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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:20 am 
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Regnad Kcin01 wrote:
On the other hand, During the historical age of UU, it was discovered that a race of people who call themselves The WE, had inhabited the cavern simultaneously with the D'ni, yet in fact, their civilization pre-dates the D'ni by hundreds of thousands of years. The fact of the existence of The We is not necessarily canonical, yet.......


Canon is the part of history that has been determined to be true. The other parts are either unproven or disproven.

The story of the WE resides, for now, in "unproven." And (as a Messenger), I feel compelled to observe that it is not accurate to say "it was discovered that a race... had inhabited the cavern simultaneously with the D'ni" when that is unproven. A factually valid way to express what happened would be to say, "people were discovered who claimed to belong to a race that had inhabited the cavern simultaneously with the D'ni." And because that is factual, that is canon.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:29 am 
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Thanks, Marten, you put it a lot more clearly than I did.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:40 pm 
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Marten wrote:

The story of the WE resides, for now, in "unproven." And (as a Messenger), I feel compelled to observe that it is not accurate to say "it was discovered that a race... had inhabited the cavern simultaneously with the D'ni" when that is unproven...


Perhaps it would be simpler yet to acknowledge that up until moving into the Age of OS URU becomes more than an intention, Cyan will remain the sole authority on what is or is not canonical. They will continue to remain so as long as they do not follow through on their expressed intent to allow the Age of OS URU to become manifest.

IF the moment ever arrives that sees the first permissions granted allowing the Age of OS URU to actually move forward, that will be the moment at which Cyan's authority (and the associated power derived from it) begins to erode. Things that are currently canonical, will remain so, but will become increasingly less dominant when history (which Cyan Worlds appears to have permanently trapped in an exclusively oral tradition) is allowed to breathe and become supported by whatever form of objective evidence people with beliefs such as Marten require in order to establish new canon.

As I mentioned before; even if the Age of OS URU opens allowing new "evidence" to appear, there will always remain dedicated acolytes of Cyan and its dogma who will refuse to accept any other authority, and who will strenuously object to anything that might challenge that authority or broaden the limited perspective that emerges from its clergy. At the same time, there will be those who don't care at all about any of this, as well as a number of people somewhere between these two poles.

At the moment URU appears to be a static, relatively lifeless place occupied mostly by acolytes and occasionally visited by some enticed by "The Path of the Shill". There does seem to be room for lots of argument over minutia. Based on tradition, I imagine that will continue well into the Age of OS URU (if it ever arrives).


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:13 pm 
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Um...no, I still think our way is simpler.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:43 pm 
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It's an interesting idea, Regnad, though I'm uncertain of its viability.

My understanding is that the software for MOUL is going to be open sourced - but not the original Ages themselves. I think the community will be in the position of defining canon for their own Ages, where those Ages are not considered to be of D'ni origin.... and Cyan's rules of canon would still apply to the existing Ages and anything new we "discover" of D'ni. Cyan's control over canon is not weakened or eroded in such a model; rather, it is built upon.

However, this is just my own interpretation, like you have your own... and I have no strong expectation of being found right.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:23 pm 
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Marten wrote:
Cyan's control over canon is not weakened or eroded in such a model; rather, it is built upon.


And like any foundation, its strength and solidity become thereby virtues to be depended on.

I'd add, as has been stated elsewhere, that "canon" should also include, on some level, events that have happened (and continue to happen) since explorers became part of D'ni's ongoing history, and form an element over which Cyan has had, and can have, limited control at best. How much weight this aspect of "canon" should be given is probably going to be a matter of opinion, and will depend (again, as previously established) on the success with which it can be communicated to newcomers. But the matter of "canon" is by no means as binary, or as adversarial, a thing as it can be made to sound.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:10 pm 
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OK - "built upon", means that canon isn't completely under the control of Cyan anymore, once we get open source Uru. That's how I read it. I can see that there will be lots and lots of discussions about what is and is not canon. I don't think that's a bad thing, except my guess is that some people won't be all that nice about it, when there are disagreements. Arguing about canon does give something to post, something to talk about.

I enjoyed the comment of "history (which Cyan Worlds appears to have permanently trapped in an exclusively oral tradition)". Isn't that the truth? And, if so, why should new people care?

One way of explaining all the differences and divergences (is that a word) could be the alternate history thing, that worked so wonderfully well in Star Trek. I really liked it that, in the new Star Trek movie, the writers and director came up with a way to do a new alternate history of the Star Trek characters. I can see something similar happening to Uru.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:26 pm 
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mszv wrote:
I enjoyed the comment of "history (which Cyan Worlds appears to have permanently trapped in an exclusively oral tradition)". Isn't that the truth?


Well, no, it isn't the truth, unless you or the commenter has some reason to suspect deliberate and malicious intent on Cyan's part. "Trapped" is one of the loaded words that RK01 loves using, like his flogging of the religious metaphor for people who respect Cyan's desire to maintain some degree of creative control over their Ages ("dogma," "acolytes," "clergy."). It's completely inappropriate for the context, and doesn't even have the virtue of being funny, because he so obviously means it to wound.

The truth is that there is no mechanism in place at this point for in-game historical data storage. That's all.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:06 pm 
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Abit of an over-reaction, IMHO. Compare the amount of information Cyan conveyed through in-cavern visits, which had to then be recorded through the clumsy device of chat logs, versus the amount of information conveyed through the DRC forum and site, where the last post in the forum by a DRC member prior to the opening of MOULa was in April 2007. I would describe Cyan's adherence to its stance that in-cavern events would be the primary, bordering on only source of DRC communication, as obstinate, so "trapped" is fine by me.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:46 am 
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Well, you and your pony are entitled to your opinion. I don't see how it's an over-reaction to make a statement less negatively emotionally loaded, but there you go. One might speculate that in the time since the cancellation of Prologue Cyan have been either:

(a) too busy making new Ages (in the GT days);
(b) too busy nearly going under (before and immediately after);
or (c) too busy working on other things;

to make the sweeping changes in the infrastructure of the game that introducing another means of communication would have entailed. Or, of course, one could state the problem in a way that implies malice on Cyan's part, because that always works. :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:10 am 
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I don't see any malice on the part of Cyan, not in the least, but doesn't it seem, oddly enough, like a design choice, events as the story deliverer, and no record of them?

Look, if they were planning to do live events, starting, say, back in 2002/2003, wouldn't there also be a mechanism in place for putting some record of them in game, if that was the intent? Wouldn't that be part of the design?

And wouldn't Cyan test all this out in the beta? You know, have a live event, and then have some sort of recording of it, something, test it all out. Nope, nothing like that -- not a peep about live events in the beta.

Admittedly, that was years ago -- if Cyan could redesign Uru for a game of 2010, what would they come up with? Hey, interesting topic for discussion!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:12 am 
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Exactly, it was years ago. Uru is not without flaws, and this is one of them, and Cyan have not been in a position since the beta to do anything about it.

But, thinking about it as though, I don't know, one actually liked the game or something...the communications structure we have developed logically from the story we have. The DRC arrived in the Cavern, a small group of academics on a limited budget studying an ancient city, and then suddenly all these other bods started turning up and infesting the place, with no leadership and no organisation. As part of their journey, the explorers adopted an ancient and somewhat experimental piece of D'ni technology, and someone in the DRC was able to jerry-rig it to provide limited communication facilities. The DRC weren't equipped to take charge of the explorers, nor did the explorers want them to. Yeesha didn't care about anything other than freeing the bahro. Everyone was operating under a kind of secrecy, to make sure D'ni secrets didn't fall into the wrong hands. Cate Alexander's outfit spent a year down there, getting the feel, and then pulled out before anything lasting could be built. And then it all fell apart, the DRC were gone, and the explorers are still a disorganised rabble, with various small groups forming and dissolving but no-one with the tech savvy to do anything more than keep things going.

Maybe at some point (=after open source has been going for a while) someone will be able to fix up something better adapted to the job, but it's never bothered me in the slightest that there was no such thing down there, just as it's never bothered me that Robinson Crusoe didn't have a jacuzzi. It follows from the story.

If they could redesign Uru today? I don't know. I don't even know if they would. There's been a lot of discussion around the obsoleteness of the software--maybe they would find another partner like Headspin to rebuild the game engine and the physics engine completely, to take advantage of the newer processors and faster graphics cards (which would leave people like me with my Pentium III out in the cold again, just as I was when Live started and I didn't have broadband). Maybe every explorer would get something like an iPad instead of the KI, because gods forbid we should ever have to be without all our modern conveniences (and some conveniences would be nice as well). I don't know. What I do know is that if they did redesign it, they would start with the story, and whatever emerged would follow from that.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:52 am 
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Nye_Sigismund wrote:
What's the point of this thread? All I'm seeing is a flame war.


You sir is absolutely right.

Anyone wishing still discuss (and I mean "discuss" not "cannon war") the "canon issue" please continue it at this thread, leaving this for more technical aspects of improving game.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:23 am 
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I'm enjoying this thread.

Zander, it looks to that you equating new hardware/OS with new game design and gameplay. Many MMOs run on older machines. Also, you seem to be explaining the difficulty of using the KI with story -- it was difficult to use by design. That's an interesting story interpretation, but you think that Cyan meant to do that? I think not. It's hard to use the KI (my opinion) but my opinion is that Cyan did not make a communication thing that was difficult to do, by design. It just happened.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:57 am 
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Well, I'm not a techie, but I would assume from everyone's disparaging comments about it that the software of the game is old and outdated, which would imply to my simple mind that a redesign would have to take that into account.

And again. You say you don't think Cyan made "a communication thing that was difficult to do, by design." I'm not sure why not--they made a bucket ride that was difficult to do, and a moon room puzzle that was difficult to do. Making things that are difficult to do is what they do. Seriously, yes, I know the KI isn't meant to be a puzzle, but...I think they made something that fitted their backstory, and to which (I believe) their original development plan would have seen improvements, or alternative arrangements, down the line, when it became credible in story terms. Whether that plan, if it existed, would have been feasible, we will now never know.

I certainly don't think it "just happened." That puts Cyan in an even worse light. They're not stupid.

One thing that would immediately have wrecked one of the core concepts of the game was if we'd all been given, right at the start, a whizzy gadget that did email and Web access in Relto and the Cavern and all the Ages, which is what it seems people are crying out for. Rightly or wrongly, Uru starts out from the central idea that informed Myst and Riven and all the other games; that you the player are projected into a different world and cut off from your own. I imagine the idea with Uru was that these strangers, thrown together, would form a community and share their knowledge more actively that way; but what chance of that is there when there's no IC reason why you can't email Auntie Doris from Relto and get her to tell the sheriff to send a helicopter to the Cleft and bring you home? It's bad enough that you can talk to someone else in a different Age--if the KI doesn't do co-ordinates away from its Great Zero, it shouldn't do anything else. That's a fudge for the sake of player convenience. (EDIT: it might be worth bearing in mind that the only person who has been working on inter-Age communication apart from Laxman--who came to it cold--is Atrus, and the last time we saw his crystal viewer it was still somewhat buggy...)

There's a reason barbarian warriors in fantasy RPGs aren't given rocket launchers. Yes, I agree the KI could do with improvement; it's trying to do too many things it wasn't meant to do. I will, however, continue to resist any suggestion that Cyan made it hard to use either by (yes, that word again) malice towards the players, or through incompetence. Maybe they thought we might enjoy the challenge of overcoming its difficulties with our own ingenuity. Everyone makes mistakes.


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