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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Changes to the KI are reasonably within canon as long as those changes are "explorer modifications". Where canon is threatened (and my sensibilities offended) is if players claim to have found alternate D'ni KIs that have, inexplicably, the ability to post Twitter and Facebook updates.

That Laxman has used the KI to post to the internet doesn't suggest that the KI was originally designed for that purpose - nor does the KI's ability to display text in Latin-1 character set suggest that the D'ni were preparing to hand the devices out to Spaniards settling in the region at the time of the fall; it only suggests that Laxman likes to tinker with things, and if Laxman can do it, there's no reason we can't either (it isn't Yeesha magic).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:54 pm 
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Agreed, from my IC standpoint my KI doesn't connect to the net, it connects to another KI which is hooked up to my PC through some hackery and uses custom software to interact with Beneath and my Twitter account, which I assume is how the DRC did it back in the day.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:56 pm 
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Marten wrote:
Changes to the KI are reasonably within canon as long as those changes are "explorer modifications". Where canon is threatened (and my sensibilities offended) is if players claim to have found alternate D'ni KIs that have, inexplicably, the ability to post Twitter and Facebook updates.

That Laxman has used the KI to post to the internet doesn't suggest that the KI was originally designed for that purpose - nor does the KI's ability to display text in Latin-1 character set suggest that the D'ni were preparing to hand the devices out to Spaniards settling in the region at the time of the fall; it only suggests that Laxman likes to tinker with things, and if Laxman can do it, there's no reason we can't either (it isn't Yeesha magic).


I don't think anyone suggested a KI model had those features by default. I was however suggesting that it could, canonically do so. Doing so, of course, requires modifications, but it /can/ do so. =)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:11 am 
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mszv wrote:
Sorry, Zander, you don't get a free pass.


I don't understand what you mean by this.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:51 am 
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Oops sorry, Zander, you said

"Immersion is not as important for some (possibly most) as it is for, say, me."

My belief is that immersion is important for everyone.

Now, maybe it works better for you to have spare interface, albeit a complicated one. Because someone might want more stuff on the screen (like a communication thing at the bottom of the screen) -- doesn't mean they don't want an immersive experience.

But hey -- if we can get a new KI, super swell! Maybe there could be a way to implement the old and new KI, giving more choices. On the KI and the internet -- don't see why you can't explain it by modifications.


Something else -- why does it have to be KI at all? Why can't it be a special souped up smartphone, communication device thingy. We are suppposed to be in the contemporary world. That would work for me.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:55 am 
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I'm a role-player. Immersion is extremely important for me, as I did in fact say in that probably very poorly-constructed sentence. Which is why, when yanked (as the character I play) out of my contemporary world and plunged into a millennia-old underground city with a bunch of other (if you'll excuse the expression and note the small y) yankees, I wouldn't expect to be issued with a "special souped-up smartphone." What I would expect to have to do, in fact, is what we have been doing: making do with what's available till there is an opportunity within the story to improve matters.

I don't see why that concept seems to be so hard to grasp, or why the fact that that would of necessity involve some inconvenience is such a stumbling block, but apparently it is. Which is why I conclude that immersion--playing the ball from where it lies, dramatic consistency, being part of the story, call it what you like--is less important to some of us than having things made easier. Nothing wrong with that; just a difference of approach.

I like things easy too, and as I've said, the clunkiness of the KI has not been lost on me, but it's a lot more plausible as a part of the story than many other things in Uru. So I hope that when it is improved, as I'm sure it will be, some in-story justification will be provided by whomever does it, to maintain some level of immersion. If it's only Laxman outside the library with a couple of crates labelled "BlackBerry." Or "NoKIa," possibly.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:48 pm 
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Something else -- why does it have to be KI at all? Why can't it be a special souped up smartphone, communication device thingy. We are suppposed to be in the contemporary world. That would work for me.
Beneath three miles of rock? Seen any phone masts down there?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:50 pm 
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It is good to remember that immersion does not equal, or completely depend on, everything in game being realistic; a broken interface can very well remind you that it's all a game, even if said interface is 100% consistent with the game canon.

That said, since the current KI is already capable of projecting a big hologram, it is not unreasonable to believe that newer models (or a software upgrade) could project several small movable windows... which is like how modern messengers and chat interfaces work. And, as others said, the DRC had laptops in the Cavern and obviously some method to have them and the KI post stuff to the internet. This is actually one of those cases in which we don't have to break the canon too much in order to fix things for the better.

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Last edited by Ian Atrus on Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Rusty_Russell wrote:
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Something else -- why does it have to be KI at all? Why can't it be a special souped up smartphone, communication device thingy. We are suppposed to be in the contemporary world. That would work for me.
Beneath three miles of rock? Seen any phone masts down there?


Of course you are right!

So, what Ian Atrus said, my variation -- some of the design features of a modern cell phone, and the design features of a computer screen, multiple windows -- combined with D'ni technology. The infrastructure is the KI (D'ni, the Cisco of the cavern!), while the front end user interface stuff is our technology and user interface sensibility.

And yes, immersive means it all seems to fit together.

Zander, making communication easier, that does not imply dramatic inconsistency. We don't have to learn D'ni to play this game. Some things are already set up for explorers. You seem to think that having communication be difficult was part of the design, and the masses (remember this game was made for the masses) would have been so motivated that they would have continued, no matter what. We have no way of knowing, but it's difficult for me to imagine that communication difficulty was hard, by design, in an MMO. But -- I guess we'll never know, will we?

What you have done is incorporate the difficulty with the KI into the story of the game, in your personal story. It's very clever. Now, you could incorporate anything -- lag, perhaps some sort of cosmic latency or an earthquake. I'm having trouble seeing how you could incorporate our inability to use our arms in that kicking puzzle -- have to think about that. Then there are the inconstencies in age design -- In some worlds we can fall off a path and have to panic link out -- in some worlds we can't get off the path -- the inconsistency is how the ages were written? When we find things in game, they are in our inventory, but there is no way for us to carry them, and not all the clothing options have backpacks. That's just inconsistent, but maybe you could find a way.

My point -- you could attempt to explain a lot of stuff, but that doesn't mean that some things don't sync up, and some things aren't designed well. I'm with Regnald on this -- nothing against Cyan, but two way communication is something they never did before. That's why open source Uru would be so crazy wonderful.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:13 pm 
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Rusty_Russell wrote:
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Something else -- why does it have to be KI at all? Why can't it be a special souped up smartphone, communication device thingy. We are suppposed to be in the contemporary world. That would work for me.
Beneath three miles of rock? Seen any phone masts down there?


Quite frankly, if we can soup up a cell phone to transmit interdimensionally, three miles of rock isn't the biggest concern.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:17 pm 
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Rusty_Russell wrote:
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Something else -- why does it have to be KI at all? Why can't it be a special souped up smartphone, communication device thingy. We are suppposed to be in the contemporary world. That would work for me.
Beneath three miles of rock? Seen any phone masts down there?


Don't forget the KI is also a key. :) There are (only in the garrison so far) certain doors that require a certain KI level to get them to open. A phone wouldn't do that.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:55 pm 
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Don't forget the KI is also a key. There are (only in the garrison so far) certain doors that require a certain KI level to get them to open. A phone wouldn't do that.


It's tough, these days, do say what a cell phone can and cannot do :)

http://www.electroautomation.com/mobile_phone_based_remote_access-control-systems.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:21 pm 
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mszv wrote:
What you have done is incorporate the difficulty with the KI into the story of the game, in your personal story. It's very clever.


No, it isn't. It really isn't. It's taking the "facts" of the backstory, laid out for us by Cyan, and extrapolating very rigorously from them. I've never attempted to reconcile the lag or the inability to use our arms--those are limitations of the game mechanics. The lack of arm use is about keeping animations simple to minimise processor load. It may be that the actual reason why the KI is so slow is something similar. I do not know, I am not a techie.

But what I do know is this:

1. We are supposed to have felt an overwhelming Call to the Cleft, and abandoned our entire lives to get here. Ergo, no luggage.

2. We come together in a city which has been abandoned for at least two hundred years. Ergo, no contemporary technology, beyond what the DRC brought with them.

3. The only piece of technology we have for communication, image capture, et cetera, was created by a very different culture from our own, and has been tinkered with by someone who never saw anything similar before he came here, to make it just about workable.

What is supposed to be so all-fired "clever" about that? It's basic. The fact that we have to use the KI interface for talking to each other face to face is, again, a limitation of the game, and I don't make any attempt to reconcile that. But the fact that, as it stands, it's only just about workable is so transparently reasonable in the context of the story that...well. I've said it several times now, several different ways. In the end, you believe what you want to believe.

That the KI was another of Cyan's mistakes is beyond dispute. All we differ on is the nature of the mistake. You and RK think it was a matter of them ignoring, or being unaware of, something elementary about computer communications. I think they overestimated the capacity of their audience to role-play. RPGs in general, from Dungeons and Dragons on up, have never really been a majority interest, which is why they get mocked so frequently in popular culture, and most soi-disant MMORPGs involve very little actual role-play as a necessary part of gaming.

Perhaps that's one of the reasons I think Uru will never be truly successful in the marketplace (he said, edging furtively back towards the main topic); because it places more emphasis on actually being in the situation, rather than looking for the next quest or the next fight or the next hairdo. It's a game for role-players, like me, and I honestly think most gamers don't bother with that stuff if they can avoid it. Which would mean that a way to improve it as an MMORPG would, paradoxically, be to lessen the emphasis on role-playing. Not something I'd be particularly happy about, but there we go. Certainly the ideal expressed by many in these threads is an Uru so chock full of new Ages and new puzzles and new activities that there would be no time to think about where you are and how you would react if you were actually there.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:29 pm 
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I don't personally mind the Ki at the moment, bar optimizations that could be made.

What I WOULD prefer is the current KI model would be the standard, and people could get a specialist explorer to modify it for them to suit their needs better (read: custom GUI).

Nothing in this game is hard if you set your mind to it. This took ten minutes:

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z99/ ... EISBAD.png

Anywho, the KI is a sideshow question. It should be up to the explorer what kind of KI s/he wants to use*. I personally think this discussion needs to centre towards "what will cause people to log in once a day every day?"

*Design philosophy lesson 1: The less restricted the user, the better.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:20 am 
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The answer to that one is "they have to want to." And you can't make them want to.

One could imagine an ideal state in which, with most of the population of the American Northwest (or equivalent elsewhere) working full-time on Uru, there was a new Age or a new event or a new something being released every day. I know I'd log in every day then. It seems to me though that that's unlikely to happen even after OS Uru has been fully enabled. Fan Ages take time and effort just as Cyan Ages do, perhaps more time because the people making them are doing it in and around their lives rather than as a job. The better the Age, the more time and effort it takes. It's nice to imagine the flood gates being opened and a cascade of creativity pouring through, and it may go that way, but I think it would be unwise to rely on it.

Some people will log in for the company. I did back in the days of UU. But most of the people I knew then have moved on to SL or other pursuits, and I haven't (a failing in me, this) been up to trying to make new friends lately. The law of diminishing returns comes into play; you log in, see nobody you know there, wander around for a bit and then log out again, and maybe next day you're too busy and the day after that you don't bother. Again, you can't make people log in at a particular time just to be interesting for other people (though if I were more interesting, I'd certainly be willing to try it for a couple of weeks and see if the population went up).

I don't know what the answer is.


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