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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:44 am 
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Dmom, several people have thought of it... some are experimenting in SL and OS now.

I think many people are interested in building pretty ages they think will be fun to play. That is a good thing. I suspect they are not overly concerned with what the gaming audience thinks or wants. That may not be so good. But no one has a responsibility to be all that altruistic.

There aren't many of us that seem all that interested in what OTHERS like. Notice the context of many of the comments in posts. They are 'me' oriented. While I have not counted them up and done the numbers, I have the feeling that most of us look at Uru solely from a personal perspective. I'm guilty from time to time too. It's not all bad.

I suppose it will be hard for the community to adjust from a player orientation to an "Owner/Operator" orientation. I suspect as that shift comes into play we will see a shift in how and where some fans participate.
:roll:
...another division? Probably. Each of do what we feel is fun.

I think new fans will be needed as players, age writers, shard operators, and others grow and move on... or just wonder off to try something new. I think Uru could devolve into a chat room for a few players and eventually dwindle away to nothing. I certainly could be wrong. But either way making the game opening and user orientation and interfaces better can only make Uru better.


OHB, I'm not expecting you to have your AV software powering Zandi tomorrow. We have bot-AV's in SL that are pretty amazing. They can do lots of things. Carrying on a discussion is their weakness. That seems to be your focus and strength. I'll have to get by and see your bot.

My hope is the bot works out and becomes a useful addition to Uru. If the software can eventually power a Zandi like character, I think it would improve things and solve several problems. Provided you get the conversational side working well it will be marketable within SL to many of the businesses there.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:55 am 
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Nalates wrote:
Carrying on a discussion is their weakness. That seems to be your focus and strength. I'll have to get by and see your bot.


That's what I'm aiming for...I want to be able to fool people. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:06 am 
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The way I see it, Uru is the best game I've ever played.

That doesn't mean that it doesn't need improvement. I don't want to make the game into Second Life. That's not what it's for. However, it IS basically a social network. People actually play the ages for only a couple hours. I can go start to finish with a new avie in about 6-7 hours. Even someone who has never played will probably only get 40 hours or so of content.

After that, Uru is about socializing. Especially now in MOULa. There isn't anything new but what users create, so make it easier for them!

Honestly, I think Uru's chat and messaging feature is the biggest thing holding the game back. Let's look at it not as a game like SL EVE or WoW, but like Facebook or Myspace. In light of that, I have a couple suggestions.

First, what I want is the ability to create information groups. These could be guilds, news, karaoke, language groups, whatever. Heck, have one for newbies and one for each Bevin setup automatically. Players can subscribe or unsubscribe to groups as they wish. Wanna know what the Guild of Greeters is doing? Check their feed, or even your own customizable feed. Ki messages are ok, but VERY limited. Make the DRC (Cyan) group permanent and unblock-able.

Groups should be able to setup calendars. You won't see any events for groups you aren't subscribed to. That means each person has a different calendar tailored to their tastes.

Find someone you can be friends with? Click on them and add them as a friend. You can see journal entries, when they were last on, KI pictures, what groups they belong to and whatever information they want to make public.

Actual guilds! Setup an automatic system for creating guilds. Say something like 10 people have to register to create one. Assign them a Bevin, chat channel and guild roster. Membership is by invitation. Guilds can be organized however they like with programmable officer names and message of the day.

Setup a separable tabbed chat window. Allow people to see what they want to in chat all at once. Don't like the newbie chat group? Then deselect it. Need hints? Open the "spoilers" chat. Want a channel for your guild? Create one! And forget the not being able to chat until you get your KI. Have Zandi hand you one the moment his introductory speech is done. If you want, you can make it a basic chat only one and let the user upgrade it later to do photos and journal entries.

Making social interaction easier is most of the point of an online game. Let's turn the KI into an actual computer.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:09 am 
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Nalates wrote:
There aren't many of us that seem all that interested in what OTHERS like. Notice the context of many of the comments in posts. They are 'me' oriented. While I have not counted them up and done the numbers, I have the feeling that most of us look at Uru solely from a personal perspective. I'm guilty from time to time too. It's not all bad.


I rely on others to say what they want, and as far as I can see they do. Where I agree with them, it doesn't need saying: where I don't, I've probably said it already. (I don't actually agree with Calmiche's last sentence there, for instance, because I think the point of an online game as opposed to a social networking site is to play the game, but I've said that many times before.) I take it for granted that others will end up largely directing the future of Uru, because my opinions are not often shared by the majority. I'm unlikely, for a whole host of reasons, to be in a position to run my own shard, assuming shards ever happen in an official context, so I will probably remain a mere player and occasional storyteller if there is room for my stories. I'm quite happy, therefore, that my posts are about what I want out of Uru, and what I see as the reality of it, and I don't see that as something to be guilty about.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:16 am 
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Calmiche said;
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I don't want to make the game into Second Life.


That is something I hear over and over ad naseum...whole point is not to make Uru like SL but to USE the tools these other metaverses (there are more out there than just SL) have which could provide a great testing ground to bring to Open Source since we don't have that yet.

Wanting abilities to do things would be great in the game and I see a lot of suggestions/great ideas put out there but who is actually working on these suggestions? Where are these ideas being tested out? Can we see them in action? I think that is more what I am interested in knowing. I can go to the Suggestions thread if I want to see ideas or feature requests...

So far OHBot is the best example now of something someone has actually done.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:26 pm 
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Calmiche wrote:
And forget the not being able to chat until you get your KI.


Gladly, since as has been pointed out ad nauseam, it isn't true. The chat function is there from the moment you appear, and is perfectly functional within the Age you're in, as I have proved by personal experience just recently.

Calmiche, your guilds sound like reinventing the hood. A guild, if it's going to be a guild, needs a purpose, needs to be the guild of something, preferably something relevant. At the moment, you can create the Moderately Bored Red-Haired Guys From Texas's Bevin if you want and organise it any way you like. Why do we need another way to do exactly the same thing?

I come to Uru to be in Uru, not for social networking. I do my social networking mostly on blogs and forums that are designed for it, of which there are way too many. Uru wasn't designed for that, and I can't understand why people complain about that, like saying that this mandolin is no good for hammering in nails. The fact that we can all now do the Journey while brushing our teeth is because we've been doing it for years; when that moment comes that we're all waiting for and we're showered with hours of exciting new gameplay in the form of fan Ages, that problem* will vanish. And then, hopefully, people won't have time for social networking in the Cavern.

*If it is one: for me the Journey never gets old, but I realise other people may have a lower boredom threshold than I do.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:49 pm 
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Personally, I wouldn't want to see the original ages messed with too much. Specifically, I don't think it's appropriate to attach a bot interface to Zandi. The character already has a spectacular voice actor with interestingly subtle lines, and adding anything to that would destroy what's already there.

There are other ways to add guidance both in- and out-of-cavern. A link in the patcher could take you to some more information outside of the game (maybe a letter that the player received that helps get them started in an in-cavern way). If you start people in the Cleft (which I think is an extremely important switch that would provide benefits even without any other changes), you could add a book or a note somewhere in there that helps people out. Maybe from the Guild of Greeters, maybe just some random unnamed explorer's notes.

The amount of spoilage required, though, should be minimal. Once people get started on the journey, there is enough guidance to move them onward - it's just the beginning that is wildly confusing for people who have no experience with the game.

And especially, we've seen several cases already where two people, neither of whom know much about the game, want to play together. There's no guidance to tell them how to get to that point. Solve that problem without giving too much away, and you've taken care of 95% of the "help for noobs" that we need.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:13 pm 
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Zander wrote:
*If it is one: for me the Journey never gets old, but I realise other people may have a lower boredom threshold than I do.


You made me smile there, Zander! :) The Journey never gets old to me either and I am also now playing it on a newer computer with a very powerful graphics card and am blown away all over again with the beauty of Uru.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:18 pm 
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I've got so much I want to say that it's getting jumbled up. I haven't seen anybody summing up the options, so I want to try that, or at least get a start on it, and save the other stuff for another post (otherwise I'll be here a couple more hours trying to compose the post).

Let's start by looking at the options we've had already, in ABM and in Uru Live:

Start at the Cleft. This makes the most story sense by far and is absolutely where you want to start the solo game, but it means you've got an awful lot of solo play to get through before you even get the MMO as an option. It also removes fellow players in-game as an avenue of help if you get stuck.

Start at Relto. This makes very little story sense -- where did you get the Relto book? -- but it offers a choice of where to go next with immediate access to the MMO, which in turn means access to live in-game help if you get stuck. Assuming you know how to get to that help, which you may not.

The trade-offs/balances are between story and flexibility, and between immersion and breaking the fourth wall (breaking the monitor?). Given that story and immersion are precisely the hallmarks of Myst that we want to carry over into Uru, this gets tricky.

One other point here: It makes much more story sense and gives more play satisfaction for the Relto book to be something you have to work a bit to get -- but from a play mechanics point of view, you need the Relto book as soon as possible as your IC get-out-of-jail-free card. In other words, you want the MMO part to be available quickly, but travel beyond the Cleft and Bevin pretty much requires that you have a Relto book.

(Two hours and counting and I haven't even got to the Ki yet. Y'know what? I may need to make this a separate post rather than a reply. I'm going to go ahead and send this now...)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:53 pm 
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So, combine them.

Start in the cleft, have Zandi hand you a Ki and a Relto book and explain what they are. You can got to Relto, Nexus, the City and your Bevin. However you can't go to any of the 4 main ages until you go back and finish the cleft and get the Bahro totems. Change the Relto book at the end of the cleft to something else, like a Bahro glyph.

The only extra ages you can get to through the city are Mintaka, the pods and Eder Delin and Eder Tsogal.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:47 pm 
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OR...have an option.

First time players start at the cleft, you don't get your Relto book until you complete it, etc.

But have a quick-start option with a huge disclaimer for those who've done it before...a by-pass if you will that gives you your relto book early (and perhaps also a KI). You've gotta gotta complete the cleft...but at least you can zap right to the city if you've done it before.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:07 am 
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Calmiche wrote:
Honestly, I think Uru's chat and messaging feature is the biggest thing holding the game back. Let's look at it not as a game like SL EVE or WoW, but like Facebook or Myspace. In light of that, I have a couple suggestions.

The joke in SL is they are trying to make it more like Facebook. People like the social tools and abilities. I keep in touch with friends on Facebook more than email now.

You concept on groups is what many think is important. Even SL is looking at creating a way for groups to work in world with out of world web sites, Twitter, Facebook, and text messages. I’m not sure we need to go that far, but several people are following Twitter folks that are Myst related. So, something…

Zander, your point is well taken. Mine is that it seems most of us think of what we like and want before it occurs to us that we are caretakers of a game we want to see continue. If we did not want the social interaction, we could play the offline version and hang out in the forums. While I’m sure it makes sense to those that want the online game and don’t care about the social aspects, it seems inconsistent to me to want the online game and not want new players and social interaction. Calmiche’s direction on the groups and chats is the direction the web is moving. It seems to be what people want. It may not suit you, but the point is whether this is about our being self-centered or considering what others want.

There are also things I want to see in the game. (Better hair – SL spoiled me) Those things I think are really important I try to convince people of their importance. Those things I am unsure of, I research and observe in other games. Things like protecting children I try to get a sense of what is real and whether it is a significant problem. Ignoring it is not acceptable. Making it a top priority is not realistic. There is a balance point.

The most difficult thing to get my head around is getting a sense of what Uru is to become. Because of open source many will try different things. I think that is a good thing. We are trying different things with Devokan on OSGrid, which is accessible via Hypergrid too. I put a region online in OSGrid at the west side of Devokan. I’m thinking of how to convert the building and scripting I want to do into a story. I like building and find it fun. However, along with that I am thinking of how to let others into the region to play and how to make them feel welcome and comfortable. How many of us are going beyond what we want and considering what others will enjoy? How to we add those things and keep the feel of Uru?

The things Calmiche points out are considerations for us today. While I am sure the group tools Calmiche wtiers of are not like the tools and features we have now I don’t have a good way to illustrate that.

Dmom and I think the same way about turning Uru into SL… that AIN’T the point. SL is an easy place to prototype and test. OpenSim is way more affordable. I can easily run two OpenSim regions on my workstation (US$600/mo in SL) and except for firing up Photoshop have almost no affect on my workstation (2-3% CPU and less. 7-10% with 2 of us in sim).

OHBot and Adam’s Who’s Online are nice new features the fans are adding to Uru. Both are long time staples of SL. Does anyone think Adam’s Who’s is making Uru too much like SL? I hope not. Who’s On is a handy tool.

Dachannien, is right… a bot does not have to be added to Zandi. It could be used in other ways or with other characters. I’m not sure how new bots as information sources and Zandi would work together. I disagree that it would destroy Zandi. I think it could make him better.

Fax, your summary is good. At Open Uru in the forum and wiki there are the same options and ideas in great detail. Instancing, that confuses so many, is discussed with the hope that in open source it can be made more consistent and easier to figure out. The options of solo or group play starts, a decent option, and others are put forth as well thought out plans.

The community full of ideas. The problem is coming together in consensus. When we think only of our own preferences that is difficult.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:10 am 
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Nalates wrote:
If we did not want the social interaction, we could play the offline version and hang out in the forums. While I’m sure it makes sense to those that want the online game and don’t care about the social aspects, it seems inconsistent to me to want the online game and not want new players and social interaction. Calmiche’s direction on the groups and chats is the direction the web is moving. It seems to be what people want. It may not suit you, but the point is whether this is about our being self-centered or considering what others want.


There are several points here. One is that I have never said I didn't enjoy some social interaction in the game, but that it is not, to me, the reason for the game's existence. Another is that, well, who said the web only has to move in one direction or that "people" all want the same thing? What precise correlation is there between what turns up on the web and "what people want"? I know one blog site which has done a number of things that "people" (as in the customer base) didn't want at all. Sometimes, if "people" are loud enough, they get things changed back, but the initiation of change is more likely to come from the boardroom than the streets. The point being that the proliferation of social-networking sites, all trying to be more like each other, is not necessarily a sign that one more will be welcomed.

SL is becoming like Facebook? Well, good for it. It proves there is an impulse towards homogeneity on the web, towards things imitating each other to try to catch the success rather than keeping to their own path. Just like the blurring into one of all the myriad TV channels we've seen over here. The drive for popularity denies specialisation, like the wind tunnel making all cars look the same.

I think diversity is good, and not just for me. I like there to be lots of things around I don't like, and I like them to be all different, because that means it's okay for the things I like to stay different and keep their individuality. Making Uru more like SL may not be the point, but that just makes it more likely to happen while people are concentrating on attracting new players.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:26 am 
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Nalates wrote:
If we did not want the social interaction, we could play the offline version and hang out in the forums. While I’m sure it makes sense to those that want the online game and don’t care about the social aspects, it seems inconsistent to me to want the online game and not want new players and social interaction. Calmiche’s direction on the groups and chats is the direction the web is moving. It seems to be what people want. It may not suit you, but the point is whether this is about our being self-centered or considering what others want.

Improving the KI/chat/buddy interfaces in Uru is one thing, which probably Uru needs quite badly. Trying to make it go in the direction where "the web is moving" is something completely different. I am not sure your line of reasoning makes sense; for what I understand, it's like saying that any website should include a search engine, because Google is successful and therefore that's what people want. It is true that everyone nowadays seems to follow some kind of social networking; this does not mean that people want social networking everywhere. It is a common misconception in the business world. Facebook & co. help people keep in touch with what happens in the real lifes of their friends, but what use would it be to have a similar interface in what is an adventure game where people live in a fictional world?

However, we do need better ways to spread information. What about something more Uru-like, e.g. being able to pick up copies of a monthly/weekly In Cavern newspaper from the DRC desk close to the Tokotah?

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