First of all, there are three different ways to create Ages for the various versions of Uru:
- Using Blender with Korman to produce ages for Myst Online: Uru Live's CyanWorlds.com Engine, Uru: Complete Chronicles, and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.
- Using Blender with PyPRP, which targets Uru: Complete Chronicles and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.
- Using 3ds Max with the Cyan Worlds Max Plugin, which targets the most recent version of the CyanWorlds.com Engine. However, using Drizzle, these ages can be converted to Uru: Complete Chronicles.
For details on those plugins, please consult their specific documentation. Below you can find information about parts of age creating that are independent of the modelling tool used.
Filename and sequence prefix
All ages must have a filename and a numerical sequence prefix. Both the filename of your age and the sequence prefix must be globally unique for the age to be installable alongside all the other ages. Before you start writing an age, you need to reserve a name and a number. I suggest to even do that for local test ages since it is really hard to change the name or sequence prefix of your age later. Also, never change either of them without changing the other, that will confuse Uru!
For CC/TPOTS, you can register a sequence prefix in the TPOTS Sequence Prefixes list.
Writing python scripts
Uru uses Python for everything which can not be controlled directly within Blender/3ds Max. You want a door that opens after pressing buttons in a specific order, or a timer that gives players five seconds to pass a bridge before it breaks down? You want the fog of your age to change over time, journals to be shown, link explorers to other ages? For all that, you will need to write python scripts.
You can find various tutorials for Python in the web. Here is a list of some links that document the Uru-specific parts:
- Plasma Python API
- Creating a Python File
- Global Python Scripts
- Using Chronicles
- Creating a Simple Control Panel
- Toggling Multiple GUI Dialogs
There are some issues and bugs that regularly re-appear in new ages:
- Your age runs too slow? Have a look at the Age performance optimization possibilities.
- You want your age to work online? There are some extra pitfalls here, please see Writing Ages for Shards.
- If you write several independent ages, make sure that there is no file contained in both ages' archives. If someone installs them both and then removes one, those files will be missing. If two ages belong closely together, the best idea is to put them into one age archive.
- Make sure that you ship all sound files your age needs, and no superfluous sound files (unless, of course, you want to hide some bonus material here ;-)
- Make sure your age's fni file contains fog settings (which it usually should with modern versions of the plugins). If it does not, the age will look different depending on whether people get there from Relto or Nexus.
Releasing the age
This is covered in the article on Distributing Ages.