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Old 02-16-2012, 02:48 AM   #1
Orion
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Pay to play, donations.

I have been considering whether to accept donations via paypal on the MUD I'm creating, when/if it's ever up and running.

I think it would give me a bit of encouragement, and would allow the players to show a bit of appreciation for the work I'd put in, but I wouldn't treat any players differently regardless of whether or not they
donated.

I dislike the idea of offering IC benefits in exchange for payments, so I wouldn't want to do that.

I guess it would also help toward the cost of MUD hosting, forums etc.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:57 AM   #2
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Re: Pay to play, donations.

Your mud isn't even up yet and sounds like it's in the very initial stages, right? First, make sure your mud is worth money before you ask anybody to donate anything to it. Heck, worry about attracting a sizeable and dedicated playerbase before you worry about whehter to hit them up for cash. You're well within your rights to ask anybody for money for any reason, but if you don't have a donation-worthy mud or a playerbase yet, you really don't need to worry about whether asking for donations is going to alienate anybody.

Very few muds manage to even cover their server costs via player contributions. If you need encouragement to work on this mud of yours and aren't loving the hobby, it's doubtful you'll ever be up and running.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:50 PM   #3
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Re: Pay to play, donations.

I could open it at any time really. It's not in the initial stages. I've just been holding off opening it up for players because of wanting it to be 99% done before I do so. (I've been coding and building for years now, so it's fairly well developed at this stage.) I'm also not sure if there's much call for RPI muds anymore as the last 3 I've played on 'died,' and it's left me doubting whether it's worth the effort.

I see what you mean about it being early days. I wasn't saying I'd ask for the donations, just leave the option in case anyone wanted to do so. But I'll leave thinking about that until later on.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
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Re: Pay to play, donations.

Ah, one method to avoid irritating players is to make the top limit be the running costs of the server.
Of course, you won't make a profit doing that...
Also make the rewards be things that non-playing players can also earn, with some effort.

For an RP mud: custom items, description changes for players, pets, mounts, rooms, etc.

For a H+S mud... maybe hard-to-get items from within the game?
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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Re: Pay to play, donations.

I've allowed players to donate in the past but never encouraged it and have never offered any sort of incentive. Some of the players who have been around for a decade or longer feel it's a nice way to give back and help offset the costs of hosting/advertising.

One of the greatest features of MUDs is that they typically offer a ton of play-time at no cost.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:48 PM   #6
realmsofvalor
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Re: Pay to play, donations.

Hey Orion,

If you are building off an existing codebase, you should read up on the rules of the license. For example, Arantha (the MUD I work on) is based off of Circlemud, which is a derivative of DikuMUD. They both state you cannot make money or otherwise profit in any manner. Interpretation of the DikuMUD license has been a firebrand of conversation in years' past, particularly requesting donations to pay for server time.
Personally, I believe it is a violation to charge money or offer pay-for-perks and I do neither. I'm on the fence about donations strictly to pay for server costs, it is not an easy question to resolve and my MUD does not currently ask or accept donations. Merchandising your own copywritten material (Arantha the tee shirt, Arantha the color book, Arantha the lunch box) appears to be no violation of the license, and something I would like to explore further when the time and the demand are present.
If your MUD is all your own code or license permits, I would suggest spending the money ONLY on the costs to run and upkeep your game, and to be transparent about what is spent where if anyone asks. I believe you owe it to the people who would invest their money into your game to spend it with wisdom.
Cheers!
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:38 AM   #7
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Re: Pay to play, donations.

Thanks for that realmsofvalor.

I am using an existing codebase, but I've modified it so heavily that I doubt you'd recognise it. I'm not sure if that matters though. I've played on a MUD which was was a heavily modified version of another codebase, but they still accepted donations. At what point does a MUD become your own creation and not subject to the license agreement of the codebase you started with? I guess that's another question though.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:52 AM   #8
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Re: Pay to play, donations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion View Post
Thanks for that realmsofvalor.

I am using an existing codebase, but I've modified it so heavily that I doubt you'd recognise it. I'm not sure if that matters though. I've played on a MUD which was was a heavily modified version of another codebase, but they still accepted donations. At what point does a MUD become your own creation and not subject to the license agreement of the codebase you started with? I guess that's another question though.
Now THAT has caused very many arguments. Some say that because you started with someone else's work, it'll never be all yours.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:10 AM   #9
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Re: Pay to play, donations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by realmsofvalor View Post
If you are building off an existing codebase, you should read up on the rules of the license. For example, Arantha (the MUD I work on) is based off of Circlemud, which is a derivative of DikuMUD. They both state you cannot make money or otherwise profit in any manner.
The Circle licence explicitly prohibits donations, but that doesn't necessarily apply to other branches of DikuMUD. One of the Diku team has given his views on this subject, and I will repeat them here:

"I feel it is important that i make clear how i see the limits of the licence; You should know i am not against donations as such, and he may sell his merchandise as he pleases, but he may not use the game directly for this. The way i usually define this is if the players get some tangible modification within the game for their donations. Then it becomes commercialized. They pay for a service that is within the game.

I have no wish, nor any legal background for stopping donations made from commercials on the website, that offer no compensation game-wise. Nor have i any wish for preventing people selling merchandise on their website, that is related to the game (titled tshirts, mousepads etc..) .. in fact i recommend that you get your money this way."


-- Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt (29th August 2000)


"I just want to make clear where exactly the licence applies. And that is of course where using the sourcecode we have supplied, or sourcecode derived from our work.

If you give people any in-game benefits for their donations, you are in fact giving a service for the money you have rescieved. That is a commercial transaction, and thus you are commercializing our work. This we object to.

What i wanted to make clear, is that legally and morally we have no control of what you do, that you do not use our work for. Thus, if you want to sell mousepads and whatever from your website, we will not object.

If people want to donate money to you, personally, without having any services rendered using our software, we will not object to this. But if you use our software to render services for money or goods you rescieve, this we object to, as you are then commercializing our software. That we object to."


-- Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt (1st September 2000)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion View Post
I am using an existing codebase, but I've modified it so heavily that I doubt you'd recognise it. I'm not sure if that matters though.
It doesn't.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:51 PM   #10
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Thumbs down Re: Pay to play, donations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion View Post
I have been considering whether to accept donations via paypal on the MUD I'm creating, when/if it's ever up and running.

I think it would give me a bit of encouragement, and would allow the players to show a bit of appreciation for the work I'd put in, but I wouldn't treat any players differently regardless of whether or not they
donated.

I dislike the idea of offering IC benefits in exchange for payments, so I wouldn't want to do that.

I guess it would also help toward the cost of MUD hosting, forums etc.

Thoughts?
If it ain't 100% free it's not a MUD.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:22 PM   #11
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Re: Pay to play, donations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristan1992 View Post
If it ain't 100% free it's not a MUD.

Unfortunately, not all MUD's are run out of the Owners 'hip pocket'

Donations and setting aside advertisment spaces (web hosting, I believe it is called) is one way of attracting monies to help pay operating costs.

With the sour economy, expect to see more of this occuring to defer cost of operation.

Darren Brimhall
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:41 PM   #12
Jazuela
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Re: Pay to play, donations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristan1992 View Post
If it ain't 100% free it's not a MUD.
The people who coded the original game called MUD using their own custom code and engine, would likely disagree. Since the very first MUD (MUD, aka Essex MUD, aka MUD1) had been pay-to-play (and still might be, I can't remember but it 'is' still running).
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:13 AM   #13
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Re: Pay to play, donations.

Circlemud may prohibit donations for the MUD but there's NOTHING they can do about you accepting donations for your website for the MUD. I really think it's silly as hell for the Circlemud creator guy to say no donations at all, even if they're a strict donation like they should be. Accepting donations to keep the web domain online is the loophole for the poorly made Circlemud license. I wonder if Mr. Jeremy Elson would prohibit one of my real life friends who play my MUD from giving me a birthday present of 20 dollars that I decided to pay my bills with, which includes my server bill. It's like this guy is on a powertrip and wants to restrict a MUD owner who uses Circlemud to never have any money transactions for the rest of their life if that said money is going to be used to pay for a hosting fee. My mom plays my MUD, so does that mean I can't call up her and ask to borrow 20 dollars because I'm behind on money for my bills? I wonder if I can have my wife pay for my server since she's an admin on my MUD. That may be considered a donation by the nazi. I know I'm being a jerk about this but I've never agreed with how the Circlemud license is so nazi-like compared to the rest of the Diku license.
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