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Old 05-30-2014, 01:41 PM   #1
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Should I make a MUD?

So I'm developing an MMORPG server. I'm intending to create a mobile game using it but just for testing purposes I created a console application that lets you issue commands to the server through text. It's pretty much a MUD client. Now I'm thinking that I should create a full scale MUD since I more or less have the skeleton for one in place but I'm not sure if it would be worth it.

I don't know if I'd be able to find any players. I'm thinking maybe it would be smarter to just focus on testing and development for my mobile game instead of going off on a tanget that no one would be interested in (I've been developing for years already and I really would like to get my mobile game wrapped up). On the other hand I do have a flair for writing and I think I could make a really cool MUD. But coolness wont matter if I don't have any players.

So I'm kinda looking for someone here to convince me investing the time in making a MUD would be worth it.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:13 PM   #2
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Re: Should I make a MUD?

What, specifically, interests you in making a MUD other than feeling like your writing abilities would help you make a cool one?

Do you have anything specific in mind that would make your MUD stand out from others?

Do you have a niche or system in mind that your potential MUD would fill that isn't already?

I'm not one to ever discourage someone from chasing something they want to do, but it is difficult to attract enough players these days for a newer MUD, and often times it takes something pretty incredible OR a ton of work staying on top of advertising in order to draw people in (or really more specifically, take time away from whatever other MUDs that are currently playing).

There's plenty of great MUDs out there already hurting for help and players... my suggestion would be if you don't really have anything specific, stand-outish, or new to contribute in the form of an entirely new MUD, both your time and the community as a whole may would be better served by you joining an existing project to satisfy whatever it is that has you drawn toward the idea of making a MUD.

There's also the train of thought that it's always easier to know what you are getting into, in making a new MUD, by first serving as staff on an existing one for a bit.

But as far as it being "worth it", speaking from personal experience, it's growing ever more difficult to gauge whether or not being involved in MUD creation is worth it by the number of players you bring in or hold on to. Sure, we all want at least a couple dozen players on our games at any given time, but that's growing increasingly difficult and rare, save for the long established or well funded games. About a year and a half ago, we were peaking at around 20-30 players nightly during the week for about a month or two, but it has significantly dropped since then, and that seems to be about as good as most new or less established games can hope for these days, and those numbers were only achieved by pretty much constant posting on the forums and keeping my profile signature visible, and weekly advertising posts.

My "worth it" now has become far, far less about the number of people enjoying the game, and more about my own enjoyment in the creation process, and seeing ideas turn into a living, tangible world. I would caution anyone getting started to consider whether or not that is worth it to them, because it's more likely than not that this will be what you'll end up having to rely on to keep you motivated.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:37 PM   #3
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Re: Should I make a MUD?

As usual, I am in agreement with HK. If you do it, it would have to be about the kinds of cool things you can do in a MUD that you can't feasibly do in any other indie game, the kinds that make you happy and proud, and maybe even a little dizzy.

But if you're like me and you need players to validate your work completely, then I think you will not be completely satisfied with "just another MUD." I tried to kill two birds with one stone, a game with a graphical mobile app that is also playable in pure text, but it's hard work. You could just spin off a MUD from your current project and try to do both. I currently take turns between working on my "hybrid" game as well as on a project that is more visual, but much simpler.

You can have the best of both worlds, just don't set yourself any deadlines
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: Should I make a MUD?

The fact that I've gotten two responses already is very encouraging. I wasn't expecting this board to be so active.

I'm a perfectionist so naturally if I set my mind to making a MUD, either it will be the best MUD to ever exist or it will never be finished.

I'm definitely leaning towards making one.

Plamzi a hybrid sounds cool, although even I'm not ambitious enough to try that . I think I can develop both projects in parallel though. They'll be separate games but I think I could re-use a good deal of code between them both, and use the MUD to work out any kinks in the code. So even if the MUD never gets a single player it wouldn't be completely for nothing.

HK I don't have a niche or a system in mind yet. To be honest I haven't played many Muds. I've tried a few out long ago, but I've never really gotten into one. I suppose becoming a MUD player should be my first step. I'm sure I can find a few of the best with a google search but if you guys have any suggestions I'd be glad to hear them.

Guess I'll spend the next few days playing and thinking up ideas and if I'm not 100% in love with the thought of making a MUD after that I'll just forget about it focus on my current project.

Thanks guys.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:31 PM   #5
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Re: Should I make a MUD?

The problem is the amount of effort spent into making a MUD, and maintaining it as the years pass by.

I personally gave up on making my own MUD - I only write on it to test out ideas.

It is much better to collaborate with other people and bundle efforts.

Try to find a MUD that somehow suits and fits you, then try to help out that MUD when it already has a playerbase and you can try to help expand it.

MUDs are no longer what they used to be in the 1990s, simply because there are many other games.

My advice would be to help improve existing ones, extend the possibilities of these MUDs rather than make a MUD that you will abandon after 10 years anyway because of reallife obligations - which will come up, I speak of personal experience here.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:50 AM   #6
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Re: Should I make a MUD?

According to me, regarding the creation of a MU*s in 2014, you have to ask yourself and deal with two topics.

First of all. The approach to the game. MU*s are not what...wait. They are actually. They are exactly the same as in the 90's but with the 3D gaming industry evolving, the "interest" of text gaming is becoming almost nonexistent. That is why we must understand that, no matter how much advertising a game has, it is still the problem of the interest of the gamer. Meaning that I am convinced that anyone can enjoy a text game. Really. I mean writing or reading isnt dead is it? And fantasy fiction isn't dead is it?(Lousy, mainstreamed game of thrones). So what is happening to the MUD community exactly?
Like I said, approach is so important. Your approach to the game and it's creation of content. And the consumers approach to the game. Which is all in text. What the ****? Where is a gun I can see?
Create yourself a concrete manifest of the creation of the game/world. I mean this is also a discussion of world building in general. What is good content, what is satisfactory. It sure as hell isn't a fantasy setting if that's what you think. Our target is not the one who is idle in the game until they come home from work and start playing. No. New people. Maybe young people. And in such a situation its not really wise to create another mainstreamed setting is it. Another question is what is the true output of the game? Fun? Well...if everything is about fun, why don't we let everyone take some ecstasy.

That means. As a second point. Like the others have said to. As long as you don't bring anything new to the table. Stop it right now. Your average fantasy/sci-fi MU* must be scrapped.

Second of all. This I touched a little earlier but. ANYONE ENJOYS A TEXT GAME. Remember that, it's not like some people have a magical mindset that makes them enjoy text gaming. Anyone does, since the book isn't dead. We have our preferences sure. I mean, it is a fact that some would not be in to it right? But with the right kind of approach, both from you as the creator and the slow deconstruction of pop cultural gaming, the amount of satisfaction and intelligence gained from text gaming can't be described. Be open about what kind of path the game is going to take. You must be unique when it comes to both the frame of the content, but also the content itself. Forget one of them and your game is not interesting.

An example: Here's a new MUD, it seems so fascinating and new and wonderful. But what? Ah I see, the content is just like any other, what a shame. All unique mechanics are then for no use.

The other way around: Oh, a game like any other, I don't know, let me try it. This is very interesting and I love the content, but its a shame that these old school mechanics hinder the gameplay.

(You can obviously disagree with these examples)

This all is just not my "opinion" in its practical use, we see patterns that this kind of method is important.

Last edited by Otviss : 06-01-2014 at 11:01 AM.
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