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BatMUD Forums > Inform > Where did the dough go? (aka. Bat's finances)

 
 
#1
04 Dec 2006 00:41
 
 
It's been roughly two years since the board of B.A.T. ry opened
donations the last time. Since then, quite a bit has happened on
the financial front, below is a sample:

- B.A.T. ry arranged the official BatMUD 15th anniversary
party at Kaivohuone in Helsinki on April 15th 2005. There
were some 350 attendees from several countries.

- B.A.T. ry bought a new server (torturer.bat.org), a dual-
processor DELL PowerEdge 2850. The server is currently
running BatMUD and HCBat. We also decomissioned tiamat
and narcuul, our older servers.

- The BatMUD servers were relocated into the datacenter of a
professional hostingprovider, ending the dubious situation
of being hosted at a university.

- Realizing that alot of our US players were unable to attend
the 15th anniversary party in 2005, B.A.T. ry arranged an
official Vegascon in October 2006.

- B.A.T. ry registered BatMUD as a trademark in the US.

- B.A.T. ry teamed up with Mythicscape to produce a graphical
client for playing BatMUD. More about this later on.

- B.A.T. ry has provided funds for arranging Campcons.


As you know, we teamed up with Mythicscape to produce a custom client
for BatMUD players. As it's nearly impossible to get a project of that
magnitude right in one go, we divided it into two phases:

Phase 1: Provide a basic, but visually pleasing client for new
potential players. The goal of it is naturally to provide
new players with a better gaming experience than if they were
forced to use telnet/putty or similar clients. The client
also features full RGB colors and mapwindows which will make
certain areas and locations quite interesting.

Phase 2: Introduce scripting and advanced functionality. The goal of
phase 2 is to make the client a viable replacement for many
other MUD clients (zmud, mushclient etc) with regards to
BatMUD.

We have currently completed phase 1 and will release it within a week
or two, and at the same time try to introduce a bit of hype around
the launch (there's not really any MUDs out there with such a cool
custom client. The ones I've found are quite crude).

After the release of phase 1, we hope to begin development on phase 2.


So what are we hoping to develop in the future? What are the donates
for?

As Amarth stated, B.A.T. ry is not in a dire financial situation. We
have quite small operating expenses and can continue providing BatMUD
as a service for quite some time. However, larger development and
marketing projects are dependant on your donates. As you know, BatMUD
has opted to rely on donations alone and not request any monthly fees
or force banners and advertisments on you.

For example, the second phase of the client development will include
work from external parties, and naturally all work costs. The same is
true for graphics, whether used for the client, our website or for
general marketing. Why is this relevant for you who already have a
good client? Because by providing a better, and easier interface to
BatMUD to players - especially newbies - we hope to be able to attract
and keep a higher amount of new users. It's no secret that the
commercial games have an impact on the MUD community. If we are to
remain succesfull, we need to keep standing out among the MUDs. And
by developing a cool client, we are doing just that.

Another thing we hope to test is splitting the MUD into several
zones based on geography, and which operate somewhat independantly of
each other. This provides better scalability, but more importantly,
enables us to add features which aren't so timecritical as the load
is divided upon multiple processes/servers. It may also allow for
rolling reboots, so that zones can be rebooted individually without
having to bring the whole game down.

We also hope to provide a few good marketing campaigns, targeting
both players from other MUDs, and also people who aren't familiar
with MUDs but which may have an interest in this type of gaming. Any
new players is naturally always a positive sign for any game.

We will webenable more features. We have already arranged for a
discussion forum (www.bat.org/forum/) and will implement a wiki for
players.

As you can see, there's quite a bit to be done. And your donations
enable us to provide such services.

++ Gore on behalf of the other Archwizards

P.s. If you've read this far, you probably realize that the list
doesn't contain in-game features. It is intentional as in-game
development is not handled by the B.A.T. ry board and will be
addressed in the yearly "what are those crazy wizards working
on" posts.

 
 
 
Gore
A r c h w i z a r d
8y, 285d, 9h, 23m, 45s old
Level:
600 [Wizard]