Who made it: Athlon, et al (see the Credits section)
Why use it: Sounds and other features not available in ChatMud, such as convenient channel history buffers and output logging.
For first Time Use: Download the file in the above link and run it. The installer will ensure you have the latest version of Chatpack before starting.
Chatpack is ...
compatible with major Windows screen readers: JAWS, NVDA, or SAPI as a fallback
up-to-date with the latest ChatMUD enhancements as they become available: We partner closely with the administration to ensure that you get access to all the cool features ChatMUD provides as soon as they come out!
lightweight: at less than 25 MB, Chatpack is a snappy download, even for slow connections or space-depleted hard drives. Needed audio files are downloaded on demand or, if you are not comfortable downloading files, streamed straight from the ChatMUD server.
Actively maintained and updated: I am open to your feature suggestions and bug reports, and will listen to feedback. But remember that nothing pleases everyone. Luckily the code is totally open-source, so if you don't like something, change it.
Download the full distribution in the top navigation section and run the chatpack-setup.exe file to install. If you already use MUSHclient and are comfortable doing an in-place installation, read the next section. Running chatpack on top of other worlds in MushClient is not recommended unless you have a healthy knowledge of lua coding, as detailed below.
Installing over an existing Mushclient
Warning: Chatpack now uses LuaJit, which breaks compatibility with non LuaJit soundpacks, including the popular Mush-Z. Unless Mush-Z updates to use LuaJit in the future, you will not be able to run both muds in the same window. You will want to do a full install of chatpack instead.
Chatpack can work alongside Tony's YuGiO soundpack, as well as the Aardwolf Client Package, as they both use LuaJIT.
Chatpack does not work alongside soundpacks using the LuaAudio plugin including those of Mush-Z for Alter Aeon, Cosmic Rage, Epitaph, Empire Mud, Godwars, Miriani, Prometheus or the Unofficial Squaresoft Mud. You will want to install the soundpack to its own folder.
To download only the Chatpack files, use this zip file
To install, do the following:
Download the .zip file and open it.
In the zip file you will see a folder called Chatpack-master; open this folder.
In the chatpack-master folder, open the chatpack folder.
Copy all files from this folder into the folder where MUSHclient is installed, and say yes to any replacement messages.
Open MUSHclient, and press control-o for the open dialog box. Choose ChatMUD.mcl to open up the provided world file. This world file has the necessary plugins installed.
Normally, you can update chatpack by simply running the update chatpack option in the start menu, or browsing to the location where you installed chatpack and running chatpack-updater.exe. Occasionally, the updater receives an update, in which case you will want to download it from the web site as shown below. This is quite rare though.
If you need to update your updater, follow these steps:
Save the file in the mushclient folder. If you are asked to confirm file replacement, do so.
Run the file.
Note: You will only need to redownload the updater file if I announce that the updater has been updated, which is infrequent.
Type these into your command window.
Ftts: prevents your screen reader from reading the window when not focused in it. Many people use this to keep ChatMUD active in the background while they work to minimize distractions.
fsounds: works similar to ftts, but for sounds. The sound for tells and the sound for if a person directs a message at you in the room can still be heard when in another window, but all other sounds do not play.
cphelp: open this page, which has information and the latest download links for Chatpack. You can also press shift+f1 for the same effect.
bk: Show any bound keys. Programmers can make their objects more immersive by binding keys to commonly used actions. For example, a game could set the arrow keys to move around the game board. When a keysstroke is bound, Chatpack will let you know. Using bk will give you a summary of these keys if you forget them later.
Alt+f12 / f11: Turn the master volume up or down. This affects the volume of all sounds independent of the individual categories' volumes set.
Ctrl + shift + L: Reload audio system. This is useful if you switch audio devices or your headphones get unplugged by accident and sounds stop working.
Escape: unbind all keys. If you want to immediately force all bound keys to be released, press Escape at any time. This is a failsafe in case an unscrupulous programmer forgets to unbind keys from within their object.
Frequently Asked Questions and problems
I get a deluge of errors about missing xml files when starting the client.
This problem is a bit harder to solve. Many people report this error after having installed the Cosmic Rage soundpack, which installs to their program files folder. The best way to fix this problem is to move the mushclient folder out of the program files (x86) folder, so that you can still play Cosmic Rage, then uninstall mushclient via the programs and features Control Panel applet, which will remove the registry entries pointing to the program files folder. If you need help, contact me or a tech-savvy friend.
Can I modify the sounds or add new ones?
Yes, to a point. The sounds are inside the sounds folder, and you can indeed modify them, but running an update will change them back to what they were. Check out the file chatpack-standard.update-ignore to read up on how to set up ignore patterns for the updater.
How can I check what version of Chatpack I have?
You can do this from within ChatMUD by typing @ping me. It will tell you the version of chatpack that you have, and you can type @soundpacks 1 to see the latest version. Compare the two numbers to see if you are up to date or not.
An annoying sound is playing. How do I stop it?
Sound playback can be cut off by hitting shift-f11, which kills everything in your client's sound buffers that was playing when the command was issued. This won't help you with a person spamming you repeatedly with new sounds though.
To give you better flexibility with prioritizing sounds, Chatpack divides sounds into categories, each with its own volume control:
Channel sounds: these are sounds that play for each channel when a message, social, or emote is sent to it.
Social sounds: These sounds playe when socials occur: on channels, in the same room, and from afar.
Object sounds: object sounds are most often heard because an object maker tagged his or her object accordingly while coding it. Examples include guns, swords, and doors opening or closing.
Ambiance sounds: Ambiances usually take the form of environmental background noise, such as birds in a forest, or music. With support for room and area ambiances on ChatMUD as of June 2020, you can turn these sounds up or down from within Chatpack independent of the volume set by the server.
alert sounds: these sounds are for other events not covered by the above three categories. Common sounds from this category include say, tell, players teleporting in or out, watched players logging on or off the mud, and the sound that plays when the mud does not recognize the command you typed.
To change the volumes of each of these categories, use f10 to toggle through the categories, then use f11 and f12 to adjust the volume down or up in increments of 3% respectively.
If you want to set the volume to an absolute number, type volume followed by the number. The minimum volume is 0, silencing the category, and the maximum volume is 100.
The config command
You can customize some functionality settings by typing config while you are in the Mushclient window. The settings should be self-explanatory, but contact me if you don't understand something.
Main coder and sound designer: Athlon
Coders: Slej, Weyoun, Sinistral, Dernan (updater)
Sounds: Sinistral, Criela
And Thanks to everyone who has suggested cool and/or useful features!