AristocracyMUD is a new long-term project of mine. I’ve wanted to both build a world and explore what new kinds of gameplay could be developed for a MUD for some time now. AristocracyMUD is how I intend to do both.

So what exactly is AristocracyMUD?

I won’t deny that, even now, there is quite a bit of innovation in the MUD field, in part due to the way that text and the common MUD world model allow prototypes of experimental systems to be built more rapidly and with fewer people and in part due to the fact that quite a few MUDs are developed by sole developers or small teams who can add experimental systems if they so choose. However, many of them also have core gameplay loops that follow those of their predecessors fairly closely, the same way that most MMORPGs now have similar core gameplay loops.

AristocracyMUD will not have a core gameplay loop anything like that of its predecessors. You will play as an aristocrat that is helping to govern an aristocracy in a fictional nation. Once a (real) week, you will be able to log in, argue about policies, and enact changes to rules and regulations for that nation. Outside of these weekly sessions, you will simply be able to observe the world at large and manage your personal estate.

Once a week, you will be given a certain amount of money, which is determined by your country’s economy at the time that you are given said money. This money can be spent exclusively on your estate. How and where you spend it, however, can affect the in-game economy or even shift the balance of power, depending.

There are still a few unknowns in the core gameplay design. For example, I have yet to decide whether I want all surrounding nations to be AI nations or whether I want players to rule all in-game nations—one major caveat of having all nations controlled by players is that they would all have to be aristocracies. However, the core gameplay loop has been laid out and is not expected to change.

More than just a MUD

AristocracyMUD is intended to be more than just a MUD. It’s the multiplayer simulation of a larger world that I am going to be developing. This world will have its own fictional language, which I am currently working on. It will have side stories that will be released primarily in either plain text or interactive fiction form (but, perhaps, depending on how it goes, there may be some graphical games, as well). It’s a single part of a larger project that will culminate in this simulation of the larger world.

Is this stupidly ambitious? Perhaps, but I’m not doing my best work unless I’m being stupidly ambitious.

Keep an eye on this space for more information as development continues!

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