Guide to Papers of Richard A. Bartle, ca. 1979-1997 M1410

Finding aid prepared by Charlotte Thai
Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
Stanford University Libraries.
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, California, 94305
Repository email: speccollref@stanford.edu
May 2014


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.

 

Series 1: MUD1 (Multi-User Dungeon) Archival Materials

Physical Description: 2.0 Linear feet 1 manuscript box, 1 flat box

Scope and Contents

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.This consists of the digital file for the MUD1 source code, which is available online through the Stanford University Libraries at this location: http://purl.stanford.edu/wh632tj5702
Box 1

MUD1 Collection Notes

Scope and Contents

These are notes written by Richard A. Bartle that are inserted in the first (unnumbered) folder in the manuscript box. They 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.
Box 1, Folder 2

Photocopied Sheets "Database Format for Dungen"

Box 1, Folder 3

Photocopied Sheets "Dungen"

Box 1, Folder 4

Photocopied Sheets "Directory"

Box 1, Folder 7

Photocopied Sheets "MUDDLE reference manual"

Box 1, Folder 8

Map area north of the road

Box 1, Folder 9

Original map to the goblin lair

Box 1, Folder 10

Original map to the mine

Box 1, Folder 11

Map used in design for dwarf realm

Box 1, Folder 12

Travel table

Box 1, Folder 13

Map of glade area

Box 1, Folder 14

Sheet of ideas for inclusion in MUD

Box 1, Folder 15

Map of the dragon isle

Box 1, Folder 17

Photocopied Sheets, "A Muse"

Box 1, Folder 19

Original sketch map of "Valley"

Box 1, Folder 21

Nodal map of "Valley"

Box 1, Folder 22

Design notes for the MUDDLE programming language

Box 1, Folder 23

MUD-2 Preliminary documentation

Box 1, Folder 24

Implementation notes for the MUDDLE parser

Box 1, Folder 25

Maps for the inn and beneath the inn

Box 1, Folder 26

Maps that accompany the North Mountain area

Box 1, Folder 30

Map to sew Valley onto MUD1

Box 1, Folder 31

White dot matrix sheet "mmosolm.pas"

Box 1, Folder 32

Research materials for maps accompanying pagoda area

Flat-box 1, Folder 1

Green lineprinter paper, Sequence #4221

Flat-box 1, Folder 5

Green lineprinter paper, Sequence #3010

Flat-box 1, Folder 6

Photocopied lineprinter paper

Flat-box 1, Folder 16

Green lineprinter paper, Sequence #1046

Flat-box 1, Folder 18

Green lineprinter paper, Sequence #1201

Flat-box 1, Folder 20

First full map of MUD version 3

Flat-box 1, Folder 28

White lineprinter paper, Sequence #1100 and #1101

Flat-box 1, Folder 29

Descriptions of MUD module extension "Valley"

 

Series 2: MUD1 Source Code

Physical Description: 35.0 computer file(s) 777 KB

Scope and Contents

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: