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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 7:14 am 
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Nalates wrote:
Those that like the app idea can work on apps and we’ll see what comes up. Adam’s Who’s On type program could be an app. There is a Pod Clock that is already an app. The D’ni Pocketpedia could be an app for when people are solving puzzles on or off line.

I see no problem with applications which add value to the game such as a "D’ni Pocketpedia" because they don't take people out of the cavern but help them on there journeys. But porting puzzles out of the cavern does not add any value. It just means that people are likely to play URU less.

Nalates wrote:
they are participating and that is what player retention is about

Without people in the cavern, URU is just a dead shell, no matter how much "player retention" you have on iPhone games. Completing puzzles on an iPhone does not constitute to participating in URU, you would only be participating if you interact with others.

Nalates wrote:
Blue Mars has basically moved the whole game to smart phones and made PC development secondary.

All your examples are things which center around Social Chat Applications set in a virtual world. Social Chat Apps are designed just to get people talking to each other, playing generic games, etc. URU is meant to be about exploring the D'ni's work, solving puzzles and really feeling that your actually there in a living breathing world filled with explorers. So Social Chat Applications should be on moblies because that increases social interaction. URU is not just about social interaction, so increasing social interaction will not increase interaction in the game if people are not taking part in the game, exploring the world, sharing discoveries, etc.

Personally i would rather URU stayed as a game that has depth then turn into another generic Social Chat Application for an iPhone which doesn't require people to ever set foot in the cavern.

dj_ wrote:
In game hints would help a ton. Old players prefer to maintain the mystery, and for the most part try really hard to not spoil the new player experience, with varying degrees of success.

Hints are a good idea. My father has never completed any Myst game (to my knowledge, if he has then it is only 1 of them) mainly because he gets stuck and then never plays the game again. So an optional hints system could help with the issue of people leaving because they get stuck.

"Universal Hints System" is a good idea of how it could be done (Its a website), it doesn't tell you exactly how to do things (Like most hint systems seem to do) but gives you alot of different small hints before it will finally tell you exactly how to do it.

Since it would be optional (You could implement it so that at character creation you can opt out, so you would never be able to be tempted to cheat) it wouldn't ruin anyone's experiences.

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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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Nalates wrote:
I don’t think anyone is talking about porting puzzles out, but may be I’m not seeing what you’re thinking of.

See:
Anaerin wrote:
If you are in-cavern, you play these puzzles on your avatar's Ki. But you can log out (go back up to the surface) and continue on your smartphone

--------------

Nalates wrote:
From my perspective the Cavern is empty now. So, I don't see how the population can be decreased.

Might not be able to get lower than it is now. But you can make its growth slower then it would have been.

Nalates wrote:
but you aren’t providing convincing objective information on why chat apps would not increase participation in Uru as it does in other games.

Your trying to say that because Oranges are Orange that Apples should become Orange because that works well for Oranges.

Chatting to people is not participating in URU. When i chat to people on steam while they are in a game, i am not participating in there game, i may help them out, etc but there is no participating. You can only take part in things if you actually... take part.

Nalates wrote:
You seem to be running off on a common sky is falling

Its not happened yet.

Nalates wrote:
The point of apps is to extend content for those that have already explored Uru.

Making external games which have no connection to URU except in name and style doesn't expand the contents of URU. Especially when its only available to a portion of URU's player base(Not everyone has smartphones). You also have to take in consideration that apps on any platform have to be developed. That takes time. So your going to have exactly the same contents problems.

Nalates wrote:
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.

Not a very objective view :P .

-------------

My main objection is porting puzzles to mobile apps or wasting time developing external content that has no relation to URU other than its name rather than adding external chat. I do believe that external chat will mean people are less likely to log into the game because they can just use a chat app instead however.

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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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Nalates wrote:
@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.

Both are just as bad. If people don't have to take part in URU then they will use there smart phone to play alone instead of going into URU and interacting with the world.

Nalates wrote:
But, all evidence in new games is the audience is on smartphones.

I don't have a smart phone. I know alot of people who also own a PC and don't have a smartphone. There is alot of people on smartphones, noone disputes that. But if they are not going to take part in the world then they are not the target audience.

Nalates wrote:
The large game companies and a number of indies are chasing that audience.

Sheep follow each other off cliffs. So following others isn't always the best idea.

Nalates wrote:
Failure to open Uru to some type of smartphone use could deprive Uru of a huge potential player base.

But your not opening up URU by making some puzzles for a smartphone. They are never interacting with the world, they are never taking part. If these people do not go into the cavern, explore the world, etc then they are not the type of players you want to attract because they won't help URU grow.

What you would be doing is creating a completely separate game which is nothing like URU, except it has some puzzles. It wouldn't be URU.

Nalates wrote:
Your rebuttal based on my lack of objectivity doesn’t provide any new information to support your viewpoint.

I wrote it because you were stating that i wasn't objective then you wrote a sentence which wasn't objective. It was a Jest(Hence the smiley).

Nalates wrote:
But, that isn’t what is being suggested.

Instead of dancing around the issue making generalisations it would help if you told me literally what your idea is instead of leaving it all upto people to read between the lines. Saying things like "You don't understand" doesn't help me understand.

Nalates wrote:
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.

People can do whatever they want. But if people claim that they are contributing to URU then i consider anything which doesn't contribute to URU its self (Such as external puzzle applications) as a waste of time which could have been used to do something to help the actual game. This is my personal view, its not law.

Nalates wrote:
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.

IRC is the simplest idea. Have a help channel setup on a free IRC server then have it so URU players can directly talk to this channel via talking in URU(Would need to improve the chat interface so you can select channels easily). That way you have a free central location for all messages to go.

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 12:37 am 
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Stucuk wrote:
Nalates wrote:
@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.

Both are just as bad. If people don't have to take part in URU then they will use there smart phone to play alone instead of going into URU and interacting with the world.

My concept wasn't that you didn't have to login to play. My suggestion was that you needed to collect items as you wandered around the Cavern/Ages, which were then recorded on your Ki. If you didn't enter the cavern, you couldn't get the items on your Ki. Once you have the items necessary, you can then put them together in the correct way (possibly using clues from another age (like Kadish), or knowledge (go to the local/school library and look up "Mesopotamian architecture" in a reference book for clues) so you couldn't solve the puzzle without going into the age. A double-layered approach, IYSWIM. Your "Ki" could also receive requests for help from friends, so players have to co-operatively hunt for clues. This, and many more kinds of "rabbit holes" could be used to poke people and draw them back into the Cavern, thus helping the game's longevity and increasing the enjoyment of all, as well as cementing (further) the whole "You are You" element.

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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

http://mystonline.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=93&postdays=0&postorder=asc&vote=viewresult

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.
http://itunes.apple.com/app/the-7th-guest-infection/id416849801?mt=8#

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 7:07 am 
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@Anaerin: That sounds fine.

nonlinear wrote:
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

So your at least 56 years old? You don't actually need to spend lots of time in cavern every day, the puzzles won't go anywhere. As long as external puzzles are done so that it requires you to go in cavern to initialize the puzzle and complete it then i don't see any problem.

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 6:17 pm 
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Stucuk wrote (unbelievably, but true):
Quote:
So your at least 56 years old? You don't actually need to spend lots of time in cavern every day, the puzzles won't go anywhere.

Well, that's good to know. If'n I can find my spectacles, then maybe I can find my walker and shuffle on outa here, seein's how I done solved all these here puzzles. Lordy these bones be tired. Dang shame I wont be able to participate.

Non

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 6:47 pm 
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26 + 30 = 56. You came up with the 30 years older than me thing.... Im confused.

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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.

Non

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:45 am 
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nonlinear wrote:
Your comment made it sound like I didn't need to come into the cavern because I'm old!.

Ah, my first and 2nd sentences are not connected to each other. I should have proberly split your quote into parts and done the same with my reply. The only reason i posted that you can take your time is because your post made it sound like URU was the type of game where if you didn't go into it every minute of every day that you would be missing out on alot puzzle wise.

nonlinear wrote:
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.

And your point is a valid one.

nonlinear wrote:
I'll be 56 in a few months, but you can believe me when I say I am not old.

If you say so grandpa :P. (You walked into that one)

nonlinear wrote:
Don't limit the game to only what you would want.

But a statue of me would look good in URU....

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:33 pm 
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Stucuk wrote:
nonlinear wrote:
I'll be 56 in a few months, but you can believe me when I say I am not old.

If you say so grandpa :P. (You walked into that one)

Careful there, youngster. The average player age here may be higher than you think. (I'm turning 57 next month.) :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Regarding the KI problem. If I understand correctly, the stuff in my KI is stored on a Cyan server somewhere. My actual KI only stores links to an existing pic or marker game or test or w/e.

The solution seems obvious. Give the KI the ability to access a folder on MY PC, where I can store an unlimited amount of those links,easily accessible, and keep my KI with only 2 entries;

1-Incoming

2 Move to / from local storage.

I would still only be storing links off KI (on PC), so I can't alter or edit the actual pic, or quest or text or w/e.

A less desirable solution might be to alter the Relto imager to accept data other than Pics. I say less desirable because we would need to link to relto to 'reload' our KI's.

And a 3rd alternative would be to base our KI's not on our avatars, but on our account login names. So I would be able to access the storage links on my Alter Avvies KI.

As for the hint part being less than Ideal from a community POV. I agree it can be, but before many noobs even understand they need help, and have a community to seek help from, they run into stumbling blocks which turn them off, often forever. When I joined Moula late last year, my bevin had what, 20 noobs assigned to it. Within weeks I was the only one left. Within 2 days, I never saw most of the names on he imager repeated.

Which brings up an idea about merging Hoods where similar cases exist. It could be done virtually, and I might never even realize it, but all of a sudden I would be associated with players whose names I have seen, and maybe even have shared an experience with. Meanwhile, the servers trade a large load (no longer active players) with a lighter load (fewer active Hoods to contend with and display in Nexus).

Sorry if this does not speak to the point of this thread, but I had to put it somewhere....... :wink:


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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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