Copyright 1995 Lauren P. Burka.
Visit The MUDdex! Maintained by Lauren P. Burka (lpb+muddex at linnaean.org)
ADVENT /ad'vent/ n. The prototypical computer adventure game, first implemented on the PDP-10 by Will Crowther as an attempt at computer-refereed fantasy gaming, and expanded into a puzzle-oriented game by Don Woods. Now better known as Adventure, but the TOPS-10 operating system permitted only six-letter filenames....
This game defined the terse, dryly humorous style now expected in text adventure games, and popularized several tag lines that have become fixtures of hacker-speak: "A huge green fierce snake bars the way!" "I see no X here" (for some noun X). "You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike." "You are in a little maze of twisty passages, all different." The `magic words' xyzzy and plugh also derive from this game.
Crowther, by the way, participated in the exploration of the Mammoth & Flint Ridge cave system; it actually *has* a `Colossal Cave' and a `Bedquilt' as in the game, and the `Y2' that also turns up is cavers' jargon for a map reference to a secondary entrance.
The on-line hacker Jargon File, version 2.9.12, 10 MAY 1993
Bartle later told me by private email that work began on MUD in late 1978, not 1979. The earliest printout he had at the time was 1979, thus his confusion about the date.
The D in MUD doesn't mean a dark, dank, clanking dungeon. It means DUNGEON (or, pedantically, DUNGEN), the name of a Fortran version of ZORK that was doing the rounds on DEC PDP-10s when Roy was programming MUD. Having played ADVENT, Roy wanted to try other games along similar lines. We had access via EPSS [Experimental Packet-Switching System] to the ARPAnet (one of only a handful of UK universities to do so, and probably the only one to let students on-line). We found there were two other games available apart from ADVENT, namely HACK and DUNGEN. HACK was weird and basically shallow, whereas DUNGEN/ZORK was very, very good. At this time, there was no generic name for the genre, but Roy wanted to name his game so people would get a sense of what it might be like, and be encouraged to play. Assuming that since DUNGEN was by far and away the best of the 3 games available, we thought the genre would come to be known as "Dungeon games", so he called his program "Multi-User Dungeon". They subsequently became known as "Adventure games" after ADVENT, however, so this didn't really work out as planned! If DUNGEN had gone under its real name of ZORK, we'd maybe all be playing MUZzes now..!
That's Roy's story, anyway. Personally, I think he chose MU because his game was multi-user, and the D because he liked the name MUD. As with all good acronyms, its full meaning was likely constructed afterwards! Richard Bartle, 1995
I wrote Monster in about three months, during NU's "winter quarter". I was totally obsessed with coding it. Project obsession was normal with me (really boosts the productivity :-), but "Monster Madness" as I called it then really got out of hand. I was spending all night in the comp center, leaving at 7am, skipping classes, skipping everything. (My 10,000 line VMS Pascal wonder would compile faster when no one was around, which encouraged the nocturnal work). I went on spring break, and when I got back I forced myself to not continue working on Monster. I was afraid I'd fail out of school if I did. I left it alone until November of that year, when I started sending it out on the Bitnet.
Rich Skrenta, 1995
2001: I have been given the following link, which has some LPmud history, and which may clear up the confusion.