View Full Version : creating your own age.

11-20-2003, 09:44 AM
the first time ive heard of URU years ago, when it was called mudpie. the first thing i tought was â«god...if its online they just have to let us build our own agesâ»

and now i wonder...will they ever release and editor tool to let us create our own personnal ages and share it with other online.

just imagine this would give birth to a guild of writers and.....good lord...think of the possibilities!

i dont know much about the URU engine...but a tool not unlike unrealED 3.0 would be just perfect.

11-20-2003, 09:44 AM
the first time ive heard of URU years ago, when it was called mudpie. the first thing i tought was â«god...if its online they just have to let us build our own agesâ»

and now i wonder...will they ever release and editor tool to let us create our own personnal ages and share it with other online.

just imagine this would give birth to a guild of writers and.....good lord...think of the possibilities!

i dont know much about the URU engine...but a tool not unlike unrealED 3.0 would be just perfect.

11-20-2003, 10:15 AM
Although I think it would be great, I really don't think it will happen. The detail that goes into these ages is huge, and probably 99.9% of us couldn't even hope to make an age as beautiful as the ones we've seen. It would be fun to try though!


11-20-2003, 10:17 AM
I agree Ty.

I think it would be cool if we could have different thing to our personal world like lighting, color etc. that would be cool


11-20-2003, 10:22 AM
UnrealEd uses a negative space environment for creating bsp geometry which is great for fps games and has some nice advantages in that it prevents light leaks and hall of mirror efects from being introduced by map makers not used to the limits of an engine. Personaly I love using negative space development as it's what I grew us using making multiplayer maps for Marathon.

That said, I doubt that any mapmaking for Uru will happen in a negative space environment. The designers of Uru are likely to have used a normal space rendering tool to produce what content currently exists, and so if they do allow users to create new content we should expect to do it in normal space.

I predict that gmax would become the modling tool of choice for any Uru Writers Guild that forms. If such a thing does become possible, definately count me in.

11-20-2003, 10:35 AM
Quality control is the main issue with any such system. If you wanted players to always experience the same level of immersion in player-created levels as in Cyan-created levels, all the textures and geometry would have to be pre-made. Even then, making a truly original world with pre-made objects would be nearly impossible.

I could see a terrain-editing system (think SimCity), and the ability to plant different kinds of trees, buildings, and other objects to form a truly personal "personal age". But I personally would have little interest in trying to play a user-created, untested age with no quality control. Although some users would be capable of making clever and interesting challenges, even with only pre-made objects, they would be a slim minority.

11-20-2003, 10:55 AM
It really can't happen....sure they can make an editor in which you can create your world with trees rocks and maybe even buildings. the problem is, how do you create puzzles? U need lots and lots of lines of coding for puzzles. it's too complex to create some sort of puzzle trainer.

11-20-2003, 11:03 AM
Conceivably it could be done with a scripting language (like most FPSes), which could even be used in-game. But learning how to code and how to read and write in D'ni is probably far beyond the time investment most fans would be willing to make. I'm not going to say it can't happen, because I've seen smart game designers simplify very complex concepts in a game setting, and scipting could be done with icons (ala Lego Mindstorms), but it's something to look forward to at the 20th Anniversary of Myst, not the 10th.

If the tools were there, a teachers guild would form pretty soon after. Heck, I'd volunteer to teach programming in Uru if you could use it to write new ages...

11-20-2003, 12:24 PM
i wouldnt care that much for puzzles.

seriously, in the D'ni civilisation, i dont why every single freaking age would have to be puzzle ridden..i mean, some of them ages must have been created simply to live in...

just creating a nice little environemet to invite your friends in and just hang around would be good enough for me...

you know..just a pretty 3d environement, even if its made out of pre-made â«brushesâ» from the existing ages...you could always tweak the textures and lighthing...

i mean, when i was doing some unrealED i wasnt building any multiplayer maps or things like that...i was creating myst-like ages...sans puzzles. just for the aesthetic if it.

11-20-2003, 12:36 PM
The first question is what is the purpose of creating our own worlds. To simply create the environment? For players to come up with their own puzzles?

In regards to simply creating our own environment, there are some generic cross-the-board things that can be defined per world. Ground texture, elevation, vegetation types (and degrees of amount of vegetation), water-table, stuff like that. The creation interface can be a simplified Bryce-type interface. Users can upload textures, etc.

In regards to creating puzzles, interactivity can be very complex to build in. However, I think users can create actions in the same way that text-only MUSHs do with in-game objects.

Just some ideas to shout out. I don't think it will happen anytime in the near future, but if the game is around for a long time (cross fingers), who knows the degree of customizability the devs will allow.

11-23-2003, 10:34 AM
I'm sure that, as far as coding goes for puzles and levers and elevators and such, the potential map maker would just have to know the Python scripting language that I believe Cyan used to script their own worlds. I could be mistaken about the language but it sure looks like they used Python. Anyway, Python is pretty standard scripting not unlike Pearl, so any coder could pick it up without much trouble. As to QA, isn't that what the D'ni made their Guild of Maintainers for?

-Distant of Endland

11-23-2003, 10:37 AM
I have a few ideas myself about writing ages and such. I for one can not write ages, because i know not alot about gmax, though i have dabbled in it alittle bit.

Too keep the quality of work for the ages. If the "guild of writers" could create some ages, send them off to the devs, then if they get ideas or want to use the basis of it. Hey both sides win.

Any ideas? sound off!

"Myst aint for tots."

11-23-2003, 10:42 AM
I don't think this has anything to do with tools or technology. It has to do with the design of the game. From what I've read, there are no plans to release mod tools.

I think this has to do with the kind of game it is. I think it's primarily an adventure game. Adventure games are very scripted. It's like reading a book. Sometimes there are alternate endings, but, in an adventure game, the designer has control.

Uru feels a bit like a place where you could create your own world, kind of like an RPG, or a simulation game, a game like "There" perhaps or "Second Life". It's also beautifull. I think there would be a natural desire to create your own age. I think this also has to do with the type of people who are interested in Uru. From what I've read, Uru seems to be attractive to a whole range of players, not just players who are primarily from the adventure game community. Some RPG games come with mod tools, and other games have crafting tools built into the game. It's the concept of taking "interactive entertainment" to the next step, where the player is involved in the creation process.

As an adventure gamer, I'm charmed by the idea of "making your own age". It would never have occurred to me. Not that I think it's going to happen, but it's a really nifty idea.

Regards, mszv
Game name: amarez
KI #: don't have it yet
Put that down, you are not in a game, this is my life!

1.2GH, 640MB, GeForce4 TI 4200 128MB, Santa Cruz Surround Sound, DSL, 1200kbps down/100 kbps up, wired/wireless home network, Linksys router

11-23-2003, 07:46 PM
I would be against releasing a player toolset since I'm here for the story and what Cyan has to say. Don't get me wrong, things like Tamriel Rebuilt are amazing, but there is no way for Cyan to control what's going on, and since they are the sole owners of the story, anything made from the outside (even Cyan approved) would seem somehow of less value and more tacked on.

11-23-2003, 08:01 PM
Personally I wouldn't see making an age in a 3d modelling package and programming it in Python as being the same as "writing" an age in the D'ni sense. It would totally break the illusion that the writing art is real inside of Uru.

Here's my question: If you want to model your own age with 3d software and then script it with Python, what in the heck is stopping you?

Seriously, there's nothing special about the Uru engine that can't be replicated in other 3d engines, or a custom-written engine with enough work. There are existing open-source 3d engines that could be modified, some from major developers like id software, and others made from scratch by the open source community. If you're serious about wanting to model and code your own age, why don't you get started on the planning, modelling, texturing, designing, etc. and once you've got all the 3d art and puzzles figured out you can find an appropriate game engine to put them in. Even a game as old as Quake could be modded into a fun Myst-like puzzle game with a 3rd person perspective...

11-23-2003, 08:02 PM
Personally, I think it would be great. I was skeptical at first in the case of Morrowind, and it's true that some of those fan mods suck, but there are others comparable to what the devs came up with (and in some cases superior, since resource constraints don't apply)... there's a lot of real talent out there that emerges in these situations.

More than that, though -- mod-making gives you a way of interacting with the game long after you've "done" the content, and in many ways it's more fun and rewarding than the playing was, even if you never release a mod to the public.

I'd think that Uru, with its separate worlds all of which can exist without impacting each other, is ideal from an architecture point of view for modding. None of the problems with conflicts you get in Morrowind.

As for quality control, nobody would HAVE to play any fan mods... and word-of-mouth can rapidly communicate which ones are worth playing.

However, I would agree that releasing a good editing tool would be very time-consuming. I wouldn't be surprised though if some talented fans figured out a way to produce content and make it available even without support, and I would welcome that.

11-23-2003, 09:23 PM
And some of the things that whishfully would go into such a
URU-mod would be :

1) High-tec roped Rapple-grapple-hook shooter to climb up to that
mountain-ledge with that cave-opening.

2) Night&Heat vision goggles.

3) Scuba-dive gear to explore that underwater-cave.

4) Paraglider gear - maybe back-propelled to jump off that cliff
and glide over to that distant neighborhood or new age.

5) A zoom-able binocular.

6) Spectate mode?

7) Dream mode (hehe) We are aloud to dream of future Uru here aren't we?

Now if there came a free URU-test (MORPG) where anyone can hoste
like in Q3A-test years ago with a map maker resulting in
hundreds of ages my face would melt to the monitor - dream on....

System : Intel Pentium 4 SSE2 3.06 Ghz. Mem 512MB Abit Siluro Geforce FX5800 - DOTH Deluxe 128 MB.Creative SB Audigy.Pioneer DVD-ROM
DVD-117.Sony-DVD-RW DRU-500A.
Panaflat PF70 Monitor
Home network 3 Pc's Billion Router.
WinXP Home Norwegian.

11-23-2003, 10:49 PM

"seriously, in the D'ni civilisation, i dont why every single freaking age would have to be puzzle ridden..i mean, some of them ages must have been created simply to live in..."

*Spoiler, but pertains to the quote above in this topic, there is more non spoilers after the end spoiler warning*

We already do...Just look at Eder Gira... That's just a beautiful garden with no puzzles ('cept those pesky fireflies).

But yeah, making your own age (like you could in Never Winters Night (RPG)) would be great.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I read on a forum when Uru was called Mudpie that in ages we find we could change it to our liking.


If there was an Ice Age (and no, not the movie http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif ) and I wanted an igloo, I could have an igloo... And if someone with the same age wanted 2 igloos, they would get 2 igloos

Now since one had one igloo and the other 2, they said that the 2 people would be in the same age but couldn't see eachother since each age is slightly different.

11-23-2003, 11:02 PM
I think it would be a great idea to release the tools to the public.

Look at The Sims, and all of the FPS. Some of the best content is created by outside sources with no desire for profit.

Of course, the addons only cater to a certain crowd; but whats the problem with that? The game devlopers themselves love to see interesting new mods, and worlds outside of what comes in the box, or is produced "professionally" ... everybody in the game business is like one big family; whats good for one is good for the other.

Maybe somebody could show Cyan some REAL puzzles http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

11-23-2003, 11:05 PM
Maybe it would be interesting if there was some way for Cyan to release it to the public, maintain their ownership of it and keep others from stealing it, and then have some form of "approval scheme" to have these new books "discovered" within the context of URU Live. They could be made generally available and the more posts/votes they get that are positive, the more likely that they will be reviewed by the "DRC" to decide if they are suitable ages for the public to visit.

Would be interesting.

11-23-2003, 11:25 PM
There is a program that many ppl skip over that also runs the python rendering engine and has scripting abilities. And i have that program, its Truespace 6.5.

I have had the program for a short time and i have found that its a cool program for making lots of cool things and sceens, and i was already in the process of making my own myst like sceen for a family gift as a wallpaper for their computers. Looks like im going to work on it a little more.

Support bactiria-its the only culture some people have.

11-23-2003, 11:47 PM
Naquiel, I haven't used TrueSpace in AGES! Great software, not quite the same steep learning curve as 3dsMax.

Fun fun.

11-23-2003, 11:54 PM
I have found that the lower priced 3d software programs can do the same thing as the higher priced ones, but you dont get all the cool plugins to make things easier. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

But i tend to find the hidden secrets that make the the program very cool. I also have Bryce 5, and to this day i still havent see anyone else come up with curved sword blades in Bryce. But i can make them.

Support bactiria-its the only culture some people have.

11-24-2003, 12:21 AM
i'd be happy with an assortment of standard items we can click together, mixing and matching to make unique ages. with enough choices, our ages could be unique, and awesome. remember when atrus talked about ages that were penned too eagerly falling apart? the 'art' of age-making could play a part in it too. working with other players to perfect your ages, joint efforts etc. i think it CAN be done and should be given some consideration

11-24-2003, 12:17 PM
Nothing is cheaper than free. A thousand blessings upon gmax.

I'm curious if the only interest is in making ages or if there are people interested in smaller scale projects, like making more outfit choices for avatars (if the servers can support the extra data).

-Distant of Endland

11-24-2003, 12:20 PM
Wasn't there some kind of 3d art modelling contest on the DRC site? I saw some info about it, but it was closed before I could get the details. Anyone care to enlighten me? Perhaps they are putting (at least one) fan-created object in the game...

_ Paula _
11-24-2003, 12:58 PM
Without giving too much away, the answer is yes. There will be fan-created objects in Uru. Whether or not they will be viewable during the Prologue, I don't know.

Pa'lua (in Cavern)

[This message was edited by Paula465 on Mon November 24 2003 at 01:33 PM.]

11-24-2003, 01:03 PM
Hmm... That's interesting. Maybe my Relto stones and sticks have something to do with these "fan-create objects".

11-24-2003, 01:28 PM
I just want to be able to mod the clothes my Avatar has to wear. I love myst and all but the thought of wearing a Myst-T in the online component scares me. I am thinking Armani or maybe some North Face outer-wear. A little "Ron Jon's" you get the picture.


11-24-2003, 01:50 PM
Really Uru Live is the perfect MMO for custom Clothing. It doesn't have any attributes associated with clothing (like an RPG), so basically it would just be cosmetic changes. It would have to be approved through the DRC, who would have to limit it if there were a lot of participants. The new clothing would have to be added to an update so that everyone could see the new clothes.

Now texures for the clothing you have would be a cinch, but new garments (coats, scarves, trench coats, etc.) would need a lot more work.

11-24-2003, 02:31 PM
If Paula465 is thinking of what I'm thinking of, it's not what you think! How's that for a weird phrase? It's cool, but a very occasional thing, very, very limited, and no mod tools. While it's neat, I don't think that's exactly what we are talking about. As far as I can tell, and from I remember Cyan saying on some question and answer list, there are no plans for mod tools, letting you make your own age, import clothing into the game, that sort of thing. I don't think it's a quality control feature, it's a design feature.

Regards, mszv
Game name: amarez
KI #: have to find it
Put that down, you are not in a game, this is my life!

1.2GH, 640MB, GeForce4 TI 4200 128MB, Santa Cruz Surround Sound, DSL, 1200kbps down/100 kbps up, wired/wireless home network, Linksys router

_ Paula _
11-24-2003, 02:33 PM
mszv...you are correct on both counts...although all I was doing was responding to Kawartha's question.

Pa'lua (in Cavern)

11-24-2003, 02:45 PM
Paula: Cool. Thanks for the info. I'm looking through the DRC site for more info on the contest. So far I haven't found anything concrete, but I'll keep digging in the forums for a bit...

EDIT: If you haven't seen the long post on this thread (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=400102&f=5671071&m=2281012), you should read it now. Best explaination of why age-writing will not be happening in the Uru setting.

11-24-2003, 02:45 PM
Well, lest I was to negative, what Paula mentioned, and we well see, is really neat! I'm glad you brought it up!

Regards, mszv
Game name: amarez
KI #: have to find it
Put that down, you are not in a game, this is my life!

1.2GH, 640MB, GeForce4 TI 4200 128MB, Santa Cruz Surround Sound, DSL, 1200kbps down/100 kbps up, wired/wireless home network, Linksys router

11-26-2003, 01:16 AM
i dunno, i can live without importing, without custom designing 3d objects and so on. All id like is to be able to pick from a list (a list whose length could perhaps depend on how much youve accomplished in the various ages) to make an age. after all, what are the neat features of ages we've liked in previous games? Neat ''offices'', interesting landscapes, stylized architecture. think of it like ordering froma chinese restaurant's menu. Id like an age with 1 item from group A, 2 from group B and 1 from group C...to forge a delicious age that's roughly all your own.

11-28-2003, 03:58 PM
That's a nice thread there and I like it's in depth look at writing. But of course, that thread is in charactor. OOC, I'd like to see some 3D guys and some Python guys with mad skils be able to contribute to the depth and variety of the available landscapes, clothing, games, and objects. And it looks like at least some of that will come to pass as Kawarth and Paula mentioned. Yay.


11-29-2003, 08:46 PM
Hey Distant, what does that say in D'ni?

11-29-2003, 11:15 PM
I personaly would love to be able to create my own ages.

why couldn't they make a few different types of ages. I mean they can alow us to create different avatars. you'd think they could do the same thing with ages. It would be kinda generic, but hey atleast you can say you created it.

But I guess they would rather keep the creating process to themselves http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif ...

11-29-2003, 11:27 PM
Don't forget programming... an Age is more than a collection of 3D objects, as was mentioned initially. You'd need to be able to add puzzles, and to make them new, the modder would have to be able to script.

Personally, though, I'm not afraid of that part. I've been working for months on a Morrowind mod that will probably never be released, that contains some puzzles that would work well in the Uru world... for instance, a tides puzzle (areas only accessible at certain times; my version turns you into a fish so that you "drown" if you're ABOVE the surface), an invisible bridge in the sky puzzle (turn left at the blue stars, right at the red stars and you'll be fine), an ice puzzle (melt your way through the cavern; each ice block you melt raises the water level, so you need to do as few as possible).

I'd be happy to incorporate these and others into Uru ages, given the chance!