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3:15pm on Wednesday, 2nd July, 2008:

Market Research from 1985


I was looking through some old papers today, and came across this piece of market research I conducted for MUD2. There's no date on it, but it would be 1985 at the latest (Simon Dally asked me to do it prior to our starting MUSE Ltd.).

What I did was ask a bunch of players what might influence their choice of which MUD to play. I sorted these out into categories, and got a list of 24 of them. I then put the list to the players in general, asking them to rank each one between -5 (hate) and 5 (love). The resulting average scores were then multiplied by 5 for some arcane reason of Simon Dally's, and rounded to the nearest integer. Some of the things they asked for were in the design for MUD2, so I marked these afterwards with a * (and all but one — conversing with mobiles — were implemented, too).

Here is the result:

*Intelligent mobiles25
*Conversing with mobiles22
*More magic21
Cheap per hour to play19
*Regularly improved19
*Messages to pick up later15
*Lots of rooms14
*Different starts13
Reputation of author13
Access speed13
Cheap registration fee12
Friend's recommendation12
*Understand complex sentences11
*Lots of players11
Speed of response10
*Free sample games10
*Long textual descriptions9
*Never crashes9
*Special offers for cheap time9
International game6
Lots of books/documentation5
What magazines said3
Built-in adverts-3

Moral: never entirely believe your players when they tell you what they want.

Referenced by Where I Work #7.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).