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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 7:14 am 
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 5:50 pm 
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@dj, welcome to the discussion.

I can agree with your idea of how experienced and new players have different needs. A new player does have the whole Uru as a new experience. So, I’m not sure there is a pacing issue for new players. Needing content for experienced players is a long and well discussed topic. Here Chloe has laid out how a flow of content may well be possible. What I’m on about is more along the line of what can be added to reduce the demand for new content and give players more to do and reasons to come in cavern often.

I think a hint system would reduce player interaction and that is shown in multiple studies to reduce player retention. Help, greeting, and getting people in touch with each other are points I think it is genially agreed need to be improved. I am hoping we can do it in ways that improve player interaction and get people talking. Chat apps would allow more people to greet and help without having to be at their desktop.

By passing the Nexus and making it easier to get from place to place would be nice. While I think the Nexus is ideal for the new player, after a time it just gets old and turns into a pointless grind for experienced players. It would be nice to have a shard with a by-pass to see how popular the idea is.

Storing marker games could certainly be improved. Your point is well taken. Removing irritations in general improves player retention. I play Frontierville less and less because of all the ads popping in my face. Oh! And your KI is full because Bill Gates and the D’ni used the same memory management concepts…

@Stucuk, "But porting puzzles out of the cavern does not add any value. It just means that people are likely to play URU less." I don’t think anyone is talking about porting puzzles out, but may be I’m not seeing what you’re thinking of.

You are right an empty Cavern is a problem. From my perspective the Cavern is empty now. So, I don't see how the population can be decreased. I think you are misunderstanding how apps can improve participation in Uru. What Dot and I are getting at is right now Uru is alive because of all the offline participation. Experienced players are not in the Cavern. Programmers are programming, age builders are in Blender, a load of fans are playing in SL and OpenSim, A group in Devokan Trust is writing story in forum, and building/experimenting in OSGrid. The Blue Mars app puts people into the BM world. Coming SL apps put people in the SL world. Right now we cannot do that with Uru. But, an app could let a person keep up with events in Cavern by letting them chat in world. All those people not logging into the Cavern would have easy ways to participate. I see apps as increasing participation. I see the out of cavern participating keeping Uru alive right now.

Also, I think the idea of apps was about bring more puzzles to Uru than porting puzzles out. I doubt the Teledahn prison puzzles could effectively be ported out. Whether being able to see the key map offline in an app to figure it out is going to improve the player count and retention over time lost in Cavern, or even if time is lost, we have no actual data. It is opinion. You think it is a bad idea, I think it should be tried. All the stats and all the game companies I regard as having a clue are headed into apps and providing ways into their games via apps.

I agree that Uru is meant to be explored. The point of apps is to extend content for those that have already explored Uru. You seem to be running off on a common sky is falling tangent that drives GoW types up the wall. The idea is NOT to change the feel of Uru but enhance what we have. Apps as you are thinking of them would be a bad thing. I and some others see how they could help. Without facts and working examples to test neither of us can know what the real case is. You are providing your rather’s, personal preferences , but you aren’t providing convincing objective information on why chat apps would not increase participation in Uru as it does in other games.

There are a bazillion reasons why some app could be bad. So, what does one do to make an app that works and enhances play and gets people back to Uru?

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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 8:07 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 5:20 am 
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@Stucuk, Anaerin is writing about creating puzzles that can be played both in and out of Cavern. I took you expression of porting out puzzles as your thinking existing age puzzles would be ported out.

It is possible that a chat app would slow growth. But, all evidence in new games is the audience is on smartphones. The large game companies and a number of indies are chasing that audience. Zynga, the top performing Facebook creator, certainly is supporting smartphones. Failure to open Uru to some type of smartphone use could deprive Uru of a huge potential player base.

When I wrote developers with a clue it is the ones being successful at pulling players and holding them. So, whether it is objective on my part or not, it seems all the evidence suggests smartphone support improves player participation. Your rebuttal based on my lack of objectivity doesn’t provide any new information to support your viewpoint.

Oranges, apples… people try to show a difference between Uru and other games. It is true there are differences. What seems to be forgotten is the people playing games are generally the same and many of the basic things in game design are based on what works for people. Uru is not a shooter but features from a shooter with good team play chat could add features that would make Uru players happy. Whether people prefer adventure-puzzle games or shooters there are things common to the user interface, navigation, and social layers that allow people to enjoy their time in game more. That basic fact in regard to apps is being explored in other games and seems to be working well. While you may remain unconvinced some of us see advantages.

Good video :)

“Making external games which have no connection to URU “ your are tossing up an unrealistic objection. I agree unrelated puzzles and games would not be a good idea. But, that isn’t what is being suggested.

“ wasting time developing external content “ I don’t see this as pertinent because we can’t really waste development time. Open source developers are volunteers that work on whatever they want to. So, one that wants to work on an app idea probably would not want to work on server security. Programmers simply will not allow their time to be wasted since they are in control of what they do.

We have a suggestion in another thread about creating shard-to-shard chat. The idea is to let greeters work across all shards at once. Imagine having an in-game listener that on hearing a request for help would text message a list of greeters. At some point we may have enough people in-game to fill the greeter and support needs, but I don’t see that in the near future. So, providing help by a chat app could be a big help. Once the chat app is open who knows what people will think up.

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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 7:48 am 
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 12:37 am 
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 2:09 am 
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I didn't want the smartphone aspect to hijack the thread. Perhaps it should be spun off to the General Discussion iPhone and Mobile Devices forum?

Anaerin has some good ideas. I'd like to see the Ki-puzzle format tried, that could be good.

My thoughts for allowing working on age puzzles outside the cavern were based on more practical reasons. I figure I'm at least 30 years older than Stucuk. I work full time, study to keep up in my field, and have many responsibilities. I simply can't spend hours at a time in the Cavern. The poll at



shows that my age group is well represented in URU, as are the other age groups likely to have homes, kids, jobs, soccer practice, lawns and all manner of demands competing for their time. Many people have a bit of downtime during the day, however.

So, if there was a way that I could get an in-cavern puzzle on my smartphone - when I encountered it in the Age I was exploring in-game - I could work on it during the day. If I solved it, then I'd be anxious to get home and back in the cavern to sync up that solution, so I could continue on in the age.

I'm thinking more of puzzles from ages that have not been made yet, and that could be fashioned with smartphone play in mind. Translations of D'ni script clues, perhaps, or particularly devious puzzles, like the infection game from The Seventh Guest that Trilobyte games recently released for the iPad.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 1:31 am 
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Sorry, Stucuk, I'm just messing with you a bit. Your comment made it sound like I didn't need to come into the cavern because I'm old!. I'll be 56 in a few months, but you can believe me when I say I am not old.

The point I was trying to make is that our lives are very different, and my free time is in short supply. And there's many other players in the same boat. So when you're thinking of ways to build and change Uru moving forward, keep us in mind. Don't limit the game to only what you would want.

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:33 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:59 pm 
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On smartphone apps -- I'd love something that would let me stay connected to the cavern outside of the game. A chat would be nice, some sort of KI interface. I'd like that.

I've got a swell app on my Smartphone (Android) that lets me look at my World of Warcraft characters, stats, gear, all that -- that sort of thing is big in WoW. I can also participate in the auctions, but you have to pay for that part, so I don't do it. The app wasn't developed by Blizzard. There is an external database, the Armory, that has info on WoW characters, and the app interfaces with the external database.

Guild Wars 2 is going to have something for the smartphone, but I'm not sure what will be in it, as the latest release date for GW2 is probably 2012.

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