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Classic Games (Games) Games

M.U.L.E. Is Back 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-for-the-red-wings dept.
jmp_nyc writes "The developers at Turborilla have remade the 1983 classic game M.U.L.E. The game is free, and has slightly updated graphics, but more or less the same gameplay as the original version. As with the original game, up to four players can play against each other (or fewer than four with AI players taking the other spots). Unlike the original version, the four players can play against each other online. For those of you not familiar with M.U.L.E., it was one of the earliest economic simulation games, revolving around the colonization of the fictitious planet Irata (Atari spelled backwards). I have fond memories of spending what seemed like days at a time playing the game, as it's quite addictive, with the gameplay seeming simpler than it turns out to be. I'm sure I'm not the only Slashdotter who had a nasty M.U.L.E. addiction back in the day and would like a dose of nostalgia every now and then."
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M.U.L.E. Is Back

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  • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:16AM (#30691848)

    Just downloaded it....COOL...but where's the intro and intro music??? It was 8-bit sweetness on the C=64.

    Glad somebody did it though!

  • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:17AM (#30691868)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6L6MhSgpgo [youtube.com]

    Some of the best home computer music of the time. This song is the number 1 reason I fire up SIDplay (followed closely by many things by David Whittaker).

  • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Friday January 08, 2010 @03:19AM (#30691880)

    Intro in question.... [youtube.com] :)

  • by lena_10326 (1100441) on Friday January 08, 2010 @04:17AM (#30692130) Homepage
    ...not Dan Bunten. She made it clear.
  • by Tei (520358) on Friday January 08, 2010 @04:53AM (#30692306) Journal

    I play the planetMule version of MULE, and I can confirm that is still a awesome game. MULE has this ability to make you play crazy in 2 turns, 3 turns... Is a deep game, and you meet different skills and ideas about how to play. The planetMULE version is both tryiing to make a faithfull version (and is a SUCCESS as that), and make tiny improvements that don't change the gameplay.

    RECOMENDED!!!

  • 64k - 36Mb (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2010 @06:35AM (#30692738)

    This was one of my favorite games in college on the C-64. I expected to find a slim flash game, instead it's a 36Mb installer (Win). A bit better on Max/Linux (16Mb), but still, WTF? I'm guessing these guys used to make printer drivers for HP.

  • Kudos (Score:4, Informative)

    by lyinhart (1352173) on Friday January 08, 2010 @06:42AM (#30692776)
    Kudos to them for releasing it as freeware, as opposed to releasing it onto a DRM enabled platform like Steam or worse, Xbox Live.
  • by Tei (520358) on Friday January 08, 2010 @06:57AM (#30692846) Journal

    MULE is a strategic economic simulator for 4 players. A long game (12 turns) take about 90 minutes.

    The first thing you will see wen you join, is the surface of the planet. The surface is divided into "plots", that later can be taken by the players. You will put "mules" (multi use labor element robots) in these plots to craft raw metal (smithore), precious luxuries (cristite), energy or food. Your mules to work need energy, you need food or you will be unable to manage your mules.

    First phase, a cursor move trough the planet, simply pressing space take a plot. The "river" plots are specially good for food, the desert for energy, and the mountains for smithore.

    Next phase, the players move his character, and have the option to take a mule, and move it to a specialization house (energy, food, smithore...) then move that mule to his plot, and press space again to place the mule.

    After all players have placed his mules, theres a "production" phase. You will produce based on your mule type, type of terrain, and some economy of scale bonus.

    Next phase is selling/buying. You need to secure energy, if you don't have, and food, if you want to place mules.

    The tournamente mode (somewhat like the 'full experience') is 12 complete turns of this. With some random bonus and malus events for the players.

    The game is some sort of economic sandbox, most people "play to win", but is possible to "play to make the colony a success".

    More info:
    http://www.planetmule.com/forum?topic=379.0 [planetmule.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2010 @07:08AM (#30692894)

    Please make sure to get your facts straight on this sensible topic before condemming anyone...

    First, at the time the game was made, it was credited to Dan Bunten and no one else,
    so citing the original copyright, this may very well fit into the overall scheme of things as they were.

    Second, the "new holders of Ozark Softscape" are not mere strangers nor disrespectful people:
    These are Dan's children, foremost Dan's daugther Melanie, and she surely was born at the time the game hit the stores, although may have been to young to appreciate it back then!

    As to the internal reasons the Bunten family may have, that should be their very own thing to be kept from the public,
    but surely you can't condemn a game and its legacy when there is apparently no shred of evidence related to the new version to make cheap money out of it (it's for free without any catch) and be disrespectful to the true creator at that time: DAN Bunten. Thanks.

  • Lessons from M.U.L.E (Score:4, Informative)

    by IceCreamGuy (904648) on Friday January 08, 2010 @07:39AM (#30693074) Homepage
    I think we, as a community, can learn a lot from the ancient and wise game:
    • Catch the Mountain Wampus for mod points
    • Press all player buttons to post first
    • Develop a cutthroat economy where a single asshole player can collapse the entire system

    OK so maybe some aspects of the game are more plausible than others.

    -Purple Mechtron

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2010 @08:27AM (#30693402)

    Copyright belongs to Person, not the name.. When people change their name (for whatever reason) they still own to that right and have rights. If Mule were released today (and she still lived) it would be copyrighted by Danielle Bunten.

    What annoys me most is the way this "ozark softscape" page is made. It's quite obvious they want people to forget essential part of that person who made this game, yes she was also their father (and later mother) a lot longer than they want to let us know. She was a lot more than just designer/coder of MULE and I think she's entitled to be respected as a whole and not just some 20 years old pictures and copyright texts.

    I have no idea why that page (and company behind of it) was made. Is it for respect or for trying to cash out the retro nostalgia, but the way the page is made tells me that they don't respect the Person.

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

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