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Would you be willing to volunteer your services to keep this game going and make it the game you always wanted to play? Feel free to elaborate by responding to this post.
Yes 81%  81%  [ 145 ]
No 19%  19%  [ 34 ]
Total votes : 179
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 5:56 am 
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Finding out what content is in the updates isn't hacking in any way. It's simply looking at what files were updated.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:18 am 
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Paradox wrote:
Finding out what content is in the updates isn't hacking in any way. It's simply looking at what files were updated.


What do I know, I'm no programmer. Still, I'm sure it can be done by people far more experienced than I.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 5:32 pm 
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silmefea wrote:
The game feels like a love affair gone bad; noone wants to admit it's over, but they don't know what to do to fix the situation.


I think that is the most heart-felt and accurate description of the game so far. I felt exactly like that, only, that I chose to not be in denial any longer.

I think Uru could become a community project again (like it was before). But it cannot be at the same time a commercial venture AND a community project.

It has to be either a company taking our money to entertain us (with the choice of pre-longing the relationship in everyone's hands at all times), or a ongoing non-profit past-time of amateur enthusiasts.

Having a legion of freelance, volunteer developers and designers does not help, because the overhead of coordinating that effort is too big. Trust me, I have led several off-shore development projects in the past. While not exactly the same, those are even easier to handle than what you propose, and still are a tough proposition.

The other alternative is open-source with all its pros and cons, and I am almost certain this will not happen. And if it did, the current playerbase would shrink to just a hardcore crowd. Because the majority of poeple wants Uru. From Cyan. The official version.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:30 pm 
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Axel wrote:
I think Uru could become a community project again (like it was before). But it cannot be at the same time a commercial venture AND a community project.


I'm going to have to disagree on that one. I don't think Uru could possibly succeed as anything but a combination of commercial venture and community project. It didn't succeed as just a commercial venture (at least not with Ubisoft), nor as a community project (yes, I realize there's still a delusional few who think Untìl Uru could have thrived in the long run). It's precisely the combination of the two that's required to make it work. Yes, we do need more effort on Cyan's part (staffing aside), but we also need more from the community.

The most obvious aspect where this hybrid nature becomes essential is storytelling. It's one thing to rightfully criticize the lacking quality of the current plots Cyan has been providing, but regardless of that, the community has to come up with its own ideas in parallel, in many different ways, ranging from acting to written journals and other creations to complete ages.

What I would like Cyan to be, for Uru, is the provider of the infrastructure's basics. Not just on a technical level, but also content-wise (including one or more larger continued storylines). At the same time, the community has to complete that same infrastructure, both in form of story bits, as well as occasionally in more technical ways – be it running their own websites (which they already extensively do, and have been doing for a long time), supplying additions to the software (in the form of plug-ins, I suppose) or even just providing feedback.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:48 pm 
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The answer to that depends on how long they keep us hanging. Everyone has their own personal limit. Very few are infinite.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:28 pm 
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chucker wrote:
What I would like Cyan to be, for Uru, is the provider of the infrastructure's basics. Not just on a technical level, but also content-wise (including one or more larger continued storylines).


I don't think that will succeed. If you want to attract a mass audience (required to pay the bills of ongoing improvements), you cannot ask them to bring their own lunch. You are kinda proposing for Cyan to build the theatre and maybe put on the opening scenes for each act, with the bulk of the show performed by the audience.

Fan creations will only ever be the icing on the cake. Uru is too proprietary and complicated an application to easily adapt. What you are proposing worked for Neverwinter Nights, which provided a powerful fully featured content creation toolkit. You are asking us to build a car just equipped with a bit of chewing gum and a piece of string.

While I am positive that many in the community have the creative energy and probably some awesome story ideas, how could they possibly enact them without some user friendly tools?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:40 pm 
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Axel & chucker are really both correct at the same time. Chucker's explanation could work... if tools like the ones Axel describes became available. The source of disagreement on the topic rests within the area outside of our knowledge - whether or not those tools will come into existence. Only Cyan knows how much, if any, of their budget in Season 1 was devoted towards that goal. Fans can debate the likelyhood of tool development until they're blue in the face, but it will neither change reality, nor enlighten us as to what that reality is.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:17 am 
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Then of course, we have the community that is writing their own Age Creation tools and already exporting content for the offline Uru games.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:30 am 
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Axel wrote:
I don't think that will succeed. If you want to attract a mass audience (required to pay the bills of ongoing improvements), you cannot ask them to bring their own lunch.


Not everyone. Not even half. But when – just like is already the case – a sizeable plurality of people shows much interest in contributing, then I think it might succeed.

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You are kinda proposing for Cyan to build the theatre and maybe put on the opening scenes for each act, with the bulk of the show performed by the audience.


Yes. I don't think Uru could possibly work any other way. Heck, look at Second Life. In this respect, it's just about the only similar platform. Linden Lab provides the infrastructure; most of the actual content is done through third parties.

Quote:
You are asking us to build a car just equipped with a bit of chewing gum and a piece of string.


Your analogy doesn't work, nor would any other. Uru is a new kind of thing, and trying to find apt analogies is – no offense – a waste of everyone's time. I get the feeling that you're trying too hard to retrofit Uru into a traditional, linear game, which it cannot be (and, save the ridiculously lacking and poorly-planned single-player releases, never in fact has been).

The kinds of tools Uru needs – creation/editing aside – include matters outside the game itself. For instance, much like Second Life has a URL scheme, Uru requires one as well. When someone is exploring and I'm not, that someone – having discovered something of interest – should be able to send me an instant message containing a link that will launch Uru for me and link me straight next to that other person. This alone would make me far more likely to spend sizeable amounts of time exploring in uru, as I wouldn't have to keep it running all the time. Similar additions include the ability to participate in KI chat using an external client (ideally as a plug-in to Adium/Pidgin/etc.), the ability to record activity in Uru using a Plasma-optimized format (i.e., not as a video, but as a special format that merely stores every person and object's movements, thus only taking up a few kilobytes per second) – which by the way would help greatly with the huge "I missed that part of the episode!" issue, and so on. These are all no-brainers. Furthermore, these all encourage using Uru even while not using Uru, if you get my drift.

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While I am positive that many in the community have the creative energy and probably some awesome story ideas, how could they possibly enact them without some user friendly tools?


I'm not denying that Uru, software-wise, currently seriously lacks the necessary flexibility. In fact, I fully agree that, right now, Uru is quite unsuited to work the way it should. But then, nobody (well, hardly anyone) wants Uru to remain the way it is, and tools for adding community content have been in the works.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:37 am 
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From an outsider's point of view, Cyan Legal's ability to provide for such capability seems far less evolved than the actual toolset of the fan community.

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Last edited by JWPlatt on Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:37 am 
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My understanding is that games that are released with a toolkit were designed with that toolkit in mind. The toolkit was released with the game. I'm thinking of Morrowind, Oblivion and the latest Neverwinter Nights - I'm sure there are many more. You didn't try to retrofit a set of tools to a released game. I'm not saying it couldn't work, just that I've never seen it.

I also don't know of any MMO game that comes with a set of tools that lets you make content. I'm talking an MMO game here, something with game and story elements, not a sandbox like Second Life. Second Life was specifically designed so users could create content, and it's a "sandbox", - there is no game content. The only MMORPG that I know of that let users create their own quests was Ryzom, and sadly, Ryzom is either shut down or going to be shut down soon.

On - will user created content work? - I think it's complicated. First of all, no matter what we do in the game now - no story arc we can create changes anything. I can't run my own story with a character I create, and, for example, release a new age as part of my story, or even give someone a new object! Nothing I can do, from a story perspective, changes anything in the game. User created content sure as heck doesn't work now - OK, it does if you like to roleplay, but nothing about the game changes.

Next, as far as I can tell, Cyan is really picky about their characters. If you try to roleplay as Yeesha, or say you saw Yeesha when you didn't, not only does this tend to annoy other players, but, as far as I can tell, it annoys Cyan. Players (my observation) seem to want to know what the "official' characters and story are. Either you educate the players (and I think you'd need to do that in-game), and/or you do something to make those "official" characters look special in the game.

On gameplay, remember in the old days when "gameplay drove story"? You know, you solved a puzzle and you got a new age, maybe a journal (not a favorite fo mine, but it was something). The whole episodic content seems to violate that concept. Perhaps a better way of saying it is that Uru is two separate games. In the puzzle part, you solve puzzles to get new ages, and learn more of the story. In the episode part, it's sort of an interactive play, if you are lucky enough to attend. You watch what is going on, and sometimes you get to ask questions. if you aren't there, there's no repeat gameplay - you lose.

If we, as players, get to add characters who tell a story, I'd like something to be changed in the game, as a result of that story, and I'd like it to be repeatable to all players, even if they weren't right there at the time.

I regard this a different from fun socialization stuff, such as the D'ni Olympics, the concerts, the parties all that - those are great, but different from story arcs.

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Last edited by mszv on Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:42 am 
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mszv wrote:
irregardless of what we do in the game now


Regardful? :lol:

On a more serious note, I think you're drawing a line between sandboxes and story-driven games that doesn't have to be there. GTA can be played entirely as a sandbox, but it also has a (somewhat trite) storyline. One could hypothetically build a storyline on top of Second Life content. Uru? Jalak Dador is a sandbox. Heck, the entire city is a giant sandbox. There's nothing there. A bunch of journals and a massive backstory, but nothing to directly interact with. There's little games like markers and ahyoheek, and bigger games like the journeys. But all in all, I don't think it's a stretch to consider Uru a sandbox.

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Last edited by chucker on Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:43 am 
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JWPlatt wrote:
From an outsider's point of view, Cyan Legal's ability to provide for such capability seems far less evolved than the actual toolset of the fan community.


I fail to see Cyan Legal's difficulty in approving access to basic protocol architecture. "Here's your permission; there's no documentation because we don't have time to come up with it. Figure the rest out. Good luck!"

That's all that's really needed.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:49 am 
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Ok, every time I use "irregardless", a word I like, someone objects. So, in the spirit of fun, I'm changing it!

Back to an actual comment. Chucker, if you want to turn Uru into a sandbox, that would be fine - I'd like to see what would happen. But, the whole idea of a sandbox is that there easy to use tools that come with the thing, and everyone knows it's a sandbox kind of game. Right now, Uru has no tools. Hey, I don't work for Cyan, so what do I know, but it's hard for me to imagine our Uru suddenly going from no tools (and they weren't part of the design) to a rich set of tools we all can use!

Apart from that, I think it's also a player education issue, and do enough people want that kind of game to subscribe in terms of thousands and thousands of players. Again, what do I know, but do you think that you can get thousands and thousands of players to buy into that?

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Last edited by mszv on Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Volunteers
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:42 am 
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Quote:
If you try to roleplay as Yeesha, or say you saw Yeesha when you didn't, not only does this tend to annoy other players, but, as far as I can tell, it annoys Cyan. Players (my observation) seem to want to know what the "official' characters and story are.


You got that right. Thereare far too many people in these forums providing false/wrong information. Just think what it would be like in MOUL!

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