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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:53 pm 
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There's actually something similar in World of Warcraft. Anyway, an emote triggered by normal chat would be easy- I vote wer have a special one for all caps. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:38 pm 
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Ed Oscuro wrote:
Mowog wrote:
This is an interesting discussion, and I can't disagree with your points, but suggesting the improvements noted above is sort of like asking General Motors to update your 2003 Chevrolet because it's not as cool as your neighbor's new Camaro.

This analogy doesn't wash at all, sorry. For starters, we ARE still getting the Open Source part, isn't that the plan?

The reason that the request might not (probably won't) work is simply that it'll be expensive, not that it's a "fixed model" in time.

SL was made about the same time as Uru/Prologue. With the recent release of the SL client side (viewer) the changes being added give one an idea of what fans can do. So, we will see changes to Uru/MOUL. Many SL changes are dependent on server side changes. The OSGrid is based on the open source server side of SL. Those changes are coming more slowly but they also show what fans can do with open source. Anything is possible given time and motivation. What we will see in MOOS is a matter of motivation and the interests of those doing the creation.

The Blue Mars Development Tools allow use of Blender. While I have not gotten to use the ‘City’ building tools the ‘Block’ Editor allows one to do most of what would need to be done to import an Uru age model. While it would still be lots of work the replicas built in SL would indicate there are some fans that may be willing to do the work.

Ed Oscuro wrote:
How many people are going to ditch Uru for Blue Mars simply because it's prettier? I would need a feeling that it has a gameplay component (which it well might) before I do something like that. This said, more content, more puzzles, more, and more! - else Uru is simply stale, which won't draw me back in for long even if I don't fall prey to a 'competitor.' So there the problem with Uru is more that it simply doesn't have a good flow of content (yet? We'll see), if we want to prioritize things. Of course, development in these two areas won't necessarily soak up too many resources from one or another, although I suspect at least one artist will be needed to work on an avatar facelift program.

I agree that Uru fans will not abandon Uru for simply better graphics. Nor will better graphics alone pull people back to Uru. However, people like better graphics.

I am a proponent of better hair for AV’s in Uru. I love the massive varieties of hair in SL. The hair in Blue Mars (BM ) is outstanding. Also that it lays OVER the shoulders rather than passing through them is very nice. While it seems easy enough to add several more do’s the massive variety available in SL is unlikely in MOOS without significant changes to the MOUL texture delivery system and AV changes. Whether we have better hair or not is probably not likely to make or break Uru.

There are lots of things fans would like to add or change. I think all these things add up and will affect the long term popularity of MOOS. But I agree with several here, the content is a primary draw for the puzzle lover fans. Many of the changes affect those more interested in the social and RP aspects of the game.

matthornb wrote:
As for Sensei's comment that texture and mesh upgrades will happen rapidly, personally, I'm a little uncertain about that.


Matthornb is right and the summary of the state of Uru is pretty much on mark.

Uru was made by professionals that were balancing looks and performance. Skill in texture design for looks and performance is a challenge. It is no easy task to match the work of Cyan’s people.

One of the big issues in changing MOOS is the problem of game delivery. SL uses an ‘on demand’ system. When you visit a new region/age only then does it download. MOUL and Blue Mars preload the regions/ages. MOUL (CC w/fan ages) is about 4.5gb now. BM is about 1.3gb. SL content is terabytes of data. As yet I don’t how BM is going to handle growth. For now regions downloading in SL and pre-loaded regions BM take about the same time to come up, this is disappointing.

For MOOS many of the changes fans would like to add create complexities. Each new hair texture, shirt texture, animation, etc. would need to be downloaded at some point. As the amount of content grows the initial download for new players grows.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:51 pm 
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Quote:
But I agree with several here, the content is a primary draw for the puzzle lover fans.


Good point, Nalates. As much as I loved socializing in Uru's Cavern and Ages, I can do that sort of thing in other virtual worlds. What really sold me on Uru was the story. Cyan mentioned any number of times that Uru was primarily a vehicle for telling a story, with the added benefit that we all got to take part in that story and move it along, whether alone or together. Never underestimate that quality; it's all too easy to get absorbed in the technical side and forget why it was all built in the first place.

When the story died, the Cavern and Ages were still there - but our motivation to link in became purely social. Avatars that were well suited for working together to unravel mysteries proved to leave something to be desired when it came to just being with others for the sake of being with others... it gradually started to matter to people that our online meetings looked like a collection of department store manikins.

It's sort of like our stage drama got cancelled, and without a purpose to be on the stage, we started noticing the flaws in the sets, and in our costumes and makeup. It didn't matter much before, but...

I guess what I'm saying is that a good interactive story can make up for a world of shortcomings in the avatars, ages, and so forth. Whatever the worlds look like, if I have a compelling reason to be there, I'll come.

Open Uru will become pretty much what Blue Mars is meant to be; a development platform where third party world-builders will be able to shape new realms for others to explore. The difference is that most of us in the Uru crowd are intensely curious, and tend to explore worlds exhaustively until we've seen absolutely everything. And once that exploration is finished, we need to make ourselves return for whatever reason. In the original Uru concept, the story would keep us coming back. I hope this isn't forgotten, because virtual worlds, no matter how dazzling they may be, aren't nearly as interesting once the new wears off. We need something to do there!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:12 pm 
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Excellent points, Mowog!

I think of it more as having something to do, something that moves you along in the game, rather than story, but your point is the same.

There is the "you are you" thing though - that was how Uru was marketed. Once you get that sort of thing, the bar for avatar creation, also avatar updates - pretty darn high. If you have a contemporary world, your avatar has to look like it belongs there. Otherwise you do end up with a retro feel.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:48 am 
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Nalates wrote:
Ed Oscuro wrote:
Mowog wrote:
This is an interesting discussion, and I can't disagree with your points, but suggesting the improvements noted above is sort of like asking General Motors to update your 2003 Chevrolet because it's not as cool as your neighbor's new Camaro.

This analogy doesn't wash at all, sorry. For starters, we ARE still getting the Open Source part, isn't that the plan?

The reason that the request might not (probably won't) work is simply that it'll be expensive, not that it's a "fixed model" in time.

SL was made about the same time as Uru/Prologue.

To clarify, the "request" I mention is better avatar creation tools. OS or no, it'll be expensive and/or tough to implement. SL's system encourages people to try to make their own avatars and models from scratch, rather than working with an Uru / Oblivion-style avatar generator tool. SL's system is more bandwidth-intensive. I think that SL is generally focused more on characters as far as original content goes, whereas Uru is more focused on the environment. I'm not suggesting there's an inherent balance one way or another, but if I had to prioritize...also, I just would rather not see a bunch of silly-looking hacked-together avatars wandering about Uru, but that's just a personal preference and obviously change would be fine.

Speaking of story, I felt (during the GT beta) that Uru fell down flat when it tried to do contemporary stories, as opposed to the "1000 years ago this happened" ones. Some of the plot holes and silly characterizations weren't as problematic when telling what were almost mythical stories, for whatever reason. Examples: Cate Archer was a waste of time, and (from after the GT beta I believe) setting up some characters to be violent and evil when characters have no way to defend or retaliate seems obnoxious to me.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:21 am 
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You probably mean Cate Alexander, and yes, she was... well I wouldn't call her unneccesery, but she was a really shallow character. I think they should have given her more background and such, since she mostly had none.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:16 pm 
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The SL and MOUL AV creation seem similar to me with the exception that we can attach things to our AV’s in SL. But that does not affect the ‘creation tools’, which are actually only adjustment tools in both.

The AV model is fixed in both environments and adjustment tools allow one to shape it. SL’s is more extensive, more adjustments. But the AV’s have a fixed number of poly’s in both. I suspect adding more adjustments to a MOUL AV would not be that big a deal or require much server/client change. The AV model is preloaded for all AV’s and the same two models for all AV’s. Only the AV shape and clothes settings info has to be sent to the client for an AV to render.

Even attachments might not be that complex an addition. The hats, glasses, boots, backpack (attached to back) and maintainers’ suits (helmet) were attachments, which suggest the basics for attachments are there. Were the ponytails an attachment?

While SL is bandwidth intense that has to be kept in perspective. SL has terabytes of stuff… even if one just considers what fans have made and excludes buildings and regions. SL is very bandwidth and disk use efficient. This content amount thing is where MOUL and SL took different directions. Adding lots of things for AV’s to wear is where I think we run into problems.

Blue Mars appears, at this point, to have a similar challenge to MOUL/MOOS. As yet we have to see how they plan to handle it. But Blue Mars and MOUL are much more alike than MOUL and SL. So, we may see new ways to solve this problem of massive user content with preloaded virtual worlds.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:28 am 
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The stranger wrote:
You probably mean Cate Alexander, and yes, she was... well I wouldn't call her unneccesery, but she was a really shallow character. I think they should have given her more background and such, since she mostly had none.

Gahah, I haven't even played No One Lives Forever, nice slip and catch though.

Nalates wrote:
The SL and MOUL AV creation seem similar to me with the exception that we can attach things to our AV’s in SL

What? You can import all-new textures in SL, and new meshes seem to have been a part of the system for some time (and if not - well, there's this). In any case it's been flexible enough for long enought that people have been able to create characters with only the barest resemblance to people for a long time... :lol:

Importing handmade characters into Uru obviously wouldn't be the worst thing ever, but it's far from the sort of general solution that the team was originally striving for.

Also, nobody has been able to refute my initial observation, which was that these developments remain complicated to create and implement using just the work of open source developers, and expensive to license commercially.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:24 am 
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Ed Oscuro wrote:
Nalates wrote:
The SL and MOUL AV creation seem similar to me with the exception that we can attach things to our AV’s in SL

What? You can import all-new textures in SL, and new meshes seem to have been a part of the system for some time (and if not - well, there's this). In any case it's been flexible enough for long enought that people have been able to create characters with only the barest resemblance to people for a long time... :lol:

It is true SL imports textures and can use them for skin. Mesh import for AV's in SL is only for AV attachments. But, MOUL used textures applied to AV’s just as SL does. The backpack is an example of a mesh attached to a MOUL AV. The difference is in the aspect of user import. In SL it is open to all users while MOUL/MOOS it is restricted to age writers. So, it is only the number of textures available and ability of users to easily import them that is different.

While all sorts of AV’s are in SL the basic AV model never changes. The 7,000+ faces that make up an SL AV never changes. The SL SHAPE feature just tells the client side how to render the AV and various attachments are added to change it to look like a dragon or whatever. The attachments just cover up the AV, they don’t change it.

My point is that in regard to an AV there is very little that is different between a MOUL AV and an SL AV. The complex differences are in ‘inventory’ and ability to upload textures for use as skin or clothes. Hair styles, additional shape controls, shirts/clothes and attachments in limited numbers won’t be that hard to add to MOOS. Go over to GoW and ask around.

Ed Oscuro wrote:
Also, nobody has been able to refute my initial observation, which was that these developments remain complicated to create and implement using just the work of open source developers, and expensive to license commercially.

Importing completely new AV’s… I’m not sure we need to do that to get verity. SL has not had to do that. So, it is possible MOOS would not have to. I don’t know how well the MOUL code would work with alternate AV’s. That might be a complex change.

Since the original observation is ‘AV creation tools’ will be difficult and labor intensive to create, I simply disagree. MOUL and SL both have AV shaping tools to make an appearance. They don’t create a new AV like Blue Mars/CryEngine2 allows. I think minor server and client changes would allow more shaping settings in MOUL/MOOS. Since the basics are already there, I suspect the changes would be minor.

However that clothes and attachments would still need to be created in 3DMax or Blender, which means there is still a high level of complexity for AV clothes, attachments and etc. creators.

With the game already weighing in at gigabytes of initial download each new AV, shirt, hair still and etc. the additions without a an inventory system make the initial download larger and larger, which will eventually become a problem. Adding that will be complex.

I'm not sure where the idea comes from that there will be licensing costs. The MOUL AV shaper might be licensed but I doubt it. There are several AV appearance tools in open source now.

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