Author Topic: High Level Design Series: StakeHolders  (Read 1790 times)

Offline Shem (aka MadScientist)

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High Level Design Series: StakeHolders
« on: July 07, 2012, 01:26:58 PM »
Once Upon a Time, I had a career as a QA Analyst/Lead/etc.  I got paid to think, ask lots of questions, and teleport around the Org Chart whitespace, as long as I promised to leave things better (more efficient, LESS Chaotic) than I started.  Oh, and agree to be the official ScapeGoat for when the [Banana] really Hits the Fan.  Ironically, I've survived so many mass firings that I think I have a Ring of Invisibility when it comes to corporate Execution Squads.  Maybe cause I was good at my job.  I'm confident in my overall understanding of quality assurance, project management, & computer science theory and practice, even in the real world where all the really beautiful patterns get broken before the end of day 1.  (Yeah, I think I'm still processing my last contract.)

So, one of the most basic questions I like to ask whenever I mindmeld with a new Project (my own being no exception) is:

Who are my StakeHolders?  Who determins my Requirements & Risk thresholds?
Translation:  WHAT [!How] are [?/should?] we DOING?  WHO CARES [if we don't]?!?
                   What BAD THINGS would happen [to us, or our customers] if we stopped?
/* Hmmm, my Translation is potentially more cryptic of the set. */

While thinking about this, I jotted down a few notes about my starting assumptions and analysis.  Now, to complete the process, I'd like you guys to Review my ideas and let me know your feedback.  (Positive or Negative)

To me MUDs (all families) break down into 5 major EndUser/Consumer (i.e. "Customers") groups.  Here is a short
list of those groups, and their primary role(s) within a dynamic MUD product/project environment.

MUD StakeHolders:
  • Admins - MUD Vision, Policy, Funding, & Infrastructure
  • Players - End Consumers of "Fun", Sales & Marketing
  • Coders - Game Mechanics, Tools, & Optimization
  • Builders - World (People, Places, & Things), Quests (static)
  • Storytellers/Helpers - Live RP Events (dynamic), Player Support

I'm working on adding more definition to how these roles interact, but first, is
this list complete?  Do you have anything to add to how each of these roles
functions within it's own paradigm, and with each other?
Shem R-MUD-1 & 2
X-Admin Rhovania (1993-1995)
D.R.A&.G.O.N. Writer

Offline quixadhal

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Re: High Level Design Series: StakeHolders
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 04:49:19 PM »
Only that MUDs have declined in popularity over the years, due to competition with shiny graphical games, and also due to the ease with which they can be setup.  As such, with only a few exceptions, most MUDs running out there are tiny things with one or two staff and less than a dozen active players.

With that compression, realize that one person is typically the Admin+Coder+Builder, and if there's a second person, they may take the role of Coder+Builder+Helper.  I don't make a distinction between Builders and Storytellers... because any competent builder will be creating things with the purpose of telling a story through them.  There's no point to building just for the sake of having stuff.... it's trivial to go download it from the internet, or write a program to generate mass volumes.

Offline Shem (aka MadScientist)

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Re: High Level Design Series: StakeHolders
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 09:44:08 AM »
Thanks for the feedback!

I assumed multple hats; however I tend to be one of those theory purists that will ignore the actual HOW while I work on WHAT, etc.  :)

Its ironic, since MUDs have changed so much over the years, that my previous CurrentOnline() (Staff+Beta Testers) >= Total Population of most MUDs nowadays.  On the other hand, I don't have to manage average staff size of 40 - 50 at a time anymore either.  Probably a net WIN for me.
Shem R-MUD-1 & 2
X-Admin Rhovania (1993-1995)
D.R.A&.G.O.N. Writer

Offline Shem (aka MadScientist)

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Re: High Level Design Series: StakeHolders
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 05:48:55 PM »
A friend threw a new group/type at me the other day.  He described himself as a "Game Designer", which I had originally classified as under either the Admin group, or the Coder group.  He disagreed, as he wasn't that interested in coding per se; he just wanted to play with game mechanic ideas and see them in action.
 
Do you guys consider this to be a 6th Stakeholder group; or merely a Admin/Player hybrid?
 
*curious*
Shem R-MUD-1 & 2
X-Admin Rhovania (1993-1995)
D.R.A&.G.O.N. Writer

Offline Nulvect

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Re: High Level Design Series: StakeHolders
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2012, 01:42:40 PM »
I don't think Game Designer necessarily correlates with a single position on a MUD. Often the basic mechanics are laid out by the lib you use, extended by the first admin, and modified and further extended by trusted coders later on. Ideas can come from anyone, details and planning should involve admins, and implementation requires coders, but this could range from 0 to X members of your MUD. I see Game Design as more of an overarching subject which can include other aspects such as balance.