greg at uni-corn.demon.co.uk
Thu Jul 24 19:07:55 New Zealand Standard Time 1997
I guess I'm delurking now. It just had to be done. This post deals with a
subject I've not really seen discussed anywhere. I think it is quite an
important issue in the design of muds - usually big projects, especially
if they are scratch - where numerous people are involved in development.
Right. The situation I'm in now:
Staff of 3 levels of authority exist; the mud is running (if I could shut
it down, I probably would, but it would disappoint numerous people), but
it's running code that I haven't supported since February, due to the
server being recoded from scratch (again!). There are few users (max
these days, is probably around 2-3), and functionality approximating IRC
(actually, it's probably not that complex). So. Nothing to administrate
really. I guess it is up just to stop people forgetting about its very
existence, more than anything else, that and it would be politically
My game has been shrouded in politics from its very inception; politics
is why I started writing a mud in the first place - revenge, anger,
bitterness, all that. For those who never read my list introduction,
posted all those months ago, I ran a Tiny, but due to what I perceived as
betrayal by my closest friends, was kicked out of the admin team
altogether, and have been banned from it for at least the past six
months. The details of this are irrelevant.
Anyway, I am giving you this background because it is having a negative
affect on game development. All regular users are dissatisfied users from
the game I used to run; it is becoming clear that they don't want a 'new,
original, unique' game at all, they simply want a better-run replica of
the other game.
Why is this a problem? It is a problem because of the way I approach
development of design ideas. There are various mailing lists available
for discussing development of the game (of primary importance are the
lists for game and website development), for which there are about 10-15
subscribers. Discounting noise, there are two regular posters (apart from
myself), one of which is also from the 'other game'. There is a strong
Tiny bias throughout the discussions. It should be pointed out that one
of the many objectives of the server is to provide a world, rather than a
game, which will be interesting and stimulating to all types of player
(using Bartle's JOMR paper as a model - are there any other information
sources on the same subject anywhere?). Since the vast majority of
subscribers are Socialisers, problems are arising.
Right now, one of my staff members is going around telling everyone he
has resigned, and trying desperately to be promoted on the 'other mud'.
He seems to have forgotten to tell *me* he has resigned, however. All of
his talk about preparing emails for the lists, with lots of laid-out
plans, information, etc, etc, all these have resulted in nothing.
My primary concern at the moment is the complete apathy of current
subscribers. I do know that people like to lurk (I'm profoundly guilty of
it, with respect to mud-dev!), but only ONE member of staff is posting
*anything*. I've been told privately, that almost total apathy should be
expected in everyone except for the mud's owner. That I need to give people
'involvement' and 'stake-holding', before I can legitimately expect them
to realistically contribute a thing. This, I agree with, for non-staff.
But I do expect some sort of contribution from the staff, especially
since there is not really a game to administrate, and posting to the lists
is the only real way they can contribute to the game at *all*...
Am I expecting too much?
I've also been told that the staff member who is contributing, is doing
so *only* to get promoted. How can I deal with this? If it's true, how
can I keep motivating someone like this?
Would it maybe help to search out people with a more LP or DIKU bias, to
subscribe to the list? (To counter-balance the Tiny bias.)
Wot, no Keegan quotes?
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