It is currently Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:10 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 106 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... 8  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:24 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 5:28 am
Posts: 2266
Actually - I'm not big on puzzles - I'm big on gameplay, something you do in a game to move yourself along in the game - collect things, discover ages, and advance the story. In Uru gameplay consisted, mostly, of solving puzzles. If making pellets would have had a result - lighting the lake, that would have counted as gameplay.

I'm not into reading what went on when I wasn't in the game. I did not keep up with the episodes, though I know a little about the Yeesha one. I play all games, including MMOs, for what I personally experience, not for what I can read about when I'm not there.

So, for me, story has to be part of gameplay, or I don't get it.

If you want to communicate the story to all the people who play a game, then you need to find a way to do it, in game. That's why I think that live events are a terrible way to do story. Make uncovering the story part of gameplay. Live events should be something else - festivals, celebrations, good times, fun experiences with friends. They should be fun things, but things that people can miss and not feel cheated. Don't do story via live events.

_________________
mszv, amarez in Uru, other online games, never use mszv anymore, would like to change it
Blog - http://www.amarez.com, Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/amareze


Last edited by mszv on Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:28 am
Posts: 687
Location: Bevin Field Office - KI: 01350736
Picking up random stuff is "gameplay," but puzzles aren't? :shock:

If I want to collect stuff, why, there's always plenty of trash needing to be swept off the lawn... :lol:


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:13 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 5:28 am
Posts: 2266
Ed Oscuro wrote:
Picking up random stuff is "gameplay," but puzzles aren't? :shock:

If I want to collect stuff, why, there's always plenty of trash needing to be swept off the lawn... :lol:


Yes - sorry I wasn't clear - puzzles absolutely are gameplay! That's what gameplay is, mostly, in Uru. That's what I was trying to say. I'm not that much into solving puzzles, but that's what the gameplay is, in Uru, so that's what I do, solve puzzles.

Sorry if I wasn't clear.

_________________
mszv, amarez in Uru, other online games, never use mszv anymore, would like to change it
Blog - http://www.amarez.com, Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/amareze


Last edited by mszv on Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:28 am
Posts: 687
Location: Bevin Field Office - KI: 01350736
I'm not confused, thanks though. When you said that you like things that "move [the player] along," what is there in Uru, gameplay-wise, besides puzzles and running long distances?

I'd classify even figuring out how to use the KI as a puzzle (not everybody has been using the things for years, and they're meant to be a little mysterious).

If you take away all the puzzles from Uru Live, it would basically be like this:

1 Visit Age
2 Find Linking Book! (FANFARE)
3 ???
4 MMO Chat with friends!

So...are there kinds of puzzles you like more than others, or what?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:27 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 5:28 am
Posts: 2266
Good question Ed!

I'll do anything (that I can do, not good at anything requiring quick reflexes) that gives you something to do, and provides advancement or a reward. In Uru it's solving puzzles. I always think I might like a puzzle, but then I find them so darn hard! So, I always need a little help.

If making pellets would have lit the lake - that would have been good, as it would have added to the stuff you can do in Uru that provides a reward. I did like the "finding the markers" thing. In my ideal Uru there would have been multiple things to do to advance, but as to what they could be - I don't have a clue!


That's a good way to look at the KI, as a puzzle. I like that.

_________________
mszv, amarez in Uru, other online games, never use mszv anymore, would like to change it
Blog - http://www.amarez.com, Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/amareze


Last edited by mszv on Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:28 am
Posts: 687
Location: Bevin Field Office - KI: 01350736
I also have trouble with the puzzles, but getting a bunch of random people together for one of the new garden Ages in the GT was fun, although not entirely stress-free (or bug-free, either).

I agree that the quick-reflexes stuff doesn't really belong in Uru, at least in cases where you are getting a lot of people together. Again, that small age was a bit of a pain to do right, and it wasn't really clear what we were supposed to be doing anyway.

I also would agree that having an Age centered completely around a puzzle is doing things backwards. Teledahn was slightly recognizable as having been used for something (although it wasn't immediately clear what; designing a believable food Age seems to have come in third behind the puzzles and making it look pretty). So there should be some story and also a sense that an Age had a purpose. There will no doubt be lots and lots of "rest Ages," but also having some Ages tied to a theme would be worthwhile.

On that point, I think people should be coming up with some minor plotlines for having Ages set up connected to a character. It doesn't have to be a major character, since it seems that writing Ages was commonplace enough. I know Cyan has made their wishes known on this point...ehh, maybe a new question in the relevant topic is in order...

One guiding principle behind the Myst games right along seems to be "give players the chance to find answers through contemplation." If I spent more time thinking about stuff instead of running back and forth hitting random switches there's no doubt I'd be doing better.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:20 pm
Posts: 26
Location: USA
Quote:
I agree that the quick-reflexes stuff doesn't really belong in Uru, at least in cases where you are getting a lot of people together. Again, that small age was a bit of a pain to do right, and it wasn't really clear what we were supposed to be doing anyway.

...

One guiding principle behind the Myst games right along seems to be "give players the chance to find answers through contemplation." If I spent more time thinking about stuff instead of running back and forth hitting random switches there's no doubt I'd be doing better.


Brilliantly put. I was just experiencing this in Myst IV, as a matter of fact. Just playing through. Remember that crystal puzzle when sitting on the throne in Spire? Where you had to make all the crystals vibrate before time runs out? Well, too bad that the control is slow, delayed, and finnicky!

Now, add group puzzles with time reflexes and you have a pretty nice fail on your hands, like you said.

_________________
Magaio

Return to Myst Blog


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:28 am
Posts: 687
Location: Bevin Field Office - KI: 01350736
magaio wrote:
Remember that crystal puzzle when sitting on the throne in Spire? Where you had to make all the crystals vibrate before time runs out? Well, too bad that the control is slow, delayed, and finnicky!

Nope, because I'd have to try that on an old Xbox with the first-gen dying drive. Just think! I've gotten a little ways into MIV on Xbox, but the loading was a killer.

I suppose I had better pick up a regular PC copy of Myst IV. It's probably fallen in price enough for a cheapskate like me...

Fast-reflexes stuff isn't a problem for me - although when you add in a complex puzzle, my tendency to be inaccurate under fire can come into play. I imagine it's that way for most people.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:31 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Quote:
magaio wrote:

So the question is, then, how do we explain individuals each experiencing such events?

Ian Atrus wrote:

Either 1) you do like some other games and don't explain it at all (artistic license), or 2) you can use a bit of Yeesha magic and say that these stories you're experiencing are like "ghosts" of your reality from another instance (say, after you take the 30 GZ markers you see Laxman turn it on in a ghost instance), or 3) you make the 'quest' end in a location where a scripted NPC character narrates you the story. That way, you can get the story in game (no need to check 50 fan sites) and have the sense of accomplishment for having worked for it too.



I for one would love to see the story line available to all players as the result of completing puzzles and finding journals/imager scenes at the end of the puzzle. I was disappointed in the fireworks after collecting all of the monthly sparklies. It would have been better if they would have led to a new age or more of the story. I was also very disappointed in the episodic way the story was released. I was rarely able to visit during the release of the episode and hated having to read the forums to find out what was going on. I hated the crowds and lag time when I was able to get into the start of an episode. I much preferred the way prologue was rollled out. Each night was an adventure is finding the new area that was opened that day. It was slow going due to the lag, But those who were there will remember cone jumping and barrier hopping. But there was a reason to visit the cavern every day. Once a month roll out left much to be desired once the puzzles were done or the new age was visited. Also multi-player puzzles were okay but when you couldn't get online until most people were not online made it hard to complete the puzzles. I would have loved to be able to complete Eder Delin and Eder Tsogal alone without the timer.
Also I was looking forward to the story line that was introduced in prologue concerning Zandie ans Yeesha. That never was developed in M0:UL. Story line is important but if you are not getting it during game play and have to get it outside of the game in forums, then you lose interest in playing the game.
I love all things MYST want MORE to succeed. Even more I want to learn more about D'NI and the people who live there before the fall.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:06 pm
Posts: 663
Location: Houston, Texas
I wrote an article on the subject of Challenge-Reward cycles in my game design book, which I will release whenever I'm finished with "Traveler's Enigma" (it's been 3 years of off-and-on production, at this rate finishing it at all would seem like something of a miracle)

Anyway, I stated that challenges and rewards ought to match, that if you pit the player against a really nasty puzzle, the payoff had better be big or they'll be disappointed/annoyed.

I also pointed out that repetitive challenges in any game tend to annoy the player and that if you have a sequence of challenges, they should typically shift over time from easier to harder.

There were a whole list of what I thought of as "rules of game design" which were mostly common sense things that nobody usually bothers to analyze but which matter an awful lot in a player's experience.

Puzzles can work in a few ways. There's the lateral thinking stuff, where understanding a concept or connection between disparate things leads to the solution, which makes the puzzle sort of a brain teaser where you have to figure out what you're supposed to do. And then once you figure it out, you have to actually do it - execution.

So you've got to figure out what to do and then do it. Ideally the solution has an "aha!" moment that makes sense, instead of, "Oh, I solved it. Somehow." - or worse, a solution which so defies logic that it can't be figured out at all and is downright impenetrable to everyone except the person who created the puzzle.

Todelmer, for instance, had a lot of people solving the age completely by accident, an example of flawed game design.

When people solve something, it should be a reward for their creativity and intelligence, not their random luck.

Another painful game design problem is when the clue that helps solve the puzzle is inaccessible until after you've solved the puzzle. For instance, in Myst's Selenitic age, if you're in the mazerunner, there are audio tones which can lead you along the right path, but they're only recognizable if you've already solved the Mechanical age - so the clue is totally useless if you had the rotten luck of making your way into Selenitic first.

One of those other painful idiocies is when a game designer creates two puzzles, each of which provides the clue necessary to solve the other one. This ensures that neither puzzle is solveable. (Bad game designer! No twinkie!)

You can't really talk about good game design without contrasting it with bad game design, hmm?

Really good puzzles should (in my opinion):

-Be believable in context of the world, that is, they should fit there somehow and be a convincing part of the world they inhabit.
-Require some lateral thinking, which exercises creativity and experimentation by the player to figure out how things work - but the solution, once discovered, should make sense in retrospect.
-Have a reset button or some equivalent; giving the player multiple chances to try to find the solution if they screw up at first.
-Be in relatively close proximity to any clues or items needed to solve them.
-Require some action or execution once the solution is clear, but not one that takes a great length of time. (Unlike the Gira basket puzzle)
-Not require a huge amount of dexterity and speed from the player.
-Give feedback when it is solved so you know it is solved and the point of completion is satisfying and clear.
-Advance the story if possible.
-Be unique, not something you've seen done over and over.

_________________
Matthew L. Hornbostel, creator of Panoramic Worlds,
a Myst fansite, and
various other stuff.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:14 pm
Posts: 2598
Location: Israel
I think the real-time events was one of the best things in MOUL.Not everyone can be there? the solution is: do more of those.Maybe even a DRC coming by and playing 'heek or something.Act them well (unlike phils "the war is coming!" thing.we could discover that ourselfes and it would be more fun).Do an orgenized event every month.Like a DRC Q&A in a date released by KI message,same thing with "the monthly age" release.

And,do story in the journeys.Make them bigger.You wonder why no one complained about the story in the pre-MOUL versions (as much as I know)? because the 1st journey (prime) had good story and many interesting places.When cyan worlds can do it,expand the other smaller journeys.

And about the bahro...if you think MOUL is only about the bahro and this cannot be changed than look at the single-player.There were 3 journeys,only 1 about the bahro.If cyan worlds ever expand the journeys,it would be good if they would make few journeys about the bahros,and the others are about other things in d'ni.Remember,yeesha is not just the freaky-bahro-woman,she's the freaky-bahro-teacher-woman :wink: .

_________________
Previously known as "The stranger"


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:28 am
Posts: 687
Location: Bevin Field Office - KI: 01350736
Great post, Mr. matthornb!

matthornb wrote:
[Good puzzles should] -Be in relatively close proximity to any clues or items needed to solve them.

So they should be encapsulated, then.

One way in which the Mechanical Age / Selenitic quandry can be avoided is by setting up "mini-episodes" like I've mentioned in the last few days: Sequences of Ages connected by some common element (I think a single character or creator, like in the classic Uru Ages, works just fine) where you will not be surprised to find out that you need to use information from one Age to beat another.

Another issue I can think of is that Uru seems mainly able to break the sense of repetition by throwing in a mix of mechanical and button-type puzzles while mixing in interesting vistas here and there. The firefly puzzle from classic Uru is brilliant, and it gives hope for new types of puzzles being possible in the Plasma engine - but unfortunately it was also too twitchy. Still, I think that it's a good kind of idea, and the idea of using physics objects is at its core a good one (although I don't care so much for losing my "key insects" when something isn't positioned just so.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 25
If Cyan ever gets to adding their own content, I would personally like to see the storyline start over (as if the original episodes had never occured). For any new players or players who missed live events a lot (I happened to be both), the only way to keep up with the story was via a summary page over the Internet, so I really felt detached from the plot. On top of this, tons of other players were usually at these events when they happened, so I also felt slightly disconnected from the community (though they are definitely not at fault) because they always knew things before I did. I also lived in a different timezone to most of them, so it was difficult for me to come across large amounts of players while I was playing

I believe the choice to release the plot through 'episodes' was a pretty serious mistake. One thing that I noticed was that, during these episode, I came across a lot more players than normal, than once it was over they would all disappear, as if going into hibernation in preparation for the next episode (this is just my observation though). I was also frustrated at the rate content was released. You got a few large chunks, usually all at once, that you had to stretch out to last you to the next episode (or risk incredible boredom), though if they had player-made ages at the time things may have been different. I eventually quit my subscription after realising that these events weren't random and they were actually part of a continuous cycle.

The root of most of my problems (apart from difference in timezones) happened to be the way content was released. When and if Cyan releases their own content they can't have long stretches between releases. It doesn't even matter so much if they release the same amount of content as the episodes used to, just so long as they regularly add content instead of adding it all at once then waiting a month or two before adding more. Than maybe it will give the community a reason to be more active instead of entering a 'hibernation' state between episodes.

The method in which plot is released also needs to be rethought. It is true that live events gave players the chance to interact with important characters and have them interact back. However, if you are unlucky enough to miss an event (especially because you had a totally different timezone) your best/only option is to search for a chatlog. It seems really unfair that players should miss out on imprtant events based on where they live or real-life commitments. Of course it's okay to have such an event once in a while, but it seemed to me when I played that it was the primary, if not only, way to unlock more of the story.

It would improve the game tenfold for if this system could be changed to accomodate ALL players. Perhaps only having such an event once in a while would be an improvement. Ideally, there would be multiple sessions of the same event, like tours happening at different times that show or inform players of a new discovery. Interviews with major characters wouldn't work like this for obvious reasons but if they only occurred rarely it wouldn't be so bad if you happened to miss it (after all, you can't expect to be there for everything). There is an arsenal of other methods that could be used to tell the plot, such as journals, holograms, etc. Even playable videos could be used in the game (maybe a video diary of an important character or a recording of an event you missed). There is so much potential to immerse the player in the plot that I didn't feel in MOUL, but there is so much more potential for it in MORE that Cyan now has a chance to add.

Whew, long post complete. This is basically my personal opinion of the game that Myst Online once was, and how to fix it's past mistakes for MORE. Feel free to openly disagree with it if you choose.

_________________
KI number: 07250862

The path to success is long, but we are already walking it...


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:28 am
Posts: 687
Location: Bevin Field Office - KI: 01350736
mikediggtydog wrote:
If Cyan ever gets to adding their own content, I would personally like to see the storyline start over (as if the original episodes had never occured). For any new players or players who missed live events a lot (I happened to be both), the only way to keep up with the story was via a summary page over the Internet, so I really felt detached from the plot. On top of this, tons of other players were usually at these events when they happened, so I also felt slightly disconnected from the community (though they are definitely not at fault) because they always knew things before I did.

Agreed. It also was a rather bad plot at times, and having tons of people waiting around for FDR to show up feels incredibly fake.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:14 pm
Posts: 2598
Location: Israel
Believe me,if there's anyone who hates the episodes is me.However,I think we all should just move on.Cyan Worlds can continue on with the story.You missed events? this is what happens,in real life too.You can't be anywhere.All they got to do is more of them,an orgenized one every month (Q&A,age release),and tell the story well (slowly and enjoyable,like prologue).Also,when they can,I would like them to add to the smaller MOUL journeys (and do that in the new journeys they will release) some more places and story,which is important as well.

I don't think "let's do that all over again" is the solution,I think it's "let's do it right from now on".

_________________
Previously known as "The stranger"


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 106 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... 8  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: