Almior Interview

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The following is a list of questions sent to Almior, and his responses which were received on July 6th 2020, by Starhound via email in an effort to gather historical information regarding Lost Souls.


How did the idea to start Lost Souls/a mud come into existence? && Who, or what, is Krynn?

Krynn was a wholly different mud.   I was a player and eventually became a 'wizard' or developer on that mud.  That was not my first
but close to my first mud ever.  A few months after I became a wizard there and started trying to fix things and code my own tricky
bits, Krynn lost it's funding and closed forever (as far as I know).
I was online friends with a few people from there, and RL friends with a few others.  While talking about what we should do Loviatar
and I discussed running our own mud and we started Lost Souls.  Several of our friends from Krynn were supportive and wanted to come
join us.  We recruited all the wizards from Krynn and quite a few came over to the project. Krynn was based on a series of novels in
the Dragonlance series.  We chose to make Lost Souls not based on any existing canon. That is not to say that elements don't come in
from time to time from other stories, but the retelling in Lost Souls was unencumbered.
Bectile was an original Krynn developer that came over with us.  Nightmare, Ambidexter came later as far as I can recall.  Fixy for
certain came later as a player to Lost Souls.  Bectile was awesome at the story based quest line stuff. I hadn't seen anything like
it before and Everquest/WoW type games were the first I played after Lost Souls that had the same feel as her stuff.
Chaos also came later -- I think a little after Fixy joined. 
Chaos and Fixy certainly were both players on Lost Souls before getting their credentials to join the wizards corps. Eventually Fixy
became the host as he had the bandwidth and I had left the university.

What was your role out of the founding developers/wizards of Lost Souls?

Loviatar and I actually founded it.   She had the idea and I had the hardware and network. I had a lot of support and a bunch of the
founding developers/wizards were highly instrumental -- likely would not have gotten done without them.
So, with my IT job at the university and access to spare hardware and public bandwidth I was the initial host.

What caused your departure from the community and project entirely?

I was a system administrator at the University of Houston while working on my undergrad CS degree. The university/campus was very
forgiving and accepting of a bunch of things -- I turned a demo system I was given for one of our projects into one of the original
servers Lost Souls ran on.   Eventually I grew tired of the low pay and long hours, and my boss said he couldn't afford to hire any
help so I left the university for greener pastures.  
Along with the new job came a family and relocation to another city.  

How did Chaos come into the equation and eventually become sole leader/owner of the game?

As I said above Chaos in the early days came to Lost Souls as a player, and played through until he earned his wizard status. Then
he became a developer, with deeply interesting ideas and solutions.   We all came to trust him so he eventually got a _lot_ of access.
When I left the project he was leading, with Fixy running the server.  I'm sure he became the sole leader/owner due to attrition of
everyone else who had a claim and/or desire to run it.

Are you still in contact with other original founders? Correct me if my list of names is wrong but those I know of: Nightmare, Fixy, Ambidexter and Bectile. And are you still in contact with Chaos also?

No, I haven't heard from any of the other founders in a long time.  I had until recently I was still reading the "Savior"  not sure
if that was something that got turned off

Did you expect the project to continue on as long as it has when it started?

Oh, yes.  Do things well enough and they will last a long time.   Or maybe that was just youthful idealism that persists.

Do you still play or are involved in muds? If so, which?


Do you have any advice for an individual running a mud in 2020?

Anyone who says their brand of new game is a mud killer is wrong.  Or at least just speaking for themselves.
Remember it's a social game.
try to pull in modern software development like git, ci/cd, code reviews, and pull requests -- these translate to real world skills

Do you happen to have any original copies of the game itself?

No, I purged a bunch of really old backup disks so anything I would have had is gone now.

Do you have anything you'd like to say or tell the current developers or players of the game?

Remember it's a social game.

If you went back to the early 90s with what you know, and have available tech wise now. What is something you would have loved to have done?

graphical interface via html5 and svg.
That would be pretty darn cool.   Even if the graphics are simple 2d with no shading it would have been mind blowing to the 90s
players.  I don't know what's available today but it might be pretty awesome for today. When we started there weren't even any
clients which became a thing later -- some of your players may have never used anything else.   Raw telnet is what we used.

Do you have any weird or strange experiences or memories from your time involved with the project?

I once took a road trip to another city in Texas with some RL friends and developers on the Mud to meet another developer, but
she got cold feet.  I'm pretty sure it was because we all wanted to meet her at the strip club where she was a stripper.  It was
semi-public knowledge and one of the other female developers suggested the idea. But I think in retrospect that was probably
something she wasn't that proud of.   We took the road trip anyway, but never met up with her and she dropped off after that.
I've never met Fixy or Chaos face to face.  I don't think I've ever even seen pictures of them.   Zoom wasn't around but certainly webex and other technologies were.
I was working in Austin as a system administrator years later and was supporting some developers who said they needed help with
one of their tools. I can't recall the tool name, but in digging into it I found it was based on LPC from lpmud, so I was able to
sort of connect the dots and solve their problem.   Since then I've become a bit curmudgeonly and would strongly recommend against
a tool bringing in their own language from another domain.

Do you miss anything about being part of the project?

Oh, sure.   Those were great times, great people, and generally a very good creative outlet. I've gone on to help found which is a pen and paper RPG supplement (and I still use it today). In fact I'm helping some of the
developers who play in my group tie MapTool to D&DBeyond so that you can import your characters to play.
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