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 Post subject: Jalak suggestion
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:34 pm 
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I think Jalak is a great addition to the game, but have a couple of suggestions.

You may know (or not!) that you can save your column arrangements with the following command:

/savecolumns mycolumnarrangementname

and then load column arrangements:

/loadcolumns mycolumnarragementname

(you can have spaces in the name you choose for your column arrangements if you like, like this:
/savecolumns my column arrangement)

I've seen on another post that The Noble Robot has created a website where you share your Jalak games with others here. (I've only just started looking at the games, but great work TNR for a great resource!).

My first suggestion (or wish I suppose) is that column arrangements be saved globally for all to share . Maybe to accomplish this, when an explorer saves a column arrangement it is prefixed with their explorer name to avoid accidental overwriting of saved arrangements, and to provide privacy if an explorer does not wish to share the arrangement. As an example, my explorer name is rong, and if I typed the following in Jalak:

/savecolumns myarrangement

then another explorer could load this arrangement in their Jalak maybe like this:

/loadcolumns rong.myarrangement

This would then allow explorers to create games that require arranging columns and provide the arrangement name here on the forums (or in TNR's website - I hope you don't mind me referencing your site TNR).

[EDIT] found this thread that provides an alternative method


My second suggestion relates to the fact that the Jalablocs are dropped on the centre square only: would be great if we could specify which of the squares in the 5x5 grid we could drop a jalabloc onto. I know this would require that the d'ni had implemented such a feature ;) in the ki control panel, maybe you click on the jalabloc you want and are presented with a simple KI graphic (like the jalak control panel) of a 5x5 grid and you simply click on a square on the graphic where you want to drop the jalabloc.


just thoughts and wishes, but ive been thinking up some games that would require time to arrange the columns and would require jalablocs dropped on specific squares. Any thoughts?


Last edited by pablo on Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:49 pm 
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The columnsets are actually saved on to your harddrive as text files (details on where to find and how to format the files are posted elsewhere on this forum [can someone post the link?], but since I use the standalone Uru launcher, I've having trouble finding mine), so you can actually upload those files to The Jalak Registry along with your game rules...

I hope soon to include a detailed guide on the Registry for how to upload and share this content (but if you know how to already, the Registry is set up for it).

But since that is a multiple step process (and it has proved a hassle for me), I totally agree with your suggestion. Both ideas are good, simple, and solid suggestions and I hope Cyan takes notice.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:55 pm 
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Another suggestion: puzzel!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:07 pm 
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the thread with instructions for accessing saved column arrangements is here (scroll to the bottom of this webpage), thanks for the info TNR.

I also use the standalone launcher, the quickest way to find the game installation folder (and the jalak column text files) is to right-click your myst online shortcut icon, select properties, then click on the 'find target' button.

thanks for the help TNR, and great work on the Jalak Registry

[edit] oh, yeah, had one other idea for the Jalak control panel, would be helpful if there was a button that prevents the columns from being moved (a kind of column lock toggle button) for games that require the columns to remain static - its too easy to accidentatly click on them if you use mouse buttons for movement!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:42 pm 
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pablo wrote:
I also use the standalone launcher, the quickest way to find the game installation folder (and the jalak column text files) is to right-click your myst online shortcut icon, select properties, then click on the 'find target' button.


MOUL has files in two locations on my machine, the game in a "Myst Online" folder in my Program Files folder, and my KIimages and other misc data are in an "Uru Live" folder in my "Documents" folder. I can't seem to find my Jalak columnsets anywhere in either, and yet I can load and save them in the game.

I'm sure they're there, I must just be having a brain freeze... ;-)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:16 pm 
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Do you have Windows Vista? Since Vista does not allow saving to Program Files I believe the path would be like this:
Quote:
C:\Users\<your_username>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Myst Online\

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:35 pm 
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The stranger wrote:
Another suggestion: puzzel!


I disagree. Not every Age has to have a puzzle. It's nice to have an Age where you can go and have fun with others, and not have to worry about someone resetting a puzzle.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:14 pm 
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Paradox wrote:
The stranger wrote:
Another suggestion: puzzel!


I disagree. Not every Age has to have a puzzle. It's nice to have an Age where you can go and have fun with others, and not have to worry about someone resetting a puzzle.


(er, where's my 'Yeah, that' sign when I need it? :oops: )

IMO, puzzles don't ofer much repeatable gameplay after you've completed them once. I'm not gonna go delete my Kadish Tolesa Book and do the puzzles again, if I can avoid it. It was fun once, but after you know the answers...it's not the same doing it again. However, an Age like Jalak will keep me entertained for a long time. :D

Don't get me wrong, I love puzzle Ages. But I think we need a good mix of different types of Ages. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:55 pm 
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Paradox wrote:
The stranger wrote:
Another suggestion: puzzel!


I disagree. Not every Age has to have a puzzle. It's nice to have an Age where you can go and have fun with others, and not have to worry about someone resetting a puzzle.

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I can't see any benifit to intoducing any puzzle element to this age, it would not make sence and it really, really dosn't need it. It's a perfectly good age whos only fault is that the sudden advancement in D'ni technology that it demonstrates is compleatly undocumented by the DRC and seemes to have been ignored as irrelivent, which I find strange considering that every other aspect of D'ni technology appears to have been of intrest to the DRC. Howerver since I havn't heard anybody else comment on this peculer anomoly I appear to be alone in thinking this.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:33 am 
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I'll second pablo's opinion on Jalak. I've been having a lot of fun with the moveable grid and its associated commands in this age 8) ; however, I have also noticed that the glowing blocks can be difficult to position where you want them on occasion. This is especially the case when you need the configuration of the blocks to be repeatable. Would it be possible to add a set of /saveblocks & /loadblocks commands in the next update to make this task easier?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:04 pm 
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Stellaflora wrote:
It's a perfectly good age whos only fault is that the sudden advancement in D'ni technology that it demonstrates is compleatly undocumented by the DRC and seemes to have been ignored as irrelivent


good point Stellaflora, didn't think of that, I can only guess that they know of even more advanced technology which blinded them to the significance of the technology in Jalak to us humble explorers.


JasonLindon wrote:
Would it be possible to add a set of /saveblocks & /loadblocks commands in the next update to make this task easier?


I think thats a great idea JL, I can only imagine it is problematic from a programming perspective as loading an arragement of blocks may conflict with the arrangement of columns (a block may try to spawn within a column), or an explorer may be standing where a block would be spawned. I can only imagine that a workaround for this is that columns and blocks be saved together and when blocks are not in motion.

Ensuring an explorer is not obstructing where a block would be spawned I believe is more difficult as this is unpredictable - an attempt at solving this would be that any explorers in Jalak would all have to stand on a column (the same one) where there isnt a block upon it (or above it within a certian height I suppose, say the height at which an explorer can jump to) before an arrangement of columns and blocks could be saved (information on this column could be saved along with the column and block postions). Loading the configuration would then require all explorers in the age to stand on this column for a successful load. Then there is the problem of explorers linking in during the load, they may find themselves embedded within a wedgie lol

(I'm just going off on one here lol)

The more time I spend in Jalak, the more I am convinced that it is not an age designed for playing games at all, rather it is a place to learn, practice and test building skills. Moving the blocks is difficult (they get stuck on the edges of adjacent columns), you have to learn to anticipate how they react when you push/run in to them to get a desired result, you cannot choose which column a block is dropped onto, trying to make what seems even a simple structure can be a real test. I tried to make a reasonably complicated strucutre and found that I appreciated the planning process a whole lot more!

The DRC notebook next to the Jalak linking book says that they are only speculating that Jalak is a gaming arena. The assumption that the four areas surrounding the columns are spectator areas is an interesting one, but imho is incorrect. Where are the benches for seating? How would you get there if a game was in progress? Why can you not jump from one spectator quadrant to another so you could see all sides of the columns during a game? Why are there not spectator areas higher up the walls, like balconies? It's not what I would expect a d'ni desinged spectator area to look like!

I've seen Jalak being criticised for not being a puzzle, but perhaps the puzzle is reasoning about what the age was used for. This could be the best puzzle so far for me, where there are lots of 'solutions', where the answer isn't confirmed by a portal or getting another wedge in relto. I can see a conflict in this thinking between IC and OOC, where OOC we've been told "its a sandbox for making games", but IC the DRC don't have a clue what it was used for. I can do one of two things: assume that the IC perspective is driven by the OOC statement, or assume that the OOC statement is a result of the DRC's IC lack of knowledge of Jalak. (personally, I'm with the latter).


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