carlfoxmarten: (Default)
Mine, that is.
(I don't think Cyan Worlds has done anything further with the Myst series recently)

I finished Myst 3: Exile a couple days ago. I'd forgotten just how easy it was to beat.

I had to use a guide for one puzzle. In Amateria, the puzzle with the large balance beam, I'd forgotten which weights to use to keep the beam balanced.
(it was particularly annoying because I'd solved it myself, but forgot to save my game, and it crashed on me a while later...)

Next up is Myst 4: Revelation, though I'll be waiting a bit before I start that one.
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
I can now say that I own and have beaten every game in the Myst franchise.

The last game that I hadn't owned for the longest time was Myst IV: Revelation, and I was having the hardest time trying to find a copy anywhere.
Even stores that had PC games from ten years ago did not have a copy of Revelation at any of their locations.

I had almost given up on finding a legal copy and thought rather hard about downloading one illegally.
It was available through various Amazon-supported shops, but I wasn't about to pay $35 or more for a game that was over ten years old.

Eventually, my brother found a copy in a dump bin somewhere for about ten dollars, and called me to check and see if I wanted it.

Now, a couple of months later, I've finally finished the game.

Makes me a bit nostalgic now.
I think I want to go back and play the whole series over again...
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
I was just browsing the list of Steam games under $5 and noticed that there are a couple of Myst games in the list, realMyst, Riven, and Uru: Complete Chronicles, and you can also get the "Cyan Complete Pack" which contains all the above as well as Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel, Manhole Masterpiece Edition, and Spelunx and the Caves of Mr. Seudo.

Just in case people use Steam and want their Myst fix wherever they happen to be...
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
So I've recently got into Uru again (particularly Uru Live), and found out (probably for the second time) that people in the community are making fan Ages, mostly with a view towards the many-years-promised Open Source Uru Live edition.
(the source code for the client and game servers would be published, but the so-called "compiled artwork" would reside on a master server that game servers would use to server game files from)

It turns out that the primary 3D modelling tool used to create Ages is Blender.
(first thought: Hey maybe I can create an Age! Second thought: When would I have time?)

The forums for Uru Live have a section for Creativity, any kind of fan-created artwork themed around the Myst series.
Also available on the website is a gallery of concept artwork, some of which hasn't made it into the game yet.

There's probably more concept art available elsewhere, which seems to be rather interesting due to someone noticing how cool one of them would be to create, resulting in this thread about modelling a Guild Hall.
(the concept art in question can be found in this thread)

Even without textures, that is one cool-looking building!
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
So, I've previously written about how much I like the Myst series, and I've mentioned in the same entry how I have Uru: The Complete Chronicles.

Apparently, when Cyan Worlds started Uru, they intended it to be a multiplayer, online experience.

Due to timing (and possibly budget) constraints, they released the first part as Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.
The storyline was that human explorers had found the D'ni cavern underground here on Earth, and had hired Cyan Worlds to publish the original Myst game to publicise the discovery.

Later, they released an expansion called Uru: To D'ni which expanded on the story, and another one (Uru: The Path of the Shell) which extended it still further.
(they also released a complete collection called Uru: The Complete Chronicles which contained all three packs)

For some reason, however, there seems to be no closure or end to the game at this point.
The statement that keeps getting repeated is "Perhaps the end has not yet been written", which indicates to me that there is more (possibly much more) in store for this series.

Sometime around then, Cyan Worlds started a closed beta (by invitation only) of the online multiplayer version.
I'm a little fuzzy on what happened right after that, but it seems to have been open and free for a while, with a group of dedicated fans.

Enough so that GameTap (seems to be a service similar to Valve's Steam platform) got interested and either bought or borrowed the rights to the online version, and ran servers for it until either their servers were overloaded with customers or a distinct lack of customers "forced" them to shut it down.

After that, it took some time to get all the rights back in Cyan Worlds' hands, but they are back with their rightful owner, and again, it's available for free.

Myst Online: Uru Live, again (or MOULagain, for short, or simply MOULa for shorter) is where you can find the installer, register for an account, and find the official forums.

I've created an account for myself and explored the caverns fairly extensively, and found that there's a few important things that are different from the stand-alone version as opposed to the online version.
Most of the changes have been to add the requirement of a second person certain puzzles.
(which is kind of annoying, as I prefer to be a loner, and the puzzles in question are important ones)

It would be wrong for me to say that MOULa is running perfectly, as it isn't, and some of the bugs I'm running across are major show-stoppers (such as a profile getting completely locked out, for unknown reasons), and some are relatively minor (such as my choice of first-person versus third-person views not always being respected).
However, it is running quite smoothly otherwise, and there are a few more places to visit.

A few things which should have been joined in the stand-alone version have been joined (for instance, locations in the same age, but the door between them wasn't working are working now) and a few things have changed a bit (such as additional linking books being added to various part of various ages to make it easier to get around).

On the whole, I'm fairly happy with MOULa, but I'd like to be able to access my other two profiles so I don't have to duplicate too much work...
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
Today I decided to browse POV-Ray's website, and found an interesting news article:

Gil writes to tell us of his quest to develop a Myst-like Java game with graphics made using POV-Ray. Those interested in helping should visit the Amazon Systems blog.

(those of you who regularly use POV-Ray may have seen this before, but I bet you haven't read his blog yet)

Apparently, he's been programming since 1964 (about 45 years or so), and he has ideas about a Chinese Myst-like game.

From here, it looks very interesting, and his ideas about the environment and storyline can be found here.

The really interesting part is what he thinks the goal of his game should not be:
a) Lord of Evil - destroy him... NO!
b) Imprisoned Princess - free her... NO! NO!
c) Save the Planet... NO! NO! NO!
d) Find the Ultimate Treasure... NOT AGAIN!


Very cliche stuff, and a good idea to avoid them, but that also means that you have to work harder to find a good, meaningful goal for the player to work towards. This usually requires knowing what your world is like before writing your goal so it doesn't look contrived.

However, another thing to consider when writing a game is there are always two stories: One is the story of how the world the player is exploring got to be the way it was, and the other is how the player finds it. Both are important to ensure that things have a good reason for being the way they are.

I suppose with my background in Java I should send along a few tips about working in Java...

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Carl Foxmarten

August 2017

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