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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:22 pm 
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Back when I First played Uru ABM, I solved the vault door puzzle one combination at a time. It was A way to solve it, but not the best way. After I solved it I had a DOH! moment when I saw the logic for the puzzle. I think this may be similar in the case of the Pod ages.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:25 pm 
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Found it, belford.

Start from here.

GD's response.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:57 pm 
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I'm unable to download this portal calculator due to an error frame.net.
I realize that this was stated earlier, but has it been addressed?

I would really love to get this calculator. Can someone please help?

~signed~
Tech impaired (but willing to learn)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:22 pm 
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OK, I've been watching this thread a lot lately, just to see what people are saying. I also read this forum on a daily basis and try to read everything I can. As far as the calculators go, I'm sort of on the fence.

I think one of the big problems Cyan is having right now is lack of information or put another way, storyline. They put out the pod ages, nice enough. They allowed us to "discover" them. But there were no real clues what to do. The map came out after the second pod age posted, etc. But what official word have we heard from Cyan or the DRC?

I don't want to drag this think out too far, but it seems to me, with Sharper runiing around again, Rils, and others, it would be easy enough to leave a note somewhere in game saying something like... "New age discovered. Very little information at this time. Strange day/night cycles. Can't seem to find an exit. Must investigate more when I have time".

That alone would point people in the right direction. But they don't do that. Instead people are forced to search sites like this, and end up reading the spoilers to glean hints and clues, which to my mind, spoils the enjoyment of discovery. (And yes, I used the brute strength method to find the portal on the first two pod ages. Took me about 4 days on each one to find the cycle and the location of the portal, but I did it without spoilers.)

Unless you scan about 6 different web sites each day, there is no "official" news in one place. Somebody made the observation that GD doesn't post much, I think that's an understatement.

Well that's the end of my rant. I love Uru, and Cyan, but I love the story even more, just wish there was more of it. I wish there was more communication between the community and the developers. Oh and on the subject of portal calculators... I side with creativity. You have to find the pattern first, usually by brute force, then create the program. If you have the time and patience, I say go for it. As a user, I think it's up to you whether you use them or not. Figure it out on your own... or spoil the enjoyment. Your choice.

Thanks for a great community, thanks for letting me vent, thanks for listening.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:10 am 
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RR, thank you for the citation.

I am still not convinced. Solving the puzzle took time? It certainly did; people watched very patiently to see what was going on in Negilahn.

Not a waiting puzzle? I'm not sure what GD meant. Is that different from "patieny"? It's not a waiting puzzle in the sense that POTS was -- there is no fixed delay. People *did* wait in Negilahn to gather data, but is that a waiting puzzle?

Remember that even if we'd gotten all four pods at once (and the map), we would still have waited in Payiferen *to see what happened when the beams touched the symbols*. That would have been a good 90 minutes of "waiting puzzle", assuming people noticed the beams at dawn. So you can't really interpret GD as saying that the puzzle was "supposed" to be solved without any sitting and staring; that would never have been possible anyway.

What I actually think, here, is that GD was being extremely elliptical and vague. And that's *because* us players (yes, including me) grab every scrap of direct information and tear it to shreds. If they prefer to convey everything about Uru through game content and game actions, I'm fine with that. I'd rather interpret game design *anyway* -- that's what the game *is*.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:22 am 
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Stephy wrote:
I'm unable to download this portal calculator due to an error frame.net.
I realize that this was stated earlier, but has it been addressed?

I would really love to get this calculator. Can someone please help?

~signed~
Tech impaired (but willing to learn)


You need the microsoft ".net framework 2.0"
Google for ".net 2.0 runtime" and you should find the installer for it on a microsoft site.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:32 am 
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
The way I see it, Uru is more like an ARG (alternate reality game) than a regular MMO. Interacting with the community both in-cavern and in forums like this is how its meant to be played, in my eyes. Think about what it would be like if it was real, if we were really explorers who felt the call and lived part-time in the cavern, investigating the ages. There would be public forums like this one (whether forums in the digital or more traditional sense) where people would talk about what they'd discovered, share the things they'd learned for the benefit of the whole explorer community. If a group of clever people discovered a pattern to something like the portals, they would make their finding public. And that's exactly what happened. Cyan may or may not have expected it, but the whole 15 hours 43 minutes thing got figured out very quickly, by some very clever and dedicated people. I personally just do not have the time to do that sort of thing myself. I keep missing the portals. The only one I have is Payiferen, because I lucked out and first checked it out just a few minutes before the sun rays lined up. I don't have the time to commit to lengthy observations of the day-night cycle, but I take consolation because I still feel like part of the community thanks to this stuff. The ARG nature of the game means that it doesn't feel so much like spoilers as it does shared discovery. We're part of a larger endeavour, the excavation and restoration of D'ni, and we're all in it together. The portals are a phenomenon I personally want to observe, and because I have better and more important things to do than sitting around Neghilahn twiddling my thumbs for 10 hours while I wait, I find the idea of a quick and easy portal calculator a good one. Uru is a multifaced experience, and players should be allowed to have the kind of experience with it that they want to have.



But to come back from my tangent...

Nice little calculator. But I think it's afflicted with the same problem I think is afflicting the other calculators out there, at least for people in time zones like me. Where I live, GMT+10, most areas observe daylight saving, but some, like where I am, don't. I think the reason I've kept missing portals is because the calculators have been 1 hour out. I haven't had time to actually check this out, yet, but I'm going to. My point is: would it be possible to take this into account?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:06 am 
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Two things I've noticed:

1: Apparently, people have rallied around the assumption that Cyan has any legal authority whatsoever to prevent people from developing "portal calculators." Not that Cyan would expend any energy to prevent it (suing, etc. would be too costly), but really, they can't they do anything about it.

It seems that people assume that Intellectual Property now applies to numbers and observations. Ha! Even the use of the pod names in the program are an example of fair use. Cyan has no rights in this matter to grant or deny us. The creation of this program doesn't violate anything in the terms of use, just as a web page with hints or a walkthrough doesn't.

2: This whole notion of the "right" way to solve the pods is preposterous, and of anyone, Cyan should know better than to try to restrict knowledge among the community. Rand Miller himself said in an interview that when players gain knowledge in the game, it's up to *them* to disseminate it or to protect it.

A "calculator" program is exactly the same as a web page with a list of future portal times, so unless they want to put actual gag orders on everyone, than it's stupid of them to ask anyone to stop making portal calculators. I think this is a case of Cyan underestimating the Myst community's ability to solve their puzzle and spread information just two days after the first pod's release. In fact, since the release of the 3rd pod and the map, I'm now pretty certain that there's no more to these ages than getting the donut. Cyan hoped that we'd be fumbling around until the map was released, but we solved it without their clues. I'm totally fine with that, but most people are expecting something big to happen, or some larger puzzle to exist, because the waiting game "couldn't possibly be all that there is." I'd love that too, but it's looking less and less likely that that's the case.

New players, those who join the game from here on, can solve the puzzle the "right" way, and maybe they'll feel satisfied doing it as Cyan intended, but for those of us who follow every update, it was fun while it lasted...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:22 am 
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IngisKahn wrote:
Texana wrote:
It is not fun, nor is it practical, to sit in a pod until the portal appears and then move along the progression path to get all four of the portals.


That's not how you're supposed to solve it.


Explain to me how to solve the pod age without calcucating the times based on the map and Payiferen then. What difference does it make if you use a caluclator, an abacus, or a pencil and paper?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:25 am 
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Location: Greenville, SC
trylon wrote:
Stephy wrote:
I'm unable to download this portal calculator due to an error frame.net.
I realize that this was stated earlier, but has it been addressed?

I would really love to get this calculator. Can someone please help?

~signed~
Tech impaired (but willing to learn)


You need the microsoft ".net framework 2.0"
Google for ".net 2.0 runtime" and you should find the installer for it on a microsoft site.


Have you tried making it as a "OneClick" deployment? It'll prompt to install the framework if it's not already, plus it has the benefit of always being up to date...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:54 am 
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The Noble Robot wrote:
Apparently, people have rallied around the assumption that Cyan has any legal authority whatsoever to prevent people from developing "portal calculators." Not that Cyan would expend any energy to prevent it (suing, etc. would be too costly), but really, they can't they do anything about it.

It seems that people assume that Intellectual Property now applies to numbers and observations. Ha! Even the use of the pod names in the program are an example of fair use. Cyan has no rights in this matter to grant or deny us. The creation of this program doesn't violate anything in the terms of use, just as a web page with hints or a walkthrough doesn't.

So if there is no repercussion for doing something illegal, then it's okay to do it?

I'll agree that calculator programs fall into a fuzzy area of legal authority. That's no reason to dismiss Cyan's legal rights.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:16 am 
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But for all intents and purposes its not illegal. This is no different than a walkthrough site using the names in the guide. For all we know these could be arbitrary numbers. The IP issues here fall under the same category as those people who use the IP of cyan in other publications. Sanctioned or not.

From what I can make of the program, cyan has very little jurisdiction. Its the scruples of the programmers that are called into question in this matter.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:25 am 
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Overdrive wrote:
But for all intents and purposes its not illegal. This is no different than a walkthrough site using the names in the guide. For all we know these could be arbitrary numbers. The IP issues here fall under the same category as those people who use the IP of cyan in other publications. Sanctioned or not.

From what I can make of the program, cyan has very little jurisdiction. Its the scruples of the programmers that are called into question in this matter.


/agree

The Cyan legal guidelines page that was referenced earlier in this thread is about using "assets" from the game -- images, text, music, etc. A program that tells you at what times a certain event will occur does not contain any such things.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:42 am 
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quahog42 wrote:
I'll agree that calculator programs fall into a fuzzy area of legal authority.

No, they don't. They communicate factual information. While I can't speak for other countries, I am quite sure that in the U.S. and my home country of Australia, it is 100% legal for a person to distribute factual information that they have gathered. (State secrets are an exception, of course. Trade secrets are also protected, but only if they have in fact been kept secret, and have not been independently discovered. None of this is applicable to portal times.)

Portal calculators are just like any other spoiler. I'm not going to start asking Cyan legal for permission every time I post a hint on a forum.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:29 am 
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I take back what I said in my previous post about times being off in my timezone. The portal just showed up in Tetsonot exactly when the calculator said it would. The lighting was pretty.... :p


Great work on the calculator!


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