[MUD-Dev] Open Source Online Gaming

Aaron Mitchell aaron at fate.net
Mon Mar 13 11:12:10 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


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Hello everyone on Mud-Dev,
=20
Something I am interested in working on is a MUD style game similar to =
AC, EQ, UO, etc.  Technically speaking, there are a set of tasks that =
have to be tackled to start a project like this.  However the questions =
I had for Mud-Dev, hopefully which some of you can comment on or answer, =
are more business directed.  I know alot of you work in the industry of =
gaming and particularily online gaming, so any feedback you have on this =
would be greatly appreciated.

First of all, has anyone heard of or built a successful business model =
in the online gaming industry centered around an open source project?  I =
like the idea of open source products, especially the community =
development aspects, but still would like to develop a commercially =
viable product. =20

I know companies like RedHat maintain a completely open source project =
that they do pretty well charging for, and it seems that in the online =
gaming industry, it would be easy to extend this strategy to include a =
membership fee structure.  The membership fee could be associated with =
use of the product on a specific set of servers, and the product could =
be sold on CD or downloaded for free.  There would most likely be a host =
of free servers out there, since the server software (or maybe a portion =
of it?) would be open source as well.  Would the availability of free =
servers destroy the commercial potential of pay servers? =20

The things that I imagine would help pay servers remain desirable over =
free servers is most importantly bandwidth and low latency.  I doubt, =
unless some sort of online connection limitations were implemented, that =
many popular free servers could be indefinitely maintained without an =
income to pay for bandwidth and server costs.  Another edge pay servers =
would have over free servers is an abundance of high quality digital =
artwork and graphics.  A company maintaining a profitable server could =
keep 2d/3d artists on staff to continually develop the visual aspects of =
the game, which I would think are very important to alot of mainstream =
gamers.

Does anyone know of any companies with plans similar to this? I'd also =
be very interested in hearing if any companies have thought about this =
but already ruled it out for whatever reasons.  Most importatnly, any =
feedback on the potential problems or obstacles a project like this =
might face would be very much appreciated.  Thanks,

Aaron M.
aaron at fate.net

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<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Hello everyone on =
Mud-Dev,<BR>&nbsp;<BR>Something I=20
am interested in working on is a MUD style game similar to AC, EQ, UO,=20
etc.&nbsp; Technically speaking, there are a set of tasks that have to =
be=20
tackled to start a project like this.&nbsp; However the questions I had =
for=20
Mud-Dev, hopefully which some of you can comment on or answer, are more =
business=20
directed.&nbsp; I know alot of you work in the industry of gaming and=20
particularily online gaming, so any feedback you have on this would be =
greatly=20
appreciated.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>First of all, has anyone heard of or =
built a=20
successful business model in the online gaming industry centered around =
an open=20
source project?&nbsp; I like the idea of open source products, =
especially the=20
community development aspects, but still would like to develop a =
commercially=20
viable product.&nbsp; </FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>I know companies like RedHat maintain a =
completely=20
open source project that they do pretty well charging for, and it seems =
that in=20
the online gaming industry, it would be easy to extend this strategy to =
include=20
a membership fee structure.&nbsp; The membership fee could be associated =
with=20
use of the product on a specific set of servers, and the product could =
be sold=20
on CD or downloaded for free.&nbsp; There would most likely be a host of =
free=20
servers out there, since the server software (or maybe a portion of it?) =
would=20
be open source as well.&nbsp; Would the availability of free servers =
destroy the=20
commercial potential of pay servers?&nbsp; </FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>The things that I imagine would help =
pay servers=20
remain desirable over free servers is most importantly bandwidth and low =

latency.&nbsp; I doubt, unless some sort of online connection =
limitations were=20
implemented, that many popular free servers could be indefinitely =
maintained=20
without an income to pay for bandwidth and server costs.&nbsp; Another =
edge pay=20
servers would have over free servers is an abundance of high quality =
digital=20
artwork and graphics.&nbsp; A company maintaining a profitable server =
could keep=20
2d/3d artists on staff to continually develop the visual aspects of the =
game,=20
which I would think are very important to alot of mainstream=20
gamers.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Does anyone know of any companies with =
plans=20
similar to this? I'd also be very interested in hearing if any companies =
have=20
thought about this but already ruled it out for whatever reasons.&nbsp; =
Most=20
importatnly, any feedback on the potential problems or obstacles a =
project like=20
this might face would be very much appreciated.&nbsp; =
Thanks,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Aaron M.<BR><A=20
href=3D"mailto:aaron at fate.net">aaron at fate.net</A></FONT></DIV></BODY></HT=
ML>

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