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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Faewn wrote:

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- The piece of the hand someone collects should count for everyone currently in that age rather than having to collect each individually that way it feels more like a team effort and no time is wasted with trying to remember who has pressed what already and everyone having to wait in line to press a tapestry.


On this point I have a big objection! I don't want to be forced to change a cloth link in my own age because someone else invited me in their age and touched a cloth while I was there that differs from the one I had last touched in my age.

This is just ridiculous.

There are a lot of explorers that are using these "shortcut" links extensively in their own personal ages.

Let's say you have register the 7th cloth of Kadish Tolesa and now you are forced to live with the 1st cloth near the 1st scope in starting forest! You've lost 10 minutes. In Er'cana, too. In Ahnonay, you want to grill both...the guy who forced you to have the 1st sphere cloth active & the crabs. Ohhh... and you've lost 20 minutes to do the whole turning spheres & volvogonda ride processes :?

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For the other points you submitted, my opinions are generally the same as the previous posters.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 11:57 pm 
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johnsojc wrote:
Gehn (Guild of Writers) is the cutting edge of upgrading the engine to more modern software and is not as fully functional as Cyan's shard, MOULa. Using a newer version of Python has caused a few glitches here and there in the part of the game no one may touch due to license restrictions.

The lack of functionality is mostly the result of using a server which doesn't fully implement a few small but frequently-used parts of the game. The long-term plan is to implement them correctly, instead of the current insecure, unreliable hybrid method used by MOULa. The client code used on Gehn is (at this time) still fully compatible with MOULa. Gehn's server is the thing that's incomplete in this regard. ;) The Blue Spiral garden games have been entirely rewritten on Gehn with this in mind, and as devs find time we'll be doing this with the remaining non-functioning games (quabs, markers, etc.).

The updates in Python are irrelevant. Any significant bugs in updating to Python2.7 were worked out last year when that conversion happened right after the source release.

Faewn wrote:
If there is anything I can do to help improve the game I'd be happy to help test things, I might not be a game developer but I have had experience creating environment (gtkradiant), models (3dsmax) and textures (photoshop & shaders) for some games I previously played and website design (photoshop, html) though when it comes to programming I'm pretty clueless and I'm hardly an expert on these things.

There are lots of places for coders and non-coders to help. Feel free to post over on the GoW forum about helping out, or look for people asking for help. Things are a bit slow over there recently, art-wise, but you may also be interested in making your own Ages. People with your skill set are always needed for that.

Joey Zoonishii wrote:
Umm, seriously, I sat in those pods hoping for a chance to glimpse... well, anything, and I never even saw one of those animules.

Yeah... that was a pain. :(

Joey Zoonishii wrote:
o_o Jus' sayin'... Uru is great, it's just that the concept of how this whole thing could be a grand multiplayer experience was rather ambitious...

o_o Truthfully, I just think Uru needed less emphasis on creating an experience for people who take up cryptography as a hobby. Not that there's anything wrong with being smart like that, it's just that you have to admit it's a small, small, small niche.

I think Uru has a little bit of everything for everyone, which is nice. That's not to say I don't think some of it has some important design flaws...

But if there's one thing Uru has it's variety (at least within the expectations of the larger genre).

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 12:25 am 
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Deledrius wrote:
Faewn wrote:
If there is anything I can do to help improve the game I'd be happy to help test things, I might not be a game developer but I have had experience creating environment (gtkradiant), models (3dsmax) and textures (photoshop & shaders) for some games I previously played and website design (photoshop, html) though when it comes to programming I'm pretty clueless and I'm hardly an expert on these things.

There are lots of places for coders and non-coders to help. Feel free to post over on the GoW forum about helping out, or look for people asking for help. Things are a bit slow over there recently, art-wise, but you may also be interested in making your own Ages. People with your skill set are always needed for that.


Yes indeed! You could always work on Age design. Things are currently locked into a tight Age development system, where Ages can only be built in 3dsMax because the export plugin has not yet been ported to the Blender 3D modeling program. If you're interested in that then be all means check out the Guild of Writers website to get started.

If you want to stick close to playing the original game though, then just do that. We never want to force/trick/entice people into doing such things if they don't want to.

Joey Zoonishii wrote:
...so the game became nothing but pretty much having a small cadre of geniuses figuring everything out the day it was released, and then the solutions just trickled down because they were too complex for anyone else to figure out...

...making the game a tiresome series of just going through the motions that someone else devised. It really was kind of dull for me.


Welcome to the world of a typical MMO game. There were people who completed WoW: Cataclysm within hours of getting it installed. Crazy stuff, I know; it sounds impossible to me, and I'm a Myst player! :)

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 12:37 am 
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Heh, good point. For whatever group of players a game has, there will always be the "hardcore" one (which is defined entirely differently for each audience ;) ).

The pods were more of an intentional GroupThink puzzle, I think. (I hope) Much like how the lake lighting is intended to be a GroupAction puzzle. Both involve large-team cooperation, just in very different ways.

That doesn't change that, as places, the pods were mostly devoid of anything but those puzzles. Everything else in there were just red herrings.

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 12:56 am 
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Joey Zoonishii wrote:
o_o Honestly, in Uru Live on GameTap, I found that the multi-player experience wasn't good because the puzzles were created for smart, tedious people who would actually sit in a pod for 50+ hours and figure out that time thing.

Umm, seriously, I sat in those pods hoping for a chance to glimpse... well, anything, and I never even saw one of those animules.

Not that I have a problem with smart, tedious people, but it's just that what happened with that is that smart people figured out the puzzle, and dumb people like me couldn't (and gosh, I got through Riven without any cheating at all, so I ain't that dumb)... so the game became nothing but pretty much having a small cadre of geniuses figuring everything out the day it was released, and then the solutions just trickled down because they were too complex for anyone else to figure out...

...making the game a tiresome series of just going through the motions that someone else devised. It really was kind of dull for me.

Don't mean to make a big deal out of this, or to be a downy-clowny, but yeah.

Otherwise, the multiplayer bug stuff is just that... bugs that could be fixed, but there was a more fundamental flaw underneath technical glitches.

o_o Jus' sayin'... Uru is great, it's just that the concept of how this whole thing could be a grand multiplayer experience was rather ambitious...

o_o Truthfully, I just think Uru needed less emphasis on creating an experience for people who take up cryptography as a hobby. Not that there's anything wrong with being smart like that, it's just that you have to admit it's a small, small, small niche.


~Joey "Sir Dumbsalot" Deadhorsebeat


You sir are getting dangerously close to the unacceptable truths about why Uru hasn't fared well commercially.

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Well I tried both the Gehn and Minkata shard's (which nobody seems to be playing), I don't really see or notice any differences between those versions and the normal game. Nor can I really seem to find a clear list that tells me exactly what's different about each of them.

I was hoping to notice a bigger difference and perhaps (one can but dream) more ages but perhaps I'm just missing it all. Would've hoped to see some big improvements but I guess some of such technical issues would be hard to notice. From what I can gather people been working on these projects for a long time but I don't really see the results?


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 10:58 pm 
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I would hazard to guess that most of the work being done is simply fixing a large crop of bugs that have plagued the game for years. Many of the improvements are so subtle that, if you didn't know to look for them, you would never see them,

Perhaps some more knowledgeable about what's being done could chime in.


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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 12:00 am 
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I'm sorry I missed that bit about shard differences. :)

On Gehn Shard, you'll find many custom fixes. Most of them are "Under the Hood" for now, but you'll see more in the future. If you want to see the most recent changes to that shard check the forum post here.

Minkata is a "sandbox" for changes planned to be immediately implemented into Cyan's Official MOULa Shard. This shard maintains a state that is as close to an open source equivalent of MOULa that you can get. Keep tabs on the Minkata forum to see what and when changes are implemented to be tested.

The other major shard is The Open Cave (Commonly abbreviated as TOC).

On TOC you'll see many changes not on other shards. For instance, there's several custom avatar emotes. There's also "The City of Dimensions" which is like a crazy custom version of the main D'ni cavern. There's the the Gahreesen Wall which is currently being implemented, which is probably one of the biggest highlights considering it's the first time this has been done on an Open Source shard. Then there's also custom clothing options and custom Relto pages that are regularly implemented.

Also, there is some semblance of a storyline incorporated into it, but I have not had the chance to play through it yet.

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 12:14 am 
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Faewn wrote:
Well I tried both the Gehn and Minkata shard's (which nobody seems to be playing), I don't really see or notice any differences between those versions and the normal game. Nor can I really seem to find a clear list that tells me exactly what's different about each of them.

The ReleaseNotes.txt file (also available in-game from the F4-menu) lists the changes made on Gehn.

Faewn wrote:
I was hoping to notice a bigger difference and perhaps (one can but dream) more ages but perhaps I'm just missing it all. Would've hoped to see some big improvements but I guess some of such technical issues would be hard to notice. From what I can gather people been working on these projects for a long time but I don't really see the results?

The new Age available on Gehn is reached through the Nexus' City Locations list. We hope to add more as time goes on.

The number of people working on the code changes is small, and it's only been about a year since the source was actually released; most of the time has been spent cleaning up the code and fixing bugs. Still, there have been many user-facing improvements in the Quality of Life category as well as general playability. More sweeping changes like the ones you list will require more time and effort (and some will require legal permission from Cyan, on which we are still waiting).

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 4:02 am 
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Trekluver wrote:
Welcome to the world of a typical MMO game. There were people who completed WoW: Cataclysm within hours of getting it installed. Crazy stuff, I know; it sounds impossible to me, and I'm a Myst player! :)


Well, yeah, true. Though, the thing is, I've tried out one or two free MMORPG things, and even though they turned out not to be my sort of thing, I still had some fun playing them because at least some portion of the "accomplishment" was at least my own. I mean, I could join a goofy quest-team-thing and be of some use fighting monsters even if the other players were the ones who'd been playing a lot and knew the quest goals backwards and forwards.

In Uru Live the accomplishment was always, always, always someone else's doing and I just never got anything video game-wise from it.

AdamJohnso wrote:
You sir are getting dangerously close to the unacceptable truths about why Uru hasn't fared well commercially.


o.o Well, yes.

The puzzles were too hard and I can see that Cyan's idea was to have the whole community solve them, I think, but, all that happened was that a small group of people solved them, and they were pretty much inaccessible to anyone else.

For the most part, it was as if, for most people, you could make no real contribution.

The story stuff didn't work, partly because of GameTap's insistence on "episodes", meaning that whenever anything happened, so many people logged in that it crashed. There was no way to pace the stuff.

...and other things.



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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 7:15 am 
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I liked the story elements before the Episodes started.

Back then, things could happen at any time, all month, even if it was just something quick. It felt alive.

Then the Episodes started, and you knew that things would only EVER happen between 9-5 on four weekdays every five to six weeks. It made it feel like a play, all scheduled out and lifeless. It meant that more people were around during those few days, and less were around the entire rest of the month... because there was literally nothing else to do the rest of the time.


As for the puzzles... well, it's just hard. Truly, and for that I sympathize with Cyan. It's incredibly hard to make a puzzle that works for single-player at the same time as large cooperative hiveminds. MMORPGs struggle with the same problem with their action elements. The key is really to not try to please all the people all the time, but then you're always making chunks of content which only will be used by a percentages of your players each time which is inefficient and leads to other problems (especially if you have important story elements caught up in these areas). ::shrug::

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:24 am 
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Episodes probably were more of a Cyan thing. It was the best way to make a period of intense focused plot, and ages and storyline all together. It also meant that the most number of people could experience stuff as it were. How many people saw Phil back in prologue? And then how many got to actually interact? This way though felt kind of like press conferences with the DRC and others, although sometimes I did PM them or the like and get replies back. Still, at the same time everyone got to be there in the middle of it (provided they could come on). And some of us got a little more by pure fluke.. I ended up being the one leading Engberg to the library during Scars, because I heard Wheely mentioning it. If it hadn't been me it would've been someone else (and it was really, I guess 'me' being that I said it, and missed others, but I can bet anyone who';d heard was spreading that word).

It was a compromise. It was a week of packed content and nothing the rest, or trickling out and all a slow lack of excitement. Cyan lacked the resources to keep stuff running 24/7/365.

That's what the multiplayer ages felt like to me. We complained that there was no real multiplayer content. Let's face it, the original ages had zero interaction besides being there to help, but you weren't NEEDED. Part of that was because they were already made and any multiplayer stuff had been stripped to leave them single-player only. Ahnonay was changed back to make it multiplayer-required, but only for one part. So Cyan lacking the resources to make a fully-involved age like those big ones, did things like the pods (copy-paste!) or the two gardens (which probably were the most programming-intensive, to synchronize across everyone). Little tweaks to ages, bits of this and that. Anything to add content but not require full months of a forty-person staff to finish (which they had half of). Even Minkata was mostly empty space and a random generation of bits, to go with four kivas and a center.


I think that's the best way to describe MOUL. Compromise. Cyan had to compromise at every turn, on their shoe-string staff, under a small budget (because Gametap couldn't fund them more, Gametap was already taking a big risk taking MOUL and pretty much went under afterwards). They did their best to give us the best experience in the most time, which meant a bit less result. It's sad. I kind of wish they'd focused more on the stories and less on the ages, but the problem then is everyone who came wouldn't have seen all this stuff before to build off of, and would have less new content to play with until they ran through all the ages. So, again.. it was a compromise, with the most content possible. I don't agree with the choice, but it wasn't my decision to make and it probably still cuts them up inside to know what happened. Rand certainly gave the impression he has a thousand what-ifs in his head about the game.

So, yeah. It's sad, but compromises. Maybe we, with our groups of people all working on the game from different ends, can pull out something new from that and make something closer to what Uru was meant to be.

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:27 am 
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As I recall, there was once a certain very popular puzzle-type game called Myst - popular enough to be carried by just about every gaming platform imaginable, including iPhone and iPad. So, it's not like there isn't a big market for these kinds of games.

And yes, I'm going to continue to annoy you with my theory that this all comes down to a lack of publicity to attract new players, and a lack of new content to retain them.

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:37 am 
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Deledrius wrote:

As for the puzzles... well, it's just hard. Truly, and for that I sympathize with Cyan. It's incredibly hard to make a puzzle that works for single-player at the same time as large cooperative hiveminds. MMORPGs struggle with the same problem with their action elements. The key is really to not try to please all the people all the time, but then you're always making chunks of content which only will be used by a percentages of your players each time which is inefficient and leads to other problems (especially if you have important story elements caught up in these areas). ::shrug::


I made a suggestion to Cyan regarding this aspect of their games years ago, namely that they should include a button for "tourist mode", where all the puzzles in the entire game would automatically be solved, allowing the user to wander through the many worlds and environments at will, just for the art experience and to marvel at the beauty there is to see...but I guess it wasn't an idea they wanted to implement, although I don't see any technical reason that would prevent it from being done.


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:38 am 
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Ever get the feeling you're discussing what you've discussed before? :wink:
I'm SURE we had these discussions before about multiplayer content at some point, and I basically outlined that yeah, it was a compromise, and the idea of it being a matter of not enough new content to retain the people who came to see, and then we agreed that's because Cyan had a staff of 20 to try to do everything and couldn't pump out the content cast enough to do it, and would need far more money to hire more people which Gametap couldn't provide (and even then what they did do all but killed them, and yes I bet they were in some bad straights otherwise but funding an MMO-lite certainly didn't help!)

Eh, curse of having been here for years. You've already said everything you want to say. :?

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