[MUD-Dev] Re: Some survey results...

Andrew Wilson andrew at aaaaaaaa.demon.co.uk
Wed Nov 21 11:41:02 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Dr. Cat:

> The simplest way nowadays to tell how many people are on Furcadia
> is to go to www.furcadia.com and look.  Our other programmer did a
> script that updates the page every minute or so I think - more
> efficient to execute code only that often than to have a page
> running a script every time another web surfer comes to visit.
> :X)

Great, I think I'll be doing that in future.

> We peak at 1200-1300 these days.  I'd Average usage over the
> course of a 24 hour period would be perhaps 500-600 on a weekday,
> more like 750 on a saturday or sunday.  It looks like for the last
> week the average has been 602.25 users.  I don't know who that .25
> of a person is, maybe it's Herve Villechaize or something.  :X)

Perhaps it's a whole person, but also listening to the radio or
eating a snack, their attention thinned aout a little.

I wonder if anyone's looked at how much attention any one site
requires.  I suppose some places which are highly interractive
require lots of time staring at the screen, typing, and others allow
you to nip out and fix a coffee every once in a while.  Can a site
be *too* engrossing?

> Regarding the "human condition" - I think we see rather a lot of
> it, something to do with not trying to shove a "game" or a "story"
> in there too much, just putting people in with some tools and
> seeing what happens.  I could tell some pretty amazing stories
> about things that've happened in and around Furcadia.  Someday
> I'll have to write a book or something.

Mmm, a big site must generate a fair amount of real-time fiction, by
which I mean, lots of stories being told or acted out.  Perhaps
there's scope for capturing this kind of thing and reworking it as a
novel?  Lots of sites are based on an elaborate back-story that
helps to set the tone for role-playing or general user behaviour,
but can the reverse be true?  Is there an untapped market in book
generation sitting in there?  Discworld has the Terry Pratchett
novels to provoke peoples' imaginations, could Furcadia produce a
book a year from the 'amazing stories and things' that you're
observing?  And in general, how capable are muds at spontaniously
producing recognisable story-arcs, not just themse that have been
deliberately inserted byut the admins?  Wanna go into publishing?


andrew at awns.com
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