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Old 06-24-2006, 09:14 PM   #1
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Default URU Reborn

As some of you will know I have been studying Adventure games and games in general for some time looking at all their history and development and among them the Myst series by Cyan, created by Rand and Robyn Miller. I know there are varied thoughts about the Myst games here and elsewhere and at times I too have gone through differing feelings about them myself. I have taken time over the past months to visit for the first time, Cyan's magnum opus, the URU world of the D'ni and must say I am very impressed and at times awed by the achievement, artistry, depth and poignancy of this remarkable creation. I won't go into the story too much to spoil it for those who may yet, and I hope many do, visit the world created in URU for the first time.

The game was created as the centerpiece of the conceptions based on and arising from the Myst series, which it is worth mentioning arose from the efforts of the two brothers Miller and was a pioneering effort in many different ways. Though the puzzle nature of how the Myst games unfold may not be everyone's cup of tea, the visuals and the immersive and evocative settings and feelings that arise from the series are quite beautiful and worthy of note.

The series developed its own story and as it grew Rand Miller conceived of a immersive 3D world that would be both wider than the individual player scale, and also dynamic, changing and growing with new content and interations of the player, players, and historic and "real" figures from the game story that would interact with the players in evolving and growing ways. They developed and built an immense world with attendant Ages and a means by which the player could "live" as a moving, growing avatar in the world of URU, yet also strongly linked to and based on real life and present time Earth.

The first version of URU online reached the Beta stage and then for various reasons was put on hold and suspended. A strong and loyal community which continues to this day internationally maintained a version of this online URU called Until URU which allows players to co mingle in the world of the D'ni and the city that is the centerpiece of their world, and life continued in a way. In the meantime, other titles have been released in the Myst series including Myst V which Cyan says is the last single title in the series for now.

Recently remarkable news was released and URU will live again, potentially, with funding and backing from the Turner consortium and GameTap which will host the new and evolving URU world on line. This will continue the vision of Rand Miller with new and evolving content and a new game engine.

Much of this will not be news for the community here, but it sets a background that I have based my recent explorations of the URU setting and experience and I must say I am very impressed and interested in how it will evolve.

The interactive heart of CGI games and graphic interfaces is key to how a game can be enjoyed and experienced by a player, any of us. And there is an additional and growing stream of this experience that is the multi player community and sharing of the experience. It can be that such games limit themselves with certain qualities, or subjects. And in other cases, quite remarkable innovations and new directions can arise. URU offers such promise, and even if you don't find Myst or the series to your liking you may find URU to be intriguing and in the coming days when it come alive again, something quite new for us all.

With graphic innovations with new engines and rendering increasingly detailed and remarkble, sound systems improving and the tech side of games on a constant rise, we can hope for subject and content to also rise up to meet the potential of this remarkable medium.

I cannot say what will come exactly of the URU reborn experience, and the word from Cyan continues to be cautious optimism, but there is a chance that something quite new will again come from Cyan, which remains one of the unique and masterful sources for the best among games and CGI design of our times. For the curious, Cyan Worlds has the links to URU both the new online news and the Until URU version and I will post details below as well for those interesteed. I delayed visitng URU for a long time, and don't regret it, for as my study of games has widened and deepened so has my eye learned to catch the subtle and sometimes elusive touchs that indicate mastery and artistry that lurk in URU, sometimes in the shadows and sometimes quite openly. I think you may enjoy it. Sorry to have been absent for a while from here, medical and life reasons contributed, I am glad to see the lively and
alive exchanges continue here and best to all.

URU details:
First of all, URU is meant to be "you as You," real life, and Cyan is the means by which you have a chance to visit and be in the world of the D'ni and their great works, their world and ours connect as you will learn and you will progress and learn much about what you have experienced in Myst and the other stories. So tho this may appear at first to be a game, it is much more and real, and a way for a remarkable story to be shared, and for you to actually share in it too. You are a third person view avatar in the game, tho you can also select first person, and this is your identiy for the game.

You can find info on Uru Live at the DRC Restoration Council site, and also from Cyan, which now hosts the "official" D'mala shard, the living fragment of URU Online which has been on hold for a time there are various such fragments and this one is the best, which is the Cyan version of it. When you buy URU the Complete Chronicles, you get the original URU, called URU Prime in the community and then two add ons, To D'ni and The Path of the Shell. You can play through that entire set of titles off line.

If you choose to play Until URU, the current version of URU Live, be sure to copy your saved game from the Complete Chronicles - copy the SAV file from the URU folder on your computer and put is somewhere safe. Then you need to download a patch that basically removes the To D'ni and Path of the Shell add ons if you have them, and returrns the installation to the original URU Priime condition as Until URU does not include the two add ons.

Cyan's Welcome Page for Until URU:

http://plasma.cyanworlds.com/

Cyan's instructions on all of this and how You can get the patch to convert URU CC to UU here:

http://plasma.cyanworlds.com/getting-started.xml

They tell you how to can ask Cyan for a link that will allow you to "join" UU with a Avatar name, or user name and a password

It is highly recomended that you have DSL or highspeed internet connection to play UU. It has some special features and elements that are not in the URU CC, and when URU Live is revived this winter, you will be able to play URU with new content and features that Cyan planned to have but which had to wait for it to be revived. The new version of URU LIve will have a new game engine and new format and when a subscriber signs up with GameTap, they will receive the new format as a download. Cyan says there will be other ways to visit URU Live than GameTap, but GameTap will have the exclusive and updated content and is helping with active support for this revival.

There is an excellent guide to details on URU in Marten's Excellent Updated FAQ about Until URU is on the D'ni Guild Forums under the Until URU Forum Topic, search under June 6, 2006 by date, you will have to register to enter the forum to see it. at:

D'ni Guild Forums
http://www.cyanworlds.com/cgi-bin/ub...ultimatebb.cgi

Hope these details help, URU is a remarkable and quite wonderful experience and the community involved with it is very kind and helpful.

Cyan had planned to have URU be a live and multiplayer environment and it was one of the first of its kind in original form. This was put on hold after beta testing, they had planned continual new content and developments and a chance for players and explorers to dynamically interact and progress with the story. This has been revived with the great participation of Turner and GameTap and it is very much hoped that this will see a re launch of URU Live at the end of this year.

You can find information and help at:

www.urulive.com about the new URU Live
http://www.drcsite.org here for info on Until URU and the D'ni world

community sites
http://www.mystcommunity.com
http://www.uruobsession.com
http://www.guildofgreeters.com
http://www.thecaverntoday.com
http://www.cyanworlds.com/cgi-bin/ub...ultimatebb.cgi
http://www.cyanworlds.com/links.php a list of links on all of Myst-D'ni etc. from Cyan

Enjoy.
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Old 06-25-2006, 01:31 AM   #2
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=D
Study games? Good one. I'll try that on my missus.

Joking.

I'm looking forward to UL too. I'm just coming to the end of 'path of the shell', which is not to the standard of URU. 'to d'ni' was a bit of a miss, which is why it was free I suppose. I'm I little dubious that they'll be able to release content on a regular basis to justify a monthly subscription fee...
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Old 06-25-2006, 06:18 AM   #3
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I found both To D'ni and the Path of the Shell quite beautiful and very much part of the overall story and development of the experience. They were both evidently part of the material developed for the first URU Live. There will be new Ages, new linking books, new books to read about the D'ni story, and content developed dynamically if URU Live does indeed launch in Q4 of this year as hoped. The overall experience including the community involvement and interactions make this quite a unique and pioneering venture and one that I am personaly looking forward to very much.
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Old 06-25-2006, 06:20 AM   #4
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Okay, tell us the truth: Who's paying you?
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:10 AM   #5
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I am very interested in CGI and game design for a number of reasons, I am an artist by profession of some 35 years, (www.christophergerlach.com) and love beauty in many forms, and have found much to enjoy and study in games tho I came late to this study, over the past 7 years or so. I am interested in possibly doing some paintings in 3D that would be dynamic and so have found the way that games over the years have developed visual and other adjunct imagery and immersiveness very fascinating. I have begun to learn 3D design and game creation myself learning Max, Maya, Bryce, Strata, Poser, and have begun building a world, tho it takes a LOT of time and patience for someone who grew up before computers to catch up with all of you. I have come to really enjoy and love many different game genres, but really have found that the Cyan style is very interesting and sympathetic to my own vision. There are some samples of my ventures in 3D on my humble little blog at

http://chris-today.blogspot.com/

I continue to explore and study different games for the love and interest of it, I am about to embark into Morrowind next, but it takes me time to look at and dive into each different world and learn about it, hence my slowness in sharing about URU as I was pretty shy about going on line as I havent done much with multi players, being a reclusive soul.

So my reply is that what i live on is my art work and also I have a day job in a hotel so that I can do my creative work with freedom to follow my own vision and ethics and look openly at it all. The research I do I also sometime write about and publish in a little occasional journal of integrative Ecology and Social Change......again done without cost or outside support so that I can be free to look without strings.
Cheers
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Last edited by Christian IV; 06-25-2006 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:56 AM   #6
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Christian IV:

I wouldn't care if someone was paying you- that was a remarkable and much enjoyed post. I am slowly (uh, very slowly) working my way thru URU, The Complete Chronicles and am playing it just as you suggest it was meant to be played.

I wish a mod on the forum would place your post in a place where it can be referred to rather than have it scroll off into oblivion, because it contains much invaluable information for Myst/URU-lovers everywhere!
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Old 06-25-2006, 11:15 AM   #7
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SirDave, I am honoured by your kind comments.

I am glad you are enjoying URU and savouring it, that is a good way.

I found actually to be honest that the things of the game that I at first found challenging often were failings in me, not the game or URU or the world of the D'ni: the mystery and obscurity and feeling lost feeling, and the challenges of movement, and exploring, all were part of what makes this such a remarkable and deep and rich and subtle experience quite unlike any other in game exploration and indeed in my life, for I have longed for the feeling of magic and mystery in our rather harsh world. The Masters of Cyan have given us back some of the magic and I found that it illuminated and sweetened my daily life as well. Thanks again...
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Last edited by Christian IV; 06-26-2006 at 09:47 AM.
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