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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:52 pm 
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Eleri wrote:
Very apples to oranges. That $10 was for a subscription to the whole service, not just Uru funding.
That's a very good point. It's very easy for people to forget that, especially those of us classed as "internationals" who paid the full subscription price (and more) but were technically only entitled to MOUL (since the other games weren't licensed outside of US/Canada). I'm sure Cyan only received a tiny fraction of that $10, but then GT were probably covering the cost of the servers. And we had guessing games about the numbers back then too ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:04 pm 
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MacFife wrote:
And we had guessing games about the numbers back then too


I wonder if the numbers from GT that were actually going to Cyan were any more than we have now? Seems miniscule numbers the way you put that as far as overseas customers only getting URU and US was a mere pittance of that $10 investment..Maybe GT should have given the option for the whole $10 to go to Cyan if that was the only game you wanted? It WAS that way in my case anyway.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Charura wrote:
I wonder if the numbers from GT that were actually going to Cyan were any more than we have now?
This maybe going a little off-topic, but I remember reading an article around that time on how the GameTap business model worked: It mainly looked at the "budget" games that made up the bulk of what was on offer and the deal seemed to be that the originators got literally a couple of cents at most for each user that downloaded the game. MOUL, like Sam and Max, was handled differently because it was more a monthly subscription model rather than a one-time download.

But looking back, I wonder if Cyan got anything at all out of the monthly $10, at least in any sense that could be directly related to how many people were playing MOUL: There was encouragement to login through the GT service rather than directly into MOUL so that the logins could be counted by GT, but I recall a mention that Cyan got paid either way. This makes me wonder if the deal was that GT and Cyan agreed a fee to convert Uru Live to run on GT's platform and then a monthly fee to provide updates and support througout Season 1. So the number of users maybe didn't directly affect Cyan's income, but was instead used to measure the amount of business it was attracting to GT overall, and therefore whether or not it was worth funding another season. And we know how that story ended.

But returning to the original question, you need to remember that during the GT era there was pretty much online support 24/7, ResEng's and DRC in the cavern on a regular basis and ongoing development work (albeit scaled down from Uru's original vision), so a much larger Cyan staff that all needed paying. To support that, obviously the income Cyan received would need to be much greater than we have now, where it seems to be able to just about scrape by even though there is only a very minimal level of staffing.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:18 am 
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Having returned to Uru I find myself concerning over MOULa. It may seem strange but I'd like to take the time to create projection graphs of how the numbers have been and are tracking, I'd like to get as much information as possible that may or may not be of importance to the state of the caverns and report on any and all trends regarding accounts, logins and visitors, previous CAVCON indicators, and any other information on our status. Has any new or other progressional information been released in other threads on this matter?
It would also help to learn about previous cavern events to explain spikes and valleys in any of these graphs.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:36 am 
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You know, I recall a thing I saw before. It was an interview with... I think it was Chris Avellone? Can't recall. But anyways, it was about Obsidian's economic problems (related to the layoffs they had to do to make ends meet). Apparently for Fallout: New Vegas, the game sold well but that wasn't of significance; the publishing contract they were under paid them a flat fee for the game, and a bonus if the game hit 85% on metacritic (they got 84%, so no more money). It's not a percentages deal in the slightest, so no matter what they didn't see a cent of any extra revenues.
The point is, we don't even know if Cyan was on a percentage basis or not.. Gametap may have done that if they did a payment-per-use payout system, but it's also quite possible that they got money depending on thresholds and since they didn't meet one, they got a flat payment of X for reaching so many users, but even if the number went up the payment wouldn't increase until they hit Y, and not hitting that means they didn't get more. In turn, while they could be bringing in however many people, they weren't bringing in enough to reach the threshold for extra, and in turn Cyan was having money problems because they were only getting the single flat payment (if they were even getting a per month one at all and not just lump-sum) and not a percentage.

In turn, some of this is sort of similar. The server levels probably have thresholds of payments needed (as in their bandwidth would be tiered, and server clusters need x per month with more servers costing more if they have to upgrade capacity, or even downgrade like they did), which means if the payment isn't enough to reach the next threshold, they have to take money out of the fund to cover the difference, but if they can reduce server use enough in turn, they could drop said threshold enough that now they're making extra over it instead of less than the next one, and the fund grows.
Meaning, well... part of the cavcon hopping could be said thresholds changing more than the funding changing.

Of course, we don't know a thing without anything more than a vague cavcon level and subscribers count. In turn, any charts will be mostly guesswork. You could probably see if there's any correlation between the subscriber levels and cavcon levels, but considering how your range is mostly a 2 or 3, it'll probably be an r below .1 at best :roll:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:47 pm 
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chrissifniotis wrote:
Having returned to Uru I find myself concerning over MOULa. It may seem strange but I'd like to take the time to create projection graphs of how the numbers have been and are tracking, I'd like to get as much information as possible that may or may not be of importance to the state of the caverns and report on any and all trends regarding accounts, logins and visitors, previous CAVCON indicators, and any other information on our status. Has any new or other progressional information been released in other threads on this matter?
It would also help to learn about previous cavern events to explain spikes and valleys in any of these graphs.

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I'm just gonna leave this riiiiiiight here. :)

Actually, to explain what this is: The green line indicates the number of new accounts created each week. This is a simple "subtract last week's total from this week's" operation. The blue line is the number of unique users who logged in each week, taken straight from RAWA's CAVCON data. As I've commented on G+ before, there's a surprisingly strong correlation between account growth and user activity each week, suggesting an almost 100% churn rate on new players, and a long-term decline in players who have been around more than one week.

Not pictured is the average number of logins per unique user per week, which has remained at a pretty constant 5 since RAWA started providing the information to make that calculation. I also haven't included the Age Visit data in the graphs (though I am tracking it), because it mostly trends with the gradual downward decline of logins and users. The number of Ages visited per login, though, hovers right around 10.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:20 pm 
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Nice to see this info, although it shows a trend I'm not very pleased with. End of summer season in America and that could bump those that hate colder weather to come back. Days get shorter, less you can do outdoors. Although I like the colder weather myself, I still log-in everyday and contribute fairly regularly. Maybe time for a Cavcon party again? Or (Just a shove to those that know) something new to check out? Seems we are due.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:26 pm 
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I wonder what happened in the spring of 2011 that caused us to hit an all-time high?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Ahlisendar wrote:
I wonder what happened in the spring of 2011 that caused us to hit an all-time high?


CWE, Open source, Mysterium news flooding in. Any and all.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:48 pm 
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Thank you, Alahmnat, for the great work on the chart.

I think the gradual, steady, downward movement - loss of users and decreased activity - is simply inevitable with no new content year after year after year. The core group of MOULies are going to be around for the duration, some new users will become a part of the core group, and still other new users will continue to check out MOULa, complete the game, hang around for a while, then move on.

The fact that the community is still alive at all is a testament to the uniqueness that is MOUL and its fans. I've been a diehard fan of URU since I picked up Ages Beyond MYST in 2003, and keep coming back to whatever online version is available. That said, I don't visit the cavern very often these days, simply because it's been a part of my life for almost 10 years, and I really need something new to bring back the excitement.

I love MOULa - heck, my wife and I met in MOUL - and I'll continue to pop in and play for as long as MOULa's available. I'll also keep following the community's open source progress. I just know from personal experience that as months have turned into years, my interest level has decreased - much like Alahmnat's graph shows.

I hope this post isn't viewed as a downer. I think it's just the inevitability of the situation. However, I very much look forward to those future developments that breathe new life into our favorite game, and I will be there when it finally happens!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:21 pm 
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Which is why new content is essential to MOULa's survival. It is important for player retention.

Fortunately, that flow of new content is already beginning to take shape. It's not there yet but it's on the way.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:31 pm 
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Horatio wrote:
love MOULa - heck, my wife and I met in MOUL


How nice is that!!!!

Horatio wrote:
I hope this post isn't viewed as a downer.


As long as you two are together how can that post be a downer?

Sweet!!!! :D :D :D

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:49 pm 
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Ahlisendar wrote:
I wonder what happened in the spring of 2011 that caused us to hit an all-time high?

That spike correlates to the week of April 15, 2011 which is the date that build 902, with the first Open Source fan fixes incorporated, was released: I'd expect that was main driver there. There was a big increase in the number of "unique users" that week (up around 30%) but a much smaller increase in the number of logins (~10%) and age visits (~2%).

RAWA's "unique users" measure is really "unique accounts" - There's no way to tell if a person has used one account that week or ten accounts. So some of the apparent churn could be down to people creating new avvies to store KI pics, marker games, etc., then parking them away.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:05 am 
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Mac Fife wrote:
some of the apparent churn could be down to people creating new avvies to store KI pics, marker games, etc., then parking them away.


They do that? :roll:

I mean that in a fun way BTW

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:44 am 
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Thanks Alahmnat, but I have also been looking at these numbers. I've actually taken all the numbers from RAWA and began extrapilating the raw data and growth in all areas. I'm not at my computer right now but I can add further to this report;

As I'm sure everyone is aware accounts have continued to trend upward and is unlikely to saturate anytime soon, although recent data may be suggesting a precursor effect. Negating the opening few months and a few random spikes and valleys, account growth has actually remained remarkably constant - hovering around 550 new accounts a week, generally 5??. Given that last week saw nearly 96,250 accounts, as long as this rate continues it won't be very long before Uru cracks 100,000; taking into account that very soon we will see the next report this may occur in six to seven weeks.
However in the last couple of months this growth has dropped below 500, last week's report showing exactly 400 new accounts. If this drop proves lasting of course this milestone will come later, but if this is the beginning of a downward trend in itself saturation may not be very far away. It would be imperative for Cyan to take an active interest in the Grey Hat developments as access to creating new ages will undoubtedly surge the growth of all areas,growth of new accounts will be greatly affected by this; those who have the creative design in other 3D modeling worlds who can and want to pass on their abilities into fan ages.

The rest of the graphs trend downward, and have done so the entire time of these data reports. The login graph is the more stable of this downward trend; negating the opening weeks and the random spikes and valleys the trend, while a little difficult to precisely measure the rate of declination, has experienced two slight hills in login activity, the second of which appears to have passed by now. The changing rate of login activity constantly peak and valley every week, but most of these changes seem to fit within a +/- 2000 range, that and the most recent activity shows a sort of stabilizing effect, meaning that the weekly logins are becoming a more constant number. It's clear that given the hills in the graph this is more a seasonal phenomenon and while it is expected that the next hill of login activity will occur in early-mid next year, the numbers do continue to drop, though at a slower rate.
Of all the areas the that will be affected by the Grey Hat developments, login activity will be one of the most affected; more explorers will be compelled to log in again and explore new ages with friends as well as other new things from the Fun House.

The age visits further implicates the downward trend as it is more an exaggeration of the login graph, which is to be expected given that the former is very much linked with the latter. The age visits graph display a similar trend to the logins amplified many times, the slight hills of the logins represent the chaotic peaks in the age visits. The rate of age visits also as chaotic as the rate of login graph, again amplified in magnitude. Very nearly all of the rate of age visits fit within the +/- 20,000 range, which is concurrent to Alahmnat's claim of the rate of age visits per login as being approximately 10. Seeing as this graph is very much like the login graph, age visits are also a seasonal progression and that they trend downward, the only possible difference between each of these graphs is that unlike the logins, age visits appear to remain mostly erratic in recent times. It is difficult to determine if and when age visits will stabilize.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Grey Hats development will cause age visits to surge the most of all of these areas; as long as new ages are regularly produced by the age writers the community at large will make of it a duty to explore every one of these, causing the age visit tally to upsurge a great deal and remain there for a long time.

Finally, unique visitors also seems to follow the trends of the logins and age visits, although due to a lack of understanding of the term 'Unique Visitors' I don't understand why. I've so far operated under the assumption that unique visitors means the number of different avatars entering Uru every week, please clarify me if I'm wrong. Much like the other two graphs the unique visitors rise and fall seasonally and that the rate of unique visitors is just as erratic. Once again, with the exception of a huge peak and subsequent valley in the period of Weeks 61 and 62 - I haven't yet jotted down the dates of each of the weeks - most of the rate of unique visitors fall within the +/- 200 range, using this information we can expand Alahmnat's claim into something like this; each unique visitor logs in approximately 10 times and visits an age roughly 100 times a week. Also once again the rise and fall of the graph is seasonal as the linear number continues to trend downward.
The Grey Hats development will encourage more unique visitors to return to the cavern and explore the new ages, the unique visitors will be similarly affected in kind to the logins and accounts.

Here's what I have so far.

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