Reference:Uru IRC chat with RAWA, December 2003

<Ubi_Khatie> Thank you all for coming to chat today. It's great to have you all here! Also, special thanks to RAWA, Richard Watson, of Cyan Worlds.
<RAWA> and since RAWA has no field of expertise, this should be a short Q &A session. :P
<Ubi_Khatie> You'll do great, RAWA
<Ubi_Khatie> How often do you expect the DRC to interact with players?
<RAWA> In an offical capacity (addresses to large groups) probably not very often.
<RAWA> Informally, just wandering around, probably frequently, though since
<RAWA> there will be several servers there's no guarantee how often a
<RAWA> particular player will see one of them.
<Ubi_Khatie> Wosborne2002: When will the Uru soundtrack be released?
<RAWA> Honestly, I don't know when the soundtrack will be released, sorry.
<Ubi_Khatie> How often will Ages that have already been released (such as Teledahn) be updated in Uru Live?
<RAWA> This will vary greatly by Age. Some of them will have small changes frequently,
<RAWA> others will change very seldom.
<Ubi_Khatie> linkerjpatrick: Has any restoration work been done on K'veer?
<RAWA> There has been some work on K'veer, it probaly will not be opened for quite a while, though.
<Ubi_Khatie> Rachel: How many Ages will be open to explore right out of the box, and will more become available over internet play as time progresses?
<RAWA> It really depends on how you count "Ages". some of them are very small, others are very large. Uru is larger than Myst and Riven were, but the advertised "10 ages" includes some very small places
<RAWA> that are technically separate Ages, but really aren't going to feel
<RAWA> like mech or channelwood, for instance.
<Ubi_Khatie> REMINDER: Please do not PM Kha'tie - she's asking RAWA your questions. Please ask Ubi Aloys or Ubi Randomos. Thank you.
<Ubi_Khatie> NoVah: Can we look forwaard to a complete, 'official" D'ni word list in the future?
<RAWA> A complete one just given to you? no, not likely. but Uru players will <RAWA> learn more and more words as time progresses.
<Ubi_Khatie> (unknown asker) U1. Do we have the option of using the tunnels to reach D'ni? Or would we HAVE to use a book?
<RAWA> For now, the mysterious Books are the only way.
<RAWA> threep
<RAWA> oops
<Ubi_Khatie> Threepwood: Will we be able to use text to talk to people as well as voice?
<RAWA> yes, you'll be able to use text
<Ubi_Khatie> <SeventyFifthTbn> Back in the Hypercard day, you were lead programmer. Do you do much/any programming anymore, either at Cyan or personally, now that the newfangled 3D stuff has taken over?
<RAWA> I do very little programming these days. Adn what little I do is during the design phase
<RAWA> proof of concept type stuff, still in hyperCard
<Ubi_Khatie> Deg: How much of Uru's music is composed by Peter Gabriel versus Tim Larkin?
<RAWA> Most of it is done by Tim, Peter's contributed one song so far
<Ubi_Khatie> U2. will the Ages in the offline Uru change and grow in the online version?
<RAWA> that's definitely a possibility.
<Ubi_Khatie> Fresh27: When are we going to get a new Myst Book? AND someone else asked about the status of the Book of Marrim?
<RAWA> unknown. there are more stories to tell, but for the near future...
<RAWA> we'll probably stick to updating Uru live
<RAWA> Marrim's still on the back burner
<Ubi_Khatie> AllMyst: What kind of special events are you planning for Uru?
<RAWA> You'll have to wait and see… :)
<Ubi_Khatie> <lonelyto25> Are there any plans for the city proper to be made public?
<RAWA> someday, yes, that's one of the DRC's long-term goals. it won't be "soon", though
<Ubi_Khatie> <Kirsehn> Will all the Ages ever released always be accessible?
<RAWA> There's no guarantee of that. So someone who starts playing a few years from now
<RAWA> may not be able to get to some of the early ages. they'll have
<RAWA> to find someone who has access to it and visit theirs.
<Ubi_Khatie> Kerahna: Will there be NPCs to guide us around, or are we on our own once we reach D'ni?
<RAWA> There aren't NPC guides in the cavern, but there are other people that will probably be willing to help.
<Ubi_Khatie> <aquila> While Exploring D'ni. Will Explorers have access to the surface people Via their KI's?
<RAWA> at first, no, but it is possible that that ability will come at some time in the future.
<Ubi_Khatie> nyt: will a player who begins in 12 months time have lots of catching up to do?
<RAWA> there will be more spaces to explore, so in that sense, I suppose the answer is yes
<Ubi_Khatie> LehSa: Is there any Uru Memorabelia?
<RAWA> there won't be a lot a first, the soundtrack is one thing, other things will probably be availalbe later
<Ubi_Khatie> <Iankid1> is Uru live the only mode of online play or will we be able to make our own servers?
<RAWA> Uru will only be available on Ubi's servers, as far as i know.
<Ubi_Khatie> <Lonesquiff> Will there be options down the road for player submitted Ages?
<RAWA> not anytime soon, no. there may be more things like the recent design contests
<RAWA> for players to contribute, but not whole Ages.
<Ubi_Khatie> <linkerjpatrick> Have their been in accidents during the restoration process?
<RAWA> there have been a few "incidents", but the DRC are a very cautious group
<RAWA> and safety is one of their primary concerns
<Ubi_Khatie> <Taerun> In UruLive, will there be another story to solve like Myst/Riven/UruPrime, or will it just be "restore and discover new Ages and D'ni sections, and figure them out"?
<RAWA> there will be on-going stories
<Ubi_Khatie> fresh27: Is the single player mode just like the classic Myst games?
<RAWA> it will be similar in some ways (puzzles to solve, places to explore)
<RAWA> it will be different in some ways (real-time rather than pre-rendered, the opportunity to play with other people)
<Ubi_Khatie> Threepwood: will URU be Cyan's last game?
<RAWA> "difficult to see, always in motion is the future"
<Ubi_Khatie> <Ikimono> Are there anything resembling 'villains' within Uru?
<RAWA> it'll depend on whom you ask. There won't be people who are "just" villains,
<RAWA> but there will be conflict between people who have different ideas about things,
<RAWA> such as Zandi and the DRC
<Ubi_Khatie> <lonelyto25> Are there any easter eggs in Uru offline?
<RAWA> you don't really think I'd say anything about them if there were when the game hasn't even been released yet, do you? :P
<Ubi_Khatie> We have enough questions now to fill about 3 hours, so we'll stop taking Q's and let RAWA try to catch up to ones already asked of him. Thanks! :)
<Ubi_Khatie> Mysto: Will people who have learned the D'ni language have an advantage with Uru Puzzles?
<RAWA> probably not an advantage with the puzzles themselves, but they may learn a bit more of the backstory than
<RAWA> someone who doesn't know any D'ni
<Ubi_Khatie> <Free_Bird> What will be the replayability value of the offline part of Uru?
<RAWA> probably about the same as Myst/Riven. Once you know the answers, the puzzles (for some reason) are a lot easier,
<RAWA> but some people like to go back and look at things even when they know the answers.
<Ubi_Khatie> Jerle & Groo: Groo: What is your favorite Age so far? Why?
<Ubi_Khatie> oops... Jerle & Groo: Groo: What is your favorite Age so far? Why?
<RAWA> in Uru Prime: probably Kadish, I like the look of it the best.
<RAWA> in Uru Live - Ae'gura, the island in the D'ni cavern
<Ubi_Khatie> Kha'tie: Now that Uru Prime went Gold Master, are you getting more sleep?
<RAWA> not yet. my body is still re-adjusting to more "normal" hours, so, for instance last night I didn't get to sleep until 4:30 am, even though I really didn't have any reason to be up that late (early)
<Ubi_Khatie> Taerun: Will there be puzzles requiring two or more people to solve in Uru Live (physically)? (there were many "team" questions)
<RAWA> that seems a safe assumption. ;)
<Ubi_Khatie> tim: Does the plasma 2 engine take advantage of direct x 9 effects for things like water and bump mapping?
<RAWA> honestly, I don't know. You'll have to ask someone else that one
<Ubi_Khatie> Aloys: Do you meet any penguins in the Cavern?
<RAWA> not yet :)
<Ubi_Khatie> <aloys> So far what has been your most rewarding moment will creating Uru?.
<RAWA> the interaction with the beta testers, especially the "live" stuff like when Phil Henderson disappeared.
<Ubi_Khatie> AllMyst: Can Mysterium be at Cyan again next year? Purty Please?
<RAWA> that's up to the Mysterium committee, but I don't think it will be in spokane 2 years in a row. We'll have to wait and see
<Ubi_Khatie> linkerjpatrick: Is a "From Riven to Uru" coffee table book being considered?
<RAWA> not that i know of.
<Ubi_Khatie> How much of the MREDU mythos have been changed for Uru?
<RAWA> Not as much as people may think. many of the "changes" such as
<RAWA> the mysterious Books mentioned on the DRC site have been
<RAWA> planned for a very long time. Just because the D'ni had rules
<RAWA> about certain things doesn't mean that they couldn't be done...
<RAWA> :)
<Ubi_Khatie> Did Cyan originally want the cleft to be in New Mexico?
<RAWA> Short answer: Yes, as far as Cyan is concerned, the Cleft has always been in New Mexico.
<RAWA> Long answer: Our intent was always for it to be in New Mexico, though
<RAWA> we had no intentions of revealing its location at that time. In our outlines for the
<RAWA> novels, the Cleft was near a non-descript volcano in a non-descript
<RAWA> desert. Any "clues" to its location were added by David Wingrove when
<RAWA> he fleshed out our outlines.
<Ubi_Khatie> For those who don't know, what do you do at Cyan?
<RAWA> I've worn several hats over the years.
<RAWA> for Myst, I was mostly assisting Rand with the programming in HyperCard
<RAWA> For Riven, I worked on game design, programming, the D'ni language, and D'ni history
<RAWA> For Uru, I don't do any of the programming, but I'm still on the design team
<RAWA> and do a lot of the D'ni research, among other things.
<Ubi_Khatie> How Long have you been working on Uru?
<RAWA> Short answer: about 5 1/2 years.
<RAWA> longer answer: We started the designs for DIRT in Spring 1998. and since much of that
<RAWA> original DIRT content will eventually show up in Uru, so I guess that's the
<RAWA> best place to start the clock. So... about 5 1/2 years.
<RAWA> Longest answer: When we first finished Riven, we
<RAWA> started with the idea of a single-player game which we called DIRT
<RAWA> That stood for "D'ni In Real-Time". That was intended to evolve into
<RAWA> a multi-player, on-line experience later. Along the way, the plan changed and
<RAWA> the mult-player experience became our focus. We called it MUDPIE
<RAWA> (Multi-User DIRT, Persistent Interactive Entertainment or
<RAWA> Multi-User DIRT, Personall Interactive Experience or
<RAWA> Multi-User DIRT, Persistent Interactive Exploration, depending on
<RAWA> whom you ask).
<RAWA> Ironically, about a year ago, plans changed again, and we started adapting the
<RAWA> multi-player content for a single-player introductory experience. It's very
<RAWA> different in content than DIRT, but similar in many ways, too.
<Ubi_Khatie> RAWA Thank you on behalf of EVERYONE here, for taking so much time and effort out of your busy schedule, and your time off, to come and answer our Questions! :) We really appreciate it. Thanks too, to RANDOMOS and ALOYS who typed out all your questions for me! :) And, thanks to you GREAT FANS who always show up for these special events! This was AWESOME!
<RAWA> thanks, everybody
<Ubi_Khatie> Bye all!
<Ubi_Khatie> 03JERLE be a GOOD GIRL!
<Ubi_Khatie> We'll be having regular monthly chats, so watch for more news!