Those who weren't fortunate enough to have been a nerd in the 80s or early 90s likely missed out on one of the precursors to today's Word Wide Web, the Bulletin Board System. Many BBS users will remember Legend of the Red Dragon (LORD), an extremely popular text based RPG game. It was the "killer app" for many BBS system operators and holds a special place in the hearts of many users. A few years ago, some motivated developers got together and wrote a near-perfect clone of LORD in PHP, and called it Legend of the Green Dragon. Today it's an extremely robust and feature-rich game with countless expansion modules. The code is open source, so anyone can host and mod their own server.
Set Up Your Server
As a PHP app, Legend of the Green Dragon (hereafter called LotGD) will run on any PHP-capable web server platform.
To get the source for the game, you'll need (and want) a free user account at DragonPrime.net. This is the main development community for LotGD, and you'd eventually come here anyway for the vast collection of free game expansion modules.
Once you've created an account, go to the Downloads section and choose the most recent stable version. If you're on Windows you may need an extraction utility like 7-Zip to open the file.
Installing the Game
Extract or copy the game files on to a subdirectory on your web server. Open the address of that folder in your web browser to begin the game installer. In this example, the web server is running on the local host (127.0.0.1) and all game files are in the lotgd directory.
The Game Installer will go step by step through the process, and verify the settings along the way. The first section is for database setup. Your web host normally provides database tools, and those using local servers could use something like mysql-admin to create the proper database and user.
Whether it's professionally or locally hosted, you should nearly always use localhost for the database server address. When you proceed, the installer will run a few tests to verify that everything is working properly.
If you get errors, make sure you've created the SQL user and database, and given the user the proper permissions to that database.
Next up you have the option to add a prefix to your table names. Prefixes are intended to prevent name conflicts if you have multiple installs. There's no real need for one in this scenario so it's safe to leave it blank.
On the Write dbconnect file step, it's possible that the game might not have proper permissions to save the dbconnect file. This is a minor problem, as you can simply copy and paste the output from the installer into a file named dbconnect.php and place it with the other game files on your server. When finished, click Step 7 again and you'll be clear to proceed.
The install type will be clean install...
Now we come to the grand finale. Unfortunately, the only bug I have so far encountered with the installer is at a fairly important place. This is where you choose all the game modules to install, and several of them are fairly critical to proper game play. You're supposed to be able to click Select Recommended Modules and it would do just that. Unfortunately, that doesn't always work. Worst case scenario is that you click modules manually, and you'll probably want to stick to Recommended.
Be patient after clicking Save Module Settings. There's a lot going on in the background, and when it's complete you'll get a detailed report.
Once you set the admin username and password, you're done with the install. Game and module settings can be accessed by logging in with the admin user you created, and selecting Superuser Grotto. There is also a user guide on the main Town Square area for new players.
Don't forget to revisit DragonPrime.net for a huge collection of game modules. Have fun slaying woodland creatures!
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