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Old 08-07-2007, 08:47 PM   #1
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Post Sounding the waters for interest

Well, I've done the research. At a friend's request, I'm on a staff and helping to get the MU* set up, the rooms designed, some of the coding done, and the setting...

We've contacted the book series' author for permission to see if it's okay to use their theme, so that's hopefully legal issues out of the way. We've got our grid designed, and we're scouring for server hosts...

It's now just an issue of interest. The game is going to be science fiction with fantasy smatterings. We're all what you'd call "experienced" roleplayers with staffing and administrative/policy experience, and halfway decent coders who're willing to learn, but we're not sure if enough players will be interested in the idea and theme.

Can anyone recommend places to post up a general "Hey, who thinks this is interesting/has heard of this theme?" call? Or other advice? Do you think that people will come if you have a good theme anyway, without necessarily being a fan of the base "setting"?

It's going to be quite RP-centric, although coded combat resolution and other systems will be in place to help out, and for fun's sake. I just want to know, if anyone can say, what to do to see other people's opinions on my theme, before "wasting" the resources to test our a hare-brained idea. Or, is it impossible to tell until I start up?

Tips for the unsure MU-er who's been roped into starting something new, would be good.

Even tips for if we -do- start on the theme would be nice. Like, where to advertise for players/staff (Other than the fine forums here, of course).
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:38 PM   #2
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Re: Sounding the waters for interest

Ultimately I think it's impossible to tell until you start up. However there certainly are a few indicators you can measure. How popular is the book series? Are you designing for a niche (RP intensive) or the common denominator (bashing/grinding/leveling/raiding).

I don't think it's really going to tell you anything if you post a 'would you play this mud' topic here or on another mud forum, e.g. TMC. It could tell you something if you posted on a 'player' forum, i.e. maybe a forum for the book series. My one piece of advice for you would be to run a beta test with a small population of players to iron out kinks, advertise heavily when you open, and have something for the players to do as soon as they hit the ground in your world.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:43 PM   #3
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Re: Sounding the waters for interest

I think it's honestly a gamble for first time MU* developers. Strangely enough, your theme/world isn't going to matter as much as your gameplay and mechanics unless you're the only ones with the rights. Even then, people might not stay if they do not enjoy the way your game is PLAYED. It's very difficult to gauge the interest people have in a game before it's actually open since the gaming industry has generated so much vaporware.

People will come if you have a game worth playing, and they will bring more people. The good thing about going with someone's theme is that they've done all the world creation for you. Now you just have to worry about the game mechanics. Just be very careful in how you deviate from the author's world if you are going that route. Purists can be extremely hard to please.

I wish I could be more help, but honestly, without knowing what your game world offers, it would be very hard for players to judge if they will like it or not. Even with a list, it's impossible to tell how the game will play until we're playing it.
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:44 AM   #4
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Re: Sounding the waters for interest

Well, I don't have exclusive rights (just permission from the author to avoid legal issues later on). I'm the only one developing from this theme to my knowledge, and no current theme derived from it IS being used for a MUSH.

The thing is that it's highly RP-based. I've decided to develop a web site and wiki, and advertise for staff before I begin grid and code building.

It's moreso gonna be an RP MUSH with coded support for combat and skills and special abilities. I want all of it to be softcoded so I can add more options on player request. In truth, now that I have official permission, I can reveal with confidence that it's predicated on the theme from John Ringo's "Council Wars" series. Thus, I don't depend on series popularity to draw many people (it's a reasonably well-read series, but I've had trouble finding people who both know what it is and would play an RPG set in a fantasy simulation within a sci-fi world of high technology).

Anyway, I'll take this advice to heart. Sure it's a gamble, but if this idea doesn't work, I have others. I'm gonna start it up.
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