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Old 10-27-2005, 05:03 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fifi @ Oct. 27 2005,06:19)
I'd love to have the opportunity to pick your brain about how to start a profitable game without much capital.
He just gave you his suggestion: Sweat equity.

I doubt you could ever start a profitable game without much capital. What you could do, however, is put a lot of time and effort into creating a mud, and then turn it into a profitable game.

For example, you might do something like:

Step 1: Download a free compiler.

Step 2: Spend a few thousand hours creating a decent mud.

Step 3: Find a host (you might even be able to negotiate a free one).

Step 4: Spend a couple of years building up a playerbase.

Step 5: Go commercial.

After that you could use the money for advertising, to get better hosting, and so on.

The hardest part is step 2 - it will require a lot of time, effort, perseverance and motivation. You'll also need vision and skill, not only to design a mud that people are willing to pay for, but also to be able to develop it.
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Old 10-27-2005, 01:14 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Oct. 27 2005)
The hardest part is step 2 - it will require a lot of time, effort, perseverance and motivation.  You'll also need vision and skill, not only to design a mud that people are willing to pay for, but also to be able to develop it.
I completely agree with KaVir on that part.  I don't think most people who want to start-up their own "profitable" MUD ever sit down and think about that.  I think somewhere along the line they think they can do it all, and still deliver a successful game within a short amount of time.

I know I did  

Even if it only takes 1500 hours exactly to code a feature-rich successful MUD - meaning profitable - (and I think it takes much longer than that), people should realize the average "hobbist" programmer, meaning one who has other commitments - to pay bills etc. - usually only has about 20 hours a week to program on their game.

1500 hours total / 20 hours a week = 75 weeks for completion, or about 17-18 months.

And that doesn't include design time, testing time, time to build a website to enhance the game, advertising, etc.   That's why I think most dreams of building a profitable MUD won't succeed - because people fail from the beginning to plan accurately.  And for whatever reasons, they don't want to join together in teams to get the job done.
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Old 10-27-2005, 04:15 PM   #103
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Kavir basically has the right of it.

The only real expenses involved in starting a MUD is human labor. Yes, you might license an engine from someone (what I did starting out), may have to get a server, etc, but those all pale in comparison to what you'd have to pay yourself if you were doing that.

I don't know your personal situation, Fifi, but what you can expect is to have no life beyond garnering money to live and working on your MUD, for a couple years. I tell you, I can't say I look back with great fondness on that period of my life. I often wasn't sure how I was going to pay my rent or eat next month, and lived in basically one room where I slept and worked...and worked...and worked. I had to teach myself to code too, as the last time I had done any coding was 5 years earlier, in high school, and then only in Pascal.

So...

1. Work work work work. Work some more. Sleep is for the weak.

2. Open as soon as you have a semblance of a MUD. Don't really advertise at first as you don't want lots of people seeing the rather poor MUD you'll probably have at this stage, but do get some people who are willing to help and maybe some people who just want to play with whatever you have there. Psychologically, I found that it was very difficult to spend literally almost all my time working on a MUD for a couple years without any player feedback. I started feeling like it was just NEVER going to open, and that's a difficult feeling to deal with when you're working by yourself. So, involve other people as soon as possible. Teamwork is more fun.

3. Work some more. Keep working. Most important thing is not to give up. You definitely will not succeed if you give up. You can be pretty darn sure of that.

4. Remember that you're there to serve players, not the other way around.

I realize that my advice is so general as to feel like I'm holding some secrets or "real" advice back, but I'm not. There are only a few factors: How much you're willing to work, how capable you are at performing that work, how much what you've worked on appeals to players, and how well you can get the word out to players it will appeal to.

--matt
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Old 10-27-2005, 06:25 PM   #104
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Thank you for the advice. I'm not a coder. Though, there is an argument for learning. Currently, I am very happily working on a non-commercial mud, obviously not in a coding capacity. We are using the public version of SoI's code, (I'm constantly amazed by the generosity of many brilliant people.) T

his is obviously not a ever going to be commercial, and I am fine with that. I suppose more than wanting to make a living from mudding (of course getting paid to do what you like is attractive, but in this case nothing I would want to have to bank on. ) I suppose my true interest in a commercial project (in a team setting, I'd imagine) is that I think a commerical rpi would be good for the rpi community over all. I don't know if I should say this in a mudding format, but what I think would really have public appeal and work as a beacon to all the people out there who love fantasy novels and don't like leveling is an rpi mmorpg. I think people initially find graphics more accessable. I think it would raise awareness of rpis, and some of these people would eventually look at text games -people who might not try muds without having tried a graphical game first.
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:39 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fifi @ Oct. 27 2005,19:25)
I don't know if I should say this in a mudding format, but what I think would really have public appeal and work as a beacon to all the people out there who love fantasy novels and don't like leveling is an rpi mmorpg. I think people initially find graphics more accessable. I think it would raise awareness of rpis, and some of these people would eventually look at text games -people who might not try muds without having tried a graphical game first.
Frankly, a text RPI is a better proposition business-wise than a graphical RPI. Reasonably intense roleplaying graphical games have been tried, such as Lyra Studio's Underlight. They are MUCH less successful compared to successful graphical MUDs than text RPI MUDs are compared to successful text MUDs.

The thing is, people who like fantasy novels (and there are lots of them) generally don't care about roleplaying. Roleplaying in the RPI sense is just an incredibly niche pursuit, and the cost of producing graphics makes any graphical product a LOT more expensive to produce than a text product.

--matt
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Old 10-27-2005, 09:12 PM   #106
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My first gaming experience was Underlight. I was a die-hard player for two years. I think their lack of success has more to do with how they compared to the larger markets. Not that they're not a good game, if it's what you like. But they weren't competitive. Graphically. Staff-wise. Size. Options. And they're not really an rpi, nor do I think the emphasis on RP was their downfall.
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Old 10-27-2005, 09:47 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Lanthum @ Oct. 27 2005,14:14)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Oct. 27 2005)
The hardest part is step 2 - it will require a lot of time, effort, perseverance and motivation.  You'll also need vision and skill, not only to design a mud that people are willing to pay for, but also to be able to develop it.
I completely agree with KaVir on that part.  I don't think most people who want to start-up their own "profitable" MUD ever sit down and think about that.  I think somewhere along the line they think they can do it all, and still deliver a successful game within a short amount of time.

I know I did  

Even if it only takes 1500 hours exactly to code a feature-rich successful MUD - meaning profitable - (and I think it takes much longer than that), people should realize the average "hobbist" programmer, meaning one who has other commitments - to pay bills etc. - usually only has about 20 hours a week to program on their game.

1500 hours total / 20 hours a week = 75 weeks for completion, or about 17-18 months.

And that doesn't include design time, testing time, time to build a website to enhance the game, advertising, etc.   That's why I think most dreams of building a profitable MUD won't succeed - because people fail from the beginning to plan accurately.  And for whatever reasons, they don't want to join together in teams to get the job done.
Nice to see someone agree with me on this point as I've had a few question my decision to hold off on actually beginning the coding/building phase on my MUD until I'd finished a good amount of world design and for planning on at least 18-24 months between the start of coding/building and opening. I was told "anything more than six months and it will fail" but I honestly don't believe that dedicated people concentrating on thorough quality is a recipe for failure. The opposite, quick construction and release, seems far worse to me.

Some nice discussion has evolved out of an old thread though, and it's a shame a new one wasn't started. So, I'm going to start one on this topic.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 10-27-2005, 09:51 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fifi @ Oct. 27 2005,19:25)
but what I think would really have public appeal and work as a beacon to all the people out there who love fantasy novels and don't like leveling is an rpi mmorpg.
The assumption there being that those that read fantasy novels would like to create/work towards the story instead of simply reading it.
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Old 10-27-2005, 09:59 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Rivalyn @ Oct. 27 2005,22:51)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fifi @ Oct. 27 2005,19:25)
but what I think would really have public appeal and work as a beacon to all the people out there who love fantasy novels and don't like leveling is an rpi mmorpg.
The assumption there being that those that read fantasy novels would like to create/work towards the story instead of simply reading it.
Not all of them. But there are millions of them. Even a small percentage translates to big numbers.
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Old 10-28-2005, 02:43 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fifi @ Oct. 27 2005,22:59)
Not all of them. But there are millions of them. Even a small percentage translates to big numbers.
This is genuinely intended constructive criticism: One of the classic mistakes people make when planning a business is to proceed based on exactly what you said. I have heard, from multiple professional investors, jokes before about how many business plans they've read that say, "There are <x> people in this market. If we just capture 1% of it, we'll be rich!"

The intersection of people who read fantasy novels, people who like hardcore roleplaying, and people who want to play graphical MUDs is not very big. That's your potential market, and of course, it's only really possible to capture a relatively small percentage of that small market. That's in return for a minimum $20 million investment in order to create a competitive graphical MUD. Minimum. WoW was about 60 million (at a bottom estimate) including worldwide deployment costs.

And I mean, if you're saying that Underlight is relatively unsuccessful because it wasn't competitive in terms of graphics, staff, etc, then you may as well just give up hope now. $20 million for a hardcore roleplaying product is impossible to justify financially.

--matt
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:22 PM   #111
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There are significant differences between the Achaean issue system, and the Imperian one, though the process itself is nearly identical. The main difference is the volume of issues, Achaea's being larger, due to the number of players, the different rules and the actual differences between the realms themselves. However, judgements on issues are not biased, but based on history, behaviour and assorted other information available to the Administrators. Any punishment recieved is not personal, but generally deserved, but regardless of this it is almost always the case that the punished feels they were wrongfully dealt with, by someone who clearly must hate them.

It's quite natural to project bias onto a 'faceless' system, but ultimately if you screw up, you get punished, you deserve it. Out of all of those punished, ever, a good 90% will complain they were mistreated and their issue clearly dealt with by a biased Administration. The heads of whatever game this claim is made on always take care to make sure that an issue is dealt with impartially, and if there were some biased judgements made, those making them would be quite quickly dealt with.

Ultimately, follow the rules, and you won't be punished. If you are... you've been naughty.
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:04 PM   #112
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Juganothion/the_logos: A page of posts about why Juganothion is (deservedly or undeservedly) banned from one of your games is more appropriate for private communication.  Take it there. I've truncated some existing posts.
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Old 10-31-2005, 11:43 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Oct. 28 2005,03:43)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fifi @ Oct. 27 2005,22:59)
Not all of them. But there are millions of them. Even a small percentage translates to big numbers.
This is genuinely intended constructive criticism: One of the classic mistakes people make when planning a business is to proceed based on exactly what you said. I have heard, from multiple professional investors, jokes before about how many business plans they've read that say, "There are <x> people in this market. If we just capture 1% of it, we'll be rich!"

The intersection of people who read fantasy novels, people who like hardcore roleplaying, and people who want to play graphical MUDs is not very big. That's your potential market, and of course, it's only really possible to capture a relatively small percentage of that small market. That's in return for a minimum $20 million investment in order to create a competitive graphical MUD. Minimum. WoW was about 60 million (at a bottom estimate) including worldwide deployment costs.

And I mean, if you're saying that Underlight is relatively unsuccessful because it wasn't competitive in terms of graphics, staff, etc, then you may as well just give up hope now. $20 million for a hardcore roleplaying product is impossible to justify financially.

--matt
I see your point. Shame really.
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Old 11-01-2005, 12:10 AM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ Oct. 31 2005,22:04)
Juganothion/the_logos: A page of posts about why Juganothion is (deservedly or undeservedly) banned from one of your games is more appropriate for private communication.  Take it there.  I've truncated some existing posts.
Fantastic. Nice to see some moderation around here.

--matt
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