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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:33 am 
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i too tried SL, and it was....ok. But not worth the subscription price.

Actually, it's free to play. Which now that I think about it, is probably the main reason it's so popular. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:37 am 
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It's pretty late, my brain is off, so I apologize if this is basically unreadable. :)

I've found a good article that manages to completely mangle the point of MOUL... Kami Harbinger's review of Uru Live.

Comparing Uru to Second Life is like comparing Boing Boing to Wikipedia.

As much as I disagree with K. Harbinger's very negative review, I think it can be reconstructed into a good critique of MOUL.

So let's take this seriously. What can SL learn from MOUL and vice versa? The MOUL vs. SL issue is political in a lot of ways. Autocracy and libertarianism, respectively. Each has pros and cons.

MOUL's autocratic governance works great for a game with a story that needs to be cohesive. The storytellers need to keep control over what's going on to make sure they can back up the story with playable content. It lets them pull unexpected twists and "tint" new areas with backstory and energy, to make them scary, intriguing, awesome, homey, etc. Unfortunately, it leaves a lot to be desired... it's difficult to integrate yourself on a personal level into the story in a permanent way beyond showing up for in-game events.

SL's libertarian ideal of little-to-no-governance is great for personal expression and freedom of speech. It lets you be who or what you want to be. It's the transhuman ideal, the Metaverse in Snow Crash. It's laissez-faire capitalism. But it's noisy, it's information overload... and if you aren't willing or able to shell out cash, it can be extremely uninviting. It's extremely individual, there's no collective vision or consistency. There isn't even any consistency to the inconsistency.

It's difficult living in either system, unless you're particularly attuned to either one... Especially an autocracy. Or, I guess in Cyan's case, it's more of an auteur-cracy.

MOUL, I believe, is trying to move toward a mix of both. Rand Miller's insistence on integrating user-created Ages eventually is the tip of the iceberg, the climax of an infrastructure that they're trying to create.

There's two sides to Myst Online and what makes it seem autocratic right now is that we're only seeing the one side. We're watching a play happen, and there's not much we can do about it besides talk during the intermissions. The side we're seeing is the overarching plot side. What we're not seeing a lot of is OUR side, because the infrastructure isn't there.

That infrastructure is the very same one that SL is almost exclusively constructed upon. That is what's missing from MOUL currently. Some ability to integrate our side of the story in a similar way to the manner Cyan is implementing their side of the story. And it should be done in some way that would ensure not only a lack of competition or confusion between the two stories, but instead instill a synergy that would allow the combination of player contributions and Cyan Worlds content and storytelling to play off each other to maximum effect.

I think that's what Myst Online could learn from Second Life.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:47 am 
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Location: Canberra, Australia
I tried playing SL, and this was my initial experience:

I install it, and start it up. A lot of lag, and people standing around me, naked. I try to customize my avatar, and am met with 2 million counter-intuitive controls that don't save unless I press a special hidden button. I'm then greeted in semi-english 'Hlo thr nb'. I try to jump over something, and I'm flying? Ads everywhere, naked people everywhere. Nobody could help me when I asked a few times about basic things like avatar customization and the general community.

I think everyone remembers their first experiences in Uru, which explains exactly why I chose Uru over SL. Plus, I've been hooked on the entire Myst universe since I was first handed a copy of Myst: Masterpiece Edition when I was a kid.

There's no way to compare :)

-Ladon


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:53 am 
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I couldn't believe that review by Kami. Wow, could one be more negative perhaps, if you stubbed your toe, and had your dog die just before writing it? Maybe, just maybe. :roll:

That's the trouble with reviews on the internet. Everybody can write exactly what they think. It's the source behind the keyboard and do you trust them is the important thing, in my mind ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:25 pm 
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Purely personal comments, and some info, not about Uru Live, just info.
-------------------

It's not political, it's a simple statement of the different things people like to do in an online world. People also don't divide up neatly into one box or another - sometimes people like to do different things at different times.

Second Life is not a game, though there are games in it. It's an environment for creating something. It's a virtual sandbox. What's amazing about Second Life is that you own your stuff - your intellectual property, your IP. That's why you see companies setting up shop in second life, virtual meetings (not all the spaces are public), architects showing floor plans, that sort of thing. There's a bunch of classes taught in Second Life, including some game design stuff. There's also a lot of porn.

Here are some good links - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration site in Second Life. You can experience a Tsunami
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Meteroa/178/161/26

A nice link on the Second Life page about business and education.
http://secondlife.com/businesseducation

I think the biggest issue with Second Life is being able to find the good stuff. And, obviously, it's best if you like to make stuff - that's the whold point of it. I'll have to look around and see if there are any out of game guides that provide some good info on what's available in Second Life. It's like being in a city. Sometimes you want to wander around, and sometimes you want to know - "where are the good art galleries, the good movie theaters? Where are the good shops? Where can I find like minded people to interact with? Are there some fun games to play and where are they?". I've seen print magazines on Second Life, but I don't know of any good online guides. And, as I said before, the whole point of Second Life is making stuff, and seeing what others made. If making stuff for an online world is not your thing (everybody make stuff - but not everyone likes to make stuff in a virtual space) - then Second Life is probably not for you.

Uru Live is an online game, like World of Warcraft, Eve Online, Tale in the Desert, Ryzom, I could go on. There is structured gameplay. It has nothing to do with politics, unless you consider games (board games, card games, sports, racing games) to be particularly political. Some games have more open ended gameplay than others. Some are more structured. Many online games are very customizable, and you have a lot of choices with regards to how you look, equipment, what you collect, what you make in game (from a selection, not open ended), and gameplay, what you do in a game. Some gameplay is goal oriented, some not so much.

On being able to make your own stuff in a game - that's never been a feature of previous solo player Cyan games. As a contrast, think of the Sims, which is all about your own stuff. For more structured gameplay, think of Bethsesda - Morrowind and Oblivion. Bethesda releases the mod tools right with the game.

On creating your own content in an online game, well, there's both customization and content creation. Some games are highly customizable. You don't look like everyone else in the game, and, in the way you make your choices, your gameplay experience will be different from other people. MMOs such as World of Warcraft are all about player choices, but some might argue that gameplay gets repetitive. On Cyan's Uru Live, I think it's too early to tell what gameplay is going to be like, in the future - personal opinion only. I have no insider information. I just mod here.

On content creation in an online game - I only know of one MMO on the market that does this - Ryzom. Here's the link
http://www.ryzom.com/ryzom-ring . It's an amazing addition to the game. That's what so interesting. Games where you make your own content tend to have that as part of the design. It doesn't seem to be something you slap on after the fact.

I'm tempted to play Ryzom, but I can barely keep up with Uru Live - maybe in the summer.

On Robyn Miller's comments on Second Life - just too prove that I'm no apologist for Cyan (they can stand on their own, I don't need to speak for them!) - those are literally the worst comments I've ever read on Second Life. What the heck was he thinking? Gee - wow - he is so very, very wrong.

It is a pity that Kam Harbinger doesn't like Uru Live - I would have liked seeing her in the cavern. I actually liked the review, though I didn't agree with it, if that makes sense.

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Last edited by mszv on Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:34 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:03 pm 
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SL and Uru cannot be compared. A forced comparison is simply unfair. I know both ones (I'm in SL since the fall of Uru Prologue, although not at all a heavy user, for me it is not second life but only a good place for excursions occasionally). The aims of the two games are very different. I cannot agree with those who express their negative opinion on SL after 1-2 hours of roaming there. Uru's user interface is very primitive compared to that of SL, even the use of the KI can be learned in a few minutes. To master SL you need weeks. Yes weeks, if you want to build your own palace or turbojet or a working replica of the London Eye. Uru has a ready and fixed environment, graphically beautiful, but you can't modify it. In SL the residents build and form everything, it is constantly downloaded and refreshed, therefore its graphic must be simpler. Etc... etc.

Briefly, I like both Uru and SL. But I like them differently because they are very different.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:51 am 
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Uru's user interface is very primitive compared to that of SL, even the use of the KI can be learned in a few minutes. To master SL you need weeks.

A simple interface that can be used with little practice isn't necessarily more "primitive" than a complicated one that's harder to use. In fact, I would say it's the other way around.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:35 pm 
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It will be interesting to see what similarities might spring up between SL and MOUL when we get some age creation tools. How long before someone decides to put up ads? The idea of such a thing in a myst game is slightly shocking to me.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:37 pm 
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I really don't think that we'll be seeing anything SLish in URU just because of Age Creation tools (definetly not ads). Other then URU, the only other online environment I like is THERE. Unlike second life all new content has to be approved by a THERE employee, along with guidelines of what is acceptable and what isn't (minimum coverage with cloths and now copywrited or advertisements of products without permission from the copywrite holders)
Although I have to agree, you can't compare URU, an online game, with SL or THERE, an online environment. They have completely different models and goals. It's like comparing a religion with a football club, both have a dedicated following and there are some parallels. but further then that they can only be compared within their own groups (one religion with another, one football club with another)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:30 pm 
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ToriaURU wrote:
This is a blog entry on ZDNet

Blogs @ ZDNet.com


This is truely the most uninformed piece of trash I have ever read. You can't compare SL and Myst. Myst is a game, SL is a social networking platform. There is no storyline in SL, although you can build storylines (aka roleplay areas) using the platform (i.e Toxia, Dark City, etc.) As an SL resident who makes a sizeable chunk of $$ there, I can see how some folks going into SL would be disappointed if they were expecting an open-ended game, but the SL train passed that station 2 years ago.

Those of us who are passionate about Web 2.0 (and 3.0) see the economic potiental of social networking models, but this dude doesn't have a clue if he thinks he can compare SL to a game.


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