My birthday has come and gone. I’m another year older, and certainly wiser if I judge things by my experience with MUDs (which, being obsessed, I tend to do quite a bit).
Some of the Staff members and myself were looking over old notes and email correspondences pertaining to Valindir, some of them stretching back to 2009, some of them even further. It has been a long, arduous road. Along the way we’ve been fortunate to get some good advice, some great help, and a better understanding of what it takes to make a MUD (or anything, really) happen.
What really stood out to me, though, was that in all this time we never once heard the words “You’re not going to succeed.” Not from friends, family, nor people who wished us a merry death in a bathtub of battery acid. In that, I think, we’ve been very fortunate. There are so many sites out there that, while quite helpful with giving you pointers on how to get a MUD up and running, ultimately seem like they’re trying to convince you that it will never actually happen. That the people who can successfully start a MUD are few and far between, and you, very likely, are not one of them. To which I reply: horse hooey.
Take a look at the MUD Connector list of MUDs. That’s a pretty encouraging number. Still not convinced you can do it? Try looking up Herne’s Building Guide for Smaug. Now, I’m certainly no expert coder myself (I can turn on the computer, and so far this is my greatest technological achievement), but even I’ve been able to download all the programs Nick Gammon has given us and been able to alter SmaugFUSS code. It’s a lot of deleting one race and typing in the name of another, adjusting words and numbers to something you like more, and boom! Game!
What I’m getting at is rather than just giving up because it looks hard or because you don’t have a coder, start small. Build your idea and lore up, and then start editing some code in simple ways to get closer to what you’d like. Delete races, add new ones, read step-by-step guides on how to beat the code into submission. It won’t be custom, and it might look similar to a lot of MUDs out there, but what’s different is that it will be YOURS, and one day, someday, if you keep at it a little at a time, it will become what you see inside your head. It might take you years to get there, but it’s WORTH it.
Don’t give up.