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ChaoticCoyote
02-05-2004, 11:15 AM
I've been thinking about the end of Uru Live. Many people seem angry and bitter, making harsh accusations against Cyan.

I offer a different perspective.

The people at Cyan were (and I hope still are) idealistic visionaries. The original "vision", presented several years ago, eroded over time as reality chipped away at Cyan's goals.

During the "real" beta test last year, it was clear that Cyan's vision exceeded their grasp; nothing being said about Uru Live now is new to those of us who played in the beta last year. The second fall of D'ni was not brought about by a lack of programming prowess, but rather due to a matter of scale.

I program massively parallel systems for a living, and can envision what would be required to realize Cyan's vision. In essence, Cyan wanted to create a Star Trek-style holodeck, albeit one based on a single universe. It wasn't a matter of algorithms, but rather a case of computational horsepower.

From my first experiences, I doubted that Uru Live! would succeed, beause I couldn't see any economic model that would fund the kind of hardware required. Ten thousand people willing to pay even $100 each won't provide the kind of hardware and support required for the scope of Uru Live.

My frustration with Cyan is tempered by an understanding that they were pursuing a dream, and that they did not want to let cold reality destroy that dream. I don't fault people for trying attain the stars, and falling back -- I've been there and done that myself.

If you think it's hard for the fans to give up on their dream, consider what this must be doing to the people at Cyan.

ChaoticCoyote
02-05-2004, 11:15 AM
I've been thinking about the end of Uru Live. Many people seem angry and bitter, making harsh accusations against Cyan.

I offer a different perspective.

The people at Cyan were (and I hope still are) idealistic visionaries. The original "vision", presented several years ago, eroded over time as reality chipped away at Cyan's goals.

During the "real" beta test last year, it was clear that Cyan's vision exceeded their grasp; nothing being said about Uru Live now is new to those of us who played in the beta last year. The second fall of D'ni was not brought about by a lack of programming prowess, but rather due to a matter of scale.

I program massively parallel systems for a living, and can envision what would be required to realize Cyan's vision. In essence, Cyan wanted to create a Star Trek-style holodeck, albeit one based on a single universe. It wasn't a matter of algorithms, but rather a case of computational horsepower.

From my first experiences, I doubted that Uru Live! would succeed, beause I couldn't see any economic model that would fund the kind of hardware required. Ten thousand people willing to pay even $100 each won't provide the kind of hardware and support required for the scope of Uru Live.

My frustration with Cyan is tempered by an understanding that they were pursuing a dream, and that they did not want to let cold reality destroy that dream. I don't fault people for trying attain the stars, and falling back -- I've been there and done that myself.

If you think it's hard for the fans to give up on their dream, consider what this must be doing to the people at Cyan.

Kwartha
02-05-2004, 11:21 AM
Very nicely said, ChaoticCoyote. I think you've hit the nail on the head there. The people at Cyan are certainly much more upset about this turn of events than any of us on the forums.

And I would like to believe that Cyan's vision is still alive. They certainly haven't said that they will never attempt an online game ever again, merely that this one wasn't going to work, so Uru will not be online. I think since many of the same people will be working on future Cyan projects, they will know how badly we want online adventure gaming to work, and strive to fulfil the promise of Uru Live in some future product.

I agree that their vision was a little unfeasible from a technical standpoint. I suspect that integrating a pre-built high-end real-time physics engine into MMOG-style network infrastructure is something that will not be fully feasible for at least a few more years.

Thanks for you thoughtful post. I liked it.

RogerRap
02-05-2004, 11:36 AM
Cyan should check out the way EVERquest does it and they have a live game going on all the time and its working great, I know because my neighbor is one of the players of that game and he has no problems with it. So maybe Cyan should contact those people that created everquest and find out how they are doing it?
Roger

Roger

Kwartha
02-05-2004, 11:40 AM
RogerRap: I'm pretty sure that Cyan is aware of the existance of EverQuest. They've had six years to develop Uru, and probably learned everything there is to know about MMOG development, including the fact that you need to get enough subscribers to pay your bandwidth bills and the cost of developing new content or you will go bankrupt.

Does Everquest release new content daily? weekly? monthly? No, I think Cyan had a much bigger vision here than anything that's come before. And I'm very happy that we'll be able to see the work that vision inspired in one form or another.

The technical problems they faced are common to all MMOG developers, and could easily have been overcome if they felt that effort would have paid off. They did the calculation, and came up quite short on players who were interested enough in Live to subscribe. Technical difficulties were not the deciding factor.

mszv
02-05-2004, 12:33 PM
Oh, I don't know. I've enjoyed the technical speculation as much as the next person, on why the online game didn't run smoothly, both in the first beta and post beta. I always regarded it as swell speculation, and was happy to indulge in it myself (though not on either the beta board or this board), knowing a "thing or two" about techland. However, it's all speculation. One other way to look at it is to believe what Cyan said about why they canceled Uru Live - it wasn't for tech reaons, it was because of not enough sales. Just a thought.

Cyan makes great games, but there is so much more competition now. Games got got better. There are some phenomenally good looking games out there. 3D games are inching to the same sort of detail that non 3D games have. Online games are getting better and better looking. Have you seen the new screenshots for Everquest II - I've seen heartstoppingly beautifull screenshots. Then there's Morrowind - single player yes, but wow, and it has mod tools. As for story, even first person shooters have good stories now. It's not that there aren't bad games out there, but there are many good ones.

What I think was different about Uru was that it was the first online game (and a beautiful amazing one) that worked well for a casual online gamer like me. Even if I didn't play that often (I really varied, on all the time to not on at all) or at various times, I could get into it, and also find people to talk to. Except for the KI (didn't like the interface, to put it mildly) I thought Uru had a very easy learning curve - not much to remember. I hoped that Uru would appeal to other "casual online gamers" like me. Well, it was not to be. Who knows. From what I've read, game companies have been trying to pull in the "elusive online casual gamer" for a long time. Maybe there just aren't enough "elusive online casual gamers" to make it work.

Regards, mszv play as amarez
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Put that down, you are not in a game, this is my life!
------------------
How to submit a bug report From Uru Live - ? (lower right) - ? (help), Contact Customer Service (bottom), From Forum - http://support.ubi.com/ - Knowledge base (left), Ask a question.

CyanBill
02-05-2004, 01:05 PM
I'm taking a break and posting in a friendly thread for once ha. Thanks for voices of reason and understanding.

Personally I still think there's enough people "out there" - the problem is getting them fast enough to convince the guys who are losing money every day that you'll not only break even but make back their investment with enough profit to warrant not investing that money in some other attractive project with just as much hope/vision/etcetera.

Everything else is solvable - the key ingredient missing in my personal opinion is/was time.

ChaoticCoyote
02-05-2004, 01:23 PM
I wish more companies treated software as an art, and not as a commodity. What Cyan was trying to create was interactive art; what Ubi wanted was a profitable product. The two goals are NOT mutually exclusive, but the money view tends to win out for practical reasons.

It's always a chicken-and-egg problem: Prove that an audience exists for something new. I see it as a professional writer, where publishers ask me for books that are "original", and then want examples of "similar" books that have proven track records. I see it in the software business, where management changes direction at the drop of a magazine article or market report.

And always, there are the kibbitzers, the people who have no clue (or sometimes worse, a vague but inaccurate clue) about how ideas become software and books. They comapre apples and oranges because they have no clue that these two fruits are different; and they are frustrated because too many of them place too much importance on playing a game.

I hope that Cyan, somewhere, keeps the faith in its vision. We don't have enough visionaries these days.

asa160
02-05-2004, 02:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ChaoticCoyote:
It's always a chicken-and-egg problem: Prove that an audience exists for something new. I see it as a professional writer, where publishers ask me for books that are "original", and then want examples of "similar" books that have proven track records. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Absolutely, CC. Plus they get experts to vet your proposal who end up suggesting that you write something almost identical to what's out there.

We may never know all the details of why Live died. Its likely to be a variety of things, many of which rely on financing. Hopfully Cyan Worlds will continue to build the Uru story through more than just a couple of expansion packs. Perhaps at some stage even creating an interface that will at least allow LAN party gaming in the Uru world.

The more serious problem I think is where does Cyan Worlds go after Uru. It was a visionary approach to gaming that gave birth to Uru. What is the next step, and can it be achieved?

Nomars
02-05-2004, 02:31 PM
I'm very happy to hear this from you Bill. Reading all the threads and speaking with the friends I made on Messenger we are all confident that this product would have been an immense success. If only it had been given a bit more time. Friends of mine who where waiting to sign on after the 'Grand opening' are very disappointed. Especially since I told them what an amazing experience it was.

I truly hope that you guys keep fighting to get this of the ground somehow. There must be people, financers, etc. around who share your vision and are willing to spend time and money on.

You are amazing visionairs and the way you made us part of it is amazing too. A real Uru Explorers community, like the one we had going, should still be considered the ultimate goal.

Take some time off and take the time to think about all the reactions, the petition and everything that is going on. In my opinion it proofs Cyan was on the right track http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

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ChaoticCoyote
02-05-2004, 02:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
The more serious problem I think is where does Cyan Worlds go _after_ Uru. It was a visionary approach to gaming that gave birth to Uru. What is the next step, and can it be achieved?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have a feeling this is what Cyan is agonizing over at the moment. Do they plan to try the grand vision later (since "putting it to bed" is not always the same thing as "giving up"), or do they intend to do something unique with the single-player Uru that keeps it growing for many years?

Time will tell.

Nomars
02-05-2004, 02:35 PM
So you read "Putting to bed" the same way I did ChaoticCoyote. Sleeping is something else than killing it. A good shake and it is awake again http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Avatar: Marcello
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DebbieDec2003
02-05-2004, 02:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The people at Cyan were (and I hope still are) idealistic visionaries. The original "vision", presented several years ago, eroded over time as reality chipped away at Cyan's goals.

My frustration with Cyan is tempered by an understanding that they were pursuing a dream, and that they did not want to let cold reality destroy that dream. I don't fault people for trying attain the stars, and falling back -- I've been there and done that myself.

If you think it's hard for the fans to give up on their dream, consider what this must be doing to the people at Cyan.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for a good post. That's precisely why I went to the MystWorld site and sent them a thank you e-mail. I said exactly (almost exactly) what you said in 1st paragraph, an ideal vision had been shown to me and now it's been taken away. I also said that every single person should be proud of themselves in that building. And that is the honest truth. They gave us all a really neat thing that if it had worked would have out-sold any other software game package by a mile. I know I've told dozens of people what a great program it is and thats why you never see me any more. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif But as CyanBill said money wins over vision at times. C'est la vie. If enough people make enough noise, the media will pick up on it and carry since that's their job. So call your local radio station and talk to the guy in the middle of the night (he's prob. bored stiff anyhow) and say hey I'm disappointed Urulive got cancelled. I think it stinks. Write letters to editors of game magazines. They like to publish readers letters. In other words get the message out beyond our wonderful world. Tell others and they'll feel the draw. If each person on this entire board told one other person and that person then bought the game, we've doubled the fan base. So point being don't knock Cyan and Ubisoft dreaming the impossible dream. Without dreams we have no hope. Leonardo Da Vinci didn't sit in a corner crying. That's who I reckon the Miller brothers rate with. IMHO of course.

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Khatie_
02-05-2004, 03:12 PM
Just to chime in... I agree with Bill (taking a personal stance here) that it was time we didn't have. Unfortunately, there was a lot of time spent on development but... it seemed to run out at the crucial point, launching Live.

Also, want to say that people I've met in the Production Team at Ubi.com were the kind of people who shared the dream. They regarded the work as an art, not as a profit - many worked overtime and none got paid for it. The Uru Live Team at Ubi all admired Cyan, loved Uru Live, and worked hard to make it a success.

I'm just as sad that those who could have granted more time, by giving more money, chose to take the safer route.

I'm pleased and proud of my time with Ubi - the people are great and working with Cyan each day has been a dream come true for me. I only wish the dream of Uru Live had come true, too.

~ Kha'tie
Uru Community Manager
Ubi.com

[This message was edited by Guinevere4719 on Thu February 05 2004 at 02:21 PM.]

tkwiggins
02-05-2004, 03:51 PM
Though saddened to tears by the loss of the Uru Live experience, when I look back on it -- and on Cyan's history -- I feel as strongly about its potential as I did a month ago today, when I responded to a post by Kawartha. He wrote:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Immersiveness to me is the feeling that I've actually visited another world. That the floors and the walls were real enough that I can almost feel the textures. That I have memories of that world just as detailed and enjoyable as my memories of this world. That I can describe every detail as if I had actually been there. And the feeling that such a place could actually exist, and that I would feel right at home if I ever stumbled upon it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I responded, in part:

That's a dead-on description of my reaction to Uru Live. I'm simply astounded -- not by perfect puzzles or photorealistic graphics, rather by how "real" the total experience feels. Meeting and chatting with other explorers reinforces the sense of reality. Reading D'ni's history deepens it. And permeating it all is the delicious sense of having been transported Elsewhere.

It is arguable that my reaction is colored by pre-conditioning; I am, after all, a Myst fan, steeped in D'ni lore. I have run into bored explorers who ask, "What is there to do?" and "What's the point?" But at the same time I am hearing more first-time explorers in the neighborhoods and seeing more first-time posters in the forums who never thought they would enjoy an online game -- and are amazed to discover that after two days in Uru Live, they're addicted.

Uru Live isn't going to instantly grab the world like Star Wars did in the '70's. Nor will it explode as a media sensation like Harry Potter.

Instead, Uru Live will grow its own audience. In time, their numbers will be truly enormous. Long time Myst fans will be dwarfed by the number of folks who are experiencing it for the first time. As has been graphed on the Uru Obsession forum, their ages will span three generations -- from pre-teens to grandparents. Marketers will scratch their heads. Imitators will scramble to the marketplace.

Uru Live will grow to be a phenomenon far beyond Myst and Riven. Server glitches and pixel count won't matter -- the former will be fixed and the latter will always increase. It will grow because the unadorned vision of the storyteller has always had the power to take us to "worlds just as detailed and enjoyable as our memories of this world." To evoke emotions. To provoke reactions. To speak to our hearts as well as to our minds. Be they bards at a campfire, actors on a stage, animators drawing for the screen or developers for our desktops, at the end of the day it is the vision of the storyteller that transports us. The medium itself is transitory and, to the part of our hearts that accepts the story as real, ultimately irrelevant.

Zharlen
02-05-2004, 04:05 PM
Yes, yes, yes. Execellent post.

Thank you for putting this into words.

The stories we tell ourselves as a culture transend the material world and our bread and butter for our minds and hearts.

Congrats to Cyan for being in that leaque and a shake of the head for whoever couldn't see it and pulled the plug. You got it upside down.

Zoe

Thutmose_75
02-05-2004, 04:35 PM
Sorry for the off topic reply, But PLEASE. If you havent done so yet, Sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/savelive/petition-sign.html? to try and save URU Live. Thanks

Zard0z
02-05-2004, 05:12 PM
Planetside, Planetside, Planetside. Its just another war game at heart but its on the massive scale that URU was proposed to be. It handles thousands of players, is based on a massive, and I do mean massive, PLANETARY scale, such that vehicles are definitely needed to traverse. Add up the constant gun fire, flying, crawling and hopping vehicles, armies of literally thousands of people and you get one massive **** storm of computation behing handled smoothly confidently and consistently. It is so very possible for URU to work, I am just sickened at how quickly the project was dashed without considering alternatives.

RogerRap
02-05-2004, 05:55 PM
Kawarthe,
I agree with you. I think that they should of stuck with it for at least a couple more mnonths to see if it inproved any.
Roger

Roger

melas
02-09-2004, 06:32 AM
Nicely said CC!

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Di-ane
02-09-2004, 10:06 PM
Thank You, Cyan Bill, for saying whar you did!
Technical problems and lack of subscriptions, or just a lack of subscriptions? If it was just not enough people, then where was the PR and the ads? Please....give us a hope...could Uru Live EVER be revived? Would a re-launch receive adequate promotion? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

AxelT
02-10-2004, 05:56 AM
Wow.

I just got back to Uru orbital headspace after real-life forced me to have my attention elsewhere.

I did expect or maybe anticipate a lot of things, but I would have never expected this harsh full-stop, certainly not so soon.

There's a lot of speculation here and a lot of accusations, most of them misplaced I think ... because I doubt neither Cyan nor Ubi set out to run this into the ground. Why would they. Six years in the making ... stillborn in the end. I was absolutely speechless last night when I heard of it. And I am glad I didn't write anything then.

What the heck went wrong?

Was it technical reasons as Coyote supposes? I don't think so. Sure, what I have seen of the Live part was neither particularily stable nor did it seem to scale gracefully ... but I am pretty positive, ways to address this were already on the table ... and stuff like this hardly ever comes down to a hardware issue in my experience, unless the design is absoulutely flawed, which I seriously doubt.

Was it simply time as Bill suggested? I also don't quite buy this. After all, what were the expectations? The game has hardly been out for like two months. Most casual gamers are probably not even through the prime part yet.

I am pretty sure that enough of an audience is there. I think they were holding off until they finished Prime or until they saw some of the Live content reviewed or at least in place. It's only a very select group of people who are interested in a Prologue ... something that feels, and is described as more beta content ... I think the general gamer (eek what a meaningless term, bear with me) wants a ready-to-eat meal. Everybody by now understands that new game releases are usually bugged and that smooth gameplay is sadly only available to all after a little while.

So, you are trying to tell us that Live was cancelled because not enough people were signing on for Prologue? Sure, I can believe that this is the official line, and maybe that was the actual basis of the decision. I wouldn't accuse anybody of deception here. There seems little point. But if that is true ... then the person(s) who took that decisions are absolute morons, in every sense of the word.

Why do I say that? Because only a very short-sighted businessman would write of six years of development and sunk cost after an effective trial period of a few mere weeks, this is not even a fiscal quarter ...

They are morons because how could they possibly believe that a product like Uru, which is so different from exsiting and accepted content would skyrocket with an audience in such a short time ... without the necessary explanation of it's nature, without a marketing strategy to reduce consumer perceived risk, without tie-in marketing with access providers ... without a PR initiative?
Or in very simple terms ... without any sort of investment at all? Did they really believe this would ride soley on the magical brand (which they re-iterated ad nauseum)?

I've been a fan for a long time. Usually a very critical fan, and I hope, on my own terms, constructively critical. I wasn't sold on the Uru idea ... not when I first heard of it all these years ago, and not when I saw what was being built. But that's neither here nor there.

I think the project cracked when Uru was re-scoped to include Prime. This seemed like a real late requirements shift that any project will stagger to recover from. Furthermore, the requirement to have the single player component is not necessarily a bad one in my opinion, if it had been there from teh start ... but this late in the game it is indicative of a real lack of faith in the projects success.

It is aimed at generating more upfront retail sales rather than ensuring enough stable content for a healthy subscription business. The lack of marketing investment (or smarts) really tells the rest of this sad tale for me. I don't think this was lack of technology, or time, or expertise.

It's lack of faith. And lack of entrepreneurial vision. It seems to me that the investors simply did not believe in the project's long term success, and it seems they didn't for a longer period than simply since launch. I guess it's their prerogative. Yet, cost and time was already sunk ... I feels to me that Live was killed a long time ago. Maybe it shouldn't even have been launched to at least save some credibility.

I guess this is a time when Cyan will probably choke under a hailstorm of told-you-so's. Well this post isn't one.

Nobody could have told them so. They were trying to break new ground. Move the boundaries of the canvas. Freaky stuff, for sure. I am glad they tried. I am very sad they failed. And if I were them, I would tell people where they can stick their told-you-so's http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I'm a really picky fan. I didn't let this development off the hook easily. But I dreamed right alongside you. Thanks for the ride guys.

ChaoticCoyote
02-10-2004, 08:03 AM
Unlike most computer games, the Myst games are works of art. And being something of an artist myself, living in a household of artists, I understand how attachment to a creation can sometimes lead to irrational choices.

What is admirable about Cyan is that they kept to their vision, even in the face of galrign reality. I appreciate Ubi's willingness to support Cyan's vision, and respect their willingness to take a risk in a business world fraught with cookie-cutter thinking.

I am impressed by how Ubi and Cyan are picking up the pieces and moving forward. The dream is not dead, but merely delayed. I am disappointed, but hopeful.

As always, faith manages.

Marck.
02-10-2004, 08:31 AM
I posted some messages in one of those "unfriendly threads" that CyanBill hinted at. I'm not sorry for posting them because the thread "The Announcement..." was intended for venting steam and I had to show my disappointment, frustration and my demand for a good reasoning for the decision.

However, in this thread, I would like to thank Cyan and Ubisoft for their effort to bring D'ni to life. I remember talking to a fellow explorer in a Hood about you people at Ubisoft and Cyan working during the holidays just to enable us to have fun. I appreciate all the hard work you put into Uru and Uru Live. I am glad that Cyan found a way to continue telling us the story of D'ni. Even if it is not possible to do it the way it was envisioned for now.

I agree that Uru Live is indeed a great vision. A vision that not only Cyan has got. Does anyone remember Gordon Currie's plan to create a 3D version of his Rivenguild website using Acrobat Atmosphere? He was not able to realize that plan since Rivenguild had to close down also because of lack of funding. Instead, Gordon became a member of the early DRF and started futurecontact.com to support Cyan's vision...

So there are people who share the vision. And I also believe in the prospect of these people spreading the word that there almost had been a realization of that vision, that it is indeed possible to do. Cyan proved it with the help of Ubisoft. There will be more people feeling the call. And the restoration of D'ni will become real again...

Marck (KI# 02058198 @ Atrus, 00124588 @ Katran)

Paul.B
02-10-2004, 10:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CyanBill:
I'm taking a break and posting in a friendly thread for once ha. Thanks for voices of reason and understanding.

Personally I still think there's enough people "out there" - the problem is getting them fast enough to convince the guys who are losing money every day that you'll not only break even but make back their investment with enough profit to warrant not investing that money in some other attractive project with just as much hope/vision/etcetera.

Everything else is solvable - the key ingredient missing in my personal opinion is/was time.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You guys did a great job. The money is always the difficult aspect. The cost of infrastructure and the operational costs must have been a big factor. I'm sure the gamers are out there regroup and look to the future. The expansion packs will feed my hunger and on-line may become a reality in a year or two with improved/cheaper infrastructure and, dare I say it, moving the operations off shore.

TheDuckie
02-10-2004, 10:59 AM
Persistence of tunnel-vision? On this forum at least.

Yes, Uru was a wonderful idea and the result of hard work from talented people. But Uru was also a bad game (according to many in the real world) badly marketed and ultimately a disaster of poor planning. It was ALL of those things.

Here's a hypothesis that fits the lack of subscriptions equation just as well as any other (the game is selling well, remember): Many gamers bought Uru on the Myst pedigree (see my thread Deceptive Advertising), didn't like the game, and didn't want to take it any further (on-line).

I have no reason whatsoever to either brow-bash the umbrella man or brown nose. I'm neither in the "sue them!" camp nor the "donate my paycheck" one. But I do have a need to vent after spending too much time with a product that has given one dissapointment after another. I think the truth of Uru's failure is both more complicated (number of factors) and simpler (no conspiracies) than most are seeing.

ChaoticCoyote
02-10-2004, 11:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Yes, Uru was a wonderful idea and the result of hard work from talented people. But Uru was also a bad game (according to many in the real world) badly marketed and ultimately a disaster of poor planning. It was ALL of those things.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Most of the reviews were quite positive, and it seems that the game has sold well. Perhaps the games fails for you, but not for me (and many others).

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Here's a hypothesis that fits the lack of subscriptions equation...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your hypothesis exists as a way of hijacking someone else's (my) thread. I do not absolve Ubi and Cyan in their culpability for Uru Live's demise; you can read my feelings on this in other threads. THIS thread, however, is a testament to the vision and art of Uru, regardless of its success as a online game.

Art is a matter of taste; I happen to like Monet and Van Gogh, but can't seem to wrap my head around Picasso, for example (pun intended). Uru is neither right or wrong -- perhaps poorly marketted, perhaps based on false assumptions -- but it is interactive art, nonetheless. You are welcome to like or dislike it, but please quit hassling those of us who do like it.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I have no reason whatsoever to either brow-bash the umbrella man or brown nose. I'm neither in the "sue them!" camp nor the "donate my paycheck" one.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nor am I. You won't find me in either camp. I think the end of Uru Live was both inevitable (given choices made by Ubi and Cyan) and a great shame, given people's expectations. I have, in my own life, succeeded and failed on a number of occasions. The measure of a person (or company) is how they pick themselves up and proceed.

Have you never failed at anything? Have you never strived for excellence, only to fall short? Or are you one of those folk who spend their lives criticizing others without ever striving to create something worthwhile yourself?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But I do have a need to vent after spending too much time with a product that has given one dissapointment after another.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Then please vent in a thread of your own design.

RogerRap
02-10-2004, 11:40 AM
I agree with you AchaoticCoyote,
If people don't like what we are saying go some place esle to harras other people.
I think that in the future that Cyan will bring back URU LIVE in a big much better form and they will have an abunce of people palying the game online.
Roger

Roger

hogarth...
02-10-2004, 11:55 AM
Here's Hogarth's speculations and musings:

Perhaps the vision of a persistent online fantasy world - with game elements, with personal interaction elements - is just too advanced for the "average" PC gamer to wrap their imaginations around. Who but Cyan would have dared to think that a virtual "place", where one could - if they chose to - do nothing but merely enjoy being there with a group of friends, could succeed in the marketplace?

This was a FANTASTIC project, borne from a dream, brought to actual reality, and invigorated by all of us who participated.

This Uru was like a virtual Disneyland - minus the E-ticket rides, perhaps, but we were only just inside the front gate, and had yet to see the full scope of it.

Mere "game"? No way.

Perhaps this is the fatal error: that Ubisoft - as so many in the "game" world - also lacked the imagination to see that the Uru project was something different and special, as with the actual Disneyland, and would require tremendous investment, tremendous faith in the vision, implacable patience and undaunting resistence to surrender.

They simply could not believe in the dream enough to hold onto it. Their vision was far more mundane...to make a buck. There was indeed money to be made here, but as the financial world looks only to this quarter's results - almost never to the future - the online project was written down as a failure, and killed.

It is good that at least some part of the project was salvaged, though probably the full dream was lost forever. We will now have "Disneyland" to ourselves, and that will have some desirable results. No more waiting in long lines to get on the rides in the City, for example.

And the community of the Cavern - the Uru - does continue.

We - many of us - were touched deeply by the experience, and are not going to forget the taste of possibility we had. My thanks go to Rand Miller and Cyan for sharing their vision with us.

There are many stories yet to be told - of the fall of the D'ni, of the Restoration of the City - and of our personal experiences in the Cavern, alone and with fellow explorers.

There is also the story of the failure of the vision - a story that may never be fully revealed, as it is secreted away in board rooms and accountancy ledgers.

There is much to tell of this Uru...

http://www.stereographic.net/emptyheek.jpg

In Atrus as hogarth
KI # 04660700

TheDuckie
02-10-2004, 11:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ChaoticCoyote:
Most of the reviews were quite positive, and it seems that the game has sold well. Perhaps the games fails for _you_, but not for me (and many others).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Read customer reviews on any vendor site. Also note the number of industry reviews that rate it on the expectation of Live, which never happened.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The measure of a person (or company) is how they pick themselves up and proceed.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

...which requires seeing their past mistakes with some clarity.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Have you never failed at anything?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Let me count the times! But I never misrepresent myself, certainly not intentionally, and never with the opportunity to do so on such a grand scale.

XyZspineZyX
02-10-2004, 12:05 PM
Beautifully expressed, Hogarth - I'm with you all the way. I thought I had myself under control now, but then you go and include that picture of the dead Heek table!

[This message was edited by Thietris on Tue February 10 2004 at 11:24 AM.]

tkwiggins
02-10-2004, 12:08 PM
Bravo, Hogarth. Well thought, well said... and keenly felt.

AxelT
02-10-2004, 12:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Most of the reviews were quite positive, and it seems that the game has sold well. Perhaps the games fails for _you_, but not for me (and many others).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sure, this is a matter of personal taste. Ultimately, I agree with TheDuckie though. I always upheld that Uru: Prime was a noteable achievement in terms of technology, graphics and particular music and sound engineering.

But is it a good stand-alone, single player game? Hardly. That is mostly due to the fact that it wasn't meant to be. What we saw as Prime, was re-engineered multi-player content that was produced under mounting time pressure. I seriously doubt that Cyan would have ever produced this kind of content if they set out to produce a single-player game in the first place. You might enjoy it, and nobody can take that away from you, but I think you will find equal amounts of people if not more who were utterly disappointed by Prime. I was just very, very let down by the whole experience.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Your hypothesis exists as a way of hijacking someone else's (my) thread. I do not absolve Ubi and Cyan in their culpability for Uru Live's demise; you can read my feelings on this in other threads. _THIS_ thread, however, is a testament to the vision and art of Uru, regardless of its success as a online game.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, people are discussing ... nuances shift, but you're right. This thread is enjoyable because so far it's been relatively rant and conspiracy theory free. Let's strive to keep it that way.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Have you never failed at anything? Have you never strived for excellence, only to fall short? Or are you one of those folk who spend their lives criticizing others without ever striving to create something worthwhile yourself?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, sure. Many times. And in this particular point in time, I can understand exactly how everybody closely involved with the project must feel. I know what it's liked to be invested in long-term product development and I know what it's like to face some difficult choices when ultimately the livelihood of many people are on the line. All the more I subscribe to TheDuckie's view that the reasons for the project's downfall are probably many-facetted.

Still ... I get the feeling that bad planning, last minute changes and, at least to a certain extend, a serious lack of faith all culminated in this. I have no inside knowledge whatsoever, so whatever I think is just another drop on the mounting heap of speculation in the end. So, no more.

Do I think expansion packs are a good idea? Well, it's all there ever will be now. It's going to be more re-engineered multi-player content, and without even further investment it will only go so far, given time and resources.

I do think the second of the promised packs could be a nice chance to round of the story, maybe even give it the depth it was never allowed to gain with only Prime in our hands. I still think it was a worthy effort. I am surprised that further funding was not forthcoming, but ultimately I am glad that they now may get a chance to put this dream to bed more gracefully then what it had to undergo the most recent months.

It was a great dream, and if going this way means that the lives of dedicated artists can be secured I'm all for it. Was it necessary for this to escalate so badly? I don't think so, but how could really I know?

Cyan does deserve praise, for the guts to go this way alone, if not for the technical achievement. But this whole experience leaves me with a very bad feeling, with the way it was handled, with the potential unrealised and with the roadblock this will create for anything as visionary to follow in its wake.

tkwiggins
02-10-2004, 12:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Coyote: The measure of a person (or company) is how they pick themselves up and proceed.

Duck: ...which requires seeing their past mistakes with some clarity.

Coyote: Have you never failed at anything?

Duck: Let me count the times! But I never misrepresent myself, certainly not intentionally, and never with the opportunity to do so on such a grand scale.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The visionary sees
From tops of trees
To distant seas
Toh-da-lump.

But the critic? Please!
Views the world on his knees
With a creak! And a wheeze!
Toh-da-lump.

-- Susan Broaning, 1964

Syked4
02-11-2004, 03:48 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tkwiggins:

Uru Live isn't going to instantly grab the world like _Star Wars_ did in the '70's. Nor will it explode as a media sensation like _Harry Potter_.

Instead, Uru Live will grow its own audience. In time, their numbers will be truly enormous. Long time Myst fans will be dwarfed by the number of folks who are experiencing it for the first time. As has been graphed on the Uru Obsession forum, their ages will span three generations -- from pre-teens to grandparents. Marketers will scratch their heads. Imitators will scramble to the marketplace.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I completely agree. Thanks for putting my thoughts to words

Spike Katran

Estill
02-11-2004, 04:21 PM
I sent this to the UBIsoft/CYAN people today.
This maybe late as a useful comment. But I beleive the marketing aspect of URU live was ill managed. There were never clear communications regarding signing up / free play length before subcribing would be necessary / ballpark figures as to the cost to individuals / commitments required as a service user. I did not receive a single communication (eg:email or otherwise) to encourage the use of the service with something as simple as sign-up now receive free gaming time down the line. Perhaps some other simple ADVERTISING technique. It appears you relied souly on people signing into URU Live as a curious extension to the single player version. The retail packaging contained ambiquious references to the LIVE version with wording such as soon to come. 'Not too inviting'.
It's not too late. Besure the expansion packets require some sort of connection back to yourselves as developers via the web so you can stay connected to your current clients. You MUST keep us informed. Believe me when I say if you terri to long we will lose interest and the foothold you've already established will be lost.
As a suggestion, you should hire youself a top notch marketing consultant. You need someone who is aggressive and do it quick before the iron cools. Your product is magnificant. Believe in it. Your clients maybe gamers but they are still cash carrying consumers first. So don't poise the product to us in the form of a puzzle or diguise it as part of gameplay reteric. Be BOLD, CLEAR and Concise. The dividens will follow.
Also get some daily updates flowing to keep the spirits up of the current URU community. New info on the day to day will hold interests.
Please forward to the powers that be and follow up with a reply.
Thank you.
Estill a loyal MYST/RIVEN/EXILE/URU/URU Live client.

RogerRap
02-11-2004, 07:49 PM
Very well said estil.
roger

Roger