Starting with version 6.50, zMUD has supported Simutronic's games such as Gemstone III and Dragonrealms directly. This support includes login, embedded GSL code parsing, and image display. This document describes some of the details of this support and includes tips for getting the most out of your game using zMUD.
To learn more about Simutronic games, go to their main web page at http://www.play.net. Simutronics games are commercial MUD games. They are much like any other free text-based MUD game, except they have a greater depth and larger player base than a typical free MUD. Most Simutronic games offer a free 30-day initial play trial, and then charge a small monthly fee after the initial 30-days.
There is no additional cost for using zMUD with these Simutronic games. In fact, you have your choice of game client. You can use the Simutronic Java-based MUD client and play from within your web browser (called the Wizard front end). zMUD offers many of the same features of the Wizard client, but provides all of the normal scripting power of zMUD, along with the speed of a native Windows MUD client that you just can't get from a Java-based client. zMUD even includes support for the graphical images in the game that are displayed by the Wizard client.
To log into a Simutronic game, simply double-click one of the provided icons in the main zMUD character selection screen. Or, create your own character icon and enter EACCESS.PLAY.NET|GameCode into the Hostname field for your character, where "GameCode" is one of the Simutronic game codes listed below:
|DragonRealms: The Fallen||DRF|
|Hercules & Xena||HX|
When you try to connect to your character, you will be presented with a login screen. Enter your Simutronic's Account name and password in the screen. If you do not have an account yet, simply click the New Account button. You can also select a different game from this screen. If you check the Auto Login option, then zMUD will skip this screen in the future and automatically log you in with the account information you provide. Your password is encrypted before it is saved to your preferences file, however.
After logging into your account, you will then be presented with a character selection screen. You can have several different characters for each of the games. The number of characters depends upon the game and the type of Simutronics account that you have. Existing characters created for the game will be shown, and available slots for "New Characters" will be shown. Select the character you want to play and click OK. If you want to automatically play the same character each time using the Auto Login, check the "Always use this character" option.
Once you have selected your character, it will be stored with your zMUD character icon in the Character Name field as the value "AccountName|CharacterName". You can edit this field for your character at any time to change your account or character name.
Unlike free MUD games, Simutronic MUD games are enhanced with proprietary features that are now supported directly in zMUD. Specifically, a command protocol called GSL is used to send special information between the MUD server and MUD client. zMUD recognizes these GSL codes and acts appropriately.
For example, GSL codes are used to communicate the current room name, description, and exits to zMUD, and zMUD sends that information to the Automapper to help you map the game. GSL codes are used to send your current hitpoints, mana, spirit to the zMUD client, and zMUD can display these values on your status bar or as graphical gauges. GSL codes are also used to trigger background music, or special graphical images within the game.
As with their proprietary Wizard front-end, zMUD is able to display the custom graphics used within the Simutronic games. These images are used for character portraits, room art, and other purposes. A small image is displayed within the MUD text window, and if you double-click the image, a larger version of the image will be displayed in a popup window. Custom character portraits are available to premium accounts in some of the games.
zMUD provides several additional scripting features for Simutronic games.
NOTE: Please read and follow the published terms and conditions of your Simutronic game account. Many games do not permit unattended scripting, or "bots". Although zMUD provides powerful scripting, players should not use this scripting to violate their conditions of play. As mentioned in the terms and conditions for your Simutronic's game account, your account can be terminated if you violate their rules. Please do not use zMUD to violate the posted rules of these games!
The communication between the zMUD client and the game server is done via GSL codes that have been mentioned in the previous section. Each of these codes starts with a letter from A-Z and a-z (they are case sensitive). For example, the X code is used to send current hitpoint information from the game to the client.
You can view the current contents of each of these GSL "Variables" in the GSL Preferences screen. The last data received for each GSL code is displayed. You can access this data within your scripts using the %gsl function. For example, %gsl(X) returns the current hitpoints value (the last value sent by the game server). zMUD does not attempt to parse any of this data itself since many of the codes are game-specific. However, if the player has some knowledge of the GSL codes, you can use the %gsl function to access that data and take appropriate action in your scripts.
You can also Trigger on GSL commands. Create a normal trigger, but change it's "Type" to GSL (in the Advanced Options tab of the Trigger editor screen). GSL Triggers are like normal triggers, but they test the GSL command codes rather than testing the normal text sent by the MUD. GSL Triggers are ALWAYS CASE SENSITIVE, and always force the pattern match to start at the beginning of the command. So, the first letter of your trigger pattern will be the GSL code letter. For example, to trigger on the X command, enter X as the trigger pattern.
Before executing your trigger, zMUD will automatically parse the GSL command for any numeric or text arguments. These will be places into the %1..%99 variables for use in your trigger. So, for example, using the X trigger, the %1 variable will contain the hitpoint value that the MUD server is sending to the client.
You cannot change the GSL data sent to the client. However, you can take action on these commands in order to set variables, update buttons, or run commands.
zMUD automatically assigns variable names to capture the hitpoints, mana, and spirit values from the game. See the GSL Preferences screen for these variables. The variables are created in the System|GSL class folder by default. For example, instead of using %gsl(X) to query your hitpoints, zMUD already stores this value into the @hp variable in the System|GSL folder.
zMUD also allows you to customize your MUD prompt. The default prompt is the > character. You can change this prompt in the GSL Preferences screen. This prompt is expanded before it is displayed, so you can add zMUD variables or functions to this prompt if you wish. For example, you can set the prompt to: [hp:@hp mana:@mana] if you want it to display your hitpoints and mana on each MUD prompt.
If you have suggestions on other features you'd like to see in the zMUD client, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or post to our Discussion forums at www.zuggsoft.com. If you have questions about the Simutronic's games themselves, or have billing or login questions, please contact Simutronic's directly from their web site at http://www.play.net. Happy zMUDding!