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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 4:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:30 pm
Posts: 36
Hi there, I joined this site due to the second MFG puzzle. I initially went to this site for help, although nothing goes to plan. I've played all Myst games. I never participated in Gametap or Episode this or that. I came in through MOULa. Anyway, I don't much find myself interested in MOULa. It seems like most are simply rebuilding it, instead of restoring it (sound familar?). Also, I've written a few programs for D'ni conversions (most notably for very large fractions and integers). I'm still learning the usefulness of base 25, and in doing so hope to one day contribute more formally in the future. I'm a 21 year old undergraduate studying mechanical engineering. D'ni machines are just out of this world....


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 6:29 am 
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 10:02 pm
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Hi all. I'm Marten. Believe it or not, I've already shortened this A LOT. If you can read through it all, I owe you a cookie. 8)

Myst Beginnings: I came into contact with Myst when I was in college, and I became hooked. I also got onto the internet in college (my earliest post on Usenet is dated February 23, 1992). Yet for reasons I can't explain, I never thought to look for a community centered around Myst on the internet.

Riven: Bought Riven the day it came out. Hard game! Loved it. Never found one of the color markers... finished the marble puzzle on a 50/50 guess.

Uru, offline: In November 2003, I picked up "Uru Live: Ages Beyond Myst." I knew about the game because of the repeated stories on GameSpot as Cyan and Ubi kept changing the name. I wasn't sure what to make of the promised multiplayer capability; I was skeptical. When I saw the note in the box encouraging me to sign up and begin my free trial, and knowing that after the free trial there was meant to be a monthly fee, I thought, "I'll sign up after I finish the offline game." I didn't know that the online game was still technically in beta, and I still didn't know about the community.

The game was HARD. Though beautiful, I came to HATE Kadish Tolesa. It took me weeks to finish the game, and even that was with a little help from GameFAQs. So, I didn't sign up to see what the online version was about until January... after Ubi had already decided to pull the plug (though neither I nor any of the other players knew it at the time).

Uru, online: I still have my Welcome to URU Live e-mail dated January 14, 2004, and my Official Invitation to D'ni dated January 15. I trickled into Uru after the flood of the "Clerical Error." And though I had missed all the real story of Prologue, the after effects still reverberated in the Cavern. I joined The Great Tree. I became involved and interested and a part of the story. And in just two and a half weeks, everything ended as suddenly as it began, leaving me changed and confused and lost.

I wrote a very, very unhappy letter to Ubisoft. I never received the courtesy of a reply.

Sad Expansions: I remember playing the To D'ni expansion pack. It was eerie, a return to the remnants of a shattered dream. It depressed me. Then, I picked up the first - and only - complete expansion pack, The Path of the Shell. Though I marveled at the new worlds and Kadish's deception, they were still empty places. Being there was no longer Uru to me; it was Myst once again, Uru's former, lonely self.

Untìl Uru: In August 2004, I learned of two projects. First, community members who'd gathered at the "Clockwork Orange BBS" website had decoded how Uru Live worked in its final days. They had written a server program that could bring back Uru Live. They called it ALCUGS - "A Live Compatible Uru Game Server." And second, in a curiously strange coincidence, Cyan was releasing server binaries that would also allow people to run their own Uru Live service. This service would be called Untìl Uru.

It is at this point that I became truly involved in the community... though there is nothing that I have done for the community, that I could have done without the community. Every one of these projects has been a team effort.

Just the FAQs: On the D'ni Guild Forums then hosted at cyanworlds.com, it seemed like there were almost daily questions and difficulties with Untìl Uru. The FAQ that Cyan had provided was proving to be inadequate, and it was not being updated - it quickly ceased to be a true "Frequently Asked Questions" document. I stepped up and extended on the original FAQ, including perks like a Windows registry file that would allow players to more easily load two copies of Uru onto the same computer. I kept the FAQ updated on the forums, as the "Unofficial Untìl Uru FAQ." Many people contributed questions and helped me to refine the answers. I'm afraid the names (and the FAQ) are long lost to time... but thank you.

Music videos: When the return of Uru as a commercial venture was announced, I was jubilant. I hopped onto D'mala, Cyan's own Untìl Uru shard, as soon as I could. And during this time, I took inspiration from several videos that had been posted at UruObsession.com by someone enigmatically named "The Hidden." I bought a copy of FRAPS, and tried my hand at doing some video work myself. With some help from one of the Untìl Uru shard admins, Ashtar, I released my own Uru-themed video set to Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten," which had only recently been released in the US and seemed so perfectly themed to Uru's return. (My music videos)

Prologue videos: As I experimented and put together more music videos, I found myself swept up into a project at The Great Tree to tell the story of Prologue. (The project was not my idea - it was Professor Askew's. Long story, no time for it now.) The project was a huge success due to the involvement of many, many community members, too many to name here but most of them are in the video credits. The Prologue Documentary project is still incomplete, but with the help of the grey hats, I'm hoping to finish it. 8 of the 12 planned episodes are finished and available in 5 languages. (Prologue videos)

rel.to: Toward the end of 2007, not knowing that Myst Online would be shutting down again, I became frustrated with the lack of an updated index of Myst/Uru community websites. Blade Lakem had done some work on an appropriately named resource called "The Myst Embassy Nexus", but it was falling out of date (not Blade's fault) and tucked away at nexus.mystembassy.net which was a long thing to remember. So I conceived of a new service to be a portal to the community, with browse-able categories of community websites, and a news feed, and something new I hadn't seen anyone else try: I would assign to every entry a "master" tag, unique, short, and memorable. If someone wanted to reach a website quickly, he or she could use the service as a link-shortener, relying upon it to redirect to the right place. People wouldn't need to remember which of the guilds had a .com and and which had a .net address. And finally, I had a short, clever name for the service. I called it rel.to. I set up a mock version of the site, and convinced others to help build it. Tweek designed a sleek, no-nonsense interface. Erik wrote all of the code. And after that, a number of people helped me maintain the database, contributing many new links (thanks Gorobay, Janaba) and helping organize and enter them (thanks Lunanne). Last year, I handed over administrative control to Leonardo, who now keeps the site up to date and deserves many kudos as well (thanks Leo). (rel.to)

The Guild of Messengers: I also served as the Guild Master for the Guild of Messengers for a while (about 9 or 10 months, if I remember correctly). Around the time that Sophia designed and built a new website for the GoMe, I cracked a bit due to some external stress, and stepped down from the leadership role. The others that stepped up after that, particularly Leonardo, have done an admirable job. (The Guild of Messengers)

Others I cannot forget: In addition to those who've helped me in helping the community with each of these projects, I have met many other wonderful people. Without Tai'lahr, my music videos would have stopped at #6; I would have drifted away from this community and done no more. a'moaca', who we all have to thank for the MOSS project, has also been a tremendous help. And finally, I owe thanks to JWPlatt, keeping me in line since at least 2006, and who is responsible for today's existence of MagiQuest Online as well as persistently encouraging Cyan to deliver on their open source promise, helping lead to April's release of the CWE and 3dsMax plugin source code.

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MOULa KI: 26838 | Prologue Videos | Visit rel.to to explore Myst, Uru, and D'ni communities!
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 10:25 am 
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 2:02 pm
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I played Myst together with a school friend when it was new, and later Riven, which I rediscovered by accident some time after it came out, when I finally had a computer powerful enough to run it. Around the time realMyst and Exile were about to come out (and Internet access had become common), I turned from someone who had merely played and loved the games into a real fan of the series, and I became an active member of MYSTcommunity. I still have fond memories of those times, that forum seemed to be populated by a bunch of exceptionally friendly and intelligent people.

During that time, I started work on a Myst-like game engine named Pipmak, applying some of the OpenGL knowledge I had learnt in a university course, a project that can be classified an eternal work in progress by now.

Being involved in the Myst fan community, I was aware of Uru from the start, however during Prologue I avoided all information about it, for fear of spoilers, while I was waiting for the Mac version, as I didn’t have a Windows PC at the time. And then suddenly it was over and I had missed it. At some point I grew tired of waiting and bought a PC and Uru:CC. After I had finished the offline game, I bought a Kagi key for Until Uru and visited some shards, but the whole multiplayer thing still felt a bit alien to a quiet loner like me. Also, people seemed to be mostly playing with the UserKI, which I wasn’t interested in. It was only on D’mala that I really got into it, and I’ve been an avid online Uru player ever since.

With Uru forums taking more of my time, I somehow drifted away from MYSTcommunity. (I have later made a few punctual attempts to get back into it, but it looked like many of the interesting people of old had gone as well, so I didn’t feel drawn back. I’m sure they had been replaced by new interesting people, but I didn’t feel like spending time getting acquainted with them.) (Coincidence: Shoomlah is one of those people I remember, and I was delighted to see her post here a few days ago.) Forums I read regularly nowadays are MOUL, Guild of Writers, OpenUru.org, and Devokan Trust. They keep me up to date and all get occasional great posts by people I enjoy reading, besides a lot of chatter that I just skim over.

During MOUL, being located in an unsupported country, I could only follow the live story from a distance on the MOUL forums and UruObsession, waiting patiently for the day GameTap would let me in as well. Fortunately, having been invited into Rehearsal as a Mac beta tester, I was still able to experience at least the content of MOUL, and had a lot of fun hunting bugs across the ages. I made some friends there and joined their neighborhood, The Meeting Place, which I’m still a member of today, and I still consider some of those people my closer Uru friends and meet them in the cavern every week.

I developed a graphical research tool for the pod age in MOUL, Pod Clock, which has since moved to iOS devices as Zik Clock and is still in active development today. Plans exist for a second Uru-related iOS app, a KI chat client, but no significant progress has been made on it yet.

After MOUL closed down, with a lot of time suddenly freed up, I got interested in Uru hacking and content creation and started following the Guild of Writers. Despite some doodling in Blender I never became a Writer, but I ended up making some minor contributions to PyPRP. Recently, with the Uru client becoming open source, I have started trying to fix some of my pet bugs in it.

Besides a full-time day job and other real-life matters, reading forums, and being in the cavern, little time remains to actually get any work done on my fan projects, so progress is slow on all fronts.


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 12:38 pm 
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One of my aunts used to build computers for a living back in the early nineties and as a result my cousins had a whole bunch of interesting computer games. Things like Sim Tower and The Incredible Machine. One of the games they had was a fascinating mature rated detective game by a company called Sierra. That game was The Beast Within, a Gabriel Knight Mystery and it quickly became my whole world. I later bought the game from my cousin because he couldn't get very far in it and over a period of several months I completed it. After that I started combing electronics places for games of a similar experience.

Riven was new at this point and I can remember seeing it in those archaic over-sized cardboard boxes PC games used to come in. I picked it up and thought it looked interesting but I never had the money for it and my parents were pretty adamant about not buying me videogames. A couple years later on Christmas I opened a present containing Myst 3: Exile. I instantly fell in love with the game and when I finished it I knew that I had to find the first two.
By this point Riven had gone out of print and Myst was LONG out of print. A couple years later I happened upon the 10th anniversary collection containing all 3 of the games. I contemplated passing on it since I already owned a copy of Myst 3 but I decided that theres no other way I'll ever be able to play the first one and 2 out of 3 aint bad. I started over with Myst and played through both it and Riven back to back. There's some kind of magic in those two games. I'll never forget the first time I saw the intro to Riven.. "there's also a chance.. if this all goes well.. that I might be able to get you back to the place that you came from.." I still get chills to this day every time I see that scene.

Some time later I happened across a game on the highest shelf of the PC section. I remember I had to stand on my tiptoes to reach it but the cover looked somehow familiar. I saw the word "Myst" in the title Uru: Ages Beyond Myst and knew right then that I was not leaving that store without it. Sadly my computer was unable to run Uru which I later found out, but rather than return it I decided to keep it as a little present to myself for the day I finally upgrade my computer. Some time later I played Myst IV and had a very mixed opinion of it. It had some truly great moments but also some very baffling ones. I'd like to slap whoever designed that stupid monkey speech puzzle. Walking around the rest of Tomahna was amazing though doubly so for me because Tomahna was my introduction to the Myst series.

Anyway time went on and Myst V came out. Having never gotten to play Uru I was completely lost in what was going on and who these people were. I still enjoyed the game and felt it a worthy ending if a bit out of nowhere. Shortly after I got Myst V I discovered that there were novels so I went and got my hands on them. After reading The Book of Atrus I lost myself completely in the story and the world. Suddenly things all made sense. Why Atrus had trapped Gehn and who exactly Catherine was. But more than that I was completely floored by the descriptions of D'ni. Of the lake and the city.. of the cavern and the desert... It never occurred to me that the Keep in K'veer was overlooking the lake and it wasnt until I replayed Myst V later on that I had that realization.

So finally, in 2006 after having finished every Myst game and reading all three novels, I got a new computer as a gift and the very first thing I did was install Uru and hope that it would run. My jaw hit the floor when I recognized instantly where I was. The volcano and the desert. I was blown away. As I walked across that rope bridge and it broke unexpectedly sending me face first into the ground below I saw the blue flowers and had this strange sense of deja vu as I recalled the scene from the book of them growing on the spot where Keta was buried. I sat there for a long time just letting it all sink in. My first glimpse of the lake was from the highest balcony of the Bevin neighborhood and that simple balcony changed everything.

A short time later I found out about the expansion packs and acquired them and played through them but I was never aware of the multiplayer aspect of Uru until, when looking for a patch for Myst IV (the one which gives you more time on Spire's crystal puzzle) I discovered a poll which was asking about whether or not I knew that Cyan had "opened a new shard on Until Uru" I hadn't a clue what that was but I did some digging and found out about the kagi keys. I never actually joined UU but I started lurking forums and newsgroups around then. I finally got into the Gametap version of MOUL in October of 2007 and that is when I created the character Loshem (which is a shortening of Loshemanesh) and officially joined the forums here, UO, and the DRC forums.

I got to experience several events with the DRC and the Bahro. I met Marie Sutherland and I was one of only 5 people who were in K'veer before Yeesha showed up in December. I'll never forget it as my computer suddenly ground to a halt as 95 other people linked in almost simultaneously :P . Uru for me is about the story and the world. Fan projects are fascinating and I respect what people can do so long as they play by the rules. I'm one of those who are in the camp that is indifferent to fan ages. I think theyre a novel idea and there's no doubt some people in this community have absurd talent but I personally am indifferent to fan content.

Overall I'm just glad to be able to continue to enjoy Cyan products and I still have hope that one day they'll be able to continue what they started all those years ago.

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MOUL KI# 10281985
MOULa KI# 1492059

Fear is the mind-killer


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:36 am
Posts: 1303
Location: Back to the surface!
Hi, well most of you know me, I'm Annabelle.

I began getting interest in Myst & URU universe in 1995 when I first played Myst. I didn't like PC game or any other video game as I found them too violent or too fast (like Sonic on Sega). I loved the original Myst game which I played several times entirely. Then came Riven, the game that to this date apart from URU is my favorite in Myst games serie. I still play it from time to time, I kept an old pc with Windows XP to run it smoothly alongside older adventure/puzzle game (myst-style).

I loved Exile very much too, I play it from time to time. Then came a gap between 2003 and 2008 where I wasn't able to play any newer game (even realMyst) because my PC wasn't fast enough to run them and I wasn't, at that time, able to afford buying a new PC. Anyway, I bought realMyst, URU: CC, Myst 4 Revelation and Myst 5 End of Ages.

In early 2008, I played all those games and the only one that I loved was and is URU: CC. I really enjoyed to play it even though I was alone. I discovered that I could play it online on Gametap, unfortunately when I decided to join the online community, it was already too late, around late March 2008. The Gametap MOUL ended in April 2008. Since I wasn't aware of the online community and I didn't have any contact, I didn't try the shards between 2008 and 2010.

In beginning of March 2010, I found out that MOULa was just reopened since about a month. I was ready now, ready to enter the Cavern. Only thing I didn't know was "how much involvement I would do in this community". You will maybe doubt it but it took me 2 weeks to be able to link to the public city. I was too much shy to "meet" someone. First time someone send me a message: "Hello Annabelle", I logged out so fast from the public city, I turned red and stayed in my Relto for several minutes. Then little by little I began to meet others in public city and in the Guild of Greeters Bevin, the place to be and to be seen, in early days of MOULa. I began to make buddies at that time and I also began to do what I'm best at: OBSERVE.

Observe what? I soon realised that my avvie controls where very different from the controls I had in URU: CC. I saw a lot of explorers up the tent high up in the air. They were mostly "skydivers". I tried it but wasn't succesful at all. I remember a guy telling me in pm: "Hey girly! What are you trying to do? Climbing the tent? This is way too hard, find something else to do!". Yes...the girly was me and no one would dare saying that to me now. The girly conquered the whole Cavern, one age after another, mapping it all. I'm the reference now.

What are my achievements so far? I released many quests but only 35 are considered being "public" quests at this time. I'm working on 76 other quests. That amounts to 111 quests. Just for Er'cana, where I deleted my 5 previous quests, I started from scratch and now I"m standing at 17 quests with approximately 1,600 markers. If you want to know where are the collision walls in Er'cana, you will soon find out.

In Ae'gura, I will at the end of year 2011 have 18 quests encompassing nearly 1,600 markers also. Quests stretching from the Library to the Museum. In Eder Gira, my coverage is complete. In Eder Delin, the quest I made there is borked...I don't care much now, I will publish 5 quests there instead that will cover the garden entirely, 2 times the coverage of my former quest. In Gahreesen, the coverage is complete too as well as in Neighborhood. In Kadish, I have made sky routes at 300 feet above the forest grounds. If you think the Great Elevator in Kadish is the "end", you are wrong, it is just the beginning.
I can reach about anything in this game.

Thing is that I don't have much time to do all what is on my todo list. Between writing topics, making marker games, playing others marker games, editing my marker games, finding new locations to go to, playing on shards, sorting my KI pictures on my PCs, helping other explorers improving their skills,...and this is just my work "in Cavern". I still have to go to work on a 5 days basis and have a surface life too. This is why my "works" are always works in progress. I have 76 quests ongoing, none is finished none is just planned, they are all in a state of completion. I work in rotation, so one day I can say, ok today I work in Kadish, I will make progress in my Kadish quests. The next day, I work in Eder Gira, I will just work in that age, not making progress in my previous day Kadish quests. I work like that to prevent myself from being tired.

It doesn't work at all so I'm being tired each two months for about three weeks in a row. Then, I work again for 4 to 5 weeks in a row before getting tired again. What do I do when I'm tired? I play on shards and do the same as I do in MOULa. I found out how to get to "impossible" areas. This is my way to relax. You might find me foolish but to do what I did and I'm still doing, there is no other way. There wasn't a "complete skydiver guide to reach URU most unreachable areas". I paved the way by looking at my predecessors' works, going forward from that and now guide the new comers in the "business" hoping they will bring me forward in their discoveries. I can say to you: the new comers are quite skilled and I have great hope in their success.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 1:19 am 
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Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 1:58 am
Posts: 528
Location: France
Being brief and not turning this into an in-depth analysis of both me, Cyan, and the community won't be easy; but here goes nothing...
I won't do a precise linear 'biography' because that might just be boring, and at the time I'm writing this it is 2am here and my memory might not be too reliable.

Essentially I've been part of the Uru adventure since before it was called Uru and around the time it was first hinted at by Cyan; which bring us at the very beginning of this century. Which thankfully was only eleven years ago. I discovered Myst around '95, I was 17 at the time, and I entered the Myst community a couple years later through Rivenguild when I first got regular internet access at university. Cyan.com was the second website I ever visited. (the 1st would be Altavista). I guess that puts me amongst the old-timers here, and I'm afraid we are an increasingly smaller bunch.
To say that Myst has been an important influence in my young life would be an understatement. If anything the Myst series and Uru have been faithful companions. Unfortunately just like real life companions, and more specifically lovers, that kind of relationship can be rocky..

Over the years I've been deeply involved in many things Myst/Uru; early on I was (and still am) spart of the UruObsession bunch, writing content, finding news, doing graphics, extracting infos from Cyan, and generally being knee-deep several hours a day in Uru. I was also part of the Choru beta; of which I keep many fond memories. Although being under NDA for that and still being involved in public activities was a fun challenge for me at the time. I was also part of other Myst forums of the time, most notably MystCommunity. And being in Europe I unfortunately was never able to attend Mysterium, especially the earliest installements at Cyan HQ. I did followed them through CyanChat. Saddly I lost most of the archives I had from those times several years ago when my hard drive died. Back up your stuff people.

At this point in my life I had already been working in the video game development industry for a couple years in various positions (another thing for which Myst is in part to thank/blame), when I was contacted and eventually hired by Ubisoft as a community manager on Uru for the european side of things. Those of you that were around at the time might remember that other long-time community member Khatie was hired too, for the north american side of things. As part of the marketing team my job was too keep the european community(s) informed, entertained, and growing through various means in cooperation with the various people here in Ubi europe, the US, and Cyan. This covered the Prologue days, after which I logically lost my position at Ubi and moved on. During those few months I learned a lot about both the industry I worked in and about myself and in many ways this had a much bigger impact for my professional life than my Myst/Uru activities.

After that UU went live and I was essentially not involved in it directly because it didn't brought any new Ages to explore and any developments to the Uru story. For the following years Uru had the rocky life that we know, and so did my involvement in it. It has been mostly an 'on again off again' abusive relationship.. Being away from it several months at a time; but never being totally away as I should have, and occasionnaly coming back whenever something blipped on my radar..

All this time two things were obvious to me: Uru (and its community) was not going anywhere, its commercial success was a next to impossible task; and custom content was not only the one thing that interested me, but was also the only viable future for the game... I was sad, but not surprised, to see history repeats itselfduring and after the Gametap days.

Alongside all this I was for a while a moderator right here, but around last year it was just to demanding for me to be both a regular fan and try and support Cyan officially when I was not in agreement with everything they did. So I left that. Being diplomatic is something I like to think I do a decent job at, but it's just too demanding and time consuming.

Circa 2005 the very first efforts to hack through Uru and enable custom content came to frutition on the defunct Cobbs forums and I happily jumped in. Ever since Ages creation has been my main Uru activity, most notably I worked heavily on the creation of Ahra Pahts. That was over 5 years ago, and during that period the relations with both the community and Cyan have been difficult at times; because all 3 parties have had differing (sometimes conflicting) needs and objectives.. And I have to say that for a while I highly doubted that we would ever see Uru actually going open source. Cyan first talked about tools for Uru litterally 5 years ago, since then they've had a lot of ups and down; and we (content creators) were not seeing those tools getting any closer; so we started developping our owns against all odds. Since Ahra Pahts I've been working on a set of other Ages, and you can't see it but I'm doing some nifty stuff here! :P

Today Uru is no longer going anywhere commercially; even Cyan seem to let it go (in parts). The only way it can go somewhere and not die slowly is by handing it to its fans and let them have their way with it, most notably by adding content to it. The unfortunate part is that it is no easy task; infinitely more complex than creating content for most other games. And this detail has important consequences for the community. I have had a hand in many games both for personnal fun and professionnaly; Uru is definitely the most demanding of all. Many other games have a striving community of content developpers: FPSes, MMOs, even older games (SimCity4 comes to mind).. etc. Uru has a small community, and it is not exactly striving. Doing content (Ages) for Uru is hard, for many reasons. To do something decent you need a lot of motivation and time; and this is when tension can rear its ugly head..

This is the short story, with lots of things ommited, of what I've done and what I've been through these last 10 years. At this point in my Uru life (and personnal life), I am content with developing Ages for my own fun, in the hope of possibly completing some of them some day; and not involving myself too deeply with the rest of the community. It is just too much time and energy. I see it going through dark moments lately, and drama is everywhere. That's sad, but that's not the first time, and not the last. I hope we won't lose too many people this time around; but I'm not going to fight the tide. I can no longer spend that kind of time and energy against some people and some behaviours. It's great some people have constructive attitudes, and work hard to keep the fire alive, but as far as I'm concerned I'll keep doing my stuff on my side. That's as much I plan to afford now.
I'm not bitter; just tired. I may bitter at times, but I usually I can overcome it pretty quickly. I just need to not hit the 'post' button and go do something else instead. :p

Zardoz wrote:
Now that metals has posted (old joke), I simply must.
(...)
Somehow, I learned about the upcoming 3D version of Myst, and this coincided with another opportunity to buy a new computer. I purchased one with a 3D card, and found my way to the realMyst demo. That’s when things got serious . . .

Not having any programming skills whatsoever, I nevertheless got involved with the folks (Aloys was one of them) who were fooling around with the realMyst demo and later realMyst itself. Aloys holds a special place in my heart, as my first post in the Myst community (I want to say it was some sort of realMyst forum? I don’t think it was RivenGuild, although that’s where my discussion of realMyst would soon be the most active) was a breathless announcement about a mysterious realMyst file - huevo.avi - to which Aloys replied, Yes, we’ve been looking at it for awhile now, and welcome to the community. I soon found my way to RivenGuild, which had been around since 1997, and I played a role in tracking (more than solving) the Spyder realMyst easter eggs.

Oh my.. How did I forget to mention the fun we had during the realMyst days?.. :o Those were some good times. The Huevo/Vika easter quest actually spanned quite a bit of time; I remember when you told me in 2004 how you had finally cracked it after over 3 years. :D

The original announcement of realMyst around May 2000 is probably what first drew me to the Myst community; either that or Exile, those two were announced a very short time appart. And I might just have learned about them on the same day.


Last edited by aloys on Wed May 25, 2011 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:09 am 
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I'm Eleri- Stuff about me will go here when I can figure out what to say. Lots to sift though!

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:26 am 
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Location: On the bluff
Now that metals has posted (old joke), I simply must.

I am an example of the classic Myst customer: I bought a computer back in 1994 or so, and my brother insisted I get a CD-ROM drive so I could play this really cool game called Myst. My love of adventure games dated back to the late 70s, when I first encountered Colossal Caves on my university’s CDC-6400. I bought every Infocom game ever made, and gobbled up the early graphic adventure games (mostly LucasArts ones). Myst was so different - its puzzles so devilishly constructed and its environments so achingly beautiful. I was hooked. Riven was even better, and I spent weeks working my way through this astounding world. (In the interim, I must confess to playing what remains my favorite adventure game of all time, Zork Nemesis.)

At that time, I don’t think I was aware of the nascent Myst community. My first adventure forum was Just Adventure, as I considered myself an adventure game fan first, not an Avid. Somehow, I learned about the upcoming 3D version of Myst, and this coincided with another opportunity to buy a new computer. I purchased one with a 3D card, and found my way to the realMyst demo. That’s when things got serious . . .

Not having any programming skills whatsoever, I nevertheless got involved with the folks (Aloys was one of them) who were fooling around with the realMyst demo and later realMyst itself. Aloys holds a special place in my heart, as my first post in the Myst community (I want to say it was some sort of realMyst forum? I don’t think it was RivenGuild, although that’s where my discussion of realMyst would soon be the most active) was a breathless announcement about a mysterious realMyst file - huevo.avi - to which Aloys replied, Yes, we’ve been looking at it for awhile now, and welcome to the community. I soon found my way to RivenGuild, which had been around since 1997, and I played a role in tracking (more than solving) the Spyder realMyst easter eggs. But it wasn’t just the puzzles that re-ignited my interest - for whatever reason, I found the 3D world to be enthralling.

Throughout 2001 and the Spyder easter eggs, the transformation of Cyan into CyanWorlds and the hints and secrets embedded in their new website enticed us all. I didn’t think much of it when I responded to survey about my computer in the old DniGuild forums. I was completely taken by surprise when I then received an email from RAWA in February of 2002:
RAWA wrote:
Hello, and thanks again for filling out the hardware survey on D'ni Guild.

In the months ahead, we will begin the process of testing various aspects of the technology that may (or may not) eventually make its way into Mudpie (aka Parable). Based on the information you have given us about your current hardware, it's possible that you may be able to help us with the testing process.

Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle. This was what would later be called the Choru beta test. I submitted my NDA and was told to wait; in mid-March, I was formally told that I was in; and on April 21, 2002, at 6:04pm, I linked to Bevin for the first time. I was in heaven.

That experience lasted until the December of 2003, and was wonderful, mostly because all of Uru still lay ahead of us, and so anything was possible. I will skip through most of the time since then, although I will note that I do not hold the DRC Liaison election experience with the disdain that others do, for I strongly believe it holds important lessons for how to build (and not build) an online community. Obviously, I have remained a member of this community, even though my interest has waxed and waned. It's not that I yearn for the old days of Choru, but I do miss the sense of mystery and adventure and discovery that those days held. My own ability to contribute has been increasingly limited by the demands of real life - alas, as one grows older and gains increasing responsibilities, the ability to have fun seems to recede. And so I just hang on, wondering if something called Uru will eventually emerge that will spark that sense again.

Edited to correct some information about RivenGuild, and to add the following:
And although no one asked for it, the true origin of my Pony lies in the following exchange in the chat box of our dearly departed PX! Comic, which is a creation of two (former, I believe) Cyan artists, Eric A. Anderson and Manny Trembley:

[spoiler=Incomprehensible discussion concerning something long forgotten but also the Pony]Zardoz : Words fail me. Word. But wait! Does GQ know about the daisy shirt?!?!?!

PX!: Methinks Pollo's Hawaiian shirt was not GQ-authorized, no.

Zardoz: I'm not telling . . . for a small fee. P.S. The juxtaposition of the yellow and the pink is - well, stare at the X for 60 seconds and then look hard at the pink, and you'll see.

PX!: So what you're saying is...we should have bright yellow and bright pink on everything we do? It's a deal.

Moop: i think Zardoz has a point. the daisy shirt made Pollo look rather corpulent. or maybe it's all the chicken burritos he's been eating lately.

Moop: wait....if Pollo is beefing up on chicken burritos...and his name means "chicken"...does that make him a cannibal?

PX!: Truth be told, I'm pretty sure his GQ days were awhile ago.

Zardoz: I can hardly wait for the GQ Fact!!!!! Or, as Yoda would say, For the GQ Fact !!! wait hardly I can.

PX!: Doh. The PX!Crew consulted, and decided we prolly weren't gonna do a PFact for today's ad. Unless you really want one. When Zardoz says "jump", we say "how high?".

Zardoz: And a pony. I want a pony.

PX!: We SAY, "HOW HIGH?!?!?" Pony is not a satisfactory answer to that question. When someone say, How high should jump, sir? You don't answer, "Pony!" That's just bad form.

Zardoz: Okay, I want a BIG pony, one that can jump REALLY HIGH.

PX!: It's also bad form to write under the label PX! and drop all kinds of words from your sentences...sigh...Art Moneky be so crazy. With his dropped words and what not.

Zardoz: Wait! You got me the GoatFact, so nix the pony.

PX!: Art Monkey finds that Goatfact Hot. Hot like the sun.

Foo: Not hot like the pony? I mean, the BIG pony that can jump REALLY HIGH. That's gotta count for something.

Moop: ponies? eh? we're talking GOATS, man...stay on topic! ::bonks Foo and Z with a sofa coushin::[/spoiler]


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:00 pm
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
I had been a big fan of the Sierra adventure games for a long time (King's Quest, Gabriel Knight, and so on), so I didn't notice Myst until it had been out for several months, maybe a year. I purchased it while I was in college, on a summer internship in another state. So it was just me, a futon, a computer, and Myst in my tiny apartment. And it was heaven! :)

By the time Riven was released, I had graduated, and nabbed it on release day. When the Riven soundtrack was released, I put on my headphones, and stuck a note to the back of my chair at work, saying, "Do not disturb -- Riven soundtrack out today." :roll:

As much as I loved Riven, I just wasn't that interested in any non-Cyan Myst games, but I read every novel, and waited patiently for Uru. When Ubi released Uru, I played the single player game, and decided to wait for the multiplayer until after I finished it. Well, the multiplayer was canceled before I ever had a chance to play.

Until Uru came at the same time as the birth of my first child, so I simply didn't have any time to play. When GameTap opened, I kept procrastinating joining, because it seemed too expensive, since I only wanted to play one game (Uru, or Myst Online, of course). I eventually joined just a little while before the closing was announced. :cry: So, I spent as much time as I could in the cavern those last few months. Special thanks to Tai'lahr for being so friendly to an Uru-newb.

Now that Uru is back up, I still log in every couple weeks, but I just don't see anyone around. I still have hope that the Cavern will flourish once again. I love the Myst mythology and the amazing characters from the games and novels. I'm mostly a lurker around the forums, but I've been here for years and have no plans to leave.

Flash Fact: "Haunted City" comes from a book about New Orleans, but I think it also perfectly fits the Cavern. You can feel the ghosts of the previous inhabitants as you walk throughout the city.

Another Flash Fact: I own 5 copies of Riven: the original, a copy signed by Rand and Robyn that I won in a charity auction, the DVD version, the DVD version from the Myst 10th anniversary edition, and the iPhone app. I'd say I've done my part! :shock:

Final Flash Fact: My daughters consider the "Gallery Theme" their bath time music. We play it during bath, and they think that it's sung by Belle, from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Cloaking device reengaged,

HauntedCity (aka Haunted aka Haunted Doug)

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Last edited by hauntedcity on Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:30 pm 
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Location: Kilkenny, Ireland
Nice idea for a thread. I will read through everyone's stories later when I have time. :)

In the meantime, here's mine...

I became a fan of the Myst series sometime in 1998 when I bought the 'Ages Of Myst' Boxset.I was hooked immediately and bought every game from that point on. I actually have the special editions of all the games from Exile onwards and they're all really cool looking, but I digress.

As soon as I heard about Uru, I immediately rushed out and bought it. Unfortunately I didn't get to take part in Prologue as it was shut down shortly before I bought the game, but I had loads of fun playing the single player game. Shortly afterwards I downloaded the To D'ni expansion and, later again, got The Path Of The Shell.

Later again (I have no idea about definite times/dates), I signed up for Until Uru but never played it much as there was never anyone around when I logged in.

The story now jumps forward to the summer of 2007. I had discovered Second Life a few months earlier and spent much of my time in an Uru-themed sim. One day, I received a group message that would change my life, or at least change how I would spend my days. The notice said that this particular sim would soon be closing down because the online version of Uru is back. I was so overjoyed that I would finally get to play the online game. I immediately tried to sign up, only to be told that it wasn't available in my country. My disappointment was short-lived when I discovered I could get someone in another country to create the account for me (naughty I know, but nothing was going to stop me from going to the cavern), so I asked a friend who lived in Alabama at the time to do this for me and I was in. Became a paid user of Gametap and gained full access to the cavern. Yay!

Soon after I joined I was invited into a Bevin (as it was called back then haha) and made loads of friends who I still keep in touch with to this day. I used to love seeing the episodes unfold and go to loads of IC parties and solve the ages as they were released. Great times. But then the cavern closed so my journey came to an end. I went back to Second Life along with all the other explorers and got to see all the amazing looking builds they made. Wish I could build like that. LOL

As well as being in SL, I used to also spend some time in a few unofficial online Uru games but they weren't really as good as the official one. I hoped a lot that one day it would return and when I found out about MOULagain, I signed up immediately and without hesitation. I'm still there now and I will never leave. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:52 pm
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Location: US
My Myst and URU story, I found the original game at a used game sale and bought it up, played it, and loved it. After that I found out about URU (which at the time had just been canceled by Gametap) but had to wait until the game either came back or when I had the money to buy URU:CC. A few years later MOULa came out and I was able to download it and play. Though I had played the first Myst game, I never beat it; I waited until the iOS version came out and then competed it. The game left me very satisfied and wanting more. Later I was able to get my hands on Riven but the game did not work with current systems. Then a friend of mine loaned me all the other games in the series and played those and beat them. (Myst 3 and 4 were great) A year or two later iOS Riven came out and I had a blast! And now, three novels and a whole ADBMM later I'm still here, still waiting for more.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:29 am 
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I really wanted a Macintosh, but had no money. The Osborne 1 I'd bought in January 1993 and used for various projects, including on-line bulletin boards and Compuserve, would have to do.

Its demise came in 1989. I'd finally gotten enough cash to buy the Mac. I bought accessories, got catalogs, bought "The Manhole" and "Cosmic Osmo" on floppy discs. My kind of game. I'd never taken to computer games; I'm not really a fast-twitch kind of person. Later on I kept reading about "Myst," from the folks who'd made Osmo, but my old Mac had no CD-ROM drive.

In 1997 I addressed that problem and got both the CD access and a color display with a Power Computing clone. Early the next year a friend gave me his copy of Myst because he *is* a fast-twitch kind of person. I played it for a time, couldn't figure out why to go on, came back to it a month or so later... and that time it connected. I went on to "Riven." What a delight that was.

I got stuck. Not at the animal puzzle, nor the firemarble one. It was something so basic I could find no hints. I turned to the Internet and found Rivenguild, among other sites. Finally I did the obvious and got through the sticking point in Riven, but by that time I'd kind of gotten hooked on checking Rivenguild for news. Then Rivenguild shut down, but left a list of suggested alternatives, from which I chose Uru Obsession.

Through this, and the Tapestry Shard forum, I caught some of the events of Uru, but this was after the game had shut down. Then I followed the doings in Until Uru. I bought a copy of the standalone Uru, and borrowed a PC to play it. In early 2005 I bought a PC, and in May I signed up for DSL. The router was wireless but the PC had no radio card, so as an experiment I used a Cat-5 cable. Much to my surprise it worked. A couple of weeks later the other shoe finally dropped; I went to Cyan's Web site, got a Kagi key and in late May entered Uru for the first time.

I heard footsteps on the Great Stairs. Marten mentioned how depressing it had been to be in a silent city. Although I'd never been in the lively version, I felt the same at the end of the standalone. There should have been people there! I heard Old Man's footsteps, walked up to meet him, and he explained a few things.

What keeps people in a game? I came along at a time when there were deep cracks between various factions in the community. One of the first events I attended was Donahoo's D'ni Happy Hour, at which she taught me how to play music through the in-game chat. Soon after that, Teamspeak became the standard.

In mid-June I decided to start my own musical event. I wanted something that would bring people together. Andrew had just started the Uru Christian Fellowship and we decided to host the event there as UCF Music Night. I had just discovered the possibilities inherent in having a computer music server, and had something like 10 CDs available to play that night. Not many people came but those who did enjoyed it, and we stayed until midnight my time.

It wasn't quite what I wanted, though. Music Night became a rather specialized, contemplative event. I wanted to do something that would draw in more people. I was learning the ways of playlists and music's influence on people, which is a process that still goes on. I still do Music Night every Saturday for its dedicated fans. The broader influence event, after some failed experiments, turned into the "Up On the Roof!" parties that started on Ashtar's Great Tree Shard on December 23, 2005.

After a couple of months, Old Man and Zam asked about starting parties earlier in the day so that Europeans could attend. Roof! parties had started as something I could do myself, with no complicated organization nor meetings. A longer party would be different. I said I could do it if I had some help, and Zam became the first member of what became the Rooftop Volunteer Group. We started on Great Tree and moved to D'mala when Cyan's shard opened in the spring of 2006.

We rocked along there while the rumors turned to the solid promise of the Cavern's official reopening. MOUL opened as a Gametap offering in early 2007 and we moved the parties there. Unfortunately MOUL was coded differently and had no public Rooftop. I looked for an alternative. The neighborhood just didn't do it but we found a new home in the Great Tree Pub, moved in with lock, stock and pizza ovens, and called it "Under the Roots!" The RVG had attracted more members, and even spawned an offshoot when one day we were having so much fun that Tai'lahr started giggling. The Cavern Gigglers Association has been an integral part of our parties ever since.

We were putting on a 10-hour party every two weeks, but after a while other events in my life became more wearing and I was just too tired to do it. The episodes also eroded my interest in Uru. For me, the real Uru and D'ni story stops at the end of Riven. I wanted nothing more to do with the brothers after Myst, and the cobbled-together aspects of Uru and Myst 5 obscured what little story there was.

Gametap shut down. People looked for alternatives: There, Kaneva, Second Life. I tried them all but stayed with SL only because of Tai's efforts. I did some events there, through the Guild of Healers. Through it all I waited to find out what Cyan would do with Uru. I still wanted the rest of the story. And, through it all, I kept playing music on Saturday nights for whoever would listen. This is made possible by Ashtar's ongoing generosity, providing a Shoutcast server for me to use.

People play Uru for many reasons. I'm a classic explorer: I want to know what's around the next corner, and I'd like to know the story behind the happenings. With Open Source it's pretty clear that Cyan won't be telling any more story in this track, so I've drifted off.

Legacies... People: I'm still in contact with a few. My life has taken odd turns. I'm not in contact as much as I could be, but every Saturday at 1700 Pacific, I'm on the air at http://radioktdn.zapto.org:8025 until 2000.

Legacies... Music: In 2005 I owned somewhere around 600 CDs and played them one by one with a CD player. Through adding music suggested by talking with people at parties and Music Night, the collection has gone in different directions: Indian music, opera, jazz, Celtic, unclassifiable, and has grown to over 2000 CDs, all kept on a hard disk system.

Legacies... Games: I moved into Guild Wars in early 2008, and still play. Yes, I've been around the block many times, but we still get together in the mornings to raid dungeons. Fellowship of Greeters is our guild, and we're waiting for Guild Wars 2.

Future... Who knows? I think about shutting down Music Night. Not many people listen. How many does it take to make it worthwhile? One? After all, Jesus left the 99 to chase after the single lost sheep. I'm still looking for daylight. I'm still here.

Edit: Detail update and correction (thanks, Tai!)
Edit 2: Timeline corrections (thanks Jane.. the RVG comes through again!)
Edit 3: missing punctuation

And my thanks again to all of the people who joined the rather informal Rooftop Volunteer Group. We had a lot of fun... gracefully.

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Last edited by Lord Chaos on Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 4250
Location: Digging around in the dusty archives, uncovering Uru history.
This post is on behalf of Paradox who declined to post his own story here, but gave me permission to provide a link to a blog post, "Can't have it all..." which is essentially his story and I feel it's appropriate to include here.

I wouldn't do this for just anyone, but Paradox is largely responsible for putting me on this path to try to improve communication here. A little over a year and a half ago, during a heated debate over hacking, I posted this:
Tai'lahr wrote:
Now, if a hacker could simply explain (without a defensive tone) to the technofeebs what they do (in laymen's terms) and why they do it, and how hacks can or have benefited Cyan/Uru... perhaps it could begin a more civil dialogue here.

I expected to be ridiculed or at least ignored, but Paradox answered the call by writing a thoughtful blog post called "What we do..." I've never forgotten that and it encouraged me to try to do even more. So, this post is in appreciation for his contribution to improving communication here.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:16 pm 
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Posts: 46
I'm brand new here...I have read every post in this thread...I feel now that I am old here...

Everyone has their own...seems like a nice community if you dig through it a bit..

Oh yeah...I chose to revive an older thread so I should say something...

I was just given the opportunity to engage in your all's activities here in the forum and in-game..

I've never played Myst itself but I remember hearing about it awhile (years) back...

My friend Charura (neighbor in RL) told me about this resurrection and ranted about how cool it was (and is now)

So if you see me in-game (not Lordly - that is a name not allowed in-game?) I'm Bezoar (roughly translated = hairball) KI# 14718414

Looking forward to playing


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:40 am 
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i see your "lets improve communication" and raise you one:
TL;DNR...

actually, i honestly tried to read this thread but my browser crashed when loading the second page. 0.o

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