A brief timeline of MUDs
- Fall, 1978 - [Richard Bartle] and [Roy Trubshaw] create the first version of a MUD for a [PDP-10] server.
- 1987 - Alan Cox designs [AberMUD].
- 1989 - Lars Pensjø designs the [LPC] language and builds the first [LPMUD], Genesis.
- August 19, 1989 - Jim Aspnes opens [TinyMUD], a MUD based primarily on world creation rather than competition.
- Winter, 1990 - Stephen White releases [TinyMUCK] 1.0.
- May 2, 1990 - Pavel Curtis releases the first version of [MOO].
- October 1, 1990 - Michael Seifert, Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt, Sebastian Hammer, Tom Madsen, Katja Nyboe release [DikuMUD] Gamma, the first public version of [Diku].
- June, 1991 - Russ Taylor releases [ROM], a [Diku] derivative.
- January, 1992 - Jeremy Elson begins development on [CircleMUD], a [Diku] derivative.
- February, 1992 - [TMI-2] was founded for the purpose of creating a new driver and [MUDlib] for [LPMud]s. This driver eventually became known as [MudOS].
- April 23, 1992 - [LPC] [socket]s were added to the [MudOS] driver, allowing the creation of the [Intermud] network.
- July, 1992 - [George Reese] (aka Descartes) takes over design on the Nightmare [MUD], using the [MudOS] driver. In October of 1992, Nightmare re-opens.
- Autumn, 1992 - Isengard, the flagship [MUD] for the [Mordor] codebase (a derivative of [Diku]) opens.
- January, 1993 - [George Reese] releases the Nightmare [MUDlib], the first widely available [MUDlib] built for [MudOS].
- August 12, 1993 - [DGD] (Dworkin Game Driver) is released. It is the first [LPMUD] containing only original code.
- Autumn, 1994 - [ACKmud], a [Diku] derivative, is created by Steve Dooley.
- May 15, 1995 - [George Reese] releases the [Foundation II] [MUDlib], the first [MUDlib] designed for non-game uses.
- July, 1995 - Richard Woolcock opens [Godwars], a [Diku] derivative. In October of 1995, he releases the code to the public.
- July 21, 1995 - The [Lima] [MUDlib] is released.
- December, 1996 - [Smaug] is released, a derivative of [Diku].
As you may notice, there has not been much in the way of significant progress in recent years. Much of that is due to the proliferation of graphical online RPGs like [Everquest], [Ultima Online], and [Asheron's Call]. Much of the talent that formerly worked to develop MUDs has been snatched up by companies eager to fill the [MMORPG] niche in the gaming economy. This is not to say, however, that MUDs are dying; far from it. There are many players who still have fond memories of the text-based games, and many fledgling programmers working to make those games better. Of course, MUDs also have one large benefit over the games mentioned above; almost all of them are free to play.