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 Post subject: User Ages in MOULagain
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:47 am 
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I kinda picked this forum in the hopes that the basic question would not be over run by the regular public. I am curious... have a thought running thru my head and since most ppl reading or posting in this area are most likely informed on the fan side of things I thought this the better place.

Is it really necessary to have MOULagain open sourced to put fan made ages into the game?

It's not a request but... more of a thought. Sure I want to see the open source so bugs can be fixed and the game can grow in that area but for fan made ages I don't see why open source is required.

I don't know how 'off topic' it is on this forum but there are already, I'm sure, ages written by fans out there just floating around looking for a true home. Is there a reason that Cyan can't appoint some folks in the Maintainers guild to check the ages out and then Cyan can put on the MOULagain server?

I know Cyan is probably extremely busy with other stuff but how much code does it take to put a new linking book in the writers bevin or where ever. Heck put ages being tested in the Maintainers area (after beta testing of coarse). For that matter I bet there'd be a few fans willing to pay and maintain the beta testing servers for these ages to make sure they don't ruin everything.

I know Cyan is busy and it's not going to happen soon... maybe within a year.... I figure all the code stripping for the open source and rewriting will take longer than that.

Any ideas?

ps.. sorry if there is a discussion along these line else where....

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:53 am 
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I'm not a technical expert, but I believe Cyan envisioned adding fan content long before they had to consider open sourcing the code. So, I would imagine it's possible.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:38 pm 
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(Disclaimer: I'm not the most knowledgeable person on this.)

To get fan ages, you need to be able to make them in a way that satisfies MOUL. To get that, you at least need the plugin Cyan uses for 3DS Max, but to really get that you need that plugin's source so you can convert the plugin into one that can work for Blender, the program most of us use to make Ages for Uru:CC.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:31 pm 
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Currently all fan Ages have been developped with our favorite 3d software: Blender. However Cyan uses 3ds Max. (Blender is free while Max is a very expensive professional tool). This makes the situation slightly complicated. (but not too complicated either). Basically here are the steps involved:

1 - Creating the Ages
So far we have only produced Ages for previous versions of Uru (namely PotS). How we will be able to produce MOUL Ages will depend on Cyan:
a) Cyan releases the source of their Max plugin
We can then use the informations provided by the sources to adapt our Blender plugin so that it can export our existing Ages to MOUL. That will be much faster for us, but it will take quite a bit of time for Cyan to release those sources.
b) Cyan release their Max plugin, but not the sources. We have never produced Ages with Max so far, so there are 3 possibilities:
1) We somehow convert our Blender Ages to becomes Max Ages. That would be pretty long and difficult, but it is probably possible.
2) The wonderful people responsible for our Blender plugin somehow adapt it so that it can export our existing Blender Ages for MOUL. Whithout Cyan's sources that will also be probably quite long and difficult.
3) We totally abandon our current Blender Ages and we create whole new ones in 3ds Max. (Most people who have spent a lot of time developping those Ages won't be too happy about that option.)

2 - Testing the Ages
Once we are able to produce MOUL Ages, together with Cyan we will need to determine how to test them online before releasing them publicly. Will this happen on the MOUL server? on a separate server? If it is a separate servers will it be run by Cyan or by us? Questions.. questions.. Some of this will also depend on whether Cyan publishes the Server files so that we can set up servers ourselves. (much like during UU). And if they do will they publish the sources or not.

3 - Publishing the Ages
Once all of the above has been done and a 1st test Age (or several) has been released, Cyan (and us) will need to create a formalized process to release future Ages and keep Cyan's involvment to a minimum. Cyan mentionned several times that this will probably involve the Guilds.

At this point there are still many decisions that needs to be made but this is a long term project for Cyan, as they are busy with more urgent projects. As often patience is the key. MOULagain is just getting started, we will see what good news the upcoming weeks will bring from Cyan.


Last edited by aloys on Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:37 pm 
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We have absolutely no idea if the Ages we make for Uru offline game are even able to be supported for MOUL.

In fact we know this because Cyan had to do a major port of their own Er'canna and Ahnonay, which behaves differently from the offline game.

So for player made Ages to work in MOUL needs for the server base code and the client code, to understand how it can be supported, of course having the 3DS Max plugin ill also help tremendously as it will hopefully clear up the last few problems in making sure that a player made Age wont crash the server or client.

EDIT: Whoops, Aloys beat me too it while I was typing.

He wrote a server code for Uru Live back in 2004, and subsequent the first Blender plugin to work with it.

A separate server for testing player made Ages before they get transferred to the trunk server that everyone plays on, is critical, and will hopefully be done on a server operated by the players, thus giving Cyan less to worry about us breaking their precious game.

@Aloys, Isn't the Max plugin a script anyways?
I'm sure that's the case, if so then the guys at the Guild of Writers shouldn't have too much problems in making the Blender plugin compatible

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:05 pm 
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Grogyan wrote:
@Aloys, Isn't the Max plugin a script anyways?
I'm sure that's the case, if so then the guys at the Guild of Writers shouldn't have too much problems in making the Blender plugin compatible

No, Max plugins are compilled code unfortunately, DLLs and everything. That's why we are concerned about the sources. :)

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So for player made Ages to work in MOUL needs for the server base code and the client code, to understand how it can be supported,
You make a good point. I'm not sure we will need the whole server code, although there are probably a couple things that we might want to know.. (vault issues etc) I'm not the most knowledgeable person for these kinds of question. The other GoW peeps will answer that more precisely.


Last edited by aloys on Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:15 pm 
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aloys wrote:
Grogyan wrote:
@Aloys, Isn't the Max plugin a script anyways?
I'm sure that's the case, if so then the guys at the Guild of Writers shouldn't have too much problems in making the Blender plugin compatible

No, Max plugins are compilled code unfortunately, DLLs and everything. That's why we are concerned about the sources. :)



I wouldn't know, I had a copy of an old old version that I was playing with to find a 3D modeller that I liked, and I faintly remember seeing an example of Max script maybe it could be compiled, I don't know, I just remember it.

As you say if Cyan releases the plugin without the source, were in are in of a sticky wicket.

Hopefully someone can ask Rand when he is next in game or fling Cyan an email asking about if the source would be included for the MAX plugn

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:43 am 
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Making an Age requires lots of exporting, test in game, modify, export, test, modify, x100 Open-sourcing makes it possible to have an offline Moul install to test on. An online shard to test on requires that you be able to modify shard files (i.e. .age and .sdl) even if the dataserver is disabled. So open-source would make it a lot more feasible, yes.


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