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What do you think will happen next?
GameTap will come back with another season. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Another publishing company will pick up UL. 3%  3%  [ 4 ]
It will return to the fan-run UU. 19%  19%  [ 24 ]
Cyan will self-fund a limited version of UL between it and UU. 50%  50%  [ 63 ]
This is the end; UL will die to nothing. 24%  24%  [ 31 ]
Something else? (specify) 4%  4%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 127
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:01 pm 
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Whilyam wrote:
Garamoth wrote:
Whoa there, he never said anything about "doing his best" what he said was:

"We are figuring out our employee situation and the possibility of running Uru servers ourselves"
http://www.spokesman.com/business/story.asp?ID=230680

"I'll look into it" really isn't a very strong statement. It might be a good sign, but it also sounds like the kind of thing your bank manager would say as a stalling tactic, while knowing perfectly well he's going to approve the loan.

Could we please, PLEASE stop it with the blind optimism? How about some of that "cautious optimism" we hear so often about?

Doing their best was implied. I'm not getting into a semantic war. Cyan loves Uru and has said they're trying to get the game run on their own. Obviously Cyan is going to try its best to do this.


Seriously, folks, Cyan cares a lot about Uru. They aren't just going to sit back and watch Uru crash and burn. Check out their history! They started working on it after Riven, having to give up Myst III and IV to work on Uru. They tried to release it in '04, but the deal with Ubisoft fell through, so they released it single-player and helped UU to stay up for three years with no mention of if it would ever be back in earnest. In all honesty, guys, how many companies would resurrect a low-profit venture that died three years earlier? Well, Cyan did. Now that GameTap is giving up on it, I suspect a new, larger crowd of Myst fanatics (thanks to MOUL) will create an Until Someone Else Is Tricked Into Thinking Uru Is Profitable, which will last as long as it takes.

About why I am saying Uru is low-profit: don't get me wrong. I love Uru to death. I have always loved the Myst series for its unique gameplay style. As yet, no one else has really created something like this (defined as "a game with almost no violence and focusing on fantastic imagery"). The fact is, though, that I realise that I, no, we, are a minority. The majority of cash-laden citizens are satisfied with violence, explosions, blood spurts, and soft porn. The fact that Cyan is trying for this more intellectual market is a credit to them, but for all their ideals, we all know that this mentality attracts only a select few, which is really why no other company has jumped on the Myst bandwagon (and no, Tomb Raider is not close enough). I love Cyan, but I can see that they live in a past in which people actually wanted more than guns and porn. This is why it is so hard for any company to hold on to UL: the entertainment industry has reduced the populous to a mob of mindless TV-zombies seeking cheap thrills, and this simple fact disgusts me, but I must face its bare truth. No one wants UL anymore, so it is doomed to a painful death of non-funding.

This saddens me, but it must be said. I have no doubt that UL not die outright, but instead become another UU, so do not lose hope, but I think a publishing deal with a company which caters to this audience will have a short life—Cyan will have to do the job itself.

/me gets off soapbox and crawls into a corner to lament the fall of man.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:52 am 
What do I think will happen next? I don't know. I know what I'd like to happen next, but that isn't the question.

You're right in that Uru is never going to be a high-profit game. I'm not so sure we can take it as read that Cyan is as committed to Uru as we would like them to be; they're creative people and their nature is to move on. Remember Rand and Robyn were adamant there would be no further games in the Myst series after Riven? It's entirely possible they desperately want to do something different now. Something that makes money would be nice.

Obviously I want Uru to continue, but realistically I don't think Cyan are going to want to be using their resources on expanding it, and no publisher in the world is going to take it. The best we may be able to hope for from Cyan, I think, is that they allow us to do something with it, but as has been pointed out, they like to retain control over their products. UU was essentially static--no growth, no new content, costs minimal and control by Cyan virtually complete. It's possible that, now that they've seen Paree--I mean MOUL, fewer people will be content to go back to that, especially those in the Guilds who have worked so hard learning to Write their own Ages.

It's all airy speculation, and nobody knows anything yet. Nor will we till some time in April at the very earliest, and thereafter at Cyan's pleasure. I'd like to see Uru back online, with options for player-generated content if desired, and in the best of all possible worlds with Cyan adding content as well, but when it comes down to it, if all we're offered is a return to UU, I'll take it.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:39 am 
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How many times do we repeat this theme? I'm getting cross-eyed.

Bashing every other game and/or gamer doesn't elevate URU Live. (Everyone else but you are mindless TV-Zombies? I haven't heard that bias since the '60s) Most other games have more directed purpose, our doesn't. They are different animals, as far as I'm concerned, as well as being more defined and commercial.

You can twist and turn your opinions, provide yet another dark view of the gaming industry, and put all of us on pedestals as the supreme culture in all of gamedom, but it doesn't change the few facts in the vague statements that we've been given by the company that can do anything at all to save the life of this game/experience of URU Live. I've stated my observations, suggestions, and blood, sweat and tears all over this forum, as most of you have. Time to look up and ahead, instead of back and inward. At least for me.

Cautious optimism, blatant optimism, upside-down optimism, it's still optimism. Why not sunny pessimism? Peppy gloom? Acceptable tragedy? Arrrgggghhh!!! I think I'm burned out on this stuff.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:01 am 
Romer Openfield wrote:
How many times do we repeat this theme?


Till somebody who knows something tells us something.

If you need a break, go ahead. We'll still be here when you get back, and probably no for'arder. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:08 am 
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Okay...thanks... :arrow: :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:23 am 
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I think the Cyan funded thing is the most likely next step. I believe the math shows that they could do it with a slice of the current subscribers at a somewhat increased subscriber fee.

What's not clear to me is that Cyan currently has the vinegar needed to try again in a big way. They seem to have stabilized their financial situation but there's more to it than that. Things like creativity, defeat, loss, and frustration are emotionally exhausting and expensive to one's spirit. I think they will need time to heal and re-group for a while before they go full force again. This middle option offers them that time they need.

Our job is to still be here when they are ready.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:39 am 
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I'm asking, before I post. To me, this looks like a thread where we are asked to post our opinions, as opposed to a thread where we are asked to be optimistic. To me, this looks like a "give your opinion" thread. Is that correct? It seems like it is, but there are other threads with a different purpose.

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Last edited by mszv on Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:20 am 
Since the poll offers negative options, I assume you are free to choose them.

I'll be over here with my fingers in my ears humming real loud... :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:08 am 
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Saddly, I voted for : "This is the end: UL will die to nothing".

My reasons:

1- By giving the choice of playing until April without fixing the many bugs
starting showing up these last few days, people will view it as a bad experience
and Cyan's reputation will be hurt.

2- As for the Guilds picking up the game, it also looks as if it is getting worst
because of big communication problems between different factions.
(due to different origines, religions, big egos or hidden philosophies ????)
From my end, point of view: There seems to be a "power struggle" going on and it may
cause so big a problem, that Cyan may have to dissociate itself away from the Guilds.

If Cyan has plans for the future, I would suggest: Stop the haemorrhage before
it is too late.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:46 am 
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Here is something that is worth considering. As I was browsing GameTap recently, I noticed that they have removed a lot of games. These aren't just games that are currently being promoted by GameTap. There are a few "classics" that I have seen disappear recently. I am not trying to be optimistic in this instance. I am trying to be realistic, when I suggest that it's possible that URU was cancelled for reasons other than it was an abysmal flop. I have considered that Cyan might just want to let the thing go, and try something else for a change. I'd be happy to respect their wishes. However, I've also seen threads that indicate their willingness to keep things going.

In some ways, it might be good, if there was a delay, before anything was done. For one, I have been seeing a few ambitious MMO projects surfacing. It is possible that if we wait, we can benefit from their bug-removal efforts. Maybe, if we wait for a few of the other games to flop, we can find a formula that works. Another thing is that if this is ever going to be a commercial project again, I think it will have to be revamped a little to catch the interest of the modern gamer. This does not mean changing the style in any way. This means making sure that the graphics look up to date compared to current games. The graphics are fine for many of us, but we would be severly limiting growth, if we ignore those issues.

Finally, I think one aspect that might be interesting to explore would be to let the community help develop things. Consider what the game would look like, if a sizable community was able to work on one age. Let's say that designers got together, and worked solely on Ae'gura. They could make rooms for doors that don't currently open. They could restore buildings like the museum & library, so that they were actually functional. They could turn the hall into a place where people could meet. Perhaps this could be done for all existing ages. This is one reason why multiple shards could have benefits. They could be linked like websites. Multiple communities could develop specific pieces to the fullest. Other communities could write new ages & develop those. Maybe, we could all swim in Gahreesen someday. I suggest these as temporary measures, though. The shards could all combine one day.

I still like the idea of "classic" ages that can be reached by the Yeesha books & hoodlinks. This way we could develop the ages, but still see them in their original conditions.

Just some of my ideas

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:22 am 
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I'm a "fingers in the ears humming real loud" sort of person when it comes to medical stuff!

I don't think it's going to come back, real soon, because of its history, and because "things" are going to get in the way.

On publishers - it was cancelled by two publishers, so I don't think an online Uru will find another publisher. That leaves the self published route. OK - self publish, then I ask myself, "for whom, why and what kind of online Uru?".

Guessing here - Cyan needs to show that they can still make games that are financially successful. They will need to make games that the publishers pay them to make. So, perhaps a different genre or a different platform. I'd think that they would need to show that they are "still in the game". We know they have branched out - they have a QA business. If they continue to develop games then I think they would need to show that they can still make games, bring their special touch to other areas. The idea of making casual games (from one of those newspaper articles) is interesting. I would not have thought of that as a Cyan strength, which would make it interesting if they did that. For casual games, gameplay is everything - it's got to hook you in from the first time you play it, no wasted stuff. Personally I think they'd be better in the RPGish arena - big beautiful worlds, but I don't know.

That leaves Uru. If they continue to make an online Uru, I think it would be more a labor of love than a moneymaker,. So, they would keep it going for the small number of devoted fans. If it was a large number of devoted fans who were buying subscriptions, we wouldn't be here. How does Cyan keep it going - the way it is now, no updates, or perhaps allow fan content? If they keep it the way it is now, it's still beautiful, but it starts to look like an older game, and no new content. It looks dated. To the publishing world, it's a record of a game well loved by a small number of people, but it never made money. Is that the right message to send to publishers? Or perhaps they keep it up and all the new content is by fans - it's a fan sandbox thing. Is that also the right message to send to publishers? Until Uru was done, as far as I can tell, so that they could find a publisher for online Uru. That just seems to far off the table now.

If I were to guess, I'd guess that Uru Live will go away as an online game, for awhile, at least two years. My guess is that Cyan will never say either yes or no during that time. The game will just...not....happen. Some people at Cyan will still want to do it, but the work of developing other games will get in the way. Time will pass, and nothing will happen, because other stuff is going on, and it's too hard to deal with the Uru stuff. That's my prediction for two years - after that, anyone's guess.

And of course, if you go by my past predictions, I'm off the mark here, big time. I never predicted that an online version of Uru would get a second publisher.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:08 am 
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Two years. Interesting thoughts, mszv.

I'm going to share something that I only told friends at The Great Tree forum about back in January. I had an intense dream the night after New Year's Day. I usually don't remember my dreams. But this one, I woke in the middle of, and I still remembered it.

Here is what I wrote then.

Marten wrote:
Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:17 pm
Happy New Year!

Right now.... er, rather, in the middle of last night... I had a strange dream from which I awoke with my heart pounding.

In the dream, I was in something like a school auditorium with many other people, and there was a projector set up to show something at very large scale on the right-side wall. Somehow I was conscious of why I was there - something regarding an announcement for Myst Online Season 2. The announcement was to occur at 3:00 PM.

3 PM rolls around and there is just some music, no announcement, and I'm thinking negative thoughts, but then the music ends, and someone decides to check why the projector isn't on... seems it was in sleep mode; they wake it up, and it briefly shows a screensaver, so they wake up the attached computer, and we all see this massive computer screen filled with design notes for a Season 2. I glance all over it... at first I see some sort of timeline on the right that says "Uru Live", then "Myst Online," then "Re-do Story." Towards the left side of the screen I see 8 or so new unpronounceable Age names, plus notes on some unnamed Ages... the only detail I remember was simply, "Jungle." (Most of what I experience in dreams evaporates the moment I wake.)

The screen was only present for a moment, then it dimmed and the numbers 2008 appeared in the center of the screen. But then the numbers rolled forward. 2009... and stopping at 2010. Apparently in whatever universe I was peeking into with my dream, MOUL is suspended for two years while being given an overhaul.

:shock:

Strange dream, huh?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:37 pm 
mszv wrote:
My guess is that Cyan will never say either yes or no during that time.


Then I guess we'll be here, and/or on the Guild sites or wherever else we can gather, yakking about possibilities for two years. And you'll be moderating. Some will fall away; maybe the ones who keep on and on saying "let it die" will finally follow their own advice and leave us to it, maybe the ones who (unlike me) have a vision of their own game will go away and make it (and that will be good). Who knows, maybe towards the end it'll just be me and you. We could get to know each other quite well in two years. Maybe I'll have learned how to make a killer Age for Uru CC by then (gods, I hope so, I'm getting nowhere at the moment). And then Cyan will clear its collective throat and I'll keel over with a heart attack from the shock and never hear the answer.

No, on the whole, I think it would be better if they said something a little sooner. Even, perhaps, if it's no.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:22 pm 
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Yeah, me too, on the communication part, and also on the hope that Uru come back, and sooner.

If you look at my track record, it's oh - 50 - 50. I thought that online Uru would shut down the first time, but not so soon. I thought that, under the Ubisoft days, it would stick around for maybe a year, and then get discontinued. It was discontinued sooner than I thought it would be. So, sort of OK on that one, on the prediction.

But, here's the thing - I never thought that Uru Live would get another publisher, and it did! And I never thought that the QA business (testing) is something that Cyan would be in. So far, I'm not a very good predictor of the future.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:25 pm 
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