Top Mud Sites Forum Return to TopMudSites.com
Go Back   Top Mud Sites Forum > Mud Development and Administration > MUD Administration
Click here to Register

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-19-2007, 02:23 PM   #41
shadowfyr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 310
shadowfyr will become famous soon enough
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Actually, I imagine the experience of trying to run a game on a PDA and cringe. First, the screens are small enough that its not practical to provide 80 columns of text, any less of which is imho not optimal for playing a text game. Second, because of the screen size, graphics is actually probably easier to deal with. Third, unless its one of the newer phones, with complete keyboards, commands in games are often screwy enough that even the "guess what I am trying to type" system texters use isn't going to be that useful. And finally... Until there is some standardization in those devices, in both the file systems, APIs and code execution (which ain't likely to happen), there is no certainty at all that coding something that will run on a Palm, for example, will also run on a Nokia phone, or a Motorola, or what ever. You might manage to get the same language on the phone, only to find that the critical socket protocols are not accessable from *that* language. As someone that has tried to just code a simple calculation program to figure out what I have to charge + the broker fee, to match the current prices on the markets and EQII, and couldn't bloody find anything which didn't have an endless list of stupid limitations to it to do that, trying to code a web app for one gives me hives. lol But heh, good luck with that.
shadowfyr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 09:31 PM   #42
Threshold
Legend
 
Threshold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Home MUD: Threshold RPG
Posts: 1,241
Threshold will become famous soon enough
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
With all due respect, that's like claiming that the cinematic trailers that video games put out pre-release don't help because they make players feel like they've been tricked since the in-game graphics aren't as good. You ever seen the original WoW trailer, for instance? It bears almost no relationship to how the characters look in-game and yet I'll bet you almost anything you want that it was very effective at peaking people's interest. There's a reason that Blizzard has, literally, an 85 person strong cinematics team.
I think this is a very fine line. The comparison above isn't quite applicable, since at least a graphical trailer for a graphical game uses the same medium as the game to attract players. And even then, sometimes games do worse than they would have precisely because they raise expectations too high with trailers and intro videos that the game itself cannot live up to.

But like I said, it is a fine line. There is definitely a certain level of graphics (or sound for that matter) that can entice and maintain interest. An especially good client that provides some sort of graphical interface for the entire game creates enough continuity between the graphical web site and the text based game that the player won't feel "tricked."
Threshold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 09:45 PM   #43
Threshold
Legend
 
Threshold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Home MUD: Threshold RPG
Posts: 1,241
Threshold will become famous soon enough
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
If you want some great examples of how important a low barrier to entry is when you don't have $20 million to spend on marketing, go look at Runescape, Gaia Online, Habbo, Neopets, Club Penguin, and so on. Now try and find me a single online game community with comparable development budgets (no comparing WoW, with its 9 figure budget, to Runescape, which started as one guy in his parents bedroom...and has more players than WoW today) that even approaches their size that requires you to download a huge client before you start playing. (No need to look. There are none.)

If you don't want to restrict yourself to online games, that's fine. Look at the 50 most popular websites in the world. Tell me how many of them require you to download and install a client to use them vs. using a client technology that almost all users already have installed (browsers, flash, etc). (Again, no need to look. There are none.)
This is such a huge and important point I think it deserves being quoted in full.

People get so focussed on WoW they fail to understand that there are actually a lot of games (and sites) out there that are enormously more successful - not only in terms of number of users, but in profits. WoW has a freakishly huge budget. They pay a lot of money for each customer they have. Club Penguin was just bought for $700 million (assuming the game reaches various sales targets) by Disney and is tiny in budget compared to WoW.

A lot of these successful games obtain their success by being ACCESSIBLE. Heck, even WoW owes a lot of its success to the fact that it was more accessible than its MMO forbears.

A nice, pretty UI is obviously very important, but easy of use and lack of complicated setup/download is also enormously important.
Threshold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2007, 01:03 PM   #44
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,301
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hephos View Post
IMO, it can be.
Based on what? Do you have some experience showing that simply, say, increasing client size by 10x increases conversion rates?

I mean, if you believe what you're saying you'd be busy packing garbage data into your client right now since you're asserting that bigger download is somehow going to get you a better overall conversion rate from people who view your site to people who stick in your game.

Quote:
Text muds require a lot of more inital time before you can get hooked into them compared to graphic games. If you have downloaded a game, and spent some work into getting into it started, I believe you are more willing to give it a fair testing.
This misses the point. You're talking about the conversion rate of people who have already downloaded the client. I'd agree that the rate of people who stick who have bothered to sit through a fat download is likely to be higher than the rate of people who stick who didn't have to go through it.

That's just not particularly relevant. The rate you need to be concerned with is the rate of conversion between initial contact and sticking in the game and I don't believe you're going to be able to present a single piece of convincing evidence that demonstrates that pumping up the size of a client increases that ratio.

Again though, if you believe that a bigger client will increase your conversion rate, why not just fill your client full of useless data and pump it up to 100 gigs in size?


Quote:
At least i would. I'm so much more willing to shutdown a game if its started from within a browser, compared to if i have installed it off a cd or a download, (and even more so if i spent money on it).
Yes, which again misses the point. You are talking about people who have already jumped the barrier to entry in the case of someone who has already downloaded the client or already spent money on the client (in the case of WoW, for instance). The point is that the higher the barrier to entry the fewer people will jump it. You might convert those few people more efficiently but again, what matters is how many people end up playing your game, not how efficiently the people who did download the big client stick with the game.

But again, I encourage you to test out your theory by pumping your client way up in size and comparing how many players X dollars in ad spending to people previously unfamiliar with text MUDs nets you compared to the same amount of ad spending when pushing people towards a thin client. If having a bigger client is, all other things equal, an advantage then you should find that the same ad spend gets you more players with the big client.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2007, 01:16 PM   #45
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,301
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

One final point: There's nothing wrong with a full-featured client that looks great. That's fantastic. It should NOT be presented as a monolithic download though. Get the bare minimum to the player and then stream everything else in as-needed in the background. It's the initial download that is the barrier to the player, not what happens subsequently and (mainly invisibly) in the background.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2007, 01:30 PM   #46
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,301
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
I think this is a very fine line. The comparison above isn't quite applicable, since at least a graphical trailer for a graphical game uses the same medium as the game to attract players.
Ok, so how many successful books do you notice that are released with unadorned covers? I know when I go to Amazon and search for books I am presented with all sorts of images of books. The cover art is deemed important enough, in fact, that it's often changed up to appeal to different audiences. Have a look here, for instance, to see the MAJOR differences between the US, UK, and UK 'Adult' versions of the recent Harry Potter book: Harry Potter Pictures, Images and Graphics

Quote:
And even then, sometimes games do worse than they would have precisely because they raise expectations too high with trailers and intro videos that the game itself cannot live up to.
This seems very speculative. I'm not sure how you're able to derive how a game would have done without CGI trailers.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2007, 05:48 PM   #47
Threshold
Legend
 
Threshold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Home MUD: Threshold RPG
Posts: 1,241
Threshold will become famous soon enough
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
Ok, so how many successful books do you notice that are released with unadorned covers?
Maybe I misunderstood what was being postulated.

I thought the possibility being discussed was doing a lot more than just a pretty cover. I mean, a web site with graphics is pretty much the analogue to a book cover, right? Then it is another step further to have a fully graphical character creation system. Then it is yet ANOTHER step further if one tries to make the newbie tutorial graphical as well.

My point is, there comes a time where in a text MUD you just have to own up to it being text. If you try to wow them with graphics too much, you're just wasting their time (and yours).

That is why I said there is a line somewhere that has to be drawn. The key if figuring out the balance between enticement and bait-and-switch.

Graphical web site is fine.

Graphical character creation is probably also fine, but starting to push it.

Graphics beyond that starts to edge into the bait-and-switch category, because now you are talking about actual gameplay that is not representative of the actual game.


Quote:
Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
This seems very speculative. I'm not sure how you're able to derive how a game would have done without CGI trailers.
Well, I admit I don't have the time or inclination to dig up the citations, but I've seen numerous games get absolutely savaged in reviews (print, internet, and tv) precisely because the trailer/intro movie were too outrageous in misrepresenting the game (in content, features, or graphical quality). Now reviews don't outright determine sales, but they do play a role in helping or hindering sales. From personal experience, I've played games whose graphics wouldn't have bothered me if not for the trickery of a trailer that grossly exaggerated the looks of the game.
Threshold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2007, 08:11 PM   #48
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,301
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Maybe I misunderstood what was being postulated.

I thought the possibility being discussed was doing a lot more than just a pretty cover. I mean, a web site with graphics is pretty much the analogue to a book cover, right? Then it is another step further to have a fully graphical character creation system. Then it is yet ANOTHER step further if one tries to make the newbie tutorial graphical as well.

My point is, there comes a time where in a text MUD you just have to own up to it being text. If you try to wow them with graphics too much, you're just wasting their time (and yours).

That is why I said there is a line somewhere that has to be drawn. The key if figuring out the balance between enticement and bait-and-switch.

Graphical web site is fine.

Graphical character creation is probably also fine, but starting to push it.

Graphics beyond that starts to edge into the bait-and-switch category, because now you are talking about actual gameplay that is not representative of the actual game.
Perhaps, perhaps not. I really don't know. I'm not really aware of anyone that has tried this and kept good stats on the process. I suspect the trick may be (who knows though of course) trying to 'fuzz' the line so that it isn't just a jump from some graphics to no graphics. I imagine, for instance, displaying attractive pictures that are illustrative of the general environment one is in (rather than trying to illustrate specifics or actions) that are displayed more frequently -> less frequently over time (probably over a not-very-long period of time for pure practicality reasons).

I just strongly feel that there's a point at which the text interface ceases to become a burden for people, allowing them to enjoy the world/game itself and getting to that point takes time. That this point exists for most people is speculation on my part, but if it does exist then I think that if you can keep people long enough to reach that point you're going to keep a lot more of them.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2007, 04:33 PM   #49
lovechiefs
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 71
lovechiefs is on a distinguished road
Send a message via ICQ to lovechiefs Send a message via AIM to lovechiefs Send a message via MSN to lovechiefs Send a message via Yahoo to lovechiefs
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Nice thread and my apologies for reviving it,but I just saw it.
There is another issue MUD owners need to keep in mind:

for those of us coming/still playing graphical games, roleplaying is not usually what MUD consider roleplay.
So even if new players pass the tutorial and such, they still have a 95% chance in quitting because of some Muds hard core roleplay.
Just take my example. I have tried many times to stick to IRE muds or to Carrion Field,but because of the required roleplay, I get bored, get frustrated not being able to talk and such
lovechiefs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2007, 02:27 AM   #50
Zeno
Member
 
Zeno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Saratoga, NY
Home MUD: Bleached InuYasha Galaxy
Posts: 188
Zeno is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Zeno Send a message via MSN to Zeno Send a message via Yahoo to Zeno
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

I would also like to show my findings of advertising beyond MUDs. Somehow my MUD managed to get added to Online Games Inn (I didn't add it). This site isn't really meant for MUDs.

With 1072 visits, the average time on the website was 3min 31sec. This is 64% better than the site average (this doesn't mean it's good though, could just be people trying to figure out how to play). The bounce rate (people leaving the site from the entrance page) was 9.33%, which is 77.10% worse than the site average. Although that could just mean they saw the address & port, and loaded up the MUD client to connect. But a bounce means they never clicked "Play now".
Zeno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2007, 05:41 PM   #51
Newworlds
Legend
 
Newworlds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Name: NewWorlds
Home MUD: New Worlds
Posts: 1,384
Newworlds will become famous soon enoughNewworlds will become famous soon enough
Thumbs up Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

I love this thread for several reasons, but the main one is the premise. Most of the posts in this thread center around one thing: Bringing players into our universe of text gaming.

I used to be a HUGE graphics gamer and programmer of graphics based games when I found the Text world. Like many, it was daunting and shocking to find people interacting in this fashion and egotistically I scoffed at it, but two weeks later I was hooked and only very infrequently play graphics games anymore.

I think all of us (admins, creatiors, and players) working together to draw the crowd of uninformed to our worlds it not only benefits each of our games, it benefits the Universe of Text Gaming. Some have mentioned in posts on other threads that we should be working with eachother not against eachother in this effort and I am inclined to agree and will try to maintain a level of professionalism and positivity for the other Text Worlds that are part of this Text Universe.

For those that are interested, here is the thread that talks about the book vs. the movie stated on a previous post in this thread:

http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/ro...ook-movie.html
Newworlds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 04:42 PM   #52
Aeran
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 208
Aeran is on a distinguished road
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

I think we must consider what is really tried to be achieved. We are trying to get people who play advanced 3D mmrpgs that contain massive content and amazing simulations to start play "simple" text games. Big commercial mmrpgs have huge teams to support developing the game. Most MUDs would have it very difficult to match that level of quality.

What do MUDs have to offer that the 3D mmrpgs don't? Roleplay? Most of those 3D games also have textual chats so the roleplay doesn't necessarily need to be any worse. Some even support voice chat. Roleplay in MUD is about imagination, isn't it? There's little reason people can't use their imagination in a 3D mmrpg. Many of the mmrpgs also appear to have animated emotes which also could be used for roleplay, and these things will become more advanced.

The competition from the big mmrpgs will not get easier. Look at for example Guild Wars. You pay once and then you can play as much as you like. I think the game Archlord has some similar bussiness model to Iron Realms. Atleast that game doesn't appear to have monthly fees anymore. Also I believe Guild Wars 2 is just around the corner.

How many of the 3D mmrpg players do you think will be interested in text games? Even then how long will it take before some company release the next WoW and do another heavy attack on the text MUD community?

I think there's not only a need to discuss how to reach beyond text MUDs, but also how to increase quality. Why should anyone want to play text MUDs if they can play 3D MUDs that is superior in both quality and content?

It is one thing to advertise the MUD community, but if those people who see the advertisement finds games they feel are bad it wont do much good. I have noticed a lot of people tend to compare the new mmrpgs they play to the first one. How will they compare a MUD to their first mmrpg?
Aeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 05:05 PM   #53
Zeno
Member
 
Zeno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Saratoga, NY
Home MUD: Bleached InuYasha Galaxy
Posts: 188
Zeno is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Zeno Send a message via MSN to Zeno Send a message via Yahoo to Zeno
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

I think you're generalizing far too much, Aeran. There are going to be quality MUDs and quality MMOs. And then there are terrible MUDs as well as terrible MMOs. Just because the MMO has a professional staff being paid doesn't mean it'll be quality.

Take for example Seal Online.com (note I'm not bashing it, I actually play it). You don't even have to play the game to see the "quality" of the game. Go to the forums. You'll see that any post with a quote in it used to "break" the forums. Now they make the quotes escape, except... the slash character still shows up in actual posts. This is even something I could fix. Then you get into the game. Most quests are simply randomly generated. The text bubbles wrap at any character (and not spaces).

I could go on... but you get my point.
Zeno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 05:42 PM   #54
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeran View Post
I think we must consider what is really tried to be achieved. We are trying to get people who play advanced 3D mmrpgs that contain massive content and amazing simulations to start play "simple" text games.
Graphical muds are still a fair way behind text-based muds, except for the actual graphics and sound. The good old "book vs movie" comparison still holds true.
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 07:05 PM   #55
Aeran
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 208
Aeran is on a distinguished road
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
I think you're generalizing far too much, Aeran. There are going to be quality MUDs and quality MMOs. And then there are terrible MUDs as well as terrible MMOs. Just because the MMO has a professional staff being paid doesn't mean it'll be quality.

I could go on... but you get my point.
Yes but the big graphical MMOs have a lot more players compared to the big text MUDs. What we call a big MUD is small when looking at the large MMOs. I believed a paid staff had larger possibilities to succeed in making a MMO, but I guess that isn't necessarily the case.

What I would suggest is that we try to write down some recommendations for running a MUD. It could include everything from design suggestions for client to quest design to website. Simple re-usable patterns that admins and players have experience help improve quality and that could help new MUDs to get started without repeating past mistakes. The patterns shouldn't be tied to any codebase in particular but more general guidelines. By writing patterns people can also challenge them. Are they correct, and do they add to a text game?
Aeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 07:25 PM   #56
Zeno
Member
 
Zeno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Saratoga, NY
Home MUD: Bleached InuYasha Galaxy
Posts: 188
Zeno is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Zeno Send a message via MSN to Zeno Send a message via Yahoo to Zeno
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

The playerbase doesn't represent the quality a game. MMOs tend to have a lot more advertising compared to MUDs.
Zeno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 07:44 PM   #57
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
The playerbase doesn't represent the quality a game.
Agreed. That's like arguing that McDonalds must serve high quality food, because they get so many customers.
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 07:52 PM   #58
Aeran
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 208
Aeran is on a distinguished road
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
The playerbase doesn't represent the quality a game. MMOs tend to have a lot more advertising compared to MUDs.
Look at this quote from the_logos post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
If you want some great examples of how important a low barrier to entry is when you don't have $20 million to spend on marketing, go look at Runescape, Gaia Online, Habbo, Neopets, Club Penguin, and so on. Now try and find me a single online game community with comparable development budgets (no comparing WoW, with its 9 figure budget, to Runescape, which started as one guy in his parents bedroom...and has more players than WoW today) that even approaches their size that requires you to download a huge client before you start playing.
As I interpret it Runescape didn't have any large budget to do advertising and still the game ended up with a very large pbase. As I remember it there used to be some quote mentioned in the MUD community some years ago. Something like "If you build it they'll come" so it isn't certain that the issue is advertising.
Aeran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 08:10 PM   #59
Zeno
Member
 
Zeno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Saratoga, NY
Home MUD: Bleached InuYasha Galaxy
Posts: 188
Zeno is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Zeno Send a message via MSN to Zeno Send a message via Yahoo to Zeno
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

There are always exceptions though. And yes, there is more to making a game popular than just advertising.
Zeno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 01:21 AM   #60
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,301
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Re: Reaching out beyond text MUDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
There are always exceptions though. And yes, there is more to making a game popular than just advertising.
Far more considering that word of mouth is, by far, the most important way for both text and graphical MUDs/MMOs to get new players. Word of mouth happens only because people are excited about the game and think it's worth telling other people about.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Style based on a design by Essilor
Copyright Top Mud Sites.com 2014