[MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook

Koster Koster
Thu Aug 3 08:31:17 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


> -----Original Message-----
> From: mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu 
> [mailto:mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu]On Behalf Of
> Matt Chatterley
> Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2000 5:50 AM
> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook
> 
> 
> On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Raph Koster wrote:
> 
> > 
> > 
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu 
> > > [mailto:mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu]On Behalf Of
> > > Nathan Clemons
> > > Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2000 6:02 PM
> > > To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> > > Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook
> > > 
> > > The MUD is never the player's, unless it's a pay-per-play.
> > 
> > Why? What difference does money make?
> 
> For me, it would change many of the key dynamics. Instead of purely 
> designing and coding for pleasure, I would be attempting to create a 
> profit from it - it introduces elements of marketing, public relations 
> and of simply ensuring return custom which are just not essential to 
> non-commercial games.

And which are nonetheless present in every mud that is open to the public.

If it's truly just for your pleasure, don't open it to the public. Leave it
on your hard drive. Maybe have some friends log in. Don't ever let someone
you don't know on it. Otherwise, you ARE dealing with marketing, public
relations, and retention.

And in fact, scratch that. Even if it's just your friends, you worry about
those things, because otherwise your mismanagement of the mud may cost you
friendships. I've seen that too, and I bet many others have.

Fact is, muds are always the players'. This does not preclude it being the
admins' also. But when admins deny that players have a stake in it, they are
denying the stake they have in the players. And I've never seen a mud which
had no stake in the players--presumably because muds that TRULY have no
stake in the players aren't open to the public and stayed on someone's hard
drive. :)

What changes when money is introduced is your motive for keeping players
happy. But by and large (and yes, I know that the vanishingly small
percentage of admins who really don't give a flip will jump up and
contradict me here) muds want to keep players and keep players happy,
regardless of whether they do it for money or for ego or out of a sense of
public service. We may as well admit that as soon as a goal is to keep
players happy, we have ceded a degree of ownership in the mud in every
practical sense even if not in a lofty philosophical sense.

> If a player or group thereof, become disgruntled and leave, giving you 
> bad press, you have to think about the financial repercussions of such, 
> not just 'gosh, that was annoying'. Perhaps.

I've seen exactly this situation escalate into reputation-ruining flame
threads on Usenet, with a lot at stake in terms of personal happiness,
standing with one's peers, future viability of other muds by the same staff,
etc etc. Haven't you?

> Its not a situation which I've actually been put in yet, mind, so I'm 
> working from a set of imaginings and assumptions.

Seems to me that there are a lot of examples to look at...

-Raph



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