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[quote] On 25-09-2006 02:47, Shantigh wrote: I co-run a simulated horse game online, with roughly 200 active members - and it's free to play, but costs quite a bit to run - so we ask for donations. We also have had programs made for us, and we ask for donations to pay the people who make them. In general, this works very well - however, on a donation model you are reliant on the wealth of your players and will have to accept that at certain times of the year you will paying out of your own pocket to run the game, this comes with the territory of running a donation model - so if Foddy/Karya can't afford to run it partially themselves, or fully themselves some months then the idea should be discarded. While I'm not saying they couldn't reclaim the money back from future donations, it's just something which is a fact of running a game from donations. Secondly, at the start people will donate for ''free'' - e.g. no perks, however after someone has donated once or a few times, and feel they've done their bit, they do seem to want more to make them donate. Obviously my game compared to this is very different - and as yet - we haven't implemented any bribes for donations, which basically offer prefixes etc is - a very blatant bribe. We do however give a title on our forums as ''HFSHC Supporter'' for all of those who donate, so that everyone else knows they have donated to the fund. But in my game we are discussing possible bribes, or ''surprises'' for donating to encourage further donations, without actually having to bribe people or ask them to pay for things, for example, if we had prefixes we'd just give one without telling the person, but maybe say later thanks for the donation if they asked where it came from, it wouldn't last forever, but it would be a little thankyou. Or maybe give them an icon to swamp, just a thankyou without them knowingly paying for points, prefixes or whatever. The donation model does work, and will likely work better than the current model. My game has been running since 1997, and has for the last 6 years ran off donations - very successfully and we have less of a history than MUDII, and less overall players (or maybe the same, ours are roughly 5000 players over 9 years) - but in 20 years of MUD2, I'm sure there have been an awful lot of players, and it's connecting with these players again. As for advertising, one advert in one magazine is a waste of time. If you can't follow it up, then it's looked at once, maybe twice and out of the person's mind. Advertising works best based on ''opportunities to see'', the more times someone views something, the more likely it is to stick in their head. And advertising and PR needs not be paid for. It can involve a lot of work, but most of it with the use of the internet can be done for free. If things change for MUD, I don't mind offering help if I can - towards advertising etc, I have 2 qualifications in Communication, which includes advertising, PR and marketing, was a runner-up in the BP Media Planner Award, and within 6 months and no budget, got my friend's business mentioned in the Guardian. It can all be done, you just need to keep at it. But discussing ideas for that here, would take up too much room - if Foddy/Karya, anyone wants to ask me stuff, feel free, my e-mail is KirstinVP@hfshc.com. Overall I think MUD2 has the potential to run well on a donation model, but work needs to be done to accomplish that. It will also likely fail for the first few months to meet its overheads, but given enough work towards advertising, getting word out etc - then it will start to pay for itself. But it won't do it with the user base there is just now, and it will need *serious* work to make it work. But it can be done. [/quote]
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