MUD Timeline

Warning: This page is still under construction!

This is an attempt to summarise all the events of historical note that have taken place in the MUD1 and MUD2 worlds since the original was written at Essex University in 1979. If I've missed anything important, or got some of the details, please be sure to tell me about it.

Spring 1979
Roy Trubshaw, a student at Essex University, writes the very first MUD on the university's DEC-10 mainframe, in MACRO10 assembly language. It is primitive, and is almost immediately rewritten as Version 2, again in MACRO10.

Winter 1980
Roy writes MUD Version 3 in BCPL, to conserve memory and make it easier to maintain. Richard Bartle contributes much work on the game database, introducing many of the locations and puzzles that survive to this day.

Summer 1980
Roy graduates from Essex University, and Richard takes full control of the game, fleshing out the database and adding additional commands. A proper persona communication system is introduced, along with the concepts of points and wizards.

Summer 1983
Essex University allows outside users to access its DEC-10 via BT's Packet Switch Stream network (PSS) during the normally idle period from 2am to 7am each night. MUD becomes enormously popular with players around the world, and users frequently wait for an hour or more to gain access to the game (as only 20 users are allowed to logon at one time). Many magazines begin to feature articles on this new trend.

Spring 1984
Richard Bartle leaves his position as lecturer at Essex University, and together with Roy Trubshaw and Simon Dally, forms MUSE Ltd to produce and market the next generation of multi-user games.

Summer 1984
Compunet Ltd, a UK-based network for C64 users, licenses MUD1 and installs it on their system, allowing any UK user with a C64 to gain access to the game.

Autumn 1984
CompuServe Information Systems license MUD1 from MUSE, and makes it available to American CompuServe users. To alay fears of CompuServe management that the game will overload their computer system, a mandatory 7 second delay is added after each command.

Summer 1985
MUSE launch MUD2 -- The Quest for Immortality. Although the game is based on MUD1, the engine has been rewritten from scratch and is now much more powerful and extensible. In addition, many additional locations and puzzles are added. Agreement is reached with British Telecom to operate the game on a VAX Cluster.

Additional points to discuss:
Created by Eddy Carroll (, 18 August 1995.