New Proposal for Discussion

General debates and discussion about the Guild of Writers and Age creation

New Proposal for Discussion

Postby J'Kla » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:04 am

Project Proposal Background:

Over the years this community has built to a stage where I believe we may be ready for a new project.
None of the following is fixed and it should be seen as a discussion document I would suggest that any idea that comes from it should be run past Cyan to see if they have any objections.

Consider the following:

We have a common language we all understand with respect to the gaming environment embodied by what we should probably call the “Myst Uru Gaming Universe”.
The terms that spring to mind are:

Ages.

Linking.

Linking Books.

Linking tapestries.

KI.

Relto.

Relto Pages

The Desert.

Neighbourhood.

Neighbourhood membership.

City.

Nexus.

Shared Age (visiting).

Guest.

Age Run.

Bharo.

Bharo Pillar.

There are also some background terms applicable to age building like:

Shard

Alcugs.

Vault.

Dirtsand.

Sequence Prefix.

Avatar.

Age instance.

Shared Age Instance.

Personal Age Instance.

Yeesha Magic.

I am sure there are others. For a lot of the above terms there are also some accepted short hands like hood and avie.

The Proposal:

The core of my proposal is some totally new universe of worlds (ages) that has some new start point a new version of “The Desert” (I have considered a desert island at the start of the game the player would swim ashore) that would use some method of transportation (Linking) between a new home instance (Relto).

The mythos of Uru involves your introduction to the ages by Yeesha if this is to fall outside the Myst Uru universe then we would require some introduction to the environment.

Even within the Myst Uru Universe there are some things that are never explained like the garden ages where you have the group opening of a door and on running into a cave you link to some other place where you can acquire a bharo stone an animated artefact that is added to your personal relto.
Admitted this is a subset of “Yeesha Magic”.

I always (and this is personal) that there was a trick missed in that the same ages that were used to obtain the Bharo pillars were the same ages used to return the Bharo Pillars.

Or even if the same ages were used then a different set of Journey cloths in different locations were initialised based on having the Bharo Pillar and these were used to return the pillars to some new location.

What I am suggesting is that we initially have a working group where we set up something similar to Dirtsand for personal non Uru age building and a “Shared Testing Shard” something like Deep Island or Ghen where we could test a shared experience leading ultimately to a “Game Shard” name unknown where this new game could be played and tested by Beta users.

That this would use the game engine as it exists but where the mythos would not be subject to “Yeesha Magic”.
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Re: New Proposal for Discussion

Postby Deledrius » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:40 am

I know that Tweek has considered something similar to your idea here (Vaal’lin), and so have I. There are even whole existing franchises such as Stargate which share a lot of thematic and mechanical similarities in how they move the characters through the story and worlds.

It would definitely be a good idea to move away from the Myst-specific features if anyone wanted to create their own game without needing Cyan's legal permission for every aspect.

J'Kla wrote:I always (and this is personal) that there was a trick missed in that the same ages that were used to obtain the Bharo pillars were the same ages used to return the Bharo Pillars.

Or even if the same ages were used then a different set of Journey cloths in different locations were initialised based on having the Bharo Pillar and these were used to return the pillars to some new location.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but we do return the pillars to a new location. It's actually a core part of that entire story.
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Re: New Proposal for Discussion

Postby J'Kla » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:57 am

No I was just suggesting that it allways puzzled me that a level of gameplay complexity was missed. Yes we return them to a new place but the path is unchanged.

Also I would suggest a whole new Universe where we would use the existing knowledge of for example Linking but where we give it a new name but keep the underlying concept of moving to a new age or some new place. A place we could use our existing Age building skills.

All I am saying is we have a shared common language where we understand those named concepts.

I have had some time to think and wondered if we could implement the concept of an inventory and for that matter a shared inventory where one avatar brings one item and a second avatar brings a second maybe where the first was only available to male avatars and the second to female.

Placing the items on a table or in some machine would alow the players to make a new third item available to either or both in order to progress the game.

I also would like to think the non violent panic relto (non death) inherent in the Myst Uru Universe could be preserved as there are lots of games out there featuring avatar death and first person shooting and it is the exclusion of that non dying non killing that I find appealing about the Myst Uru Universe.

Also I find the idea of a shared problem solving apealing here I am thinking specificaly about the situation where you must combine with other players to solve a particular puzzle as in Ahononay.

I would also like to make any given colaboration puzzle have a work around for solo users but where there were different rewards for solo and colaboration solutions.

I believe Vall'lin is still within the Myst Uru Universe just not in the Yeesha timeframe such that it uses scrolls not books. (I am open to correction on this)
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Re: New Proposal for Discussion

Postby Tweek » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:38 am

Originally Vaal'lin was going to be an Age you could reach in Uru via another Age. Once there you'd discover a race (or two) that had the ability to Write Ages who were completely unconnected to the D'ni (original drafts of the idea hinted at D'ni being discovered by them early in their history). Instead of terms like Ages, Linking and so forth they used more mathematical terms like Equation, Fractal and so forth (I do have all the terms written down somewhere).

The idea of using scrolls was just to give it a different flavor to the old Linking Books we are familiar with.

Ah here we go

The Art - The Grand Formula
Gahrohertee - constants and variables (vaal'lin word is a mixture of both words as one).
Age(s) - Equation(s)
Descriptive Book - Prime Scrolls (Monad?)
Linking Book - Scrolls
New book - Blank Scrolls
Link - Paths
Great Tree - Fractal

I did a ridiculous amount of world building for Vaal'lin to the point where it moved away from being anything Myst/D'ni related and becoming it's own thing (the concepts of being able to access other worlds stayed but the mechanism changed (although the mathematical terms used to describe the processes/elements remain).
Beneath - IC Blog.
Beneath: Ages of Tweek - FB Age Dev Page.
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Re: New Proposal for Discussion

Postby J'Kla » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:34 am

DISCUSSION:

I have had a weekend mulling this over, I like the idea of using a society that branched from the D’ni before the cavern existence I would like to have ages that stick with the base 25 number system it gives the basis for lots of puzzles and allows us to add the parts that are missing in Uru.

For example, there are no symbols (yet) for plus, minus, multiply, divide, equality, index (raised to the power of) degree, and there must be something that relates to decimal point and percentage. However, these last two have names and concepts with embedded base ten as they both rely on a one hundred divisor.

One of my ideas for D’ni I used in Enobmort was the abacus but for base twenty-five I would have used a principal borrowed from the Japanese Soroban abacus it needs fewer beads and for base twenty-five you can use four beads for the lower set and four for the upper. With four columns in base twenty-five you can achieve significantly high numbers.

There would also need to be new numbers to get a separation from Cyan’s D’ni numbers but the core concept of a base five quarter rotation to achieve base twenty-five is good and something that could be considered core.

I have some ideas for this but they are only worth exploring if we choose to adopt my base twenty-five idea.

There are other arguments for choosing base twenty-five.

Another route could be to build a mathematical core around the Babalonian base sixty and of course we could use base eight, binary or base ten but I feel these lack the depth of available mathematical based puzzles.
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Re: New Proposal for Discussion

Postby Deledrius » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:12 am

J'Kla wrote:For example, there are no symbols (yet) for plus, minus, multiply, divide, equality, index (raised to the power of) degree, and there must be something that relates to decimal point and percentage. However, these last two have names and concepts with embedded base ten as they both rely on a one hundred divisor.

The names are derived from 10 and 100, yes, but the concept is universal. Positional notation can easily represent fractional values of base 25 as well. Just as the decimal system uses:

Code: Select all
Digit:    4    3    2    1  . (separator)    1    2     3
Value:   10³  10²  10¹  10⁰                  10⁻¹  10⁻²  10⁻³


So, too, would this hold for base 25:

Code: Select all
Digit:    4    3    2    1  . (separator)    1    2     3
Value:   25³  25²  25¹  25⁰                  25⁻¹  25⁻²  25⁻³


I agree it would be interesting to see how D'ni notation looks, and how much variety there is. There have been many ways to write even the fundamental operations here among the cultures of the Earth, and even today there are often multiple ways to represent the same concept.

J'Kla wrote:Another route could be to build a mathematical core around the Babylonian base sixty and of course we could use base eight, binary or base ten but I feel these lack the depth of available mathematical based puzzles.

Babylonian is an interesting one to mention, because they had a fun time with the fact that sixty is evenly divisible by a lot of numbers, twelve being kinda important. ;) Also five (which is handy), as well as even remainders when dividing into common fractions like thirds, halves, and quarters.

Meanwhile, the odd D'ni system of 25 made of 5ᵡ5 is so prime as to be the complete opposite. I've always found fascinating the conflict between five symbols re-used five ways to create a single digit of 25 values (well, 24... or 23, depending on the usage).
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Re: New Proposal for Discussion

Postby J'Kla » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:59 am

I have also looked at mapping our alphabet to the numbers but starting with A as zero this would be useful as it would map Python array notation where array counting starts at zero and losing one letter makes it easy to map to base 25.

I did ask Rawa about a decimal for D'ni numbers but I never received a reply.

I was thinking of basing the = symbol on some sort of stylized hand balance and then have that simplified to a crossbar with a tail using this symbol ¬ any option we were to use would require some new font set designing.

I was also considering a right facing arrow for addition and a left facing one for minus folowing that logic we could have up for multiply and down for divide.

All of this is just ideas I am kicking around here a week ago I did not know if it was even viable to have a non D'ni shard.
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Re: New Proposal for Discussion

Postby Deledrius » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:31 am

J'Kla wrote:I have also looked at mapping our alphabet to the numbers but starting with A as zero this would be useful as it would map Python array notation where array counting starts at zero and losing one letter makes it easy to map to base 25.

Anything which is based on offsets is generally going to count from zero. Arrays in computing do this because traditionally they were referencing memory directly.

J'Kla wrote:I was thinking of basing the = symbol on some sort of stylized hand balance and then have that simplified to a crossbar with a tail using this symbol ¬ any option we were to use would require some new font set designing.

I was also considering a right facing arrow for addition and a left facing one for minus folowing that logic we could have up for multiply and down for divide.

My first thought is: "Why these things? Why did they use them? How did they come to use these symbols, and what did they evolve from?" You don't offer any reasoning, so it sounds like you're just synthesizing things (which is fine as a starting point, but IMO to be convincing in terms of worldbuilding they need to feel more grounded than "these symbols are like our symbols, but different").

J'Kla wrote:All of this is just ideas I am kicking around here a week ago I did not know if it was even viable to have a non D'ni shard.

Oh, it's definitely possible. You could theoretically use this engine to do basically whatever you want. It'd be a lot of work making all-new content, and there are a bunch of little places that things are hard-coded that would have to be changed or made more generic (Cyan did this for Crowthistle, HexIsle, MagiQuest Online, and even Myst V). Dirtsand should work fairly flexibly for a new game that uses the same basic mechanics.

The community is small enough right now that we're struggling to find people to work on the engine, or make new, full Ages, so I'm not sure how viable a standalone game is from a practical standpoint, but there's no technical (or AFAIK legal) reason it can't be done.
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Re: New Proposal for Discussion

Postby J'Kla » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:57 pm

Quick addition this is not a dig at Deledrius it is just me rambling. :-)

Yes you are right. I am probably just synthesizing things although there is some back story but just for now it is just kicking fire-marbles around my head.

As you say

Why these things?
Why did they use them?
How did they come to use these symbols?
What did they evolve from?"

These are all questions worthy of investigation and just maybe that’s something to discuss in a game playing scenario. I am trying to come up with something that is not Uru.

My original question was why don’t symbols for those concepts exist in Uru?

I do not want to just use our symbols having something different should make for puzzles and puzzling stuff is what makes these games something that is NOT a first person shooter.

I also don’t know what and what is not possible when it comes to a new game I know how to build an age in Blender, I have three on Deep Island I looked at 3dMax as a way of getting stuff to MOULa style shards but was cut off at the knees by Autodesk pulling all their 32-bit stuff. Korman looks like it may be a way out.

So I know I can build ages, as to how good or bad they are all I can do is shrug. I have no idea what problems are hard coded into Uru

I do know there is some stuff that will need either bypassing or rewriting.

I have just spent this morning analyzing a Gehn Shard start up looking for places that have embedded Uru references I have yet to get onto a Relto.

There is stuff like the Avatar customization screen that we would need to either ask Cyan for permission to hack into a non Uru version or build something new from scratch.

I know this is possibly something beyond our abilities but if I/we do not ask the questions we will never move beyond building ages that Cyan might just possibly add to MOULa soon. We all know how long a Cyan soon lasts.

Where I come from there is a saying "Shy bairns get nee sweets." A paraphrasing translation would probably be "If you don't ask you don't find out".

Back in the day UntilUru was lost in the wilderness with no new content.

Then with a shovel load of Python help from D’Lanor the two (yes just two with no blender just Python and text) of us added new content to the game only to see it put on a back burner by us, while Cyan got all our hopes up, with the screw around we were All (I am including Cyan in that All) given by Game Trap and I am not implying that Cyan were on the giving end they were getting the run around just like we were.

It was clear from our point of view that Game Trap appeared to be the aggressor trying to take Cyan for its own nefarious reasons.

Now there are something like 130 ages on Drizzle and when Uru started there was

Cleft
Relto
Gahreesen
Kadish
Teledahn
Eder Kemo
Eder Gira
The City with all its online initial flakiness (Gallery Door)
Neighborhood
Nearly forgot Nexus

So ten ages and from that meager serving and two extremely rough grossly overcrowded (during the admin error) Ubi Soft shards Uru was built.

Now let us assume that a good percentage of the ages on Drizzle are dire (and that is being polite) there are on the other hand a few that are fantastic at least enough that with some support we could build enough to make a good fist of a game and that is going to include ages that never made it onto Drizzle.

I know I spent a long time building my first age Blender always did have a steep learning curve but at the back of my mind was always the hope I would have an age good enough to add to the Uru cannon, there was always that risidual hope.

Then when Cyan did release the toolkit it was 3dMax and I was using Blender for other stuff so 3dMax was a stupefying effort. I kept delaying that move.

I did eventually look at it only to find it had been screwed for importing Blender built ages.

I would suggest your lack of foot soldiers may be a lack of a realistic chance of getting stuff onto a mainstream shard.

I know Gehn is a realistic option but its not "The Cyan shard" and I know explorers I have met on MOULa have this belief that if Cyan won't include the fan ages then the effort of making a link to Gehn for something that is not up to a standard Cyan are prepared to include then it must not be worth the effort.

I have recently started getting "The Meeting Place" members over to Gehn and on Sunday we had a field trip to Fehnic House.

Please note this is not an attack, this is a stand up call to arms, on account of how I am crap at most of the other stuff. I just want to have a go. ;-)

Even if I do end up looking like a one legged man in an arse kicking competition. :lol:
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Re: New Proposal for Discussion

Postby J'Kla » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:33 am

Code: Select all
OK the boats gone but the last time I looked at the charts there was an island almost exactly due West and it is mid-afternoon so if I keep swimming towards the sun I should come to that island. 

The sea is reasonably calm and it did look like it was not much more than a sandbar with some coconut palms and some mangrove.   So the fact I cannot see it from the water is not that surprising. 

Ok there it is and it looks like there’s a beach so I should be able to get ashore it looks a long way but if I stop swimming I am probably dead so here goes. 
………………………

I don’t remember making the shore I must have collapsed, I do know it is getting dark and I am getting cold.  My clothes are dry so I must have been out a while.  I should be ok this first night a sand bar island should not have large predators. 

The island is not that big but the edge is not all beach if I assume I have landed on the eastern side the north and south ends of the beach are mangrove.  The chart showed it to be a crescent with an opening on the southern side.  It is not actually that big so I should be ok inside the tree line. 

Well a clearing with a hut a cot bed and a mosquito net it looks abandoned but also recently used. 

There is a small table and a folding chair but it is getting really dark sleep has to be a good idea. 
………………………
What is that noise?  Oh yes it will be the sea and it is light so probably worth having a look around let’s see if I can find some fresh water probably a coconut although I am not sure if I can get one open without any tools. 

Resources on me shorts tee shirt a belt with a metal buckle the cot bed the mosquito net that small table and chair and there’s a tube behind it. 

I reach for the tube just touch it and the world is spinning out of focus…..   
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