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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:51 pm 
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Fans have been debating the merits of fan supported open source for months and fan run servers far longer. Funding has always been an issue. We now have examples of various funding plans at work in Myst-Uru style builds in SL. The Eder D’Uru build and method of financing and the Atlantes & Mayan Myst builds.

Eder was started in cooperation with a fund raising charity to keep the server costs down. The Atlantes/Mayan Mysts were funded by fans’ donations and rentals. There were never any large malls in Mayan Myst as far as I remember. Eder has homes and shops and a mall area.

Both have run into some financial problems. In a tough economy that is sinking by the day fans are finding it harder to support recreational spending and are cutting back. The owners of Mayan Myst need to get all of their parcels rented or sold. Otherwise Mayan Myst will close. See Thorsen Hammerer in SL if you want a place or feel like helping out Mayan Myst. I think it is gorgeous. (This is not just a Myst problem other regions of SL close often too - they come and go at a pretty fast rate)

Eder’s problems are minor compared to Mayan’s. Some of the free things they hoped to offer have had to move into the ‘pay for’ services. Still it is growing and people are eager to rent shops there. Plus I think some of a residential area can be used as a shop but I’m not a resident there and cannot say for sure.

When it comes to quality of appearance… I think Mayan is prettier and much more peaceful. Eder is more like Uru and has recognizable Uru like places. But I find it chaotic right now. It is a work in progress and walls are missing here and there and resident homes are under construction, various levels of skill are apparent in the building… its somewhat a mess but great fun to explore.

Both have puzzles. The Mayan Myst puzzle is great fun and a decent challenge. Some of Eder’s puzzles change monthly and they have sparkly quests.

I can’t say which are the definite reasons why Mayan is at risk and Eder is not. While they are different and similar, one is growing and one is struggling. I wonder how much of the community is watching and learning from these experiments or participating in them. The problems and similarities I see are not necessarily what others will see. I see the same problems in other games and expect them in MOOS. All of these RPG’s and builds are complex and many faceted with several things contributing to success and failure. Growth and struggle are stark differences and how MOOS is handled will decide which path it takes.

All the facets of these games come down to the finances. Either the servers are paid for or the region goes away. Eder gathered a core group to pay for the server and found economical servers. Mayan also did but a much smaller core group, AFAIK. Eder decided to allow commerce. Mayan excluded it. The result is the core members in Eder can supplement their income from shops and spread the cost to more people. If I buy jewelry or a dress there, it helps out and I get something as well as a place to play. Like these cool ear rings? I got them at... If a core member has to drop out a single person is a smaller percent of the Eder group. All these little things are adding up.

Another difference is the presence of these two groups outside SL. Eder has a section in the OpenUru.org forum. (recent guild meeting minutes) Articles are posted in GoMa and fans are blogging about Eder. Fans from both are here in the MOUL forum. There is more to say about what is happening in Eder D’Uru and Devokan than there is about Mayan Myst. So, I think, PR is a contributing factor too.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:13 pm 
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Eder D'Uru also has a blog at http://blogs.openuru.org/duru/.

I believe in efforts like this and I think outreach from other domains, organizations and even guilds is important so that people can become familiar with their purpose, then understand and accept what others are trying to do in the extended community.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:21 pm 
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To tell the truth I tried SL and it isn't the game for me. Everything is all messed up...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:49 pm 
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SL certainly provides an inexpensive test bed for ideas, as does THERE.

We see lots of games that try different things. But none of them are really done using Uru fans. Only in SL & THERE are there groups of Uru fans we can experiment with.

@The stranger, many people said Uru was all messed up too... So, I guess it is personal perception. Several hundred Uru fans disagree with you.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:02 pm 
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Suggestion: Take the money that's being solicited for the fakeUru projects, put it in a non-returnable envelope, and mail to Cyan. They may not be able to use it for game funding, but I bet it'd buy a nice supply of donuts!

Did you know that for the price of a questionably rendered square of virtual real estate, you could buy a nice lunch, a used video game, a couple of gallons of gasoline, or a case of delicious Pepsi Throwback (tm)!?

And for those playing along, take seven drinks.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:39 pm 
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There is more than US$18,000 per year cash out being spent on Myst-Uru style builds just in SL. That comes to $35 per year per fan in Myst style builds. (that is known fans - the per fan amount might double if you limit it to active fans) That would buy at least 54,000 donuts or about 13,000 per employee in the Washington office. Meaning they would need to eat 37 per day every day. Or 50 per day Monday to Friday.

There are 200 calories in a glazed donut. 50x200=10,000 calories per day. A 5'-4" 135lb 30 yr old needs 1900 to maintain weight. That 10k of donuts is way more than any person needs and would lead to massive weight gain. I'm not counting the milk one would need.

So... vidkid7 would have us give up a great learning experience and all the fun we are having in SL to kill off whats left of Cyan...

One has to think ahead...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:44 am 
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If and when Cyan again offers something for me to pay for, in terms of a product I am interested in - then I will pay for it. I paid for the boxed copy of Uru. I paid for Gametap Uru. I would have paid for Ubisoft online Uru, but it got cancelled before I could. I paid for my Kagi Key for Until Uru. When Cyan had something to sell me, I paid for it.

What's interesting - seeing what's out there that's doing well, and what's not doing well, where people are gathering, and how they are building community.

I also like being in a virtual world. There's the Cyan Chat community (little weak on visuals 8) ), and there are various other Uru related online worlds where people gather. It's a wonderful thing. No one makes anyone go anywhere, do anything, and wonderful intersecting communities form. I like that.

JWPlatt - thanks for the link to the blog, very helpful!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:08 am 
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Nalates wrote:
Cyan Heart Attack


Well played, clerks! You win this round! :wink:

Although, it could also be argued that just because they receive the money, they don't have to spend it all at once on a year's supply of donuts. It could be more of a lifetime supply sort of deal!

Regardless, that was a good response, and given in good humor. Thanks for that, it made me smile like I haven't all day!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:50 am 
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Nalates wrote:
@The stranger, many people said Uru was all messed up too... So, I guess it is personal perception. Several hundred Uru fans disagree with you.

And just so the wrong impression isn't bandied about, several hundred agree with the Stranger too.

Also, few people said Uru was messed up like they say SL is messed up.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:22 pm 
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Point of Order! *bangs gavel* :wink: Back on topic, now:

I think I can answer your question, Nalates, and it just might be a very big lesson for us when Uru becomes open source and run by the fans.

Mayan Myst is slightly older than Eder D'Uru, and to my knowledge, with the possible exception of building on resident parcels, it hasn't changed since it was completed and opened. It's static; it's been explored, and it's old news. (Remember the days of MOUL when the cavern was so quiet between episodes? And, the forums were filled with suggestions to Cyan for ages they should create next.) On the other hand Eder D'Uru is...

Nalates wrote:
chaotic right now. It is a work in progress and walls are missing here and there and resident homes are under construction, various levels of skill are apparent in the building… its somewhat a mess but great fun to explore.

And, if we're lucky, Eder D'Uru will always be a work in progress. By the time this thing over here is finished, we're bored with the thing that was finished a few projects ago, so we'll tear it down and put up something new.

Nalates wrote:
various levels of skill are apparent in the building…

which makes it feel more like a home, I think. To me, it says that we're open-minded and welcome different styles and personalities. Eder D'Uru is a warm and welcoming place.

So, the biggest difference between Mayan Myst and Eder D'Uru? Mayan Myst is static and Eder D'Uru is alive. And, because of the constant changes, even when there's no people around, Eder D'Uru feels alive.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Quote:
many people said Uru was all messed up too


It was. Everything is messed up, SL and Uru. It's just that Uru was messed but still understandable. SL was so messed, I couldn't get out of the avatar costumization screen. I guess it's also a lot about the clumsy visuals. That's the expectations after playing Uru :P .

Quote:
Several hundred Uru fans disagree with you.


May they have a lot of fun.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:41 pm 
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Do we really need to be having a debate here over which Uru/Myst themed or supported Sim in SL is 'better'. We had land in both, and we had to make a decision based only on personal finances, not which space was 'better'.

And, once again, a thread will devolve into SL slamming, and how it's a waste of time/energy/money etc... because people can't seem to deal with the fact that not everyone likes the same thing, or the same locations, or the same social interactions.

Right now, some people are focusing on SL because that's where they want to put their energy, some people are focused on Open Uru, some are doing things a bit more underground, or abstract.

When Cyan gives us a roadmap, and a compass, energies will shift, again. That's part of being a dynamic community.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Tai'lahr... all that is accurate and I agree it contributes to the popularity of Eder. I don’t think it is the complete answer, but you certainly identify a significant facet.

I don't see Vulan and Mayan as static... but Eder is certainly far far more dynamic... Enough so that it worth a visit every week or few days while Vulcan and Mayan may be every other month. (Unless you are going to a party). Compared to Eder... yeah it looks static.

Vulcan is being rebuilt. Mayan got the new puzzle.

Eder's changes are made by a larger group of people and there is no way to list all the changes that happen in a day. So, your point on dynamic verse static is right on.

Still those are just part of contributing facets of each regions survival from a larger set. I think we can learn from the contrasts in the two. I know Eder is scrambling to cover the cost change in tier. How that goes is another lesson for those planning to run MOOS. I'll catch you or Jeff in-world about what happened with tier, I'm curious.

I see Vulcan and Mayan as private home rentals (fee to live in sim - so shared sim cost by several residents) and donations. Vulcan seems to be doing ok. Mayan is very similar but I think intended as a higher end residence. It has larger parcels (meaning fewer residents per sim) that cost more. So, is the price difference the reason one is more successful? I think so. This sort of tells us where the price sensitivity is within our fans.

The appearance of Eder, Vulcan and Myan are different. I think Mayan is the 'prettiest' of the three. This is sort of a country side setting verses city comparison, not a skills thing. But Eder is way more fun socially. One can meet people there and lots going on. So, I think social interaction is more important than beauty. Svarga was gorgeous, but it did not survive.

As I look at all the RPG’s I see a cost to make a game popular and successful. That cost is paid in a combination of money and energy. Energy might be considered a mix of game building (age creation – region building) and player participation. Money of course pays for servers, builders (age/region) and can pull players in (think dance contests and prize exploders – about US$270 is the highest prize I’ve seen given away, the sim was packed and crashing it was drawing so many people). This idea can also be stated in terms of time and money too with energy being related to time. There is some combination of those that make up the cost. There is some minimum cost to survive. The sum of time and money must meet that cost or the game fails. Time and money can be mixed in any proportion to meet that cost. Short on money, invest more time. The mix is limited by RL factors. The minimum money part has to cover RL expenses.

There is also some minimum amount of time or energy. So, while one can buy existence, it is not possible to buy success. I mean I can pay for a sim for as long as I want but that does mean anyone will play in it. If I put time into it I can attract players. Planning and participating in dances, parties, karaoke, and similar take time. People that participant contribute time. At some point the amount of time provides a return and draws more people which contribute more time and the game grows. An example is White Rose’s dance parties at her Vulcan home. She does better than many dance clubs.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Eleri wrote:
Do we really need to be having a debate here over which Uru/Myst themed or supported Sim in SL is 'better'.

It's not a debate about which one is 'better' - there is no way to compare the two sims in that respect; they are far too different. I agree with Nalates that Mayan Myst is prettier, but I prefer the social dynamics at Eder D'Uru. This is about trying to find out what works to support a sim in SL that might be applied to hosting Uru when it becomes open source.

Eleri wrote:
And, once again, a thread will devolve into SL slamming, and how it's a waste of time/energy/money etc...

by narrow-minded people who can't see that there might be some benefit to using a sandbox like SL to test out some things which could benefit Uru in the long run. I think Nalates should be commended for her diligent research and thought-provoking posts.

Eleri wrote:
When Cyan gives us a roadmap, and a compass,

Do you really believe they'll give us a roadmap and compass? I believe they're going to release the code with a few rules to abide by and then we're on our own from there. So every issue we can research and discuss now will go a long way towards making it easier to get Uru up and running when the time comes.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:28 pm 
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Tai'lahr wrote:
I believe they're going to release the code with a few rules to abide by and then we're on our own from there. So every issue we can research and discuss now will go a long way towards making it easier to get Uru up and running when the time comes.

I believe this is far more likely, except that Cyan, or a trusted Cyan agent, will hold final commit rights to the main trunk (an "official" Cyan-by-proxy approved version of the code).

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