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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:04 pm 
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Good question Anna Catherine and it is a great chance to bring this topic back to the topic, it was getting a little far afield, with suggestions of in game economy and adancement (the leveling up and aquisition is one of the worst widely used ways to try to keep ppl in a multiplayer game), violence, (NONONONONON) and cookie cutter cheap ecoomny 3D tools (please no, that would totally destroy the beauty and quality of URU MOUL MORE)....so good, lets bring things back to questoins of story and content in line with what RAWA and Chogon have been replying on as Anna C askes. Great question.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:09 am 
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SCGreyWolf wrote:
Agreed. I think the physics and object rules were a D'ni guild rule, not an impossibility. :)


Ahnonay made for pretty good evidence that some rules are made to be broken :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:11 am 
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Ahnonay may very well have been an illicit Age.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:27 am 
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Quote:
t was getting a little far afield, with suggestions of in game economy and adancement (the leveling up and aquisition is one of the worst widely used ways to try to keep ppl in a multiplayer game), violence, (NONONONONON) and cookie cutter cheap ecoomny 3D tools (please no, that would totally destroy the beauty and quality of URU MOUL MORE)


Please take a reality pill. To be realistic you must have those things! Atrus even said that himself
in his Myst journals and others!!! (You have to have balance.)
My post was taken from an IC point of view in game as a 'whole' playability (mechanics/physics incl.)
Avatar clothes, objects a avatar can hold or use can we update them so we can use our hands and arms?
have to make things flexable as so we could easley update or change or add content in the future.
All this is back ground stuff, stuff that the 'Explorer' never sees. can not forget about this, or is this where
Cyan takes over? to code in the mecanisem that will allow one to actualy write a age 'IN GAME'
sort of thing. hope this explaine what I have been trying to say... sigh

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:13 am 
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Couple of things to chime in on after being gone for a week...

First, regarding Journey Cloths: RAWA's first rule of Writing expressly prohibits their use as something created by a Writer (in other words, you can't re-invent this wheel, because it expressly violates D'ni linking principles). I doubt you'd be allowed to claim that Yeesha put them there either, especially in Ages you've written yourself, because to do so you'd have to include new information about Yeesha's story, which is also expressly forbidden.

That's not to say that you can't ever have an Age with more than one link-in spot, though... it just won't be quite as convenient to get back to a more distant location as it is with the journey cloths. For example, even Ahra Pahts has a way to quickly jet about the city using a pseudo-nexus as a sub-world within the same set of game flies for linking back and forth without load times (the Nexus accessible by completing the Wall game in Gahreesen runs on this principle as well). A mechanism for restricting access to specific links until you've gotten to them through exploration wouldn't be too out of the realm of difficulty either, it would just require something different to "remember" your progress. Heck, to the best of my knowledge, you could do it using the KI... it's already used by the Nexus to store available links, so you're hardly revealing anything new about the device. Might need to run that past RAWA directly before trying it though, heh...

AnnaCat, speaking strictly in terms of writing stories (as opposed to Ages), I believe Exile and Revelation fall under the same umbrella of regulations as the rest of the games made by Cyan, because strictly speaking, third-party games have been built on a license of the D'ni canon, so the story technically belongs to Cyan and is part of the overarching mythos that anyone else with that sort of license can build on (and the rules for FCALs would seem to grant you this sort of license). EoA making references to those other games effectively solidifies them as canon that anyone else can officially draw from when doing their own thing. In fact, Exile sort of operates under the same sort of license as we have: it reveals no "new" information about anybody we already know about (except perhaps that Atrus was trying to teach his sons the Art, and that's something we sort of assumed off and on), includes no new details about any other Ages established in canon, and does nothing to resolve open-ended questions about existing gray areas, while still including several pivotal characters and locations, and referencing several others (Presto had a little bit more freedom, but by and large, I think it's a good model to follow for telling a compelling story where in the end nothing is any different than it was at the start ;)).

Now, in terms of Age building, I think they fall under the same rules as the other games as well: you probably can't get a license for building an explorable version of Narayan or Serenia, just as you're not likely to get a license to build a version of Riven, Age 233, Stoneship, or Todelmer (though the latter would make me a happy panda ;)), because there's copyright laws involved that go beyond the license to D'ni canon that Cyan is providing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:20 am 
VoiZod wrote:
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It was getting a little far afield, with suggestions of in game economy and advancement (the leveling up and acquisition is one of the worst widely used ways to try to keep ppl in a multiplayer game), violence, (NONONONONON) and cookie cutter cheap economy 3D tools (please no, that would totally destroy the beauty and quality of URU MOUL MORE)


Please take a reality pill.


Please read what the person you quote is actually posting.

Quote:
To be realistic you must have those things! Atrus even said that himself
in his Myst journals and others!!! (You have to have balance.)


There's a considerable difference between the specific things CrisGer is listing, which I agree with him are not part of the Myst/Uru game experience and should not be, and "balance." I'm fairly sure Atrus did not call for cookie-cutter 3D tools in his journals. Or violence.

Quote:
My post was taken from an IC point of view in game as a 'whole' playability (mechanics/physics incl.)
Avatar clothes, objects a avatar can hold or use can we update them so we can use our hands and arms?
have to make things flexable as so we could easley update or change or add content in the future.
All this is back ground stuff, stuff that the 'Explorer' never sees. can not forget about this, or is this where
Cyan takes over? to code in the mecanisem that will allow one to actualy write a age 'IN GAME'
sort of thing. hope this explaine what I have been trying to say... sigh


Use of the hands has been discussed in earlier threads which you may have missed. As the game stands, it's possible to animate an avatar to interact in a very specific way with a fixed object (pulling a lever, opening a door, sitting on a bench--though that doesn't always work). As I understand it, as it's been explained to me by Gondar and others, to introduce free-moving interactive objects would add a whole new quantum level of complexity and difficulty to the game programming, and would have been expensive and time-consuming for Cyan to do even with GT's full funding. Right now, I think we can safely say it's impossible. Which is a shame, but I for one can live with it for the moment.

As for Writing Ages "in-game," I'm guessing you mean something like finding a book of D'ni words and a blank descriptive book in the Cavern and putting selected words into the blank book to create an Age. Again, this would be horribly complex and difficult for Cyan to do, and would be at best window-dressing, a cosmetic thing, and at worst a distraction from the job of creating our own Ages the way we want to...so I think what we'll see is a variation of the GoW's method of Writing "out-of-game," with the Age thus created appearing as a fait accompli in the game.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:19 am 
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A couple of things, starting with the nitpicky (I apologize for this, but the Editor part of my brain has been screaming for the last hour as I read through the thread: unless we shift to talking about the big metal thing with gunpowder residue, it's "canon," with one n in the middle.

Second: I do not desire leveled characters or fighting (I strongly feel that an untapped market exists looking for an online alternative to World of Warcraft and its cousins, in exactly the same way that Myst reached people completely uninterested in what the computer-game industry had to offer before then, and in just the way the Wii is reaching an audience outside the Hard-Core Gamer demographic traditionally attracted to consoles).

On agre-creation tools: What I personally would like, and what should take a shorter time to develop than a full-fledged Age-O-Matic, are a series of prefab rooms, along the lines of the Baron's/Sharper's office, where I can then place furniture and decorations (and, most to the point, journals).

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:43 am 
Some help with interiors could be useful, as could not having to reinvent the wheel, or the chair, every single time...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:56 pm 
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On saving progress in an age....
RAWA has stated that there is nothing preventing a single linking book having multiple link panels. so all you really have to do is click on a book where you want to save a point. Have that add to your game book and you are done. For game play ease, you could have it set with an "activator" on the left page side so you don't have to link out and back again.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:17 am 
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greypiffle wrote:
On saving progress in an age....
RAWA has stated that there is nothing preventing a single linking book having multiple link panels. so all you really have to do is click on a book where you want to save a point. Have that add to your game book and you are done. For game play ease, you could have it set with an "activator" on the left page side so you don't have to link out and back again.


Well... you have to set your "disbelief suspension threshold" fairly high for that, since magically adding pages to the linking books in your Relto (or in the Nexus) would appear to be a problem.

Two ways around that would be (1) the linking books for your age that get distributed already have the linking panels pre-installed, or (2) you assume that people are taking their linking book for your age with them and adding new linking panels by writing the link from a particular spot in the age.

Of course, there are problems with those ideas as well: for (1), it lessens the author's ability to control the sequential nature of their age, since people can link to an arbitrary spot and see the portions of the age out of order, but at least there are no storyline or physics conflicts. For (2), one might ask why you can't add a linking panel at arbitrary locations in the age instead of at certain save points specified by the age author, and further, it adds a question (or a hoop) concerning getting the linking book inside the age it links to.

Still, this is an important enough game feature that it might be worth it for RAWA to, er, "modify" linking physics again to give us a solution, or else to give us an in-cavern technological apparatus that helps us manage huge numbers of linking books instead of using Relto (i.e., several linking books per age, where we pick up the linking books as objects left lying around within the age).


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:07 pm 
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Quote:
Originally posted by RAWA:
The Five Rules of Writing, in their most basic form:

1 - Writers must live within the D'ni limitations of Writing.

2 - Writers must not break continuity with previously released D'ni information.

3 - Writers must not reveal "new" information about characters, places, groups, etc. used by Cyan.

4 - Writers must limit "new" information about D'ni society to specific, smaller groups within D'ni.

5 - Writers must not use the intellectual property of others.


Notes:

1) Except for Rule #5, these rules mainly focus on attempting to minimize continuity issues, so, when an Age is submitted for approval, enforcing these rules will primarily be the responsibility of the Guild of Archivists. You can think of theses duties of the Guild of Archivists as providing "information quality control" for the Ages.

2) Duties for the other Guilds will be spelled out as we move forward.

3) These rules are specifically intended to be guidelines for Ages and/or Storylines which are intended to be considered "official" (i.e. "canon"), where continuity is a prime concern. We also intend to provide separate guidelines for Ages and/or Storylines that which are intended to be considered "fictional" within the context of the Cavern. Those guidelines will be much less restrictive because continuity in those cases will be less of a concern. So if you want to tell a story that these rules do not allow (e.g. the story of Ti'ana between the Book of Ti'ana and the Book of Atrus), you'll need to abide by those guidelines when they become available.

-----------------
The Five Rules of Writing, further details.

1 – The Writers do not have Yeesha's special, innate abilities. They have to live within the limitations of the traditional D'ni Writers.


2 – The members of the Guild of Archivists need to have a decent grasp of released D'ni information, so that they can have working knowledge of what will contradict established D'ni information.

Note: Also included under "contradictions" are issues that have been intentionally left open for debate by Cyan. A Writer's storyline must not attempt to definitively confirm one side or the other of those issues.


3 – Characters, places, groups, etc. that have appeared in Cyan's games, novels, etc. can be mentioned or used, but Writers must not reveal any new information about those characters, places, groups, etc., where "new information" is defined as information that would in some way change what is known about the character, place, or group.

For example, one can "find" an old D'ni Age that was once visited by Veovis (the fact that Veovis may have visited that Age doesn't constitute any significant "new" information about Veovis, since it is very likely that he visited countless Ages, but they can't "find" an Age that was owned by Veovis or Written by Veovis (those kinds of things would be releasing new information about Veovis.)

The main City in the Cavern is also included in this. Areas that have been in Cyan's games or novels can not be changed. If one wants to reveal ("restore") a new area in the Cavern, it must be self-contained and only accessible via the Nexus (e.g. the Great Tree Pub) or via another Age (e.g. the Uran Silo linked to from Er'cana).

An exception of a place that was used by Cyan but can have "new" information revealed: specific D'ni neighborhoods. They can be considered as self-contained places. New information can be revealed about a Writer's neighborhood as long as it doesn't affect other neighborhoods or the main Cavern as a whole.

In short, the rule of thumb for determining what should be allowed is, "How likely is it that this new information will cause a contradiction with information released by Cyan or other Writers in the future?" If it's likely to cause a contradiction, then it is not allowed.


4 – The Writers should come at this with the mindset that they're expanding knowledge of the D'ni Universe by revealing new facets of a multi-faceted civilization, rather than revealing new information about the D'ni society as a whole. That is to say that any new information one reveals about the D'ni or its history should be specific to a particular (previously unknown) group within D'ni, so that the likelihood of future contradictions by Cyan (or other Writers for that matter) is minimized as much as possible.

For example, one could reveal that there was a group within D'ni that only ate a certain broccoli-like vegetable found in one of their Ages. Since this "revelation" is limited to one group, it doesn't affect the whole of D'ni society and is therefore unlikely to be contradicted by other stories in the future. Saying that all of the D'ni only ate certain broccoli-like vegetables is not allowed, as it is something that is very likely to be contradicted (in this specific example, of course, it already has been).


5 – This includes references to trademarks, copyrights, etc. Writers cannot write an Age where their character meets Captain Kirk, their Age cannot contain a Coca-Cola machine, etc. Everything in their Age or mentioned in their storyline must be their own work.

----------------

Examples:

- Writer wants to create a storyline where Gehn escaped his prison.

Verdict: Denied. This would violate Rule #2 (continuity issue: as far as has been revealed by Cyan, Gehn never escaped his prison) and Rule #3 (attempts to reveal "new" information about a character used in Cyan games and novels.)


- Writer wants to "find" an Age that Gehn had visited prior to the events of Riven.

Verdict: Approved. Does not reveal "new" information about Gehn, or contradict previously released information about Gehn.


- Writer wants to "Write" a link to a specific instance of Myst Island.

Verdict: Denied. This would violate Rule #1 (player Writers do not have Yeesha's special abilities to be able to write to specific instances of an Age.)


- Writer wants to "find" a link to another instance of Myst Island.

Verdict: Denied. This would violate Rule #2 (continuity issue: there are no known links to other instances of Myst Island) and Rule #3 (by revealing "new" information about a place used in Cyan games and novels).


- Writer wants to "find" more information about the Guild of Illusionists.

Verdict: Denied. This would violate Rule #3 (by revealing "new" information about a group used in Cyan games and novels).


- Writer wants to "find" information about the Guild of Reptile Trainers.

Verdict: Approved. This does not reveal new information about a group used in the Cyan games and novels.

Note: only "minor" guilds are allowed. It cannot be claimed that the Guild of Reptile Trainers was one of the 18 Major Guilds at any point in D'ni history, as the 18 Major Guilds are covered under the groups that have been used in Cyan games and novels. It is also something that would likely be contradicted in the future.


- Writer wants to "restore" a new area in the D'ni city itself.

Verdict: Denied. This would violate Rule #3 (by revealing "new" information about a place used in Cyan games and novels).


- Writer wants to "restore" a new area in the D'ni city, but it is self-contained and only available via the Nexus.

Verdict: Approved. The key to this being "self-contained," so it doesn't cause any continuity problems with the City, neighborhoods, etc. as it has been shown in Uru.




Wow......I guess I'll have to rethink the story line behind the Age I'm working on laying out. I might have to retract my concept art at the Guild of Writers seeing as 1) it introduces a story line that probably strays too closely to what might be considered a copyright dispute and 2) uses design cues that aren't supported by Plasma at this time. Oh well. Although, the allegation that it might have been an Age written originally by the Ronay as opposed to the D'ni could work, and the failure of its civilization used as an illustrative example of "don't create what you can't control," which maybe could fit into the Ronay/Terahnee/D'ni backstory, given that so many of the inhabited worlds created by them tended towards the primitive or early industrial. The Age I was creating was of an advanced civilization, which would have created problems for the Ronay, or whoever wrote the Age. Or would that be considered "new" information about the Ronay, thereby invalidating the Age in its entirety? I guess maybe "when in doubt, throw it out" is a healthy mindset to have here.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:57 pm 
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Dachannien wrote:
Well... you have to set your "disbelief suspension threshold" fairly high for that, since magically adding pages to the linking books in your Relto (or in the Nexus) would appear to be a problem.
Or just say for story principle that when you click on one of those books, you are replacing the one you have with a more complete version.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:35 pm 
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Wow......I guess I'll have to rethink the story line behind the Age I'm working on laying out. I might have to retract my concept art at the Guild of Writers seeing as 1) it introduces a story line that probably strays too closely to what might be considered a copyright dispute and 2) uses design cues that aren't supported by Plasma at this time. Oh well. Although, the allegation that it might have been an Age written originally by the Ronay as opposed to the D'ni could work, and the failure of its civilization used as an illustrative example of "don't create what you can't control," which maybe could fit into the Ronay/Terahnee/D'ni backstory, given that so many of the inhabited worlds created by them tended towards the primitive or early industrial. The Age I was creating was of an advanced civilization, which would have created problems for the Ronay, or whoever wrote the Age. Or would that be considered "new" information about the Ronay, thereby invalidating the Age in its entirety? I guess maybe "when in doubt, throw it out" is a healthy mindset to have here.


I don't know anything about your Age other than what you've said here, so I may be way off base. But the major problem I see here isn't your concept-- it's the fact that you seem to want your concept to have a major impact on Ronay (and by extension presumably D'ni) society as a whole. So what I'm wondering is, how necessary is that part to you?

Couldn't your Age teach the same lesson to its writer, and maybe the writer's immediate circle of friends or closest writing colleagues? Since regardless of how technically advanced it is, if the link is creating havoc, it would seem it could be properly regarded as a failure, would the writer really want to broadcast that to the whole society? Maybe the writer would want to try to hush it up instead, rather than getting a reputation for writing wacky out-of-control Ages. That way you could make the focus of the story be on your own created characters, which would fall well within the rules. I think you could make your points without doing something that would define a characteristic of all the Ronay or all the D'ni.

That may take things so far from your original idea that you don't want to bother, but just from what you've said, trashing your whole concept seems unnecessarily extreme.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:12 pm 
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Couldn't your Age teach the same lesson to its writer, and maybe the writer's immediate circle of friends or closest writing colleagues? Since regardless of how technically advanced it is, if the link is creating havoc, it would seem it could be properly regarded as a failure, would the writer really want to broadcast that to the whole society? Maybe the writer would want to try to hush it up instead, rather than getting a reputation for writing wacky out-of-control Ages. That way you could make the focus of the story be on your own created characters, which would fall well within the rules. I think you could make your points without doing something that would define a characteristic of all the Ronay or all the D'ni.


Hi.

That's certainly a possibility. My character discovers this book that is wrapped up similarly to the way in which the Myst book is found in EoA, and of course wonders why. So he opens it up and links to this world, which turns out to be the world of a clearly advanced civilization, as there is "impossible" architecture discovered (design that unfortunately can't be supported by the Plasma engine at present, so I need to redo all that), but which is deserted. I guess I could make it so that some things are found in the Age that suggest the Age writer actually locked up the book himself after discovering the potential danger that this civilization posed, and maybe had unintentionally, although fortunately from the standpoint of the Ronay, caused an extinction that occurred after his escape from that Age. I wouldn't want it to have been a deliberate genocide, more likely an accidental genocide, such as happened in the case of Terahnee. That would probably prevent the possibility that all of Ronay/D'ni society could have been impacted, and then this writer simply hides the book in a location that none of them would have ever discovered.

I think I should probably create a completely new avvie character for this brave new Uru when it gets going, because I can see the whole doctor/time lord thing definitely becoming a problem from the copyright standpoint. It might have been only questionable before, but in this light, it's definitely an issue. So, start playing taps for The Doctor.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:55 pm 
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Just curious, would we be able to make our own cloths for our ages, or would that be a no-no?

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