Guild of Writers (restored)

For the classic Guild of Writers, see Guild of Writers.
Guild of Writers (restored)
Writers logo.png
Short D'ni name telsel
D'ni name telok seltantE
Established August 2007 CE
Guild Master Hoikas
Guild color black with red trim

The restored Guild of Writers is one of the five guilds promoted by the DRC in Kirel. Their main duties and objectives are the creation of new Ages, the development of tools for the creation of Ages, and since the open-sourcing of the game, updating and improving the client and designing a server for fan-run shards.

In the future, we hope that the new Guild of Writers continues the tradition of making new Ages available. Though often considered the most elite of the Guilds, the Writers' tasks were also considered the most arduous and intense. We assume that the new tasks will be just as intense. Writing a Descriptive Book is not something to be taken lightly.

— DRC, Kirel Guild notes

History[edit]

COBBS[edit]

The beginning of the restored Guild of Writers can be traced to the February of 2004,[1] when Uru Live was shut down by Ubisoft. Immediately, a dedicated group of fans assembled on the Clockwork Orange BBS (COBBS). The goal of this group was twofold: to figure out how to continue playing Uru online, and how to add new content to the game. Unfortunately, in July July 2005 the COBBS database crashed, so most of this early part of the Guild's history is lost.

Untìl Uru[edit]

In August 2004 there were two simultaneous developments: first, Cyan announced Untìl Uru, allowing players to play Uru Live on fan-run servers. Second, Almlys announced "A Live Compatible Uru Server" (ALCUGS), still actively used to this day by the Deep Island shard.

Various tools such as PRPExplorer appeared, allowing the modders to understand how the game stored Age data, leading to the very first Uru modifications: one of the very first hacks was to delete random PRP files from the game, and watch as different Ages were combined (a practice that is still popular through the help of bots). Later, things like texture replacements started to appear, where people would re-skin Ages with their own textures, including the infamous graffiti on Kerath's Arch stating "H'uru was here".

The earliest confirmable fan addition (by D'Lanor) was released on September 9, 2005.[2]

PyPRP[edit]

In 2006, Almlys returned with another huge announcement: the release of the PRP Blender Plugin (PyPRP). This was the first tool for creating and exporting Ages to the game. The first version was very rudimentary (it couldn't even export textures), but more and more functions were quickly added.

Naturally that led to a resurgence of interest in Age creation. However, the COBBS was seen as a "dark underbelly" of the Uru community. At the time, hacking the game had very serious negative connotations and Cyan was hostile towards it. So there was a push to establish new groups, such as Age Builders and the New Tree, whose primary focus was Age creation, not understanding how the game worked.

The Guild of Writers[edit]

When the DRC revived the guilds, a number of people from these disparate groups came together to form the modern Guild of Writers, a melting pot of interests from Age creation tool making to Age creation itself. From the beginning, it was very clear that the Guild was not to be an exclusive club.

Since 2008, "Tsar" Hoikas gradually picked up more and more responsibilities, from administering the forum, to run the website, to upgrade the wiki.

On August 23, 2010 the Guild released its Alcugs-based shard, "Deep Island", which currently hosts the majority (more than 190) of the fan-made Ages.[3]

Uru goes open source[edit]

On April 6, 2011, Cyan released the source code of the Uru Live client (Cyan World Engine, CWE) and the 3ds Max 7 plugin. Five days later, the Guild's H-uru fork of CWE was announced. Soon, fan-run shards started to appear:[4] "The Open Cave" on August 1, 2011; the OpenUru.org Minkata shard on December 11; the Guild of Writers' own "Gehn" shard on February 4, 2012; the "Destiny" shard on February 1, 2013. Other shards, like "Atlantis", have since been closed.

On February 3, 2015, the first fan-made item of clothing, by ChloeRhodes, was added to Uru Live.

On July 11, 2015, the first version of Korman, the Guild's Age-creation plugin for Blender, was released, with the intent of replacing PyPRP with a more flexible and easy to use tool.

Opening of the assets[edit]

On October 28, 2019, Cyan announced[5] that the MOUL assets were open for fan updating and modification. This was big news for the Age building community, as they have been wanting this for years. It was not possible for Cyan to provide the original 3ds Max files, but they gave their blessing to reverse-engineer the files.

Right away, Doobes began the process of converting some of the Ages to Korman-ready files for Blender. This was made possible by the work of Sirius, who developed the next generation of PRP importer, the ZLZ URU Importer.[6]

Getting involved[edit]

A lot of Age creation tends to happen in private or very small teams. So, if someone has an idea to develop, the best starting point is the Guild wiki. A lot goes into making a well-made Age: concept, story, music, modelling, texturing, puzzles, etc. Watching developer commentaries for excellent games is a good way of learning the best strategies.

References[edit]

  1. zeke3651, "All Guilds Appreciation Party". Myst Online forums. July 18, 2016.
  2. AdamJohnso, "OOC Chronology". Myst Online forums. February 6, 2016.
  3. "Gallery of Fan Created Ages", Guild of Writers wiki, accessed on November 19, 2019.
  4. korovev, "OOC Chronology". Myst Online forums. February 3, 2016.
  5. Chogon, "Modifying MOULa Assets". Myst Online forums. October 28, 2019.
  6. "ZLZ Age Importer", Guild of Writer wiki, accessed on November 19, 2019.