By penelopae 1 Comments
One of the most memorable articles I've ever written about MMORPGs is this one, inspired by an article in Newsweek. Steve Jobs, bless his soul, was more than just a tech-gadget genius, and hopefully this article shows that his ten commandments for business can be applied anywhere -- even to F2P text games!
Less than two weeks after announcing his resignation as Apple’s CEO, Newsweek magazine published an article titled, “The 10 Commandments of Steve.” Employers everywhere are using the infographic as a suggestion for improving their own business. However, Iron Realms has been using the same processes attributed to Steve Jobs’s creative genius since they released Achaea in 1997!
1. Go for perfect
Iron Realms Entertainment doesn’t expect perfection, but it does hold crafters to a high standard. One Achaea text gamer offered, “It’s crazy! My high school English teachers weren’t this strict. At first it was discouraging. It’s just a dress for my character in a RPG game; so who cares if the grammar is a little off? They care. But their caring has made me care more about how I present myself outside the text game, even on Facebook!”
2. Tap the experts
Iron Realms doesn’t look for outsiders to play Divine characters in their MUDs. Each offers a process that allows text game characters equal chances for promotion, whether stepping into the role of a Guide to help the newbies, or being elevated to full God status! The result is an administrative team familiar with the basic ins and outs of text game details and mechanics.
3. Be ruthless
If something isn’t working out, scrap it and move on. The Iron Realms RPG games have followed this practice over the years -- even when a Divine Character has run its course! More recently, IRE began testing a Digg system to replace its former word-of-mouth advertising via TopMudSites (which was bought out by Aardwolf MUD).
4. Shun focus groups
Jobs says, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” That doesn’t mean shunning suggestions! Tracking player feedback lets producers know what’s working, and what needs tweaked. Each of the MUDs associated with Iron Realms Entertainment allows feedback about the text game to be offered through communication not only between players, but also between players and administrators.
5. Never stop studying
In addition to listening to what players have to say on the forums, they also include a system for reporting bugs, typos, and ideas. A large player base has potential for hundreds, even thousands, of things to be reported daily! The end result is that Administrators can more easily fix bugs and typos, and perhaps even implement an idea or two!
Text. It doesn’t get any more simple! The graphics in Guild Wars might compare to art hanging in the Louvre, but how does inspire the imagination? IRE games are a better choice over graphic MMORPGs because they push text game characters to comprehend the RPG game, making decisions that directly impact character background and development!
7. Keep your secrets
Mortal Builders, the players assigned with updating current areas and building new ones, are required to sign and provide a hard copy of a nondisclosure agreement. These people agree not to discuss new areas with anyone, neither fellow mortal builders nor Divine characters in the text game!
8. Keep teams small
Mortal characters in the RPG Achaea can apply to become Celani, a kind of Divine-in-training position. Celani are promoted to Demigods, who in turn can be promoted to full God status! Instead of creating new Divine characters when people are promoted, the administrators promote Demigods into the roles of dormant, current Gods. This allows for clockwork-like operations that keep the text game free for everyone!
9. Use more carrot than stick
People don’t invest in things they don’t like! When the admins are enthusiastic, that feeling trickles down to the players.
10. Prototype to the extreme
Pre-planning new areas, creating items players will need for various situations, and implementing tools to ease the transition from newbie to advanced text game characters are just a few of the ways IRE helps make their RPG games more player-friendly. One person commented, “I love when a new area opens! Unlike in some other text games, I can play without being distracted by glaring typos or pause my hunting or questing to report a bug.”
There’s no doubt that Iron Realms has revolutionized text games. By staying true to an uncomplicated platform they’ve developed a loyal player base that has withstood the test of time!
Penelope Swain is a text game enthusiast who enjoys the best roleplaying games from Iron Realms!