DikuMUD is a multiplayer text-based role-playing game, which is a type of MUD. It was written in 1990 and 1991 by Sebastian Hammer, Tom Madsen, Katja Nyboe, Michael Seifert, and Hans Henrik Stærfeldt at DIKU (Datalogisk Institut Københavns Universitet)—the department of computer science at the University of Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Commonly referred to as simply “Diku”, the game was greatly inspired by AberMUD, though Diku became one of the first multi-user games to become popular as a freely-available program for its agameplay and similarity to Dungeons & Dragons. The gameplay style of the great preponderance of DikuMUDs is hack and slash, which is seen proudly as emblematic of what DikuMUD stands for.

Diku’s source code was first released in 1990.

Development and history

The making of DikuMUD was first announced on Usenet by Hans Henrik Stærfeldt March 27, 1990. At the time Tom Madsen, Sebastian Hammer, and Stærfeldt were the only developers, joined by Michael Seifert in June 1990. Stærfeldt stated that their intention was to create a MUD that was less messy than AberMUD, less buggy than LPMud, and more like Dungeons & Dragons.

The first DikuMUD was in working development as early as October 1990 and officially opened publicly running at freja.diku.dk port 4000 on February 3, 1991.

A second DikuMUD appeared in January 1991, running at hayes.ims.alaska.edu. In March 1991, the first public version of DikuMUD, known as Diku Gamma, became available at beowulf.acc.stolaf.edu. Afterwards the DikuMUD at freja.diku.dk was shut down and the game and development moved to alfa.me.chalmers.se.

Other Diku Gamma MUDs appeared in March 1991 running at eris.berkeley.edu, followed by a multiprocessor version running at sequent.berkeley.eduBy early April 1991, there were DikuMUDs running at spam.ua.oz.augoldman.gnu.ai.mit.edubigboy.cis.temple.edu, and elof.iit.edu.

The last official release of DikuMUD was Diku Alfa in July 1991 and the DikuMUD team hereafter continued with the development of DikuII. That version was however never released to the public but continues to run today under the name of Valhalla MUD.