Project: D'ni Social Area

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Nalates
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Nalates » Wed May 25, 2011 2:57 am

I had forgotten the D'ni Web.

Now the open source WebKit is used to achieve what we discussed in that thread. Webkit is the root of the display I use for the Ahnonay Map in SL. One can easily make a laptop that can browser the entire Internet or limit it to a site or page.

I would think linking via a filter to a list of sites would be possible. It is common now to have filters in SL viewers. So, all the open source SL code would be a good example/outline.

That Webkit handles Flash would make game-in-game design open to many more people. ...OMG... someone is bound to put Farmville on one of the laptops... :?
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Stucuk » Wed May 25, 2011 3:26 am

Personally id rather see Nye_Sigismund's ideas merged, where you see a 2D display pop up (Like the KI, you could say that it interacts with the game table) and play the game on a 2d screen, but each time you make a move a chess piece moves on the game board.

The problem i see with websites is that it could just become a cheap way to add contents. URU to me has always been about unique creations rather than a touch screen tv that allows you to play 100+ games. You would also be limited to the amount of touch screen tv's you can have as each would require its own unique dynamic texture(Also the more that were in use the lower your FPS would get due to the texture updates. How large that would effect the lower end cards is anyone's guess), but if you had actual devices in the ages you could have an unlimited amount because it wouldn't require unique textures for each one.

Im not against touch screen tv's, i just would hate that they could become a cheap way to add contents which wouldn't feel URUish. If it was done then it shouldn't goto actual websites but stuff stored on a users computer (Downloaded from the server). If its online you have the problem that sites could go down for periods of time(No site is up 24/7).
Nalates wrote:One can easily make a laptop that can browser the entire Internet or limit it to a site or page.
I would hate to see a website browser in URU. It would break immersion. Would work fine in SL though.
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Nalates » Wed May 25, 2011 6:29 am

Heek type games would be nice. But programming games into Uru/CWE is not something many fans can do. As to cheap… that was the point. But, look through the flash games on the net. They can be anything one imagines. So, creative types could create D’ni viewer like devices or smart phones.

I’ve never understood why working laptops are thought to break immersion. In the D’ni Web thread there was some confusion over whether we would want to see an old D’nu Internet like system linking to old D’ni sites and information sources or some link to the surface. JWP made a point about some of the complexities of maintaining IC with such a connection. Visiting a site where the cavern is discussed as a game would break immersion, a valid point. But, as I suggested which sites the device can reach could be filtered.

My real concern is why so many people are concerned with their personal ideas of what Uru should be or they want. If their idea is what they want to develop, I understand that.

I posted an article on MOUL Forum in August of last year in part about an interview with Will Harvey on why THERE.com failed. Simplified his answer was he went with what he thought would work, it didn’t and THERE.com is gone. Using one’s personal ideas is what people naturally try. They think what they like will be great and it fails more often than it succeeds. More and more game success is about how well the designers can learn from what players like and adapt it to their game idea.

I certainly do not know what makes a game a success. I do know a lot of things that contribute to making a game a success. You will see me posting articles like the one linked above and Planning Uru and others about what would increase player retention and what would get you back in the game. I learn from those and get ideas. I think others do too.

I hope people will think and look beyond their personal preferences and ideas. Chloe at MOUL is very convincing about the pipeline of content she has. I would never have considered that one person could expect to supply a pipeline of never ending entertaining content for Uru. While I remain doubtful, she has persuaded me she may be able to do it. How long she can/will do it remains a question.

The basic that won’t work response is always worth exploring. I also think we would be more productive if instead of saying something WILL break immersion we looked at how it could be changed to enhance or support immersion. Basically changing from negative opposition to asking how someone will work their idea to avoid the problem someone sees stimulates more ideas.
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Stucuk
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Stucuk » Wed May 25, 2011 6:59 am

There are two sides to the coin. You need to keep URU so that it doesn't loose its identity, if it becomes "Just another MMO" then why would people come to play it? So while i agree that there is alot to learn from other games, if you take everything directly from other games without modifying it to suit URU's style then you will just have a clone of another game.

I don't have any problems with working laptops that point to DRC material as it would be realistic, but i would have a problem if it allowed people to view sites like facebook as that would throw me out of the URU world and back into the real world.

I understand your idea was so that it was easier to create games, but the question is "Would people want 100+ games on a touch screen". Personally i don't think you need to have loads of mini games. What you need more of is proper team based things(Which would require alot of time and skill).

Im not the type of person who would leave if URU changed, im flexible when it comes to ideas. If people wanted to go ahead and do it i wouldn't stand in the way or walk off in a huff.
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Dot » Wed May 25, 2011 8:05 am

Allowing some way of web content to be brought into the Cavern opens up content-creation to explorers who can create IC content in word and image but not as full-blown ages. It enables more of us to take part in creating story and puzzles. It could provide support for events such as language or history lessons, or concerts.

Wouldn't an academic organisation have brought down a laptop with a presentation screen, to try to convince potential sponsors of the value of their work? If it were possible to include that in an age, as a general purpose tool for explorers to book for specific events, would it break immersion?

Web address filtering would be vital, of course.

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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Stucuk » Wed May 25, 2011 11:17 am

It all depends how its done. But from what i can tell apart from the blog idea that someone came up with on the MOULa forums i don't see how regular people could really contribute "website" wise but like i said on that topic i think stuff like that should be hosted on the server as much as possible. External websites are bad because you then have the problem of them going down for maintenance, network issues, etc, so you can log into the game and find half of the contents isn't working because the external websites are down. You can also find that someone may loose there website after a year for whatever reason, so you then loose all that contents if its external. With most of the website related contents that people propose you don't need them to be updated in real time, so you can have contents like that downloaded directly to the users pc via the server(Updated like the PRP's are).
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Dot » Wed May 25, 2011 3:02 pm

Pulling text from the web is already possible in journals in UAM ages. D'Lanor made this possible and the system is in use in Shell 415 and Skysong. As a fallback, basic text is hardcoded into the Python, so if an explorer chooses not to enable network access they still get some text (sufficient to solve the puzzles, for example), though not the most up to date version (for story development say).

For persistency of websites for content delivery, perhaps this is something OpenUru.org or OpenUru.net might help with.

That is one type of web use. Another type is more of a general-purpose tool that might be built in-game (if it were possible). This one is a standalone display within a public place, as is being discussed, which can be set to point to different websites for particular events. I remember Rehn's D'ni language lessons in There, where he gave us a web address for each stage of the lesson, explained what it showed, and we could ask questions there and then. If it were possible to do that in Uru, but with the screen seen by all within the same Uru room and under the control of the tutor, it would make those lessons even better and more memorable.

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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Nye_Sigismund » Wed May 25, 2011 3:46 pm

Wow! Lots of discussion. :)

Natale's example is a good one, thanks for that.

Two things about web access:
1) How much coding would need to be done to the engine to make it work with WebKit? I'm not a programmer - in fact, an adept programmer is 100% needed if this area is to be a success!

2) Having some sort of internet access in the cavern would be a notable addition to the cavern IC. I think, though, that there's another way of doing it, and that's via a cavern-wide LAN.

One thing about non-coders and non-graphics artists being able to add content via more web access... true, but this team is also about non-coders and non-graphics artists being able to add content! Everyone who is posting ideas in here is contributing to making a better final age.

I'm somewhat partial to the "Explorers making a mark on D'ni" idea, with laptops etc. But there is such a thing as aethetic. A computer in the cavern should be a very uncommon sight - because it's a bit of surface technology in a world thoroughly D'ni... BUT. One of my concepts for this social area involves it being an area that the explorers restored after the DRC left. It's an area for socialising and relaxation. So, if somebody brought a clunky old PC down and propped it up in there... that would just about work. Early on in my own concepting for this area I joked around with the idea of a 60's jukebox that sombody had hauled in. Not sure how well that would work. The D'ni aethetic needs to be maintained. I've said it before - Uru's great success was it's graphical design.
Natales wrote:Heek type games would be nice. But programming games into Uru/CWE is not something many fans can do. As to cheap… that was the point. But, look through the flash games on the net. They can be anything one imagines. So, creative types could create D’ni viewer like devices or smart phones.
Flash isn't free or zero-effort to learn either. Even as a student, CS5.5 would cost me £130 or so, and then I'd have to factor in learning ActionScript to do any games creation! Flash is a great starter for games design though - Super Meat Boy was originally a flash game. :)

Just to be clear - when this project goes forward, there won't be a case where 100 different games can be accessed on a "table imager" or somesuch. It should be one or two at most (Definitely two on the Go Fish table. If there are not enough people to play, the table shoot boot up Solitare!) And should be done in a D'ni fashion, taking design ideas from the Heek table which was this project's inspiration.

I'll try and coalate the current conversation into a document discussing this tomorrow, so everyone can be on the same page about how the games could be made. But once again - this is all hot air without a programmer. So I encourage anybody with the skills to step forward to help with this.

EDIT: Don't forget the OSCAR mission statement - the content OSCAR makes must work to Cyan compatibility, as it's aimed for the MOULa server. So don't over-worry if you think that something will break aesthetic or whatever - as the guy who wrote that statement, I'll be keeping an eye out so as to make sure the content works within the specifications and styling to work as approved content.

(Any Maintainers want to jump in here? I know that there's been a lot of work over the years done by Maintainers to specify the parameters for MOULa compatible stuff)

Oh, and I'll do some more concepting for the age this evening. Gotta keep the progress going.

EDITX1000 OR SO: Dammit Huw, you should really make these posts at the point you click submit, not for many minutes afterwards!

I'll be trying to hang out on the OpenUru IRC from now on. It's an unused tool and facilitates faster communication of ideas etc. If a discussion comes up I'll try to log it so as everyone can be made aware of it.
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Stucuk » Thu May 26, 2011 5:05 am

Nye_Sigismund wrote:1) How much coding would need to be done to the engine to make it work with WebKit? I'm not a programmer - in fact, an adept programmer is 100% needed if this area is to be a success!
This post is complete speculation, i have never tried to implement webkit or had any kind of website built into an engine. But i have had similar experience of trying to make my own Doom 3 like control panels(Which is basically the same) in an engine i was making years ago.

There are 3 things you need to achieve:

1) To be able to see the website. You need to get WebKit to give you its "Output" as an image, no clue how you do that. Once you have that you need to update a texture. This texture has to be unique(For every "Touch screen tv" you need to have 1 unique texture). Each frame(Given that content can update without user input) you would have to take the image from WebKit and convert it into a Direct X texture and update the displays texture. How laggy(If even noticeable) this process is depends on how compatible the output of WebKit is to the direct x texture format thats used as well as how many displays you have.

2) You need to modify the current system so that certain placeholder textures would become unique textures(So you have one texture called Dynamic which would never be loaded by URU and instead point to a unique texture created for whatever "Model" it was used on). How hard that would be would depend on CWE's insides, i don't have enough experience to comment on that.

3) You need to have a way to convert a click from a 3D world into the 2D world. I never successfully worked out how to achieve this in a way where you could have the screen at any angle when i tried, if the screen faces one of the 3 axis's then its easy. You would need someone with some maths knowledge to work it out if you wanted angled displays.
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Re: Project: D'ni Social Area

Post by Dot » Thu May 26, 2011 9:42 am

Would it be worth spinning this discussion into a separate thread? It is something I would be very interested in, and potentially could be used as a general model/method beyond the social area, which is strictly the topic of this thread.

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