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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 10:37 am 
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Stucuk wrote:
Would it be possible to set up a system where helping on a project associated with open-source Uru counts? For example, bug testing an age, contributing a model or a texture to a shared library of resources, writing or editing an article for one of the GoMe publications, helping with forum admin on one of the community websites, ...

The problem with that is that some people aren't developers. It would basically close off entire areas to players, just because they can't code or model. I think that would be grossly unfair.

These points could be earned by using not skills, but "repairing" Ages (you could get a tool dispenser, and you go to an unstable Age and try to fix it). Or, you can drop pellets into the Lake. Or, you can help the DRC by doing simple "fetching quests", requiring you to solve additional puzzles to get from Person A to Person B (sometimes, you won't even know where B is; the quest then plays like a mystery, where you try to find his last known whereabouts and so on).

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Stucuk wrote:
The problem with an in-game currency is how do you get the money to buy things. With most MMO's you get gold for completing quests for NPC's or killing things but URU doesn't have either of them.


I think you may be confusing "play" money with real currency. One good example is SL Lindens. I'm suggesting creating a mechanism for a real economy that would provide a profit motive for developers that doesn't rely exclusively on ego gratification.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 4:39 pm 
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So instead of having age creators work based on their artistic vision or raw desire to grow this game, you want to introduce greed and profit. Your so called "ego gratification" is your own perversion of what Age writing really is.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:29 pm 
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No Whilyam, I said nothing about greed, and I never suggested "..instead of..".

I was speaking about adding an additional incentive to the game in order to cultivate new creative development that wouldn't be based exclusively on feeling good about the work. When the only development incentive available is derived from emotional satisfaction (ego gratification), then when egos become bruised, the "I'm-going-to-take-my-ball-and-go-home" attitude emerges.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:59 pm 
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@ Stucuk, I wasn’t clear so you took it differently than I intended. Sorry. Core changes… I meant in the programming side. For all those things to move the game would need lots more object definitions and attributes. It is hard to know what Plazma does and does not include or support. I am sure PhysX could handle it but I don’t know that CWE engine would support the render for that complexity. May be.

@ ChloeRhodes, I suppose one can think it is and isn’t real time creation. He spec’s a terrain and then generates it, which usually is not thought of as real time editing. That it is done within game confuses the labeling. The process suggests it would be difficult if not impossible, without fundamental changes, to edit mesh vertex by vertex. Since the age geometry is typically downloaded before the age renders, there has to be some way for the 2nd player to get the on-the-fly mesh, which is why I think of real time editing as impractical in Uru’s MMO environment.

A few other virtual worlds have real time editing (OpenSim and SL), so we have known it is possible. That it will ever be in general use in Uru seems unlikely. That it would ever reach the level that a group could build concurrently seems highly improbable.

@ Regnad Kcin01 & Szark, new ages draw players but we have been over the problems with depending on just new age content. I understand that is what will draw you back to the cavern. But, hopefully we come up with some ideas of what can make the content last longer and reduce the demand for ages.

@ Zardoz, I agree the art does provide infinite possibilities. A portion of the community has the idea we should only find old D’ni books and learn more about the D’ni and only the worlds created by the D’ni. That has a certain attraction. It certainly was the story line when only Cyan was designing ages. But, allowing the story to follow RL open source changes where more people are learning to model ages is reflected by current day IC people learning the art and designing worlds. One has to decide if someone creating a linking book to a Barsoom (Pixar John Carter On Mars film ) type world fits into Uru. The community is divided on this point.

Whether we have new worlds like Barsoom isn’t really the question nor will we ever agree on whether it is a good idea. That shift in permissible styles of worlds can increase verity but does it really change Uru’s voracious demand for new content and poor player retention?

Regnad Kcin01 wrote:
[…]the more accurate observation would be that Uru failed in general because its limited re-playable content was too time-intensively lavish, and too quickly consumed to be profitable.

Regnad summed up the problem nicely.

Logins are probably an ok metric for an indicator of success. We’ve discussed success being different things to different people. People liking and playing in Uru is a type of success.

RE: Dot, her post points out a style of age testing and creation that can be fun. As MOULa/MOSS/CWE (Plasma?) works now inviting people to test ages and being able to edit them is way complicated. In other game engines it is much easier (OpenSim). So, will linking from Uru into other game engines be acceptable game play? For some of us it is. Whether we as a community accept the engine-linking idea or not using OpenSim for testing and experimenting is in progress. I expect that use to increase when OpenSim and SL upgrade their systems this year and allow Blender models for building in those engines. See: Explanation of Modeling Changes in Second Life

Beyond just testing, game play in those engines now have some features people are bringing up here. But, those places have player retention issues too. Being able to link to those areas provides a cheap place (cheap in labor, learning, time, hosting cost) to experiment without the need to write lots of code to change MOSS/CWE. Faster testing validates or discredits the ideas we have about player retention and popularity.

It certainly changes the time-intensity, or labor intense, dynamic of bring new content into Uru.

The key question may be whether clicking a link and having another window on the desktop open is more damaging to immersion than watching a black screen with a progress bar?

@ Regnad Kcin01, I hold no hope that there will be any sort of significant development from a player's perspective as a result of the Open Source effort.” I’m not so hopeless… I do think it will take some time. Ryzom is probably a good example of how Uru will develop and the time needed.

@ B'ni Rabbit, as to currency changing the basic nature of the game… could be. But, I don’t think so because we are playing as ourselves finding the D’ni cavern. If you go into Marvel Cave in RL does your cell phone, credit cards and money suddenly vanish and fall out of your consciousness? No. So, I’ve never understood why people think an in-game currency would suddenly change the Uru universe.

@ Lyrositor, credits, points, experience points… these can be a leveling thing or a trading tool. Cyan put things in the game that gave people some bragging rights. So, we sort of have some leveling. It is pretty subdued. We have no trading features. So, I think currency in the conventional meaning would be a game-feel change. It might be good or bad. Experience point systems are used in many RPG’s to encourage play and enhance player retention via a competitive spirit. That too would be a game-feel change. I think a currency would have less impact than competitive leveling. How do you see those aspects affecting the game?
[/@]

I also want to remind people that going the route of fairness is a dead end. We may be able to have a reasonable, equitable, and morally just game but fairness is an unattainable goal. It is not only unfair to hold back or not reward or otherwise incentivize those building the game, it is unjust, inequitable. Avoid the word fair.

Consider how one would make a currency system equitable to all players. Take fairness and equitable to another thread. How this may help or hurt player retention is suitable for this thread.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 6:07 pm 
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I don't think that the role of the OS community should be to change the fundamental game design inside MOULa itself. So I'm not in favour of a currency model.

Anyway, I mentioned a few posts back that I'm founding a team for getting the content the game needs out to players. I've done just that, and the OU staff have kindly allowed me to make a little subforum on their forums for this team.

You can find the subforum here: http://forums.openuru.org/viewforum.php?f=103

If you have content concepts that you think would be great to see in MOULa, and especially if you have the modelling or coding skills to help those concepts become realities, I strongly encourage you to head over there and start hammering out the content that will make this game flippin' awesome. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 10:24 pm 
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@Nalates: I don't Commendation Points from DRC (DRCCP) would affect gameplay, but would instead add to the realism. They'd have to be implemented carefully, though, so that they don't affect gameplay. Think of it: we've been exploring the Ages for years, and what have we gotten from the DRC? Virtually nothing. Barely a word of thanks here and there. This would allow the DRC to rank explorers and to reward participation.
Another thing: some people don't like the DRC. This opens up a whole other level. Because for some, these credits will be seen as a great reward, while others might see it as a betrayal of their ideals. This could lead to factions, and could advance the storyline, and so on and so on. I really think DRC points could bring a whole new level of depth to the gameplay.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 2:01 am 
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Lyrositor wrote:
Stucuk wrote:
Would it be possible to set up a system where helping on a project associated with open-source Uru counts? For example, bug testing an age, contributing a model or a texture to a shared library of resources, writing or editing an article for one of the GoMe publications, helping with forum admin on one of the community websites, ...

Dot said that not me btw.

Regnad Kcin01 wrote:
I think you may be confusing "play" money with real currency. One good example is SL Lindens. I'm suggesting creating a mechanism for a real economy that would provide a profit motive for developers that doesn't rely exclusively on ego gratification.

You can't limit a feature of the game just to developers. There are a handful of players that are developers compared to the whole of the community. Its a good idea to encourage people to develop(Such as making it easier for them to obtain "Money" through there contributions to the community), but you can never have an entire "money" system which only developers can use. So if a "money" system is introduced everyone should be able to obtain it in some way(Lyrositor's ideas for example).

Nalates wrote:
@ Stucuk, I wasn’t clear so you took it differently than I intended. Sorry. Core changes… I meant in the programming side. For all those things to move the game would need lots more object definitions and attributes. It is hard to know what Plazma does and does not include or support. I am sure PhysX could handle it but I don’t know that CWE engine would support the render for that complexity. May be.

Disclaimer: I can't say for sure what is required because i don't have alot of experience with the CWE source (Not been looking at it for very long) and i have never used PhysX in my life. I have only ever used Newton Game Dynamics for Physics(Same Physics Engine the video i linked to uses), so i am only going by what would be required for Newton Game Dynamics. So everything in this bit of my post should be taken as my own personal views rather than facts.

To implement a basic version(one where movement may not be as smooth as you may want) of "Picking"*(See below) it shouldn't take alot of code changes if the physics is on the clients side**(See below) but if its on the servers side then it may. Picking is unlikely to need any changes in the age's as you already have geometry in certain ages which is defined as being a physical object(Rocks, Sticks, etc. The things you can currently "Kick").

To get things like drawers/leavers/valves/etc so you can open them yourselves would depend on how easy it is to make joints in PhysX and also to update all the tools so you can have one in your age. So that part may take alot depending on how flexible the tools and the current file formats are(I haven't gotten far enough into CWE's file formats to know).

*"Picking" is where you have a bit of code which allows you to basically make an object follow your mouse, so you move your mouse upwards and the object would move upwards with your mouse, etc.

**Client side physics is where the client tells the server that a player has moved/etc and the server accepts that. Server side physics is where the server tells the client where the player is, if he has moved, etc. Generally there is still Physics on the clients side but the server will update the client telling it how its world should look like(Where people should be, etc). Server side stuff is generally used when you can never afford to trust the clients word. So in games where people could cheat, modifying there client to allow them to fly, etc. I would guess that CWE would use Client Side physics as URU isn't the kind of game where it matters if people can fly , but i don't know for sure.


Nalates wrote:
One has to decide if someone creating a linking book to a Barsoom (Pixar John Carter On Mars film ) type world fits into Uru. The community is divided on this point.

In my opinion ages should be realistic to the Myst Universe. For example, a Starwars age would never be appropriate for URU because its not realistic to the basis of the Myst Universe but that doesn't mean you can't make a space age where your on a space station as long as it feels like its a Myst age.

Its hard to explain by what i mean when i say "feels like its a Myst age" but I think its mainly the artistic style which is used. For example in the Myst Universe you have grand machines which look complicated and generally made out of old parts, rather than a shiny laptop on a desk. You can still have shiny laptops but it depends on how its done. For example if you have a jungle world where the DRC has setup a camp which has some laptops lying around, then it is not unrealistic because they could have brought them from the surface, but if you had a Giant PC Shop in the middle of the jungle it wouldn't work. It all depends on how ideas are done rather than what they are. The context is important.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 11:46 am 
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"...but does it really change Uru’s voracious demand for new content and poor player retention?"

"Beyond just testing, game play in those engines now have some features people are bringing up here. But, those places have player retention issues too."

"Experience point systems are used in many RPG’s to encourage play and enhance player retention via a competitive spirit. That too would be a game-feel change. I think a currency would have less impact than competitive leveling."


Each of these statements (and many others in this conversation) implicitly focuses the lion’s share of attention on player retention. It is a fundamental error in an Open Source environment to ignore the idea that there needs to be a balance between player retention and developer retention. A currency system (I’m talking about real money that can be extracted from the world or injected from off-world accounts just as it can be in SL) can be a somewhat self-balancing addition that could serve retention interests on both sides of the equation. Talking exclusively about ideas that serve player retention alone is a non-integral practice that doesn’t see the whole picture. It repeats the error already demonstrated over and over again. It is a consumer based perspective that ignores the concept of what is being consumed and where it comes from.

The idea of a currency system would support retention of both independent content creators, and consumers of the content.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 12:05 pm 
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Currency system isn't a great name if you mean an Item Mall like system as it can be confused by what people normally consider a currency system as(Gold, etc). Having something similar to TF2 where developers can get a share of the money may be a nice idea but the main problem is that people could just start there own shard where nothing goes to the developers. So it would all depend on if there is enough people on the main server who would buy the items rather than go to another server where they could get all the items for free.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Stucuk wrote:
Currency system isn't a great name if you mean an Item Mall like system....


That isn't a currency system, Stucuk. That is a distribution mechanism which can't exist unless there are goods produced and a currency system in place that would support an exchange of value for value.

A currency system would also support a much wider range of ideas. One example would include a building team that would create a concert hall world and then rent it out for concerts. A concert promoter could sell performance tickets, and pay talent to perform. This is just one small example of how a real economy could supplement age building as an attraction and a retention mechanism for both players and content creators.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 2:52 pm 
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I doubt people would spend real money to rent out a building or to be able to enter a concert. They may spend real money for things like clothes, extra ages, etc however.

If it was "play" money as you put it then i could see people spending "play" money on renting buildings, etc.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Why does everybody act as if it was impossible to get money in-game? It's easily feasable! These explorers aren't working for free (or so I assume). They can get "money" somehow. Either the DRC doles it out, or it is found inside Ages (not looting... just, you know, harmless stealing :wink: ), or it's just a steady flow of cash that's gotten every month. I don't think getting the currency is the problem - I think it would be spending it.
Alternatively, you could also spend REAL money to purchase some things that are difficult to obtain without or are inaccessible.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 3:52 pm 
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Regnad Kcin01 wrote:
The idea of a currency system would support retention of both independent content creators, and consumers of the content.

But it will also discourage shard owners, your primary generators of service. I'm not opposed, but currency is a huge deal. Once it is introduced, the shard owner is suddenly faced with orders of magnitude increases in fraud, abuse, theft and hacking. Nice for developers and fun for players, but an extraordinary liability for shard owners. It's enough of a liability that you will probably have to accept commercial operators and developers because hobbiests will quickly find out the enormous risks to their own livelihoods. Commercial development will require a substantial step up from where we are now.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 4:21 pm 
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Regnad Kcin01 wrote:
A currency system would also support a much wider range of ideas. One example would include a building team that would create a concert hall world and then rent it out for concerts. A concert promoter could sell performance tickets, and pay talent to perform. This is just one small example of how a real economy could supplement age building as an attraction and a retention mechanism for both players and content creators.


I feel sure that there are many Age Builders who are full to the brim with ideas of what could be brought into the game, IP rights and tech issues notwithstanding. I certainly am. I am not sure how having an in-cavern concert would work and would people actually pay money to attend it? A currency system could only work if there was something worth paying for, assuming people find it acceptable for the entire game to change direction from a puzzle-solving RPG to something like Facebook's Yoville, There or similar. Presumably people will be able buy certain things for their relto, such as D'ni artifacts, garden ornaments, deck chairs, windmills, paving slabs, disco lights and everyone can invite everyone else to see who has the most expensive and tackiest relto. (or Hood or whatever), then we can have "who is the richest player in the Cavern" contest and make the poorer players feel bad.

By doing that, you are removing many of the elements that make this game special and unique. Uru would no longer be Uru and we could relegate the game to just another cheesy MMO where the players are motivated by virtual assets instead of rediscovering D'ni worlds and building this special community.

Stucuk wrote:
If it was "play" money as you put it then i could see people spending "play" money on renting buildings, etc.


Do we really need something like this? I have been in several other MMO's and I could never see the sense on renting anything. It was just a means of extracting money from people on something that is not really needed. We have more than enough private areas/instances where people can have their own private space without paying for it. Another point is, is there a risk of discourging the player from participating in the game if they simply cannot afford virtual cash? Will certain areas be locked off from the poorer (or reluctant) player? That would be a 'Bad Thing' (tm). We have precious few active players as it is.


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