Monday, May 17, 2010

Wisdom Ganked

Completely ganked from Semionaut's Notebook (which you should be paying attention to, good stuff there...)

1. It’s Never “Just a Game.”
2. All Games Are Not Made for All People
3. Opinion is Not an Objective Truth

Story is the shared exploration of a relationship over time.

Play is any pastime with a primary goal of self-guided exploration of possibility within a bounded space.

Toy is an object created or used for the purpose of play that suggests, but does not enforce, a set of rules and/or conditions that can be used as a bounded space for play.

Game is a set of rules and/or conditions established by a community and intended as a bounded space for play.

Community is a group of people who have interests or experiences in common.

Participatory Storytelling is the intersection of Story, Play, and Community.

When it is working right, participatory storytelling is where Uru thrives. And that DOESN'T just include 'canon' storytelling.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I have a question, in an area I know less than nothing about, so I fully expect rolled eyes and sighs of dismay from those in the know...

Given that the Plasma engine is as complicated as it is, and even Cyan is having to reverse engineer it as part of open sourcing it...

Would it make more sense from a time/energy/money investment sense, to start from near-scratch with an Open Source engine, like OGRE or Crystal Space?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Uru Rationalist Manifesto

Uru Rationalist Manifesto (With Discordian Commentary)

We, the undersigned (which might just be me, but hey, what's the internet for, but intense navel gazing?), being members of the Myst, Riven, Exile, Revelation, End of Ages, D'ni and Uru (Henceforth known as the D'niverse [cause who the heek wants to type those names out every time...]) Fan Community, do attest to and support the following statements:

1) Everyone in the Community, up to and including all moderators of all forums, sites, fan gatherings, Cyan Worlds Employees and Interns are assumed to be reasonable, rational human beings. (And not cabbages, super heroes, gods or other paraphenalia, and the ones who aren't rational, we're pretty sure we can spot on our own...)

2) Human Beings Screw Up. This is part of being human. (So is bad BO and liking liver and onions, but you gotta draw the line somewhere...) Mistakes, oversights, bad moods, PMS and other factors are a normal part of human interaction, and are to be expected.

3) The best response to mistakes, bad moods, and other human normative SNAFU is to ask "How is this a problem for me?" Unless the mistake involves an FBI squad at your door, or direct meltdown of your hard drive, the answer is likely to be "It isn't." (And if it is your hard drive melting, how are you on the internet anyhow??)

4) If it is a problem, stop. Breathe. It isn't a problem, really. (No, really. Still don't think so? Go take a cold shower.)

Given that very few things are actually a ZOMG END OF THE WORLD problem in the community, and no one is really Out To Get Us we:

a) Support a MOULa as a collaborative effort between Cyan Worlds, Inc and the D'niverse community. (Can you say "sharing"? I knew you could!)

b) Recognize that Cyan has severely limited resources, not only for working on MOULa themselves, but overseeing community efforts; that this is ZOMG frustrating for people; and that there's not much to do but wait (and run in circles, and take up basket weaving, and raise clams in SL)

c) Feel that Cyan should make clear, reasonable, structured guidelines for adapting code and creating content for Cyan-maintained servers. (Foggy, irrational, and wobbly guidelines need not apply.)

d) That the oversight for those content rules should be provided by a Cyan appointed committee of fans, (if anyone uses the L word, I'll thwap you.) and that committee should consist of at least 2 people from each of the facets of the D'niverse community; Story/Canon/History; Social/Gathering/'OOC' and Technical/Code/'Hacking'

e) That once these things are in place, work can begin on releasing Uru assets in a controlled way (Who opened the floodgates?), because structure for returning those assets in a usable format to Cyan servers exists. (As opposed to That Which Will Crash The Vault)

f) Recognize that once the tools are out there, people will build what they want, when they want, how they want, and run servers and shards all over the place. More power to them! (Remember that whole "How is this a problem?")

Given all of the above, we:

i) Are going to avoid creating, participating in or encouraging drama in official places. (Drama Llamas will be stuffed and mounted)

ii) Bring up concerns we have with any person, forum, group, etc with them directly and privately, and only if we really feel the burning, burning desire to Go There. (Dirty laundry to the chute on the right...)

iii) Reserve the right to throw hissyfits, write essays, (create unimportant manifestos) and rabblerouse in our personal blogs because that's what they are for, and no one is forcing anyone to read them (How is this a problem still applies!)

iv) Are going to hang tight, and wait to see what happens with MOULa, because we can. (And because it's better than a sharp stick in the eye!)


Me, Eleri, because it's my blog, and it would be very silly putting a manifesto in my blog if I didn't like it, hmmm?

Modus Operandi

Step 1- Break or skirt a rule. Get called on it.
Step 2- Cry discrimination, point out every other instance of broken rules by others as 'proof'.
Step 3- Sit back and watch the mayhem, as people wonder why their posts are getting modded, ask publicly, and get modded.
Step 4- Point at rash of deleted posts as proof of forum inequality and irrationality, watch as forum explodes into debate, and mods try to keep up.

(Bonus step: at some point manage to work in overzealously enthusuastic community member into debate, use their out there comments as 'community sentiment'.)

The not-funny thing is, this has worked Every Single Time. Every one. In multiple places. It's like watching a train wreck.

Even if reasonable questions and concerns come up during the ensuing flame-and-delete fest, they get lost in the chaos.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What, again?

So, there's another round of Teh Drama in the Uru community again, the usual 'so and so is a problem, Cyan doesn't care, how come they pick on us and let others slide' and so on and so forth. And, as usual, it's a small but very loudly opinionated number of people raising the most fuss, while the vast majority of people just sit back, enjoy D'ni, and wait for the latest bruhah to roll over.

Yeah, so and so is about as extremist in their thinking as a person can get, to the point of it being almost funny, like making fun of Pat Robertson. So what? 99.9% of the rest of us *know* there's no credibility there, so why waste effort freaking out?

Yeah, Cyan isn't releasing things quickly, or being forthcoming, or many other ongoing complaints. So what? Uru is their product, they'll do with it what they will when and how they will it, even if people think it sucks rocks through a twisty straw. So what? Why spend so much energy beating against a wall you can't make come down? Why not put all that energy into making something people will enjoy, rather than being so angry?

Yeah, moderation on the forum is wobbly, inconsistent, and vague. Is it really that important, in the grand scheme of things, that heads roll and wrongs (perceived or actual) be righted? It's just a forum, a tiny corner of the internet with a few hundred or so consistently active people with a fairly common interest.

I remember a time when I thought such things were A Big Deal, worth ranting about, diving into arguments and chaos about, getting worked up until I alternated between rage and tears...and then I realized it wasn't worth the energy I was putting into it- my energy could happily go elsewhere into things that brought something to the community. So that's where I'm at, doing for, with what I have, how I can, and not fretting about what I can't do.

It makes for a much lower BP, and a much more enjoyable life.