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PlainText is a text-based MUD game engine.


  • Support for both telnet (including ANSI colors, MCCP, MSDP and MSSP extensions) and HTML5 (WebSockets)
  • Command-line OLC
  • Graphical HTML5 map editor, with perspective view for designing 3D areas
  • Game events propagate through rooms
    • Hear sounds and see visuals as they happen in nearby rooms
    • Sounds and visuals lose strength and become increasingly blurry over distance
    • Semi-realistic line-of-sight algorithm
  • Dynamic room descriptions
    • Reflects positions and directions for items, exits and characters
    • Complements, not replaces, hand-written descriptions
  • Scripting support using JavaScript
    • Commands may be implemented in JavaScript
    • Customizable combat
    • Scriptable NPCs with triggers
    • Game objects may be extended
  • Logging of sessions (including IPs) and player commands
  • Statistics tracking and visualization in the map editor
  • Basic MUD commands
    • Movement and orientation (go, look, enter, examine, open, close)
    • Conversations (say, talk, tell, gtalk)
    • Buying and handling items (buy, give, drop, get)
    • Container items (put ... into, get ... from)
    • Player groups (follow, lose, disband, gtalk)
    • Basic combat (kill, attack, wield, remove)
  • Designed for minimal latency
    • High-performance C++ core
    • Multi-threaded design
    • All game objects are in memory
    • Changes are synced to disk in separate thread


Follow updates on the official PlainText blog:

If you have questions, or just want to discuss anything related to the PlainText engine, please join us at one of the following forums:

  • The PlainText core forum is meant for technical discussions regarding use of the PlainText engine.
  • The PlainText gameplay forum is used to discuss gameplay mechanics (including code snippets).
  • The PlainText tooling forum is for discussion regarding tooling (IDEs, room building, compilers, etc.).

Bugs can be reported through GitHub's issue tracker.


There's documentation available in the PlainText Wiki.

You may want to jump straight to the Frequently Asked Questions.

Running your own server

Supported platforms

  • Linux (tested on Gentoo Linux, openSUSE 12.2 and Ubuntu 12.10 and up)
  • Mac OS X 10.7 and up (recently only tested on OS X 10.8)
  • Windows (tested on Windows 7)


  • Clang 3.1 or higher, or GCC 4.7 or higher
  • Qt framework 4.7 or higher, or Qt framework 5.x
  • Zlib development package

If you are using Ubuntu Linux, you can use the following command to install the necessary dependencies:

$ sudo apt-get install libqt4-dev libz-dev

If you are using Windows, download the Qt package for Windows that comes bundled with MinGW from this page:


If you're using Linux or OS X, run the following commands from the project directory:

$ qmake
$ make

If you're on Windows, you need to add the MinGW/bin/ directories to your PATH environment variable. Assuming you installed Qt 5.0.2 under C:\Qt, these are the following two directories:


After you have properly set your PATH variable, you can run the following commands from the project directory:

$ qmake -r -spec win32-g++
$ mingw32-make


  • Set the PT_DATA_DIR environment variable to point to the data/ directory.
  • If you want to enable logging, set the PT_LOG_DIR variable to the directory where you want your logs to be stored.
  • Run your compiled PlainText executable from the project directory.

Playing the game

Note: If you want to play the game using your webbrowser, you should have a modern standards compliant browser. These are the browsers that should work:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox 4 or higher
  • Internet Explorer 10
  • Safari

Connect to your own server

If you have just compiled your own server, you can connect to it through telnet or using your webbrowser. The ports to connect to are displayed on the console when you start your server.

The first character you register on your own server will automatically become an admin.


This software is licensed under GPLv3.

For details, see LICENSE.GPL.txt.