The Fan Ages Touring Club is proud to host the weekly Fan Age Expeditions, every Sunday at 11:00 KIT in Deep Island!
These expeditions are meant to celebrate and explore the many Ages made by Writers through the years, make the Myst/Uru community more aware of the fan Ages already available, and provide feedback to the Writers if they are still active.
What follow are general guidelines and understandings for all participants, open to debate. The ‘Guide’ is referred to as such, in case someone else wished to host expeditions in other dates or in the future.
Generally speaking, we will visit the Ages in chronological order of release. While for the most recent Ages it is fairly easy to determine the exact dates, for older Ages it can be difficult to pinpoint them, as Writers often released them in other, no longer available forums, or released previews.
An exception is if new Ages are released: in that case, we will do ‘special’ expeditions. But even if there are no new releases, some Ages are quite small; those will be shuffled to group them together, usually by author but occasionally by a theme.
Some Ages are built like a labyrinth (others like a ladder). The Guide has a path in mind, or is pretending to have one, to see as much of an Age as possible; we will of course stop a bit in each new location to look around or read journals. But if you wander off in other directions, chances are that you will lose sight of the group.
Some of the Ages we will visit have puzzles. The payoff is most often the centrepiece of the Age, so we will try to solve those puzzles, the ‘proper’ way, by deriving the solutions from the clues. However, if a specific puzzle is keeping the group busy for too long, we might speed up the visit by revealing the solution. Besides, the Guide uses a regular avatar, and cannot stop people from revealing or inputting the right code.
In short, if you join an expedition, it will be assumed you are okay with any spoiler, including straight solutions.
Now, designing puzzles can be difficult; few if any fan Writers came up with group puzzles. As you all know from Myst, pushing a button or a lever in one place can activate mechanisms somewhere else. It is therefore advisable to pick a ‘puzzle solver’ who is in charge of doing all the actions, to avoid having e.g. gates that keep opening and closing.
Expeditions will generally last 90 minutes. After that, it will be ‘playtime’.
The first ones lasted 3 hours, but most visitors could not stay for that long, so eventually we settled on half that length.
Deep Island allows the use of special KI commands. One that will often be used before an expedition is “/!resetage”, which will reset all the puzzles; note that it requires that only the one issuing it is present in the Age to work.
Other useful commands are “/hood”, which will link you to the DI hood where we gather before an expedition; “/nexus”, which will link you to the Nexus; “/a”, which sends you back to the link-in point, a timesaver if you’re about to panic-link; “/clearcam” if for some reason the camera stops following your avatar.
The “/jump x” command will occasionally be encouraged, if there are interesting features not normally accessible, but again if puzzles are present, we will try to solve them the ‘proper’ way.
Visitors are invited to use other commands with moderation or not at all until playtime, since one of our aims is to experience the Ages as the Writers intended them.
Specifically, commands that alter the look of the Ages, such as the colour and density of the fog, should be avoided during the expeditions, as again, the point is to experience the Ages the way they were designed.