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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:09 pm 
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The big question to those concerned with integrating user-created content into URU is "how can we do this while staying true to the universe of Myst?" Put another way, how can we write Ages, not being D'ni? (though there is a hint that D'ni blood runs in some of us by way of some people that left the Cavern and never returned.) But to the point, how do we manage to integrate the content creation into the Uru universe? I believe I have thought of one way to do this.

Imagine an extension of the crystal viewer that Atrus made on Rime. Imagine that, instead of just seeing the Age, we could be in that space, manipulating things real-time instead of through the secondary interface of crystal colors.

1. We know that the D'ni have perfected image projection, both 2D and 3D, so then it's easy to take the next step: Placing using imagers on every wall of a large room, one could conceivably create 3D representations of an Age (or part of an Age) - basically a D'ni holodeck.

2. If the D'ni codified their writing rules into a computer program - we know they had some kind of computing power as evidenced by the Great Zero - the 3D representation could be disassembled into Writing structures.

3. If an automated printing press (or an overworked D'ni citizen, or a Bahro) could write those Writing structures into a Book, then it could create a linking book to the "virtual" age just described through the imaged design.

4. The Nexus is a vast structure that stores linking books to numerous ages. The only part of the Age we ever see is the cylindrical linking room. Imagine a method to transfer your newly created Book into the Nexus, perhaps something similar to the Bahro linking stone in Ercana. Then the newly minted Book can be accessed through the Nexus, and shared with whomever is interested.

5. The holodeck, the computer, and the printing press are located in its own Writer's/Maintainer's Age. The maintainers had Gahreesen for security and training, why not have an Age designed for Age experimentation and Writing verification? The D'ni might have used this Age to test their Books for contradictions, or as alternative Age creation method where Artisans, Sculptors, and Engineers could build in a more "hands-on" perspective.

There you have it, a self-contained "Age Editor" that is in character, supported by D'ni technology, and even has a D'ni-relevant reason for existence.

I know people will argue over specific points of this post and quibble over this and that, and that's fine, all I ask is for you to think broadly about this subject - What If? Everything I mention is certainly possible by today's computing standards and plausible by what we know of the D'ni already (as outlined above). What do you think?

edit: spelling

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:13 pm 
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Not a holodeck, NOOOO!!! You have any idea how many people that the holodeck on the Enterprise killed?!? :P


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:20 pm 
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The only problem I see in that is that one of the things that makes Myst games so intriguing is that these world are real. (You know what I mean.) We like to imagine that we're touching a book and going to an actual other world. We can go into a virtual world anywhere with online games these days. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:20 am 
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Congrats you just invinted the school at the writers guild! :shock: :D

Rough drafting student ages as holograms is so much safer then actually letting them put pen to paper. This would allow for some very visual lessons on why contradictions in your writing is so bad. (Without the lesson being so final)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:03 am 
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Kestr'l wrote:
The big question to those concerned with integrating user-created content into URU is "how can we do this while staying true to the universe of Myst?" Put another way, how can we write Ages, not being D'ni? (though there is a hint that D'ni blood runs in some of us by way of some people that left the Cavern and never returned.)

The ahrotahntee can Write Books. Catherine can Write, although she is neither of D'ni nor Terahnee blood, for she is Rivenese. So this entire "workaround" process is not needed. We would just need to learn to Write.

However, as a standalone idea it is pretty intriguing, although I don't think I would really like it in Myst Online.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:43 am 
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Ichabod_L wrote:
Kestr'l wrote:
The big question to those concerned with integrating user-created content into URU is "how can we do this while staying true to the universe of Myst?" Put another way, how can we write Ages, not being D'ni? (though there is a hint that D'ni blood runs in some of us by way of some people that left the Cavern and never returned.)

The ahrotahntee can Write Books. Catherine can Write, although she is neither of D'ni nor Terahnee blood, for she is Rivenese. So this entire "workaround" process is not needed. We would just need to learn to Write.

However, as a standalone idea it is pretty intriguing, although I don't think I would really like it in Myst Online.



Emphasis mine, because...

"just" isn't quite the right word. The D'ni who joined the Guild of Writers trained for 50 years or so before becoming remotely proficient in the art. With our lifespan, it's not very feasable.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:01 am 
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Maratanos wrote:
Ichabod_L wrote:
Kestr'l wrote:
The big question to those concerned with integrating user-created content into URU is "how can we do this while staying true to the universe of Myst?" Put another way, how can we write Ages, not being D'ni? (though there is a hint that D'ni blood runs in some of us by way of some people that left the Cavern and never returned.)

The ahrotahntee can Write Books. Catherine can Write, although she is neither of D'ni nor Terahnee blood, for she is Rivenese. So this entire "workaround" process is not needed. We would just need to learn to Write.

However, as a standalone idea it is pretty intriguing, although I don't think I would really like it in Myst Online.



Emphasis mine, because...

"just" isn't quite the right word. The D'ni who joined the Guild of Writers trained for 50 years or so before becoming remotely proficient in the art. With our lifespan, it's not very feasable.

I know that "just" was a big understatement, I just meant we didn't also have to be of D'ni blood like Kestr'l said in the first post.

I don't even think that having user-created Ages is a good idea, because I think the only way it would work would be to write books which of course would take way to long to learn. Unless Cyan implemented a workaround, which I think is just cheap. :(


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:36 am 
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Thanks for the good points, especially about Catherine not being D'ni but still able to Write.

Maybe my point wasn't clear - First, you build your Age in the imaging room, then you "compile" it into Writing structures, a match is found along the Tree of Probabilities, then a Book is actually "printed" or "Written" so that you then have an actual Age that matches the virtual Age you just described. It would be an extrapolation of Rime's crystals searching along the paths of the Great Tree, but instead of randomly picking a crystal, you "design" the Age virtually and the machines find a real analogue within the "Treespace."

In effect, the Ages that are created in this way start out as virtual figments, but in their final form they are as real as Riven or Myst or the Cavern itself. [spoiler=OOC](this sounds rather ironic, a virtual place where you can build other virtual places, which become "real"...)[/spoiler]

The problem with User-generated content is that it would lack the earmarks of D'ni culture, iconography, and workmanship. But this Crafting Chamber frees us from that chokehold. We can create any Age, and not feel beholden to D'ni architecture, etc. However, I would guess that it would be much easier to use premade, D'ni, materials in the Crafting Chamber than to create our own, so thematic coherence could be maintained through that control.

Get it? An interactive Book Writer. No D'ni language skill necessary!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:20 am 
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I agree. We need content creation tools in Uru even more than storyline / content stuffs.

Some people are gonna say its not worth it because some ages would be poorly constructed, and that it is hard to do.

And well, both are a good thing. :wink:

Poorly constructed ages are completly In Character (just imagine someone like Ghen, only more impatient) If the age is poor, people wont want to visit, no one will care, it will drift off into a corner of irrelivence. The good ages will become popular, will spread by word-of-mouth and internet / ect.

And to those who claim it shouldnt be done cause its too hard for an "avarage" person to do. Well, thats the point! Ages are supposed to be hard, IC and OOC. But even if you never learn, or most never learn, you still benefit from these tools because other people create ages for you to play in for free!

Content creation tools arent for you, there for us! There for the people at...

http://www.aveara.com/
http://www.tsahno.com/multi.htm
http://www.dnilegacy.com/dnilegacy/
http://www.agesofilathid.com/en/gall.htm

By promoting the creation of Fan-Content tools, you, and the entire community benefit even if you never see, or use, or learn the tools yourself, because these ages are created for the common good.

its a perfect situation, everybody wins!

Please, please, please, support fan-created content in any way, regardless of how its explained in the "story". Some of us are desperately holding on to the last thread of hope that they may eventually come. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:44 am 
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It may be that Cyan could go down two paths in enabling explorers to modify existing or create new ages. We know they are thinking of restoring the Guilds. We do not yet know what this means. We know that Yeesha and the Bahro at the end of the journey ask us to take sides either with her or the others (presumably the DRC).

It seems that in realtime development that Age Building would entail the use of fairly sophisticated toolsets: 3D Max, Maya, Blender(Open Source) for modeling; GameStudio/GameSpace or even more expensive rendering tools; the use of the Ageia PhysX engine; knowledge of python, c script, visual c++, Delphi, or other programming languages; plus, sound and video editing equipment and software.

So I don't see this path as realistic (although I will never say it is not possible, anything humans aspire too is not only possible but magical), so I think Cyan means something else when they speak of letting users modify or create new ages. Maybe they will apprentice explorers to guilds and allow for a slow process of in game toolsets that will have features that will allow for Age options: type, setting, season, details in rock, forest, etc. And each person in the Guild would be assigned a role and task in this process of Age building.

This would be an organized effort among many teams in competition to invent the most interesting Ages. The Guild of Architiects and Surveyors would assign missions of structural integrity, model engineering efficiency, et al...

Other teams would be assigned to the Guild of Archives to study and translate the existing documents from D'ni into English, French, Italian, and German, and any other country within the Cavern population.

The idea is that with a structured polity of citizens able to enter into and become a part of the effort of creating a New Age it might make the long term effort of the true developers behind the scene at Cyan have time to create each level and age as we become part of it.

How would this be possible:

1) Cyan would provide not real tools, but a series of adventures that would lead to certain explorers uncovering D'ni technology that had to do with the Great Art. Many aspects went into the Great Art besides the Linking books and the Guild of Writers, each of the Guilds played a role in the complete effort of Age Building and Design.

2) Explorers choose the Guild they feel most comfortable with, as well as the guild that they might offer unique abilities that would interests them and keep them busy.

3) The tools uncovered and the discovery of their use will slowly coincide with the timeline of Cyan in their parallel development of an Age. The explorers will learn to use the strange D'ni technology but will be guided to choose certain options over others, which will be secretly recorded in Cyan's database of options and allow them to program their real Ages based upon collated data they receive from user input.

I could see team using many types of unusual D'ni technology and learning to use it in parallel with the actual development by Cyan. We might have new toolsets with screens that offer sets of D'ni liguistic learning tools, math, and advance Age building knowledge with mapping techniques, and writing guides from past master of the Art left to be translated into the appropriate language of explorers.

All this would entail a reorganization of the Cavern experience in which the DRC or Yeesha/Bahro would recruit explorers to work with them in the different efforts at worldbuilding.

Who knows where this might lead? Either way we need some new form of mission and polity within the Cavern to realize the full mystery of Myst...

just my 2 cents... earthwiz

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:46 pm 
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Quote:
I think Cyan means something else when they speak of letting users modify or create new ages. Maybe they will apprentice explorers to guilds and allow for a slow process of in game toolsets that will have features that will allow for Age options: type, setting, season, details in rock, forest, etc. And each person in the Guild would be assigned a role and task in this process of Age building.

This would be an organized effort among many teams in competition to invent the most interesting Ages. The Guild of Architiects and Surveyors would assign missions of structural integrity, model engineering efficiency, et al...

The idea is that with a structured polity of citizens able to enter into and become a part of the effort of creating a New Age it might make the long term effort of the true developers behind the scene at Cyan have time to create each level and age as we become part of it.


If I understand this right, your advocating a complicated IC explination for why Cyan needs time OOC to create ages. As you say, it takes a long time so that the true developers behind the scene at Cyan can make the age.

And thats great, it would be cool to have some kind of active part of the DRC / "guilds" whatever it is they do.

But it isnt user-created content, its Cyan-created content.

Quote:
It seems that in realtime development that Age Building would entail the use of fairly sophisticated toolsets: 3D Max, Maya, Blender(Open Source) for modeling; GameStudio/GameSpace or even more expensive rendering tools; the use of the Ageia PhysX engine; knowledge of python, c script, visual c++, Delphi, or other programming languages; plus, sound and video editing equipment and software.

So I don't see this path as realistic


I'm not sure why that isn't realistic, as that is, to my knowledge, how age developement and most game developement is currently done. Yes, it takes time, and work. But it isnt quite as difficult as it seems.

You shouldnt need to know C++, Delphi, or other programming languages, since you wouldnt be programming anything (other than python files for the ages) Yes, you would probably need some experience with an image editor and sound software. You would need to be able to model and texture ages using an editor like Blender or 3Dstudio Max

And yes, most people probably wouldnt go to the trouble to make stuff with these tools.

My point is, your not supposed to. If you see words like "3D Studio Max, Python, Modeling, and Texturing" and your eyes glaze over, these tools aren't ment for you. Your welcome to learn, and its not as hard as many would have you believe. But please, dont ever let someone say we shouldnt have these tools because they dont know how, or dont desire to learn how to use them

Quote:
so I think Cyan means something else when they speak of letting users modify or create new ages.


I hope not. It's not truely your age, or a new age, if Cyan makes it for you and says "here, turn on and off your Age Pages to "customize" it as you want it." And I fear any in-game age creation will resort to something close to that.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:26 pm 
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I don't really see what the problem is, Atrus learned to write in around 3 years.

I've just been saying that since the DRC pulled out I have been in D'ni studying the Art and all and have began experimenting in Age writing. Simple and feasible explanation


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:17 pm 
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Maxsilver5721 wrote:

If I understand this right, your advocating a complicated IC explination for why Cyan needs time OOC to create ages. As you say, it takes a long time so that the true developers behind the scene at Cyan can make the age.

And thats great, it would be cool to have some kind of active part of the DRC / "guilds" whatever it is they do.

But it isnt user-created content, its Cyan-created content.



I'm not sure why that isn't realistic, as that is, to my knowledge, how age developement and most game developement is currently done. Yes, it takes time, and work. But it isnt quite as difficult as it seems.

You shouldnt need to know C++, Delphi, or other programming languages, since you wouldnt be programming anything (other than python files for the ages) Yes, you would probably need some experience with an image editor and sound software. You would need to be able to model and texture ages using an editor like Blender or 3Dstudio Max

And yes, most people probably wouldnt go to the trouble to make stuff with these tools.


No, I'm not advocating anything, in fact before the Shards were shut down, and even with Myst V and Uru, PoTs.... et. al. you can work with the code even now. There are a couple of forums that will guide you through the steps for this:

Cobbs: click here.

ALCUGS: click here.

Everything you need to work on the existing Myst V or Uru cd versions is there... the only major change that I can see in the Uru:Live is the use of AGEIA's PhysX as compared to the Plasma Engine for the CD/DVD versions...

What I was suggesting is not that we could not do it, but that Cyan might have other plans in the works.... what those plans are they have not revealed to us as yet. There is a thread started originally by maztec speculating about the types of tools people would like to see for the new MOUL: click here.

I would love to see these things come about and work with both existing toolsets as in Cobbs and ALCUGS, but also be able to extend and use the high-end tools as well for more of the surreal and fantastic realist perspective that they bring to the plate. And, as much as I like python, it is still an interpreter based program and language rather than a fully compiled language which is used in other frameworks such as GameStudio, and Unreal or other frameworks and toolsets...

But the great thing about MOUL is that they do use mostly Open Source so the tools are freely available. If you want to use Blender the best place to start is: click here.

The only other issue you will face is to make sure to check out Cyan's legal information on anything you might do. GreyDragon on this forum would probably be the best source of knowledge on this.
enjoy the ride - earthwiz 8)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:10 pm 
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The amount of programming needed shouldn't be too much, I think if you look at the Hlaf-Life editor, you could get complicated behaviors via GUI-manipulated objects. The majority or Uru's puzzles are push-button, change-state kinds of puzzles, which shouldn't be too difficult to replicate in a GUI-based environment. SL has IC dev tools which scale with experience - novices can create things with little programming experience, and more advanced users can do more complicated things with scripts. Why not have the same kind of ability scale/learning curve in Uru?

Earthwiz's idea of having Ages be built in Guilds dovetails nicely with the Creation Chamber idea - like everything else in Uru, you can choose to go alone, or be in a group, and the results will vary according to the time and effort spent.

However, I don't think that our work in the Guilds should be some kind of "placebo action" for the explorers while the developers are actually creating the Age. It would be better if Cyan could "ousource" some models, etc to players while working on their (Cyan's) age, but giving the Guilds real power to build their own original Ages is what people will work for. The "placebo action", OTOH, will lose popularity as soon as people realize that it is kind of a sham - they're not really creating anything.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:40 pm 
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From a recent interview from Rand Miller I found some nice thoughts for us on this thread:

Full interview: http://www.joystiq.com/2006/09/28/joyst ... an-worlds/

Rand Miller wrote:
Explain how players will build ages. How far along are you to making that happen?

Rand Miller: Well to begin with, we want to give people the same tools we have. We've got a lot of expertise and experience, so our ages can get pretty sophisticated, but it doesn't mean that we can't make those same tools available to some people.

We're always amazed at what our fans are able to accomplish, frankly, and by making those tools available, I think we'll be even more surprised. We've held back on that because we want to make sure we've got the final version of the engine, so we're not switching those tools up on people so they don't lose their work. But that'll be the first step. Essentially what we're creating in the mythology of all this is a writer's guild.

People can learn to write ages using the tools, and they'll write ages and become better and better at it. And then we even want a guild that facilitates that, that lets them explore their own ages and keep them somewhat separate from ours but with ways to get to them.

But eventually while they're doing that, we want to improve the tools as well, so you don't have to be quite so sophisticated to build the worlds. And later on down the line, it's much easier to say, "I can take this piece of this world, and this one of this one, and this one of this one, and make my own space that feels much more personalized." And that's the stuff that we'll work on as well.

When will people be able to start building ages?

Rand Miller: Some of it is resource-based. We would like to release those tools after the first six months -- and there are pieces of that that are already being put in place behind the scenes. We're trying to set up some structures with people, and there are some fans that already kind of know about that.

Yeah, that's a very exciting aspect of all of this.

Mark Dobratz: There might be some smaller pieces we can put in place before that, too, clothing design, or something a little simpler that's a little more straightforward for people who have bright ideas to bring to the game.


that should help fill the gap on where Cyan is heading... :)

And, yours truly, will abandon the Guild of Illusionists for the Guild of Fine Artists and even become a lesser apprentice of the Guild of Writers if they allow it.... :wink:

Either way, I can't wait till they finalize the PhysX Engine so that the tools will be available...

enjoy the ride, earthwiz

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