How Your Player-Created Content Affects the Lifespan of Your Favorite Iron Realms Games

Aetolia Kelki mythology artwork

Far too many people see computer games as a source of entertainment and leave it at that. But people who play RPGs like the ones offered by Iron Realms Entertainment know that these virtual realms filled with made-up characters are not only games, but they are also investments.

The Investment of Time

You may be thinking, “Yeah, I have invested a college semester’s worth of tuition in credits!” but in reality the investment goes far beyond any dollar amount. First there is the investment of time people put into playing the game. All you have to do is look at your STAT for confirmation of this.

For example a person with a time investment that looks like this, “You have played for a total of 615 days, 13 hours and 27 minutes” has obviously made bigger sacrifices to play the game than someone with a character that same age who has only played the game for a quarter of that time.

Adding Unique Content to the Game

Another type of investment people make is with player-created content. People who love the game enjoy being a part of its creation without resorting to becoming one of the admins or learning technical coding terms. When people are able to add their own content to the game, they are likely to stick around longer thus improving the game’s lifespan.

Text-based RPGs make it easy to add player-created content without a lot of headache to either the player or the coders. That is because adding content does not change the original source code. In Achaea the ways to add player-created content are nearly endless. Here are some of the more popular ways.

  • Crafting Skills & Heraldry – Taking up a crafting skill like tailoring, jewellery, or cooking, or even the ability to emblazon things with heraldic arms, serve two purposes. First it allows players to express their own creativity and secondly it fills a need for other adventurers who make use of these items.

  • Item Customization & Artefact Pets – Achaea recently introduced a new customization program that is done entirely within the game. People can alter the look of items, add reactions, make items nodecay, or have an item reset to their inventory all within a few simple commands. Additionally, people can order artefact pets, which are custom denizens that are loyal to an adventurer and have few restrictions in regards to their special abilities and powers.

  • Mortal Building – Mortal builders are able to add player-created content within reason. Novice builders will start out with projects like rewriting existing rooms and work their way up. However, periodic contests allow players to vie for the chance to have their own unique content added to the game and in the past have included things like designing items, denizens, rooms, or even an entire island.

Benefits of Player-Created Content

When a game like Achaea allows people to add content based on things from their own imaginations and ideas, it adds so many benefits – especially for people who play the game. New players are often impressed by the things created by their peers and they aspire to obtain crafting licenses to develop their own unique content.

Crafting and customizing items can lead to a larger job like mortal building or coding. This can lead to a position such as Celani, Demigod, or Divine in which the player is not only creating content based on their own wants and needs, but they also have the opportunity to make these dreams come true for other adventurers when they do things like patron a house or city.

In graphics-heavy video games, allowing player-created content appeals to a minuscule portion of the player base. However the opposite holds true for text based games. Anyone who doubts this need only to log into Achaea and look at the CRAFTERWHO list of everyone in the realm who is visible and holds some type of a crafting license.

Seth Grayson is a college student who uses inspiration from real life whenever he adds new content to his favorite text MUDs like Achaea from Iron Realms. Although he is not much for fashion or accessories, he really enjoys the game’s new Cooking miniskill. For example he recently created a series of coffee-based desserts (which to Achaeans would be kawhe-based desserts) inspired by the ones in the café where he works as a barista.



I'd like to make some sort of lasting impression on the game. My arms of alts prevents that, however.






A 1 2 3 4 ROCK!


Wow nice!

there have been some people who have achieved that. Flair in Achaea is a good example: he has a statue in the desert, because he was the self-proclaimed prophet of Babel before Eris came back and Babel became the new god over chaos

Got himself an invisible pet made out of his shadow and now it just wanders about.

Yeah, I've always wondered about that.

its not always invisible. And this was before any standardization of pets was made, so it doesn't reset to his inventory like pets do nowadays

and now it's all a mish-mash of returning gods and goddesses

pretty much




I wish we can RP as a tavern owner or something. :(

I'm not sure you can't. If you could create a custom pet or denizen that could sell things, you could make on in your own home, or even if you get your hands a shop you could rp it as such.



Custom pets are definitely cool, but getting every feature takes quite a lot of credits.


I've always been interested in designing my own stuff, but I've only ever made one item on a text game, which was a formal dress. 

And custom pets can be a bit pricey. I agree.


but they can be so fun and cute, especially since you can have them emote....


Can we have emoting pets in MKO? (Assuming we don't already and I'm not aware of it.)

Interesting read.

Never ever check that line in stat that tells you how long you have been playing






Good advice. It gets depressing really fast.





I just got a guild emote added to the QG on MKO.  So much pride!


good job! we're doing an emote contest in the cij guild!

That's really cool, Naft!

you are doing a lot fo articles, I agree though, the time you invest in the game surpasses by far the money investment some people make. luckily I have just invested time in it

yeah, this guy speaks the truth.


ayah, got me thinking

me too

I really want to have something of my own in-game!

That is a very cool picture

It certainly is!




Would be cool to get the auto-item customisation in the other games.



I like that this section includes more than just the 'builder' role. Those room/item description competitions are fun and require just a little bit of effort.




 And the reward is a lasting mark on the game!

Not a bad reward, I'd say, if it's a game you care about

Not to mention there's a certain aspect of pride.

Creating something of my own in Achaea is one of my favourite aspects. Building Eilona's house is a lot of fun and next I'd like to get her a cook's license so she can make use of her kitchen!

My house is one of my favourites, though I've only done two rooms. Hording the rest of my money and credits for my dream home (out of sub).

Allowing players to add their contents to the game is a great way to improve roleplaying for others as well.


Sadly, whilst I partly agree with your initial point, the majority of that time is spent AFK, esp during Ironbeard season :(

That never occurred to me...

What's Ironbeard season?

There are some incredible books. Descriptions too, and customised pets and items. Putting a bit of effort in make the world richer for everyone else.

I think it's really neat to customize your own things, and I hope I'll be able to customize something one day! Like, my staff. 


I believe if an artifact is worth having, it's worth customising. One of my pipes is already customised and I have ideas for the other two.

If Xli ever gets to the point where he has enough credits to get some artefacts, I'll definitely customise the descriptions... not every set of eagle wings should look the same!

I sometimes fantasise about having a whole set of artefacts and customising them all so that they in effect become my clothing.

I agree! I'd customise Eilona's artefacts, too. It's much nicer to have something unique!

love being able to see things created by characters.  Rooms, crafting, even the custom pet/artifact descriptions.

Too shy to branch out. Sorry, me.

nice picture

good article

urgh, customizations are really expensive

But the cumulative costs sneak up on you.

good to see that other games are getting god pictures too

ugh... I've invested so much.. such a good thing too. :)


I've spent a bunch!



Kinda interested in mortal building. Didn't know there was something like that.

I want an artefact pet so badly, and this article only made me want one even more.

Me too but I keep spending all my credits. Still, it gives time to write.

sometimes gods need to ignore players for their own good.  Just sayin'

For the god's own good or the players?

investments pay for coding

heh heh

Didnt know that, I would love to do that.

It's all you, baby!

been working for almost a year now on getting a tailor license with nothing but in game gold. So far I'm not even half way there...

ou'll get there soon enuough


Hadn't really thought about it like that, thanks.

Text games are a good place for those that are initiated to be able to make a difference in the game. That is one of the reasons I enjoy them so much.









I love reading about MUD games as a long time MUD player.

a total of 58+ days... jeeze

I don't want to think about time spent. It makes me regret that I haven't been more productive.

 know the feeling

do gods count as 'players"?

good article

still love the picture

I enjoy designing things of crafting when insperation strikes.  I'm not sure my stuff is good enoughto affect the game in a larger perspective.




Love it. From crafting to customisations, it's a core part of my enjoyment with IRE games.

I really do love the amount of customization available in Lusternia.

I've always liked how open to feedback and suggestions IRE staff are, especially with Achaea. If you have a good idea or a serious suggestion for a change, pitch it and if it makes sense and is generally supported by the community, chances are you'll see it happen at some point or another. I've had a few suggestions make The List to get implemented eventually, such as a form of 'Whaling' for Seafaring. They listen, and this gives everyone an opportunity to invest in the game to make it more enjoyable for everyone overall.