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 Post subject: Quality or Quantity?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:57 pm 
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I was just thinking... are the ages that the community builds gonna be anywhere near the Quality that is produced by Cyan Worlds?!? Or does anyone really care how great the quality is if we are getting somewhat [i]new[/i] ages??


Oh and i have kinda got lost over the past couple months since the announcement of MORE, will Cyan World be producing any new Content for the newest installment of Myst Online?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:45 pm 
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Answer to question 1: the quality is going to surprise a lot of people in both ways. There will be lots of Ages that are absolutely horrible, but on the other side of the coin, there are already quite a few that are really very good. Are they going to be "Cyan-quality"? Well, that depends on what you consider to be "Cyan-quality". A lot of people were rather miffed with "Cyan-quality" this last time around, and in fact quite a few consider "Cyan-quality" to be not-so-quality after all. So really, the question is how much will people enjoy these Ages? Or another way of putting it; how professional will they be? Only time will tell.

Answer to question 2: no, Cyan does not plan to make any new content for OpenURU in the near future.

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 Post subject: Re: Quality or Quantity?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:35 pm 
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Mystman0077 wrote:
I was just thinking... are the ages that the community builds gonna be anywhere near the Quality that is produced by Cyan Worlds?!? Or does anyone really care how great the quality is if we are getting somewhat new ages??



Check out the Ages already available for the offline Uru. I was very pleased with the Ages that are out there. Perhaps you will be as well.....

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:32 pm 
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There are a few "Cyan Quality" Ages i've seen...but that's what my eyes tell me :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:06 pm 
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I've seen few cyan quality places. There was this great age, which looked really really great... eh'ko, was it?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:12 pm 
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Unfortunately like it's name suggests, Eh'ko has faded from existance so far as I can tell. But the glimpse we were given was quite impressive.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:21 pm 
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Call it pre-release "Why isn't Uru here yet?" grumpiness but I am prepared to be totally underwhelmed. :wink:

I think most anyone will agree a Age with soemthing to do is better then a Age with nothing to do. After the CC Ages make the leap to Open Uru I'll be waiting on pins and needles for someone to rediscover the lost art of puzzle making. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:33 pm 
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Quality is a tricky thing, a double edged sword if you will. I've seen some very good looking fan ages, but they don't run very well on my rig either due to the current unofficial process of creating ages or the Writers are putting in far too much detail.

If you don't like the "making of" segments on DVDs that break suspension of disbelief, don't open the spoiler below this line.

[spoiler]
If you use certain tools you can fly around in URU and see how the official content was constructed to give the illusion more content exists than was actually created. Many large structures in the city are nothing more than facades, they are detailed yet largely incomplete in ways you can't see from the streets or behind barricades. I think Writers may need to study the original Ages more carefully and prune unneccessary detail to make their ages more stable for lower end users.
[/spoiler]

It isn't just the quality of the graphics though. Personally I think Cyan did a wonderful job on the graphics portion of the MOUL ages. Sure the Pod ages are small, but they're still detailed and professionally crafted. Tetsonot, may be an exception but we don't really know the story behind it. That, as I understand it, is where the gripe about recent quality comes into play. Most of the MOUL ages have no story, at least no story I have been able to track down.

Every Age needs a story, every age is a story. The quality of the story is as important as the quality of the environment. I have seen a few fan ages that have the beginnings of a good story. With the eventual release of the official sources I'm sure these will bloom into Ages of incredible quality.

There will certainly be ages of all types and levels of quality. I think the only safe thing to say right now is, there will be many new ages and you will likely find some ages which meet your standards among them.

I believe while Cyan has stated they will not be creating new ages initially, they hope to be able to in the future. A very definite maybe.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:14 pm 
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In terms of "Cyan quality", the geometry, the textures, the sounds, the music, and generally speaking, the artistic vision were top-notch in every age, including those ages that some people just sort of went "meh" over. In other words, when Cyan had problems with ages, it was never in terms of artistic quality; rather, it had to do with not having the time and resources available to make an age that kept you enthralled for a long time.

What I think we'll see from a lot of fan ages - and I'm talking about the better ones here - are a lot of great ideas from a storyline and/or gameplay perspective, but more difficulty in execution because of inexperience with 3d design, texturing, sound design, or music composition, or perhaps a combination of those. Sure, there are going to be some folks around here who know how to use some of those tools well, and their ages will look better than others. If you want to tap into the full creativity that the community has to offer, though, you may have to lower your standards a bit in terms of art, compared to what we saw from Cyan.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:07 pm 
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I would like to see age creation groups- groups of people working together on an age, rather than a single writer.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:13 pm 
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@Mystman0077… when you write since MORE was announced… you did notice that we are now in the ‘Since MOOS’ or since open source announcement era, right?

The release of the ‘Cyan Tools’ will likely up the quality of the ages being built. Things that the Uru Hackers are reverse engineering will be revealed, which will change where their effort is spent. Rather than having to reverse engineer things, their effort will likely be toward implementing what is learned from having the source code and tools. I suspect many things age writers need to do will be easier. I think that is likely to help improve quality.

One age writer put the number of ages written which one can visit, or at least test, at 96. Of those he considered 15 to be ‘Cyan quality’. Many of the others are obviously of ‘beginner’ quality. When one considers that learning Blender, the main tool for age writers now, can take months or years to learn and learning 3D modeling and texturing can take months to learn and years to become ‘professional’ at it is not surprising that that many ages look a bit amateurish. Also, people new to 3D modeling seldom understand how to optimize models and textures, which can greatly degrade game performance.

Does anyone know the quality we are getting? Yes. Anyone can visit those ages now. Visit the GoW Wiki for tools and instructions for getting into the ages. You can follow the progress of age development and testing at GoW and GoMa. All of those ages have been written with the disadvantage of not having a complete tool for writing ages. So, with better tools we will likely see those ages improve.

We have no idea what is going to happen with the physics engine used in MOUL. It may once again have to be replaced. The deciding issue is proprietary verses open source. I would not be surprised to learn that Cyan is trying to work something out so the current physics engine can be used. If that is not possible, we may have to wait for a new engine to be added and then have 96 ages plus all the MOUL content in the process of being revised to work with it. Some hope to convert to ODE either way. Whether we change engines or not improving game performance and changing things like the KI (chat) are being considered. So, many things are likely to improve. One might consider that some changes will ‘improve’ on Cyan quality.

I think Dachannien is right in that there are many great storylines and that implementing well is a matter of writer experience. What the community will do with all this is completely unknown.

Cyan has been pretty clear they are not planning to do much other than make some things available for fan use. They do sound like they plan to reserve some rights to keep their choices open, which means that in the future they may do something with Myst.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:40 pm 
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@Nalates

First off Physx and it's SDK are free. (See below) Not all the tricks of whatever version Cyan was running may be there but the heart of the Physx library is out there and ready to be used.

http://developer.nvidia.com/object/physx_downloads.html

Second I agree with The stranger that Age creation really does need to be groups of people working on a Age instead of just the one original writer. Modeling, story, or artwork if you try to do it all you find out that it is a very rare person that can manage it. There was such hope in MOUL that the guilds were being shaped to become a better means of producing Fan Ages then the community currently enjoys. I still hope a better way can be found, but I don't know who will be the leader that does it.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:29 pm 
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The fans ages were really nice, but the problem is that being made by a single person made many of them un-good looking. And before anyone bash me- no, I can't do better. I'm sure you put all your heart into these ages. But when I play fans ages, I'm not going around and go "ooo how he did it all by himself? wow!!". I want ages which are fun. Fun exploration and gameplay isn't that hard to figure out, but a good looking place is really hard to do with one person. It doesn't have to be teledahn- the bahro cave design is also good environment. Which means no smeared textures (yes, I know cyan ages had some too, but much much less than fans ages), no sharp models (unless they are supposed to be sharp, but I'm talking rock and such, which I have yet to see an un-sharp one), and so on.

So good looking ages can't be done by one person? it can, and we got eh'ko as a proof. But I remember eh'ko was made years ago, and it's still itsn't finished today. Team would be better, I believe.

So how much ages we get in, say, a month, with team ages? I don't know, but I would think 2-3 a month, considering it's a true team work.

Age makers of all guilds: don't underestimate yourself! you make ages with higher quality than cyan, if you go with teams!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:05 pm 
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Cyan-quality ages will probably take teams of fans the same length of time it took Cyan - 6 months. Quality is not quick.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:40 pm 
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Well, maybe ages can be released in the "prime" position, which has no cyan quality, and the team will update it until it is? I'm seeing many ages left as they are.

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