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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
(Nanny no longer has arch wizards in its administration structure.)
|1991-1992||Anvil, Oros, (arch sourcerors: Lpd, Pell)|
|1992-1993||Anvil, Qqqq, (arch sourcerors: Lpd, Oros)|