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Cyan shuts down

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Last response: in PC Gaming
Anonymous
September 3, 2005 5:55:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

(via Aaron Lawrence on csipga:) 

<http://www.uruobsession.com/?page=CyanFAQ&gt;

With development finished on Myst 5, the company has laid everybody
off and is shutting down. It looks like the losses on Uru were too
much, and they haven't been able to sell publishers on a new project.

I am sad.

--Z

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
*
I'm still thinking about what to put in this space.

More about : cyan shuts

Anonymous
September 4, 2005 2:27:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Andrew Plotkin wrote:
> With development finished on Myst 5, the company has laid everybody
> off and is shutting down. It looks like the losses on Uru were too
> much, and they haven't been able to sell publishers on a new project.

Having thoroughly enjoyed Riven, Myst, and Myst: Exile I proudly
beta-tested Uru, and had the "unique" experience of multi-player puzzle
solving Cyan-style.

Uru was a fine game single-player, no puzzle *required* multiple people.
The 3rd person perspective really was a dumb addition as it only added
everyones "beloved" jumping-puzzles-in-mind-numbing-lag and
peek-around-the-badly-placed-camera game elements. Moreover, main server
downtime was infinitely frustrating.

However what really killed it was Cyan's lousy QA. As usual with games
these days, the eye-candy graphics and atmosphere were fantastic and
obviously the real focus of development (a foolish decision!).

However, whenever more than one player would inhabit a world, every
puzzle would instantly go haywire. Solutions would simply fail to work
and puzzles malfunctioned madly.

During the entire time I played the game, during which I completed it
single-player, the puzzle bug was NOT fixed. People would always be
running around each others' worlds (each player owned a copy of every
world which could be visited) trying to solve puzzles which were broken
by the mere *presence* of another player. Of course, we weren't told
this then--but you'd eventually figure it out when you'd try the exact
same solution you were doing with your buddy (which didnt work then)
alone and it would solve it.

And then they were surprised when nobody purchased their online
subscriptions!

It is unfortunate that the mysterious eye-candy factory that was the
Myst series may now be over, but then again you can now have that very
same experience in any FPS (see Far Cry) with far more realism and
freedom of motion.

--
Risujin
risujin@fastmail.fm
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 3:41:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Here, Risujin <risujin@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> Andrew Plotkin wrote:
> > With development finished on Myst 5, the company has laid everybody
> > off and is shutting down. It looks like the losses on Uru were too
> > much, and they haven't been able to sell publishers on a new project.
>
> Having thoroughly enjoyed Riven, Myst, and Myst: Exile I proudly
> beta-tested Uru, and had the "unique" experience of multi-player puzzle
> solving Cyan-style.
>
> Uru was a fine game single-player, no puzzle *required* multiple people.
> The 3rd person perspective really was a dumb addition as it only added
> everyones "beloved" jumping-puzzles-in-mind-numbing-lag and
> peek-around-the-badly-placed-camera game elements. Moreover, main server
> downtime was infinitely frustrating.
>
> However what really killed it was Cyan's lousy QA. As usual with games
> these days, the eye-candy graphics and atmosphere were fantastic and
> obviously the real focus of development (a foolish decision!).
>
> However, whenever more than one player would inhabit a world, every
> puzzle would instantly go haywire. Solutions would simply fail to work
> and puzzles malfunctioned madly.

That sounds unfortunate. However, during the time *I* played the
on-line game (the "preview" or public beta phase), I didn't hear
complaints about this. People were certainly co-adventuring in the
puzzle areas -- there wasn't much else to do -- and there were plenty
of bug reports on the forums, but I don't recall that any of them
were specific to world-sharing.

I took a look at the Uru world file structure. (You can download the
Uru server for free at this point. The graphical stuff is manky and
obfuscated, and there's no source code for the compiled stuff; but the
world-state files and some of the scripting is easy to read.)

It was an interesting read, although of course I was only guessing at
how it worked. It *seemed* like a good design: there was a lot of
support for data-object versioning, for example. They'd obviously
thought about the problem.

On the other hand, I encountered plenty of bugs, too. I don't know
what went wrong. Distributed data systems are Hard To Get Right, I can
assure you.

> And then they were surprised when nobody purchased their online
> subscriptions!

You misremember. They never offered online subscriptions for sale.

> It is unfortunate that the mysterious eye-candy factory that was the
> Myst series may now be over, but then again you can now have that very
> same experience in any FPS (see Far Cry) with far more realism and
> freedom of motion.

I haven't played _Far Cry_, but in my experience there's still a huge
difference between the adventure and FPS genres. Most FPS *games*
contain adventure elements, but that doesn't make them the same thing.
Nor does it make them palatable for people who are interested in
adventure gaming and *not* in slaughtering hordes of zombies, demons,
or robots du jour.

--Z

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
*
I'm still thinking about what to put in this space.
Related resources
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 10:14:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Andrew Plotkin wrote:
> That sounds unfortunate. However, during the time *I* played the
> on-line game (the "preview" or public beta phase), I didn't hear
> complaints about this. People were certainly co-adventuring in the
> puzzle areas -- there wasn't much else to do -- and there were plenty
> of bug reports on the forums, but I don't recall that any of them
> were specific to world-sharing.

These glitches were pretty obvious when I played. You would walk through
a puzzle area and buttons and switches would flicker and most
importantly activating buttons wouldn't work! Bizarre to say the least.

> I took a look at the Uru world file structure. (You can download the
> Uru server for free at this point. The graphical stuff is manky and
> obfuscated, and there's no source code for the compiled stuff; but the
> world-state files and some of the scripting is easy to read.)

I found the download up on their website
(http://plasma.cyanworlds.com/downloads.xml). Seems it also comes with a
"Client Patch," does this mean you can patch a retail copy of Uru to
enable multiplayer support from the beta?

It seems they also want you to purchase a "key" from their Kagi service.

> It was an interesting read, although of course I was only guessing at
> how it worked. It *seemed* like a good design: there was a lot of
> support for data-object versioning, for example. They'd obviously
> thought about the problem.
>
> On the other hand, I encountered plenty of bugs, too. I don't know
> what went wrong. Distributed data systems are Hard To Get Right, I can
> assure you.

The whole project, when I first heard about it, always seemed to me to
be out of Cyan's league. They were doing multiple major technology
transitions at once: to full 3D, to multiplayer, and to MMO. Yes, it had
promise of being a highly innovative experience but Cyan simply wasn't
up to the task IMHO. They really did an admirable job but I think they
would have fared better had they limited their ambitions and advanced
more gradually.

> You misremember. They never offered online subscriptions for sale.

They announced that Uru would not feature an online part because they
did not exepect to get sufficient subscribers. So technically, they
never did offer the subscriptions, but they felt no one would want them
anyway.

> I haven't played _Far Cry_, but in my experience there's still a huge
> difference between the adventure and FPS genres. Most FPS *games*
> contain adventure elements, but that doesn't make them the same thing.
> Nor does it make them palatable for people who are interested in
> adventure gaming and *not* in slaughtering hordes of zombies, demons,
> or robots du jour.

Which is why we have IF. ;D
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 2:41:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

On Sat, 3 Sep 2005 13:55:05 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Plotkin
<erkyrath@eblong.com> wrote:

>(via Aaron Lawrence on csipga:) 
>
><http://www.uruobsession.com/?page=CyanFAQ&gt;
>
>With development finished on Myst 5, the company has laid everybody
>off and is shutting down. It looks like the losses on Uru were too
>much, and they haven't been able to sell publishers on a new project.
>
>I am sad.
>
>--Z
>
>"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
>*
>I'm still thinking about what to put in this space.

If there are problems on Myst 5, who will develop and release the
patches, if they have laid off everybody? Seems a stupid move to
make...
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 6:31:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

disappointing
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 1:30:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

"Autymn D. C." <lysdexia@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:1125999107.093189.313910@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> disappointing
>

That's a sentence fragment.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 4:21:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Kevin Venzke wrote:
> "Autymn D. C." <lysdexia@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
> news:1125999107.093189.313910@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > disappointing
> >
>
> That's a sentence fragment.

Wrong, that's an interjection.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 5:49:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Here, Risujin <risujin@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> Andrew Plotkin wrote:
>
> >>It seems they also want you to purchase a "key" from their Kagi service.
> >
> > Yes, I think it's a seven-dollar flat fee.
>
> Reasonable pricing, but if the game still has major bugs (and the source
> will not be released) it wouldn't be particularly interesting to anyone
> who has played the beta (although it would satisfy others' curiosity I'd
> imagine). Has anyone had a chance to give the new servers a try?

I tried them, back when the binaries were first released. (August
2004.) They worked about like the preview had worked.

As far as I can tell, the fan servers are inhabited mostly by people
who enjoyed the community of the preview phase, and wanted to keep
hanging out there with each other. It hasn't attracted new players
(and I doubt anyone expected it to).

> > You do realize that I categorize Myst as "graphical IF". Which is why
> > I posted the note here in the first place.
>
> A fair comparison, but the "graphical" part changes the nature of the
> game enough for it to be fairly distinct from IF as we know it.
>
> One of the simplifications arising from that is the primary "click to
> activate" mode of interaction rather than any kind of verb system (a
> counter-example is LucasArts' classic Monkey Island games, graphical IF
> thats leaning more toward IF in my book--even if the verb set is small),

I've written a bunch on this comparison, and I won't repeat it here.
But basically, I find that the graphical IF interface can have the same
kind of complexity as the text IF interface, by presenting a rich
visual world of objects to choose from. (Fewer verbs, but more nouns,
if you see what I mean.)

Some games (although not the Myst series) add an inventory, which adds
an axis of choices just as text game interfaces do. And Myst 4, in
particular, added object-dragging to the visual world -- so there
*were* more "verbs" to be used with certain objects.

(In fact, the original Myst has more kinds of interaction than you
give it credit for. There was clicking, click-and-hold,
click-and-drag, click-and-wait... These were used just as verbs are
used in text IF: as natural but not-necessarily-obvious extensions to
the interface, which you might try if you thought about how you
*wanted* to interact with the game world.)

> which means that puzzle solving often devolved down into irate random
> clicking at another overcomplicated contraption.

And badly-designed text games devolve into guess-the-object. It's the
same failing.

> IF generally avoids this (you don't tend to see as many "machines"
> that need solving in IF) and can have more varied puzzles involving
> NPCs and much more creative actions. How would you ">tell npc about
> ..." in Myst?

I wouldn't set up such a puzzle in a Myst-like game. (And the Myst
games haven't either.)

--Z

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
*
I'm still thinking about what to put in this space.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 9:03:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Andrew Plotkin wrote:
> I've written a bunch on this comparison, and I won't repeat it here.
> But basically, I find that the graphical IF interface can have the same
> kind of complexity as the text IF interface, by presenting a rich
> visual world of objects to choose from. (Fewer verbs, but more nouns,
> if you see what I mean.)

I would say, same *level* of complexity but not necessarily the same
*kind*. More nouns is not quite the same as more verbs, although I
understand what you're saying.

> Some games (although not the Myst series) add an inventory, which adds
> an axis of choices just as text game interfaces do. And Myst 4, in
> particular, added object-dragging to the visual world -- so there
> *were* more "verbs" to be used with certain objects.

I don't believe Myst had an inventory, but you forget the illustrious
Riven -- in which you carry around a book or two for a while. Never
really used puzzle-wise however (but ever good for the atmosphere).

> (In fact, the original Myst has more kinds of interaction than you
> give it credit for. There was clicking, click-and-hold,
> click-and-drag, click-and-wait... These were used just as verbs are
> used in text IF: as natural but not-necessarily-obvious extensions to
> the interface, which you might try if you thought about how you
> *wanted* to interact with the game world.)

True, but still less interactive than a windows form. :) 

>>which means that puzzle solving often devolved down into irate random
>>clicking at another overcomplicated contraption.
>
> And badly-designed text games devolve into guess-the-object. It's the
> same failing.

Yes, indeed. :) 

>>IF generally avoids this (you don't tend to see as many "machines"
>>that need solving in IF) and can have more varied puzzles involving
>>NPCs and much more creative actions. How would you ">tell npc about
>>..." in Myst?
>
> I wouldn't set up such a puzzle in a Myst-like game. (And the Myst
> games haven't either.)

You really wouldn't be *able* to (in a practical way anyway), so there
are new limitations imposed (although they don't necessarily diminish
gameplay, as long as those kinds of puzzles aren't attempted--which they
never were), then again seeing a puzzle visually goes a long way toward
lifting some limitations from text IF.

--
Risujin
risujin@fastmail.fm
September 7, 2005 1:19:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Risujin wrote:
>
> Sophie Fruehling wrote:
> >
> > If you have to keep posting off-topic stuff, can't you at least
> > discuss something remotely interesting, like the weight of the moon or
> > something?
> >
>
> The mass of the moon is 7.34 x 10^22 kg.
>

But its weight, of course, is zero.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 1:52:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

On Wed, 7 Sep 2005, Rexx Magnus wrote:

> On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 07:21:27 GMT, Autymn D. C. scrawled:
>
> > Kevin Venzke wrote:
> >> "Autymn D. C." <lysdexia@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
> >> news:1125999107.093189.313910@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> >> > disappointing
> >> >
> >>
> >> That's a sentence fragment.
> >
> > Wrong, that's an interjection.
> >
>
> Then it wasn't punctuated correctly.

Nor was it properly capitalized.

==--- --=--=-- ---==
Quintin Stone "You speak of necessary evil? One of those necessities
stone@rps.net is that if innocents must suffer, the guilty must suffer
www.rps.net more." - Mackenzie Calhoun, "Once Burned" by Peter David
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 1:54:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 07:21:27 GMT, Autymn D. C. scrawled:

> Kevin Venzke wrote:
>> "Autymn D. C." <lysdexia@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
>> news:1125999107.093189.313910@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>> > disappointing
>> >
>>
>> That's a sentence fragment.
>
> Wrong, that's an interjection.
>

Then it wasn't punctuated correctly.

--
http://www.rexx.co.uk

To email me, visit the site.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 2:20:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

My "on Earth" estimate calculates the mass of the moon were it to be
transformed into a point particle on the surface of the Earth--which
now that I think about it, is a pretty strange proposition.

The weight of the moon is not zero however, the gravitational
attraction is negated by its orbital velocity--which keeps it at a near
constant distance from the Earth.

Using Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newtons_Laws_of_Gravity):

F = G * Ma * Mb / r^2

The force of gravity exerted on the moon (it's weight) would be...

F = 6.67 × 10^-11 N m^2 kg^-2 (constant G)
* 7.34 x 10^22 kg (mass of the moon)
* 5.9736×10^24 kg (mass of the Earth)
/ (384,800 km * 1,000 m/km)^2 (mean distance)
= 1.98 * 10^20 N

Which, when put through the mostly meaningless translation to pounds
gives:

4.45 × 10^19 lbs

These are all classical gravitation equations though, I don't have a
clue as to what they'd look like taking into account general relativity
(probably similar numbers though).

This is, of course, information no IF author can do without.
September 7, 2005 2:59:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Risujin wrote:

> The weight of the moon is not zero however, the gravitational
> attraction is negated by its orbital velocity--which keeps it at a near
> constant distance from the Earth.

The gravitational attraction isn't "negated"; the moon responds
fully to it. In other words, it's in free fall, as weightless as
an orbiting astronaut.

> This is, of course, information no IF author can do without.

And it comes in handy for players, too.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 8:13:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Quintin Stone <stone@rps.net> wrote:

>On Wed, 7 Sep 2005, Rexx Magnus wrote:
>
>> On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 07:21:27 GMT, Autymn D. C. scrawled:
>>
>> > Kevin Venzke wrote:
>> >> "Autymn D. C." <lysdexia@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
>> >> news:1125999107.093189.313910@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>> >> > disappointing
>> >> >
>> >>
>> >> That's a sentence fragment.
>> >
>> > Wrong, that's an interjection.
>> >
>>
>> Then it wasn't punctuated correctly.
>
>Nor was it properly capitalized.

This must be the most boring off-topic chitchat I've ever read in this
group. If you have to keep posting off-topic stuff, can't you at least
discuss something remotely interesting, like the weight of the moon or
something?

--
Sophie Frühling

"El arte no viste pantalones." --Rubén Darío
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 8:13:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Sophie Fruehling wrote:
> Quintin Stone <stone@rps.net> wrote:
>
>
>>On Wed, 7 Sep 2005, Rexx Magnus wrote:
>>
>>
>>>On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 07:21:27 GMT, Autymn D. C. scrawled:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Kevin Venzke wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>"Autymn D. C." <lysdexia@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
>>>>>news:1125999107.093189.313910@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>>>>>
>>>>>>disappointing
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>That's a sentence fragment.
>>>>
>>>>Wrong, that's an interjection.
>>>>
>>>
>>>Then it wasn't punctuated correctly.
>>
>>Nor was it properly capitalized.
>
>
> This must be the most boring off-topic chitchat I've ever read in this
> group. If you have to keep posting off-topic stuff, can't you at least
> discuss something remotely interesting, like the weight of the moon or
> something?
>

The mass of the moon is 7.34 x 10^22 kg.

On Earth, it would weigh 1.618193 × 10^23 pounds or 7.19808108 × 10^23
newtons.

--
Risujin
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 4:32:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Nathan wrote:
> Risujin wrote:
>>The weight of the moon is not zero however, the gravitational
>>attraction is negated by its orbital velocity--which keeps it at a near
>>constant distance from the Earth.
>
> The gravitational attraction isn't "negated"; the moon responds
> fully to it. In other words, it's in free fall, as weightless as
> an orbiting astronaut.

Ah, but it *has* weight, a great deal of it as it turned out. The
vernacular term "weightless" refers to the perception of having no
weight, which feels like freefall. Even when you are in freefall, you
are still (obviously) acted on by gravity and have weight.

That is of course, unless you're a distracted Arthur Dent--a gag
abominably left out the Infocom's HGTTG. On second thought, it probably
would've been too trite to add it in...
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 4:59:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Rexx Magnus wrote:
> Then it wasn't punctuated correctly.

Wrong, I wrote as I spoke.
Anonymous
September 10, 2005 4:16:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

"Autymn D. C." <lysdexia@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:1125999107.093189.313910@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> disappointing


I know, I know. But give it time, you'll be able to look back and laugh :-)

Andrew