It is currently Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:21 pm

All times are UTC




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 82 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 5:22 pm
Posts: 1808
Location: California
The thread Let's talk about ways to improve Uru as an MMO has many interesting points but little on what actually makes games work for people beyond our personal opinions. From time to time I post studies and information from collages, game publishers and game artists. This is another. A new interview with Will Harvey the creator of THERE.com is on sramanamitra.com, Learning From Failures: IMVU Founder Will Harvey (Part 1) This is a 7 part series and all 7 are up.

The interview is interesting. How Mr. Harvey selected his first game publisher, at 12, and got his Music Construction Set published and why he wrote it are novel.

The interview touches on THERE.com near the end of [url=http://www.sramanamitra.com/2010/08/04/learning-from-failures-imvu-founder-will-harvey-part-4/[Part 4 – Why THERE.com Failed[/url]. Harvey is discusses the size of the company planned for THERE.com. In our community we have often discussed whether Uru should be large or small. But we have never put a frame of what the knowledge is in the gaming world for what it takes for a game to survive. Nor looked at the objective differences between what is needed for a commercial game and an open source game and why those differences are important to whether Uru grows or remains a tiny but interesting chat room.

In [url=http://www.sramanamitra.com/2010/08/05/learning-from-failures-imvu-founder-will-harvey-part-5/]Part 5 – Why THERE.com failed[/url] Harvey gets to why THERE.com failed. He made the mistakes I think most of the Uru fans make and possibly Cyan made. He and we fail to validate the assumptions we base decisions on.

In Part 6 – Why THERE.com Failed, Harvey is talking about what he is doing different with IMVU than with THERE.com. I see the dichotomy as whether one is spend others money, venture capital, or their own, out of their personal pocket and the pressure to succeed. I think in the Uru community many feel sweat equity is as good as a cash investment. However, I have several small projects that are labor investment only. If they pay off great, if not I have not lost real money. I do not see my level of involvement and commit in those the same as if I had money in that I really did not want to lose. Nor is the pressure to succeed comparable. I think many in our community would be much more rigorous in their thinking if they were deeply invested and there were some pressure. Few if any of us feel we are risking Uru by our decisions or any urgency.

Interestingly Harvey feels one should fail quickly so one has time to course correct. There are other interesting bits. But the ‘fast fail, correct’ process is stalled in MOULa. That is frustrating many of us. But, I see no way to move Cyan or change their minds. Whatever we do, we are dependent on Cyan. Until we can break that dependence we can’t have a fast iterative development process. Unless we can get a license or move to another platform whatever we do is mostly academic.

In Part 7 Harvey is talking about the assumptions they made that were wrong. They have course corrected and are making something like US$40 million per year.

While I doubt Uru will be a $40 million a year game, there is lots to learn from Harvey’s experience. Now it is a matter of how we can make use of it.

_________________
Nalates - GoC - 418 - MOULa I: Nal KI#00 083 543, MOULa II: KI#00 583 875Nalates 111451 - Second Life: Nalates Urriah
Guild of Cartographers Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:23 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 5:28 am
Posts: 2266
Good read. My takeaway was that it's harder to be successful in the "virtual world" space than in the "MMO game" space (he said that) -- There, Second Life vs, WoW, Guild Wars, as an example. Back to my comments, no guarantee on MMO game space -- lots of MMO games failed, over the years. I see that, nowadays, Will Harvey is making online stuff that takes less investment money to start with, and you get money from players earlier in the development cycle.

That doesn't tell me big stuff that takes a long time to develop is dead. I've got great hopes for Guild Wars 2 and Rift: Planes of Telara and Star Wars: The Old Republic. It does tell me that, somehow, you have to figure out, in your long development cycle, if what you put out is going to be successful, also if the payment model will work.

On how you handle the money --- this is not news to people following MMOs -- I'm seeing different payment models in MMO land -- FTP (free to play) has been big in Asia, now it's getting bigger in the Western world -- you don't pay for a monthly subscription, but you pay for stuff, microtransactions. There are hybrid models out there. Guild Wars has a model where you buy the game, but don't pay a monthly subscription fee.

When I think about how this might apply to Uru -- that's where I get my mental block. I can't translate any of this to Uru being successful, as in lots of people pay for Uru stuff. That doesn't mean that people won't host servers, or develop things for Uru, and some people might pay a little bit of money for stuff, or to be in Uru. When I go to events in SL, I donate a little bit of money, and there's the donation to Uru thing.

_________________
mszv, amarez in Uru, other online games, never use mszv anymore, would like to change it
Blog - http://www.amarez.com, Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/amareze


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 5:22 pm
Posts: 1808
Location: California
mszv wrote:
When I think about how this might apply to Uru -- that's where I get my mental block. I can't translate any of this to Uru being successful, as in lots of people pay for Uru stuff. That doesn't mean that people won't host servers, or develop things for Uru, and some people might pay a little bit of money for stuff, or to be in Uru. When I go to events in SL, I donate a little bit of money, and there's the donation to Uru thing.

May be you are thinking just about changes to the game and earnings. Much of my thinking is that Harvey’s experience shows it is about how we think of things and go about validating our assumptions before trying to build something. While Harvey has to worry about paying developers, he is not so much talking about earning money as he is talking about coming up with something people like and, in his case, find useful and being able to figure out what that is. He seems to have realized his ideas do not match the general populations’ and some validation process is important.

We know MOUL has an attraction and while people enjoy it, it does not retain players. True the fans hang with it. But what percent of the signups sign in each month? What are peak concurrent figures? Do we want those to go up and if so, what does it take to make that happen?

OHB wrote:
However, as it is, we are getting some new people...so that's good. We're keeping the CAVCON steady...so that's good.


But there's no new official content, so people get bored and leave...TEMPORARILY. This presents a lovely idea to me. I know that when there is new content, MOUL will be in a place to abound with life again at a moment's notice. Additionally, having a quieter cavern means I'm less distracted and less inclined to spend hours in-cavern chatting about the usual drivel. The upshot is that I have more time to concentrate on my MOUL related projects...such as BabelBot, the KI Directory, and the other ones that I haven't spoken about yet. [Reference]


Has anyone considered what it is we are doing that keeps this flow of new signups coming in? Why are they here? How did they get here? If we don’t know, how do we improve on that?

OHB thinks people sign up, play for free, go through the content and are leaving only temporarily. I suspect he is right. But, I also suspect some percentage just do not like MOULa and won’t be coming back. Until we can release new content and allow OHB to try to get these people back we won’t know. But, can we get good projections from similar issues in other games?

_________________
Nalates - GoC - 418 - MOULa I: Nal KI#00 083 543, MOULa II: KI#00 583 875Nalates 111451 - Second Life: Nalates Urriah
Guild of Cartographers Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:57 am
Posts: 1322
Why do people spend time in on-line worlds, whether they be games or "Second Life" style mostly social situations? Answer that, and you'll be closer to success.

It might be hard to answer because people have many reasons. Even within Guild Wars people have many reasons for playing. I play to explore and collect stuff--can't resist what might be in that next chest--but others play to advance their characters in titles. I also enjoy experimenting to see how to do things better.

I don't spend much time in Uru because there hasn't been anything new for so long, and the whole area is so small, that it's overly familiar. Yes, what is there is beautiful, but... one can run around the block only so many times. And then there's what I always hope for: a continuation of the D'ni story, which I now doubt will ever happen.

I spend some time in Second Life. If you're a DJ or like to present things to others, SL is just a better place to do it. Music, for example, can be connected to the area people are in so as soon as they walk in they hear it. You can also build things there quite easily (even I can do it, to some degree). Still, there's no story there other than what people make, and they run into the same problem Cyan has run into: limited resources and time.

Telling stories takes time. Add a virtual world to it, that people can walk thorugh, and it becomes much more complex.

I tried There for a time. It worked well enough, and there were things to do, but it never quite connected for me so I drifted away.

What do I want? A world, or a set of linked Ages, as expansive as Guild Wars, but with the D'ni story underpinning it. I want places to wander to see what the D'ni built and how they did things. I'd like to know what the machinery in Er'cana was harvesting. I'd like to be able to get into a boat there and sail to the mountain across the lake, and find D'ni wonders inside a cave. I'd like to visit Releeshahn and find out how the transplanted D'ni are doing. A civilization that ran 10,000 years has lots of stories to tell, and I'd like to read them. I doubt, however, that there are enough people who'd agree with me to make such a game pay its way.

It'll probably happen someday. Computer power is still too expensive, and worlds too hard to build. We probably need a couple of orders of magnitude improvement, and perhaps a Firewire connection at the back of the head...

_________________
Want to learn more about the D'ni? Look here: http://www.dpwr.net/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 5:22 pm
Posts: 1808
Location: California
Lord Chaos wrote:
[…] Why do people spend time in on-line worlds […]
[…] people have many reasons. […]

There has been a lot of study as to what keeps people playing a game or in a VW. People want entertainment. Lots of it is available in VW’s and not all VW’s with lots of entertainment succeed. But, we know there is some magical mix of entertainment and socialization that makes places or games popular. We can examine what all popular games have in common and come up with a list of the things most likely to be key to a game’s popularity. Harvey’s interview shows he has found that understanding others and their perception of the ‘game’ is the single an important aspect of successful design. He looks to users/players to validate what is important and popular. Something he failed to do with THERE.com.

In the thread Why Myst-Uru Didn't But Could Make It I wrote about coming across a study by two academics at the University of Michigan, Chun-Yuen Teng and Lada A. Adamic. Longevity in Second Life. They examined the behavior of people in SL and other games/VW’s to see what aspects of behavior seemed to lead to high player retention and time in game/world. They focused on social interaction because there were no definitive studies on the subject and compared their finding to others work on content and chat systems. I find it surprising that new content, good chat system, and in game transactions do not provide as consistent a boost to retention and longevity as does the ability to meet and interact with people.

Games in Facebook, SL, and others that remain popular have a similar ability for people to connect in game/world in entertaining ways. Not just with friends but to meet people. High rates of social interaction added more to retention and longevity than any other factor.

So, it isn’t that we no longer know what makes a game popular; it is how to accomplish the blend of features and create entertaining ways to meet people. In the Could Make It thread Beebee points out even if she starts a conversation there isn’t much to talk about in Cavern. In the original Uru we had the balcony jump and barriers to talk about getting around, things people wanted to do and know about. Helping each other was a big part of the game then. When everyone had solved the puzzles no one needed help and there was little to talk about. The same is true now and several people have commented on not spending time in cavern because there is so little to do or talk about.

It would be interesting to know if there is more chat happening in Cavern or on the forum.

_________________
Nalates - GoC - 418 - MOULa I: Nal KI#00 083 543, MOULa II: KI#00 583 875Nalates 111451 - Second Life: Nalates Urriah
Guild of Cartographers Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:03 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Ohio
I posted this on the Steam page already but I think it fits here too.

The way to make Uru profitable is the same way games like Modern Warfare 2's online portion are profitable.

Buy the game for a modest fee: around $20.
Pay around $5 for new content. (New ages)

Cyan could even go the Valve route and include high-quality fan-created content in the official game. (Like they recently did with TF2 maps)

Then it's up to the fans to get people involved. A strong mod community really helps (which is now becoming a reality in Uru)

Now that Cyan has access to Steamworks and the Steam store, they can use the highly popular and easy to use Steam platform to distribute it and sell updates. They could even automaticly update those who bought Complete Chronicles to use MO:UL.

I think this would at least make it break even. Have fan submitted content appearing in official expansion packs could cut down on construction costs. Just have RAWA double check the ages for consistency with the established D'ni history.

Just a thought.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:36 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 1:58 am
Posts: 524
Location: France
That's a very interesting reading, thanks for that link Nalates.

It is very interesting to study MMOs/VWs they are fascinating ecosystems, but unfortunately; and to be blunt, at this point I think that we no longer have the means to apply that to Uru; we are just doing fundamental research.

But just for the sake of it:
Uru is a very unique beast; and while we can (and do) draw parallels with other MMOs & VWs it's hard to pinpoint exactly how it should work to be successful.. First of all, at the risk of sounding like an old philosophy teacher; define 'successful'. While there's obviously the financial aspect; there are also the artistic and gameplay aspects. It would be easy, or at least easier, to make Uru sucessful from a financial standpoint by fundamentally altering the art (story) and gameplay. Obviously that's not we/Cyan want. And that's where the fundamental problem is; and always will be: what makes Uru sucessful in certain ways (art/gameplay) also prevent it from being sucessful or evolving in other ways (money).

Uru as it is cannot work; and to work it would require such fundamental changes that it wouldn't really be 'Uru' anymore. Maybe Dirt? Maybe an entirely different thing? I don't know, what I do know is that Uru as it as been so far cannot work. My own personnal belief is that trying to tell an ever-evolving story online and tying all of the game/project around it is the biggest obstacle. But that's another subject; the point is that Uru as it is do not work.

Now, many people seem to think that we can somehow save Uru when it will go open source.
While I would love this to be true I very much doubt that will be the case. We can certainly keep it afloat, we will even make some nice additions to it; and it is clear that some people will attempt some fundamental changes. But I don't think that will be enough to make Uru 'something big' again. Our little community here has dwindled to a size way too small to make any of this happen in a big fashion. Uru has a loooong history and along this loooong history we have lost people; and more important: many of those who are left have lost motivation. Also obviously those who are not part of our community (our potential new subscribers) often look at Uru as a curious beast that won't die; good luck changing that.
Yes this is a bit of a harsh conclusion, but that's how it is; those are the obstacles we face.

This is what we can't do. What can we do? Keep it afloat, add to it what we can, however we can. And obviously keep donating to Cyan and supporting/helping them however we can. Basically what we've been doing for the last 6 years. Anything else is not it our hands.

As I said I think we don't have the means anymore to change Uru. Or at least not nearly have as much as we used to. To be fair, it would only require a couple people with the right combination of skills/motivation/coordination to evolve Uru into something sucessful. But I have yet to see that group emerge. So currently I'll call cautious optimism. :)

Developping a MMO/VW as an volunteer online based group is hard. Doing it on top of an existing game with a 10 years old community and a long history of false starts is.. errr.. harder? Insane? Really really really optimistic?...


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:57 am
Posts: 1322
Nalates wrote:
I find it surprising that new content, good chat system, and in game transactions do not provide as consistent a boost to retention and longevity as does the ability to meet and interact with people.


The comparison doesn't surprise me, as I've seen many people spend lots of time in Second Life and it certainly isn't the chat system nor new content keeping them there. They gather to chat and dance or walk around or build together.

People have preferences, and make choices. I'm more interested in new content because I'd rather do the social things face to face. SL and other virtual worlds lack the subtlety of face-to-face conversation. I know that the limitations can be overcome, and I've participated in such, but in some ways the divide between people is higher in virtual worlds than it is elsewhere. I find this frustrating.

One reason is the one-line-thought you're forced to adopt in text chat. If there are several people present it's pretty much impossible to follow any one thread of ideas for very long because of the cross-conversations or even intentional derailment. So, if something can't be said in one line I don't try unless the situation is one of the rare ones that encourages such.

I know there are frustrations inherent in face-to-face communication. Getting a conversation going at all is often difficult, which makes the ease of starting such in SL very attractive. For me, though, it's kind of like cotton candy: looks all big and substantial, but when you take a bit it turns to nothing. When face-to-face works it's great. It's just not very frequent. We make choices...

_________________
Want to learn more about the D'ni? Look here: http://www.dpwr.net/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:32 pm 
Offline
Creative Kingdoms

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 8:06 pm
Posts: 6219
Location: Everywhere, all at once
Everything ends for one reason or another. As do all things, the Roman Empire, the Rocky Mountain News, burned out light blubs and There thrived for some number of years. Then things changed. Was There successful at times? Probably. I think the question is more accurately "Why did THERE.com end?" Judgement on "failure" (to continue) is a bit harsh when it's just the nature of things. "Was There a failure?" is a different question.

_________________
OpenUru.org: An Uru Project Resource Site : Twitter : Make a commitment.
Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:18 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 5:28 am
Posts: 2266
As far as I can tell, There had people in it, enjoying it, but the mix of people paying for stuff -- that wasn't enough to sustain it. There had a devoted following and plenty of Uru folks in it, some of who built things in the world. I enjoyed There. Harvey doesn't exactly say it -- but it seems to me that he is saying that he expected that people would pay more, for stuff in There, also to build parts of it. This is an issue with F2P (free to play) models, though I think there was a small one time charge to get into There. You have to figure out how how everyone can have a great time, and how the payment thing works -- how enough people pay for stuff that the business continues. Payment models change too -- in the west, subscription fees (monthly) were the big thing -- now, some games are moving to a F2P model, where some people pay for stuff. Isn't SL having financial issues?

On why people stay, which is a different question from what people pay for -- from what I've read (or maybe just what I observed) -- what seems to work is the mix of socialization and things to do. People get engaged the most when there is something to do. Often it's combat, sometimes it's crafting or minigames. And this stuff to do unlocks other parts of the game and adds to the story. Sometimes the stuff to do is "making things" -- as in how you can make things in SL. Sometimes, it's buying stuff, or getting stuff free. You can spend a long time in SL making your look just so. How much Story -- that varies in importance. As an example, in WoW, I know some people never follow the story and some people are really into it. In upcoming games Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars the Old Republic, there is a concept of different story arcs, a big world story and a personal story. When I say "personal story", I don't just mean what you do in the game -- a personal story where you are treated differently, where NPCs (non player characters) react differently to you, depending on what you do in the game, how you treat them. Events also seem to have a place in most online worlds -- even the combat focused ones -- parties, festivals. And housing -- even in a combat focused game -- people like having a virtual world home in a virtual world!

On the Uru thing -- my take has always been that Uru just didn't have enough to do -- something that would allow for a progressions of sorts, even if you didn't want to do levels and experience points. If you don't want a game revolving around combat, you've got to work at figuring out what people can do. Maybe some future MMO will get that part figured out -- figure out better ways to keep people engaged with no combat.

LC, I think I'm looking for the same sort of virtual world as you, except I'm not that big on puzzle solving.

On socialization -- I like socializing in a world, and I like "real world" socializing too, friends, family, new people. To me it's more of continuum than a radical difference in kind. I do like a virtual world where I can do things by myself -- I like solo play. I find it's more easy for me to get into the story, and more easy for me to learn and do stuff in a virtual world if I'm not socializing. I tend to do more of the game stuff when I'm by myself and the socializing part in a more "social" setting, talking to people, an in game party or event, that sort of thing.

Finally -- if we can just keep Uru afloat -- I'm good. If we use Uru as a backdrop for all sorts of things -- more Uru story, OHB's robots, more "stuff", hopefully more ages -- that works for me.

_________________
mszv, amarez in Uru, other online games, never use mszv anymore, would like to change it
Blog - http://www.amarez.com, Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/amareze


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 5:22 pm
Posts: 1808
Location: California
aloys wrote:
at this point I think that we no longer have the means to apply that to Uru; we are just doing fundamental research.

You make several good points very succinctly. Fundamental research… I think you are right. We are limited for now. On OpenUru.org many of the basic concepts for changes have been outlined. Here we seem to rehash them and delve into speculation and voice opinion. We have yet to start working toward some consensus and forming an outline to focus the community… which is sort of the end point of research.

Defining ‘success’ I take as something individuals mostly skip but it may be one of the more important points the community can come together on, or for groups of different mind to form around. What do you think possible success for Uru looks like?

I agree “fundamentally altering the art (story) and game play” is not what the majority of the community want and is unlikely to be accepted. My point in “Could Make It” and here is about understanding that content and game play is not the primary contributors to player retention and longevity. So, whether we change or add content or not is secondary to Uru’s ‘success’. Myst style content is popular. A non-violent game is attractive to many. We have a problem with the quantity of content. But even great content won’t achieve ‘success’ – player retention and longevity – as shown by study after study. I think we have good validation for that concept in numerous studies.

I also understand many of us think Uru is totally unique as a game. Uru has some unique aspects. But, the most common aspect it has is the players. All games have them, and the studies show what people basically require to enjoy a game/VW. How we translate those things to a Myst style game is where the challenge is. This thread is about how we will know, validate, that the changes and tweaks we consider good actually are good changes and will actually help. But, unless we have defined ‘success’ we have nothing to focus our thinking and planning. Also, unless we define our limits we have no framework in which to work.

aloys wrote:
Uru as it is cannot work; and to work it would require such fundamental changes that it wouldn't really be 'Uru' anymore.

We know it has not worked in the sense of a financial success or high player retention and concurrent logins. I do not know that for higher player retention there has to be such drastic fundamental changes it would destroy Uru as we know it. I believe it is possible to have Uru and some level of success too…

aloys wrote:
My own personal belief is that trying to tell an ever-evolving story online and tying all of the game/project around it is the biggest obstacle.

I agree. I see several online games struggling with this obstacle. Uru needs to be able to deliver its colorful and entertaining story. SL needs to convey to new users the nature of SL. Very similar challenges in regard to supplying information but in very different contexts. I have yet to see a good solution. I think if we find a way to deliver Uru’s complex back story and carry story forward in a way that is not burdensome it would be a huge step in gaining player retention and increasing popularity. As you say, what we have now does not work. SL certainly has not solved the problem as shown by a continuing drop in concurrent logins in the face of 10,000 new signups per day. I believe we can come up with solutions, if we can achieve a focus of what success means and where the limits are.

_________________
Nalates - GoC - 418 - MOULa I: Nal KI#00 083 543, MOULa II: KI#00 583 875Nalates 111451 - Second Life: Nalates Urriah
Guild of Cartographers Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:20 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 5:28 am
Posts: 2266
Saying that people stay for each other is not the same thing as saying that content and gameplay are not important. The thing to do is to look at what people do in an online world. Here's a question for you -- let's do a thought experiment. Let's take a game with millions of people, where people socialize, WoW perhaps. If all the stuff to do went away, would people stay and socialize? We did have that experiment in Uru -- a world with nothing to do, after you solved the puzzles. Now, of course, I don't know if that was the only thing that made Uru go away -- but I've read post after post where people said that they didn't go back because there was nothing to do. Personally, I think that's something.

This is a question where data helps -- seeing what people do in a game is helpful. Also, making it easier for people to socialize and do stuff together. Personally, I'm looking forward to the dynamic content of GW2 -- where we can jump in and play together. It will be interesting to see if that ups the social factor in GW2.

Also -- saying that you needed more to do in Uru -- doesn't mean we need to make it a combat game. Having stuff to do (rewarding, goal directed) things that seemed right for Uru -- that's what I'm talking about. Having the pellets like the lake, that would have been a wonderful thing. Somewhat traditionally, I go with content driving story -- the story comes out of what you do in the game. Otherwise I can just go and watch a movie.

_________________
mszv, amarez in Uru, other online games, never use mszv anymore, would like to change it
Blog - http://www.amarez.com, Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/amareze


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:57 am
Posts: 1322
One thing to consider here is competition. Why did Second Life grow, and There stop growing? People's taste changes and is subject to many subtle variables. Companies spend millions of dollars trying to identify where the next big thing will come from, and often miss the mark anyway. Some things fail because they deserve to fail, the Yugo car being an example. It was poorly made, poorly represented in the U.S, and poorly supported. Things succeed often for no particularly good reason, too; is the Ipod really "better" than all other media players? So, you have to consider the imponderables of fashion.

Uru is competing for people's time. We all have many options. I like to read, walk, ride my bike in the mountains, listen to music, whack monsters in Guild Wars. Even now that I'm retired, time is a consideration; given a certain block of time, how do I want to use it? What is that use excluding? I'm afraid Uru comes pretty close to the bottom of my personal list. No new story there, so I'll read a book or go for a ride and make my own story.

We have proven that people will show up in the Cavern for events, even things as simple as a party with music. Apparently we need some kind of nucleus to condense around, to draw us in. More events might help, but to me this continues the feeling of "life support" we've been doing since 2005.

I think there are probably several models that would allow Uru to make a profit. Maybe not a huge profit, but at least pay for some ongoing development. So, we go on, hoping the ending hasn't yet been written.

_________________
Want to learn more about the D'ni? Look here: http://www.dpwr.net/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 5:22 pm
Posts: 1808
Location: California
mszv wrote:
Saying that people stay for […]Otherwise I can just go and watch a movie.

The thing Harvey was saying is that our thoughts and beliefs often mislead us. One must find a way to validate their concepts. Thought experiments don’t show unanticipated parts of the problem. They may seem reasonable to those that are of like mind. But, the challenge of reality is not available in thought to poke holes in the dream.

The reasons game succeed are not intuitive reasons. We now have studies and hard data from numerous games. It is not that there is a single thing that makes a game or piece of software succeed. But there is a priority in which aspects of games contribute to player retention and longevity.

While the idea that people want something to do is true, it misses the mark. The studies show it is more important that the players have something they enjoy and some way to interact with others while doing so. As an example, there is a museum display called the Infinity Room. It is mirrors, walls, floor, ceiling and inset with lights. One puts on booties and walks inside. It is incredible inside. Whenever it moves to a new place or whenever there is a crowd to see it, they have found it is possible get more people in to see it if they limit it to one person at a time. The line moves several times faster. If more than one person is allowed in, they stay and talk about it and makes for a slow line. The content is great, but it does not hold people. Content may attract people, but it is not what keeps them. As soon as one sees it something great, they want to tell someone. So, they come out of the attraction, look at their friends and say, Wow!

Study after study is showing the most common thing people like is talking with other people. Well, there is a more popular activity but this is a PG forum. Talking can be displayed in several flavors. Greeters are a class of people that like helping others. Messengers have the Greeters’ trait and enjoy informing people and being up on what things are going on. Still these are social interactions. When abstracted out, it’s about talking and interacting with others.

As one starts to abstract what people are doing the important aspects of games and social networks start to become obvious. Facebook has things to do and people can easily share those experiences and other life events with their friends. Blogs, forums, Twitter, Facebook, etc. give people places to gather and interact.

The content, Twitter has none, is the starting point for the problem Beebee points out, something to talk about. Content is important but not as important as the aspect of being able to connect and interact with others. If you haven’t taken time to read the study (Could Make It), you’re missing out on how the study revealed how this shows up.
So far, this is again a thread that is mostly opinion and personal preferences. The Harvey interview brings up new material from one most knowledgeable about THERE.com. It isn’t so much that THERE.com was shrinking; it closed because Harvey could not get the next round of venture capital to fund it, just as Cyan could not find someone to fund Uru. Neither could stand on their own. In both the blend of things to entertain, do, and ways to interact with others didn’t work well enough to attract people.

Chaos points out events bring people in. Are those events all that exciting? I don’t think so. I think it is the interaction with others that brings people in. The event gives people a starting place and something to do between interactions. Content is more catalyst.

_________________
Nalates - GoC - 418 - MOULa I: Nal KI#00 083 543, MOULa II: KI#00 583 875Nalates 111451 - Second Life: Nalates Urriah
Guild of Cartographers Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 1:04 am
Posts: 4134
At its most basic, There failed for one simple reason: No enough people liked the game/experience enough to pay enough to keep it open.

This is Uru's problem as well. Which is why I like Tweek's idea of Uru's multiplayer being set up like Team Fortress 2 games. Someone has a server and runs the game off of it.

_________________
-Whilyam
Cavern Link:My IC Blog


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 82 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: