This is the history of NannyMUD as Mats the God remembers it, with some weight on what was before NannyMUD and the very early days. Now, here is the Voice of God:

Pre-History: Before the Light
The first time I tried an adventure game was sometime around 1980. I wasn't too excited playing it. I was much more curious about how it really worked internally. How do they program these things, I thought. I tried to write my own adventure game in BASIC and it had some kind of simple description language. It never worked, and the search for an adventure building tool started.

Around 1986 I heard about Projekt Asgård. It was a mud-like game written in LISP and it was very slow. It seemed interesting, but unfortunately I didn't try it.

1989 I found ADVSYS, which had a objectoriented LISP language, suitable for building adventures. But it was slow and I didn't like LISP so I throwed it away.

Out of the Mists of Time...
In the spring of 1990 I heard about a Multi User Dungeon game, where several players could play at the same time. I telnet-ed to Genesis and played a couple of hours. I struggled hard and slowly advanced to level 8. Then I was killed by some other player, and it wasn't fun anymore. Then I saw that the source-code, LPMUD version 1.1.2, was available, and I thought I must try this at home. This was 20th April 1990. After a few hours of compiling it was ready and history was about to begin.

The Early Days
It was in the last days of April 1990, I think it was around 20 April. I was logged in from a small terminal connected to Majestix, a SUN-3/280 at the Department of Computer Science at Linköping University, and I started the MUD on Majestix. And it crashed and coredumped. After an hour I found the bug and started again. It said "What is your name:" and I was excited and couldn't think of a cool name so I used my own. And it crashed again. During the first days of this MUD there were lots of crashes and restarts, but it got stable after a while and I announced it's existence at a local BBS. The first players dropped in: Angmar, Noppe, Inge, Cauchy, Guru and a few more.

I had the mud on my own account and it slowly filled my quota. I asked the systemadmin for more quota and a suitable machine to run the mud on. I got one more megabyte quota and moved the MUD to Brutalix, another SUN-3 which wasn't so heavily used. But the game was still growing fast and I borrowed some quota from Eva, Ingis real-life wife, and moved the players directory to her account.

In the beginning there wasn't many rooms and I couldn't build more rooms fast enough. I needed a wizard who could build and I started a competition where the winner would be instantly promoted to wizard. I created an object named "pizza" and hid it somewhere in the MUD. Angmar found it and became wizard. Some days later I created a mini-quest where the solver would become wizard, and Noppe solved it first. I found two more castles, Kantele and Morgars, at a ftp-site and installed them. I built a castle called Mordenkainen and Angmar created his fairyland. Two more wizards were promoted, Inge and Lpd, but the first player who actually played his way up to level 21 was Cauchy.

One embarrasing incident happened the first days. I had a script that started when I logged out and this script removed backup files and .o files so they wouldn't fill my quota. I logged out and it removed all the player files. The players wasn't happy. It was the 1 May 1990 because I haven't changed the script since then.

The MUD is NannyMUD
Early in the morning the 3 May, after a long night of hacking on the MUD, my grandmother died. A few weeks later when someone suggested the name "NannyMUD" for this MUD, I thought it would be a good name, not only because the MUD was running on the machine Nanny. I dedicate this MUD to my grandmother who refused to understand anything about computers.

Sometime after 15 May the MUD moved to the new machine Nanny, a Sequent Balance, at Lysator Academice Computer Society at Linköping University, and I more or less gave the maintenance task of sourcecode and driver to the people at Lysator.

The First Years
The first rules of Nanny was very free. Wizards couldn't mess around with mortals of course, but they could almost code whatever they wanted. It shouldn't crash the game and should be fantasy/medieval theme. This wasn't a real problem because most of the early wizards were programmers in real life. Lots of code were written the first years and the number of rooms grew steadily and around 1994 it was more than 16000 rooms.

I more or less retired late fall 1994 and a major cleanup of the areas and rooms started. Now it is probably a better game, but not as free and wild-grown as in the early years.

The Early Arches
The first weeks of NannyMUD I did everything myself. But I realized I needed some help. The first wizards to help me was Noppe and Inge, but I never made them arches, and they didn't code much either. The next real arches were Padrone and Angmar. Both of them wrote good areas and helped me with the mudlib code. I can say the same about the arches that followed, because without them Nanny hadn't survived. It would be too much to write about all they did and coded, and I can't remember it all anyway. Thanks for the help.

Rough timeline of the arches:
1990-1991Padrone, Angmar
1991-1992Anvil, Oros, (arch sourcerors: Lpd, Pell)
1992-1993Anvil, Qqqq, (arch sourcerors: Lpd, Oros)
1993-1994Profezzorn, Gwendolyn
1994-1995Celeborn, Milamber
1995-2001Brom, Taren
(Nanny no longer has arch wizards in its administration structure.)

Back to "Introduction" NannyMUD Home