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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:02 pm 
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No, except for one thing: we have absolutely no IC idea of how the Book works, we have no idea if just erasing the ink would work. And as for the Relto Book specifically for all we know it could be physically different from regular Books. In which case simply copying its text in another Book wouldn't work.

Unless the Relto book is physically abnormal, that should be the only barrier- it's a given that player-characters have the ability to write books, no? And of course, there's the what-if-I-copy-every-aspect-of-a-book-I-wrote-but-just-move-a-lawn-chair-one-foot-to-the-left question regarding "copying" ages.

[spoiler]Are you sure it's not like this?[/spoiler] (guess not)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:36 pm 
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I agree there's always a way to shoehorn Relto-type books in our new Explorer-made Dniverse.
But the truth is I don't like the Relto Book.
I love the Age, but the Book itself is a problem...

It is very useful as a gameplay device: it avoids you getting lost, or stuck (or dead :shock: ), and to a certain extent it was almost a necessity for the online game.. (or at least it solves a number of problems) But I don't like it because its abilitiy to link with you makes things too easy... One of the things I enjoy the most in the Myst games is that you are lost, you are in some remote abandonned place with no way out; so you have to explore that place and overcome whatever obstacles you meet to go somewhere else.. Having the Relto Book destroy that feeling. When people get stuck in an Age because of a puzzle or simply because they are lost, they just say "oh well, I'll go back to Relto and I'll come back here some other day...". Bummer.
Even if I don't use that book myself unless I have no other choice I always see it, sitting on my side tempting me, telling me to get out of the Age, reminding me that I'm not really lost or stuck, that it's all an illusion and I can go wherever I want..
I find it quite annoying and distracting.
Again I know that this book was probably a necessity for the online game. I enjoy getting lost, and I enjoy challenges. It's no surprise that several Age creators have disabled the Relto book in their Ages (just like it is in the Bahro caves), I totally understand that. (although it is difficult to explain IC; but that's a different problem)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:03 am 
See, that never bothered me, because it made up for the fact that the network of Ages and Linking Books that we inherited was broken. The D'ni would never have been stuck anywhere, even though they didn't have Relto-type books. Being stuck in the place was a necessity in the stand-alone games, because otherwise there was no incentive to find out what was going on. In an open-ended thing like Uru it would just be an endlessly repeated frustration--"oh right, now I have to go through all this Age before I can get anywhere else." It would introduce an unrealistic linearity. That's the way I look at it, anyway.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:27 am 
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Eh, agreed.

Also mind, players return to Relto when they log off, no? Which could break the continuity of an age which takes multiple sittings for someone to complete (and remember, a sitting might only be 10-15 minutes for some people). If you want it that way, though... guess what? Turn out books are jammed by radio jammers. Who woulda figured? :P

Go ahead and BS up whatever you want. And of course, if the Relto book only links to the start of an age, then it's not a problem to have the player leave and come back- ideally their puzzles remain compelted and paths opened, however. It does suck to repeat things...

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:41 am 
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Aloys

I think you make a very good point with respect to the Relto book. I'd never really thought about it, but it does explain a lot about the different dynamics of Uru vs the classic Myst games. I knew there was a difference, but I'd never really thought much of this aspect.

It's easier to think about if you compare the feel of offline Uru eg ABM with classic Myst games, which is probably where many of us started playing Uru. Even without a multiplayer element, it felt different (it actually took me a while to start to like it!) and there are lots of possible reasons - having an avatar, having complete freedom to move, having jumps and time-based challenges, different graphics quality. All of those seemed like the obvious reasons, but maybe the more subtle one of the Relto book is as important.

However, like you I can't really see how to avoid it. We need a way to avoid death :shock: and taking Sensei's post there is also an issue about where you go to when you log off. In a multiplayer game that's a problem because there's no easy way to leave players where they were for the time they are offline. The whole place would fill up with sleeping avatars - it would look so untidy! :)

Sorry - no answers there, but I think it's another important aspect of the "Relto problem."


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:03 pm 
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I just stumbled upon this thread, so I have some random thoughts. Er, about the thread, I mean. :lol:

Firstly, you probably noticed (in the online game) that whenever someone had wandered off from their computer for too long, there would be a notice in chat that read, "[Name] is on the surface." (Sadly, I've forgotten the rest of the notice.)

The point here is that Relto is your home base. You don't really live there, you live in your regular home, apartment, cave, whatever in your real life. You merely visit Uru, but you start at Relto, because that's where all the linking books and whatnot are.

Secondly, Relto is integral to solving certain Ages, which I won't go into here because of spoiler issues. And yes, it's a lifeline.

Thirdly, yes, we need better customizable (well, I didn't get a spell-check alert, so it must be a real word) options for Relto. The ol' "Well, I'll just turn this Relto page off and that one back on" option is extremely limited. And then, there are some very odd Relto cards that freaked out a lot of people, especially one of the Er'cana cards. Yes, THAT one.

Perhaps the solution is... even more Relto cards, but with new textures, or at least the option to upload your own. I also wonder if Age creators will be able to leave Relto cards - and clothing! - in their Ages.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:24 pm 
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I have several common points with Aloys, however, I've more pros than cons regarding the Relto Book. In most games when you die the restart is unnatural - deux ex machina, you rise from the dead and start over from where you died or at the beginning of the chapter or an automatic save point. The Relto Book solution is much more realistic, IC-realistic, I mean. There are and always will be lazy explorers, who would like to continue where the accident took place from. By the way, Cyan also made some concessions to players frustrating too easily: in MOUL the starting place was moved from the desert to Relto (contrary to story-line logic), and back in 2003 in the first beta, some jumps were more difficult to do. Nevertheless, making the gameplay easier in that way should be minimized in spite of whining.

The Relto-book need not to work everywhere - the known example is the Bahro cave. Into future user made ages similar situations could also be embedded - the high iron ore content of the rocks around may prevent it from functioning properly.

My fear is that with the appearing of very different user-made Ages the "uruness" of Uru will fall to pieces. The writers have a natural creative desire that they absolutely master their ages and do whatever they want - in this case "uruness" might suffer. When the new online URU will be available, IMHO the Guilds controlling it should devide the newly available ages to uru-like ages and myst-like ages. The former are faithful to Uru, are more or less canon and could be added to the online game. The latter might be whatever private ages and would be downloadable with ULM to add to Uru CC.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:14 am 
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Note: Replacing 'uru' and 'mystlike' with online and singleplayer, yeah, that makes sense. However, remember that instances can be used when a situation needs to be tackled alone.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:06 am 
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TOOO, you make a very good point about Relto being home base, but not home. In my personal IC-space, my Uru journaling, I always thought of Relto as the place I arrive at - from home - whenever I enter the D'ni-verse. Kind of like an office, but not quite. :wink: Relto has a lot of symbolic value, as a remembrance of Myst, and a place to gather personal markers of one's own journey. I've never seen it as a dwelling.

Even so, and even though I grew to like being in Relto, I have never considered it a particularly inviting place, especially to the newly arrived. Just a few things to give at least the illusion that one might rest there for a while - a cot in the hut, a table or desk, more places to sit down - would do wonders. I might go beyond that and suggest that a social space - benches around a campfire or whatever - where one might spend some quiet time with guests, would make it even more comfortable and homelike, but that function is fulfilled by neighborhoods (which could use more seating too!). Eders Kemo, Delin and Tsogahl were also nice places to have quiet conversations in a small group.

I guess my point is that I like Relto in exactly the role it has played in the past, but some improvements could be made.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:35 am 
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I suggested some time ago that maybe when you start the game the avvie could emerge from a door into the hut space, or maybe from a trapdoor under the rug, and go back into it when you quit. Nobody paid any attention, as I recall, but I'm used to that.


holy cow, that makes sense...

Of course, people would then complain that they can't see the room your avvie is secretly visiting when you're away.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:20 am 
Possibly. One thing that will never change is that people will complain. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:28 am 
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That might actually be a good programming workaround to have a customizable space without having to argue about plausibility in the general game world and not risking problems with Relto's bookshelf/pillars.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:54 am 
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I've always liked Relto as my home, though I would have liked it if the hut was a little bigger and had a cot, a place to store food and supplies and a door to a room with personal "'amenitites" - would not have to open in the game, we can just know it's there. I like being able to enter the interior of the hut. It's nice and it breaks up the space. After we got the rug and a better roof, the hut was pretty nice, if still too small and no cot.

In one incarnation (maybe solo player Uru, expansion pack, can't remember) - there was a page for a fireplace. That was nice. I also really liked the pool that you got with a Relto page (one incarnation of Uru) - I used to sit in my pool. I would have liked the pool to be bigger, so I could swim. And I really liked the dock. The fire marbles (was that still solo player?) Relto page was nice too - adding some light and objects to move around.

I do think Uru should have started out in a multiplayer space - make the cleft both multiplayer and solo player. Some areas of the cleft are multiplayer, where you start out. Puzzle solving is done in a solo player space - divide up the cleft into solo player (instanced of course) and multiplayer space. Also cut down on the number of puzzles - the cleft is not an end - it's a gateway. I'd also make it super easy to get the KI, in the cleft.

I would like to keep Relto as my home. Having an apartment in the city would also be nice.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:49 pm 
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I don't see the use of having a secret unvisitable hiding spot in a Myst game named YOU ARE YOU, not "you are you except for certain circumstances." Would have to edit the geometry, add some stuff...the good ol'-fashioned fade out isn't going against the Myst universe's known workings, after all.

Best solution is to build Relto Replacements, and build into the new client some functionality for letting people choose their actual home Age. If we're lucky Cyan will allow Relto to be edited (I think that was ruled out, though, wasn't it).

Sure, there was the stuff in RealMyst, but you could get to it in that game. It was sorta retrofitted to the original game concept.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:18 pm 
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My 2 cents. I have liked Relto from the first time I saw it. I like how it can be modified IC as well. I believe it is meant to be personalized. In theory, everyone has different desires, styles, wants. With enough options everyone would have a different Relto.

Relto won't please everyone. It would be nice to be allowed a private residence somewhere in the cavern as well.

Against the argument that Relto is hidden and unvisitable, Relto can be shared with others. You can invite your friends to visit your Relto. I can think of other games I've played where a customizable home serves little purpose except as extra storage. What point is customization if you can't show it off to others?

I would agree that Relto should have some more homey features like mszv and others suggest.

On the argument if IC copying of Relto...

[spoiler]
Lore wise, there is plenty of evidence in Riven to prove that D'ni language alone cannot create a Linking Book. Only the right paper, the right ink, and the right words will produce a functional link. (This much I know is cannon, I'm a little fuzzy on the "Descriptive Book" concept as I read somewhere it was not cannon. An official answer, or link to where this is officially stated would be appreciated.)

I would submit that Relto, as a book, may have more in common with the Bahro way of linking. The Relto book is much smaller than any D'ni linking book. I would argue that Relto is dynamic in ways that no D'ni age has ever been. (I have a basis for this statement based on evidence found in Myst and Riven.)

IC We know even less about the Bahro than we do of D'ni. I would think it impossible for us to rewrite or replicate Relto.
[/spoiler]


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