BattleTech 3025 MUSE

Emblem-important.svg Not Canon!
The subject of this article does not contribute canonical content to the BattleTech universe, either because it is not intended to or because it is not an official product.
See the article's section on Canonicity for details.



The BattleTech 3025 MUSE was the first multi-player BattleTech-themed game on the Internet.[1] Founded in 1991, the game lasted three years before finally succumbing to site relocation and coding issues.[2]

  ------------   ------------   ------------   ------------   ------------ 
 |     ____   | |            | |         __ | |     /\     | |   ______   |
 |  ,//~~~>>  | |   l^l^l^\  | |        //  | | \\  ||  // | | ==~~~~~~== |
 |  +}"  //   | |  /~; ~ ~ | | |      //    | | =>> || <<= | | ____<\____ |
 |  /\  //    | |  \   /  /  | |    //      | | //  ||  \\ | | \__    __/ |
 |    //   // | |  /=.==.=\  | |  {``>      | |   ,_||_,   | |    /,,\    |
 |   <<==//   | |  /======\  | |    \\\     | |     []     | |            |
  ------------   ------------   ------------   ------------   ------------ 
                                            
      || ~~|   /\  ~~||~~ ~~||~~ ||    ||~~~  ~~||~~ ||~~~ ||~~~ ||   |
      || ==<  //\\   ||     ||   ||    ||==     ||   ||==  ||    ||===|
      || __| //  \\  ||     ||   ||___ ||___    ||   ||___ ||___ ||   |

 <<<<------------------------------------------------------------------->>>>  
    |  Welcome to BattleTech, a MUSE based on FASA's Role-Playing Game  |
    |  To connect to an existing character or just look around,         |
    |  Type: connect                                                    |
    |        connect guest guest                    <<<------------------->>>
    |  To create a character,                         | All This has been |
    |    Type: create                                 | made possible via |
 <<<<-------------------------------------------------|   Clifford Code   |
                                                    <<<------------------->>>

Contents

[edit] History

In 1991, a University of Wyoming college student named Bill DeVoe started working on a MUSE based on the BattleTech universe. He had played BTech for several years and wanted to create a game where people could come and play online. One of Bill's friends was a system administrator (he later became Tihon in the game) who allowed him to use the SGI Personal Irises that the University had to host the game. He had worked extensively with MUSH and MUSE code on TinyTim and on Star Trek TNG MUSE. He believed it would be possible to soft-code the in-game systems and began working toward that end.

[edit] 1991

In late 1991, he decided to open up the game to the public, primarily to get assistance in building the game world. He had chosen to focus his efforts on the Lyran Commonwealth as that was where his RPG character Clifford was employed with the mercenary unit 12th Star Guards. Both Clifford and Tihon were Directors[3] and Clifford became the de facto house leader of the Commonwealth. Surprisingly, many people joined quickly and began building the other houses.

Several house builders came forward (all of them house leader level, not director) who worked very hard to build their houses. Overall, they added several tens of thousands of objects to the universe and were the real reason the game gained any popularity.

[edit] 1992

The game hit its stride in 1992 when over one thousand players were actively playing on the game. The combat systems were still incomplete and despite adding two new directors - Hound and Shroom - the in-game systems (soft-code) were quickly becoming impossible to expand and maintain. At this point, Hound, Shroom, Clifford, and Tihon met online and decided to create a Real-Space (RS) system for combat. Clifford worked on 'Mech combat while Hound focused on the personal combat system. Shroom was heavily involved in the RS combat system with Clifford and also with creating a hard-coded economic system while Tihon provided technical guidance on much of the RS systems.

Because of built-in game time progressions, the game year moved from 3025 to 3026 on January 1 1993, which is why some people refer to it as BTech 3025 and others BTech 3026. Toward the end of 1992, the RS was ahead of schedule and several mock battles had been fought in Real-Space. Additionally, Aerospace Fighters had been added to RS (one ASF flew continuously around a planet for over 3 months). Despite these advances, numerous technical issues still needed to be worked out, including aerospace fighter versus 'Mech combat.

[edit] 1993

In mid '93, Guzzer started the BattleTech 3056 MUSE project and many people who were unhappy with the time frame on 3025/3026 moved to that system.

With the departure of Tihon, both as a sys admin and as a Director, the game was in trouble. A player on the game, RiTz, offered to host the game on one of his systems in Canada. Bill decided that it was the best decision to continue things and accepted the offer. However, he left college unexpectedly in the spring semester of 1993 and lost Internet access. As a result, he transferred complete control of the game to RiTz and his coding partners. Not long after that, the game was shut down.

[edit] Problems

Bill chose the MUSE format because of the built-in rank system that it employed, as opposed to a MUSH or other multi-player game system (MUCK or MUD). After a year he realized the limitations of the built-in system, especially since higher-ranking players could modify lower-ranking player objects and the houses had very different rank structures that didn't map easily from one to the other. This made it untenable as a system and eventually player powers were stripped down significantly (primarily only usable within a given unit).

The other major problem that was addressed was the soft-coding of the combat systems. Only after some experimentation was it obvious that a Real-Space system would be required. Thanks to this discovery, fan projects that followed made their RS systems a prime development goal. Unfortunately, the system for 3025/3026 wasn't completed before the game was relocated.

[edit] Successes

BTech 3025 was the precursor for many of the fan projects that followed, including BTech 3056 and others. The Real-Space system created was never re-used, but these later efforts learned from 3025's experience and began their RS systems early in development.

Another major success was the involvement of the players. The people who came every day and helped create the universe were one of main reasons the game enjoyed popularity. They helped make it a good place to go and, in many cases, were instrumental in deflecting criticism of the slow development processes.

[edit] Notes

  1. It might be argued that the BattleTech Centers were also 'multi-player' BattleTech games. They were also introduced in this general time frame.
  2. Splash screen designed by Javert.
  3. Directors are in-game administrators for MUSEs