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Title: AberMUD  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: MUD trees, Chronology of MUDs, Infinity (AberMUD), Northern Lights (online game), AVATAR (MUD)
Collection: Aberystwyth University, Mud Games, Mud Servers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Developer(s) Alan Cox,
Richard Acott,
Jim Finnis,
Leon Thrane
Initial release January 1989
Development status Unmaintained
Written in C
Operating system Unix-like
Size 224 KB
Available in English
Type MUD server
License Open Source

AberMUD was the first popular open source MUD. It was named after the town Aberystwyth, in which it was written. The first version was written in B by Alan Cox, Richard Acott, Jim Finnis, and Leon Thrane based at University of Wales, Aberystwyth for an old Honeywell mainframe and opened in 1987.[1][2]

The gameplay was heavily influenced by MUD1, created by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle at the University of Essex, which Alan Cox had played.[3]

In late 1988, AberMUD was ported to C by Alan Cox so it could run on UNIX at Southampton University's Maths machines.[4] This version was named AberMUD2.[5]

In early 1989, there were three instances of AberMUD running in the UK, the Southampton one, one at Leeds University and a third at the IBM PC User Group in London, ran by Ian Smith. In January 1989 Michael Lawrie sent a licensed copy of AberMUD3 to Vijay Subramaniam and Bill Wisner, both American Essex MIST players.[6] Bill Wisner subsequently spread AberMUD around the world.[7]

AberMUD3 was renamed AberMUD II by Rich Salz in February 1989 after he cleaned up the source code and ported it to UNIX.[8]

In 1991, Alan Cox wrote AberMUD IV (unrelated to AberMUD 4) and then AberMUD V, which was also used, with graphical extensions, in the Elvira game by Horror Soft, a trading name of Adventure Soft. AberMUD V was later released under the GNU GPL.

AberMUD4 was improved by Alf Salte and Gjermund "Nicknack" Sørseth to create Dirt. Their May, 1993 final release of Dirt 3.1.2 is used by most of the remaining AberMUD games on the internet.[9]

Notable AberMUDs include Northern Lights and Infinity. About twenty AberMUDs remain in operation, but even as of 2008, they have few players.[10] However, AberMUD's legacy lives on in the three major codebases it inspired: TinyMUD, LPMud and DikuMUD.[11]

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^ Eddy Carroll. "5. Reviews -- Rest of the World". Cox was a player of MUD1 who wrote AberMUD while a student at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. 
  3. ^  
  4. ^  
  5. ^  
  6. ^  
  7. ^ Carroll, Eddy. "5. Reviews -- Rest of the World". The code was made generally available, and was enhanced and added to by several people, most notably Salz. 
  8. ^ Salte, Alf; Sørseth, Gjermund. "Information and Installation Guide for DIRT 3.1.2". The files doc/CHANGELOG-aber-IV and doc/ contain changes and info for the old original code, they are obsolescent and are included for historical reasons only. 
  9. ^ Nathan, Alfred S. "The Client-Server MUDlist system for AberMUDs". Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  10. ^  

External links

  • List of existent AberMUDs
  • A mostly complete history of the AberMUD V packages
  • Manual for AberMUD V: the introduction contains a lot of history about who wrote what.
  • Source for version 2 & 3 of AberMUD
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