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Old 05-05-2009, 01:24 AM   #1
rendekar
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mud builders make enough money??

i have a few questions;
mud builders earn enough money from muds?? do they need a syndicate? or is it completely a hobby? what are the difficulties of building a virtual world?

-just curious-
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:45 AM   #2
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Re: mud builders make enough money??

The vast majority of muds don't pay their builders at all. Simutronics (the company that owns DragonRealms and GemStone IV) only pay their "in-house" people a regular wage in their St. Louis Headquarters - their off-site "game masters" get a very small check monthly or quarterly (or something like that) check that might amount to the cost of their monthly DSL service. Not sure what the other pay to play games provide their builders, but most MUDs aren't pay to play. The pay to play *text* mud is a -very- tiny collection of games among the thousands of free muds that comprise the already-limited text mud niche. When I was head builder for a pay to play, I got to play for free. That was my "pay." I was fine with that, I enjoyed building and I enjoyed playing, it was a hobby and I had a paying job.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:43 PM   #3
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Re: mud builders make enough money??

Wouldn't look forward to making a living off MUDs anytime soon. Asides from the very few private companies that do have pay to play muds, it's highly unlikely that you'll make anything significant.
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:44 PM   #4
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Re: mud builders make enough money??

Unless you've got a decent amount of capital from interested investors, I wouldn't count on making money developing text-based games - certainly not enough to call a living. However, developing these games CAN lead to paying gigs in the graphical gaming world.
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:30 AM   #5
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Re: mud builders make enough money??

I don't have the intention to make living off muds, just asked this question out of my own curiosity.. but changed my previous thoughts about muds' future. i think commercial muds needs to increase in numbers.. especially for the health of hobbyist muds. this genre have to evolve to be a sector for its survival in the coming years.
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:41 AM   #6
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Re: mud builders make enough money??

Quote:
Originally Posted by rendekar View Post
I don't have the intention to make living off muds, just asked this question out of my own curiosity.. but changed my previous thoughts about muds' future. i think commercial muds needs to increase in numbers.. especially for the health of hobbyist muds. this genre have to evolve to be a sector for its survival in the coming years.
I have to disagree. What needs to happen really is a more co-operative community between MUDs. Too many people start their own mud when they could find a place on staff at one of the hundred or so being developed. Too many people simply linger here and there without finding their true niche or home mud. A lot of players simply try it and then quit. It's the community that lacks really, it's not solid at all.

Commercial muds will not get anywhere in the future in my opinion. Most businesses will cut and run once they start seeing losses and no net profit. They might keep their MUDs up, but the commercial enterprise will completely take leave once this happens. This applies to any online game that costs money. Depending on the state of the economy, people will spend less and less on trivial things such as online gaming. The numbers might not show it now but it is coming.

MUDs have always been a free pass time that people could share together, and they've evolved over time into better and more advanced, complex games. I think that in the end, these games that have evoled will remain standing the test of time whilst the rest crumble. The ones that tell stories, and cater to the urge for mankind to want to hear that story or become a part of it. Not to walk around killing everything you can find, or to socialize and chat. There are plenty of chat rooms and forums for that. The time of the stock MUDs will slowly dwindle to an end in the next ten years.
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Old 05-10-2009, 03:42 AM   #7
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Re: mud builders make enough money??

I have to disagree with you Delerak, I think we need both a more co-operative community AND high quality commercial games. Commercial games help bring more attention to the market, as they have the budgeting (and the need) to advertise outside of the market of current players which brings more people into the community. Even if they don't stick around, or decide they don't like spending money on the text game, some of them will still enjoy the different play style and flexibilty text offers over graphics and look for other, possibily free, games to spend their time playing. Combine that increased awareness the commercial games can bring to the community, and a more co-operative community as you have described and our genre will continue to survive and flourish.

As for your second statement, there has been much research done that states exactly the opposite. In a recession markets such as entertainment (movies, online games, etc), gambling and alchohol are unaffected or actually increase as people start looking for activities that take them away from their troubles and stress of the down economy, even if it's only for a short time. Here are a couple articles, mostly discussing console gaming but the concepts and reasoning applies to all gaming, that are interesting reads on the subject:

NPD: Games industry is recession proof | News | TechRadar UK

Gamasutra - News - Pachter: Games 'Highly Recession-Resistant' Despite Difficult September Results Ahead

Game Sales Expected to Soar During Recession - News and Analysis by PC Magazine

Is the video game industry recession-proof? - On the Level- msnbc.com
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:00 AM   #8
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Re: mud builders make enough money??

Yes, traditionally, entertainment and vice reign during economical times of strife. I think this has always been the case and will continue to be so. I don't watch any tv and home at all, almost never rent movies to watch at home, either, but I regularly see Monday matinees of new movies and I have seen a trend in just the last three months. Many more people sitting in the seats.

Statistically, this even includes unemployed. Everyone needs their escape and, as I work in the hospitality business, I find everyone is looking for a deal most of all; value that exceeds their expectations.

I pretty much try out everything new online and quite often get the chance to participate in beta tests (in two at the moment). I have tried Cartoon Network's Fusionfall, Free Realms, Mech Quest (I think it is called), Wizardry 101 and Ether Saga most recently. What I see is an enormous swing towards "free" to play graphical games with options to spend real money in various ways. To me, most of the browser-based ones are a dime a dozen (like Mech Quest) but some of these others are likely to zoom in popularity based on their quality alone. I feel even the MMO big guns out there will likely be impacted more if companies continue to produce games with such overall quality.

MUDs may continue to have their developers, especially people like myself who simply use them as a creative outlet and part-time hobby, but what I really fear is the gradually decline of role-players, themselves. In almost every major MMO there is a recognized niche of RPers, even servers devoted to them, and in almost every major MMO, these same servers get removed or merged as the developers apparently don't see the need for them. The players that are interested in immersion gradually decline or become overwhelmed by the "leet speakers" and many new MMOs (of all types) simply have no appropriate home for them to begin with.

Most MUD admins/developers would agree that text games probably offer one of the best roleplaying opportunities available to a gamer, I know I do. With the advent of fewer people interested in rping at all, I can see how MUDs are at a growing risk of being swept under the rug. To be honest, I am surprised Simutronics or any text game company can get away with charging for their games. Sure, Dragon Realms gave me many great memories but Simu has never lowered their subscription costs, even as they lost chunks of their player population. I think only diehards remain. They don't really need the money as long as they continue to sell their new graphic engine, I suppose.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:26 AM   #9
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Re: mud builders make enough money??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
When I was head builder for a pay to play, I got to play for free. That was my "pay." I was fine with that, I enjoyed building and I enjoyed playing, it was a hobby and I had a paying job.
Think that type of payment's pretty common. Tis essentially what I get for working on TribalWars, which while not a MUD is a similar concept (free-to-play browsergame that's essentially pay-for-perks, except there's only two type of players, those that pay a flat monthly fee for a premium account and those that don't, so you luckily can't pay more than anyone else to get an advantage over other paying customers).
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