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Exploring MUD Framework: Unleashing the Potential of Onchain Web3 Gaming




The world of Web3 gaming is expanding rapidly, raising the question of whether it is feasible to achieve full-on-chain gaming experiences on Ethereum or if faster chains like BNB Chain, Solana, Sui, or Avax subnet are necessary. 

However, recent developments in the form of MUD (Multi-chain Universal Development) framework have sparked interest and shed light on the possibilities of building fully on-chain applications on Ethereum. 

In this article, we delve into the MUD framework, its potential for revolutionizing on-chain gaming, and how it addresses the challenges inherent in developing on-chain apps. We will explore the concept of MUD as an Entity Component System (ECS), its benefits for collaboration and interoperability, and its wider implications beyond gaming. 

Unleashing the Power of MUD

MUD is a powerful framework for Ethereum applications, that is revolutionizing the development process by integrating a comprehensive software stack. It restricts certain aspects like dependencies and design choices while enhancing efficiency in things like gas optimization, modular development, security audits, and promoting collaboration with other developers.

Although MUD is currently in the development phase, it has already demonstrated its potential by being utilized to develop a range of captivating dApps. Some notable examples include:

  • Open Worlds: Prominent dApps such as Sandbox and Decentraland have utilized the MUD framework to create immersive open-world experiences. These platforms offer users the opportunity to explore vast virtual environments, engage in creative activities, and interact with other participants.
  • Real-Time Strategy Games: Splinterlands and Gods Unchained are notable examples of real-time strategy games built using MUD. These dApps provide players with dynamic gameplay experiences, strategic decision-making, and competitive battles within the blockchain ecosystem.
  • Role-Playing Games: Axie Infinity and The Legends of Elumia showcase the versatility of MUD in creating captivating role-playing games. These dApps allow players to assume the roles of unique characters, embark on quests, engage in battles, and experience rich storytelling within immersive virtual worlds.

Addressing the Challenges of Onchain Apps

The framework of MUD is a response to the challenges faced by on-chain applications, particularly related to state synchronization, content addition/management, and interoperability. These challenges primarily stem from the open EVM environment and its associated rules. MUD’s solution involves streamlining the development process by bypassing the need to listen and deal with the entire blockchain, instead focusing on working with a single smart contract.

Unravelling the Functionality of MUD

MUD adopts the Entity Component System (ECS) software architectural pattern, commonly used in video game development, as the foundation for its functionality. It comprises three basic components:

  • Entities: Entities are the basic building blocks of a game. They have a unique identifier, but they do not have any data or behaviour of their own.
  • Components: Components are data that is attached to entities. They can represent things like health, position, or velocity.
  • Systems: Systems are pieces of code that operate on entities. They execute logic based on components, enabling actions such as healing, shrine interactions, potion usage, and more. They can be used to perform things like movement, collision detection, or AI.

ECS has a number of advantages over other software architectural patterns. It is very efficient, as it only loads the data that is needed for the current scene. It is also very flexible, as it allows developers to easily create new game objects and systems.

Here are some of the benefits of using ECS in game development:

  • Efficiency: ECS is very efficient in terms of memory and CPU usage. This is because it only loads the data that is needed for the current scene.
  • Flexibility: ECS is very flexible in terms of how game objects can be created and modified. This is because entities do not have any data or behaviour of their own. Instead, they are defined by the components that are attached to them. This allows developers to easily create new game objects and systems.
  • Scalability: ECS is very scalable for large-scale games. This is because it does not rely on a central data structure. Instead, entities and components are stored in a distributed manner. This makes it possible to create games with millions or even billions of entities.

MUD uses ECS to represent game objects. This makes it very efficient and flexible, which is important for building large-scale games.

The Beauty of MUD’s Ownership-less Space

One of the remarkable aspects of MUD is the ability for anyone to create a new decentralized space for state and logic. Component creators can collaborate seamlessly on top of this framework, with efficient querying of data from the central World contract (see MUD core components), eliminating the need for full node blockchain synchronization. Moreover, the inherent interop capability of MUD allows different worlds to interact with each other, paving the way for exciting and permissionless possibilities.

The Core Components of MUD

As the Web3 ecosystem matures, new approaches to building applications and achieving scalability will emerge. While many attention-grabbing developments focus on zero-knowledge (ZK) technology and modular/DA (Data Availability) blockchains, MUD presents a compelling alternative. 

For developers interested in working with MUD, the framework comes equipped with several core components. These include:

  • the Store
  • the World
  • the Foundry
  • MODE

MUD is EVM-compatible, supporting chains such as Arbi, Op, BNB Chain, Fantom, and Polygon.

The Store serves as an on-chain database, optimized for gas efficiency and inspired by SQLite. It allows developers to save and retrieve data using tables, columns, and rows, offering a more introspectable alternative to traditional Solidity storage mechanisms. With the Store, developers can define custom schemas, such as the AllowanceTable, and interact with the data using set and get operations.

World, on the other hand, acts as an entry-point kernel that provides standardized access control, upgrades, and modules. It acts as a mediator between contracts and the Store, ensuring secure and controlled access to data. Systems, which are stateless contracts, execute logic on behalf of the World and interact with the Store to read and write data. MUD facilitates modularity and upgradeability by partitioning logic across different contracts with custom permissions.

In addition to the Store and World, MUD offers blazing-fast development tools based on Foundry, client-side data stores that reflect the on-chain state, and MODE, a Postgres database that reflects the on-chain state in a 1-to-1 mapping. MODE allows developers to query on-chain state using SQL and offers efficient materialized views for real-time data synchronization with client applications.

By using MUD’s Store and World, developers can create on-chain applications without the need for additional indexers or subgraphs. On-chain data becomes automatically introspectable, and changes are communicated through standard events. MODE plays a crucial role in synchronizing on-chain states with client applications, eliminating the need for complex polling or subgraph subscriptions. This simplifies the development process and improves the overall efficiency of on-chain applications.

With MUD, developers can leverage the power of Ethereum and other EVM-compatible chains to build complex applications and games. The framework provides a solid foundation for creating decentralized, owner-less worlds with interoperability capabilities. Developers have the freedom to design and implement their own components and systems, making it a flexible and extensible platform.

The potential use cases for MUD are diverse. It can be employed to build decentralized games, virtual worlds, decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, social platforms, and more. Its modular architecture and compatibility with various chains make it suitable for different project requirements and environments.

One of the key advantages of MUD is its ability to address scalability challenges. By utilising off-chain storage solutions like MODE and efficient data synchronisation mechanisms, MUD allows developers to create highly performant applications without compromising on-chain security. This scalability is crucial for building applications that can handle a large number of users and transactions.


As MUD continues to evolve, it is likely to attract a growing community of developers who are interested in pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the Web3 space. The framework’s open and collaborative nature encourages experimentation and innovation, paving the way for new and exciting applications to emerge.

Read also: Industry Experts Share Insights on the Future of Web3 Gaming

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