For this week’s low-effort brag-post of my geofiction, I’m taking a detour off the OpenGeofiction site and going to my other map-server, the planet called Arhet. I built this map-server before rebuilding the OpenGeofiction site – it a sense, it ended up as a kind of audition for being considered qualified to take over OGF. Anyway, there are far fewer users on Arhet, it’s a much smaller server, and it’s quite a bit more chaotic – there is no effort to create a coherent “world” the way that we do on OpenGeofiction. It’s just little map-snippets the various users are working on. Unlike OGF, there are no constraints on realism. That’s why I put this bit of mapping on Arhet.

Goodgrove is the “start town” for a MUD (“multi-user-dungeon” – a type of text-based old-school computer game) I was desigining for a while, with a working title of Hellbridge. That work is definitely dormant – I haven’t worked on it in years. The setting is a kind of semi-steampunk, semi-swords-and-sorcery setting. But I had the novel idea that I could create a detailed map of the world, much higher quality than that typically associated with MUD’s, and that I could even go in the direction of having some kind of “player locator” icon on some customized presentation of the map. So you would be moving around the game-world and meanwhile you could be logged into a website hosting a slippy map of the world, and you could see an icon that placed your location in that world.

I still think it’s a compelling and clever idea, and within the realm of what I could conceivably create, but I simply didn’t have the energy or gumption to push forward with it. But the starter town of Goodgrove was mapped down to every detail, and every single node on the in-game map has a corresponding node on this OSM-style map. It’s not meant to be strictly realistic – it’s a game map for a fantasy setting, not meant to represent any verisimilitudinous place.

Screenshot of the map window on the Arhet website, showing an area mapped of a village called Goodgrove with lots of detail, including stores and paths between buildings.

Here is link to the zoomable map:

Maps Marker Test

Trying to test the “maps marker plugin” for use with my Hellbridge MUD worldmap. I’m feeling skeptical that I can make use of it.

[UPDATE 20210530: This maps marker plugin has stopped working. They want money to “upgrade” to some paid version. Nuh-uh. Therefore… well, here’s an alternate way to put a marker, but I don’t know if it could work for my Hellbridge project or not.]

Music to test wordpress plugins to: Loreena McKennitt “Bonny Portmore”

A different sort of worldbuilding

This isn’t exactly geofiction, but I was messing around with a new project on my server.

Way back in the day (I am somewhat old), I used to play MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons). These are text-based computer games of various kinds – no graphics at all. They’re a kind interactive “choose your own adventure” text, you might say. But the game mechanics in them are the ancestors of modern MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft, and there are even conceptual connections to Grand Theft Auto or Minecraft.

MUDs are quite old – they existed on mainframes at businesses and universities before PCs were even a thing, starting in the 1960s. Because of my family’s connection to the local university, I was a rare child of the 1970s who actually played computer games before PCs were invented! These were MUDs and other text-based games.

When I noticed I had my own server up and running, it occured to me that I could build a MUD. Possibly, it’s not even that hard. Sure enough, there is open-source software that will run a MUD on a server for you.

I chose a package called CoffeeMud. I’m still messing with it. It’s very unlikely I’ll ever do anything with it. But I had this domain-name, “”, lying around, so I thought, sure, make a MUD.

  _    _        _  _  _            _      _              
 | |  | |      | || || |          (_)    | |             
 | |__| |  ___ | || || |__   _ __  _   __| |  __ _   ___ 
 |  __  | / _ \| || || '_ \ | '__|| | / _` | / _` | / _ \
 | |  | ||  __/| || || |_) || |   | || (_| || (_| ||  __/
 |_|  |_| \___||_||_||_.__/ |_|   |_| \__,_| \__, | \___|
                                              __/ |      
            Powered by CoffeeMud v5.9

I originally acquired the “” domain for a quite different purpose: It was intended to be a “satire-website” for a place where I once worked, which had a name where “Hellbridge” was a similar sound but darker connotation. But looking at it now, I thought it would make a great name for a MUD. So there it is.

I liked the CoffeeMud package because the admin and config of the site is mostly done from within the game. That’s cool. So I create an “Archon” character, who is like God. I walk around the MUD and type “Create chair” and a chair falls from the sky. Likewise with any other object, room, monster, or character class. That’s fun.

The Archon character is created in the empty, default “Fresh Install” room, by reading a book that is placed there. I read the book and I became a God.

Nice book. Note the stats jump in the prompt.

<20Hp 100m 100mv> read book
The manual glows softly, enveloping you in its magical energy.
The book vanishes out of your hands.

<1403Hp 571m 595mv>

It’s not live yet. It may never be. But meanwhile, I thought it was interesting to try it out.

It’s a little bit like geofiction – you’re creating an imaginary world, after all.

Music to MUD by: Maná, “En el muelle de San Blás.”