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Guide to Papers of Richard A. Bartle, ca. 1979-1997 M1410
M1410  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Acquisition Information
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents
  • Access to Collection

  • Title: Richard A. Bartle papers
    Identifier/Call Number: M1410
    Contributing Institution: Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 2.0 Linear feet 1 manuscript box, 1 flat box
    Date (inclusive): 1979-1997
    Physical Location: Special Collections and University Archives materials are stored offsite and must be paged 36-48 hours in advance. For more information on paging collections, see the department's website: http://library.stanford.edu/spc.
    Abstract: There are two main parts to this collection: 1) MUD1 archival materials and 2) MUD1 source code. The MUD1 archival materials include files for “Dungen,” MUDDLE reference manual, maps, design notes, etc. Notes written by Richard A. Bartle are inserted in the first (unnumbered) folder in the manuscript box. These notes provide information about the contents contained in folders that he numbered 1-32, and arranged in chronological order. Folders 1-32 are dispersed between a manuscript box and flat storage box due to variations in document size. The MUD1 source code is available online through the Stanford University Libraries at this location: http://purl.stanford.edu/wh632tj5702 
    Creator: Bartle, Richard A.

    Acquisition Information

    This collection was given by Richard Bartle to Stanford University, Special Collections in 2003 and 2014.

    Publication Rights

    Open for research. Physical boxes can be paged for use through Searchworks. Born-digital files can be downloaded from:

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], Richard A. Bartle papers (M1410). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biography

    Dr. Richard A. Bartle was born in Ripon, North Yorkshire, England on January 10, 1960. He entered Essex University in 1978, where he acquired a BSc degree in Computer Science (1st Class) and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. In 1984 he lectured at Essex on the latter subject, becoming the youngest member of the University’s academic staff.
    While an undergraduate at Essex, he met Roy Trubshaw, who was a year above him in school. Roy was interested in designing a multiplayer text adventure game. The game he created was called MUD (Multi-User Dungeon), and Roy devoted his undergraduate academic career to writing it. Roy did not have time to complete the game before he finished his studies, so he gave it to Richard when the programming was about 75% done. Richard added his own enhancements and completed the rest of the game. Programming the first MUD took from 1978-1981.
    In order to market MUD, Richard and Roy formed a game company with Simon Dally called MUSE. Simon was a book publisher who commissioned Richard's book, Artificial Intelligence and Computer Games. Meanwhile, Richard continued to experiment with the MUD program, and developed a brand-new system, leading to an updated version of MUD that was called MUD2. MUD2 benefited from having a dedicated programming language, called MUDDLE, which was designed specifically for writing MUD-like games, but was flexible enough to be used for other types of programming. Richard left Essex University in 1987 to work full-time on MUD2. Unfortunately, Simon suffered from manic depression and committed suicide in 1989. MUSE never fully recovered from the impact of this tragedy.
    Richard left full-time work at MUSE in 2000, and after a short stint at a start-up company called Gameplay, he became a consultant. During this time he also published Designing Virtual Worlds, the first book about the design of MUDs. Designing Virtual Worlds is widely used as standard text for anyone interested in programming multiplayer online games. Richard returned to Essex University in 2002, to assist with teaching curriculum designed for a newly introduced computer games degree. In 2004 he became a Visiting Professor. He continues to teach, conduct research, and provide consultation related to computer programming and virtual world games.
    Source(s): Bartle, Richard A. Artificial Intelligence and Computer Games. London: Century Communications, 1985. Bartle, Richard A. Designing Virtual Worlds. Indianapolis: New Riders, 2003. http://mud.co.uk/richard/biog.htm  http://mud.co.uk/richard/cv.htm 

    Scope and Contents

    The collection is comprised of two series.
    Series 1: This series contains MUD1 archival material. Notes written by Richard A. Bartle are inserted in the first (unnumbered) folder in the manuscript box. These notes provide information about the contents contained in folders that he numbered 1-32, and arranged in chronological order. Folders 1-32 are dispersed between a manuscript box and flat storage box due to variations in document size. The manuscript box contains original handwritten design notes, maps, and photocopies of files. The flat box contains lineprinter papers, which consists of a MACRO-10 assembler list output for the final version of MUD version 2, maps, an extent log of a MUD session, along with other oversize documents.
    Series 2: The 2014 accession contained a zip file which contained the compressed library of source code files for the online virtual world, MUD1. This digital files are available online through the Stanford University Libraries at this location:

    Access to Collection

    Open for research. Physical boxes can be paged for use through Searchworks. Born-digital files can be downloaded from:

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Trubshaw, Roy
    Computer games--Design.
    Computer games--History.
    Computer games--Programming.
    Science--History.