Myst-Uru: What Takes So Long?

Myst-Uru or Myst Online:Uru Live again (MOULa) has been open source since about 2010. In the following 4-½ years we have seen little change as we wait for new fan made content to appear in-game. A lot of work has been done, but little of it is stuff fans can play with. Here I take a quick look at What is Taking So Long and compare that to what Myst-Uru fans are building in Second Life™.

Myst Island - 13

Myst Island – 13 by: Shigeko Tachikawa – Date: 2011

Recently it seems more people are coming by the MOULa forum asking where the new ages are and what’s taking so long. One of the people working on building new ages (ages = new game areas or game mods), Tweek, wrote a reply. See: WHAT’S TAKING SO LONG? 

The article tells us the team working on MOULa consists of 12 people. Of those 3 or 4 are working on what they call intangible stuff… I assume testing, scripting, and the sort of things needed but not really seen. I guess 6 are mostly inactive. Only 2 are working on content, Chloe and Tweek. They work on the MOULa projects as hobbyists in their spare time.

Tweek goes on to explain how that time is spent and the complications of building content for MOULa. There are some pictures of an age named Rebek. You’ll learn a lot about how content for games is created. You’ll also learn there is no time frame or ETA for new content arriving in MOULa. After 4-½ years we are farther down the road, but still have no idea when new content will arrive in MOULa.

Comparing

Most of those modeling for MOULa are not happy when someone compares what is going on in the MOULa modeling community with the MOULa community in Second Life™ (SL) building MOUL and Myst like replicas and spin offs. But, in SL we have had copies of some of the MOULa game areas and made some new areas based on MOUL.

Mysts-of-Eyr

Mysts-of-Eyr by: Caprice Resident – Date: 2015

In the years since MOUL closed (2008) we have numerous builds of MOUL areas come and go. So, were very Minecraft like, but some have been awesome.

In 2010 when we were limited in what we could build in SL, the MOULa modelers looking down on what was built in SL was understandable. Prim worlds here were sort of Minecraft-ish. But, now that we can import Blender models we can build almost anything. Adding materials gave us most of what professional modelers need.

Since MOULa is a puzzle solving adventure game, replicating the game play in Second Life was almost impossible. We have more camera and avatar control in SL than there is in MOULa and cheating a puzzle is pretty easy. We have more control over avatars now that we have Experience Tools. So, building in SL is advancing and allowing us to build areas in SL that are much more like the game areas of MOULa. We will be better able to control game play.

The visual part is so much better that I expect snapshots taken in SL will start to be mistaken for images taken in MOULa. Of course, there is no mistaking the avatars.

The MOULa modelers have been right in saying that MOULa’s game engine, Plasma, is/was better than the engine in Second Life. But, that has become less and less true over time. Now that we can build almost everything in SL that can be built in MOULa the advantage of far less time-needed-to-build-something is a huge advantage. With Project Sansar in the works the Plasma engine is falling farther behind. We may building replicas of MOULa in Sansar before we see new content in MOULa.

So, while I wish the MOULa modelers well and believe they are engaging in a hobby they enjoy, building for the MOULa Plasma engine is obviously far too complex and time consuming to ever provide the flow of content needed to sustain popular interest in MOULa.

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