Academic Papers Hat

Papers on MUDs and MUD-related matters. All these have been scanned from the original copies in my possession.
Mortar Board Zork: A Computerized Fantasy Simulation Game
Lebling, P. D., Blank, M. S. & Anderson, T. A.
IEEE Computers Magazine, pages 51 to 59,
April, 1979.
An immensely influential paper on Adventure games, and many of the principles it describes are directly applicable to MUDs. It's essential if you want to look into the area in any depth at all. It gives examples of play, outlines the control flow, and provides sample object/action definitions in the Zork internal format. The now rather ancient object-oriented language it uses does look a little dated, but given that most of the great MUD engines use an almost identical approach, this in no way detracts from the paper as a whole. At the very end, there is a brief but perceptive discussion on the likely problems that "multiple player" games of the future might involve. This is the first, and possibly the only, serious paper on Adventure games that treats them as worthy topics for research in their own right.

Copyright © Richard A. Bartle (
21st January 1999: opapers.htm