[MUD-Dev] Re:)

Jeff Kesselman jeffk at tenetwork.com
Mon Sep 1 18:05:16 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


At 02:50 PM 9/1/97 PST8PDT, Travis wrote:
>read TSR novels have had little or no roleplaying experience.  Further,
>for profitability -- TSR almost went bankrupt recently, and wound up

TSR at the time of their collapse was still 50% of the roleplayign m,arket.

They collapsed because of bad management, not a lack of market.  There is
plenty of ducmentation on this available. Look at the avrious posts from
WotC after their takeover onm the state of the variosu TSr lines.

>being bought out by Wizards of the Coast.  Wizards of the Coast has made 
>most of its money off of Magic: The Gathering, which is *not* a roleplaying

Clearly and obviosuly thsi is apples and orenges. MTG is a product line
with abuitl in heavy repeat sales.  Its a antural to do very well if it
does well at all.  This is nto to say there is no market for a game without
such a repeat sales engine however.  In fact there is a significant part of
teh amrekt that will not play MTG BECAUSE of the repeat sales engien built in.

A good comaprison in our area is hourly servcies vs. falt rate srvices.
Hourly makes a LOT more moeny opf their custoemrs, does that mean there is
no market for flat?  

>game.  Indeed, to date WotC has produced *no* roleplaying materials so far 
>which have made enough of a profit for WotC to continue producing them --

Again untrue. The CAP system (most neoteably Primal order) did very well
initially. It was killed by TSR's strong arm pseudo-legal atctics before
WotC had the monetary pwoer to fight back.

>though this may change now that they've acquired TSR.  The primary
>designers
>of most of the popular paper RPGs still have to keep day jobs to make ends 
>meet.

Tell that to the multiple hundred people TSR emplotyed at its height. In
fact, almsot ALL game designers (or modern writers) need 'day jobs to make
ends meet". Certain lucky companies or bets sellign authors of either books
or games where theyw ere lucky enough to have royalty particpation can
escape this. Most can not.

In poitn of fact TSr at its biggest employed many many times the numeb fo
employees WotC has EVER employed.  Yo ucan make any case you want otu of
such "facts".  The afct is they arelly arent proof of anythign at all.

AND this is all besdies the poitn for this list.

>> MUDs are directly descended 9though distantly at thei point) form the
>> original single user adventure games whichw ere, belive it or not, an
>> attenmpt to capture the feelingof D&D games on a computer.
>
>Well, actually, no.  The first single-user computer adventure games were
>created in the 1960's, before D&D even existed.  They have spiritual roots,

First oen I knwo of was Adventrue on the main frame which was well after
the 1977 publishign of D&D (early 80s I believe in fact.)

Do yo uhave an earlier example?

My brother knew the guys at MIT who did DUNGEON (later republished as
Zorkin parts on micros) as he was there at the same time, playign D&D on
campus in afct.  According to him at teh time, when he amde me aware of the
game, this was precisely their goal.

** shrug  **

JK

Jeff Kesselman
Snr. Game Integration Engineer
TEN -- The Total Entertainment Network -- www.ten.net

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