Heh heh. It must seem singularly useless to read about somebody constructing a multiplayer version of Adventure in a MUD and not ever talk about releasing it or inviting people in. But it’s just an accident of how this thing was built.
I’ll try to make this rundown quick as possible, but it is a long story. Originally, I chose LambdaMOO as a place to conduct some personal IF experiments because it seemed like there was nothing it couldn’t do, from IF to actual dynamic-served web pages. My experiments were structural – I was thinking about interactive video and toying with ideas for tools for tracking interactive narrative. and I needed a sandbox testing environment, and I didn’t want to get bogged down in creative decisions, so I basically ripped off all the rooms and text of the original Adventure, knowing that it was in the public domain by default (though not formally I don’t think).
Anyway, I love that game, and as I experimented with some tools I’d often test them by mangling some Adventure puzzle with them, so I’d have to code that puzzle. After my experiments were done, I’d return the puzzle to its ‘original’ state. In this way I eventually coded most of the game. This past summer I realised that I was so close to having a complete version, that I went ahead and spent time specifically on that goal, polishing text, checking historical sources, etc.
But most of the work on this thing was a side effect of me doing stuff purely for my own edification and as a place for me to hang out in and feel creative in, and experiment. I’ve let in friends now and then, but since the environment wasn’t specifically designed to entertain them — it didn’t. So I became a little wary about visitors. That being said, I do think about opening the doors, as it were. But there are some things I have to work out first. Should I make changes to give multiple players more things to do? (There is still only one light source, for example. Think about that. Is it a good thing or a bad thing?)
So the answer is, I don’t really know what’s wise to do, here. I’m afraid that it’s actually less entertaining for multiple people to play, and, conversely, that making it more entertaining in that way will destroy the historical value of it. And I don’t have any good answer for the criticism, ‘You know what? There is no actual good reason to make this particular game multiplayer.’ There probably isn’t. It just makes the place feel even more real to me. I’ve come to love it and depend on it, and think of it as my own little museum of a thing I care about, which I have guests in from time to time. They’re polite but few of them appreciate it as much as I do, and isn’t that always the way? 87