[MUD-Dev] code base inquiry

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Thu Feb 17 23:07:15 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

On Thu, 17 Feb 2000, J C Lawrence wrote:

> Unarguably both are physically capable of being equally "excellent"
> for whatever your definition of "excellent" is.  Further, I doubt
> any of us would argue that there are "free" MUDs out there that are
> of at least equal "quality" to the commercial offerings, taken as a
> whole and not in specific aspects (we all have flaws) for whatever
> your quality metrics are.  However, (and I consider this a fairly
> safe broad and sweeping generality) each has a different concept of
> their target market, and their commitment to serving that market.

I might also add that lumping all commercial muds together is a
mistake. A small commercial mud is generally going after a considerably
different market, and doing so in considerably different ways, from a
large commercial mud.
> You have to _name_, _want_, and _get_ your product.

You also have to have the resources to execute your product. I don't see a
hobbyist pulling off something equivalent to UO/AC/EQ.

 > How does all this plug into things like customer service, help
> files, tech support, and such?  On the one side purpose achievement
> defines what level of assistance you need to provide to your terget
> market and how important it is.  Its a fairly simple equation all
> told and on the commercial side there are money and resources on
> hand (to some level) for making sure it is done.  On the hobbyest
> side however, its easy to overlook these "boring" things, and far
> too easy (and attractive) to just dump them and tacitly reclassify
> the target market as "people who can understand this stuff without
> my help and none o' them luser idiots either".

> Just how many OpenSource applications out there have decent
> user-level documentation that a non-IT person has a chance of
> understanding?  

Amen. A lot of programmers program for fun. I don't know anyone who writes
documentation for fun.

> ** I know of a highly profitable jazz (***) radio station, now sadly
> closed, that had incredible key affluent demographic penetration.
> Their total listening audience was not large, but it dominated
> certain demographics.  On that basis they were able to charge, and
> easily get, fees for advertising that were fifteen or more times
> that of local pop stations that had audiences of, literally, a
> hundred times their size (but was mostly listed to by less affluent
> teeangers/young couples, etc).

This is exactly what I believe small commercial muds are good at, or can
be good at. 


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