commercial muds and cable TV (was RE: [MUD-Dev] code base inquiry )

Sellers Sellers
Tue Feb 15 15:56:17 CET 2000

Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> ...No offence to Raph, etc, but the last
> thing I want to see in the future of muds is the equivalent of pre-cable
> tv, with a handful of networks providing all the content. The solution to
> diversity (or at least quality diversity) isn't to have a bunch of people
> with low-power transmitters and tv cameras in their homes, recording
> whatever low-quality content they feel like broadcasting. The solution is
> attracting quality people who have the energy, ability, and money to
> produce quality content. 

Actually, that's only part of the equation.  Having the distribution
mechanisms available and having sufficient audience available are both
gating factors.  In the case of online MUDish games, it's by no means clear
that there is sufficient audience to support more than a few "channels"
worth of content.  Maybe there is, or there will be, but maybe not too.
It's naive to assume that just because better tools become available that
better commercial MUDs will result, or that enough people will play them to
keep them around as something other than a money-losing labor of love.  

> I've been thinking about this issue for awhile, and recently paid a bunch
> of money to buy the copyright to, and the rights to all extant contracts
> for, the engine/scripting language Vortex. I'm considering setting up some
> sort of incubator operation, much like VC incubators (but on a MUCH
> smaller scale financially and otherwise of course), to assist people in
> creating commercial muds with Vortex and possibly with a new
> engine/scripting language currently under development for me called
> Rapture. I really believe that the mudding world as a whole will be better
> served with a lot of smaller commercial niche muds as opposed to a few
> big commercial muds that are forced to cater to the lowest common
> denominator in their quest for bragging rights to the largest subscriber
> base.

If you have the time and money to devote to a project like this, more power
to you!  I don't think you'll see any long term financial success from
something like this, but you just never know... if you incubate a dozen
muds, one of them could turn out to be something new and cool.  Or they
could all be cannibalizing off of the same shrinking pool of players.  Hard
to tell.

Mike Sellers

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at

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