance and actively try to direct new players to that realm instead of the full realms.
5) We will have various settings we can offer per realm. PvP or not? AI or not? Disconnect penalties or not? Limited items? Max counts on limited items? Players can take other players' items or not?

Also unique to this game is the AI component. I will need to get feedback on what features to build into AI and if/when we should disallow or handicap the features to make it more fair and competitive for those playing by hand. We might have some realms where AI is disabled completely and advertised as such.

I don't know what the right # of characters per realm is right now. We'll have to kind of work through that. From a technical perspective, we can probably load 10k players into a single realm, but that would make for terrible gameplay to have that many people all in a single realm with some number of thousands of rooms. We'll play it by ear. We will have moderators (including my wife and I) watching over everything, and will eventually have built-in monitors to notify us before there's a problem. By all means though, please provide feedback and we will try our best to accommodate.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Tier 1:
    6 months of the AI feature (see description) for one character after the project officially launches. Exclusive development updates through our Kickstarter page.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Tier 2:
    Exclusive access to all official beta-testing realm(s) with free unlimited AI for up to 10 characters until launch.

    Plus:
    6 months of the AI feature (see description) for one character after the project officially launches. Exclusive development updates through our Kickstarter page.

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    27 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Tier 3:
    Exclusive access to the Developer and Official Content sections of our forums, granting the ability to ask the developers questions and provide feedback, helping to shape the future of the game and platform.

    Plus:
    Exclusive access to all official beta-testing realm(s) with free unlimited AI for up to 10 characters until launch.

    Plus:
    6 months of the AI feature (see description) for up to *10 characters* after the project officially launches. Exclusive development updates through our Kickstarter page.

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    6 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Tier 4:
    Create and manage your own realm (unofficial) with your own content for one year! Exclusive access to the project's web editor for managing content for your realm. Regular updates to the underlying engine, including new features and bug fixes included for free, making all new and updated engine features available in your realm. Dedicated area in our forums for your realm and exclusive access to ask questions specific to realm owners. Access to special in-game admin features in your realm (suspending/banning players, teleports, item creation, etc.).

    Plus:
    Unlimited AI for up to 10 characters for the lifetime of the project (including beta testing).

    Plus:
    Exclusive access to the Developer and Official Content sections of our forums, granting the ability to ask the developers questions and provide feedback, helping to shape the future of the game and platform.

    Plus:
    Exclusive access to all official beta-testing realm(s) with free unlimited AI for up to 10 characters until launch.

    Plus:
    Exclusive development updates through our Kickstarter page.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $

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Funding period

- (23 days)