Some time ago I wanted to start new project. Basically it was web based MUD. Yes. There is a lot of them, and most of them sucks. Yeah, I know, really know.
But what makes them sucks? To find answer first You must know what makes MUD survive in MMORPG times. Text based interface has some advantages over still not so good 3D graphics. It is players imagination – without visualisation it is easier to imagine worlds which You are wandering through. At least for me, but I’m old RPG (no CRPG) fan. IMO there is one requirement. Player have to be able interact with MUD engine fast. This means that each delay in communication between player and MUD (in both directions) is bad. Web based MUD are slow (page refresh) or just fall in other category than classic MUD.
I had an idea to make web based MUD, but with AJAX based interface. AJAX provides way to interact fast with engine, but as far as I know there is no way to send asynchronously data from server to client (there are some hacks but they are just hacks :) ). It is important for player to see everything what is going around him. It is possible using AJAX periodically check whether is something to show to player, but it has two main drawbacks. First it is performance problem (every client is sending requests to server no matter if there is some action), second one some delay – checking every second means up to second of delay.
Ideal solution would be write telnet client in Java Script, but I’m not sure whether JS engine can make direct network connections (AFAIK – no). Without this it would be hard to write telnet client in Java Script. With such client it can be possible to embed it in web page and provide fast interaction player/engine and have possibility to use browsers graphical capabilities.
So AJAX MUD will stay as only idea (I was thinking about some MUD with very strong economy background – something like old Settlers games), but as for now it is only idea – maybe somebody find it useful and start with this something interesting.
And my interest in MUDs will be still limited to few minutes daily to develop my old and rusty MUD – DiesIrae (in polish) – diesirae.mud.org.pl.
And to answer to question in post title – of course it is possible, but is this worth trying? As for now I have no time to checki it out, other things are more important.