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[quote] On 25-09-2006 14:21, Shantigh wrote: By user base I mean the currently active players who regularly log on, for instance, I wouldn't include myself in the user base - I'm a user that has to be enticed back - so at the start you are relying on your dedicated current users to fund the donation model. Depending on how quickly the user base increases makes the difference to how quickly the donation model will work, but convincing other players to stay requires having active players - yes, old time players such as myself would likely return and play because it was free and because we like the game, but without an active community of players that quickly gets boring - and not only would they be unlikely to donate, they'd drift away. So at present, it's only the hardcore and dedicated players left that can be really be looked at for donations. And if the current user base isn't wealthy, for instance a lot of students or young people - then there is going to be the issue that it won't fund itself. For instance, in my game we cater to a mainly female audience from ages 13-45+, in the early stages of our donation model - 2000-2001 the majority of our players were teenagers, without the prominence of paypal etc, it was harder to gain donations. Parents wouldn't allow them to send money - and in most cases, they didn't have money. This situation didn't improve with those members - because they grew up from teenagers into students, but we gained older, more affluent members who were able to donate - and it was based on them that we were able to call our donation model a success. If we had relied solely on our original players, we would not have been able to secure funds. Now - 6 years on, that original player base is providing donations, as most have finished studies and have secure jobs, but 6 years is a long time to wait for $10-$20 per player. The serious work has to be done in recruiting players - given there is no budget for it, it just means posting about it everywhere, trying to convince online magazines, and even print magazines to run things about the game for free - which is of course the basis of P.R - P.R is advertising that you don't pay for. Using word of mouth will work quite well, the players from wireplay were quite well networked, so even getting word spread out that way to say, hey guys it's free, come back and kill each other again will probably boost the players, and obviously - it will spread on and on. Doing mutual linking to other game sites may also bring in some players, talking to other game admins of MUDs will help - which when I was promoting Live Action Roleplays I did quite often, I spoke to everyone who was running games, I asked for advice - how are you getting players? and would you mind sticking a link to this site on yours? Would you tell your players about our game, we're a bit different to you - and in return, I'll tell my players about yours etc PR does have to have generally mutual benefits when dealing with companies or magazines etc. But all of this will take a lot of time, and a lot of research to exploring which avenues are worth spending the time on. At the present time, no money should be spent. Money spent previously was wasted, if you are going to spend money you need a well thought out campaign and to justify spending money, otherwise you'd be as well just dropping it in the street. It's also worth thinking outside the box, and approaching sites which don't deal primarily in MUDs, retro gamers, interactive story sites (where they have basically a text game like a choose your own adventure except it runs on your computer, similar to a mud - except single player) - and other places, I haven't looked into it, so haven't put a lot of thought to where else would be suitable to push it. Pulling in favours as well for folk running LANs, and getting them to put out a flyer - which may involve a slight cost, of just printing them out and delivering them to the person running the LAN - but would have to be designed to appeal to the type of players at the LAN, if it's roleplay/strategy games, play up the aspects of MUD in that, if it's mainly FPS, play up the kill each other bit. As for can they be persued independently - no, they can't, well, they could if the current user base is financially able to support the game, but if that was the case, then it wouldn't be looking to change to donation based. The donation model however does need to be put in place while this work is being done, it can be a risk - and like I said previously, if Karya/Foddy and anyone else willing to fund it can't support it themselves without donations, then it's a pointless endeavor, because it's very likely at the start someone will be paying for this out of their own pocket. But you need to have the donation model in place to entice people back, then once you have the people back, you need to continue to get new players, and once you have a stable community - you have to be able to keep them, which might involve some changes to how the game is run. For instance more visible wizards, more ameniable wizards - because you can't piss people off that you want to get money from in donations, easier to piss them off when they've already paid to play, they can't get that money back - but annoy them before they donate and chances are they just won't donate. Granted I haven't played in some time, but the game would have to be more about all players, not just PK'd, and a more welcoming community - by that I mean, if someone is PK'd a bit unfairly, someone talks to them rather than laughs at them. Yes, it might seem like mollycoddling, and in a way it is - but you have to take these attitudes to convince people to part with their cash - and to keep parting with it. Even prefixes won't keep people there if you piss them off. The game would have to stay active, and this is always the catch 22 of MUD, the more players you have, ,the more players you'll get. The less players you have, the less likely you are to get players to stay - because in essence, it's a social game, and the main players that hang about are the very social ones, without them, the game doesn't work. Sorry I've rambled a bit, but I think I've covered your points. And I hope I don't sound negative in them, because that isn't my intention. I do think it's possible to make MUD run as donation based model, and to get players back. It just won't happen over night, and it will require a lot of work - probably by a lot of people to get to that point. But it can happen! Kirstin [/quote]
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