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The MUDzilla Simulation System

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All MUDzilla software applications are written in Inprise Delphi for Windows/NT, a rapid application development environment based on an object-oriented, event-driven programming model. All entities within a MUDzilla simulation are treated as objects. By manipulating the properties of these objects, a simulation administrator can expect to achieve any effect imaginable.

The Gates of Morning A special kind of object, called an event, is used to change the properties of all kinds of objects, including other events. Events are multi-purpose objects, acting as logical decision makers, report engines, and simulation commands. By linking many events together in execution chains, you can create complex simulation effects which react quickly to changes in the surrounding simulation context. And no coding is required! If you can fill out a few forms, you can induce MUDzilla to simulate anything!

In a Microsoft Windows environment, disk resources can be shared on a peer-to-peer basis. In a typical MUDzilla installation, the simulation server shares the volume containing the simulation's database with the simulation workstation, which must map a network drive to this shared location. The Borland Database Engine (BDE), the database manager used by Delphi, manages all database sharing operations, allowing many peers to share the same simulation database.

Click the Image for Additional Detail
Click the Image for Additional Detail.

The MUDzilla Simulation System includes the following software applications:

Object Profiler Object Profiler Object Profiler Samples Top of Page Application Library Index

Before there could be a simulation, before any objects could be created, even before the birth of the World Wide Web, we needed a tool that would help us design and plan an object-oriented project of this scope. In early 1994, we began The Crystalization of Thought work on the MUDzilla Object Profiler, an application that creates and maintains the blueprints for all the objects needed to maintain a simulation environment. Such blueprints are called classes, and MUDzilla oraganizes them into a special database called the MUDzilla Class Library.

The Object Profiler provides the following features:

  • Manages class, property, and property value information for each simulation object.

  • Links MUDzilla classes to the underlying database.

  • Creates Object PASCAL code for all MUDzilla classes.

  • Creates SQL scripts for creating MUDzilla database tables.

  • Includes an SQL interface window, with the ability to store custom SQL scripts.

[ Sample Object Profiler Screens | Top of Page | Application Index ]

Object Editor Object Editor Object Editor Samples Top of Page Application Library Index

The MUDzilla Object Editor puts you, the simulation administrator, in complete control of all aspects of the Multiverse, regardless of the state of the simulation. The user interface is designed to reduce most actions down to a few mouse clicks, allowing the ideas of the simulation administrator to come to life quickly and easily.

? In addition to providing a comprehensive point of management for all simulation objects, the Object Editor also acts as a focal point for the output of many other applications, such as image editors, web page designers, and multimedia creation software, drawing them to their appointed place within the framework of the simulation. As you create simulation content with your favorite suite of applications, the Object Editor will become your means of weaving your works into the simulation.

The Object Editor provides the following features:

  • Complete configuration management of all aspects of The MUDzilla Simulation System.
  • Provides robust query and filtering features for each type of object.
  • Provides batch object and list functions for managing groups of objects.
  • Manages class, property, and property value information for each simulation object.

  • Includes an SQL interface window, with the ability to store custom SQL scripts.

  • Provides a forms-based user interface for each type of simulation object, including:
    • History, Lore, and Alert Logs

    • Simulation Cosmology Objects

    • Simulation Events

    • Avatars, Rooms, and Items

    • Skills, Quests, and Guilds

    • Electronic Mail and Bulletin Boards

    • Help Manuals and Topics

    • Distribution Tables

    • Multimedia Resources and Variable Objects

[ Sample Object Editor Screens | Top of Page | Application Index ]

Event Driver Event Driver Event Driver Samples Top of Page Application Library Index

The MUDzilla Event Driver is the heart and soul of any simulation, annointed with the task of operating an active Multiverse. At its core, the Event Driver manages incoming partcipant connections, executes simulation event objects, formulates logical responses to participant action, and collects detailed history regarding everything it does. And when it can spare a moment, the Event Driver visits each and every active simulation object periodically in an effort to better understand the current state of the Multiverse. Such visitations are called sweeps, and they are used primarily to schedule events for future execution.

The Dawn of Your Vision Two words best describe the Event Driver's mission: context and perspective. The Event Driver's main goal is to distribute logical responses to all simulation participants such that the underlying story unfolds in a meaningful way. To accomplish this, the Event Driver constantly seeks the context of an event, making sure it has exactly what it needs to respond to each participant. It must then put itself in the position of each participant, taking on each particpant's unique perspective to formulate an appropriate response.

For the simulation particpant, the Event Driver offers a choice between two user interfaces: TELNET (text-based), and the world wide web. The TELNET interface is a simple command-line, where simulation participants state their actions using commands which approximate English language directives, such as TAKE BOOK or GIVE BOOK TO FRED. The Event Driver also supports the web through the MUDzilla Web Redirector, a small application that sits between the Event Driver and your web server software, using the CGI and WIN-CGI interfaces to communicate requests for content. MUDzilla allows you to embed the entire command line interface within a web client, allowing you to create a custom web user interface that matches your ideas. By way of example, see The Monastery of Ages Web Client.

The Event Driver provides the following features:

  • Operates an active MUDzilla simulation through repeated event executions.

  • Creates history and lore objects associated with event executions.

  • Uses history and lore objects to calculate possible reactions to future simulation events.

  • Provides an optional mana-based power system to implement and manage magic within simulations.

  • Includes an optional combat simulator to implement and manage battles within simulations.

  • Manages all incoming TELNET and Web Redirector network connections.

  • Manages participant accounts and authentication.

  • Provides over 200 simulation commands for participating and managing simulations.

  • Includes an SQL interface window, with the ability to store custom SQL scripts.

  • Provides detailed statistics while the simulation is active, including:
    • Participant connection statistics, including exception information.

    • Network connection manager, including broadcast message support.

    • System resource consumption, including CPU, memory and disk storage.

    • Event execution statistics and object sweep information.

    • Multiversial browser for tracking participants as they move through the simulation.

    • Detailed health and alert logging and management.

If you install MUDzilla with its web features enabled, you will gain access to the MUDzilla Web Administrator, allowing administrators to manage active simulations from within a web browser. Where the Object Editor is designed to configure and build the static elements of MUDzilla simulations, the Web Administrator provides real time access to live simulation data from virtually any location while the simulation is running.

[ Sample Event Driver Screens | Top of Page | Application Index ]

Web Redirector Web Redirector Web Redirector Samples Top of Page Application Library Index

To extend a simulation's user interface to include the world wide web, we include the Web Redirector as part of MUDzilla. Completely optional, the Web Redirector is a small Windows application which A Web Redirector is invoked directly from a hyperlink reference within a web page. Your web server software then uses the CGI or WIN-CGI interface, each a standardized format for communicating with web applications, to pass information to the Web Redirector. The Redirector then establishes a network connection with the Event Driver, which must create exactly one valid web page. The Redirector accepts this web page, closes its connection with the Event Driver, and passes the web page back to your web server before terminating. To the Event Driver, the Web Redirector appears as a simulation participant.

The Web Redirector provides the following features:

The Web Redirector has been tested using the following web servers:

[ Sample Web Redirector Screens | Top of Page | Application Index ]

Database Rebuilder Database Rebuilder Database Rebuilder Samples Top of Page Application Library Index

MUDzilla uses the Paradox database format for storing simulation objects. From time to time, this database can become fragmented from Order from Chaos frequent deletions, become unbalanced from frequent additions, or develop areas of corruption due to unexpected events, such as power outages, or application exceptions. The MUDzilla Database Rebuilder is a stand-alone utility which allows you to rebuild one or more database tables at a time, an operation which cleans out unused table space, and recreates all indicies for optimal search speed.

The Database Rebuilder provides the following features:

  • Performs a pack operation on each table, which removes space occupied by deleted records.

  • Rebuilds database indicies, creating a balanced search tree for each index.

  • Allows you to rebuild single tables, groups of tables, or the entire database.

  • Though designed to work with MUDzilla, the Database Rebuilder can rebuild any Paradox database table.

[ Sample Database Rebuilder Screens | Top of Page | Application Index ]
   

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