Zone Basics & Hints

Users of MAKE.ZONES.FAST should have at least have some experience with DIKUs, and will understand the basic diku concepts of armor, levels, and the et cetera.

Nowadays, many mud-admins express the wish to have an entirely unique world. Unfortunately, building is time consuming and requires no mean amount of skill, with the added 'bonus' of being hard to learn. MZF tries to make it easier to build zones by letting writers use a GUI instead of putting numeric flags into a text editor. Here are some basic rules:

Do it on paper first. Do it big.

    Areas always seem to shrink while you're building it, from a cross of aggravation and editing. Having a map to work from helps a LOT when doing exits, and provides a visual impetus to getting all those tedious bits done.

An area will take twice as long as you think it will to build.

    A certain boredom sets in sometimes. just set it aside for awhile if this happens; its better to build when you want to then turn out something uninspired. (Actually, there is no way to tell what the multiplier will be. it may be 10 times as long or more -- Slash)

Be fair with the items:
    Good items should be hard to get. Lousy items should require much less effort. Give the most powerful items actually to a mob; theives and mages can often steal stuff on the ground without even bothering with the mob. Thieves can also pick locks unless they are pick-proof, and any idiot with a pass door potion can walk right through any door...(unless it's PASS PROOF)

Entering your zone into MZF:
    (Notice how low this is on the list.) Get out your paper map and number all the rooms with two digit numbers. Fire up MZF and open a new zone using vnum 9900 or your assigned vnum. Enter all of your rooms in the order of the numbers on your map, then go back and enter all of your mobiles and all of your objects. Then go back to your rooms, and reset mobiles into them using the "Mobile Add" button. If you have a 'test server', you should test out the zone at this point and see how it looks. When you are satisfied with how your zone plays, use MZF to export your text to a word processor and spell check it, then put it onto the main server and start playing it!

It's handy to be able to test new areas at home.

    If you are looking for a MUD server for your own PC I have provided some Server Information.


If you can't figure out how something was set up in the mud but want something like that in your zone you can get all the area files for Merc by anon ftp from the same place.

Try to figure out what zones you liked to play in, and emulate the item and treasure distribution in them...

If you are planning on submitting your zone to the net at large, the common practice is to replace the first two digits of all your vnums with QQ. Then, the imp who puts it in can assign a vnum quite simply with find/replace. (Not everyone has a nifty RENUMBER like MZF)

Rainman is now keeping an archive of Area Building Tips.
Recently someone sent me some mail, reminding me that some of these tips originated with the CAW organization. That is correct. MZF and these pages have built on the work of many, many people. For more information on those whose work has been invaluable to the project, see The MAKE.ZONES.FAST credits page.

If you would like to see new links or ideas on these pages please emailme at the address below.

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Last updated July 5, 1996