2021-06-14 Jirait is a Gemini-based MUSH

Did you play in a MUD or MUSH, when you were younger? I did! I did spend some time in the Lochness MUD and on the Elendor MUSH. These were multi-user environments that felt a bit like a text adventure: you typed things like “look” and “north” to look around and move about; on a MUD you’d also fight monsters, on a MUSH it was all about the roleplaying. I loved it.

Well, I thinking: shouldn’t it be possible to reproduce this kind of environment using Gemini, the network protocol somewhere between Gopher and HTTP, and text format somewhere between plain text and Markdown? I’ve been working on a little extension to Phoebe to allow me to do that. Phoebe itself is a Gemini-based wiki and I don’t actually use any wiki features in this new game. Phoebe simply handles the server startup, configuration, and so on. The game is called Ijirait, the plural of Ijiraq, a shape-shifter in Inuit legends and also a moon of Saturn. I’ve created a little wiki for it. It has four pages. 😄

Imagine the biggest and bestest Code of Conduct and adhere to it. Right now, Ijirait has no permissions, no objects, no containers, no programming… but you can connect and talk to other people. Your words hang around for 10 minutes – I might have to extend that, perhaps 10 minutes after somebody else has seen them?

You can create new rooms and add new connections between rooms, and you can rename and describe them, but you cannot delete any of them. I thinking of implementing something that I’ve been championing for a long time with regards to data: software should forget stuff that isn’t important. Thus, I’m thinking of rooms that haven’t been visited in a long time of fading away. Similarly, characters that haven’t seen any play time should fade away.

Use the “type” link to just type the commands...


And there’s even a simple client script in the “script” directory of the repository. It doesn’t look like much but it works!

alex@melanobombus:~/src/phoebe$ script/ijirait --url=gemini://campaignwiki.org/play/ijirait --cert=$HOME/.emacs.d/elpher-certificates/alex.crt --key=$HOME/.emacs.d/elpher-certificates/alex.key
Use 'quit' to leave the game.
Outside The Tent
You're standing in a rocky hollow, somewhat protected from the wind. There's a large tent, here.
* A tent flap leads inside. (tent)
* A diamond-encrusted mahogany door (door)
* Didia (you)
* look
* help


I guess the most important part right now would be for it to find some players. Then we can start thinking about further developing it.

– Alex 2021-06-14 15:59 UTC

I love it when I get to meet other people!

Glass staircase
Your steps echo down this long staircase spiralling up and down the
magnificent glass tower.
* Climb down to the ground floor (down)
* Didia (you)
* Arinte
5 minutes ago, Didia said “Welcome, Arinte!”
5 minutes ago, Arinte said “Hello! Thank you.”
Butterflies are dancing up and down the glass staircase.
3 minutes ago, Didia said “Where will the glass staircase go?”
Didia sit down at the edge of the stairs, letting her feet dangle down
the shaft in the center of the spiralling glass. A beam of sunlight
illuminates the scenery.
72 seconds ago, Arinte said “To the top! Maybe this tower is some kind
of astral lighthouse?”
Just now, Didia said “Indeed, maybe it is! If so, perhaps there's also
a harbour for ships sailing the astral sea.”
* look
* help

– Alex 2021-06-17 12:40 UTC

Remember, if you’re looking for other people, use “who” to see if there’s anybody active, and use “rooms” to see where things are happening.

– Alex 2021-06-17 12:49 UTC

Five days later I realize I mistyped the name in the title. 😵‍💫

– Alex 2021-06-19 06:45 UTC

Still enjoying myself, going back to play Ijirait every now and then, adding some rooms. I try to make these rooms about “discovery”. It’s hard for me to articulate what this is. You learn something about the world, without being able to change anything. It’s weird. Ideally, I think it would be great if you learned something about yourself. In my imagination, you could go somewhere, it’s a bit complicated to get there, and then you are given a choice. Your choice corresponds to one of various one-way exits. Thus, no matter what you decide, you will leave the area, and you can’t immediately go back. You could, if you went back through all the trouble of getting to the place where you had to make that decision, and then you just take the other exit. No harm done. But the fact that for a moment, you have taken a decision and you cannot take it back, and there are consequences, at least for a short moment, I like that. I want to try creating something like that.

– Alex 2021-07-02 19:05 UTC

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