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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:13 pm 
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First off, hi Robyn! Always great to see you around these parts again. Kudos for being able to drag some old-timers out of the woodwork ;). Now, excuse me for a moment. *tackles lonely*

*ahem*

laughingpineapple wrote:
I wanted answers to those questions and I still want to know a truckload of what I consider basic information (such as how Catherine's journals ended up in possession of the DRC and if that somehow factors in with her shady, shady death).

You may be the first person I've ever seen refer to Catherine's death as "shady". As far as I can tell, she's probably the only known member of Atrus' family who actually managed to die of natural causes (well, okay, Gehn probably did too on whatever hell-hole we left him after Riven). Sirrus got mind-wiped and Achenar got poisoned on Serenia, his mother died of complications during childbirth, Ti'ana died after visiting an Age and contracting something (as near as I can tell from the hints given in canon), Aitrus contracted a fatal case of lava planet, and Kahlis and Tasera died of the plague that destroyed D'ni.

Catherine, by comparison, seems to have gone at her appointed time, based on Atrus' monologue at the beginning of EoA. My understanding is that she left her journals somewhere in D'ni where they'd be found (perhaps K'veer, given how much of a nexus that island is. It's like the 1955 Hill Valley of D'ni...) should anyone from the surface rediscover it, but I dunno. Hey RAWA! ;)

laughingpineapple wrote:
RAWA wrote:
3) There are only two butterflies on Myst Island and they keep precisely following the exact same few paths every time you see them. (Brand new retcon: Atrus spent all those years with nothing better to do than training his two pet butterflies (Moritmer and Willow) to follow those precise paths. (Relax... I'm kidding) :)


[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

...what do you mean "I'm kidding", I'd already planned a 30something-chapter fanfiction depicting their privileged perspective on the events which befell Myst Island. Bummer. :P

... I would read it. Fabulous image, by the way XD.

On the original topic of immersion and whatnot, I certainly agree with RAWA that you can enjoy Myst and Riven without needing to know anything about the surrounding canon that's been built up around them. I'm capable of sufficient cognitive dissonance/suspension of disbelief to be able to play the original games "as me", and still play Uru "as me" too (not to mention run a whole website devoted to cataloging all of the insane minutia of canon), so I guess for me it's just never been an issue that "the stranger" exists as a concept, because while I'm playing, it doesn't matter. I can be Atrus' buddy at the same time as I'm also someone poking around the ruins of D'ni 200+ years later. That said, I have a tough time reconciling End of Ages the same way. Maybe I just don't want to think Atrus is really as blind/senile as canon would imply when he calls the person who is ultimately Dr. Watson "my friend" at the end, like he's still addressing the stranger from the first 4 games. It's touching when he says it to me, but it's sad when canon says he said it to someone else. Because like I said, I'm his friend :).

I am, though, someone who loves digging into the details beneath the surface (see aforementioned website administration). Back in 1998 or so, I realized that I could just email the fine folks who had made the games to ask them where D'ni was, and if it really existed (the Riven soundtrack booklet was really convincing to me as a 14-year-old :P). Of course, RAWA being RAWA, all I got back was a "we're not telling right now, for secrets"-type response (some things never change, including me being an occasional pain in RAWA's side ever since ;)). Undeterred, I took some time during our class trip to Washington DC to search the Smithsonian Natural History Museum's interactive earthquake history exhibit for anything that might correspond with what I (thought I) knew at the time about the historical context of the games' events – some time around the turn of the last century, Middle East (stupid camels) – to find where the soundings for the Great Shaft might have happened. Yes, I am a tremendous, colossal nerd. That's just how I enjoy things, and I'm glad that there's sufficient depth to the concept that it can support the weight of people like me prodding around the edges (for the most part ;)), while still being accessible to people who don't want to do that sort of thing to get enjoyment out of it. Perhaps my biggest peeve with Uru is how meta it's gotten since Prologue, which makes it harder to just jump into it like you can Myst. (*rubs his hands together evilly*)

*puts his headphones on and rocks out to Myst before going back to lurking*

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:27 pm 
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Alahmnat wrote:
laughingpineapple wrote:
I wanted answers to those questions and I still want to know a truckload of what I consider basic information (such as how Catherine's journals ended up in possession of the DRC and if that somehow factors in with her shady, shady death).

You may be the first person I've ever seen refer to Catherine's death as "shady". As far as I can tell, she's probably the only known member of Atrus' family who actually managed to die of natural causes (well, okay, Gehn probably did too on whatever hell-hole we left him after Riven). Sirrus got mind-wiped and Achenar got poisoned on Serenia, his mother died of complications during childbirth, Ti'ana died after visiting an Age and contracting something (as near as I can tell from the hints given in canon), Aitrus contracted a fatal case of lava planet, and Kahlis and Tasera died of the plague that destroyed D'ni.

Catherine, by comparison, seems to have gone at her appointed time, based on Atrus' monologue at the beginning of EoA. My understanding is that she left her journals somewhere in D'ni where they'd be found (perhaps K'veer, given how much of a nexus that island is. It's like the 1955 Hill Valley of D'ni...) should anyone from the surface rediscover it, but I dunno. Hey RAWA! ;)


I always felt like her death was implied more than anything. Who knows, her and Cho could be playing a game of Yahtzee for all I know. ;) Of course I think if the Book of Marrim had been made then her supposed death would have made a little more sense, with the whole Pillar of Cathrine thing in Releeshan. I always wondered if she was meant to be burred there?

K'veer the Hill Valley of Myst? "Yeesha, we don't have enough expanse to get up to 88?!" "Expanses; where we're going we don't need expanses." :)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:45 pm 
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perhaps the myst series suffers from a bad case of "we're making this up as we go along." which is by no means a bad thing. if that be the case it's a pretty talented bit of improv. the inherent problem with that approach is that inconsistencies manage to rear their ugly heads as the ongoing WIP changes and evolves like a life of its own, often for the better anyway, which is why such inconsistencies and "reality rewrites" can be easily forgiven, as far as i'm concerned.

myst was such a surprise hit. cyan imbued so much plausibility into myst but i dunno how much they were planning ahead for the long run. 20 years and six games later and several reiterations of the same games and the series has changed a lot! it can be difficult to keep up and manage all the details. myst became such a bfd and the series took off like an amateria coaster. new things were introduced that challenged existing conventions and for the sake of realism redactions had to be done to keep inconsistencies in check.

unless way back in 92 rand and rich were hammering out 20 years worth of d'ni cannon from their secret lair...

i think they did a good job, imo, evils of retconning regardless. all for the sake of bringing us a wondrous reality we can feel is as much of a real place as possible, no matter who's doing the work :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:33 pm 
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mr_jimmy wrote:
What have you been up to lately? Any new projects? What brought you to this forum? Being a key figure to the games that kept me sane through collage I just wanted to thank you. Also, are you thinking of a come back tour with Cyan?


Hi Jimmy... Great questions. Currently I'm working on a documentary called "The Immortal Augustus Gladstone". We're following a guy around who really believes he's immortal. He's lives in his own little world and it's hard to tell what's truth and what's fiction.

Funny enough, it was recently pointed out to me, like Myst, he lives in a "deserted, decaying, surreal place"... an vacant hotel. And he has his own library! Maybe that's why I was subconsciously interested in him!

Kuhlade, one of your members, told me about your forum.

And no, I won't be doing a tour with Cyan. :-)

Thanks for the great questions!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:39 pm 
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robynmiller wrote:
Currently I'm working on a documentary called "The Immortal Augustus Gladstone". We're following a guy around who really believes he's immortal. He's lives in his own little world and it's hard to tell what's truth and what's fiction.


It's kinda funny, but did anyone else notice that he looks a tiny bit like Robyn from the 90's?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:46 pm 
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So, I think there is a difference between something that isn't filled in, in the game (where the heck do people sleep in Myst?) also in resolving some small inconsistencies. To me that seems fundamentally different from a complete recast of something fundamental to the game, the concept of The Stranger. From a story perspective, it doesn't seem to be there in Myst. I realize I'm not exactly objective here, but I just can't see it. That seems fundamentally different from resolving inconsistencies. And of course, people can and do think whatever they want, and love filling in the details of the world. You know that Rawa, and you know that I know you know that!

Zardoz (think I'm responding to Zardoz, possibly others), we don't look at what's in someone's head when we review a work of literature, even if the author is still alive. When I read and review "Cavalier and Klay", I don't look to Michael Chabon to see what he meant to do. I read his book. If the world and the characters aren't what he intended, exactly, he doesn't get to fix it, to take it back. I don't look to Michael Chabon to see what he meant. I can, perhaps, looking at his other works, say in my review that it might not be what he intended, but the work is the final arbitrator. What's in the work is in the work. In visual art, the same thing happens. A family member taught life drawing at the college level. When she reviewed her students' work, and said, for example, "it looks like that person doesn't have an arm", the person would say "that's not what I meant". Her response, "it's not what you meant to do, it's what's on the paper, it's what people see". Historical works tend to have their own issues, because works are intended for an audience of the time and culture. When we read, for example the works of Jane Austen, we may see something different from what she intended. In the case of Jane Austin, I think it works out for us, the reader, fairly well, because what she writes about is still part of our culture. Some things make no sense unless we have at least a small understanding of the historical period and culture of the times. That's why, in some of the movies of Pride and Prejudice they, rather sweetly describe what is so horribly scarily awful about Jane's sister running off with an unmarried man -- the whole family sinks into destitution,

In Tolkien, I look at the books and the movie as two separate things, though the movie is based on the book. They tell slightly different stories and have their own internal consistencies and inconsistencies. That's the same with the games.

So, here's my question -- and yes, it drives me stark raving mad -- why do we put video games in a different category, which we do when we recast the player as The Stranger in Myst. This isn't resolving a minor inconsistency -- this is a significant recast to the game. We take something that is, as far as I can tell, simply not there, not there are all, not an inconsistency, not something left out, not a minor problem, and we say -- not it's not "you", it's not the player, you are playing as someone else. This isn't something that was done for what appears to be technical limitations. It appears to be a very fundamental change to the story, a change to something that is integral feature of the game.

That's what drives me crazy, why we don't seem to have the same respect for a work of art in video games that is commonly accepted in books, movies and visual art.

Now, perhaps it's different for a virtual world.. Rawa, I think, you could make a strong case that something about a virtual world is different. By its very nature, it thrives on extensions, additions, changes. In that case you could say that the virtual world is never done, it's always changing, and what's in someone's head, or on the whiteboard, or in a document, that applies to the virtual world. I think you could make the case for that, and it's a very interesting proposal.. So, in the world of D'ni, and Uru, your words are valuable, important, a resource, part of the creation. But, I just can't see it applying to the single player games, and the books in the same way. We can say that the books and the games may not represent the world of D'ni as seen in Uru. I think it make sense to say that. What I think is problematic -- putting a fundamental story change into a game, when it's just not there.

As always, comments gratefully encouraged.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:58 pm 
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Quote:
why do we put video games in a different category


some people do some people don't. i suppose it depends on an individuals level of respect and admiration for video games. i don't, and i certainly don't put Myst in a different category. and i certainly don't think Cyan does. they're responsible for proving that video games can indeed exist on the same level as books and films and other artistic mediums.

but if you're asking why all the retcon jobs in myst, my assumption is that the world builders didn't plan ahead.

cyan only initially wrote the story as far as riven. riven may not have ever even happened had myst not become such the success that it was. when hashing out myst back then uru wasn't even a seed of an idea in the designers minds yet. they didn't know what was coming and they weren't planning their fictional universe that far ahead...

but again, unless rand and rich were putting the finishing touches on the final draft of the explorers guide to the d'niverse way back in 92.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Thing that gets my panties in a wad is the fact that Cyan set the standard so high for adventure games that no one has been able to reach that level since. These are the kind of games I live (online or offline) to play. I'm going through some serious withdrawal. BC (before Cyan) there was Infocom. Now? Zip. Halp!

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 Post subject: Re: Age 37
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:25 pm 
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Free Bird wrote:
I can't help asking you another question... What did you think of the Rime Age that was added in RealMyst? Personally I really liked it, even though it felt a bit tacked on (which it was ;)). One of the few problems I had with Myst was that there was no real reward for completing it, and Rime fixed that. I also thought it was really clever how they later revisited the concept in Myst IV.


I shouldn't comment on RealMyst specifically, but any remake should reexamine all elements of the original (story, visuals, sound, "mood", staging, gameplay, music, etc...) and then improve on all of these areas. If this can't be accomplished, the remake is an insult to the audience and it shouldn't be made.

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 Post subject: 20 Year Anniversary Myst
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:41 pm 
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ThedStranger wrote:
Now what I REALLY wanna see, is the real realMyst, so we can say that playing that is not an adaption, but "the real" experience. Something so awesome that will blow our minds. I guess I have to keep waiting. :)


You'll be waiting for a very long time. If you really want something like this... an extremely real, awe-inspiring Myst, recreated from the ground up, maybe you should start a petition from the fans. Tell Cyan you don't want just another re-release of Myst. Or even a junky hi-res version of Myst (rendered from original low-res assets, or something like that). You want a Myst made from scratch, that blows you away. All new sound, all new visuals, all new acting, all new everything. It's been 20 years and you, the fans, deserve it. Petition Cyan... the fans really have the power... and if there's enough of you, it might even help them garner the funding for such a project!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:46 pm 
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Trekluver wrote:
So I thought of something to ask Robyn about. What was the reasoning behind changing the linking sound in Riven? Was it to add to the darker atmosphere? Was it because you didn't like it? I have wondered this for a long time, since it's the same in all of the other Cyan made games, and figured you are the only person who can answer the question


I created the Myst linking sound quickly. So when we got to Riven, I thought I could improve on it a bit, while still keeping the general sensibility. It was an artistic license.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:08 pm 
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Quote:
You'll be waiting for a very long time. If you really want something like this... an extremely real, awe-inspiring Myst, recreated from the ground up, maybe you should start a petition from the fans. Tell Cyan you don't want just another re-release of Myst. Or even a junky hi-res version of Myst (rendered from original low-res assets, or something like that). You want a Myst made from scratch, that blows you away. All new sound, all new visuals, all new acting, all new everything. It's been 20 years and you, the fans, deserve it. Petition Cyan... the fans really have the power... and if there's enough of you, it might even help them garner the funding for such a project!


That's a good idea, only that Cyan has no resources now. Their last game, "Bug Chucker", was an iPhone game. They have no means to create an expansive Myst remake. It will be recreating Myst almost from scratch. Actually, they do not have money for anything "serious" right now, I suppose. Maybe they will in the future.

Quote:
This isn't something that was done for what appears to be technical limitations. It appears to be a very fundamental change to the story, a change to something that is integral feature of the game.

That's what drives me crazy, why we don't seem to have the same respect for a work of art in video games that is commonly accepted in books, movies and visual art.


It's not that much of a change as you make it sound, really. It's not such a disgrace. It's just a different way to tell a story. Not even a story- the background.

Going back to LotR, is anyone angry that the book is based on Frodo's account, and not "the actual real thing"? maybe Frodo lied! maybe Bilbo lied! I've read that Rivendell, in "reality", isn't even called Rivendell! nobody called it Rivendell, since Rivendell is English. What's written in the book which Tolkien supposdly "translated" from the imaginary language "Westron", is Karningul. And Bilbo is called Bilba. These changes are in the backstory, they are not important for anyone who reads, or watch, LotR. That's why they rarely bother anyone, as far as I can see. Sorry I'm going back to LotR all the time, but it's almost the same thing.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:20 pm 
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ThedStranger wrote:
Quote:
You'll be waiting for a very long time. If you really want something like this... an extremely real, awe-inspiring Myst, recreated from the ground up, maybe you should start a petition from the fans. Tell Cyan you don't want just another re-release of Myst. Or even a junky hi-res version of Myst (rendered from original low-res assets, or something like that). You want a Myst made from scratch, that blows you away. All new sound, all new visuals, all new acting, all new everything. It's been 20 years and you, the fans, deserve it. Petition Cyan... the fans really have the power... and if there's enough of you, it might even help them garner the funding for such a project!


That's a good idea, only that Cyan has no resources now. Their last game, "Bug Chucker", was an iPhone game. They have no means to create an expansive Myst remake. It will be recreating Myst almost from scratch. Actually, they do not have money for anything "serious" right now, I suppose. Maybe they will in the future.


But if we can get the funds, it'd be exciting. I wouldn't want to see a Myst 6 that is just tacked on, I'd love to see something that fits in with the storyline (preferably before Yeesha). I'm not saying let's have a move in party at Tomahna, but there has to be something interesting that we've yet to come up with and explore thus far.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:22 pm 
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robynmiller wrote:
Kuhlade, one of your members, told me about your forum.


Just for the record, Kuhlade=Miranda2

(Miranda bops Mr. Miller over the head)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:44 pm 
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robynmiller wrote:
You'll be waiting for a very long time. If you really want something like this... an extremely real, awe-inspiring Myst, recreated from the ground up, maybe you should start a petition from the fans. Tell Cyan you don't want just another re-release of Myst. Or even a junky hi-res version of Myst (rendered from original low-res assets, or something like that). You want a Myst made from scratch, that blows you away. All new sound, all new visuals, all new acting, all new everything. It's been 20 years and you, the fans, deserve it. Petition Cyan... the fans really have the power... and if there's enough of you, it might even help them garner the funding for such a project!

Given the opportunity and just one chance at it, I suspect fans would choose realRiven over REALrealMyst for the project. realMyst is already there, inspiring or not, so realRiven would be a little less about doing what's already been done.

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