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Zugg Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:02 pm
zMUDXP Poll

What would you think about a new zMUDXP Product
As an existing zMUD user, I would buy zMUDXP for half-price ($15)
33%
 33%  [ 46 ]
As an existing zMUD user, I would NOT buy zMUDXP...I'd just keep using the zMUD that I'm currently using
13%
 13%  [ 19 ]
I would be *so* excited that I would buy zMUDXP at half price and then upgrade to zMUDXP-PRO
28%
 28%  [ 40 ]
I would be really *upset* that zMUDXP wasn't considered a free upgrade to zMUD like you've always promised!
24%
 24%  [ 34 ]
Total Votes : 139

bortaS
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Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 320
Location: Springville, UT

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:16 pm   
 
Zugg,

One thing that nobody seems to take in consideration are MUDs running on Windows, using Windows' technologies. I'm an old timer admin that has gotten tired of doing the same command-line stuff on Linux. I'm going to pound somebody with my keyboard if I hear either "Get Linux and install your MUD", or "Just edit some text files to change the MUDs configuration."

I know you don't want to touch MUD servers, so I won't go there. However I'm quite disappointed with the lack of Windows based MUDs, and not just some willy-nilly port. I'm willing to bet that a solid MUD server running on Windows would faciliate more MUDs run by oldsters (those of us with families and full-time jobs). I think this could also help fuel zMUD sales as well.
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MartokShiva
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Joined: 27 Aug 2003
Posts: 14
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:10 pm   Absolutally bloody fantastic!
 
I for one would love to see you put a major effort into a new Version of zMud. and it sounds like this would be a real new version rather than an incremental upgrade.

On the future upgrades issue, maybe you could sell subscriptions? the subscriptions would entitle you to upgrades for a set time.

How about this for example?

$25 for 1 year
$45 for 2 years
$66 for 3 years
$85 for 4 years.

That equates to a 10%, 12%, 15% discount for longer term commitments.

Or something similar, the prices are merely for illustration and not intended to be actual pricing advice

Most companies who do licences for x years drop the yearly price if you purchase a block of years.
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Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:04 pm   
 
Another thing to consider, is selling maintenance subscriptions... imagine, $5 per year gives you free upgrades, but if you have 20,000 ppl all giving you $5/year, it adds up fast!
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slicertool
Magician


Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 459
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:14 am   
 
Our mud's website is similar to Zugg's statistics.

Windows XP: 69%
Windows 2000: 13.1%
Windows 98: 7.1%
Windows ME: 2.2%
Windows NT: 0.2%
Windows 95/CE/2003: 0%

Mac and Linux combined make about 10% of the traffic.

However, over 2/3 of our mud's players appear to be using WinXP.
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Rappy
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Joined: 15 Jul 2005
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 12:11 pm   
 
Quote:

zMUDXP also would not use eLicense for copy protection. It would use a new form of copy protection that does not "phone home" like eLicense does, and would not install any control panels or background services.


*rejoice*

Well as I am still working out my problem with eLicence getting one email every couple of days with one line suggestions of what I should do to get it fixed again, (the last email was "go to www.zuggsoft.com and download the game again", which has been done more than once), I would gladly buy this newer version without that eLicence crap.

I have been off of my MUD for over 2 weeks now as it is, and eLicence support is a total joke.

The thing that concerns me is the no free upgrades, not many people would be willing to pay $40-50 for each installment, maybe $5-10 at most for an upgrade build if that's the case. I know I wouldn't be willing to fork over that much for each build, but that's me, others may think differently. As always, keep up the good work and DOWN WITH eLICENCE.

-Rappy
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Guinn
Wizard


Joined: 03 Mar 2001
Posts: 1127
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:00 pm   
 
I don't think Zugg mentioned it'd be top dollar every time an upgrade came out, just that it'd not be free upgrades forever.
Someone mentioned further up about a yearly 'subscription'. I like that idea, maybe with a $30 initial price that includes a year's updates, then 5-10$ for the following years?

Question for Zugg - although I don't use Linux, if the new version could possibly have a Linux release then I'd imagine you'd find a number of new customers. I don't know if Zapp or Delphi 7(?) has any support for that though?
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:48 pm   
 
I don't know where you read "Zugg mentioned it'd be top dollar every time an upgrade came out"...that just isn't true at all. What I *have* said is that upgrades won't be free forever, but that you'd probably get upgrades for free for something like 2 years. And upgrades will never be "top dollar". They will always be discounted, such as the half-price upgrade for existing zMUD users to use zMUDXP.

Subscriptions are possible, but it will really depend upon how that is done with Digital River/RegNow/SoftwarePassport. It needs to be something that can be automatted or else the administrative overhead would not make it feasible.

For linux, please go read the various linux threads in this forum. The Delphi support for linux (Kylix) is no longer really supported by Borland, and zApp is very Windows-specific. There will *NOT* be a linux version. But as many people have said, removing eLicense and switching from Microsoft ADO/MDAC to SQLite should make it a lot easier to run zMUDXP within a Windows emulator such as wine.
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Guinn
Wizard


Joined: 03 Mar 2001
Posts: 1127
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:08 pm   
 
Whoa there...

Someone said in the previous post to mine:
>The thing that concerns me is the no free upgrades, not many people would
>be willing to pay $40-50 for each installment

So I said
>I don't think Zugg mentioned it'd be top dollar every time an upgrade came
>out, just that it'd not be free upgrades forever

As in saying that you'd already said it wouldn't be full price for every upgrade... as in, well, exactly what you'd said before. Was just trying to put someone else's mind at rest.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 5:15 pm   
 
Oops, sorry about that...the other post was at the bottom of the previous page and I didn't see it right away, and I misread your post. I apologize.

Hopefully we have both made the point pretty clear now Smile
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Nashua
Newbie


Joined: 09 Sep 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:51 pm   
 
I'm be very plain about this. Hope you don't take it the wrong way.

As I see it, between this option and just annoucing there will be no more life free upgrades is the same thing, Zugg. At the end of the day, previous owners will have to buy the new upgraded version or reduce themselves to bug upgrades with the older version they have. The one they were promised... free upgrades for life.

Now with that said, I see no problem in buying the new version. I, just like you, have been burned before by the "free for life" promise. I know perfectly well there is no such thing and I deal with it from the customer point of view without any kind of expectations. I don't doubt your initial feelings about this. But as we grow older and wiser (it's been 10 years Smile ) we realize it was a big mistake to promise such a thing. The missionary in us eventually has to give way to the colonizer.

I just think, for once, only once, I would like to see someone having the guts to do it straightforward and without any circling.

So... sorry mate for the bluntness. As far as I'm concerned, I understand perfectly well the dilema. And even if there is no dilema, when it comes, i'll buy the new version.

But what I entirely disagree is with the new direction you want to give to this XP version.

You know something... I don't know if you feel this way, but the thing I feel makes MUDs so magical and attract a small but very zealous crowd is exactly their ability to leave everything to imagination. It's exactly like reading a book, because frankly, it's nothing more than letters and numbers. MUDs tend to attract a more mature crowd who don't need the fancy graphics, and in fact prefer not to have them, to better exercise their imagination and storytelling abilities.

So... DirectX in ZMud? Do I really want a background on my black zmud window? Heck Zugg, I don't even use MSP on muds that provide it and I don't play MXP muds (have you seen some of these? Some are way past ugly and enter the realm of offensive)....

Of course I may be different than most people. But truth the matter is, i'm not that different.

I'll tell you what I would like to have on a new version of ZMud:

1. More flexibility in controls. Not only the button and dropdown menu, but being able to create dropdown lists (I know we have a similar functionality with buttons), checkboxes and radiobuttons.

2. Map room appearance being more than just defining background color and label position. I would like to have at least 3 more geometrics figures besides the square. Hexagon, Circle and Triangle. Why? Well, it adds another dimension to describing a room purpose or function. Also round bends to be added to the square bends we now have for connection lines.

3. I would like button panels to dock not only to the main window. But in fact behave just like any other docking window.

4. I would loooove for the mouse wheel on the map window to move up and down the map level instead zooming in and out.

I do understand this alone doesn't make a new version a sales success. So, hey! No worries about having backgrounds as long I I can turn them off or decide not to use them Wink What I do think is that you will be having a lot of new ideas coming from the community that will make you realize ZMud didn't hit the end of its development without having to move on to the... fancy graphics stuff.
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acaykath
Wanderer


Joined: 03 Aug 2005
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:22 pm   
 
Lifetime of free upgrades; I'd hate to lose it. If you make updates actually cost money, It wouldn't be so bad if they were only a buck or 2, but if you made em cost 15 bucks or more, I would rather stick with the current zMud (Even though I don't like the current interface... click and dragging/docking all components like the clock would be nice...).
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:23 am   
 
Nashua, thanks for your comments. I'll probably just have to let you wait and see what can be achieved by a whole new MUD client. As I've mentioned, this isn't just a way to sneak around the free-upgrade policy (really!) There are serious issues with the current 10-year old zMUD that make it impossible to add many new features. And I'm not just taking about fancy graphics here.

Regarding your requests:

1) With a new MUD client written using zApp, you would have extreme customizeability and a huge range of controls to choose from. You'd need to learn more about zApp to understand this, but this part alone will probably blow you away.

2) You can already do this with zMapper. zMapper already allows you to heavily customize and improve your zMUD maps. It's possible that some form of zMapper functionality will appear in a "Pro" version of the new product, but you'll have to wait and see.

3) With a DirectX-based interface, you'll be able to put buttons *anywhere*. Drag them over your main MUD window if you want and make them semi-transparent. Same thing with gauges. And the docking system used in zApp completely fixes all of the docking issues and restrictions in the current version of zMUD (docking is one of the *big* reasons the current version of zMUD is so limited in what it can do).

4) Hmm, nice idea. More of a zMapper enhancement, but something I'll put on the wish-list

I think you need to read this thread and understand how my opinions have changed as people have posted. I really *did* post this thread to get ideas and opinions. It's not just about trying to charge people for a new zMUD. The more I have heard and the more I have thought about this issue, the more I'm convinced that zMUD needs to be completely redone using zApp. It just opens up a whole new world of possibilities. As I said, I'm *not* talking about making graphical MUDs here. I'm talking about stuff that will end up being important and useful for *every* zMUD user.

But that's why I'm not announcing anything official until I have something you can actually play with. I tired of making big promises about upcoming products that are over a month away (and I'm sure some other people around here are tired of that too). I'm going to continue to solicit ideas in this thread, but anything I say here about proposed features are subject to change. But I'll only be doing this if I can really blow people away with the new version, making it a compelling product for people to pay money to upgrade to.
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Belmyrddyn
Magician


Joined: 17 Oct 2001
Posts: 371
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:47 pm   
 
Just curious, Zugg, if you go ahead with making this new zMUD, will you be updating zMapper to work with the new mapper interface?

Also, as a big wishlist item, would it be possible for you and Simutronics to get together and incorporate the new XML tags that are being sent from Sim games? I know the answer is probably no, but I thought I'd ask anyway. Laughing

Another feature suggestion would be moving away from settings files. Why not have a database of settings? That would, hopefully, eliminate the problems with corrupting settings files.
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GaidinBDJ
Wanderer


Joined: 15 Nov 2002
Posts: 52
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:01 pm   
 
I can understand why you don't wanna offer free upgrades forever. Maybe a version-restricted, rather than time-restricted, would be better. That would assauge people's worries about work shifting to other projects if necessary. You would know that you'd never pay for a .01 upgrade (just if the timing works that way).

Also, I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but would there still be multi-site licensing? My primary MUD is Portal compliant (Ok, so it's the original Portal compliant MUD), and the allure of using Portal is killed by two things: zMUD has a much better "undercarriage" as far as the complexity of aliases/triggers/scripts and the fact that I only have to pay once to have copies on my PC, laptop, and *cough*workcomputer*cough*.

[Edit: Typo correction]
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Last edited by GaidinBDJ on Sun Aug 07, 2005 9:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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MattLofton
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Joined: 23 Dec 2000
Posts: 4834
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 7:54 pm   
 
Quote:

Also, as a big wishlist item, would it be possible for you and Simutronics to get together and incorporate the new XML tags that are being sent from Sim games? I know the answer is probably no, but I thought I'd ask anyway.


You can probably do this anyways, it's just that the sheer quantity of it all makes it about as fun to set up as a 50,000-user customer database. For a really helpful tip that needs to be added to MXP For Dummies, you will have to use both the <!ELEMENT> tag and the <!TAG> command; the first one defines the XML tag so that ZMud can recognize it and the second one lets ZMud recognize that this particular tag is something that comes from the MUD (and thus is needing to be processed as an MXP tag).
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Orang
Apprentice


Joined: 22 Jul 2004
Posts: 118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:48 pm   
 
i would love this, but another 30 bucks .. dunno if i could afford it (i would want the best one, PRO or whatever)
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Belmyrddyn
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Joined: 17 Oct 2001
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:47 am   
 
[quote="MattLofton"]
Quote:

Also, as a big wishlist item, would it be possible for you and Simutronics to get together and incorporate the new XML tags that are being sent from Sim games? I know the answer is probably no, but I thought I'd ask anyway.



This probably should be moved to a different thread... but let me just say that I've done quite a bit to try and get zMUD to recognize these XML tags as MXP, but for some reason I can't get it to recognize them. Might just be me, but it's a pretty huge task, and I'd love to get official Simutronics support. Laughing
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Motient
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Joined: 14 Mar 2004
Posts: 18
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:27 pm   
 
my recommendation is make a couple of tier versions of zMUD
1. a scaled down version that has just standard zMUD no mapper and no zapp $15
2. medium version zMUD with mapper $30
3. zMUD with Mapper and zAPP $45
4. zMUD with ability to be used on XP and above(64bit and Vista) with the Direct X power $35 ------with this just the zMUD no mapper no zApp
5. zMUD with ability to be used on XP and above(64bit and Vista) with the Direct X power that has Mapper and zAPP $50
1year upgrades on each
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
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Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:34 pm   
 
Start another thead on the Simutronics tags please. It should definitely be possible to recognize those with the existing MXP support.

Our contract arrangement with Simutronics ended over a year ago. I have invited several MUDs to join a discussion with some fellow zMUD users about future features in zMUD. Simutronics was invited to those discussions but hasn't signed up yet. So I can't promise anything for Simutronics. zMUD, of course, still has official support for other Simutronics games that use their GSL protocol.

The use of zMUDXP on multiple computers will still be possible. In fact, the licensing will be even looser than it is now. It will be licensed per *person* like the older versions of zMUD were, rather than restricted to 3 computers. Your user name will be part of the registration code and will show up in the Help/About box.

As far as zMapper, my current thinking is that I'll encorporate zMapper features into the zMUDXP-Pro version, rather than having another separate version of zMapper. The new mapper should still be compatible with the current map database format, so zMapper could still be useful. But I think having the map editing functions more directly in zMUD is something that people would use more than zMapper.

Existing zMapper registered users will likely get a free upgrade to zMUDXP-Pro.

Finally, regarding settings files: My plan is to use SQLite database files for the settings as well. This would eliminate the corrupted settings issue, and also speed up the scripting execution in zMUD for those users with lots and lots of aliases and variables (the lookup will be faster with a real database engine).
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slicertool
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:43 pm   
 
woo for existing zmapper users!
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:56 pm   
 
Just to clarify before everyone rushes out to buy zMapper. What I meant is that existing zMapper users will probably get a free reg code to upgrade from zMUDXP to zMUDXP-Pro. They'd still have to pay for zMUDXP just like everyone else (unless they have purchased zMUD since June 1st). So, existing zMapper users basically get a free $15 upgrade, not the full $40 product.
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Belmyrddyn
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Joined: 17 Oct 2001
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:56 pm   
 
Zugg, if you move settings files to a database engine, I will buy at least 3 copies of zMUDXP-Pro, and create a golden Zugg and sacrifice virgins up to it.
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Castaway
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Joined: 10 Oct 2000
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Location: Swindon, England

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 8:25 pm   
 
Zugg, I've just read through this thread, and I'm wondering why you havent mentioned that this new zMud version would also inherit zApps theming stuff.. I assume it would? This alone, ie the ability to apply "skins", upload skins etc etc would probably make it more attractive to users that prefer "modern" software.. ;) (yup strange trend, but who are we to complain..)

I may buy a new zMud licence, though I havent used it in a year or two at all. I would certainly be tempted by an addition of SSH though..

Lady C.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 9:50 pm   
 
Yep, it would definitely inherited the zApp theming stuff. And using the theme editor for zApp, I'll probably put together a default theme for zMUD that works well for MUD games (looks good with a black screen background, etc). I didn't mention it before because I see it as a more minor "feature" compared to many of the other improvements that are possible.
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Dormouse
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Joined: 29 May 2004
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:41 am   
 
I would hesitate to upgrade to a client based more heavily on XP / DirectX features, as that may make it even more troublesome to get functioning in a Linux environment., Removing the need for MDAC/Jet however could very heavily compensate for that trouble.
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