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 Post subject: Oru Uru
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:03 am 
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Years ago, I read the first of what turned into a series of great science fiction novels. I eagerly devoured each one and waited with great anticipation for the next one in the series. But then it stopped, although there were rumors that the author was going to start it up again, or maybe that fans would be allowed to continue it. Meanwhile, we continued to reread and re-reread the books, that was the only thing we could do . . .

But then some other people came along and showed all of us readers how to take the pages of the books and turn them into interesting things - origami! We took our favorite chapters and made intricate birds and animals and objects . . .

It was fun for awhile, but we all wondered - were we ever going to get the next chapter?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:50 pm 
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I like this thread.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:09 pm 
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Great metaphor. :D

/me wonders what's behind the curtain.....

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:09 pm 
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I don't believe Zardoz is suggesting that there is anything hidden in the files for the Grey Hats to reveal, and even if there was, I don't think he cares to have more visuals just for the sake of seeing them. He's asking for story. The question is, who is he asking and in what form? Cyan as game developers? The Grey Hats utilizing their limited resources at the moment? The Grey Hats to work with player storytellers? Or, is he suggesting that Cyan take the next step towards Open Source and make it so that the Grey Hats can begin bringing player-created ages to MOULa?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:24 am 
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My own opinion is that Cyan will never finish the story. You have to remember that Uru does not really turn a profit, and Cyan is a company that has to stay afloat in a competitive industry. As I've said before, Cyan's priorities, in order, are:

1. Create iPod stuff.
2. Make it 1994 again, through science or magic.
3. Magiquest
4. Everything else
5. Uru

So, for that reason, I don't think we'll ever see the official "next chapter", much as I would like to. If Cyan ever gets around to fully open-sourcing Uru as they've promised (at this point I'm no longer even certain that will happen), we might see some pretty interesting fan-stories, but even those may not be successful given that many fans are not interested in anything having to do with Myst if it is not "official".

Maybe I'm being overly pessimistic, though.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:53 am 
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Does "the ending can never truly be written" mean anything to you people???

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:37 am 
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The "official story" is one way to look at Uru, as it it with all games that tell a story. It's not the only way.

Uru is not all that story driven, if you ask me. Uru has an interesting backstory, the D'ni, restoration. Yeesha and the Bahro -- I liked them, all the other members of the restoration, not so much. And gameplay didn't drive story all that much. Particularly in the recent incarnations of online Uru, it seemed like solving the puzzles gave you nothing in terms of story. I think that story, as Zardoz calls it, was and was not a part of Uru. The live events in particular, they just felt tacked on to me. Also, as we know, online worlds are always about more than the official story. There's some debate out there on whether games are even a good medium to tell story, particularly online multiplayer games -- but I digress. That's for a different discussion.

Whatever the opinion on Uru's story and backstory, the story and the backstory are finished, done, complete. There is no continuation of story or backstory. It's done.

So -- what to do? One thing to do might be to not play the game, because the story is done. The other thing to do might be to replay the ages as they exist. Both are responses to the static nature of Uru.

The other thing to do, something that happens in most virtual worlds -- you continue via two things, fan fiction and your experiences in the game. That's what the player driven stories are -- and that's the setting for what the Hood of Illusions and the Fun hood do-- we use Uru to have our own experiences, tell our own stories. Some of the stories may just be "look what fun thing happened in the hood last night". That's one story. Some may have more of a fictional narrative component. Uru, particularly the Hood of Illusions and the Fun Hood - that's the setting for our experiences, our stories.

All games always have you as the center of your story, what happened to you, the player, apart from any overarching world story or backstory. This is core to the experience. It's what makes it a game and not a novel or a movie. In Uru that's all we have left -- what happens to you, the player. Since nothing else continues (there is no new official story), I think it makes sense for the backdrop of our personal stories, our personal experiences, to change, so that we can have new experiences, new personal stories. That's a good way for Uru to continue.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:32 am 
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mszv wrote:
Whatever the opinion on Uru's story and backstory, the story and the backstory are finished, done, complete. There is no continuation of story or backstory. It's done.


I am not entirely certain what you mean here. If you mean simply that we will never see any more of the Uru story, then I agree with you--at least, I think it highly unlikely that we will. If, however, you mean that the story has reached a logical conclusion and stopping point, I have to disagree.

Yeesha made it very clear that her solution--leading the Bahro away from the cavern--was only temporary, and that destruction was still coming. Watson also made it clear that a viable way to end the Bahro war has not yet been found, and so it is important for us to Write Ages and explore them, looking for anything to end the war or at least protect ourselves. The central conflict and problem of the story has NOT been resolved, at least not more than temporarily.

Furthermore, there are still too many mysteries IMHO. We still don't know the nature of the cave that Wheely found, or the purpose of the Minkata symbol, which has appeared and disappeared mysteriously in various places and which seems to have an unknown meaning.

To say that the story of Uru has reached an ending is like saying that the television series Flash Forward reached an ending, or that The Brothers Karamazov brings all elements of the story to a logical resolution, or that the game series Gabriel Knight and The Longest Journey came to a conclusion. Like all of these things, the story of Uru was clearly intended to go further, but did not due to material circumstances.

Uru's story did not end, it merely stopped early.

Nevertheless I agree that the proper direction for fans is to create and participate in new stories. Of course, it will be difficult to garner an audience for these stories until Cyan officially authorizes full open-source.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:46 am 
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Carl Palmner wrote:
Nevertheless I agree that the proper direction for fans is to create and participate in new stories. Of course, it will be difficult to garner an audience for these stories until Cyan officially authorizes full open-source.

Zardoz's post points to this. At least, in my world view it does. I'm curious about what exactly the community and the world will do with open source, and how we'll do it, in terms of not making "Oru Uru" the last act but the means to something more after the novelty wears off like toys a week after Christmas. The software is only a start.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:30 pm 
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I've got some good story ideas (at least, I think they're good), but I'm waiting to implement them for full open-source. There are just too few people on the UU-based shards to try anything there.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:28 pm 
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Carl, all I meant was that the official story was done. Of course you can tell stories in the game universe -- it's an open ended world. What you end up with, though, is fan fiction, which is fine with me.

Zardoz will have to say what he means, but I don't think he thinks of open source as the next chapter. Open source is a way for fans to tell stories -- there is no "official" story continuing.

Now, I'm not in the head of Zardoz. Did I get it wrong?

In my ideal world, we'd also have story being driven by gameplay. That doesn't seem to be a thing around here, but we'll see.

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Last edited by mszv on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:30 pm 
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I don't believe we can say without a doubt that the official storyline is done. We know Uru is beloved by Cyan, and if Yahvo were to smile down on them with a cash windfall, you know they'd jump right back in. But, that aside, the way they left it was with an intentional and concerted effort to open the way for player-created ages and fan fiction to flourish. Now, IMO, or maybe it's just IMFW (in my fantasy world), there's always a chance that Cyan will return to Uru and, if good UCC has been produced in the interim, they'll incorporate it into their storyline.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:21 pm 
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Ditto what Tai'lahr said, although I am much less optimistic that Cyan will ever finish the story.

msv--right, the point I was making is that Cyan's story was still incomplete when they had to stop telling it. I doubt we'll see more, but this is because external factors have prevented Cyan from finishing the story, not because the story reached a logical ending point.

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