Sunday, December 14, 2008


Uru being open-source means anyone can do pretty much whatever they want without Cyan's approval.

Dr Britcom Mom:

I think ddfreyne sums it up pretty nicely.

And some of us get the screaming heebie geebies from the thought.

Yup. Big Old Screaming Heebie Geebies. NOT because of the potential for wild and wacky Ages. Not because of the potential for 'adult' spaces and events. Not because of worrying about Ages that look like they were pulled straight from an 8 bit game (Although doing that *on purpose* might be tres nifty.

Because with no one steering the ship in any way, how do we keep from ending up on the reef? It's already started, with the conflict between an FCAL or none, between if this will be isolated shards just like UU, or one big central network that servers can decide to connect to or not.

I could care less if someone makes a Nudist Age, or someone makes a Pentecostal Age where everyone must dress modestly, as long as everyone has the right to visit, or not. But without some sort of centralization, some sort of road map, we'll end up like UU all over again, individual 'shards' of people, who rarely to never go anywhere but their 'home' shard, and all the attendant isolation, territorialism and conflict.

And all the cool new Ages in the world won't help that.


Anonymous said...

This is a good topic to discuss and I am glad to see someone asking questions now. My response will be from two perspectives; that of an explorer and that of a shard owner (past and/or present, who cares... ;) ). The reason being is that for me there are two sides to Uru, Uru the game and Uru the experience.

I first loved Uru as an explorer, just as I first did Myst long ago on my Windows v3.11 system with the single speed CDROM drive and ISA sound card. Myst was an experience that you 'lived', yet (at least to me) it seemed like a lonely place. Rather sad for something so beautiful that it should be a shared experience.

I was sad that Ubi pulled the plug on Uru Live, just like everyone else. When UU was released, I decided that I was going to run a shard because I had lost Uru online once and I was damned if that was going to happen again. While it was a wild ride (to say the least), I learned a lot about myself and the community at large.

We are a diverse bunch of people, and that is where we find the kernel of the problem. There are too many divergent opinions in our community for any kind of 'one size fits all' solution to anything. No matter how you approach the solution, someone is stepping on the toes of someone else.

One example of conflict in the community is that there are two general 'groups' or opinions on 'control' (whatever 'control' may be or is perceived to be by anyone else). Some people are really comfortable with a centralized control or structure/hierarchy. There are various reasons for this comfort. Some look up to groups to make the tough decisions for them, to give them a 'direction' or path to follow. Others believe that a control system will 'protect' them from whatever they fear or do not like. Still others believe that a control structure is something to join in and pursue a 'career' (such as it is) in it; some happy to serve at whatever level they can and others to 'go for the glory' and claim one of the 'top dog' spots.

The second 'group' believes that a centralized control structure can be limiting by imposing controls on what is or is not acceptable for the public at large. Some believe in total anarchy while others believe in a voluntary control structure with the option of being able to work outside of that group (if desired).

One weakness of a control structure is that if the participants in it decide that the leaders are 'out of control' there is the likelihood of a schism developing and a branch being formed. From that point forward, there will be two control groups, each claiming to be the 'true' group of leaders. Look at religions, the sciences, governments and other evidence, people will disagree, some strong enough to leave and go it on their own.

When Uru is open sourced, I am hoping for a good control structure for the core/canon storyline (as told by the public, not Cyan). When it comes to the storyline, I want the 'real thing' to be just that, as real as if Cyan had done it themselves. But I would want that group to be open to unconventional ideas but many of the very same people who support a control structure may not like some ideas and this could cause conflict.

This is where the 'wild west' part comes in. It is going to happen, but I look at it like a melting pot. Whatever good that comes up to the top of the pot should be skimmed off and used (if found to be useful). Some people work best on their own and do not care to collaborate, and they need a way to do what they want to without feeling the need to be a part of anything. If people like their work then they will start asking for it.

Freedom is tough for some people. Some people just like being led, they like a structure they can look at and believe in. There is nothing wrong with that, just like there is nothing wrong with not wanting to be a part of that structure but still being able to participate in their own way.

I would not run a canon shard because I would not want to deal with the headaches and personalities involved. Heck, I would be one if the headaches. ;) Nor would I want that responsibility because it would take more time that I would have to spare. That is why I ran my shard the way I did, as a place to goof off and unwind. To do strange things with the AdminKI and basically playing my own online version of 'PYST'. Yes, I proudly plead guilty to loving PYST. I absolutely loved it! It was exactly as I would imagine Myst Island would be after capitalism got done with it.

Our old forum is full of pictures showing us doing things like trying to push Zandi's trailer over, creating 'exotic' cone art, running around with sparklers shooting out of our arses, swimming in the lake, 'warp wars', name changing contests and much more. I want the same thing from the open source Uru, to have a place where people can go and laugh. Where they can see the game in a different light, do the impossible and have a different experience that what canon offers. I would want to run the Guild (or whoever) approved Ages, if they are allowed, yet I also want to run or make changes at my end if I so desire.

I make no pretenses of fitting into any storyline, nor do I wish to. I will not offer Uru as the 'gospel' to the 'believers', I want to offer it to anyone who just likes good friends and wants to do things that would make Rand shake his head and laugh at the silliness of it all.

Some people fear what is coming, I am looking forward to it. One thing this community has is a lot of talented individuals and more will join as word gets out, so I know the potential is there to make Uru a truly great online experience. This is change, and some people fear change. I look at it as just another bridge I will be crossing on the road of life. Granted, it is a different kind of bridge and not the one I was expecting, but it is still a bridge. I will cross it.

People are going to go wherever they are interested, and I am interested in canon but I also want me some 'wild west'. It's where I live. ;)

EleriCooks said...

Exactly that. There's so much potential, and while some people will be happy to be 'city folk', some will want to live in the wild west, and some will want to migrate back and forth.

So whatever we come up with really has to leave all the options for creativity open (I dare someone to make an Age based on one of Ursula Vernon's 'lizard and' paintings!) and still have a good stable foundation, so that even if divergence and schizms happen, it becomes more like the branches of a tree, than a whole new tree.

Deg said...

Open Source doesn't necessarily mean anyone can do anything with Uru. I think Alahmnat's post at describes a good process of Cyan keeping some ownership and creative control.