Reference:Uru IRC chat with Rand Miller, November 2003
The following chat took place in the #Uru IRC channel on November 12, 2003. The transcript has been limited to questions asked by the community and answers from Rand.
Zeus12345: Will we be able to visit any parts of D'ni in Uru Prime?
Rand Miller: Yep! The DRC is making some parts of the cavern available. Small areas at first and then more as time passes.
Coren: Will we be able to create our own ages?
Rand Miller: We'd like that, but it's a complicated issue. We're working to define how the art of writing ages could be simplified. But it will take time.
Rand Miller: We're working on the soundtrack now. Trying to add a bit more value to it. Like a small "making of" video that features some footage of Cyan people. It's got a cool cover, too!
Foo: Are there any plans to improve the avatar creation system? ie., height options?
Rand Miller: The primary improvements will be additional things to wear. Lots of things. Those will come first. Over time we can improve other aspects.
kpgdenver: How have you managed to keep a sense of fun and creativity while managing what must be a pretty large business?
Rand Miller: It's hard sometimes. So many things to worry about. But we've got a great team - that alone helps keep us fresh. It's fun to work with these people. I do admit that sometimes the job is REALLY tough. But right now - is the FUN part!
LadyKira: Will the Age in URU Prime ever change?
Rand Miller: Yes. That's one of the interesting parts of UruLive. Nothing dies. The connection allows us to keep the worlds alive. Adding new areas, and updating old ones as time passes.
ElusiveOne: When D'ni is open to everyone, how often do you anticipate opening new areas and adding new content?
Rand Miller: We'd like small things to happen on a daily basis. Larger things on a weekly basis, and entire ages happening roughly monthly.
Funktion: Will you be able to explore the Live game alone. Meaning, online, but not seeing anyone else, if you so choose?
Rand Miller: Good question. Yes. Many people will choose to explore by themselves and they're welcome to. They'll have to stay away from the city obviously. But after time, they may find that they actually enjoy exploring with others.
xcap: Will the new ages in Uru Live be as big and detailed as those in Uru Prime?
Rand Miller: Some bigger, some smaller. I've had the pleasure of already seeing some of the ages that the DRC has discovered. Some really interesting small ones and some remarkably intriguing large ones - some larger than anything prime has.
BlasterCalm: You worked on Uru for more than five years now. The game will be launched this week. What is your greatest fear ?
Rand Miller: That people won't understand what it is. Since it doesn't fit neatly into existing gaming catagories, it might take some time for people to begin to understand what Uru is. I hope it has a chance to "ramp up" gracefully.
David_Peace: Will ages ever become 'obsolete'?
Rand Miller: Yes and no. Sometimes ages will go away, and only those people who have copies of them will retain them. New players having to be invited by older players. But most of the time ages will just continue to get better. Always changing and offering something new. Imagine if we could have done that with Myst and it's ages.
frankenc: What is the expected final open date for URU Live?
Rand Miller: Uru Live will go live on Friday in a prologue mode - meaning limited number of players as we grow things. Beyond that, things will ramp up over time.
mateo: Why couldn't we take the journey to D'ni through the tunnel instead of linking there?
Rand Miller: I think that the idea is that many people may not have wanted to take the long way down. Although I think I would enjoy it.
SFT: Will the DRC characters be played by dedicated voice actors, or by Cyantists, or both?
Rand Miller: What do you mean "played by"? Victor would be insulted! ;)
Jerle: What is your personnal favorite age?
Rand Miller: I'm too diplomatic to pick one. Although I have been known to been found wandering around in Kadish.
lonelyto25: Will Uru live feature lonelyto25 is NOT Rand Miller t-shirts?
Rand Miller: We're working on those now. But it's hard to fit all those words on the shirt. ;)
xbouxboux: Have you seen anything happen in the online world that surprised you?
Rand Miller: I think I enjoyed the "base" jumping that was popular for a while. Oh, and in early versions people found out how to slide down the main stairs in the city.
ElusiveOne: In Uru Live, will we be interacting with more non-player characters and creatures?
Rand Miller: Our goal is to let people interact with live people. It's much more realistic that way. The NPC's always seem a bit flat - if you know what I mean.
EyeDe: You've obviously spent a lot of time making URU, will you spend some time playing the game now?
Rand Miller: It is fun for me to go wander around the city and meet people - find out what they like and what they don't like. So yeah - I'l; be playing - you'll see me around. You'll know it's me by the fact that the name is Rand, and it looks like me. :)
DigDug: What kind of mini-games can people play together?
Rand Miller: There are a few. The first of which is an an ancient D'ni game called Ahyoheek. The 'heek tables are found in the neighborhoods. I'm not sure how soon the DRC is planning on moving them in. Beyond that, I'll let you discover.
Nath5000: Will we ever be able to revisit ages that we played in the other myst series games?
Rand Miller: I can't speak for the DRC. They're the ones who control the ages. All I know is that I'd love to. Even K'veer is interesting.
linkerjpatrick: How is the progress on the Lake light levels coming?
Rand Miller: Lake light levels continue to be a problem. I think the algae is much more complex then what was originally thought. But I've heard they're made some breakthroughs based on recent discoveries.
RoBas: How can I meet other people if I don't know any friends who are playing URU, in other words, how can I meet new people?
Rand Miller: There are a few ways. The city is one - it will be full of strangers. But there will also be neighborhoods set aside for public usage. They're good places for new people to go.
mateo: Will we see any advertising in URU?
Rand Miller: None that I know of. I think that people may have mis-interpreted a recent press release. I think the point of that press release was that the DRC was now getting some funding and support from Ubi to continue their efforts.
Felipe565: Will there be wildlife in the ages?
Rand Miller: I personally seen quite a bit of wildlife. From bugs to some rather large creatures that I didn't want to get too close to.
dusante: Are there any easter eggs in uru? can you tell us or hint us on any of them?
Rand Miller: Yes. No.
many people: What the status on a possible Mac version?
Rand Miller: Looking good. Let me start by saying that I use a Mac so I really want one. Beyond that we are working hard to make the Mac version happen. Uru was much more difficult than we had anticipated. The Mac version fell out as a necessity just so we could get Uru done at all. Now we are trying to make it happen again.
many people: What will Uru Live cost?
Rand Miller: It will likely be comparable to other persistant online games (10 - 15 USD range)
BobFM: Can we walk from one neighborhood to another?
Rand Miller: Oddly enough, no. The D'ni added some level of security to their neighborhoods by not separating them. The Nexus is the primary means of getting around.
Meng: How different was the development of URU compared to the other Myst games?
Rand Miller: REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HARD! So many technological challenges.
Sivrehn: How many mehods of fast-transportation (besides linking Books) were discovered in the City, if any? (vehicles, animals or others..)
Rand Miller: I've noticed quite a few - not all of which still function. The Nexus of course, and I've seen boats and construction vehicles. I've seen pictures of animals being ridden, but haven't seen any.
DigDug: For how long do you forsee new Ages and content coming out for Uru?
Rand Miller: For as long as you are interested in coming down to D'ni. There is more than enough to keep us busy for years to come.
Scraper: We've been seeing a lot of construction cones and barriers. Will they play an important part in telling the URU story?
Rand Miller: The DRC is intent on safety. It has to do with Dr. Watson's concerns.
Coren: Can you die or get injured in URU?
Rand Miller: You won't die, but you can still attempt dangerous things and feel some fear. Just be ready to link out quickly - if you happen to fall off of a high cliff!
Kha'Tie: Even when I've seen an age many times, I still feel its magic when I visit. Is it like that for Cyan and the DRC too?
Rand Miller: It's always magic. I think it's because I'm still not sure that I've seen everything. There are certain things that change, and then there is the simple fact that the ages have so many layers. Sometimes I miss so much my first time through.
Aison: After completing the single player portion of Uru, how many new ages will be exclusively available online to explore with others at launch?
Rand Miller: They'll be several additional places to go right away, and as time goes on that will expand. The DRC has been exploring some pretty remarkable places lately. Wait until you see Er'cana. :)
FishCat: Will people who connect with a modem be able to play Uru? For some MMORPGs (such as Star Wars Galaxies) are playable, with negligible lag, on a 56K modem.
Rand Miller: Lag really isn't the issue. It's the need for large updates on a regular basis, such as when new Ages are opened, that make the broadband requirement necessary. Our primary use of the connection is to always supply new content. We want you to always wonder what's new.
VanderVecken: What's the most interesting thing to you about Uru?
Rand Miller: Unlike this chat - the idea that it never has to end! :)