Friday, January 02, 2009

OSMO vs Uru vs Myst vs ...

I've been trying to clearly articulate in my head, the discomfortature (is that a WORD?!) I have with OSMO, without making it sound like I think OSMO is a Bad Idea.

So let me start out here with a disclaimer:

I think OSMO is going to be a rocking good time, full of so much fun stuff to do of varying stripes, that everyone (including me) will find something to keep them entertained and happy.

That being said, I'm still in a sort of grieving process for Uru. OSMO is not, for me, Uru. OSMO is OSMO. Uru was... something more. Uru was a mythology, a story, a universe, a continuity.

I don't know if I can explain it clearly... Imagine if Tolkien had quit writing halfway though Fellowship...and then opened up Middle Earth as a creative playground. Or sitting through the first half of an undiscovered work of Shakesperian fantasy, only to have it cut off abruptly, because the play was unfinished.

That's what I mourn. I'll never know what the carved spire above the Hall of Kings is, the weird hangar-like ceiling doors near the ferry, or why the Arch has blinking lights on top when there's no planes. I'll never sit and talk with Laxman and tease him about blowing up the Great Zero again, or get in Cate's face about management.

I'll never know why Wheely needed to die, never see a Bahro up close... I will stand at the top of the Great Stair, surrounded by a million mysteries and questions, and there will be no answers.

OSMO will (I hope, although my cynical side scoffs at the notion, the track record for support of fan story from the populace is weak.) bring new stories to the table, maybe even bring back old ones (I *liked* the WE of UU), there will be chances, as Rand says, to see "whats around the next corner..."

But it won't be the corners I've always wanted to look around. OSMO becomes, in essence, digital fan-fiction. And there'll be the good, the bad, and the downright ugly, as is the nature of fanfic.

I'm glad for OSMO, but I mourn, because in gaining OSMO, we've lost D'ni.

1 comment:

Marten said...

If the community can eliminate the worst of Uru's design flaws, and overcome disagreements about what constitutes a flaw, and what should be fixed and how, then I see an opportunity for the community to return to Cyan something that is more consistent and usable than Uru has ever been in any of its prior incarnations.

If we can make it faster and easier to build quality content for Uru, and if we can make the game easier and less clunky to play, if we can think carefully through and arrive at clean consistent rules of how books and stones should work so the game is explainable without a three page essay just on different types of linking instances... if we can do these things, we can drive down the cost of building new content and drive up interest in the game.

There are a lot of "ifs" above. But I believe we can do it.