A Guide For New Players
- What Are MUDs
- Why Play a MUD
- How Does Gameplay Work
- OK, I'm Interested. How Do I Connect?
- I'm In! Now What?
What Are MUDs
MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) are text-based online multi-player games
that trace their origins to the late 70s. MUDs usually have a fantasy
theme, and combine hack-and-slash and role-playing gaming with a lively
The distinctive property of MUDs is the game world, which is presented
to players as a collection of textual descriptions. Any imaginable
feature can be described this way, such as virtual items, places,
creatures or in-game events. Likewise, players control their actions
by typing short, English-like commands. Many players can participate
at the same time; the interaction between players is immediately
reported by the game, again in the form of text.
MUDs are comparable in game structure to modern graphical online
games, such as World of Warcraft or Everquest. Take away the fancy
graphical interface, and the core is, at heart, quite similar to
the structure of a MUD.
Why Play a MUD
MUDs date back to the very origins of computer gaming, developed on
that era's hardware which could only display text. So why are MUDs
still played today, in the age of powerful 3D graphics and beautifully
rendered 3D games? Ironically, the answer might be that the text
format is interesting because it is different than the modern
graphical games. Indeed, MUDs provide a quite unique gaming
experience, where one relies much more on imagination to picture the
game's virtual world.
Furthermore, MUDs usually offer their players the opportunity to
become in-game developers, where they can help expand the game world. This is
possible in part because only minimal coding skills are required,
along with a rich imagination and willingness to turn it into words.
MUDs are extremely easy on computer resources. They don't require
latest 3D cards and processors to squeeze out every last frame per
second. All that is needed is an Internet connection, and a simple
text game client which won't use much memory or slow down the computer
for other uses. As a result, it is convenient to play the game
alongside other applications or on the road from other computers.
Moreover, the response to various player commands is almost
instantaneous, limited only by the speed of the Internet link.
MUDs today occupy only a tiny niche of the gaming universe compared to
the top online multiplayer games, and their millions-strong
playerbases. The typical number of players of a MUD lies between
hundreds and many thousands. It turns out, however, that this small
size of the player base helps create a closely knit and long-lived
community, unlike on the large games. Indeed, on Tsunami in
particular many active players have played longer than 10 years, and
have stuck around even as they advanced their degrees, careers and
Yet another positive feature of Tsunami is that it is free! There are
no monthly subscriptions or donations required to play, regardless of
time spent in the game, or even in order to gain the status of an in-game
And finally, last, but not least reason to play Tsunami is that it is
just plain (text) fun! When the right mix of players log on, and the
fighting starts, there is no end of new strategies to try in order to
gain an upper hand in the exhilirating battle of skill. For the more
peaceful types, there are numerous quests and puzzles to solve. We
hope that you can enjoy playing this game as much as we have had
How Does Gameplay Work
Similar to many role-playing games, on Tsunami one controls a
character that gains experience points and advances in level, giving
it more power and ability. This experience comes mainly from fighting
and defeating the multitude of enemy creatures that pervade the MUD.
There are numerous classes one can specialize their character in, such
as fighters, mages, thieves, clerics, and many more described
elsewhere on this Web site.
The world of Tsunami is organized into "rooms," which are each
described by few paragraphs of text. The rooms connect to each other
via "exits," which mostly lie along main compass directions such as
"north" or "south." In this way, a grid of rooms can model a large
area in the virtual world. Players move between rooms by typing these
geographic directions. Within rooms, players read the room descriptions
and then more closely examine various features found therein.
Often there are secret rewards hidden inside rooms. Moreover, many
rooms are parts of "quests," or in-game puzzles that may span large
areas of the game. Rooms usually contain various creatures and
monsters, which the players can choose to fight to gain experience, or
interact with to advance in certain quests.
It is, of course, possible for more than one player to enter a single
room. At that time, the players can interact, chat, play out certain
gestures, or even fight each other in a test of skill. The fighting
between players, or "player-killing" in game-lingo, can be a supremely
rewarding and challenging activity just like in mainstream online
At the highest levels, gameplay can become quite engaging and
challenging, especially in fights against other players. On the
tactical side, players may need to react quickly to avoid certain
death. On the strategic side, players must carefully consider the
best way to build their characters in order to gain maximum advantage.
At the same time, it is useful to be familiar with enemies' characters
in order to best exploit their weaknesses.
OK, I'm Interested. How Do I Connect?
To play Tsunami one must first log into the game. This can be done
using several possible methods, roughly in order of comfort and convenience:
The second step once the MUD client is up and running, is to log into Tsunami.
At the main screen's Username prompt, type a desired nickname you would wish
your character to be called. If the nickname is not yet registered, you will
be prompted to confirm it, choose a password, and then enter the game proper.
- Connect using a MUD-client, a program designed expressly to connect to
MUDs. Some popular MUD clients are:
When using any of these clients, configure them to connect to tsunami.thebigwave.net, port 23.
- zMud - a featureful commercial client for Windows
- WinTin - a free client for Windows
- tinyfugue - a powerful client for Linux (and other OSes)
- Connect using the Web client available by clicking on the "Play Now!" link on the left-hand side,
or by clicking here.
- Connect using telnet - a very basic terminal software.
Telnet is available by default on all versions of Windows except
Vista, and on all major distributions of Linux. As such, no
downloading or configuration is needed, just the command telnet
tsunami.thebigwave.net. On Windows, one can type this command
into the Run dialog available on the Start menu; on Linux, one must
first open a terminal window such as xterm or
gnome-terminal. Telnet is relatively feature-poor, so it is only
good for short gaming sessions.
I'm In! Now What?
You are in your first room! Type 'look' to see the room's text
description. In this particular room, the description is actually a
player guide which will help you start developing your character and
get you on your way to adventuring in the game's wild realms. You can
also access the extensive in-game help system from the left-hand side
links on this page. We thus conclude this introduction to MUDs and
Tsunami, and hope you enjoy this classic game!