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Old 04-19-2013, 12:36 AM   #41
plamzi
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Did you miss my earlier post in this thread?

That's not playing a zero sum game at all nor is it simply going after "MUD vets". We are aggressively doing things to bring Threshold to people that aren't currently part of the text mud community. It is working extremely well, and it is working without alienating our existing players by warping Threshold into something completely different.
I did miss your earlier post. My impressions were based on a long list of responses to LFM threads, as well as on your OP, in which you pretty much said that bringing social networking into your MUD is never going to happen. Yet, you seem to have social media links on the Threshold website, so I have to assume they are not doing any warping being there. So I'm curious to know at what point exactly you think the warping will occur...

I clicked on Top Mud Sites - MUD and RPG Rankings - Mud Database, RPG & MUD Forums, MUD Articles, MUD Reviews and got a "Server Not Found" so I can't ATM evaluate the effectiveness of your enterprise in bringing fresh blood to mudding. I can only say that, if you are already doing that, via the kinds of modernized spinoffs that I've been advocating, then what exactly are you protesting in my ideas, which, if anything, seem very similar to yours?

I never said you should take your existing game and ruin it by trying to make it 'cool' for teens, that's just something you think I said. What I've been saying instead is that it may be possible to take the most essential aspects of what makes a MUD great, and wrap them in a much more modern interface, one that even today's teenagers won't be called 'geeks' by their peers for playing. If that's what you tried to do with Primordiax, then we're already on the same page.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:44 AM   #42
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

As a quick sidenote, Alter Aeon also doesn't fight over the limited pool of mud vets. We get virtually no players from TMS or TMC, and at least half of our userbase is true first timers. I'm ok with that. In a lot of ways, the preconceived notions that most vets have about how muds should be run is more of a hindrance than a help.

I recognized the 'shrinking pool' problem quite some time ago, as I'm sure most of the other major muds have. I suspect most of the major games already have pans in the fire on the problem, or have focused on some niche so as to avoid it. They didn't get big by being stupid.

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Old 04-19-2013, 02:07 PM   #43
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

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Originally Posted by plamzi View Post
I did miss your earlier post.
Ok, cool. That explains a lot then.

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Originally Posted by plamzi View Post
in which you pretty much said that bringing social networking into your MUD is never going to happen.
I don't recall ever saying that. Social media is a HUGE part of all of our games. We integrate with social media as much as possible without being annoying.


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Originally Posted by plamzi View Post
I never said you should take your existing game and ruin it by trying to make it 'cool' for teens, that's just something you think I said.
I don't recall saying that either.


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Originally Posted by plamzi View Post
What I've been saying instead is that it may be possible to take the most essential aspects of what makes a MUD great, and wrap them in a much more modern interface, one that even today's teenagers won't be called 'geeks' by their peers for playing.
Maybe we're talking past each other a bit.

If you're suggesting that for brand new games, I agree.

If you are suggesting people take existing games with a happy community of players, then I think any radical transformation to a graphically heavy interface is a bad idea.

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Originally Posted by plamzi View Post
If that's what you tried to do with Primordiax, then we're already on the same page.
Primordiax was an entirely new game. So yeah, maybe we are.

Although we shut Primordiax down partly because it was it was too much of a "tweener" between text and graphics. We really should have just gone all the way with graphics at that point - even if the backend was basically a MUD.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:13 AM   #44
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

If you want to get new players into MUDs, then a smart idea would be to take some aspects of newer games that my generation are used to playing, say graphics and add it as a plugin to the clients, with something like an option to have a "Full Graphical Output", to say the basic Plugins that God Wars II/Aardwolf have, but put a few stages between, so new players can slowly learn about the gameplay and world, and slowly gain confidence. Obviously, since its a MUD, you would want the playerbase to at sometime use the pure MUD mode for their preference, and rightfully so, which means adding a delay to the GUI, which shrinks with the less GUI options you have, meaning you'll keep the game fair in PvP etc. when you have someone using GUI vs pure text. But this is just my opinion, as most people of my generation slag of 3 year old games for having "**** graphics", so a graphical interface of a god quality is only way i can see of getting them. That would pull them in, and the hardcore people will end up going to the text based play, thanks to no delays, while you keep the casual players.

Another way to bring them in more players would be to have a more conventional system for introducing the players to the game; Rules/Terms & Condition at the start, Character Creation, then a very short forced tutorial or safe area for players to gain confidence in the commands, with some printed movement and other basic commands on screen.

I never played a MUD before, but got to grips with Aardwolf controls fairly quickly simply because I've played/owned about 100 games over pretty much every genre, so was used to the usual controls schemes, but when i got my friend to try, who came from the same MMO as me, she got confused quickly, and had to have me explain the controls to her. Some text files/forums on the website of the MUDs would help new players figure out how big the community is, how active and the basics of the game. Wikis are ok, but forums give a feeling of activity.

Adding a GUI is in no way alienating your existing players if you add delays to balance the newbies and vets. If you implement it well, it should keep most of your players (as it would be optional to play with GUI) and preferable to casual players, and be a good intro for players who'll become more serious and go full text. You could treat using no GUI like Aardwolf treats people using Compression: reward them with some gold/Quest points/etc.

As for getting more players, if you added your games to RetroGamer magazines database with a PLAYER and not a DEVELOPER then you may get more players (i could do this as i have a database account). I'm also just about to write to the magazine about whether they can run a MUD article, and If anybodies interested in me naming some particular MUDs, forum PM me before Tuesday. This magazine is the largest and most major one that can niche games genres, and is probably the best bet for gaining new players, since i've seen them cover new homebrew text adventures monthly in the latter section of the mag. You could also add very minimal graphic schemes to the MUDs or just do a system like God Wars II, and show the progress of the graphics on "the spriters resource" forums (which im also a member of), which will probably yield friendlier, higher quality interfaces and a few players.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:24 AM   #45
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

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Quick update:

We are working hard on expanding our PvP and player guild systems, as well as on introducing a number of new twists to classes and character creation: character backgrounds, new Ranger skills, to name a few.

In parallel, we are completely overhauling the iOS app with stunning new visuals, a group monitoring panel, easier controls, faster response. Did you know that a MUD on the phone can look like this?






And finally, one of our power players has contributed an amazing world map plugin for Mudlet that makes exploring even high-end areas a lot easier:



Just found this. If you could do something like that for a download client/web client, with maybe a tiny amount of ability to custamise the character (say have 3 skin tones/give him a shirt :P) on top as an option, with a basic animation scheme (1 magic animation, 1 melee animation, 1 dieing animation and 1 block animation) then this would be a perfect way to gain new players, especially if you add incentives like i said on my previous post.

I think Plazmi's got one of the best foundations for this method of gaining new players. If you combined that with maybe the God Wars II plugins for MUSHclient, then you'd have a very good system to introduce new players to MUDs.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:52 AM   #46
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

I think you are really insulting both the intelligence of new players as well as well, first I have to ask.

If you have a full graphical client for a mud, where then is the advantage of a MUD over your standard game? The game ceases to be a good option for people with limited bandwidth, weak computers or desiring for the kind of RP that makes MUDs special.

Those being the only three advantages I can think of MUDS possessing.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:50 PM   #47
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

Well, if you want the 'kids' you got to think how vain they are. They just want graphics. And, if you want to gain a proper foothold in the Massive Multiplayer scene, you need to make one way for more casual gamers to be introduced, as the hardcore gamers are pretty much established with what ever game they've chosen, and the load of MUDs already existing have spread out the actual core mudders that are left. So either make the game more accessible with a simpler interface or try and find some more ex-mudders, and theirs a far more finite supply of ex-mudders.

If you want to compete with MMOs, then you'll need to have a game thats a accessible. That and the graphics/music are the only difference i experience in MUDs, where MUDs dont come out on top. Graphics pull in the younger people, and even some older people, because they initial base purchases or their time based on screen shots, and MUD screen shots leave them cold. The 2 largest markets are going to be female players, which Nintendo has shown involves a slightly casualler approach (i'm not being sexist, just market research) and those vain teenagers who mostly care for Graphics. I was just suggesting making a friendly way to gain new players to MUDs, but then try and use that to draw them into the proper MUD experience. I wasnt saying completely change the interface. That'd be pointless. But if you want to keep everything as it is, then you will only be pulling from the same small market of players.

An optional graphical interface will initially draw in players, and the underlining aspects on the MUD should keep them.

As by insulting new players intelligence, i know what they look for, ESPECIALLY my age range (10-20). They want graphics and tend not to care about gameplay until their about 10 hours in. This range is also the biggest range for videogames. It is also the one that tends not to read as much, and thats why alot will ignore the MUDs. I'm not insulting their intelligence, alot are smart, but they like what they know, and the MUDs have a very different style to MMOs that they know. A GUI helps bridge the gap for introducing them.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:55 PM   #48
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

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Maybe we're talking past each other a bit.

If you're suggesting that for brand new games, I agree.

If you are suggesting people take existing games with a happy community of players, then I think any radical transformation to a graphically heavy interface is a bad idea.

Primordiax was an entirely new game. So yeah, maybe we are.

Although we shut Primordiax down partly because it was it was too much of a "tweener" between text and graphics. We really should have just gone all the way with graphics at that point - even if the backend was basically a MUD.
We are talking past each other a bit, even though we have more common ground than not.

I don't understand why you're hung up on the brand new vs. existing thing. Like I said, it takes 30 sec. to branch off any MUD server. So anyone who wants to keep their "pure" MUD can absolutely choose to do so. It would be absurd of me to advocate that people must morph their existing games. They can, if they want, or they can start with a clean codebase, or they can branch their existing customized or custom code, whatever works in their case...

The end goal here is far more important. As it turns out, it seems that my end goal may be similar to what you tried with Primordiax. I haven't seen its UI so I'm totally guessing here. What I'm thinking about is a game that is driven by a MUD server, with all the advantages that offers to developers and contributing players, but with a UI that matches or beats any modern browser-based game. With HTML5, and with high-quality stock art, this is now more possible than it has ever been. Especially if a team of MUD developers pools their resources.

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I think you are really insulting both the intelligence of new players as well as well, first I have to ask...
I think this comment is coming from the "purist" point of view that many MUD vets find difficult to abstract themselves from. Why else would you assume that offering a more visual client insults people who have no idea what a MUD is? Do you really think that a teen in 2013 will log into a graphical game and say, "This is so stupid. Obviously, this game was meant to be played as if I'm in a Linux shell, so why are they giving me all these imagination-limiting visuals??".

Anyway, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing and we'll just have to remember that no-one is forcing you to play my game (or any game) with a graphical client, and that I'm not "out to get" your favorite all-text RP MUDs, either. So there.

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If you have a full graphical client for a mud, where then is the advantage of a MUD over your standard game?
Keep in mind that I'm not going for full-graphical, really. I'm going for the most graphical hybrid that I can do without losing what I think makes MUDs special and worth preserving for new generations of players. There is still a lot more text than in a adventure/puzzle game, a lot more text than any 2D scroller or 3D MMO, with all the ability to emote and role-play fully intact for both all-text client players as well as for hybrid client players.

With that in mind, many of the advantages of a MUD server continue to apply. It's definitely harder to add new content because you have to have art for it, and it's somewhat harder to implement features in a way that can accommodate full-text as well as hybrid-graphical UI's. But compared to 2D scrollers and 3D MMO's, creating a sophisticated world is a whole lot easier.

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The game ceases to be a good option for people with limited bandwidth, weak computers, or desiring for the kind of RP that makes MUDs special.
Part of the definition of a 'gateway MUD' for me is that it continues to support even simple telnet. So, if you are on a dialup and an 8MB RAM PC that can't run a graphical OS, you'd be able to connect and play via telnet, just like in 1992.

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Those being the only three advantages I can think of MUDS possessing.
I can think of a lot more advantages than these. I guess that's why I'm trying my best to help teenagers discover MUDs. I wish we could have more ways to wow today's teens, and then tell them, "You know, what you're enjoying so much (because it blows your average BB RPG out of the water) is a type of game that goes back to the early 1990's. And by the way, when you get deeper in it, you may find that the all-text interface is not as 'lame' as it looks on first sight. And by the way, there are hundreds of other games like this one that you may want to explore." That's what I call a gateway MUD.

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Old 04-20-2013, 04:35 PM   #49
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

By the way, I'm not a MUD vet, I am 21 right now and started when I was 15-16. I have no clue what purist is by the way. i just know why I started looking at MUDs.

Okay I kind of get what you are going for. Someone browsing around casually, looking for something fun to spend their time on. So you get yourself on someplace like kongregate and get yourself an app, so now you have the foot traffic. Then you get yourself the graphics so new people have this sense of familiarity.

So you've gone and did all this effort. And work and time spent. A massive commitment. So now these people are trying your game out where they haven't before.

When they start playing, what is it about your Mud do you think is going to 'keep' them playing. What unique, can't find outside of a MUD experience they are going to have in the first day of playing, in which they are trying to give your game a chance to see if they enjoy it? Instead of them just thinking its some sort of weird clunky MMO?

Because honestly when I look at the visuals I'm thinking 'Holy Freak! Thats a huge commitment of time, money and general resources!"

Also unrelated, are there any Hybrid Muds out there with like easy to modify 8 bit graphics?
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:21 PM   #50
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

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When they start playing, what is it about your Mud do you think is going to 'keep' them playing. What unique, can't find outside of a MUD experience they are going to have in the first day of playing, in which they are trying to give your game a chance to see if they enjoy it? Instead of them just thinking its some sort of weird clunky MMO?
The answer to that is a long laundry list. But to put it very simply: more depth, more content, more community = much longer avg. player career.

I'm sure that if you think of your favorite MUD, you'd have no trouble coming up with a long list of things you can only find there, or else you wouldn't be playing a 20-year-old genre.

As for player career length, it's pretty much a universal feature of all good MUDs, and it is something we should tout at every opportunity. Suffice it to say that you played MUDs for 6 years and don't think of yourself as a veteran. Compare that to most modern MMOs (especially mobile ones) where everyone who has played more than a few months is an ancient, and where the whole game life cycle (game is released, people come, people go, game dies) sometimes unfolds within a year. The exceptions to that rule are the big names that can be counted on the finger of one hand.

You can tell from my app that I'm particularly focused on mobile. Take a look at what passes for a mobile MMO these days, compare it to any of today's top 200 MUDs, imagine a non-weird and non-clunky client for those games, and then see if you still need to ask the uniqueness question.

The same applies to today's social BB MMO's, some of which have player bases the size of all MUDs combined. The gameplay is so thin, limited, and formulaic, that even a stock Diku or LPMud from 1992 would be a revelation by comparison.

So isn't there an opportunity here, if the product is packaged right, and assuming that there are folks out there who would rather play a deep online RPG than a shallow one? I believe there is.

Yes, it's a huge amount of work. I've already offered some major components that I've spent thousands of hours collecting. I don't expect that there would be any interest in teaming up. I expect to just keep going at it solo. But maybe this thread will get some other folks thinking. And if more of us focus energy on this, I strongly believe that the community as a whole will benefit.

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Well, if you want the 'kids'...
+100

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Old 04-20-2013, 05:40 PM   #51
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

...if you want the "kids"...

Well it depends on which kids you mean. If you mean "the kids who want to play multi-shooter H&S graphics games," then no, I don't want the kids.

If you mean "the kids who like to read and who might be interested in creating and participating in an interactive storyline," then yeah I want the kids. And kids like that, aren't going to "need" graphics in order to get pulled toward text games.

I want people who want to play text games, to play text games. I want people who want to play graphics, to play graphics. I do not want text games to try and be graphic games. When Gemstone came out with an updated super-graphical front end, that's pretty much when I started weaning myself off of it and wandering back to the less graphical telnet-type clients. I quite GS for a lot of reasons, but that was definitely on the top 10 list. I just could not STAND the graphics, and there was no other way to access the game. If you wanted to play GS, you had to use their Wizard. I'm pretty sure you still can't play GS without downloading and using their Wizard; it isn't accessable via telnet at all.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:03 PM   #52
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

I've always thought of MUDS as something tabletop gamers would find to play in between sessions of whatever game they play.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:31 PM   #53
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

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...if you want the "kids"...

Well it depends on which kids you mean. If you mean "the kids who want to play multi-shooter H&S graphics games," then no, I don't want the kids.

If you mean "the kids who like to read and who might be interested in creating and participating in an interactive storyline," then yeah I want the kids. And kids like that, aren't going to "need" graphics in order to get pulled toward text games.
One small real-world detail: above all, kids want to fit in and socialize with other kids their age. This applies to even the most creative and intelligent ones among them. They may eventually love a text-based game, but they're not even going to try it if they fear they'd be labeled as geeks by their peers.

Another small real-world detail: generations of gamers set the bar of what kind of entertainment they would even consider trying. Even in 1996 when I first discovered MUDs, a game with no graphics was below that bar for 90% of my social group. The bar is much higher now, and it includes not only graphics, but also accessibility and social networking. At this point, MUDs as they are, fall below the bar for 99.99% of the gamer population, at least. That includes many millions of people "interested in creating and participating in an interactive storyline" and at least a few million people much smarter and more imaginative than you and I. Yet, they will not pick up a text-based game.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:10 PM   #54
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

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One small real-world detail: above all, kids want to fit in and socialize with other kids their age. This applies to even the most creative and intelligent ones among them. They may eventually love a text-based game, but they're not even going to try it if they fear they'd be labeled as geeks by their peers.

Another small real-world detail: generations of gamers set the bar of what kind of entertainment they would even consider trying. Even in 1996 when I first discovered MUDs, a game with no graphics was below that bar for 90% of my social group. The bar is much higher now, and it includes not only graphics, but also accessibility and social networking. At this point, MUDs as they are, fall below the bar for 99.99% of the gamer population, at least. That includes many millions of people "interested in creating and participating in an interactive storyline" and at least a few million people much smarter and more imaginative than you and I. Yet, they will not pick up a text-based game.
I just don't see any problem that needs to be solved here. Text games attract people who are attracted to text games. Graphics games attract people who are attracted to graphics games. People who are attracted to games in general and aren't too particular which type they play, or actively enjoy both, will play both.

This so-called "problem" that the OP feels needs to be "solved," isn't occurring in Armageddon. In fact, the game has grown in its playerbase and in "active players logged in" in just the past year, and it's been around for almost two decades.

Just a few years ago when I first started playing it, there might be an average of 30 people logged in on a typical weeknight after supper. Now, it's up over 40, and often goes beyond 60, before I log out for the night. In fact - right now, on a Saturday evening, when most teenage adults, non-teenage adults, and even middle-aged adults, are getting ready to enjoy a night out - there are 51 players currently in the world, other than myself. And it's not even 8PM yet.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:07 PM   #55
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

Your actually missing, what in my own opinion is one of the MUDs strongest attributes: The size of the worlds, and amount of items and varietry of gameplay.

Anyway, if you team up, maybe make some sort of "MU* lobby" where you can access MU* under far more accurate definitions, with opinions by PLAYERs of what each MU* suites which gameplay style. There no need to alienate players when making a new way to access and begin MUDding. If you look at me and plazmi's posts, we aren''t saying "get rid of the textbase gameplay", what we're trying to convey is "make a pretty face to MU* with graphics, then when they try, let the actual gameplay draw them into the MU* s actual atractions".

plazmi, you are goddamn on the mark.
One small real-world detail: above all, kids want to fit in and socialize with other kids their age. This applies to even the most creative and intelligent ones among them. They may eventually love a text-based game, but they're not even going to try it if they fear they'd be labeled as geeks by their peers.

This applies to games with s*** graphics. I LOVE retro games, anything from "joust" to Aardwolf to "Colin McRae Rally". All have limited graphics, and why i dont bring them up as a subject with my peers. This is even though im already labelled a geek .

When you say you dont see any problem needing fixing, there isnt a problem part suppourting your games existence. First you have to expect and acknowledge:
  • You will lose players at a steady pace, and gain new players at a steady pace; however the pace will change over time, and may be different.
  • How much of your specific section/industry's market do you have, and how steady you are on the %
  • Adding updates will always make you lose/gain players
  • You should always be open to gaining new players from new gaps in the market
  • At the moment there is a steady increase in the already sheer number of MU*s, and not really any noticeable gaps left.
You can take the following actions:
  • Add a niche to the game which will make you the only MU* to do a certain thing, and keep a small but dedicated playerbase
  • Try to tap a new market with an innovative front
  • Professional Advertising Campaign
  • Expand the game to suit all tastes.
  • Merge with other devs
  • Do nothing, and hope for the best
Obiviously each of these actions hcould end with your game dieing, losing players or you going bankrupt, or could gain you revenue and increase your playerbase.


Obiviously bringing the MU* into the mainstream wont be happening until a few years into the future, even if one game breaks in today. But a good way to start increasing the profile of the games would be:
  • Create a universal MU* download centre, with a proffesional look and organisation, in the style of Unity or Steam. (in fact you probably should look into getting the more establsihed MU*, aka Threshold, Ateraan,Aardwolf, BatMUD, etc. onto steam, as they have got text games to download their)
  • Make other mainstream products that you then use to funnel towards your MUD
  • Make a graphical face to the MU* to gain players from the point & click niche and RTS genre
  • Get an advertising campaign going, probably best in the Linux/ Retro/ Tabletop magaizines, with a PROFESSIONAL finish, like BatMUDs. I'd be happy to attempt making an ad.
  • Make a MUD directory.
  • Find some forum that MU*s are slightly relevant and post there
  • Stop trying to self promoting, its tacky, especially if its every post you do. Let your players advertise, unless its a proper ad campaign, people are more likely to listen to those.
If you want to gain more specific advise, i suggest several key MU* designers set up a collobaration, and fund some Market Research. But i maintain, a combination of what thresholds doing (using other mainstream games to draw people to threshold) and plazmi's doing (a more accessible and attractive way into MU* s for the non MUDder) are the way to go.


I can see the same symtoms here with you guys as i see on another games community: your so used to the way things are run, and mildly disattached to the other existing markets that your missing key movements that are/could be in your best interests. You just need an independent source to help point these out.


If you want to know, there are also several graphical games that cater to low bandwidth, such as Tibia. So saying you have uncontested market with low bandwidth gamers is just really untrue.



Also, its possible to break back into the mainstream. Point and click broke back in for the casual gamers, as has the 2D platformers. But this is only because they made a puch to appeal to a new generation or new market. They kept the main aspects, but created a new front, and PUSHed with advertising, whether it be major or minor. If you dont do anything, nothing will change.


Untapped markets i suggest you consider:
  • Open handheld market: They have NO online games. No competition for you devs, just needs to localise a client, i would suggest specifically for the OpenPandora (openpandora.com)
  • WiiWare/XBLA/PSN. Most have indie section, go for that, you'll probably be covered by RetroGamre Magazine, and maybe the Xbox mags and general media.
  • Steam/Unity. Create a custimized client, and figure our how to publish there.
Also i said above, you have such a simple server out put, you could make a completely customisable client, with various templates and stages of GUI. Since you lot have covered pretty much everything that can be done with a MU*, why not put the same amount of creativity into the clients.


A joint face can also cheapen Advertising costs. Just make a Portal/lobby/ anything, give the visiters to the afore mentioned portal/lobby the tools to customise there experience and advertise, and they'll take care of the rest.


And, no, im not a marketer. But I've looked into/been part of most gaming connected niches, and i KNOW the flaws they all suffer.


And if your asking how to bring MU*s into the 21st century, then bloody well expect radical new approaches. The genre started in the beginning of a 30-40 year old industry, and its come a long way from the BBC Micros and ZX Spectrums. The target audience has also changed with the new technology, and you have to go with the market or come out as a dead genre. This genre is even less represented than the Sh'mups and Run & Guns, and they both only have a company each pushing them (Cave and SNK respectively).


Just make a collobaration, or I'll set up an amatuer atempt at a directory in my spare time (when i get some), and thats likely to come out worse than anything you lot can do in afew hours.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:35 PM   #56
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

Why are you all hung up on "i'll lose my players ((((("

You don't need a "tweeny". Simple solution : Graphics mode/ Text mode. Graphics modes gives you basic gui, that simply out puts the same as a command, with a respective delay, and text mode gives you the full MUD shebang.

There IS an intermediate state between Graphics games and MUDs. Dont pretend there isnt. Your just kicking your self in the teeth. If you still dont get it, ill make a bloody mock screenshot. With captions.

As for the people Jazuela want in MUDs. I believe you have NO idea about the type of people that are the audience for games. I will admit, i was sceptical of MUDs, and i'm litterally what you described as the type of people you wanted to have come into MUDs. But your first impression will always be how something looks or sounds. I didnt come to MUDs except for the reason that ithey didnt use port 2000, so i could bypass my firewall.

Not particular about what they play: They go for what looks like the best game.
Do your games appear alongside others in magaizines : No
Do your games appear alongside others on google: erm...Not obiviously
Do your games get actively discussed outside the small community: Not really
How in Gods name do you think they'll get to MUDs????? They have to go past about 50 games to find the slightest wiff of a MUD, and ALL those games will have an active community that'll try and draw in the prospective player. So, well, again, Advertisement is a key issue.

Oh well that, about players active. Again, i can count about 10 **** games with 5 times the community online at a time. Do you want a proper, well sized community?

Really, few of you are actually understanding whats the issue. Those that do, will, if they execute of good plan, ultimately succed in gaining a true foothold in the niche market. Hell, if you did it right, you could probably live off earnings from the games. Use kickstarter to fund updates, contact webblogs, create graphic face. All have a better chance than just sitting there. If you feel theres no issue, then thats fine. But since the person who drew the issue up is a Developer of a P2P game (as far as i can gather) then there is obiviously concerns. If he thinks there is a concern about gaining new players, he would have a better knowledge than you, as he will have stats of logins over the games history, and against certain direction the game took.

Stop thinking about your games as your child, who you reared, and want to keep safe and familiar. Stop thinking in your normal mind, and thing like a Commercial Developer, PR person or Marketer. If you dont, no new ground will be gained, and itll shrink, as players die, get old, bored or banned. Obviously you'll always have a small amount of new players, but staying content with them, is just living on borowed time.

Yes, this is negative, but if you look at it in a different direction, you'll never get the correct answers. Your just too used to how things are, and content just adding content to the games. MMOs are always fighting to gain new ground in all genres of the gaming market, so why dont MUDs fight as well, when you have so much to offer.

((I suggest rereading my two posts, and properly considering the ideas. Just using the same disagreementsas stated before just won't convince me, but actual well thought through posts with explained reasons would be a lovely progression on top of the "we dont want to change" against me and plazmi))
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:09 PM   #57
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

Butler, I'm having trouble comprehending your posts. You flit from one thought to the other and seem to be talking about commercial development of the gaming industry rather than the attraction of people to MUDs, specifically.

It's pretty simple, but you're making it complex and weaving some overly creative, overly complex "solution" to a problem that doesn't exist.

The #1 reason why MUD players, play MUDs, is that they are TEXT. That is the REASON they play MUDs, as opposed to any other type of game. For the same reason Graphics game players play graphics games: because they have graphics.

Adding graphics to text games will not attract people who are looking specifically for text games. In fact, it will likely scare away anyone who is specifically looking for a text game. And when all those graphics gamers show up, comparing graphics games to text games, all the existing text gamers will shout a collective STFU NOOB and shove those graphics gamers away, because they are interfering with the gaming, with all their whining about how there's no graphics.

The fact that there's no graphics is the POINT of text games. That is why they have the audience they have, at the present time.

Furthermore, text games are a niche market, by definition. They can expand and contract, but motly (not exclusively) by the number of people who are looking, very specifically, for text games. The biggest attraction to any individual text game, will be by members of the existing text game community and not from outside it.

There are tens of thousands of text gamers in the world. And yes, many of us are getting older. Our children, however, are just getting started. They know about muds because their parents have gone on about their adventures in text-based fantasy land, and show up sometimes out of sheer morbid curiosity - and sometimes by sincere interest.

Some games don't WANT to be massively populated, and would actually suffer such a fate. Consider also that most MUDs are not commercial enterprises and are prevented by copyright of their code from ever being commercial enterprises. So they can't tap into the market of people who pay for games. They don't have the resources because they are not allowed to charge their players money to play, and therefore as a gaming entity, they have no income with which to create commercial advertisements.

Most of the MUDding industry is driven by word of mouth, and by posts on forums such as this, and occasionally, a gaming magazine writer will take a trip down nostaligia avenue and visit the old warhorses of the computer-accessed gaming world, and re-visit our little corner and come out with a new article.

There are very few commercial text-based muds, and those that do exist, don't seem to be going anywhere any time soon. And so - I'm not worried. I don't see a problem. Not because I'm naive or because I have my head stuck in the sand. But because I have been gaming both commercial and non-commercial games for well over 20 years and have watched the trends, and have a pretty good idea as to where the genre is going. And - where it isn't going.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:28 PM   #58
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

Career, world size ect. Help long term but won't hook people in in their first day of playing.

Also, 'geek' lost meaning like ten years ago. There is no stigma attached to retro gaming. Like none, seriously. And if you are worried abut people thinking of MUDS as primitive, I think educating people is the only way to fix that.


Let me just get back to my point. I don't think graphics are going to make a difference. But more importantly, its not going to act as a gateway mud. Muds are essentially 1D gaming (as opposed to 2D and 3D. Nearly all reservations regarding MUDs have to do with that fact. And graphics won't change that the mechanics are still one dimensional.

But MUDS have changed, they are modernizing, as time goes on new ideas are put in, new clients are being developed. Your graghics are just part of whats already happening. They aren't a solution because the problem they are trying to solve doesn't exist. Stronger computers are allowing for more complex calculations. If you were to bring someone to today's MUDS from ten years ago, their head would explode. They would not recognize anything.

Even existing MUDs are changing and developing and modernizing. 1D gaming is not getting old. If you are looking for problems in MUDs keeping away new players they are as far as I can tell the following.

1. directions. Everyone knows how disconcerting it can be to first try a mud without those maps and try to figure out your way around. There is an actual physiological issue going on with your brain when this happens, that will take at least 2-3 hours for your brain to adjust to. Static maps help, adding an actual map modernized mini-map seems to solve the problem completely. The only problem is for some reason all the MUDs I've played with mini-maps, have sucked in the exploration department. Like super sucked. They have no place worth exploring. Everything is simplified probably to make it easier on the mini-map.

This suggests implementing such maps in MUDS is very hard. Probably require a completely different coding type skill set then building.

That means any MUD that uses a map, whether they do it well or not cannot be a gateway MUD. As there will be very few good muds out there that use maps, that means limited options and these MUDS won't teach a player how to play on any non-mapped mud.

And I've spent so much time on this point I forgot my others. I'll say them when I remember them.

Anyway, point is interface does not seem to be a solution to modernizing MUDS.

But you know what might help modernize MUDS? Some actual advertising. I have never seen a single mud advertisement out of a mud site like this. Nor any word of mouth spread. So what gives about that?
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:42 PM   #59
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verbannon View Post

But you know what might help modernize MUDS? Some actual advertising. I have never seen a single mud advertisement out of a mud site like this. Nor any word of mouth spread. So what gives about that?
Most advertising costs money. Most MUDs do not, and cannot, charge their players money to play due to licensing agreement of the code. As a result, most MUDs don't have the financial resources required to buy advertising.

I -do- see players promoting their muds in forums outside TMS and TMC and similar, and I've made a few attempts to promote in other forums. But I don't go to college so I can't put a flyer on a college dorm bulletin board. I've heard some people do that. And I don't LARP or buy components from game stores for D&D or other hobbies, so I can't ask the local game store proprietor if I can tape a flyer up on his store window.

Those are pretty much the only ways people -can- advertise, for most muds, due to financial constraints. There used to be a gaming magazine dedicated mostly to first-person games (like Mechawars or whatever), and Simutronics had a couple articles about them in it, to promote GemStone. But that magazine went kablooie, and I no longer play GemStone, so I don't know what other efforts they're making to advertise their games. They certainly have no presence here, and yet they continue to be profitable.
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:12 PM   #60
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Re: Do MUDs need to be "brought into the 21st century"

Well I've never seen it. And I don't mean most MUDs, I mean the ones who are making money. I am bombarded with advertisements every day for webcomics and crap games like tribal wars nearly every day. But I've never seen an ad for a mud, not even one that should have the money to advertise.

I don't even know I ever learned MUDS even exist.

Not that I care a whole lot, I mean, the health of 1 dimensional gaming is wholly irrelevant to me as long as the game I play continues to survive.
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