As I believe I’ve mentioned elsewhere, we have been making fairly good progress on getting combat and its ancillary systems set up in the FutureMUD engine. (And by ‘we’ I mean almost exclusively Japheth. I mostly just sit back, waiting for my chance to break things later on.) So with that in mind, I’m going to put myself out there and say that we are still on track for an April release. Moreover, I am personally confident enough in the engine, and the game, to open up LabMUD to character creation starting Sunday the 26th of April. That’s Australian time, folks, so for you Americans, you can look into getting into character generation late Saturday night, or whenever we wake up. The intention is that, while character generation is ongoing, we (again, mostly Japheth) can monitor the process and fix any game breaking bugs, crashes, etc. whenever they crop up. And I do expect them to crop up, despite our best efforts to make the process as smooth as possible – our testing until now has been with small groups of people, or individuals, or with just ourselves banging away.
This does not mean you’ll get to play the game on the 26th of April – only that you will be able to create a character. The MUD itself will still be wizlocked until a later date, when we’re fully confident the bare minimum requirements for a RPI MUD have been met.
It does mean we’re getting closer to our stepping off point, though, and that’s pretty exciting.
With that said, I want to reiterate that LabMUD is an Alpha – and is, in fact, the Alpha of an Alpha. Unlike other MUDs that have branded themselves with the ‘Alpha stage’ moniker in the recent past, we are not running on an established engine with most of the kinks worked out. We are not going to launch with an established economy, or a mini-fort system, or sailing. LabMUD was not built with the intention to be, and is not going to be, a [insert your ex-favourite MUD here] killer. It is a testing platform for the FutureMUD engine that just so happens to also be a RPI MUD. Things may be wildly unbalanced, or even broken. I would be seriously surprised, and more than a little worried, if they were not. Things may even be boring for the first few weeks, though I’ll endeavor to try and make sure this is not the case, until we can get some better progs in place to keep players entertained without constant admin supervision – or fix crippling balance issues. Please try to be patient with us, and put on your kindest rose-coloured glasses.
So yeah, make a note in your diaries.
Later on, maybe tomorrow, I’ll try to get a post up about how to report bugs and crashes during character generation.