Text Games: The 10 Commandments of Steve Jobs Applied to IRE

steve jobs 10 commandments

 Less than two weeks after announcing his resignation as Apple’s CEO, Newsweek magazine published an article titled, “The 10 Commandments of Steve.” Employers everywhere are using the infographic as a suggestion for improving their own business. However, Iron Realms has been using the same processes attributed to Steve Jobs’s creative genius since they released Achaea in 1997!


1. Go for perfect

 Iron Realms Entertainment doesn’t expect perfection, but it does hold crafters to a high standard. One Achaea text gamer offered, “It’s crazy! My high school English teachers weren’t this strict. At first it was discouraging. It’s just a dress for my character in a RPG game; so who cares if the grammar is a little off? They care. But their caring has made me care more about how I present myself outside the text game, even on Facebook!”


2. Tap the experts

 Iron Realms doesn’t look for outsiders to play Divine characters in their MUDs. Each offers a process that allows text game characters equal chances for promotion, whether stepping into the role of a Guide to help the newbies, or being elevated to full God status! The result is an administrative team familiar with the basic ins and outs of text game details and mechanics.


3. Be ruthless

 If something isn’t working out, scrap it and move on. The Iron Realms rpg games have followed this practice over the years -- even when a Divine Character has run its course! More recently, IRE began testing a Digg system to replace its former word-of-mouth advertising via TopMudSites (which was bought out by Aardwolf MUD).


4. Shun focus groups

 Jobs says, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” That doesn’t mean shunning suggestions! Tracking player feedback lets producers know what’s working, and what needs tweaked. Each of the MUDs associated with Iron Realms Entertainment allows feedback about the text game to be offered through communication  not only between players, but also between players and administrators.


5. Never stop studying

 In addition to listening to what players have to say on the forums, they also include a system for reporting bugs, typos, and ideas. A large player base has potential for hundreds, even thousands, of things to be reported daily! The end result is that Administrators can more easily fix bugs and typos, and perhaps even implement an idea or two!


6. Simplify

 Text. It doesn’t get any more simple! The graphics in Guild Wars might compare to art hanging in the Louvre, but how does inspire the imagination? IRE games are a better choice over graphic MMORPGs because they push text game characters to comprehend the rpg game, making decisions that directly impact character background and development!


7. Keep your secrets

 Mortal Builders, the players assigned with updating current areas and building new ones, are required to sign and provide a hard copy of a nondisclosure agreement. These people agree not to discuss new areas with anyone, neither fellow mortal builders nor Divine characters in the text game!


8. Keep teams small

 Mortal characters in the RPG Achaea can apply to become Celani, a kind of Divine-in-training position. Celani are promoted to Demigods, who in turn can be promoted to full God status! Instead of creating new Divine characters when people are promoted, the administrators promote Demigods into the roles of dormant, current Gods. This allows for clockwork-like operations that keep the text game free for everyone!


9. Use more carrot than stick

 People don’t invest in things they don’t like! When the admins are enthusiastic, that feeling trickles down to the players.


10. Prototype to the extreme

 Pre-planning new areas, creating items players will need for various situations, and implementing tools to ease the transition from newbie to advanced text game characters are just a few of the ways IRE helps make their RPG games more player-friendly. One person commented, “I love when a new area opens! Unlike in some other text games, I can play without being distracted by glaring typos or pause my hunting or questing to report a bug.”


There’s no doubt that Iron Realms has revolutionized text games. By staying true to an uncomplicated platform they’ve developed a loyal player base that has withstood the test of time!


Penelope Swain is a text game enthusiast who enjoys the best roleplaying games from Iron Realms!


I'm not a big fan of Apple, so I might sound a little biased in this comment; however, in my opinion, it's no surprise that Matt Mihaly (a Cornell U. graduate) understands business just as much, if not more, than Steve Jobs (a liberal arts college dropout!). Throw in Iron Realms extremely high standard for hiring producers and even room builders, yeah.

Like Apple or not, Steve Jobs got undeniable results out of Apple once he stepped back in to take it over.


There are a whole lot of Cornell graduates out there. Not many CEO's as successful as Jobs.

Jobs is still an a**hole, and I'm not sure if his experiences as manager of Apple are all that applicable to the IRE context. Specifically, IRE can afford to cater to a very special niche of gamers while Apple is much more dependent on lowest common denominator-style simplification.

Regardless of what you think of the man, you can't deny his eye for innovation. Say what you will about catering to the lowest common denominator, it catapulted the company into status as a household name.

IRE has done plenty of simplifying over the years to cater to that same "lowest common denominator" via Houses, Kongregate advertising, and the Flash client, and I'd say it did well to bring new blood into the games. What's important is that they didn't sacrifice the complexities of the games at the same time.



I'm not much of an apple fan

Apple sucks.  They have basically turned into another Microsoft as far as I am concerned.  A much more competent Microsoft though! heh heh  HLFS FTW!!!!!!!!!!

Whether or not you like Apple, hate Apple, are a Linux fan, love Bill Gates, etc., etc., you HAVE to admit that Steve Jobs would not have even got to the position he made it to without being really good at what he does. 

I'd never buy it



I don't like them because their prices are so high, but people tend to follow whatever Apple does...so they gotta be doing something right.

It's the customer service they give, one of my sticking points with staying IRE for so long as well.  I think their customer service is unmatched in this realm of addicting games.



I concur..

Everyone tends to like not having respect for big CEOs, which is fine in its own right. However, at some point you have to respect what he has done, you may not like it but he has shown buisness savvy. This article also does a pretty good job too!

I agree with you, and as stated, the article wasn't about Apple, but the tenants of Apple, which are similar to IRE.

Hey, I wouldn't have been here if I were messing around on Kongregate and stumbled across this. It may have been a crappy client on a flash gaming site, but it got me here, and I'm sure it has for many others too.

I concur.


Quiet Steve, you're dead, you can't talk anymore.

...but his ideas and philosophy live on!

Not really a fan of Apple, but they know how to create a culture if nothing else.

Granted, even if it isn't a good culture.



Excellent article! I think IRE is one of the best run companies around.

I love Steve Jobs... in my advertising class we just talked about him and how he has made Apple the number 1 most recognized brand.  This is something we can all look at, players and admins, and use to help our IRE worlds grow.

Interesting read. It is nice to know that players can contribute to the game.

I'm always impressed by the speed at which typos and bugs are fixed. Spelling mistakes drive me crazy.

Little things like this are what makes me really appreciate IRE and how they handle things. I'm always shocked when I see typos, especially in ancient areas like Paavik, or things I would think more people would look at (NPC at the 'plex), just because of how clean the game usually is. But as shocking as those are when they happen, I'm even more amazed that typo reports get taken seriously like they do. I've only found four so far, but each has been dealt with swiftly and properly, usually within a day or two.


For all Jobs' success and bluster, IRE seems to have a commandment that he doesn't - give a damn about your customers.

IRE has to give a damn - or at least seem to - because they have only thousands of customers, compared to Apple's millions.

Count thy blessings.. even if they're only a few thousand!

Too true, and look at it IRE has been around this long and they aren't going anywhere.

I do enjoy how IRE always strives to make their games better but, not just by having admins nerf something, but having the players contribute and give input. Doesn't mean it's good input or it is always listened too, but I feel like I have more of a voice then if I played another game.

But at the same time, classes arent really balanced at the core, but rather balanced via artifacts.  And for us poor folk, that kinda sucks.

Luckily that isn't true for all the games.

Yes, not seeing that as an issue in MKO. They're not perfectly balanced at the moment, but whenever something can be demonstrated to be over or under powered, the admins are pretty quick to fix the skill, not just compensate with artifacts.

I really like that MKO is still in the process of being built and improved upon. It makes playing the game a much richer experience, I think, than the well-established older games. Also the playerbase isn't that big, which is nice as well...

Agreed, balancing via artifacts is great and all if you're dropping the money for infinite credits for artifacts.  Either way though, at least classes that are underpowered generally have a few 'fun' abilities to alleviate outright boredom


I concur.


I disagree.

I agree with Talinn and Zeon, disagree with Ariex and have no opinion on Calleis' position.

To disagree with thine disagree.

But overall I agree

Additional generic credit-earning comment. 

I agree with your disagreement.

I do love how flawless an area is when they first release it. They must go over it with a magnifying glass to make sure nothing is out of place.

I fully agree. I enjoy exploring new areas. Mostly off-plane, of course.

Of course, this means that there are large gaps in time between the release of new areas. It's a fair trade off, time and quality, but I don't have to like it.

The jab at Aardwolf and TopMudSites is amusing, but pathetic. The rest of article is good IMO.

if its true. Aardwolf MUD actually bought TMS.

Aye, I seem to remember that happening.  Although any speculation whether Aardwolf's recent domination of TMS and it's purchase are related would be jabs, not that that happened in the article.

Yes, but TMS is basically rankings site and  any mud can be promoted there, provided that it has big and satisfied enough playerbase. However article implies that IRE's poor result at TMS (or whatever author means by "If something isn’t working out, scrap it and move on" ) is somehow related to the ownership of the site (why would it mention it otherwise?). That's what I called a jab.

How effective those voting sites really are.

Take a look at the OUT column in those tables. Those are the clicks made by visiting users in the current month, people that were looking at the top and clicked on one of the games. Currently, Achaea has less than 300, followed by Aetolia with a little over 100. Many of these clicks might be from voters themselves.

That's how I found IRE ;)

Absolutely! The reason I even FOUND IRE in the first place was by a word-of-mouth reference from a friend who had played a smaller (and now I believe defunct) MUD called...something else. Aegis? I don't remember. It's been so long. But I went to TMS (he recommended it) and saw Achaea way up there at the top and immediately scrapped my friend's MUD and tried it (Achaea) out first thing. And never have looked back!

same way I found IRE, word of mouth, friends were playing and said come over to the Dark side :)


I imagine it's pretty thankless work, but the volunteers do a stupendous job for IRE. Thanks!


Number four is kind of bull... they never use any of my idea's even though my one SIMPLE small crafting idea has eleven idea supports, in the new'ish system for Idea's on Aetolia...

Hahaha way to go Steve, even influencing Achaea. His marketing genious knows no bounds.

Add #11 to the list: don't ignore potential customers by focusing too much on existing ones.

The DIGG promotion is way cooler than topmudsites ever was.

Heh but I do miss it a bit.

I'm guessing you only think that 'cause of the credits, though.

The promotions aren't exactly comparable. One offers rewards (carrot), the other doesn't. If any games used TMS voting to rank guilds I'm pretty sure it was removed longer TMS was bought out.


None the less I liked the article, although I find Apple tacky and a bit too gimicky.

Uh. It kind of felt like most of the examples had little to nothing to do with the general phrases they succeeded. I.e. keeping the admin happy has nothing to do with 'using more carrot than stick.'


'Use more carrot than stick' means 'Use more reward than punishment.' Happy admins mean happier players, because a little problem doesn't meet an unhappy admin whose thinking is, 'My problems are worse than this,' and responds, if at all, with, 'Tough.'

-insert joke about 10 commandments here- Was a decent read.

Thou shalt NOT start a fight in a Dwarven bar!

Commandment 11 should be : Thou shalt not be obscene over the Internet!

A lot of these commandments are common sense, wouldn't every buisness follow at least most of these without even thinking about it?

Interesting article



Indeed, a bit odd though.

IRE does have some great systems in place :)

Where are the Bill Gates' 10 Commandments? Hahah

1. Lie

2. Cheat

3. Steal

4. Repeat 1-3, seven more times!


very nice read


Nice article short and simple


A shame most comments are focusing on the Apple aspect than the comparison with IRE.  That said, I'm not really sure the purpose of this article.  It does demonstrate how what IRE does falls into what Steve Jobs suggests, but that's clearly by individual choice, not by anything particularly related to Apple. IRE does a pretty solid job with what it has, and I don't really think they owe their success to anything external.  Still, it does lend a bit of credence to what Steve Jobs said at least, so there's that.


And thank you.

Good read

for a reason!

ha love the comparison



was fun to read :) 

Keep it up!

Keep up the great work!

IRE found a working formula, who can blame them for sticking to it? If you describe it as 10 commandments, or as something else, either way they're onto something good.

very true

sounds good to me

apple is garbage

and they're evil.

a fruit.

If players actually felt listened to, there wouldn't be so many bitch-fests on forums constantly. 

It's the internet, everyone's going to feel zealously entitled over tiny things, and have no repercussions.




Do you feel listened to?


Do you feel you listen to others?


I promise you, I'm listening, for what it's worth.

Sad, but some people will bitch just for the sake of doing it. The forums provides a wonderful audience for them, too many times. :(

I enjoy how professionally everything is presented in Iron Realms games. They are careful about scrutinizing their content and that makes for very enjoyable areas. I don't know about the forums part but it's good to be aware of what the players are talking about.

Not a bad side by side.

who is this article aimed for? the player or the game masters?

Steve Jobs resigned? When the heck did that happen?

I gotta start paying more attention to current events...

I love Apple and their company view as a whole, so it's always interesting to see it applied to IRE! 

I do wish there was some way to recognize their efforts, and their authorship. While being clear that all rights are assigned to IRE, of course.

oh, I thought this would be a list of stuff people actually do in game : 1. Always team 2. LoL in the face of your opponent 3.Grief etc.

Best comment ever !


I agree

Sad but true.  Too many kids (really immature adults) who let that surge of adrenaline when they win turn them into complete obnoxious twirps.

Haha so true

I hate Apple's philosophy and products, and article about Steve Jobs here makes me sad :(

So, the only purpose of this comment is the bound credit.

hooray for ad hominem attacks with no warrant. Because clearly logical fallacies and bad argumentation make for productive points

Bah, I could develop during an hour, I have reasons for saying that. I don't think it is the good place for that, though.

I suppose that's an interesting view on things

Never thought I'd see Apple compared to IRE, very interesting read though. Innovation for the win!

Nooo, bad. IRE is goood, and Steve Jobs is evil! IRE is more like... an orphanage made of candy with a puppy hospital in the back. >_>

Aww hehe. But I agree.. I think.

Heh so Jobs is Loving Hearts?

Complete with Cavern of No Return.

I agree somewhat.


I'm not sure the analogy works from a huge electronics think tank to a text game.  The IRE games have a lot going for them. But, that said, they ARE sort of niche and will never garner the huge numbers that something as sleek as Apple produces can. They do a great job at what they do, but it's like comparing a small mom and pop store to Cost Co. You might shoehorn analogies in but they wont quite fit. That said, small mom and pop places can be a lot of fun in ways that a Cost Co can't ever really touch.


Small can be good, a player would never be able to influence a huge game like WoW like they can with IRE games.

I agree that is one of the main attractions for me. You can shape the world, but as a group on bigger games. While it's possible individually on IRE.

Interesting... I'm also out of the loop concerning Steve Job's retirement. I think all companies have their ups and downs. Look at Earth Eternal...

I like this piece.

*crash* ... Ten! Ten Commandments!


(I can't help but wonder, in a world where the roman army is defeated by big joint, how awesome those last 5 commandments could've been)


I find this highly amusing. I'm not sure it works extremely well as a comparison, but it is still a nice glook at the fact that there is a business portion to all of this as well.

Ah, Apple...

I love apples. 



Yummy golden delicious apples.

Out of IRE? He scares me like a four headed monkey trying to eat my brain.

lovely stuff

I think this is what makes IRE fun. They really do know what they are doing!

I've had the pleasure of being apart of this game in more ways than one, and I always enjoy being able to be apart of the team that makes it better. Glad they allow it.

I like it. It shouldn't be the only thing they subscribe to as a corporation but it definately should be one of the many.

I find all the Steve Job's glorification to be a bit sickening.

Apple like Microsoft uses lawyers and their clout to keep true innovation. Their filing of patants that are blantant abuse of the patant system is just plain wrong. Thier eletist attitude is offensive to say the least.

I believe they are so stregent in sueing people is that they would disappear otherwise.


For IRE to compare themselves with Apple is doing themselves a disservice.

I agree with this statement.

Stand on your own. Don't compare yourselfs to others.

If one never makes comparisons between themselves and others, how do they identify their strengths and weaknesses, where and how they might improve? Introspection is a wonderful tool, but without any frame of reference to what does and doesn't work outside of one's own experiences, it doesn't lead very far. I do, though, question the sensibility of comparing one company from a niche market that depends on quality of its content above all else with a company, or the principles behind it at least, that sells sub-par hardware at a double-or-better markup with an interface that puts form before function.


For Rent!

Good Pointers and a good article thanks!

Scrapping ideas that don't work is clearly not an IRE-wide policy. Otherwise Lusternia would still be a good game.

I'm not quite sure what you mean, but the restrictions they put on only being able to buy 10 comms at once should be reversed or at least modified. Around 30 would be nice.

I think he's referring to things such as the doubling of commodity costs and affinity (especially affinity. Worst idea ever!).  Lusternia is also very poor at listening to player input, as most forum-born ideas, when they do get implemented, have been perverted to something unrecognizable. Such as the demigod-shop. Great idea, terrible execution.

Good article

It might be like comparing a mom/pop store to walmart, but mom/pop will remember your name and give more personal service.

I'm just sad jobs will be gone

Good read

Good read!

...a good read


the more restrictive a game is, it's ok. but i feel demeaned by the rules lawyer players who like to get on everyone's case about the rules. i think it should be up to a higher authority to enforce the rules and not other players.

has cancer



I'm so glad we have Steve Jobs to condense "common sense" into 10 basic sentences.

I'm not sure this is so much "Common Sense" but I understand your sentiment.

I'm not much of an apple fan


Sounds more like common sense.

Those 10 commandments seems to work like a charm.


Steve Jobs's philosophies are admirable, but I think it's a shame that so many focus on his work at Apple. When thinking about Iron Realms and gaming I much prefer to remember his work in acquiring the Graphics Group from Lucasfilm and transforming it into Pixar Animation Studios, a far more influential entity in terms of tapping into the fantasy genre and unleashing the type of creativity and joy we seek every day in the Iron Realms. Storytelling is where it's at.


I like it

He hates your freedom.


Yeah not a big fan of Apple though I suppose I can't really judge i've never actually sat downf or an extended period of time and used one so meh..I guess i'll try not to go by what i'm told.

I understand the concerns about Apple, but I have to say that all Apple does is to keep things neat and simple. Although, Apple's products are expensive, I feel that they are worth every bit of it. And well...about privacy issues, I am more concerned about Google than Apple, at this juncure.

This is just my opinion, of course.



I've read on a website that if you bought every piece of your iMac separately, it would cost 30% less, and they are not top quality pieces. About privacy, I am more concerned by Facebook, then the two others ...

For the neat and simple, this is true, but only if you don't want to have any control. As soon as you want to customize a few things, you are blocked. (not sure if it is more or less than Microsoft's systems though)

1) if you sell your motorvehicle piece by piece, you would get 3 times the price you paid for it, at least; 30% looks like a fair deal to me;

2) PCs are highly unreliable in a working enviroment. That's why I switched to Apple in 2000;

3) I have been using and assembling PCs since the 086 processor series in the late '80. It was really fun but I would never go back to Windows (I have to use it seldomly, and trust me, I feel like Microsoft never evolved from MS DOS);

4) on the surface you have less control on a Mac, especially about graphic customization; it is a compromise towards functionality, a price I am more than happy to pay if it the computer does not crash. Windows it is something definetively not under the user's control. Anyway, with a little practice, you can highly customise a mac (at least that was true until 9.2 MacOs)

5) PC (windows) are great just for gaming and MS EXCEL, that's all. MS Words, sucks like hell! On a different note, it is much cheaper to do 3D graphics on PCs (it is true...) Macs are way too expensive for that.

6) I wish I could use Linux, but I am really to old to learn new tircks.

IRE muds have more interaction between admin and the players than there would be in other games. Regarding carrot and stick, I think it's really important that we as players don't forget to say good job and offer praise when the admin do in fact do a good job. I'm sure it makes them want to work that much harder to make the game as perfect as it can be :)


Most of these "commandments" were really a stretch. Especially the "simplify" sentence. When will IRE stop deluding themselves and fess up that they're not "simple" at all, but instead highly complex.

I must agree to a point


Yea, it was very interesting to read. If only Apple would have the programs and things that your regular PC can run... 

Aye, I'd like to have Pages on my PC


May be applied to life, yes? I try?


His contributions to the world have been great he will be missed.


Don't much care for Apple for a number of reasons, but no doubt SJ was a huge contributor to much we use today.


Jobs is now the first digital legend of humankind.

Yes, he died. My Chemistry teacher obssessed with Apple actually made us spend a few minutes in silece for him, yes.

at least he passed on apple first



Great person.

"Tap the experts" would seem obvious, but so many times it has seemed to me like a game isn't even played by the developer of said game, or they have zombies who play them that provide no feedback. Some games still come out with no left handed support, when we had that kind of support in gaming back in the 90s. There are also odd choices made in some games that leads one to wonder if anyone on their team tried the changes before before making the final decision on them.


I like that a lot of the guides IRE has on their games tend to know a lot. I've seen them without answers though. Thankfully there are a lot of helpful people to fill in the gaps!



Apple got big for a reason.

Good rules to follow for any successful buisness.  apple is just very high profile. Apply these to any buisness

11. Don't die

Many successful people follow this.

  Eat vegies

not really anything people don't already know. but all the jobs nutriders will savor it nontheless.

Fresh areas with a wide level-range of mobs to kill, balanced combat in both team and one-v-one settings, questing quantity and depth and events that aren't allowed to stagnate or completely overturn established lore and roleplay are all that's really needed to get current players excited enough to bring friends in or to lure (and KEEP) people with the existing methods of  marketing.

There is no 10 Commandments style wisdom about it, just common sense, really. Perhaps that's what so many 'nutriders' (to steal someone else's quaint term) found so remarkable about Steve Jobs and his business outlook.

Text is actually pretty complicated....

Definately saw the connections.

Good connections to a free credit


lol, crafting standards. I have seen my share of sentences without verbs.

I wouldn't call the game "simplified" either. The barrier of entry to PK makes me want to weep, coming back to it a second time around.

I do like all of these commandments though. When and where they are truly applied, I can definitely see their effectiveness.

I agree with the 10, at times hard to control, but fun to try

I agree with the 10, at times hard to control, but fun to try

Steve Jobs is Steve Jobs.

*nods* RIP S.Jobs. Great guy

Being a god might be fun. not that i could do it

These do seem to be good advice

hrm, this is post-the last article, I think

interesting article

it's kinda inspirational