It is currently Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:39 pm

All times are UTC




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 38 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:34 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:47 am
Posts: 9
Location: Madrid, Spain
First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Damián Vila. You can call me Demian, or D'mian :)
I've played Cyan games since Myst was released for the Macintosh. I've also read the novels. I took part of the Myst Online beta (I subscribed to these forums then), but never played the final Gametap version because I got hooked to another MMO called Eve Online. I've been playing Eve since then.

I recently realized that Gametap pulled the plug on Myst Online and that Cyan Worlds was going to be in charge of it.
Then I read this article about Myst online that kept me thinking about it.

One of the main problems I think this game had is that it takes a lot of effort to push quality content from the developers to the players on a regular basis. Cyan is now trying to give tools to the players so they can generate part of the content. That's truly great, though I don't know how well that will work.

Then I tried to thougt about something to keep the game interesting, while giving the users the power to add content but in an easy way. I thought about what made the game I play (Eve) interesting and tried to add some of my thoughts to a reasonable (but highly impossible) solution (I'll explain why its impossible later.)
Eve has an economy that keeps it interesting. Much of the game id about getting ways to generate money and dominating parts of the available space. An economy is a central part of a MMO game, so resources and trade goods are a necessity. Myst Online needs this, I believe.

The first question you have to make yourself is: what would you like to do as a Myst series player?
I have two answers for that: Visit ages and writing ages to visit. The "visits ages" is easy :)
I want to concentrate on the "write ages to visit".
The only way I believe that this could be possible is through procedural programming (much like the game Spore.)

Imagine this: you start at the D'ni cave (or at the Cleft, it doesn't really matter.) You just discovered this civilization and want to take part of its reconstruction (much like Gehn). This civilization needs resources. These resources are inside books. At the start of the game there are just a bunch of public books (the ones found that work) with ages all the population can use to get basic resources. Anybody in the game can go to this ages, grab things from there (that respawn at set intervals) and bring that back to D'ni. Then you give those resources to NPCs (that are part of NP guilds) that gives you some kind of credits. When you have enough credits you can buy goods to other NP guilds. The main goods are blank books and D'ni linking books (the ones used to go back to D'ni) but there should be more goods to buy, like furniture, etc.
You can do this alone or form guilds with another player to advance faster in the game.
So, now comes the difficult part.

In order to have more resources, you may write books.
Yes, I said "write books".
How?
Well, the idea is this.
The programers define a set of procedural rules to write ages. This rules are called by "writing" symbols on blank books.
Like other MMO games, you have skills. One of these skills is the skill of writing linking books.
As you advance in this skill, you get to know more "symbols" and more rules to combine them.
For example, the first symbol taught to you could be "sky". Then "earth", then "above" and "below". Then "soil", "volcanic", "weather", "rainy", etc. You get the idea.

So once you know the basics you can start writing a book. It would be by trial and error, combining words and see what comes out of it. Once you write a book, the procedural engine generates the age, and then you can link to it (of course, with a link-back book, otherwise you'll be trapped!)
Depending on how you combined the words, the age could be a stable and usable one or an ustable age, completely worthless. The stable ones are for you to keep (you can even expand those as you learn more D'ni words.) The unstable ones must be returned to a NP guild to be destroyed (but remember to take notes about what you do wright and wrong for future reference.)
In order to create a stable and productive age you must give a very precise description of that age. Make a mistake and you ruin its balance.

So, you'll have to keep buying blank books and keep learning words, to have more private ages available. You can even sell stable ages' books to other players if you wish, among the resources you get from your ages and the ones you buy from NP guilds, thus creating a market.
In that way, the programmers only need to generate the basic logic and building blocks (digital assets), and the users will be the ones generating content in an easy way. If they create a new object with a new set of rules (like how to build a cottage), they put new words to learn.
An added element of difficulty could be that every basic age might have some kind of unstability that you have to learn how to control.

The bad thing about this idea is that a procedural engine to power such a game is an extremely difficult thing to program. It could take many years of development (look at Spore!)

But I believe that this would be the ultimate Myst Online. One where the players would be able to write ages and visit them. And the ultimate goal would be to posses as many ages as you can, becoming a wealthy D'ni citizen.

I'd like to hear your opinions about this. Regards.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:35 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 2633
Whilst I have no interesting in becoming a rich D'ni with lots of Ages, Age writing already exists for Uru.

However due to the complicated process of actually creating an Age, the mechanism that you have described will probably not happen, a lot of people have been asking for an in game mechanism for writing Ages.

Personally I'd rather the Ages be difficult to make, means people will put the time and effort into creating them and the work will look better for it, rather than having random ages created on the fly.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:24 pm 
Offline
Creative Kingdoms

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 8:06 pm
Posts: 6227
Location: Everywhere, all at once
One of the enemies of success is saying no to possibilities.

Upon first encountering the word "economy" in the OP, I assumed money would be involved, and the tone of such discussions in the past have been predictably naysaying. But this idea makes books and learning, or merit and success, the economy. I like that. I also like the use of NPCs much more than live events for story progression - another common discussion here. That's another design win.

But as I stated, one of the enemies of success is saying no to possibilities. I'm afraid you will find that vocal members of the community would rather say no on their uncompromising principles of a utopian vision and cast away Uru for good rather than see their ideals compromised in a successful Uru. I would point to the topic of advertising and the use of unimaginative fears of its worst-case abuse in discussions as an example.

The greatest challenge to this idea might be that when access to content production is free (in cost - not in time and effort however) for anyone to make via the release of the plugin, it will short-circuit such an economy. User Created Content (UCC) is what's coming, so how would you allow and incorporate that without hindrance?

_________________
OpenUru.org: An Uru Project Resource Site : Twitter : Make a commitment.
Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:59 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:47 am
Posts: 9
Location: Madrid, Spain
JWPlatt wrote:
The greatest challenge to this idea might be that when access to content production is free (in cost - not in time and effort however) for anyone to make via the release of the plugin, it will short-circuit such an economy. User Created Content (UCC) is what's coming, so how would you allow and incorporate that without hindrance?


Thanks!
Well, already created ages could be treated as finished stable books. If done by Cyan, those are public books. If done by a user, private books. Much like in the novels. While public books are resources for all kind of players, a private library is managed by the creator of that age. He/She can grant/deny access to the age. And if I'm not wrong this doesn't go against the plans for MORE.
I'll re-read the novels to see if I can shape this idea a little. :)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:35 pm
Posts: 710
One thing that would really help, would be to have things that could be done, when there is no content. Once again, I think this would be aided by deciding how instancing should work, and solidifying it. I am also once again suggesting that there should be multiple versions of various ages. One version would be a historical one, where people could still explore and take their journeys. The other versions would be dynamic versions that could be restored. I think that if people could possibly go on boat rides, explore virtual shops in the currently abandoned buildings, view exhibits, read plaques about various historical sites, hang out in working pubs, stay current on cavern events via various imagers, then I think that there would be a lot of replay value, even if there weren't any new ages to explore.

I know that many people don't like the idea of commerce within URU. I know that I have apprehensions of URU becoming like Second Life, if in game commercialism isn't kept in check. However, maybe it could work to people's satisfaction, if it was sufficiently isolated from the adventuristic gameplay. Maybe, there should be a surface interface (website of some sort), where people could exchange real currency for in-game currency. Maybe, there could also be a DTM (D'ni to M'ni) machine somewhere in Ae'gura. While it wouldn't have to be used for swords, shields, and armor, maybe, there could be small souvenir stands with T-shirts & schtuff around the outskirts of the library.

I still think that it might be cool to have an in-game DRC office, where people could get more information, buy souvenirs, and link to the cavern. This could keep commerce completely seperate from the cavern. Maybe, there could be some premium events where people could use currency, though. It would be nice to have the boats and dock repaired. You wouldn't necessarily need currency to add replay value to the game, but it could open up some possibilities. I also think it could be done in a way that it doesn't seem intrusive. Maybe, we could be allowed to carry more items, like some of the newer Myst games. Maybe, we could buy maps at an information table. As clever as the firefly puzzle is, maybe having alternate solutions to a puzzle should be considered. Maybe, we could be allowed to buy flashlights...

Here's the point of all this. Anything that we add to the game will require some work, whether it's new ages, or sections to the cavern. I think it might be worthwhile to invest in the cavern, and see if there might be ways to make it more interesting, and have repeatable activities to do there. For most journey ages, there's not much to do once the riddle or puzzle is solved. If there were things to do in the meantime though, it would take the pressure of coming out with new ages every week off. Consider that when URU was active, even though people knew the limitations we were operating under, I heard complaints about content within a week of something new being released. Having new ages might not be enough for some people, unless there's something else to keep those people occupied. Have a way to exit the pod in Neghilian, then have some targets set up for archery. (Once "the predator" has been taken care of)

Just a thought

_________________
Image
Proud member of "Bahro for the Ethical Treatment of Adventurers" (Beta)
Maybe, there's
Gathered Restorers Awaiting To Explore For URU Lives


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:08 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 4:19 pm
Posts: 1161
Well, the thing that are needed to make more a succes : thrust , respect, freedom

The first point, well, we as comunity members have to thrust each other. We won't get anywhere we we spend our time fighting. Cyan need to thrust us too.

We are differants peaple, with differants idea on how the game should be made. Because you yourself don't like someting, dosn't mean it shoudn't be done. IC don't meam there should be no occ, having a system to make ages ingame don't exlude the possibility of doing things the hard way. And so on...

And if we content, that will only be achived by letting people do what they want. Let them test around how things work. saying such things as "all more ages should be Cyan quality" is the best way to kill more. While it would be nice to have a server with only quality contant, it shouldn't exlude the possibility of having other servers with more freedom.

_________________
MOUL ki : Ewilan : #07497427
MOULagain ki : Will tell if i manage to get in someday.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:18 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:41 am
Posts: 33
Location: Aachen, Germany
This thread is a bit old, but I was thinking of the Age viewer in Rime. You could change parameters which would change features of the shown age: Change season (snow), change sea level, change tree density (if I remember it right). Procedural terrain and procedural trees are established technology, so I don't consider it too far fetched to create ages, at least the natural part, automatically by "writing" the parameters of the Age. Developing this procedural age generator once and well and supplying a texture set for it would take an immense load off Age writers who could then concentrate on features like buildings and other D'ni made objects, which seem to be much easier to create for people inexperienced with 3d modeling.

_________________
Image 272 924


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:19 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:06 am
Posts: 28
Bah'tahm wrote:
This thread is a bit old, but I was thinking of the Age viewer in Rime. You could change parameters which would change features of the shown age: Change season (snow), change sea level, change tree density (if I remember it right). Procedural terrain and procedural trees are established technology, so I don't consider it too far fetched to create ages, at least the natural part, automatically by "writing" the parameters of the Age.

That sounds more along the lines of age modification, rather than creation. Seems like a great idea tho, for a Rime-like age to be developed for Uru. It would be interesting to be in an age and see the changes you mentioned above occur before your eyes.


Bah'tahm wrote:
Developing this procedural age generator once and well and supplying a texture set for it would take an immense load off Age writers who could then concentrate on features like buildings and other D'ni made objects, which seem to be much easier to create for people inexperienced with 3d modeling.

A user-friendly Age Writer, I would have to say, would be hard to develop. If you have experience in 3D modeling, that's another thing, but most of us don't have the knowledge or experience. Sure we can imagine it, but sitting down and modeling an entire age is another thing all together. If it ever happens, then that's great. But, it would probably be a template-driven system. So, you would have Ages with the same kind of buildings and landscapes. But, as I said if someone creates such a program that would be very exciting, but unfortunately it's not very realistic :/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:21 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:14 pm
Posts: 902
Actually, proceedural content has been proven to be possible.. And *VERY* much usable in the sense of "Uru Ages" or, more correctly, things that are remarkably similar.

And, no it would not be template-driven at all.

I'll go look up some references on such techniques, and post them here.

Proceedural content is a very real possibility.

And, possibly, one of the best ideas I've heard for future developments of Uru, I have ever heard.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 11:27 pm
Posts: 963
Alls I know, Demian, is that I've suggested something similar billions of times. :D

...no one listens to me.


~Joey "The Downtrodden" Pete-za-pie

_________________
"What you still don't understand you have failed to hear or don't need to know..."~Yeesha


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 3:12 pm
Posts: 2190
Location: Houston
It's a great idea, but the resources are not there to get it done yet. :wink:

For a standard Garden Age you could very easily generate the entire Age procedurally off a Page or so of text, but that doesn't even hint at the amount of back end work involved. A fractal landscape generator can have a half dozen rules and variables tied to your choice of vocabulary, the same goes for water, trees, and bushes.

Everything except the water however in Uru is done in a way that is fundamentally un-procedural by the fans.

there is still room for growth, and work to be done.

_________________
Waymet


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:19 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 2633
Well water is kind of done by the fans, you need to specify where it goes, create the mesh for it, code the waveset script assign the values for the water you want, colour etc.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:59 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:24 pm
Posts: 255
I think there could be an unconnected Age Creation program that could be at least superficially procedural (D'ni and book themed, a lot of emphasis on writing D'ni symbols) and easy for inexperienced players to make Ages (which could then be made more unique in Blender, etc.). However, I think a procedural in-game Age Creation process could not create unique detailed worlds while still remaining immersive and user friendly.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:35 pm
Posts: 710
I kinda picture a terrain generator with an interface that looks a little bit like an open book graphic. There would be some word recognition technology built in -- like is found in various scanner programs. One could write "Let there be light", for instance. If the book is finalized at that point, one might be linked to a Star-fissure type of place. Perhaps, this could be the result of anything the generator didn't understand. After falling through the fissure, one would wind up at the cleft, if one did not have a Relto book. One would panic-link to Relto, if equipped.

Maybe, like the neighborhoods, there could be various features, and styles of landscapes that could be turned on or off, and be triggered, somehow, depending on certain keywords encountered. The result of this wouldn't be anything special, but it would be stable, and more or less unique. They could be based on a library of already constructed random maps. Maybe, these could then become an explorer's starting age, if he or she wished. In this way, people with no programing experience could do something, yet it wouldn't eliminate the need for more experienced writers.

just a suggestion

_________________
Image
Proud member of "Bahro for the Ethical Treatment of Adventurers" (Beta)
Maybe, there's
Gathered Restorers Awaiting To Explore For URU Lives


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:43 am
Posts: 6
Location: Idaho, US
While I agree that an in-game economy would be a good idea, I also think that the idea behind URU and the MYST series in a whole is about the story and the puzzles, if it was only about the economy and how rich you could get I would not enjoy playing it. I think that as a society of fans we need to come together and build a storyline/plan for creating URU the way fans want it to be but also we have to realize that Cyan is taking a big step in giving us that ability and we need to stick to a good portion of what they had in mind for URU and MYST in the first place. Also I agree that making Ages should be hard, so that they are done well, but at the same time, I am a good programmer but as far as the graphics go I am not so sure. So we need a method to where we can work as a team to create ages or we won't get anywhere.

_________________
~Nauntilus

www.dniworlds.com

Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 38 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron