[MUD-Dev] Re: Wired, UO, and Internet Gaming (was Re: OT:

Dr. Cat cat at bga.com
Sun May 3 22:11:04 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

Mike Sellers wrote (and then I hand attributed 'cause my mailer doesn't):
> I just skimmed Raph's comments on this.  I agree with him wholeheartedly.
> Amy Jo's article basically got eviscerated by the editors at Wired.

That is a shame.  Is the text of Amy's original version available 
anywhere, or would I have to ask her for it?  I know she has some 
interesting ideas herself about online environments and user interfaces - 
the two times I've spoken with her she had things to say that made me 
think, which always makes me think well of a person.  She did some 
contract design work on Mplayer's user interface, and some other places 
as well.

I was a bit surprised to read the bit where it was mentioned that 
cannibalism was possible in the game.  Well I suppose it's one more thing 
that adds to the roleplaying possibilities for the evil characters.  :X)

> It might surprise you to know that even UO (much less M59!) is a relatively
> small fish in the overall online gaming world.  There are some *huge*
> stakes being played in this arena by people who have never heard of a MUD.

When you're talking about "small fish", are you talking about actual 
revenues generated, or are you talking about how much people are 
investing in stuff that they hope will be big in the future?  I'm a 
little fuzzy on numbers from the last year or two, but I know Gemstone 
III was the biggest revenue generator out there for years - probably 
continued to be right up until AOL made changes that cratered the 
revenues for most of their third party game developers.  I don't think 
that I can think of anything out there that's generating so much revenue 
that it makes UO's revenues look small-fish size.  From what I've heard, 
Bingo Zone is the most profitable online game out there.  And it's 
revenues don't dwarf UOs - it's costs are an awful lot lower though.  :X)

> Once again, I'm somewhat abashed to point out the small, insular, and
> really pretty parochial state of the MUD community (whether hobbyist or
> commercial, text or graphical), no matter what CGW and Wired say.  MUDs are
> high commitment, high cost, high risk, highly targeted, massively
> multiplayer games.  I'm still convinced that in one form or another they
> represent the next step in how we spin epic tales, and I have a lot of
> hopes for the future of both hobbyist and commercial mudding -- but they
> are far from the center of the Internet gaming universe. =20

I like to think that most of the commerce that takes place in muds or 
mudlike environments will be totally non-gaming-oriented.  Which would 
give them, purrhaps, a central role in a much larger universe.  Time will 
tell whether I'm right.  :X)

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

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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