[MUD-Dev] DESIGN: The game with a thousand faces

Mike Rozak Mike at mxac.com.au
Fri Apr 1 13:04:09 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005

Raph Koster wrote:

> Sounds like stock-mud syndrome, which was the big bugaboo back
> when I first joined the list in 1996.  Then again, it also sounds
> like the network TV schedule.

Or, in TV terms, "stock sitcom" syndrome. But TV has come up with
more than just sitcoms... cop shows, medical shows, reality TV,
sci-fi shows, soap opera, etc. Each of these genres has a different
basic formula and attracts a fair share of the audience. The
stock-MUD PvW genre (which would include WoW and EQ) attracts the
bulk of the VW audience. Today's lack of VW diversity is like having
a TV schedule with 90% sitcoms.

> There are plenty of other local minimas.

What are they? Looking through MUD and MMORPG lists I've found: PvW
with some optional PvE (WoW, EQ, and friends), pure PvP where
players impact the world, player with player (ATITD), creation-based
worlds (Second Life), pure role playing (many text MUDs), GM
moderated (Skotos), Puzzle Pirates (is this a genre?), and
adventure-game (Uru). Some of these could be seen as just variants
of others. Are there other genres?

Is there a rule of thumb to guess if a potential local minima really
exists? (Other than looking at historical attempts to impliment it.)

> But network effects dictate that most people won't be chasing
> them.  Then again, network effects also state that if the products
> out there all become stockmuds, the overall growth of the market
> will be capped.

I'm not familiar with the term, "network effects". Are you referring
to the VC, publisher, distributor, retailer chain?

Mike Rozak
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