Wing Commander MUSH revival?


1st Lieutenant
Ahem, I didn't want to toss this in the projects section as it isn't exactly a project yet, just something I'd like to discuss before I dip my toes into the water so to speak.

For several years now, I’ve occasionally heard idle talk of ‘reliving the glory days’ or ‘I wish there was a MUSH as good as Wing Command: Red Horizons was.’ Well, I’ve had enough of it. It’s time I either get off my lazy carcass and work on creating a new MUSH based around the Wing Commander theme, or I find some hole to live in deep in the wild.

For those of you who are even remotely interested in helping to create a Wing Commander/Privateer based game, please by all means let’s start discussing what you would like to see. I’ll go ahead and start off with what I am personally interested in doing should I drum up enough interest:

I am hoping to see a core playerbase centered around the Border Worlds, Confed, and of course the Kilrathi. Despite this core that I hope to see, I would very much enjoy having a large number of players invested in private organizations, pirating, profiteering (Weapons Manufacturing, Smuggling, etc), trade between the many systems, etc.

Some things I’d like to discuss:

Space Systems: Do we want something akin to Hspace which is a text based space system that mimics 3D space flying as best as possible in a text based environment, do we want a roleplaying space system, or some crazy hybrid version of both?

Economy: There are a plethora of PennMUSH (or would you rather use TinyMUSH?) and TinyMUSH economy systems out there. Would you like to check out the economy systems that are already out there, try and make our own, or what?

Sheet System: What kind of stat system would you like to see? Percentage, Pip, some sort of D6 system, etc.

I have several other ideas that I’d like to discuss, but for right now, I figured I’d go ahead and keep things limited to these questions and ideas as hopefully a starting point from which we can begin.

Additionally: Are you someone who used to run Wing Commander RH or its short lived predecessor: Evolutions and/or have Source Code from either version of Wing Commander? If so, I’d really like to access it (with your permission) and use it as a start for people to log on to and check everything out.

Er, a few final things: Just by reading this, you’ve expressed at least some curiosity, go ahead and sound off. Even if it’s something like: Dude, goat… This thing you ask of us… It will never work. And second: If I can drum up even a LITTLE interest, I’ll go ahead and purchase some hosting space as a starting point where people can meet and greet. Lastly: Whenever I set my sights on something, I get it. Right now, my sights are set on getting a (successful) Wing Commander MUSH up and running.

Thank you for taking the time to review this little potential project of mine.

Someone asked me earlier today about why I wanted the old Wing Commander: Red Horizons code. It's simple: From what I saw of it, the economy system that was set up simply couldn't be beat.

Another question that has come up: Who was I on Wing Commander. Well, I've been known as several names: Logan Oberste (from just before Horizons switched over to Wing Commander), Gord Chisman, Dakhath n'Caxki (yep, the infamous Dralthi pilot), Seether Mk I (the one that enjoyed plotting the death of people, not the one who liked to hit it up with the ladies).

And Finally: Why? I've stated it before on the first post, but I'll make it clear: Wing Commander: Red Horizons was the single most astonishingly fun game I've ever played. Every time I play a game both graphical and text based, I compare it to RH. Most games fall way short, some have come close, but none have exceeded both the potential that was offered from RH and the amazing roleplay and crazy fleet engagements that were had.
Dear god. The WC:RH economy system was a randomized godawful mess. Trust me, you do NOT want that code. It ... no. Just, no.

Otherwise, goat, this thing you ask of me -- I could not do, for I did not retain any of the code. There were others. Good luck on that.
Good stuff Pip. So, I'll be looking into possibly using other code for the Economy system or possibly not one at all. Also, I love you for using the line I suggested. :) (in a manly way)

So, an update: I've had several people express interest, so I'm definitely going to go ahead and purchase some space somewhere and open up a site for development/discussion for the future of the game.

A couple of things that were brought up through emails and PMs:

First: Yes, I am still working on getting a Wing Commander game up. As mentioned in the first post, when I set my sights on something, I don't stop until it's complete.

Second: A few people have mentioned that they do in fact want to start sometime during the Kilrathi War, which is good. I was really hoping for that. No specific time period has been discussed at the moment.

Third: One person has mentioned that he wouldn't mind seeing the game starting off as one crew on a ship as a sort of prequel of some sort to the actual game opening. We actually ended up having a very detailed conversation about it that I won't bring up here as, if we do go that route, I'd like to definitely flesh out and run as a hopefully kickass scene/plot Only question: Kilrathi or Human crew? Or maybe one of both and do a couple of big plots pre-open.

Notes on the word plot: I'm of the hope that this game will be player created and driven. When I mention plots, scenes, storytelling, etc, what I am meaning is that individual players can come up with things to do with other players and run scenes all on their own. Yes, I believe that some of the bigger things should be held by the staff (admin or top tier players of each org/company/etc), but I want to encourage players to be motivated toward making a rich and enjoyable game.

On to number 4: Two people who have talked with me have mentioned that they prefer RP over the fast paced action that is available to us through HSpace when it comes to Space Combat. I've thought of this but I want to ask several more people their opinions before we settle in on it. HSpace can be designed to be able to do both.

And Finally: Can I be X? In short: Yes, you can play X. In a roleplaying game, I prefer to have players play and do what they want as long as they enjoy themselves. Want to do something as 'simple' as running a bar? Sure, why not. Want to run an independent station out in B.F.E.? Go right ahead. :)

I'll wrap up this update by saying: Thank you to everyone who has responded to me through email, PM, and of course Pip for responding to me on the forum. Soon to come: A link and a guide to how to connect to a MUSH!
Both questions Answered:

Red Horizons was a text based game based off of the theme of Wing Commander. At the very beginning, the game ran fairly close to canon, but the staff wanted to allow the players to shape the game based off of what actually took place on the MUSH.

The game, if I remember correctly, started off sometime during the late WC2/early WC3 time period and veered off after that. Several different events took place after that point due to the players (again, I stress this as it was VERY awesome) drove the game and the game's history in a slightly different yet similar direction.

A few divergences come to mind: The Tiger's Claw did not assist in the destruction of Kilrah. I believe the Tiger's Claw was destroyed. Another notable change was: Seether actually flew out of the same carrier as Blair and his sidekick for a time. He recruited some of the best pilots and eventually headed up the Black Lance with Tolwyn. A final notable event: A player ran corporation eventually started its own nation while the Confederation was in a weakened state.

What is a MUSH: I believe the letters stand for Multi User Shared Hallucination. What that means? Heck if I know. Basically, it's a (in my opinion) better/cooler version of mIRC. It is a game where players can go to practically 24/7 to play a game instead of always scheduling one or two days out of the week to do something with a couple of guys. Generally people code up things like dice rolling, an economy system, and sometimes an interactive text based space system for players to immerse themselves more fully into a game system.

(edited portion)

I found an old advertisement for Red Horizons and here it is:

Wing Commander: Red Horizon is a large MUSH based loosely around the infamous Wing Commander series of computer games. The story of RH is craft almost entirely by the actions of the players, evident by the comprehensive timeline that has already been woven by the participants in this epic. Players have nearly limitless capability for evolution, from being a fighter pilot in the Terran Confederation, a backwater system Marine in the Union of Border Worlds, the Baron of a Kilrathi Clan, President of the Galaxies Top Trading Guild, or nearly anything else that comes to mind. WC:RH offers a handsome Science Fiction alternative to the more common themes, and gives plenty of room for flexibility with its pseudo-realistic environment and believable take on Science Fiction. The game is more an original world than strict Wing Commander canon by this point, and thus very little prior thematic knowledge is needed to enjoy Red Horizon.

(Sidenote: I am not seeking to recreate Red Horizons, I am seeking to create a new MUSH based off of the Wing Commander theme) :)

The guys there can get you started, even though it's a MUD, not a MUSH. The company that created blackmud will, upon request, give you a starter pack into making one of your own. You can e-mail them, find them on the forums, or even get into the game and 'pray' to them OOC. Hope that helps some.
All right, who wants an update? You do?! Well here are a couple of updates:

For all you old Wing Commander: Red Horizon junkies, I bring you this:

Wing Commander: Red Horizon 2197

Rincewind and x run this site at the moment. x mentioned recently that he may be interested in opening the site up to allow players to run amok and fly about space until we all kill each other then start the game all over again and let us at each other again! He's thinking of setting it up where there is no staff, just players going crazy.

For all of you who are wanting to possibly start up a new Wing Commander game, I bring you a another site I stumbled upon by a guy who used to go by the name Locke:

Wing Commander Ground Zero: 5500

Locke is looking at having a slightly smaller game, or maybe a more managed one. I haven't discussed in depth what his plans are. I do know that he's wanting to start the game off during Wing Commander 2's time period and looks to focus mainly on the conflict between the Confederation and the Kilrathi. He's discussed the idea of allowing small civilian factions to exist but wants to keep the number of civilian organizations small for the moment.

If neither one of those appeal to you, I am still going to be working on my own Wing Commander project. I felt that as I find games out there, I should go ahead and keep the Wing Commander CIC Forums updated.


(For this tutorial, we'll be using Red Horizon)

I know many of you likely have never played a text based game before other than on a message board or possible a chatroom program akin to mIRC. So, I'll give a quick overview on how to connect to these types of games and a short rundown of a few commands players can us.

First off, you'll likely want to get a client to use in order to connect to the game. Using telnet (if you even knew you had telnet on your computer) is clunky and doesn't offer much in the way of customization. Most telnet clients are free though some offer their services for a price. For this little tutorial, we are going to go with a freeware system called MUSHclient. Others may find an easier time using another client, but this is the one I am presently most adept with:

Assuming you have Windows or Linux as an operating system, go ahead and hit up and download the file located at: please, go to the website first to ensure that the download link is correct.

Once you've download and installed your game, you'll find yourself with a shortcut that looks like a genie lamp. Click on it and it'll load up a big tan background. Up in the upper left hand corner, you'll find the word: FILE click on it. Next, click on NEW WORLD. This will bring up a question on whether or not you want to open up a pre-existing world. Click NO.

Next it will bring up a window where the first option is to label the game you'll be playing. If you want to play Ground Zero, type in Ground Zero. For Red Horizon, type in Red Horizon. (again, we'll use Red Horizon as the example here)

Under TCP/IP type in (or copy/paste) Under PORT NUMBER type in 2197.

After that, click OKAY. This will automatically attempt to sign you into the game. Once the loading screen comes up, you'll want to either connect as a guest (type in: connect guest guest) or create a character on the game (example type in: create "Bob Dole" h4Ua5). Every time you connect after the first time, you'll use: (example) connect "Bob Dole" h4Ua5 to connect to the game.

Now you're connected! If you type in the command: who and press enter, it'll pull up a list of players online. You'll notice that the game isn't very populated at the moment, but it's going to be, soon! Another 'who' command that can be used is +staff. This of course brings up a list of staff member (Note: Administrators) that help to run the game.

To talk on the public channel, you can type @chan/on pub then type +p Hello! which will bring up: <Public> Bob Dole says, "Hello!"

To talk to someone privatly, you can type page goat=Hello. To continue talking to alias goat, you'll be able to use 'p <chat here>' to page someone else or multiple people at the same time, it'll be: page c13 goat bob=Hi there!

Also, to turn on color, type: @set me=color or @set me=ansi

In the near future (and upon request) I'll show people/players how to do different things around the games. I am presently working on developing a HSpace tutorial so that people can learn more about the amazing text base 3D environment that these games have to offer.

And that's all there is to it! I know it looks like a lot of stuff to do in order to connect to a Wing Commander game but trust me, it is definitely worth it! I hope to see you soon!

goat aka Maxx Carter on RH and Jason Murdok on GZ
This is a great idea. I'll link all the RH guys I still know of over to this thread, there's still a few of us that keep in touch.
Why continue with your own project when you could pick one of the existing ones and collaborate?

I think it's great that you have to drive to do your own thing, but I worry that there isn't a sufficient player base for one game to reach critical mass, let alone two.
So it's been several months and no one has heard from me. I know... I know.

I was deployed during that time and had little chance to continue my project dream until now. I'm looking to get back to work again here very soon. I'll keep this site updated.

To El Huz: The two other Wing Commander sites I listed are largely defunct. They are still 'up' so to speak, but the staff on both sites are no longer working on the games.
WC Mush revival

You know, I hate to say it, but I think things might work best almost as a pure RP mush instead of a space based game. Space games come down to who can type, twich, and figure out sometimes complicated math the fastest.

For capital ships, this is fine, since one person takes each a console. Get to fighters, it becomes a whole different story. While it sounds like some people in here are rather good for that, others are not.

A similar decaying concept (Star Trek) has had a lot of games (some featured in offline resources at times like Knights of the Dinner Table) that have abandoned space all together. Some have taken the route of doing this, and abandoning a stats system to go with. This would be a mistake in my opinion.

Many many years ago, there was available on the net the system, details, and everything you needed to get a tabletop version of Wing Commander running. The trek concepts that have abandoned space for the story telling have mostly taken these systems that are in place for Trek RPGs (Last Unicorn Games, and the Decipher system), and used those as the basis for determining things. Look up Star Trek Gamma One for an example of this, or it's predecessor, Anomaly Trekmush.

Pros to this style:

Anybody can get into it relatively easy. You don't have to know space systems to be a good pilot. Experience points and just experience roleplaying help this out.

You can create a story with this style of play, just like table top games, but on a bigger level. Think Play by Email games, but with a stats system behind it that you roll against. RH did have a stats system, but I never got to see how it applied to flying, if at all.

You could limit this to one or two ships and tell their stories (one Confed ship, one Kilrathi ship if you wish). Or choose one ship and tell its story. Personally, I think it could be interesting to have two ships, players can play a character on one or both, and tell stories that weave in and out (story lines of the two ships intersect every so many months).

In a weird way this is close to the games. You have a chance to tell stories, and the players actions bear out what happens to them. You send them on a dangerous mission and they succeed, great, have an idea of the consequences. They blow that mission, take the story that way.

Cons to this style:

Got anyone who can code the stats system behind it?

Not everyone is used to this style (you get it rather quickly)

You need several staff, not for the coding (you need at least one of those), but story staff. Obviously with just like 5 or 10 players, you can have one or two people writing story plots. With 20-30 or more active players, (and if you go one ship each side), you'll need several more plot writers, and of course, someone to oversee the overall plot. It can be pretty intense, but I think worth it.

Well, keep this in mind too, I think you might even get more cic people on that type of game.
I've discussed the issue of the space system with several people over the past and the consensus is roughly the same as yours concerning the space system. There have been several suggestions for 'a better way' one of which is the system coded for one of the Battlestar games. It's basically a 2D system that allows plenty of room for roleplaying instead of having to rely on twitch skills, macros, and who has the fastest internet connection to win.

The stats system in RH did apply to flying greatly. Someone who had 50% in gunnery found it difficult (if not impossible) to shoot down a pilot who had 100% in piloting for instance. While the system was mostly 'twitch' when you got down to it, there -was- some stats required to get the job done.

For a stat system, I really haven't even gotten that far yet. I'll start snooping around the net for what you've suggested and continue to work with those who have bugged me the most to hash out what might be the best for the future of this project.

On stories:

You aren't the first person to suggest focusing on one or two ships! It's a very interesting idea and something I'm wanting to do myself. The only problem with this is the fact that there will be players who are only interested in being independent types who can go off and do their own thing. There is obviously the simple option of not allowing that, but why limit players in that regard? All decisions I'll (and future staff) need to deal with over the coming months.

Thanks for the information and suggestions Maverick, I'll keep everything in mind.

Edit: Found the space system used by Faraday and thought I might post it here. VERY simple stuff:

Well, as some of you may know, I was Josh Fowler on RH. I later went on to create the origional themed game Beyond the Fire: MUSH. I would love to see the code live on as its highly developed and uses a highly hacked version of HSPACE that wouldn't be too terribly hard to convert to a jumpgate style system. The universe has 15 sectors of 4-7 systems each which has fully desced worlds ect.. Contact me logan.. I'd like to talk to the old crew anyway.
I would have to say, in regards to those who might want to be independent... with the exception of the Privateer games to a certain extent, when did you really have that option in the games?

In my opinion, it comes down to the idea of what do you want to create with your game. Do you wish to recreate the dramatic story elements of Wing Commander 2 (story wise my personal favorite in the series) in text based form, or are you trying to recreate a text based version of Wing Commander Arena?

Sadly it is a distinction that needs to be made in MU*s these days. If you allow everybody to just fend for themselves, it's hard to tell stories on a galactic scale (since you know, all those players behaving as independents could go in ways different than what you want. You may be trying to tell the story of a Kilrathi ship trying to show mercy to the Terran's they've defeated, and instead have the Kilrathi players decide to viciously murder the players). You can tell stories limited to on ships in those cases, but it's harder on a galactic scale like that.

On the other hand yes, if you limit it to one or two ships, the players are limited, but it opens things up for actually living and playing as a character in the Wing Commander universe. So again, as I stated earlier.

So yes. If you limit players, you can focus things more, but they can't just go off and do whatever. If you don't limit players, there's not as much control that can be exercised.

Is it just about letting people duke it out via text, or is it about creating an awesome story in the WC universe? That's the big decision you have to come to.
Well, as some of you may know, I was Josh Fowler on RH. I later went on to create the origional themed game Beyond the Fire: MUSH. I would love to see the code live on as its highly developed and uses a highly hacked version of HSPACE that wouldn't be too terribly hard to convert to a jumpgate style system. The universe has 15 sectors of 4-7 systems each which has fully desced worlds ect.. Contact me logan.. I'd like to talk to the old crew anyway.

Ol' Josh Fowler! I remember you man, you were my CO on the TCS Churchill for a while ;-). Beyond the Fire's Hspace code was quite excellent and I would love to see it live on as well and applied to another Wing Commander mush in the future.
Is it just about letting people duke it out via text, or is it about creating an awesome story in the WC universe? That's the big decision you have to come to.

You can do both though. On Red Horizon for instance, we had a lot of people living the independent life. Trading, RPing, hanging out, doing their own thing. It was optional to join the game's militaries. Among the Space Force branch of the militaries learning the (basic) math and acquiring the talent to fly and fight in a (often) large scale battle -was- quite a challenge for pilots but that only added to their RP, as learning to fly and fight shouldn't be easy by any means. It didn't diminish RP for pilots whatsoever, I assure you. Really we mixed it up pretty well and the system we had allowed for a lot of roleplay combined with complex and dynamic space battles that pitted many many human opponents against one another at a time.

Flying wasn't the only thing you could do in the military though, there were a LOT of marines and engineers and meds and navigators and people who never touched an HSpace console during the tenure of their characters' careers. Flying and participating in the Hspace battles was an optional challenge but IMO it only added to the game.

Really, like other MUSHes it was basically a precursor of MMOs. We had a pretty free and open world and people made the characters they wanted to make.

ps. At the end of the game's storyline, when everything was winding down, it did become obligatory for most human civilian characters to join the military since basically they instituted conscription in preparation for the final battles. I remember because I was the guy they picked to train up all those civies so I remember firsthand how hard it was for people to learn to dogfight. And even then, it was one thing to fight someone one on one but it was completely different to fight in the middle of a massive battle, it was a confusing mess even for people with experience. Most of them ended up getting blown up in the last battle, haha. Really, I thought the mixture of HSpace and RP was the prime factor that contributed towards making Red Horizon an "awesome story set in the WC universe". It honestly would not have had the same feel if those battles had been role played or if the mechanics of flight had been role played.
I spent some time on RH myself back in the day, so I do know what it was like.

Primarily, I have played the Starwars/Startrek type games. A famous Trek Mu* that in many ways I equate my experience on RH with is Among the Stars (ATS). Games like ATS were console jockey games primarily. Sure, you could do other things, but primarily console jockey whether independently or part of one of the factions of Trek.

Then I found the RP style game. While it's a dramatic difference, it was much more RP and story oriented. I literally equate much of the experience to basically doing table top gaming. Sure, you don't have the action that comes from macros, and timing and the quick typing and button pushing... but you also don't die if you get disconnected from the net for some reason. If you want to see good examples of the type of thing I'm talking about, check out Which is season 2 archive of one of the trek RPGs out there that does story as opposed to console jockeying.

One other advantage to this style system. What if your game only attracts 15 players, and each player ends up in a different place at the same time. That's going to be a lot of flying or the like just to be able to actually roleplay with someone... If everyone is on the same grid, not an issue so much.
Maverick, that won't be the case for a game like Wing Commander. And the answer is simple: Limit where they can start out at, encourage the players to group together and do things together, drop plots on peoples' heads and put them in places you want them. :) And Concordia, in case you forgot my email while you wer deployed, get with me on RH. @mail me on there or just plop on sometime during the evening. Also, welcome back home, just got home myself.