AVAE, which stands for ACK!MUD Visual Area Editor is a graphical editor for creating and modifying ACK!MUD area files (.are).

ACK! comes with an in-game editor which does the job of editing areas perfectly well, but can be frustrating to work with and makes it hard to copy and paste information, move objects around, get an overview of what the zone contains, editing mob progs etc.

As a long time player, coder and builder of MUD's (those I built/coded on were based on the ACK! codebase), I decided that the thing I disliked the most, was building. Coding is always coding, and it just doesn't get very visual, but building was a pain. It took more time than I felt was necessary, which is why I thought it'd be nice to have some sort of visual editor for it (don't get me wrong, the ACK! in-game editor is very well built, but it's 100% command line based). The other reason for creating an editor, is to allow players to create their own areas - offline - that will more or less be ready for uploading and testing on the target MUD. This way, admins don't have to worry about their mud crashing in the middle of building or having to set up build ports etc. And a third, if yet smaller reason, is to allow people to change VNUMs fast on existing areas to a new range.

The goal of the AVAE project is to create an editor which allows any custom ACK!MUDs to edit their area files, regardless of extra code in the codebase (to a limit). All settings are done via XML, which means if you code for different MUDs, all you need is that MUD's XML files and the file will load and save as an area for that specific MUD.

Currrently AVAE is Beta (close to Stable), with 95% of the major functionality done. Please check the news page for further information on updates and releases, or the Download section for installers and patches. If you wonder what it looks like, check out the Screenshots section.

AVAE is written in 100% Java, using SWT/JFace as GUI libraries and XML as settings files. If you are familiar with Java and SWT (or Swing, as it's pretty close in syntax), and have knowledge of how the ACK! codebase is layed out/works, and wish to help develop this project, please contact me. (I suggest you check out the CVS version and look at the source as well).

This banner should be familiar to anyone who's set up an ACK!Mud (modified the URL and de-spam-botted the email addy).
 *  Original Diku Mud copyright (C) 1990, 1991 by Sebastian Hammer,        *
 *  Michael Seifert, Hans Henrik St{rfeldt, Tom Madsen, and Katja Nyboe.   *
 *                                                                         *
 *  Merc Diku Mud improvments copyright (C) 1992, 1993 by Michael          *
 *  Chastain, Michael Quan, and Mitchell Tse.                              *
 *                                                                         *
 *  Ack 2.2 improvements copyright (C) 1994 by Stephen Dooley              *
 *                                                                         *
 *  In order to use any part of this Merc Diku Mud, you must comply with   *
 *  both the original Diku license in 'license.doc' as well the Merc       *
 *  license in 'license.txt'.  In particular, you may not remove either of *
 *  these copyright notices.                                               *
 *                                                                         *
 *       _/          _/_/_/     _/    _/     _/    ACK! MUD is modified    *
 *      _/_/        _/          _/  _/       _/    Merc2.0/2.1/2.2 code    *
 *     _/  _/      _/           _/_/         _/    (c)Stephen Zepp 1998    *
 *    _/_/_/_/      _/          _/  _/             Version #: 4.3          *
 *   _/      _/      _/_/_/     _/    _/     _/                            *
 *                                                                         *
 *                        http://www.ackmud.org/                           *
 *                        zenithar at ackmud dot org                       *
 *  Much time and thought has gone into this software and you are          *
 *  benefitting.  We hope that you share your changes too.  What goes      *
 *  around, comes around.                                                  *
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