[MUD-Dev] Re: (fwd) AD: [custom graphical] whitestar Crossfire MUD

Dr. Cat cat at bga.com
Wed Apr 29 23:28:35 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


>   You are assuming that the largest possible candidate player base is
> the (or a) driving design metric.  It is especially suspect in a
> hobbiest field where the reasons driving development are typically
> much more personal and often ego/fad/genital-size/religious-crusade
> based.

Probably true of most mud developers.  I have no interest in making this 
pursuit a hobby for myself.  It's a career.  Which is why I don't really 
fit in with the mud development community.

>   Even in the commercial world this is not necessarily true.  As any
> of the contractors here can readily report, often, (far too?) 
> individual hobby horses are used instead as the guide rule rather than
> any bean-counter's ROI calculation.  Lotus with Notes and CC:Mail is a
> perfect and well publicised example.  Other cases abound.

I'm interested in making my decisions based on sound criteria that will 
really enable my work to reach a larger audience.  Not on the often 
misguided assumption "but indulging my hobby horse IS what will bring us 
the biggest audience!"  I've worked at more than one company that made 
their choices that way, and I don't really fit in at places like that
either.

> If instead you intend to
> define a narrower and more exclusive target market ("we want the
> geeks!" or whatever), then these various barriers to entry can
> causally act as selection criteria for your public.

I'm only interested in working in mass media.  If a niche market is "only 
10 million to 30 million Americans, rather than all of 'em" maybe it's 
interesting to me.  If it's 100,000 then it's for somebody else, thanks.  
And I'm already limited to a niche of around 20% of the US population by 
requiring Internet access - even less than 20% in every other country in 
the world.  I'd as soon not limit myself much further.  Repeat earlier 
comment about how I don't really fit in with the rest of the mud 
development community, almost all of whom are focusing on various niches 
and probably quite happy there.

I really have very few peers in the world, as far as other people that 
want to write graphic mud servers that can handle hundreds of thousands 
or even millions of users, and are engaged in a serious project to 
actually do so.  So there's not many people for me to talk to that would 
approach issues from a similar perspective.  And my opinions, 
experiences, and approaches might be of no value whatsoever to someone 
who's writing a non-commercial text mud as a hobby that handles 1000 
users and explores some really exotic and bizarre new approach to mud 
design.  People ought to be writing such muds, and playing them, but I'm 
not really sure that I and the developer of that mud have very much to 
talk to each other about.  My biggest focuses are on topics that see 
little or no discussion here, such as providing extreme ease of use for 
the extreme novices out there.  I think you could make a case that ICQ is 
actually a bizarre form of a skeletal MUD, and that it has one of the most 
brilliant mud designs ever.

Anyway I'm sorry for rambling.  I'll try to go back to lurking and not 
say anything for another six months or so.  :X)

*-------------------------------------------**-----------------------------* 
   Dr. Cat / Dragon's Eye Productions       ||       Free alpha test:
*-------------------------------------------**  http://www.bga.com/furcadia
  Furcadia - a new graphic mud for PCs!     ||  Let your imagination soar!
*-------------------------------------------**-----------------------------*

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MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.



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