Online MUDs: An Interview with Matt Mihaly, CEO of Iron Realms

text game Sarapis

I recently had a chance to Skype with Matt Mihaly, the founder and CEO of Iron Realms Entertainment, one of only two real companies still operating text MUDs (there are quite a few pure hobbyist or hobbyist-making-some-pocket-change MUD developers though). Though I intended my article to be a piece on the history of Achaea - Iron Realms' oldest game - the chat session ended up being a load of fun and we talked about a ton of online text game related topics!

 
Tony Celentano: Let’s start at the beginning in the early 90s.

Matt Mihaly: I’d been playing MUDs since early ‘91 or so and after college I found one called Avalon out of the UK. I was actually their first US customer. They had just opened up to the internet because before then you had to dial into a bank of modems in London. Obviously, Americans didn’t do that because that’d be really expensive so I played that for a while and became friends with the owners of it. One was Yehuda Simmons and the other was Daniel James, who now runs video game developer Three Rings. Yehuda moved to Chicago where I lived and we ended up sharing an apartment. I became an administrator on his game, but there was a point where I was like, “you know, I really want to make a living making games, or at least pay my rent” you know? So I licensed his engine from him which was this really horrible thing called Hourglass. It only ran on RISC (reduced complexity instruction set)-based computers, which meant we had to use these Acorn computers from England. The scripting language didn't support subroutines or local variables, nothing. It was a nightmare of a game engine. 

Tony: How’d you get your first team together?

Matt Mihaly: I was the only coder for Achaea, initially. I brought in a guy early-on (Daedalus) to help do some writing, and I also brought in the original Phaestus to help code. Neither of those guys were with us very long though.

Tony: How'd you plan to make money with a MUD?

Matt: We went live in September, 1997, which was the same month that Ultima Online launched, and we actually planned to charge by the hour. That was the business model connected games had used for the previous 15 years. Avalon charged 80 cents an hour which got really expensive, I spent a lot of money on that game *laughs*. This was back when companies like CompuServe or early 90s AOL charged an hourly fee, so most online games did too. You’d spend maybe a couple bucks just to play for an hour. As soon as AOL went flat-rate in ‘96 and started charging a monthly subscription, we knew the game for hourly charging was over and weren't quite sure what to do. I felt that nobody would want to pay a monthly subscription to my game at the time. The barrier to entry that whipping out a credit card to subscribe represents was too high for us.

Tony: Is that how you came up with the virtual asset sales model?

Matt Mihaly: I decided to try and just auction off some custom in-game items to make some money. I figured they’d go for $20 bucks, but people bid them up considerably higher. Some, in fact, sold for a few hundred dollars in that first auction. One of the things we sold was a custom house which had a balcony you could leap over and end up in the main room, a room where you could spar without dying, a room where you could hear people in other rooms, that sort of stuff.

Tony: That same house is now a bar in the Mhojave Desert, yeah?

Matt Mihaly: Yeah, that’s the one. The auctions became really popular so we started doing more, mostly clones of items because coming up with unique, balanced items is really difficult with the complexity of Achaea’s combat system. Eventually we moved from auctions to setting up in-game shops (what you'd now call a cash shop).

Tony: How did Rapture [Iron Realms's proprietary engine] come into being?

Matt Mihaly: Aside from the fact that the Hourglass engine was a piece of crap, we discovered that Yehuda (who wrote the engine) had stuck a backdoor in it, allowing him to remotely monitor communication coming into and out of the engine. Very sleazy, and completely unacceptable. I was fed up with Hourglass by then anyway and luckily there was another admin on Avalon who had written an engine called Vortex that was mostly backwards compatible with Hourglass, but ran on normal computers and included basic programming elements like subroutines and local variables. We licensed the engine and then spent a painful four or five months fixing everything that wasn't backwards compatible so that we could run on Vortex.

That worked ok for awhile, but the license terms for Vortex dictated that we had to pay a monthly fee equal to some percentage of our revenue. I didn't like this at all, so we bought Vortex from its owner. Soon though, we started to run into performance problems with it.

Around 1999, the person who would become Aeyr started playing and quickly became a volunteer. He was one of the first volunteers I let touch the code as though he was just an undergrad he was a far better coder than I was - not that there's a high bar to overcome there. I'm not much of a coder.

As Aeyr had quickly proven his worth, I struck a deal with him to write a new software engine in exchange for a chunk of the company. And that's what became Rapture, the engine we still use today. 

Tony: There was a point where you offered to license Rapture?

Matt Mihaly: Yeah, we tried that for a little while. We had one guy license it but, he stopped paying so we just yanked it. It’s been solely used for our stuff since then. We still get inquiries about it, but let's face it - there's not exactly a lucrative market for text MUD engines out there. It's not worth the hassle to license and support other people at the small scale the market would support.

Tony: There was also a point where you offered God characters for purchase?

Matt Mihaly: Yes, we did it once. It was a mistake even though it actually ended up working well. The person who paid to become a God was a very popular character with the players. We chalked that one up to luck because really, you want someone who’s going to become a God character through passion and loyalty to the game, not by spending money. The volunteer system works out well because it’s a place to go after you’ve felt like you “mastered” the game. That’s the great thing about our volunteer system -  every single person who is an employee of IRE has started out as a player. The only two employees we’ve ever had who didn’t start out as players were Clementius and the guy who originally opened Aetolia (who hasn't been with Iron Realms since 2005 or so). 

Tony: What’s the burnout rate on volunteers?

Matt Mihaly: I'm not sure we've ever quantified it actually. The Celani [volunteer] program works out because it weeds out the people who are going to flake out anyway. You have to put in a lot of hours to make it to Godhood. It’s a lot of building, writing room descriptions, scripting encounters if you are the sort of person who can script, etc. We mostly try to find whatever the person is good at and let them do that. 


Tony: What started the idea for Aetolia?

Matt Mihaly: That’s easy actually, what sparked that was Achaea couldn't handle any more players on Achaea with the Vortex engine! We didn't have the Rapture finished yet, and unlike modern MMOs where there is virtually no player impact on the world, you can't have 10 Achaea shards without sacrificing the ability for developers to react to what the players are doing. So I thought that if we can't shard the game like Everquest or Ultima Online or other MMOs, lets just take the code base, fork it, and create a new world. We did an event where another God from an alternate reality had come in and was disturbing our reality, so our God characters fought and the universe ended up branching into 2 universes. We just kind of ripped the Achaea code base and added new classes and areas when Aetolia launched. Aetolia is now very different from Achaea but when it launched it was very similar.

Tony: Let’s talk about something totally unrelated. I heard about an incident where some player acted in such a crazy manner, that any players acting in a similar manner were referred to as “Kimberlys” by the admin?


Matt Mihaly: Oh God, I vaguely remember that player now! We've had some pretty crazy users over the years. The thing with running an online community is that its impossible to spell out ahead of time everything that’s acceptable, so inevitably there’s going to be strong differences of opinion between players and our admins who decide whether they've broken the rules or not. And then there are players who are just out to be assholes and know they're being assholes. I’ve had people send me death threats and I’ve gotten the police involved too. 

We had this one player - Xianty. He was a very avid player, playing Achaea pretty much full-time. I don’t remember the disagreement anymore but he sent me a bunch of emails about how he was going to show up at my door and kill me. I knew enough about the kid to know he wasn’t a serious threat, but I wasn't going to let him get away with that, so called the police. They took it way more seriously than I did. They tracked him down to where he lived in Wisconsin, showed up at his door, and scared the hell out of him. I was told he looked like he was wetting himself. After that, I only got emails from him asking if he could be let back into the game (fat chance), since he had been banned after the death threat.

Tony: So on the topic of the crazy actions of players, did you ever get wind of the whole Qashar situation? There were forum threads and Maya was getting emails about this group of players going around ganking other players. Maya left IRE shortly after that whole situation, was there a correlation?

Matt Mihaly: I'm not overly familiar with that situation I'm afraid. Maya left the company because she wasn't really passionate about Achaea anymore and not because of a specific event. As I understand it, the deal was that there were a bunch of players who were pushing the rules as much as possible to bully people in any way possible - mass killings, locking them in rooms, crippling them, etc. My problem with that kind of roleplay is that it's just an excuse to do what they already want to do. I don't have much tolerance for the idea of "roleplaying a mass murderer." At the end of the day, roleplay is not the end-all-be-all. Having fun is what matters, and if their roleplay is causing other people to not have fun then they need to find a new way to roleplay. I always used to tell players like that that if it's ok for them to roleplay a mass murderer, I will choose to roleplay an angry and vengeful God who will take away everything they have. 

I sort of chuckle because that's the kind of player I was when I played Avalon - the administration literally encouraged me to drive people off the game....which is really dumb. I'd never tolerate that on our games. 

Tony: Unrelated question, what was your favorite event in Achaea?

Matt Mihaly: It wasn't very successful in the end, but I really enjoyed the Vertani invasion. What I underestimated, and this is naive in retrospect, but I really underestimated the willingness of people to just say "eff it, I'm just going to kill this thing". I remember we were trying to play it straight and kind of non-linear. We were seriously staying up late and trying to write code and content in response to what players were doing. We had roughly planned out the first part of the event, but we were going to make it up on the fly in order to better be able to react to player actions past that. We even added a language-learning system so that when you first encountered the Vertani you had no idea what they were saying, but the more time you spent talking to them the better you'd be able to understand what they were saying. Eventually you'd learn to speak Vertani yourself. 

Unsurprisingly though, early on a player walked up to the first group of Vertani that had been discovered and just killed them. He had no reason to do it, and was just being a jackass, but we couldn't pretend it didn't happen. The Vertani are not the sort of people who take kindly to being abused like that.

We were kind of dismayed by this, as clearly this event was going to devolve straight into an us vs. them war, which it did. I had a lot of fun regardless because I was personally heavily involved with running the event. It was a failed experiment though because it was an enormous amount of work and it just boiled down to players killing NPCs. Boring. Go play WoW if that's all you want to do. 

Tony: The Achaea today is probably very different from the way you left it, as far as all the new areas and skills and stuff put in over the years. Would you ever come back as a God or mortal character just to check it out?

Matt Mihaly: Part of me wants to get back into it, but I don’t want to be the CEO who comes in and says "oh you guys should change the color of this button" without being involved daily. I try to stay out of the actual game stuff. I know they added a continent to the south which is pretty cool. I had sketched out that continent a long time ago, but I think they diverged pretty significantly from my early plans for it.  

That was one of the things I had to get over when I passed Achaea to Maya to run day-to-day five years ago. Achaea was my baby compared to the other IRE games. Occasionally I get an email from a player who is upset about something and tries to go over Jeremy's [IRE's President], and I’m just like look, Jeremy has the final call at this point.
 
 
Thus was the conclusion of our chat session! Maybe the next time you get textpwned in one of Iron Realms text games, it will have been by the hand of the creator himself!

 

Comments

of my early days playing MUDs, plenty of my friends thought they had the stuff to build a game of their own.  They didn't, but I'm sure if they knew of Iron Realms they'd become volunteers and addicts just like the rest of us.

infact any mud I played besides IRE games I never got hooked onto

Agreed! Nothing more I can add.

Been playing muds for... oh, about 15 years now. Let's just say that things definitely changed when I stumbled on Achaea quite some time ago. Even though I've played World of Warcraft and numerous other MMOs... there is something special about IRE games that keeps me hooked.

Indeed. The system is polished beyond any I've encountered before or since.

No other text game ever got me hooked into it.  They just had no story.  No-one ever played with me and it was just me killing npc's all the time.

Thanks for doing this interview! I really enjoyed reading it.

Where's mah "like" button?

read

Cool story bro, but actually, its an interesting read

nice job

lol @ the reason for Aetolia's creation

Heh

That was pretty cool to read, a lot of the Achaea backstory stuff is interesting.

I have to say that this was a very interesting read. Seeing what enabled my addictions has been a very intersting. I knew the IC RP behind the splitting off of Aetolia, but I always did wonder why they split at the time.

That was a very nice read. I think I vaguely remember playing Avalon I believe, and I hated it. It's funny how far things have come since then.

I played Avalon briefly before discovering Achaea.

I've tried the building a MUD bit. It's really NOT easy, and any help you can find becomes extremely valuable. Trying to be the lone coder on something is one thing, but when it comes down to doing that AND writing descrips, it's nigh impossible.

I have to admire the man, if this started off with really just two or three people.

Wow

This is an interesting read, considering where I've come from, and really puts into perspective how absolutely late to the game I have come.

I think Sarapis is a pretty cool guy. eh kills vertani and doesnt afraid of anything

Very Intresting read. It gave me a idea of how far Achaea has come since its early days.

Great interview, thanks for sharing!

Nice Interview

 

That was a very interesting read. Thank you.

Yeah.

Interesting read, never paid much attention to IRE history before.

Good read, nice to hear something about ire that you don't hear every day, makes you look at the games in a slightly different way ^^

 

:(

I miss Sarapis!

I want him back! A Sarapis focusing entirely on Achaea would be awesome :D

D:

I miss Laila.

pretty depressing how the players dealt with the Vertani event :(

That needs used far more, I think... it has to be quite an effective response, really...

 

As for the way IRE started... as amazing as it can be, developing your own code, from scratch, alone (or with only 1-2 trusted others)... it's utterly insane for a project of any scale. That it worked out so amazingly well... I must admit, I'm impressed. I used to cringe at paying out $15ish/mo on WoW even though I did have the spare cash... now, with more bills to my name, $25ish/mo on an elite membership... totally worth it, and that says quite a bit in my opinion.

I agree in that I would like to see more of the angry and vengeful God playing a hand in keeping away the griefers.  Acutally, I would just like to see more of the Divine in general.

I would ZAP!!!

nice read

There is a lot more that has gone into making these "simple" graphic-less games than I knew. Very interesting. Thank you!

Pretty cool to get some inside scoop of where it all started.  Great article!

Much better than just a history of IRE. Always enjoy getting a peek behind the curtain, so to speak.

very interesting.

Great interview. Just makes me miss the old Achaea though. Feels like we could use some naturing from the great Mihaly! Or angry vengeful god putting us mortals in our place?

...

Paying for god characters? Ewwie.

Yeah, there's a reason we only did it once!

But he didnt pay for it, it was the first ascension... though that fell on its face pretty hard. They had to rework how ascension was going to work

Both informative and interesting, it was a good read.

Interesting..I tried Achaea more than 10 years ago but never stuck around long enough to get into it. I kind of wish I had now..I feel so behind!

:o

Lovely  interview.

 

More interviews with producers plz.

This is super interesting!  I can't believe it used to be pay to play by hour...that's just crazy!

It's still alive till this day! Really fascinating to know that Matt was the first customer of that game. Very ironic.

Just the first American customer. Avalon had run on modem-only access until fall of '94, so all the players were from the UK (it was based in London). I was the second player to login from the US after they went onto the internet, and the first customer (as the first player to log in didn't stick around more than a couple mins).

I remember sitting around and watching some guy from Achaea give all his junk out after he abused some bug or another. I forget who it was but it was hilarious watching Sarapis make him take off an item and hand it to a player who said, "You stole a ring from me 60 years ago, I want it back." or "You robbed me of 150,000 gold, I want that back." and if he didn't have the item, he had to pay gold. And this was a player who was artied out the ass and probably bought credits with every paycheck. Anyway he was probably drained dry by the end of that. Very creative way to punish the guy. Not sure if he learned his lesson though.

It was Cain, claimed he didn't see the big warnings about 'doors are currently bugged do not rob shops!' and went and robbed the shops

I'd always been curious about the bar in the Mhojave. I had wondered why I couldn't explore it more..I didn't know it was a house.

This makes me want to be a Celani

Really interesting interview. Makes me wish I'd been a player when Sarapis was still around, too...

I've gotten hooked on Imperian...
The learning curves a bit harder than most games do the unusual format, but it makes up for it in imagination, a welcoming community, and intense combat.

Can't get enough of it.

Wow... It was nice to see a short recount of the Vertani invasion. I remember that event very clearly since I participated in it on the outskirts of it but I do recall the numerous changes that occured because of it. I didn't know how the admin felt about it at the time but now I know.

In the long run, I do hope that the admins put more RP -stuff- in their games than just skills...

Excellent Q and A session. I would love to hear more!

I love hearing info from the admin's side! It's like being an insider!

Ooh

Very interesting to read about how it started out!

New things learned from this article:

 

1) The craziest person you thought you knew in an online game now seems totally same compared to the examples outlined.

2) Charging by the hour. Whoah. Makes sense though, back in that time, but I never knew there used to by these kinds of subscription models.

 

Interesting read.

IRE was my first experience with MUDs, I've tried a lot since then but they really seem to lack the polish. I occasionally have my gripes with Achaea but I always seem to end up coming back.

 

Doing it right since 2000.

 

I'm kind of sad that Matt didn't say that the Dun Saga was his favorite. That was like, THE seminal event for Achaea, at least from our perspective back then. It was at that moment that Achaea became dynamic. People started READING and KNOWING the Mythos. Things were discovered, not just poofed into existence with an explaination of why its there...

 

The events these days seem to end abruptly or begin with a complete lack of prepatory realism and even less follow-through. Belladona has been "in hiding" for 2 years now, and every 6 months or so, someone hears something  that turns out to be nothing and we all go back to ignoring it. Gods come and go, all leaving their half-finished events that we can't even chronicle because there was not enough foreplay. Oh well. At least we can bash up to level 2000.

Well, the Vertani was my favorite becuase of what we tried to do with it, which we hadn't tried with any other event up until then. It didn't really work out, but it was fun trying!

 

When Sarapis and Clementius where still around, people got zapped way more! I miss those times. Tecton should try to be more visible for the common players and smite annoying people from time to time. 

 

I'm also pretty sure that Ovid and co. would not have been able to do what they did for so long if Sarapis had been around.

I wish I was already around back then...

...hourly fee? Had no idea XD

Honestly, this article got me a little misty-eyed thinking back to the good ol' days of Achaea, which was the first good MUD I ever played. As much as I detest the game now, it will always have a special place in my heart.

Great article, Tony!

Really puts perspective on the game.

Its interesting, seeing the steps Matt took to create his MUD empire.

I remember starting off in Avalon..playing about 3months before discovering Achaea,I'm so glad i made the switch..I really enjoyed the article.Good Job!

Cheers to the past. 

Very good article, well-researched as well.

It is always nice to see the thoughts/opinions/memories of the founder of IRE. Cheers for creating these horribly-addicting games we have come to know and love.

Iron Realms has come a long way and it's really developed into a set of games that are a hell of a lot of fun to play. Nice interview! It was a lot of fun to look back on some of the past histories and get a good laugh out of it.

I always like hearing the history of how things get started.

 

I remember that. If I recall correctly, I was attempting to convince even Cyrene not to go to war with them (and my character's been the last Aegean of that city for more than 150 in game years now) even though they'd just flattened Ashtan.

 

The good old days!

 

Cool interview. There's just something about Achaea that keeps me coming back and there's a real bond between some of the 'players' that extends, somehow, beyond the game itself.

I was around near enough to the 'good ole days' when I joined in May 03. I miss both Sarapis and especially Clementius, still kinda miss Guilds, too, but I've gotten over that for the most part.

I vaugely remember when that happened in Achaea and Aetolia split off...

I'm glad Achaea has lasted this long. Hopefully it lasts a lot longer too!

They've got a great thing going, after all. You've got a ton of players who love it, and it makes piles of money through credits. Works out for everyone, so... I don't think it's likely to end.

Always interesting to read interviews with Matt - I came to Achaea just after Aetolia opened, and I'm always amused by bits of history from prior days!

I remember paying monthly fees for MUDs.. that was painful, and yet I did it anyway.

It's interesting to know the origins.

IT sure is. This is one of the most interesting articles I've read.

A very interesting read. I'm a bit surprised Achaea has lasted this long.

All of this information is available on Mihaly's facebook profile.

Thank you, very interesting read

hmm

interesting . I always thought the whole Vertani invasion wasn't quite living up to its potention, and I guess I understand why, now.

I remember the Vertani event and I recall how it didn't seem to live up to itself. But I expected that somewhat too in the end. When Arcadia was revealed it only took until someone got into the city to start killing the residents of the Atavian home. Some players just play the game unfortunately without soaking anything. 

You get those in most games though. Happily though, the majority of players I've run into at least maintain a semblance of RP. That's not to say however that you don't get people choosing mechanical gains over RP! - Just at least done with some RP in it somewhere, if you squint hard enough.

I've been playing since a few weeks after Aetolia first released, and I've been hooked on at least one of them at any time since then. I miss hearing from Matt all the time, though! 

:)

commendable that he started out with achaea alone

The only other MUD company that seems to be doing decently okay is the company that makes Gemstone, but they require a monthly subscription and the combat is nowhere near as intense as IRE.

I first got into MUDs in the 90s too! My brother got me hooked, and I spent countless hours both as a player and as a builder; I still chalk up my 100 word per minute typing speed to writing room descriptions and simple coding. Interesting though, I never had any experience with the commercial side of MUDs. Every one I ever played was always free, and my understanding of MUDs was that they were built as a hobby and maintained by enthusiasts. I know they take money and time to maintain though, and I'm glad that a business model has been figured out that works well for staff and players.

I want to say "thank you". I had often wondered about the origins of IRE and the gaming experience that I have come to enjoy so much. I started playing in 2002 and have enjoyed watching IRE grow since my arrival. It felt almost like being given a delightful history lesson on a favored topic as well as being able to get a more in-depth understanding as to just how much work really goes into the games we sometimes take for granted. Thank you again, and keep up the great work!

Very interesting read and makes me wish even more that I sleep less

the effects of such a humble beginning are felt still years later, as anyone who has ever tried to deal with bloodline issues in an IRE game has felt.

 

Also, any interview extensively covering the history of MUDs that makes no reference to:

A- One of the first "F2P" systems where you never have to pay!!!...as long as you (for an obscene majority) never want to max out one single skillset, and

B- How mudsex is the bestest

 

seems terribly unresearched.

It is really amazing to see where it all began and how it all came to be... a wonderful interview indeed! I have been playing Achaea for probably over 6 years now on different characters with extended breaks in-between... I seem to always be comming back... but I think I will now settle with Lupe... I always thought that the divines were played by different people on the same character, but it is awesome to know that these are real people who have a history with the game!

:)

:)

While it is nice to read about how things started, I am more concerned about the now. For Imperian, which is the IRE mud I've been playing for a couple years, I've seen a slow but drastic decline in number of players online. I know all these promotions involving digg and facebook are to get in new players, but I'm still concerned about the log term viability of the game when we get 60 people online on a saturday. The website's advertisement, "Hundreds of players with which to interact, with nearly 200 players online during our peak times." is a lie. It is a good night when we get 100 people online. I remember when I first started regularly seeing over 100 people online. Now it's a rarity. I know you are bribing the existing players to get new ones to enhance the revenue stream, but I feel like there has to be more.

 

That said, it was a very interesting interview.

There are well over 200 players on Achaea much of the time. I think the lowest I have ever seen it was about 80 players online.

 

Either way, it was an interesting interview.

Achaea sure does get alot of the spotlight.

It was a really interesting interview. I learned a lot about Iron Realms and MUD games - stuff I didn't know before... Achaea has a lot more players than Imperian, that much I knew already.

Such an interesting read. Shame people went that way with the Vertani. Makes me wish I had been around at the time.

I can honestly say this was a pleasant read. More articles like this imo!

When I was young, maybe 6.. 7 years old. (I'm 19 now.) I met Matt through my parents back when he played Avalon. He was ambitious even then, and judging by this interview, it looks like he's kept his original ideal through and through.

This was quite interesting. To read a CEO- especially of something 'not as popular' as other choices of online entertainment- comment and narrate on his own handiwork is no simple insight.

So cool to hear about the beginings of Ironrealms.

What a wonderful read. I am surprised by Matts frankness and I am glad he shared

It's amazing how much history is stored on internet forums

This is a great article and well worth reading.

 

Cool interview!

Wow! Avalon was my first MUD too. But I was too young then to pay for the subscription beyond the free intro hours. I haven't checked out Avalon again after all these years, but if the Avalon that I remember would be compared to any IRE game now, we're way better.

And this is amazing.  How I wish Sarapis/Matt would come back in some way.

I read all announce new and it is nice to see how the game developed

yay

neat

Interesting interview.

 

Nice to hear the roots of IRE.

 

Matt dislikes mass murder RP because he believes it is just a way for players to get away with griefing, and I agree with that. One thing though is that some people will use any RP reason to give you trouble. There was on MUD I played that I quit playing because of this. A lot of the players seemed "bloodthirsty". It made for a hostile environment, and that just isn't fun for me!

 

It's too bad that Matt doesn't play his own game anymore. I suspect this is true for most game developers, since design certainly seems that way.

I think more vengeful Gods sticking up for the little guy would be Great too!

That was actually a really interesting read.  I love hearing the motivation behind what people do.

Nice interview!

on the history of how it all started.

Thank you, Tony!

This was really interesting, thanks!

LoLz, I would have wanted to meet this said wetter, sounds silly funny.

this article, thanks!

 

OMG

Matt Mihaly admittted in there that there is a point that you have to admit that it's a game and have fun.

 

Amazink

Very good reading!

glad I found this, very intresting

I enjoyed reading this. Interesting stuff.

Would be nice to see Sarapis around.

Good read.

That was great. I never knew any of that,and I wish I'd been around at the very beginning. Hope to see more interviews, they really are the best.

And, yeah. More interviews would be great.

Fun interview. Glad Matt was willing to share some thoughts.

Now we have the backstory to our favourite addiction.

i've read this over and over again, and it still gives me lightbulb moments every time.

After playing for a little while now, it is pretty cool to hear the history of how it came to be.

Always interesting to know how it all began. Charging by the hour boggles my mind though.

I would not have played at all, if that.

Wow

Bestest read ever. It has me awestruck at what it took to get us here and wondering how the game could be better. Oh the possibilities. What will the world of MUD look like in 30 years? How can we get to play that Mud now instead of 30 years?

Coolio ^_^

oh neat

oh neat

I love having Sarapis back

 

hrrm.

+1

+1

Interesting read. I wonder how achaea might have been different if he had played any of the simutronics muds first.

nice read