[MUD-Dev] Innovation restrictions (was: Information sharing)

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Tue May 8 03:34:00 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Mon, 7 May 2001, Richard A. Bartle wrote:
> On 06 May 2001, Greg Munt wrote:

>> Or, at least, players are unwilling/unready to accept big changes
>> to something that they already use. Innovation has to be presented
>> as a completely new game.

> Exactly. Even if it is a new game, though, the players of existing
> games will tend to feel uneasy about it. After all, by implication
> it's supposed to be "better" than the game they're playing at the
> moment. This perhaps explains some of the generally cynical response
> that new ideas receive.

This is an interesting problem in the perception of games as opposed
to other entertainment media, which doesn't reflect very well on the
games consumers as a whole. It's very odd, to me, to me, to consider a
newer game somehow implicitly better than an older one. Most people
look at games that way, but it demonstrates a real superficiality in
games consumers. Would you say that literature that is new is better? 
Movies that are new are better? I wouldn't, and I don't think most
consumers would automatically equate new with better. More sensibly,
they'd equate new with different. Granted, there is the issue of the
technology of delivering the content getting better, but the quality
of film and whatnot has improved, along with special effects, and yet
I don't see movies today any better generally than movies were 30
years ago.

>> An observation: free muds seem to develop, change, grow and evolve
>> as a single long-lived entity, whereas commerical muds don't seem
>> to do that.

> Some free MUDs do, yes, but others are fossilised from the moment
> they start.

Yes, and likewise, some commercial MUDs do continue to grow and
develop. Everquest has sold 2 expansions so far and is selling a
third. Achaea is under constant development. I actually assume that
most commercial MUDs that are profitable do continue to grow and
change, but maybe I'm wrong. I know Avalon changed at a snail's pace
if at all during the years I played it.

>> They have limits on their growth; anything outside those limits has
>> to be presented as a sequel, or another game entirely.  !  > A lot
>> of this may be to do with the fact that they can wring more > money
>> out of the players if they do it that way.



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