Planning your area.

This section will deal with the basic concepts for planning your area. Currently, this section is far from complete.  In the future it will contain a much larger and more helpfile guide for building areas.  If you want to search for more detailed information please vist the resources section.

And so it begins:

All areas need a consistant theme. By using a theme or idea for your area, it is easier to build it.

Our theme for these guides will be 'The castle of Mithras' Mithras is an evil necromancer who gets his power from an ancient artifact he discovered many years ago. His castle is guarded by the bodies and spirits of it's previous inhabitants whom he murdered, after having asked for shelter.

Once you have decided on your theme, stick to it. The next step is to map out on paper the links between each room. Then the names of your mobiles, and the names of your objects, and the final part you have to decide what level of player you want the area to fit.

DON'T limit yourself by building specifically for LARGE players.  Smaller and younger players need new places too explore, quest, exp, and pk in too.  DON'T try to make your first area an insanely difficult area with some super item at the end.  Start off with something simple.

Some basic hints to help new builders get started:

1. Come up with an idea or theme for your area.  You might even consider writing a (brief) story about your area.  This will help you later when you begin to flesh out the mobs, objects, and rooms in your area.

2.. Talk with one of the Administrators on the mud for which you intend to build an area.  Run your idea by him or her and see what he/she thinks.  If they think it will fit their mud, continue to step 3.  If not ask them what they would suggest you build.  There's no point in building an area for your favourite mud if they don't want it.

3. Draw a map of your area. It doesn't have to be perfect, just a rough map showing where the various regions of your area are.  Once you're happy with this you can start peicing it together with boxes and dashes.  It's also helpful to designate which part of the map is North, south, east, and west.

4. List all of the mobiles and objects you intend to fill your area.  This is where the story proves helpful.  It's also helpful to list your room names at this point, and assign them to rooms on your maps. You can fill in the room descriptions now or wait til later.

5.  Take your time and do one thing at a time.  You'll find it easier if you build all of your rooms, then your mobiles, then your objects.  You don't have to limit yourself to this order, but pick one that helps you stay organized.  This will save you time.

6. Check for spelling errors and/or typos.  Check your grammar.  It's also wise to check your wordwrap.  MZF does not wrap lines, so you'll have to open the file in a text editor fix this manually.

7. Be creative!!!  If you get in a rut, take some time off.  I personally wouldnt rush an area, if you can only do 1 or 2 good room descriptions per day, then only do 1 or 2.  Remember you're not getting payed for this (or you'd be violating Merc/Diku/GW/VW licenses) and the main reason you're doing this is because you want to.

8.  Check this site often for updates.  This site should have most of what you need to fine tune your area after you have the basic structure built with MZF.


Tools of the trade

 You will need various bits of software, to get your area finished and added to the area's on the mud.
  • Your Idea.
  • A pencil and paper.
  • MZF
  • Windows Notepad/Wordpad or other Text editor. (I recommend UltraEdit-32).
  • Don't use a word processor! A word processor (Such as MS Word)will do nasty things to your area file. They do not use plain text/ASCII format, and they will also add embedded page control functions. This will cause errors when you attempt to load the area.


Back to the main page.
Overview of an area.

This site is maintained by Azazel.