I Feel On Top of the World

Myst Screen ShotAnd the other thing that I'm excited about from E3? Well, this one may involve some backstory. Actually, this backstory goes way back.

In 1993, Myst was released. It was an adventure game that was much different than hardly any had seen before, as the world was fairly free to explore and there were puzzles integrated to the game. It was much less of a game as it was an exploration of a whole new world. Of course, though, many of those who liked Doom did not have enough patience. Some did not like the fact that the game only offered periodic snapshots of the world, even though each one was breathtaking, but the technology was not yet available on PCs. Those who were interested in learning about whole, fictional cultures found it fascinating. Hidden throughout the world were hours and hours of written backstory, too. It went on to become possibly the best-selling game of all time.

Of course, repeating such success is almost impossible. Many other companies tried to do it for years after. Probably the best was Cyan's sequel to Myst, entitled Riven. After that, Cyan Worlds licensed their Myst series to other developement teams.

Uru PhotoBut after Riven, there were often rumors of the people at Cyan working on something big. We got a hint of the technology they were developing when we encountered RealMyst, which allowed the user the freedom to move wherever now that 3-D rendering technology had gotten good enough. Finally, we found it was to be entitled Uru, and a large part of the game was going to be an online experience.

When Uru was prepping for release, I was anxiously watching the beta testing phase and the community that was forming online. The world of Uru was expansive and very interactive, and people in the beta test seemed to be having a great time exploring and interacting with each other. And, like all the earlier games, every view looked stunning. There were even online websites devouted to what was happening in the game.

Even before the game was released, Cyan announced the closure of Uru Live because of a "lack of demand" or something else. Most are still unsure how they game to that conclusion, as many of us were waiting for the beta to be over or, in my case, the hardware to play the game. Thus, Uru lived on as a one-player, static game, and the fans discounted the loss of Uru Live as a game that was ahead of its time, a great idea that won't have enough users.

Uru Live Screen ShotBut a couple days ago at E3 that has officially changed. Cyan Worlds has announced that Uru Live will once again be live as a service from GameTap. The company's broadband-only service offers a user all of 500 games to download and play instantly, and this fall the Uru Live experience will be another facet of GameTap. I still haven't played Uru yet and only recently acquired the graphics card needed to run it, but I plan on playing the single-player version in the near future. Since GameTap has a free trial and is only $10/month, I may also try that this fall too. It will be fun to join a real-time world that grows and changes as time passes, I think. And we'll see if anything else comes from it.


Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img>
  • You can enable syntax highlighting of source code with the following tags: <code>, <blockcode>, <c>, <cpp>, <drupal5>, <drupal6>, <java>, <javascript>, <php>, <python>, <ruby>. The supported tag styles are: <foo>, [foo].
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.