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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:14 am 
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Many spoilers here if you want to do this on your own. This post really belongs in a Guild of Cartographers forum, but the Guild appears to be moribund, no organisation or forum, nothing in the pub, so I've posted it here. Any suggestions for better locations gratefully received. Perhaps the cartographers need a new T-shirt design - the blue shirt is easily the least impressive of the lot, especially compared to the cool Writers shirt. But I digress.

Frankly, I'm in awe of anyone who's managed to perform journey 4 or 5 according to the book, running all those legs accurately enough for bearing and distance to find the kiva without extensive searching. The accumulation of errors over so many legs makes your final location very vague.

I've done kivas 1 and 2 by the book, and ended up on the music for the last legs, but much farther from the kiva entrances than by reducing the course to a single vector i.e. a compass bearing and distance. To me that was always the way the book was meant to be used, as a set of instructions to enable the Surveyors-in-training to draw their own map, not as an orienteering course.

Mapping the journeys and constructing the single-vector solutions.
I used the pdf copy of the book available from the Guild of Greeters together with Visio to calculate bearing and distance, performing the vector addition "on paper".

Each of the compass rose symbols in the book was cut in turn from the page and pasted into Visio. They were then circularised (they start out oval) using a Visio circle for reference. Next they were normalised, rotated so that North was straight up. Finally the line for each leg of the journey was set through the point of the printed arrow at high magnification, then the length of the line was set using the properties window. This is like a computerised drawing board, only it's easier to rub out your mistakes.

When all the legs were plotted, all I had to do was join the start point to the end point to give me a direction and distance. Since we start out on top of Bonehenge, we've got the compass rose to set our direction by, which is as good as it gets.

By paying careful attention to the direction at the start, I'm able to hit any kiva first time out, without needing to search at the end of the run

Search strategy
Before perfecting my navigation, I used what I've always thought of as a "square search" to avoid missing any ground whilst searching. This goes as follows

Choose a direction. Walk an appropriate distance x in this direction, keeping your eyes open. x is going to be set by how far you can see, in front and to either side, so will change with your map location.
Turn 90° clockwise (use sidesteps to make a temporary mark). Walk x in that direction.
Turn 90° clockwise. Walk 2x
Turn 90° clockwise. Walk 2x
Turn 90° clockwise. Walk 3x
Turn 90° clockwise. Walk 3x

- and so on, increasing your distance by x every second turn. Plot this on graph paper and it forms a square spiral, and so long as you set x correctly, your search is exhaustive, it covers all the ground and leaves no point unseen.


Finding your way back at night without a helpful hint from the glyph/constellation.

Once you've solved the kiva and collected the glyph, you are left on your own to navigate your way back to the center.
[spoiler]
There's something very odd about Minkata. I know, I know, this is a bit like saying water is wet.

I have come to the conclusion that Minkata is another age like Ahnonay, with the sky features projected or even mounted on an outer shell, and the two congruent domes linked at the stone locations. The story of it being tide-locked to its triple suns is an obvious fiction: no celestial mechanics that I know of would let the suns stay in a fixed relation to each other and a planet. No, they're artificial. The same is true for the night-time constellations, which would also account for them conveniently moving around after you've walked through a glyph.

I tested the theory by running in one direction as far as I could. As you run directly away from the center, the dust storm increases in density until (between 2 and 3 minutes out) you can no longer see your steps, or indeed even your avatar. You can tell that you're still moving, not running against a wall, because you occasionally bob up and down, running over an obstruction. However even that stops after about 5 minutes. Look up in the daytime dome at this point and you will see one or more of the suns as a disc. In the daytime the visibility gets very bad and you can only see a hint of a curving horizon starting to form.

But you can still tell that you are moving. Because the stars, or the suns ahead are getting closer. It's easiest to see in the night dome, with the stars at the edge of your vision gradually crawling out of sight to the left and right.

After about ten minutes running in one direction in the night dome you can look up and see that the dense dust storm ahead is in fact a fuzzy wall, because you can see it curving away to either side. You can see that all the constellations are behind you, and if you've run east or west, that you are underneath one of the spiral galaxy projections, and can see that it's on a domed surface.

At about 11 minutes out or just over, you fall off the edge and panic link back to Relto.

With a companion to perform independent observations, you can view the moving constellation events from two separate locations, and verify that yes, they do move for both of you, but as though they were hung from a gantry.[/spoiler]

What does this mean for explorers?

[spoiler]The age is bounded and "stellar" objects are not far enough away to be considered "at infinity". However the dust storm constrains vision to the point that the only exploration that can be done in the far reaches is by feel, or to put it another way, by hoping to fall into something.

The constellations and suns are not infallible navigation pointers, once you go far enough. In the night dome you stand a chance of finding your approximate position by taking cross-bearings on three constellations, once you know their rough positions in terms of radius and bearing from the center. In the daytime dome, the three sun projectors are not far enough apart to be useful to determine a location, but they can help you decide which way to run to get out of the dense storm.

Within the radius of the known objects, both the suns (by the shadows they project) and the constellations can be used to navigate by. This is useful for further explorations of the age, since once you've solved any one kiva, the route back is no longer given by the magic glyph and helpful moving constellation. So subsequent movement around the place needs some other guides, and we've no way of placing permanent markers ourselves.

The constellations, like the suns, don't move in the sky but stay in fixed relationship to the ground features, and can be used to find your way about. This is also contrary to celestial mechanics and more evidence of the mechanical nature of the age.



The constellations can be given rough compass bearings by using the known bearings of the flags from the base camp. Without the ability to poke a stick in the ground it's difficult to give anything more accurate though.

The two big spiral galaxies seem to be West and East markers.[/spoiler]



This allows us to use the constellations to find our way back to the center after visiting the kivas for the second or subsequent times.

This is much easier if you have used the vector addition method to plot a single vector to run out to the kiva.

From observation I have found:
[spoiler]
Kiva 1: The center is obvious, and is between constellations 5 and 4. The ladder faces due South.
Kiva 2: Run towards constellation 1 to find the center. Time for a direct journey out was 103 seconds. The ladder faces due N.
Kiva 3: Run towards constellation 4. Time out was 83 seconds. Ladder faces E
Kiva 4: Run towards constellation 3. Time out was 114 seconds. Ladder faces due N
Kiva 5: Run towards the big spiral galaxy between constellations 3 and 4. Time out was 89 seconds. Ladder faces roughly SW[/spoiler]

Testing the completion criteria

[spoiler]There is no need to get back to the central stone once you've walked through the glyph. Link out, link back in, you'll be in daylight Minkata and the central glyph will be updated with your new addition.

On the other hand, if you hit a kiva, touch the stone and then walk back to the center and touch the stone without following the stars and finding the glyph you get no reward, no additions to the central symbol, and if you repeat the run but follow the stars you get no glyph. I found that I had to quit right out and restart the age to get the glyph back.[/spoiler]

With a companion, if either one of you touches a stone, both are transported to the other dome.

If one of you stays behind in night-time Minkata, when the other links back in, they find themselves in the night dome too. So, like Ahnonay, the state of the age (day or night dome) is preserved as long as there is somebody in it.


The age is mechanical, although so vast as to be indistinguishable from magic, it can be understood in purely mechanical terms, with only one techno-magical Myst concept, that of the link stones/books, as something we can't explain with current science. OK, the holo-projected glyphs are a bit of a stretch too.

Muttley:
AlanD in the cavern:
KI# 20338113


Last edited by AlanD on Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:52 am 
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Interesting observations, nice.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:05 am 
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I normally use this handy guide

Plus I have a marker game which shows you pretty much everything in Minkata

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:37 am 
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I used a piece of transparant plastic and this : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... parent.png
handy piece of kit. :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:03 pm 
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Muttley wrote:
The age is mechanical, although so vast as to be indistinguishable from magic, it can be understood in purely mechanical terms, with only one techno-magical Myst concept, that of the link stones/books, as something we can't explain with current science. OK, the holo-projected glyphs are a bit of a stretch too.

I'm not agree. :P

For me:

1 ) Ahnonay is a fake time travel designed by Kadish.
2 ) When we complete this age, we become aware of "1 )".
3 ) And we can think that a "time travel" is impossible.
4 ) But somewhere, we can find some Yeesha's notes, that can make us think I'm not really sure that a "time travel" is impossible... ; and we also can take a look at the title of Zandi's book...

5 ) Minkata is not a fake "something", but an Age where the Surveyor's Guild was working...
6 ) Working on what? That's the question. ^^
7 ) But the day/night switch is not a simple "day/night" switch...
8 ) Because:
a ) In day time, we can find the sparklie 6 ; but not in night time.
b ) In night time, we can find hiking boots ; but not in day time.

So, when we switch day/night, we have a "time travel"... A real one!

- Linking books are D'ni links... For D'ni.
- "Cage & Kivas" day/night swiching tones are "time travel" Bahro links... For explorers.

Just my thinking. :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:20 pm 
I prefer Muttley's explanation of the Age, with this addition. The sparklie is Bah'ro 'magic'.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:44 pm 
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There are many ages that are "Time locked," and we've got no explanation for it. It never struck me that those ages were 'mechanical fakes,' like Ahnonay. :/ I don't see why Minkata would be any different considering it's special 'powers.'

I'll agree, though, that Minkata and Ahnonay share similar traits. If anything, I'd say that Minkata is how the Bahro would pull off what we observe in Ahnonay. But Ahnonay has many differences with Minkata. For one thing the Markers *move* with a Sphere. You can't place a marker in Ahno1 and have it appear in the later iterations. You can place a Marker at any point in Minkata and have it appear there, however.

I think Minkata *is* a Bahro version of Ahnonay, in that it's actually pulling off time travel. However, I think that any 'time lock'-ey-ness that we observe in any age is due to the instancing. and not due to any attempt of "Ahnonay Trickery." (One theory I heard is that the Ages are 3d linking panels/bubbles, and I really like that since it also explains why we can fall off of the 'edge' of any age. You've just hit the edge of the bubble is all!)

That's just my two cents. *glubS)(rug*

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:59 pm 
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I've seen it written that Minkata was made to train Surveyors. I shudder to think that any responsible species would casually break causality to construct a teaching aid. Hence I do not think that time travel is involved.

Cal, Ahnonay is a "fake" because Kadish made it that way, to try to fool people. Minkata isn't a "fake" in that way, it's a training age and made to exercise the skills of Surveyors.

For me the behaviour of the constellations in the night side is clear proof of the relatively small size and bounded nature of Minkata, as well as its mechanical operation. Like Ahnonay, it's been constructed to look the way it does. Whether there is a mechanical rotation similar to Ahnonay is not something we can prove with the evidence before us, but I would think not. I think of it as two hemispheres sat side by side, not two sides of the same plate (which would require some extremely funky gravity generators, or to put up with gravity varying strangely as you got to the edge). The stones transfer anything living (i.e. moveable) in the age to the other hemisphere.

Markers preserve their location between day and night sides, as does Eddy the beach ball (or is it Minky here?). This proves that Eddy/Minky is alive (and was John Carpenters secret inspiration for the alien in Dark Star) and that the markers are perhaps some kind of bio-engineered devices?

Or more likely - Ahnonay moves the spheres mechanically, with great engines and audible clunks. Minkata simply has two congruent hemispheres and anything not fixed down gets shifted when one of the stones is touched. Kadish was an amateur.


The flags behave strangely too.
[spoiler]Something that's not so easy to explain is the vagaries of the wind. Different flags, some quite close together, stream in different directions, showing that the wind direction varies wildly across the surface of the age and cannot be used to tell direction. I think the builders put in some air-stirrers just to make things harder for the Surveyor students.[/spoiler]

Something else I've noticed is that when exploring, especially if you have a wide-screen picture, you can see better at the edges of your picture than you can at the center.

And finally, for interest:

Mintaka, delta Orionis, the right-hand star in Orion's belt, is well-known as a multiple star, with a class B + class O binary as the main component and two remote companions of magnitudes 7 and 14. I have a feeling this is not a coincidence.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:09 pm 
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Muttley wrote:
I've seen it written that Minkata was made to train Surveyors


First of all I love your name....I have a stuffed animal from the cartoon named that...lol

On a more serious note..can you show that, where it is written..quoted..or even better a place (sites are good) to see it?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:29 pm 
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Muttley wrote:
And finally, for interest:

Mintaka, delta Orionis, the right-hand star in Orion's belt, is well-known as a multiple star, with a class B + class O binary as the main component and two remote companions of magnitudes 7 and 14. I have a feeling this is not a coincidence.

I also think there is something interesting here ; the "dark Horsehead".
Because...

[spoiler]Have you tryed to "/look" in Minkata?[/spoiler]
... the dark horse who owns this "dark Horsehead" doesn't have any name.
Or, does he?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:38 pm 
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Wonder if someone has come up with an explanation to the very odd sky, changing colors, blue... red... blue... etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:55 am 
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Muttley wrote:
I've seen it written that Minkata was made to train Surveyors. I shudder to think that any responsible species would casually break causality to construct a teaching aid. Hence I do not think that time travel is involved.

Cal, Ahnonay is a "fake" because Kadish made it that way, to try to fool people. Minkata isn't a "fake" in that way, it's a training age and made to exercise the skills of Surveyors.

Or more likely - Ahnonay moves the spheres mechanically, with great engines and audible clunks. Minkata simply has two congruent hemispheres and anything not fixed down gets shifted when one of the stones is touched. Kadish was an amateur.


Okay, first off, I'm just going to lay something out here. I *know* Minkata was designed as a test for the surveyors, and I also know that the Bahro stones were added in *recently,* sometime just before it was released. The DRC had said that suddenly a LOT of Bahro artifacts had begun popping up in ages that hadn't had them before. Minkata was one of those ages.

That is why I said in my last post that Minkata is, to me anyways, the Bahro's take on Ahnonay's observable behavior. The D'ni used the Guide book to simply *find* the caves, not to do any temporal shifting! If the D'ni had done such a thing so casually, then Kadish's ruse with Ahnonay would never have worked!

And you completely ignored my point about the markers, too. If Minkata were a mechanical construct like Ahnonay, then the markers would *NOT* transition across versions, because the Markers don't transition across space in *Ahnonay,* which has even more of a reason *TO* have the Markers shift across the versions than Minkata.

(Also, the soccerball was named Dusty, according to a vote held some years ago.)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:39 am 
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Calumon wrote:
Muttley wrote:
I've seen it written that Minkata was made to train Surveyors. I shudder to think that any responsible species would casually break causality to construct a teaching aid. Hence I do not think that time travel is involved.

Cal, Ahnonay is a "fake" because Kadish made it that way, to try to fool people. Minkata isn't a "fake" in that way, it's a training age and made to exercise the skills of Surveyors.

Or more likely - Ahnonay moves the spheres mechanically, with great engines and audible clunks. Minkata simply has two congruent hemispheres and anything not fixed down gets shifted when one of the stones is touched. Kadish was an amateur.


Okay, first off, I'm just going to lay something out here. I *know* Minkata was designed as a test for the surveyors, and I also know that the Bahro stones were added in *recently,* sometime just before it was released. The DRC had said that suddenly a LOT of Bahro artifacts had begun popping up in ages that hadn't had them before. Minkata was one of those ages.

That is why I said in my last post that Minkata is, to me anyways, the Bahro's take on Ahnonay's observable behavior. The D'ni used the Guide book to simply *find* the caves, not to do any temporal shifting! If the D'ni had done such a thing so casually, then Kadish's ruse with Ahnonay would never have worked!

And you completely ignored my point about the markers, too. If Minkata were a mechanical construct like Ahnonay, then the markers would *NOT* transition across versions, because the Markers don't transition across space in *Ahnonay,* which has even more of a reason *TO* have the Markers shift across the versions than Minkata.

(Also, the soccerball was named Dusty, according to a vote held some years ago.)

/thumbsup2 :wink:

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Also, feel free to use any idea from this folder for MO:UL (currently 1 idea).
/?t - "jukebox"


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Charura, I take my handle from the "Wacky Races" and "Dastardly and Muttley" character, yes. I have done ever since a DEC sales rep used it because I had a tendency to mutter when unsure of myself. It was an excellent encouragement: I don't mutter any more and I'm usually sure of my position :)

The Guild of Greeters walkthrough (Spoilers!) is one place that describes Minkata as a training age for Surveyors. I read up on Minkata before making the post at the start of the thread.

manloc, the reference is to the old song by America. Although it is also true that the Horsehead Nebula is in Orion and close to the belt from our terrestrial point of view.

tommyap, the sky colours vary between day and night: in the daytime the bright sunlight scatters off the dust in the air to produce a red cast to the sky around the horizon. In the night, the wind seems to be less so there is less dust flying, and there is much less light, only starlight, no moons. So colour vision is pretty much shut down, and everything is blue-grey.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:13 pm 
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manloc wrote:
Because... [...] ... the dark horse who owns this "dark Horsehead" doesn't have any name.
Or, does he?


Muttley wrote:
manloc, the reference is to the old song by America. Although it is also true that the Horsehead Nebula is in Orion and close to the belt from our terrestrial point of view.


/thumbsup2 Hey, good caugh for me! :D
So, the horse have a name: "America"! :lol:
Thank you very much! 8)

Have you all take a look at the lyrics?
Perhaps Bahro wants to let us know something... :wink:

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For some maps to find the Minkata Kivas, take a look at this folder of my Cloud.
Also, feel free to use any idea from this folder for MO:UL (currently 1 idea).
/?t - "jukebox"


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