Project: D'ni Social Area

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Nye_Sigismund
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Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Nye_Sigismund » Fri May 20, 2011 5:58 pm

Project Status: Stage 1

Project Introduction

D'ni needs a social area. This much is pretty clear. Ae'gura is currently the hub - but it's content free beyond sightseeing and skydiving! Standing around chatting is one of the more common things to do in MMOs - but often this is wrapped in other activities which require the user's attention but not their total concentration, like crafting or managing an in game shop.

I've been thinking about this idea for a while, and I've come up with this idea - a dedicated public social area of D'ni which has repeatable content inside for people to do whilst socialising. The idea is a bit of a lift from, err, most of the Playstation Home concept, but it's pretty new in Uru.

Project Outline

A medium-sized scene placed in D'ni. It's public, and got to via the Nexus, like Ae'gura. Content wise, it should have repeatable content inside. The neighbourhoods have something like this in Heek. Currently, I've been working along the idea of three games that explorers could play to pass the the time - Chess, Checkers and the king of all card games, Go Fish. ;)

We've already seen attempt to put these games into the game - Karkadann's already done this. But if we run with this concept using code as well as physics, we can create a compelling place to hang out that adds a big chunk of content without having to completely rip apart core fundamental design decisions in the game.

Myst has always been a game relying on your thinking skills, and so it makes sense that games that are akin to puzzles - especially Chess - would slot in quite well. Also, your average explorer is pretty good at puzzles, both in character and in person. However, there are certainly grounds to move any and all of the games suggested above over to a D'ni equivalent - but that will require somebody to design the games.

I've done a small amount of concepting already for this, based on the idea of setting the club inside a D'ni music hall. The concepts are below:

Image
Image
Image

... This is why I do 3d modelling rather than 2d drawing. D:

However, much more planning needs to be done, and I'm only one member of the community. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has an idea to add to this thin outline.
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Gehn, lord of ages
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Gehn, lord of ages » Sat May 21, 2011 3:28 am

Well, I have ideas which may or may not fit with the thin outline - does that count?

Has anyone ever tried to spec up Gemedet? With a 3D interface, it might be relatively simple to mock up and would provide a new flair to things. Normal games like chess and checkers would be good too, though (with the prevalence of chess playing programs around, would it be possible to set up a simple bot to play at one table in case of quiet times [maybe with headphones or something to explain lack of response to most queries, just giving a short introduction when a player sat down at the table with him and some other comments if prompted]?).

Of course, we could definitely use more minigames. Jalak missed out on the socialization side of things - there's no real room for spectators of the creations and games, and it's rather small and limiting in some ways - but it's a nice fusion of possible competition and game-like structure with creative work. Gahreesehn Wall tried to do this too - both a creative work and a challenge. More (maybe even much simpler in design and atmosphere) user constructed maze challenges like that would be nice for a socialization area.

Maybe moving mazes (Frogger style, trying to get through the gaps of a maze either moving parallel or perpendicular to the route you want, which might be customized by those watching, or which those watching might have a better vantage point to try to help you - maybe with spots to place markers every now and then, so additional challenges might be made).

Maybe a D'ni-fied Minesweeper on a large scale (jumping on panels. A "clear" panel would make the whole platform drop a little, and would give an indication of how many mines were near it (or how many clear spaces, to go the other direction) - a "mined" panel would cause the whole platform to rise a little - you'd be trying to get the platform to go down a certain amount (at which point you'd get to doors in the sides of the walls, and could walk out)) - with one person placing the mines and any amount of people trying to figure out the placement (but with a door that could be closed or made private - so people couldn't just walk in and troll it).

Maybe video watching options, or big imager screens for looking at cool KI pictures, or stages (with imager technology which could be manipulated Jalak style from afar to give lighting techniques, change the background scenery, etc.) either in a main area (with the option to sit in a way facing it or not) or in alcoves. Maybe just have camera's set up in certain 'hoods or areas of Ae'gura, showing scenes of what's happening there (either what's actually happening there, or elaborate performances by some group).

I'd suggest several linking books in some balcony, alcove, or wherever (confined to one place so that it wouldn't get obnoxious, but easy to get to) which would link to Ages like Eder Tsogal and Delin and other Ages that groups might enjoy (preferably with some other Ages maybe switched in now and then for variety), so people could sit around to form groups to explore these places. Also, Nexus podiums conveniently located would be a plus (so people could get out of the Age and to other places very quickly, should they wish to explore somewhere else).

Maybe a phototropic plant with a swiveling base. It would grow in the direction of a major light source. People could turn it so that it would start growing in a different direction, causing bends and such as it grew. Maybe there's a way to make something a bit more sophisticated than just that (stalagmites or something? multiple factors, multiple growths?).

Also, if it's to be a chat friendly area, we should make sure that for every normal sitting place or activity in both third and first person, that there's a fairly simple background around the top of the screen so that the chat is not obscured (no need to move around just to look at a line of text).
My posts represent the views of me, Gehn, lord of ages, and not any companies or groups which I don't belong to. :D

Nye_Sigismund
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Nye_Sigismund » Mon May 23, 2011 3:25 pm

Gehn, lord of ages wrote:Well, I have ideas which may or may not fit with the thin outline - does that count?
Sure, all ideas welcome. :)
Has anyone ever tried to spec up Gemedet? With a 3D interface, it might be relatively simple to mock up and would provide a new flair to things. Normal games like chess and checkers would be good too, though (with the prevalence of chess playing programs around, would it be possible to set up a simple bot to play at one table in case of quiet times [maybe with headphones or something to explain lack of response to most queries, just giving a short introduction when a player sat down at the table with him and some other comments if prompted]?).
Gemedet is Cyan property, so unfortunately that's a no-go. On the bot side of things, I'm somewhat adverse to having an NPC in a multiplayer area, but this is certainly something that the community would have to decide on.

Doing something involving mazes, minesweeper, etc isn't a bad idea - but that's a far more ambitious project which would require a lot more work!
Maybe video watching options, or big imager screens for looking at cool KI pictures, or stages (with imager technology which could be manipulated Jalak style from afar to give lighting techniques, change the background scenery, etc.) either in a main area (with the option to sit in a way facing it or not) or in alcoves. Maybe just have camera's set up in certain 'hoods or areas of Ae'gura, showing scenes of what's happening there (either what's actually happening there, or elaborate performances by some group).
That's a lot of work too, and the imager would have to be updatable by the server operator only if it's a public age.
I'd suggest several linking books in some balcony, alcove, or wherever (confined to one place so that it wouldn't get obnoxious, but easy to get to) which would link to Ages like Eder Tsogal and Delin and other Ages that groups might enjoy (preferably with some other Ages maybe switched in now and then for variety), so people could sit around to form groups to explore these places. Also, Nexus podiums conveniently located would be a plus (so people could get out of the Age and to other places very quickly, should they wish to explore somewhere else).
Nexus podiums would be narrative specific - if this area was a theatre for D'ni's middle classes, which is my personal concept, why would the Maintainers have a direct link? BUT putting down Nexus books and books like Tsogal and Delin is a very good idea.
Maybe a phototropic plant with a swiveling base. It would grow in the direction of a major light source. People could turn it so that it would start growing in a different direction, causing bends and such as it grew. Maybe there's a way to make something a bit more sophisticated than just that (stalagmites or something? multiple factors, multiple growths?).
That would be very hard to do.
Also, if it's to be a chat friendly area, we should make sure that for every normal sitting place or activity in both third and first person, that there's a fairly simple background around the top of the screen so that the chat is not obscured (no need to move around just to look at a line of text).
Not aware of this issue myself, but that's certainly something to keep in mind. I envisage a somewhat quiet area anyway, which uses dark blues, greys and neutral browns...
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Gehn, lord of ages
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Gehn, lord of ages » Mon May 23, 2011 3:51 pm

Nye_Sigismund wrote: Nexus podiums would be narrative specific - if this area was a theatre for D'ni's middle classes, which is my personal concept, why would the Maintainers have a direct link? BUT putting down Nexus books and books like Tsogal and Delin is a very good idea.
I think the DRC could mess with the Nexus (as in, add books and such - I don't think the Maintainers had a direct link to every neighborhood, K'veer, and all the places in Ae'gura to begin with - or if they did, a theatre - or some place conveniently close to the theatre wouldn't be too odd to have a link to either), but mostly I'd make sure there's easy to access Nexus links out (which are easy for the DRC or explorers - just grab a bunch of Nexus books and scatter them around). It makes it an easier place to stay if you're thinking of maybe leaving quickly later to meet up with friends or something.
Also, if it's to be a chat friendly area, we should make sure that for every normal sitting place or activity in both third and first person, that there's a fairly simple background around the top of the screen so that the chat is not obscured (no need to move around just to look at a line of text).
Not aware of this issue myself, but that's certainly something to keep in mind. I envisage a somewhat quiet area anyway, which uses dark blues, greys and neutral browns...
Good. I've just had some problems when I'm standing around and there happens to be a large lamp in the middle of my chat text area (mostly the lights in the 'hoods). Especially if people are going to be sitting down (and thus somewhat immobilized) while chatting, something like that could be really inconvenient.
My posts represent the views of me, Gehn, lord of ages, and not any companies or groups which I don't belong to. :D

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Nalates
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Nalates » Tue May 24, 2011 6:56 am

We could probably add a bunch of games if we were able to display web pages (flash etc) in world.

SL is working its way through the feature so one could look at their code to see how it is done. The pages are interactive and Flash hot spots work.

It does create some security risks.
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Stucuk » Tue May 24, 2011 8:53 am

The thing i don't like about websites being used for extra games is what is the point of going into URU when you can just use your browser? They would also break the immersion imo. Personally i think all games in URU should be in URU's world, where you can interact with it. I think interaction is a key element of Myst games, it also allows other people to see you modify the world in some way (Such as move a chess piece).
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-Stu

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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Nye_Sigismund » Tue May 24, 2011 4:19 pm

I agree with Stucuk. It has to exist in Uru, in my opinion.

If we're looking at how to do a chess minigame, say, there are lots of ways you could do it. Here's two.

1) Have a GUI manage everything. You sit down at the chess table and a 2d representation of the board pops up. Basically you're sitting at the table but playing chess in the same manner you'd play chess online.

2) Create the game in such a way that you oversee the 3d board in some sort of "over the shoulder" fashion. You play the game via clicking on one piece then a square to move it to. The 3d chess pieces move around from square to square.

The latter is probably far harder to code, but would be far better. Does anyone think they have enough Uru Python experience to gauge how hard these two ideas would be?

EDIT: Just had the fanciest idea - have tables with imagers built in, combining GUI and 3d view. But that would require a good explanation of why there are so many working imager tables!
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Dot
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Dot » Tue May 24, 2011 8:12 pm

Nye_Sigismund wrote: EDIT: Just had the fanciest idea - have tables with imagers built in, combining GUI and 3d view. But that would require a good explanation of why there are so many working imager tables!
Imagers can be repaired -- Neolbah included the repair of a wall imager from bits in its story background (we wanted to add an extra imager to the atrium, and this gave the excuse). We got the bits from the D'ni equivalent of a cupboard under the stairs, in a room off the Great Shaft near the pub Eder Tomahn, recently restored by Andy. Who knows what other bits of broken items might be lurking there, ready for explorers to piece together?

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Nalates
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Nalates » Tue May 24, 2011 9:19 pm

This is an interactive Ahnonay Map I have in Second Life. I made it into a wall hanging, just because I was playing. I could have put it in a table top or anything else I wanted to build. As I activate the Flash animation those around me can see it changing. It is interactive with all those in the area.

Image

You can see the working one in the standard web page here: Ahnonay Spoiler

I have a custom web page for the in-world version. In SL they call this Media On A Prim (primitive object). I have not tried to put this on a custom mesh, but it should be possible.

So, I'm not sure why something like this would break immersion.
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue May 24, 2011 10:17 pm

I tend to agree with you Nalates; that isn't really much different to using a Bink as a texture. I'm suspecting that maybe there was some misunderstanding of what you meant when you wrote of displaying webpages in-world. Some time ago, Gehn, lord of ages created the D'niWeb thread which might be more what Stucuck and Nye thought you had in mind.
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