[MUD-Dev] Re: PK and my "Mobless MUD" idea

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Thu May 7 23:36:21 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

From: Dr. Cat <cat at bga.com>
Date: Wednesday, May 06, 1998 2:37 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: PK and my "Mobless MUD" idea

>John Bertoglio wrote:
>> (I am probably wrong here, but the tone of Dr.
>> Cat's posts seem to suggest that for him to right, all others have to be
>> wrong. I think he has some good ideas which will build a consistant,
>> interesting world. It may be the "winner" in the market, but who
knows. )

>Good guess - that is, in fact, not my position.  Other types of games
>than what I'm trying to make right now should certainly be made.  I just
>don't want to see everyone making the SAME type of game, or just a
>handful of types of games, I want to see people making more different
>types of games.  In the commercial arena, it's been the case for many
>years that most people are working on games that are "clones" of one of
>the currently most-popular genres, and very few people are trying to do
>highly innovative and original work.  I was spoiled when I started out,
>because not many genres had even been invented yet, and there was tons of

You are absolutely correct. The commercial game market (and by extension,
the entire entertaiment industry) is RUN by people who by in large seem to
have born without the capacity for original thought. The computer game
industry had avoided the worst of this mindlessness until the last few
years when huge budgets coupled with a corporate mentality makes it look
more and more like Hollywood.

>Here on the list, I see things even more narrowly focused, with maybe one
>or two types of "ideal games" that people are clustered around and trying
>to figure out how to make.  It's frustrating to me to see so little
>diversity of opinion and artistic style.

I think this is something of an overstatement. I have almost finished
reading the "back issues" of the list (and accepted the general personal
productivity hit because of it)and find about the only common thread is a
preference for object-oriented models (something my design does not use,
BTW). Some of the projects described are so flexible in their design, they
look like they could model any world including Furcadia. Lacking their
talents and skills, I am building a far less ambitious project.

A lot of the examples used seem to relate to traditional mud thinking but
when you look carefully they relate to very sophisticated design issues. I
see this a courtesy to others who think in more traditional terms. The
Bubba stuff has helped me to see many issues and angles which would
otherwise be obscured by C++ coding and atomic threads...whatever they are?

>My tone is probably inappropriate, definitely a sign of my impatience,
>and probably an indicator that I should stop talking and just work on my
>game instead.  I got a new feature working last night - a few hundred
>more of those, and we'll probably reach the point where my partner and I
>can earn enough money to support ourselves.  Maybe.  :X)

I, for one, applaud your desire to make money with Furcadia. It is an
amazing product. And a remarkable achievement for a small team. I have
commercial aspirations for my product as well. A few thousand players would
give us the ability to hire active gamemasters, real programmers and really
grow the world. This cannot take (in my world) without the commercial

I would like to see far more discussion of commercial issues on this list.
Commercial acceptance of a product is a major test of the quality of the
design (admittedly not the only test). Opting out of the commercial arena
allows one a degree of freedom which is often counterproductive. Our
current commercial internet applications have been improved, dramatically,
by customer feedback. As clever as we were (and we are quite clever), the
market is smarter. Balancing the interests of our clients, their clients
and system users has improved the product beyond our original expecations
of what was possible. I am sure that will be the case with my virtual

I would like to see discussion of pricing models, access restrictions, more
common carrier/liability issues and stuff like that.

Example: Do you price your product above the market and use a sliding scale
to get more of the people you "want" in the world? Do you create special
areas for people with premium access accounts.

One fact of life on the internet (I have learned from my wife's single
women friends in the 30-50 age range) is they now let "anybody" in. When a
lot of these people started using the net is was a somewhat exclusive club
due to technical complexity and economic issues. This made it an attractive
place to meet people. (I know of at least 3 marriages and several more
long-term relationship which were spawned on the internet.) Is it possible
to recreate that original spirit and sense of a "special place"?

If you go advertising supported, you run the risks of network television.
Advertising means two things, numbers (of households) and demographics. Can
you maintain creative control when advertisers demand greater numbers of
households or more penetration into specific demographic groups. A world
with a million players will be an attractive market for advertisers...but
will your product devolve to level of WB sitcoms to reach it?

>   Dr. Cat / Dragon's Eye Productions       ||       Free alpha test:
>  Furcadia - a new graphic mud for PCs!     ||  Let your imagination soar!
>MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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