Fan Age expedition: Cathedral [spoilers]

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Fan Age expedition: Cathedral [spoilers]

Postby Korovev » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:59 pm

First expedition of the Fan Ages Touring Club! :lol:

Aqua, Briggs, cerise and I visited Cathedral, by DenDwaler.

I’m terrible at reviewing :) so I’ll just say I think it’s a very well made Age, with excellent texturing and complex puzzles.

It could benefit from improved lighting, and there are some places (like the room with a large bell) where the colliders are a bit open and allow a player to get stuck.

We crashed a few times, and at the end we couldn’t log in back again, but it seems to be an issue with the server rather than the Age itself.

Congratulations, DenDwaler!

(Next tour: the early Ages)
Last edited by Korovev on Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fan Age expedition: Cathedral [spoilers]

Postby Emor D'ni Lap » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:13 pm

Great idea, Korov'ev!

May I suggest you start all over again, AFTER an announcement at next month's All Guilds Meeting?

And perhaps you could try to schedule so that DenDwaler could be part of the tour, too?
(The Agebuilder wouldn't have to be the tourguide, but could answer questions and give some background about their work)
Yes, I know you announced this event on the GoMe site, but broader exposure is needed these days...unfortunately.
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Re: Fan Age expedition: Cathedral [spoilers]

Postby Ehren » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:10 pm

By the way, to those who didn't notice, there are three imagers in the basement, all close to each other on the outer wall of the center area, that allow free text and image upload. It's a little hard to figure out since these imagers don't make the standard imager droning sound nor have a blue light up KI symbol, but on Deep Island I uploaded some of the first images ever done onto one of the imagers. I recall from other fan ages that imager uploads don't reset with age resets, so don't worry about doing that.

Anyway, Since DenDwaler wanted more feedback (I think):

I guess this is a good place to mention that I finished the age too... I think? I got to a gazebo thing viewing where DenDwaler grew up, I'm guessing that's the end part although there are still two pedestal buttons that don't appear to have any use. The pedestal in one corner raised the pipe organ, and the one in the opposite corner lowered it (along with a button in the basement), however that leaves two corners with what I assume to be "distraction" buttons so to speak.

I finally figured out the gong thing because of the hint of finishing the tune the piano played. I didn't know that that tune was actually related to Big Ben, but it's a famous enough tune that I actually expected to hear the second half of it when I pushed the piano the second time! I would have never guessed I was supposed to finish the tune for the gongs, was there a hint connecting what the piano played to only doing the remaining tune on the gongs? (As opposed to just trying to copy the part you already heard from the piano.) Ironically though, I was already focused on the trying to figure out what to play for the second half of the tune unknowingly.

How? Well I saw the banners in the gong room and figured I was supposed to follow the green banner to open access to something and the red one to close access again. Obviously this is connecting the color green with unlocked and red with locked as I had learned from the reset of the button system if you touch the wrong shape in the... east room I think?

So using that banner I knew two of the symbols, the first and last since they matched up with the patterns of two of the cloths, but the middle ones had no perfect matches, so I didn't know how to figure out what to do. I did have a high suspicion that the two middle ones would consist of gongs that had the # sign on the them though, since the plain D'ni letters didn't match up with any of the plain versions on the cloths, it must be the ones with the pound signs! Though I still had no idea what the pound sign was actually supposed to indicate from a music point of view.

Anyway, the final step I needed was knowing to complete that tune, which let me actually just sound out the two middle gongs to sound together as close to the last four notes as I could manage. And being narrowed down to the letters with pound symbols obviously helped that a lot. So I figured it out.

My advice for what I think would improve the age:

1. Replace those sand/dirt footstep sound effects with stone footstep sounds... it REALLY feels weird with its current sound effect when everything sure looks like stone. (Note: I think DI and online in general has a glitch that makes the walking sound effects entirely not work most of the time, so if you don't know what I mean by sand sounds you need to play it offline.)

2. Flat Yeesha is a little freaky, I think it would have worked better to have her show up and communicate on an imager screen rather than being like a cardboard cutout. Also she says "clothes" when she should say "cloths" on the first message, this could be potentially confusing since clothes are things you wear and cloths are pieces of fabric.

3. When you get the gongs right, or anything right that turns the top of a sword green (meaning it will open something now) there is no indication you did it correctly until you check the sword itself. I feel there should be some sort of audio clue that happens when you get the solution right on these instruments, otherwise you can end up going on to try other things thinking that your solution did nothing even when it was correct.

4. This one is pretty small, but it seems like the fountain water should run a little faster to look natural.

I'd love to hear what DenDwaler thinks of these ideas even if he disagrees. I would still call the age overall well done, and it was a fun suprise when the whole fountain rose up to this huge set of pipes. Did NOT see that coming! Also, loved your Nexus construct with the screen and KI slot folding out as you entered.
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Re: Fan Age expedition: Cathedral [spoilers]

Postby dendwaler » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:53 am

Thank you both Korovev and Ehren, for opening this thread and to give me the first serious feedback exactly 4 years after the release. :D

since hardly anybody ever said anything, i was not aware of any bugs, or any points where visitors found difficulties or issues.
I can only fix issues if i know them. Having build for three years on it (the off line version) i became blind for some things you don't notice any longer mostly minor issues.
About the sound, i cannot remember exactly, there was a special customized sound made for the footsteps, but it seems not to work, it was automaticly replaced by the sandsound.
as i remember , Sirius once found some workaround and replaced it with stepstone sound with a reverb to make it more natural, a bit echoing .

some words about the end.
Show Spoiler

yes , you are right , there exist two pedestrals more.
I will explain why.

Show Spoiler

yeah, the wrong words cloth or clothes , my native language is dutch and my english is certainly not the best. In dutch there is no different meaning. a cloth is a subject and clothes is the plural of a cloth.

and yes, imagers instead of a flat hologram, that is more because when building you have an idea and when it is finished , you go on with the next. If i would have chabged all what could have been done better, it would never been finished.
And i certainly agree with you that things can be done better, but i am alone and only strived to finishing.
I have builded another fountain exactly for that, pitty it only works in the unreal engine.

finally , i don't think i will update for the deep island shard.

Maybe in the future it will become available on Gehn much improved , with the good sound and with better lightning, different scripting , real multiplayer etc.
But that is so much work , it will take its time.

i also wanted that one could sit i the middle of the fountain and then raise up with the whole construction.High in the building would have been a throne and onthers would have wondered how the the hell he came up there.!
even now ther exist a high invisible path , it starts somewhere in the south wing, if you jump over the ballustrade on the right spot you won't fall down. I made it then for the skydivers, but its never found.

in a next post, probably by tomorrow i will give the complete solution of the gong puzzle, as this seems to be to heavy for some.visitors. I will clearly put it in spoilers, so don't read it if you do want to find the solution on your own.
Those wonderfull Worlds are called " Ages" , because that is what it takes to build one.

Watch my latest Video Or even better..... watch the Cathedral's Complete Walkthrough made by Suleika!
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Re: Fan Age expedition: Cathedral [spoilers]

Postby Alternative » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:53 am

Cathedral Age

Feb. 17 2020

Hello, I’m Briggs and I was one of the explorers visiting your Cathedral age yesterday evening. Thank you for having me along, my report is as follows:

Initial thoughts

There is a lot to love here. An amazing amount of work and detail has gone into the textures, models, and geometry in this age. The stained-glass textures look especially beautiful, and the overall aesthetic is consistent and believable. I'm struck by the underground area: It feels like authentic D'ni design, in stark contrast to the Cathedral which looks unlike traditional D'ni architecture. I'm lead to ask, who built this place? Where is it located? Could this cathedral be located in D'ni somewhere, or is it another Age entirely? Overall, it feels like a real place. The location draws you in, and you can easily believe you're there!


This was surprise! I came in blind, so I didn’t expect puzzles, let alone such a well put-together set. The puzzles were engaging and kept us working together the whole time. It was SO much fun! We were still working on the gongs when the system went down last night, but hopefully we'll return soon to finish it off.

What needs to change?

In my personal view, I would consider this age to be almost ready for prime time. Which is to say, with a few tweaks, this age would fit into my bookshelf on MOULa with no trouble at all. There are two aspects I think need to be addressed before that could be possible, however:
1. Lighting – most areas are globally lit, with light coming not from obvious sources like torches, windows, sconces, etc. Avatars are also lit strangely as a result, with the edges highlighted and giving us a general “metallic” feel. The lighting is the final level of polish that is needed to really make this world “pop”
Show Spoiler

There’s still some exploration left to be done, so I hope we return to the Cathedral soon to wrap up the loose ends we left, as well as go through and document precisely where the clipping/collision errors are.

This age is beautiful! The music adds a lot of ambience to it, the puzzles fit in with the aesthetic, it's good fun to explore with friends, and there is plenty to see. Exploration is well rewarded, giving visitors something to look forward to around every corner. You've done an amazing job, thank you for the work!
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Re: Fan Age expedition: Cathedral [spoilers]

Postby dendwaler » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:40 am

thank you Briggs/ Alternative for this beautiful review!
I agree with the fact that another person as yeesha should have been a better choise, its on the edge of what was aloowe by Cyan, therefor she is there only as a"gost" hologram and not as person.

About the cathedral and its location. ...
it seems like you have not read the book , which is lying on the table in the west wing.It has a texture of a cross, but if you look closely, you will notice that it is a rendershot from high above the cathedral inside Blender.
The Book tells you the important story of how i accidently discoverd the cathedral by falling on a Bahro linking stone in city nearby the Pub , It tells you how i builded it up after this discovering.
Because I as a human being , in fact being only an explorer, I have builded up the cathedral with my bare hands without D'ni Genes in my body, i could not build it up in dni style but only with Human skills and placed elements inside the cathedral that i found lying around.
But later i found this cathdral was builded up on an still intact D'ni cellar, well reserved because it was under the ground.

Its a strange cathedral ... there is no entrance .. you can only link in. So nobody can tell where exactly it is situated.
The lightning , ofcoarse I am aware of how this can be better, but i builded it in blender 2.49b and was not able to do any real lightning as is possible with todays version of Blender.
Besides that, it would cost a lot of aditional textures, and i already was strugling with how to export this age, which is to big for an Plasma age.

Suggestions or critics are welcome and needed if i start revising the age to a higher level.

One question, how could you explore the cellar without solving the gong puzzle?
Those wonderfull Worlds are called " Ages" , because that is what it takes to build one.

Watch my latest Video Or even better..... watch the Cathedral's Complete Walkthrough made by Suleika!
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Re: Fan Age expedition: Cathedral [spoilers]

Postby Alternative » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:10 am

Oh I love the backstory you provided, I'll have to check out that book when I'm next there!

how could you explore the cellar without solving the gong puzzle?

I discovered a hatch in the organ assembly that lead to the cellar. This was before we found our way into the gong room, and it opened with no issue. At one point, someone started a set of bells ringing. I believe they pulled a level in the tower with the two bells, rather than the tower that had the bell "keyboard". Once those bells were ringing, I was able to open the door to the "museum" area with the ladder leading up to the scene with your diary. After that, we gained entry into the gong room and started work on that.

So perhaps we were a bit out of order!

Something else I forgot to mention, we did spend some time trying to get on top of the organ assembly while it was moving up or down and did notice the collision issues that were mentioned in this thread. Something like a railing that could rise up when the assembly is in motion could serve well to keep people out of the organ assembly until it has stopped moving. I'm thinking something like what we see in Gahreesen when we activate the power generator.
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Re: Fan Age expedition: Cathedral [spoilers]

Postby dendwaler » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:27 am

you know, the age was builded to be explored as an off line age, there is an order in parts that have to be done and triggerd. if there are more explorers they are triggerd on the wrong moment.
Unfortunately somebody else then myself has asked to put it on the DI shard. Impossible to draw it back, when that is done.
Lots of misunderstanding, people leave the age halve finished, newcommers cannot understand what happened and sometimes never happens for them .
I cannot change that, because its not builded for multiplayers. Exploring in the wrong order ruins the fun and ununderstandable.
Those wonderfull Worlds are called " Ages" , because that is what it takes to build one.

Watch my latest Video Or even better..... watch the Cathedral's Complete Walkthrough made by Suleika!
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Re: Fan Age expedition: Cathedral [spoilers]

Postby aqua » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:35 am

Leevotar 9 9675

I was very excited to read Kor'ovev's announcement about the expedition. When the time came, I grabbed
my bag and hiking boots and set off for the Age known as 'Cathedral'.

We arrived in an impressive room, clearly the namesake of the Age: a grand cathedral. Although, we were
quick to notice something was amiss... The light in the room was strangely smooth? It made for an uneasy
feeling. Any possible further restoration should prioritise relief from this.

After exploring the impressive room further, we found that where we had arrived was only one of several
wings of the enormous structure. The architecture was beautiful and every room was filled with mysterious
and tantalising objects.

Another strange sensory feature of the place was the apparent presence of a small layer of sand covering
all the floors. It was hard to see it, but we could hear the sand whenever we moved. Hopefully a good
sweep will bring back the sound of stone and carpet.

We also encountered some areas which at first seemed navigable but upon attempt proved impassible...
And the reverse, too: spaces that seemed to be blocked by objects but which turned out to be quite
navigable. Some more cleanup by restorers would be good.

All over the sprawling cathedral, we found signs of complex mechanisms and devices... Along with a couple
of documents that seemed to push us towards discovering the workings of those machines. Some of it
seemed straightforward, such as the bells in the belfry... But other things were more surprising. For
example, we found what resembled journey cloths hidden in places around the cathedral. It was often hard
to make out how all of this was connected.

For that matter, who built this cathedral? It is too similar to our human cathedrals to be a coincidence - was
it built by explorers? How did they build such an enormous structure? How did they gain access to the Age?
In fact, how did our current expedition party gain access to it? Also, although our curious party was able to
discover much, it never became clear what our goal as visitors should be. Perhaps during further
restoration, some actions can be taken to make all this more clear.

Eventually we discovered a hatch that led down into an area below the cathedral, and here we found
another great surprise - a host of D'ni architecture and technology! So the D'ni did have something to do
with this place... Or was the cathedral built on top of existing D'ni architecture in the Age?

The underground chamber contained more machinery and ways to control things up in the cathedral.
Amazingly, there were viewers that showed recordings of Yeesha! Like the documents we found earlier, she
seemed to encourage us to understand the devices and to discover all of the cathedral. Is this place truly a
part of Yeesha's travels? Or was the recording faked?

Just as we were starting to connect the dots between the 'journey' cloths, the bells, and other devices found
in the Age, the time allotted for this expedition was up and we were forced to return to the surface. I look
forward to discovering more about this Cathedral, its history and its secrets... I hope the restoration effort
will continue on this Age and it may someday not only be us humble expeditionists, but all explorers who
can visit it!
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Re: Fan Age expedition: Cathedral [spoilers]

Postby dendwaler » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:27 am

thank you aqua or making this review, some of th remarks , i have already answered in previous post , so please read what has been written before.
And yes the background story is rather thin, there can be more lore in it i suppose.
but i am afraid to explain everything as cyan did is not possible for a man alone who learned agebuilding and the tools to build( as blender) after his retirement.
To build something realy consistent, therefore you need a team and a good plan. The whole thing is build with a summier plan and all development was during building.
Those wonderfull Worlds are called " Ages" , because that is what it takes to build one.

Watch my latest Video Or even better..... watch the Cathedral's Complete Walkthrough made by Suleika!
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