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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 7:43 pm 
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'Feathers' also..we need those.. :-(((

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:06 am 
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Hm wonder if I should try my Amazing Race idea again, kept having little support.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 3:45 pm 
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For a number of years Uru fans have debated what needs to be done to get more people in the cavern. This forum is full of debate and ideas. If you look at the Cavern today you can see the effect of all those ideas, plans, and activities.

With Uru the ONE thing that works is new content. The reason Uru was not a financial success is the cost of new Cyan quality content cost more than the community of users would support.

WoW with far more to do and even with their flow of new content is now losing millions of paying subscribers. Wither that is because players are tiring of the game, the new content delivery rate is too slow, entering the third dip of an economic decline is squeezing players, or competition from free-to-play games... it is hard to determine. But, I think it reflects the same problems Uru had/has and as yet Blizzard has not found a solution.

But the long-term trend toward lower cost content continues as more games and virtual worlds move toward fan created content.

In regard to fan created content, fans are turning to Unreal, Unity, and other developer kits that allow them to create game content. The SDK’s (software developer kits) are developing quickly to allow more fans to use them. Improved user interfaces reduce the learning curves. Export features to multiple platforms/devices leverages where a creative type can display their creations.

The emphasis has changed to the SDK used to create content. Even Cyan is moving away from their Plasma Engine and 3D Max/Plasma tools to use, I think, Unity.

Leaving the Uru community to develop with Plasma and having a content license that prevents moving to content to any other platform blocks any pathway for updating Uru to modern game standards and improving quality and performance. As it is, I doubt we will see new content or new features roll into Uru at anywhere near the rate needed to sustain Uru beyond the current slowly declining levels.

There is a vibrant and active community building content for Uru. I don’t keep on the number of people building using Plasma or targeting Plasma. But, I doubt it is more than a couple of dozen at any one time.

There are hundreds developing Myst-like content in OpenSim worlds like In-Wordz, Kitely, OSGrid, and the proprietary Second Life. There are more people developing Myst-like stuff in Unreal, Unity, and other platforms.

I do believe that much of that content would come back to Uru and fuel its development if there were a hobbyist-developer friendly pathway. But, I can’t see that happening until licensing allows transferring existing content to a newer platform and I can’t see Cyan allowing that.

So… I think we are stuck. Keep coming up with ideas. Someone might hit on a new one that works to revive Uru. But, so far what I am reading is a repetition of history. If you continue to try the things we know don’t work, your enthusiasm will be frustrated and wane. Look for new ideas with your energy.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 6:34 pm 
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One of the main issues I always wondered about is that most of the MMORPG's out their are the usual war like shoot um up dead type of thing, their are a few video games on and off line that are not but its only a small percentage. virtual violence seems to be more popular, although I have often looked for another video game similar to Uru where I can get some plug-ins from the Company for a graphics program and let my imagination run wild creating stuff :? and have found a few I always seem to come back to Uru CC and Cyan plug-ins. Its unfortunate the information on how to use the Cyan plug-ins are so limited I know so much more can be done with them if I only knew how.......................................

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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 10:59 pm 
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What keeps people playing a game? For me, in URU, it was the hope of seeing a continuation of the D'ni story. New ages were fine but I wanted to know more; I wanted to go back to that feeling of being inside a book that I'd had while playing Myst and Riven.

In 2008, many of us from the Guild of Greeters started playing Guild Wars. I tried it on a free trial and ended up liking it. The reasons for that are surprising to me, as I'd expected not to like a game that depends on fighting. People play the game for many reasons: gathering fancy weapons and armor, proving that they're better than other players, wanting to complete all the titles, etc. I played at first for exploration--the world is very big--and then discovered an interest in battle tactics. The challenge was to raid someplace without getting killed, by assembling a team with good skills and armor and then using good tactics. There's some story in Guild Wars, but it's pretty thin.

We moved on to Guild Wars 2 in late August of last year. In some ways it's much like GW1. Its major departure from that model is in the provision of smaller stories within the larger storiy. This is somewhat like the episodes of the URU Gametap era, but done better. The most recent "living story" was called Flame and Frost, and this started in January. Each new part lasted about a month. Players were free to repeat elements in that, or help other players with it. There were overall accomplishments, such as returning refugee artifacts, that one could do, and there was some story to hold it together. I found it interesting. It added some more depth to the GW2 story.

I believe ArenaNet is pouring a lot of resources into these updates. Their first attempt at this kind of thing just didn't work very well, back in November. They've learned, and they have the resources. Part of that comes from a change in the economy: players can now buy in-game gold through the in-game store, using real world money. ANet pushes this, but those who are more patient can make do with the money they make inside the game.

Flame and Frost is now over. There's another living story starting soon, and I'm curious to find out what will happen.

Whether this appeals to anyone else, I don't know. I've enjoyed it.

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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:51 am 
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It might be a mistake bringing up other games that are not Uru (I'm not even being sarcastic either) in a discussion like this. Every thread I've ever seen where someone mentions Guild Wars, Second Life, or ANYTHING that is not Uru didn't meet proper understanding by people in the community who play Myst games and only Myst games (or anything with the Cyan label). Because when you mention these games they get defensive and think the fans of those "other games" want to completely turn Uru into something EXACTLY like whatever game is being discussed as opposed to just adopting SOME mechanics.

"Oh, you play GW or WoW? Well I don't want PvP and swords in this game." "Second Life? That place is rubbish, I don't want Uru to become terrible" "You play any title on Steam? You're a terrible person and you don't belong in Uru". Anything that is not Uru = Absolute Horror.

I won't mention what I play, but most of the stuff I play and experiment with has a community that supports that sort of thing (shocking I know). Like anyone else they could make a bad or a good level/mod/whatever. I was shocked when people even brought elements from other games into other games just because they could (and even more shocked that the companies didn't mind at all). And the beauty of game designs like these is that you have the option of not installing or purchasing community made mods and items.

Wow, if that actually happened in Uru the world would probably hear a giant amount of laughter resonating from my area that would reach the house of every canon purist out there. :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 3:43 am 
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Personally, I wouldn't mind bringing some elements from various other games into Uru for improvements. I grew up a gamer, though (with Doom and Myst being the two first games I ever played), so I have a somewhat similar perspective on things there. /shrug

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 5:47 am 
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Dalken Starbyne wrote:
I grew up a gamer, though (with Doom and Myst being the two first games I ever played)


Ditto. 8)

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 1:00 pm 
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Well, I never left the Cavern... still come regularly for the Tsahno's hood 'Story Night', and occasionally to wander when I have free time. BUT, it has been a long while since I did a door run or helped anybody drop a pellet.

Dalken Starbyne wrote:
Personally, I wouldn't mind bringing some elements from various other games into Uru for improvements.


Even excluding things like weapons & 'fps' type adventures, there are still interesting & new things that multiplayer games are doing these days--- that COULD be happening in the online Myst franchise.

I would like nothing more than to have a flexible enough avatar personalization, that we could at least mimic characters from other games, etc. So much of Uru gameplay for long-time players involves things like making new avatars to replay levels, and being social with other players... it'd be nice if we could play around with our looks, and show off new avatar personas.

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I grew up a gamer, though (with Doom and Myst being the two first games I ever played), so I have a somewhat similar perspective on things there. /shrug


LOL way to make me feel old!! First game I ever played? Asteroids, at a movie theater. First multiplayer experience was likely a two-player tank battle on the Atari 2600....

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 1:58 pm 
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Tomala wrote:
It might be a mistake bringing up other games that are not Uru (I'm not even being sarcastic either) in a discussion like this. Every thread I've ever seen where someone mentions Guild Wars, Second Life, or ANYTHING that is not Uru didn't meet proper understanding by people in the community who play Myst games and only Myst games (or anything with the Cyan label). Because when you mention these games they get defensive and think the fans of those "other games" want to completely turn Uru into something EXACTLY like whatever game is being discussed as opposed to just adopting SOME mechanics.


I'm not so sure about that.For any person to play one game and shun all others would be a fairly strange concept to me.

Myst was one of the first games I played when I bought a proper P.C.( Lets not mention the Atari 800xl ) but I also remember Titanic ( didn't like ) Dracula ( even worse ) but medal of honor blew my mind.Fantastic game even if it was a shooter.

Kept my eye out for any Myst game follow ups and I have the lot.I don't think any of us cant appreciate the different games out there.So for people on here to mention other games they've enjoyed isn't out of place but I appreciate your point that to involve elements from other games into Myst just wouldn't be Myst.

Getting back to original point about being in the Cavern,Lets be honest if your not a newbie then the cavern holds no surprises.Dull,dare I say it " Boring ".

I pop in once in a while in the forlorn hope that new ages have magically been created.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:24 pm 
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Rolliko sums up the basic problem of Uru. Uru is beautiful and mysterious. Beautiful is like a photo album of great pictures. You seldom open it and look at the pictures. If one is on the wall, how often do we take time to look at it?

The mysteries once resolved hold little attraction for us. Puzzles once solved are like tedious locks blocking easy passage. It all works well the first time through, but is not good for repetitive play. There is not much to pull people back to Uru once they complete the game.

Whatever magic Uru holds, people want more. I suppose it is like a flavor of ice cream. Those that like it really like it. The game breeds a crowd of dedicated fans. Some think Uru and the Myst series are the only games that do that. The least amount of research shows that is wrong. Ryzom did the same and was eventually purchased by the fans. There are other examples.

Game designers and psychologists are studying games and people to find why they play a game. Uru/Myst has been the subject of several formal studies. The basic goal of many game companies could be phrased as: how do I provide and activity that will keep people coming back and spending money? To that end the game market has grown to US$65 billion (2011). (Ref) That can fund some serious study and provide motivation for gaining understanding.

The general behavior of people here is to decide what they personally like and think adding that to Uru will make it a success. So, if I go with that idea, Uru needs better hair and shoes…

I’ll assume you can see the point I was making with hair and shoes. The idea our personal preferences will turn Uru into a success is pretty silly. It leads to lengthy debates and almost no progress toward understanding what may help improve player retention in Uru. Thus, in the most general terms, most promote their ideas and want others to implement them. The brake on experiments in Uru is the Age Writers and Cyan, the actual doers/givers in the community. They take the ideas they like and move them toward implementation. But, some ideas have been worked out in great detail here and over on Open Uru and may eventually get implemented.

Reading the literature on game development can give people an understanding of what we know works, what has little effect, and what doesn’t work. For instance Chun-Yuen Teng and Lada A. Adamic of the School of Information at the University of Michigan wrote Longevity in Second Life. They were interested in what kept some people in SL and why some left quickly. The data from SL provides the quantity of information needed to make a meaningful study. It is an interesting read, for a scientific paper.

Of course no single ‘thing’ makes a game a success. Some balance of factors is needed. But, without the basic components a game has little chance.

There is also a trend in games. We’ve seen how the social aspect of games is important and growing. The Teng/Adamic explains what that’s about. Fan content and creativity on the part of fans is more and more important. Many free to play games are now an attraction to some type of market where in-game toys and other virtual goods are purchased. So… there is a lot to be learned about what works for the most people.

In Uru we have the complication of keeping the flavor of Uru while adding the missing parts to improve player retention.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Also, remember MOULa is an E10+ rated game. That also severely limits what can and cannot be brought into the game. Any - and all - player content would have to be carefully scrutinized to meet that criteria. That would be overwhelming for a small company like Cyan Worlds.

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 4:34 pm 
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Content that has to be examined before being added is a standard part of the addition process. So, I don't see that as an issue. The community will have tested and debugged content/ages long before it gets to Cyan's attention and possible addition to their shard.

On private shards, those operators are going to have near total control. They will pick and choose what appears on their shards. I suspect Cyan will only ever look at the things shard operators find popular. So, the examination work load is going to be distributed across the community. It won't fall solely on Cyan. They will more or less be picking from a small set of what the community has seen as the best content.

For improving player retention the changes are more conceptual than content oriented. Will chat be changed? Will the entrance point to game change? Will the possibility of more character editing be allowed? Will graphics be updated? Will there be better ways to find friends? Will a means be created to allow the game to generate revenue for Cyan or other shard operators to pay for servers?

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