There are only a small number of Second Life members that know what Myst Online or Uru Live, as some call it, is. Even fewer know what MOOS is (Myst Online: Open Source), the coming open source reincarnation of the game. And even fewer Second Life residents know that parts of Uru (the general name of the game land) are being built in Second Life. That is a problem Myst Online has always had. A big challenge for the community is how to get the word out now that the game is set to make a comeback. So how do we let prior fans know the game is in the hands of the fans?
One step is to put the information every place we can. So, there are posts like this one that give some help. Plus we tell people about the game. In some cases like the builds in Second Life, we show them. Yet, is that enough?
Note: So for those that do not know Myst Online: Uru Live, it’s last official name, is one of the first MMO’s (Massive Multiplayer Online – with game implied) without violence as a game activity or goal. Killing not required; monsters, critters or others. It has always been child friendly and many parents and children spent time playing it together. It was one of the first MMO’s to use You-are-You type role play, an odd mix of In Character (IC) and Out Of Character (OOC) role play with a bit of Alternate Reality Game (ARG) play tossed in. It had great graphics for its time (2003-2004), a heritage of the Myst series of single player games. After two incarnations, its latest with GameTap an online games company, it is now set for a third. Cyan Worlds, Inc. the author and owner of the game has said it is to be released as an open source game this Spring. You saw the press releases, right? Oh, there actually were newspaper stories, really. (See: Spokesman-Review – Cyan Myst Online – Uru)
Now the fan base is in charge of marketing the game. We need to find ways to let out of touch fans and people in general know the game is in come back mode. A search can quickly reveal the fan forums. The official Cyan run MO:UL Forum pops up. But, those forums have years of postings and important information is quickly hidden. One or two people per month suddenly wonder, ‘whatever happened to Uru?’ and ask the same question when they arrive, ‘Is Uru ever going to come back?’ So, obviously there is a problem.
There are several Myst/Uru related groups in Second Life (SL). One, Explorers Community (300+) is focused toward helping fans from MO:UL adapt to SL and holding the community together. There is the Explorers Community Research and Development group (ECR&D – 40+/-). They are focused on helping Myst/Uru fans learn to build things and run businesses in SL. Some of their incentive is to bring the Myst Style builds and environments to SL using and pushing the SL tech to its limits. Most of its members have started SL manufacturing and businesses in SL.
In April 2009, the ECR&D ends its first phase and starts a second. I’ll be pushing for an emphasis on marketing and reaching out to people. What is learned for general use in SL can be applied to the special needs of the Myst/Uru fan base. Interested fans should join us in SL.
What would you recommend for finding prior fans or reaching new people that would be interesting in Myst/Uru open source?