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[gopher] This game I have been working on might be of interest to Gopherites...

Hello fellow Gopherlings!

  I believe you might have recalled that I brought up and we all briefly 
discussed the possible development of a MUD made by us Gopherians.  Well, long 
before I even had such an ill conceived idea that would ultimately never come 
into fruition.  I was working on a Massively Multiplayer Online Hacking 
Universe Game, or shortened to just MMOHUG.  You won't find this MMO genre 
type anywhere yet, as I am hoping that mine will be the first to market!  
Although I have been working on it since 2012, and it has gone through a 
couple complete redesigns, I feel that now the game is taking the right 
direction.  Originally, it was going to be a web-based game, but I noticed 
that this market was already crowded and noticed the vast inferiority of web-
based games in general.  In order to build real-time apps and games on a 
website, you needed some rather complex code, both in the front-end and the 
back-end...  This led me to rewrite the game completely using standard 
stdin/stdout terminal programming in Python.  This version of the game 
actually came along ways until I realized how it wouldn't scale very well.  
You see, each user would log in via a standard telnet connection, and telnetd 
forks the actual application I wrote.  For each connected player, the amount 
of resources grow!  If I really wanted to take the game into the MMO type 
category, I needed to slim down the server component alot!

  Now the server side is entirely written and listens on a TCP port directly, 
no forking needed.  I wrote a couple threads to manage some in-game stuff, but 
that's about it.  The game currently is about 10MB of RAM when idle, which is 
pretty good.  Each new connection doesn't increase the total size by much, as 
each player's persistent state doesn't take very much memory or resources.  
This also has the benefit of me being able to write a custom telnet client to 
make the game more appealing to those who don't want to use telnet, or my web-
based terminal app.

  Anyways, the point of this message is that, I believe this type of MMO/MUD 
game would appeal to most users of this mailing list.  It's a very technical 
game overall, and mostly fiction, but with some real-world elements to make it 
feel real enough for people who haven't hacked before.  By far, it feels way 
more realistic then that crap Ubisoft released last year, what's what game 
called again....

  I personally like a hacking type game with a nice barrier between fiction 
and reality.  This is the type of atmosphere I am building with Hacker's Edge.  
The game feels real, and makes you actually feel like your hacking into 
computer systems, but is purely fiction.  It uses real-world elements, like 
IPv4, DNS, SMTP, and other popular Internet technologies.  Many commands which 
are used by real hackers are also used, but watered down to make it easy 
enough to pick up and play without feeling tedious.  Most commands like "nmap" 
and "nslookup" require a good amount of research to understand their many 
options.  Hacker's Edge uses such commands, but they aren't as complex, so the 
player doesn't need to enter in a dozen options everytime they want to map 
ports on a remote host.

  The game is going into closed beta soon, so that I can get people to test 
out the commands and the general feel of the game to give me their feedback.

  One of the games highlights will be user created content in the forms of 
real functioning binary applications that run within the game world.  The game 
will include a compiler for a somewhat simple to use and understand dialect 
that gives players the ability to hook directly into the game's engine to 
create new types of servers and hacking programs that can be sold to other 
players using the in-game economy.  In my last implementation of the in-game 
coding, the dialect was very close to assembly language, while this felt 
really realistic, it was too complex to just jump into for most players. I 
first attempted to build a high-level language on top of that, which compiled 
into the in-game assembly, but that was too limiting.  This new and final 
version of the game will include a programming dialect that is easy to use and 
understand, yet powerful.  Using this, it should be technically possible to 
build in-game Gopher servers and clients.  While no in-game apps will have 
access to the real Internet, apps can communicate using the in-game simulated 

  Anyways, for more information, you can visit the game's homepage in the HTTP 
space here: http://www.hackers-edge.com/  If there is enough interest from the 
Gopher community here, I may consider setting up a Gopherhole for the game as 
well, so that all the same information from the HTTP version can be accessed 
from Gopher as well.  However, you can currently view and post into the forums 
from within the game using the +bboard, +thread, and +reply commands.  Hooks 
into the HelpCenter will also be added soon too.

  I am planning on distributing Beta invite codes very soon, so do let me know 
if your interested and I will send out a few codes onto this mailing list.  
Each code is a one use code, so take them before somebody else does.  I am 
limiting initial access to consider performance and overall server load.

Best Regards,
  Kevin Veroneau
  Telnet: veroneau.net:5199

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