[MUD-DEV] a shrinking pool of players?

Travis S. Casey efindel at io.com
Thu Feb 17 13:26:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

On Thu, 17 Feb 2000, Bryce Harrington wrote:

> > And yeah, I think the number of people actively playing text muds is
> > probably shrinking.  I think this is the last echo of what happened to the
> > paper-game industry in the 1980s and early 1990s.  Too bad too. (FWIW, one
> > of my pipedreams along these lines is to put out paper RPG
> > systems/supplements as a labor of love, without worrying about turning a
> > profit, as that's almost impossible to do these days in that part of the
> > industry.  Who knows, maybe someday...)
> Hmm, I've been thinking along the same lines...  Do you think a paper
> RPG rules system, if strongly associated with a computerized version of
> the game rules, might do better?  I.e., would the fact that there are
> umteen thousand players of such and such online rpg give a publisher
> enough incentive to perhaps try publishing the rules system behind it?
> In this situation, would be be wise to keep the game rules "secret"
> until the publisher can publish them, or would it be better to open them
> freely, thus gaining public feedback and enhancement (and maybe users)?

I don't think it would do better -- you might be more likely to find
someone willing to publish a paper RPG based on a popular mud than one
without such a basis, but beyond the initial spurt, I don't think it would
help much, if at all.

If you're using rules simple enough to also be used as a paper RPG, I
don't think you have much hope of keeping them secret -- there are a lot
of players out there who are eager to reverse-engineer such "secrets."
Note as well that few paper RPGs do well on the basis of just a good
system -- it's setting and quality of supplements that turn the trick.

       |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
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