[MUD-Dev] Working with Franchises

Damion Schubert damion at zenofdesign.com
Sun Feb 16 13:35:14 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

From: Geoff Lane
> Damion Schubert:
>> All the folks who worked on Millionaire can point to their
>> paychecks and say "we did our part."  They can then point to the
>> owners of ABC and say "you guys didn't follow up."
> Millionaire is losing audience on both sides of the pond because
> it's "value" was squandered.  In the UK, as soon as it was noticed
> that Millionaire provided a quarenteed audience, it was used as a
> schedule honeypot to attract audiences to less successful
> programs.  When Millionaire was on one or more times a day there
> was no rarity value -- there's always another episode on soon, so
> missing one was no longer a problem.

And my point was just that that was a decision that ABC made that
was, very likely, born out of their immediate and short-term needs.
Did they squander the long-term potential for short-term gain?
Indubitably.  However, ABC was in a position where they really
didn't have a choice.  The hope was to use 'Millionaire' as a way to
get people to change the channel to ABC, long enough for them to
discover the other programs ABC had but was ignoring.

This would have worked pretty well if ABC's problem was that they
had good content that no one was watching.  Instead of, say,
America's Funniest Home Videos.

> Application to MUDs?  High value player rewards should be
> relatively rare, otherwise you end up devaluing the reward and
> generating inflation within the game. But players who never seem
> to be successful will soon leave a game so maybe there is more
> value in providing individual player goals and rewards rather than
> a common "quest" that all compete to win.  Even better is a bit of
> both I suppose - one of the really good aspects of Elite was you
> could choose from a number of styles of play, any one of which
> provided a good game.

Counter-application: it takes 3 years to ship an MMP, but it takes
five to create a truly competitive, full-fledged feature set.  The
designer needs to make true 'bang-for-your-buck' decisions that will
engage the player from ship to 2 years later.  (I.e. put in great
PvE combat to tide them over until you can get guild sieges in).
Sure, they might be sick to death of whacking rats by the time you
get the bigger, more ambitious systems in, but at that point, who
cares?  You've got something bigger going on.


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