If you know even a little bit about the history of the MMORPG genre, you’ll be aware that these games didn’t start with World of Warcraft or even Ultima Online (no matter what you were told in world chat). Instead, the first real MMO came about in 1978 with the debut of a text-only virtual world called MUD1 that was created by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle.
While the introduction of a text MMO was significant to the gaming genre, the innovations didn’t stop there. At a 2010 GDC session that’s been making the rounds again this past month, Bartle explained how the pair had to create many “guiding principles” of MMOs from scratch — and that many of these principles are still in effect and influencing our games even now.
Ultima Online creator Raph Koster endorsed the following video by saying, “If you want to see how much (and how little) online worlds have changed since 1978, you should watch this video. I was there at this session, and Richard Bartle lays bare some of the original design decisions that are with us to this day.”