Nexus demo, DiRT's Descent, and Hector's Cove !

Anything that isn't directly related to Age Creation but that might be interesting to Age developers.

Re: Nexus demo, DiRT's Descent, and Hector's Cove !

Postby Sirius » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:10 am

Sirius wrote:Oohh, shiny ! I came across this a while ago, but for some reason never took the time to have a deeper look and then forgot. Grmrbl, how come I'm always busy with real-life when cool things crop up...

Okay, so I had a better look (screw real life obligations !) and it looks promising. The problem is that SceneObjects and their modifiers are not read yet, so there isn't much I can do with it, unfortunately. And while the DIRT file format looks rather similar, there is no guarantee some parts haven't changed dramatically since then. Oh well...
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Re: Nexus demo, DiRT's Descent, and Hector's Cove !

Postby Paradox » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:48 am

Sirius wrote:
Sirius wrote:Oohh, shiny ! I came across this a while ago, but for some reason never took the time to have a deeper look and then forgot. Grmrbl, how come I'm always busy with real-life when cool things crop up...

Okay, so I had a better look (screw real life obligations !) and it looks promising. The problem is that SceneObjects and their modifiers are not read yet, so there isn't much I can do with it, unfortunately. And while the DIRT file format looks rather similar, there is no guarantee some parts haven't changed dramatically since then. Oh well...


Yeah, I'm not sure how well (if at all) the DIRT files are versioned, but it's obviously different from realMyst with the use of Python scripts and brain DLL files and stuff. They built a lot of stuff directly into the engine in those days, and then moved to a much more general approach for Uru.
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Re: Nexus demo, DiRT's Descent, and Hector's Cove !

Postby sarpedon2 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:17 am

This is the most fun I've had with Uru in a long, long, long time. Even in an unpolished state (unable to climb up the grating by the sluice gate to advance), this Demo certainly gives you a different feeling that Uru gave. Given its emphasis on more physical exploration, it even gives a different feeling from one that playing Myst or Riven would receive.
A few questions:
Anyone feel (whether this is due to playing in 3rd person, which helps give a different sense of scale to places), that the Great Shaft is much larger in scale than it was Uru and End of Ages? Or is it perhaps the reduced brightness enhances the sense of scale?
Also regarding the Intangibles attempt to recreate this area of MOUL, given that many areas require different avatar animations to advance (the pipes which the player must hang across along the sluice gate leading to the next cave), would the developers have reincorporated these animations, along with an inventory, or would they have adjusted the areas to suit the current state of MOUL?
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Re: Nexus demo, DiRT's Descent, and Hector's Cove !

Postby Deledrius » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:28 pm

sarpedon2 wrote:Anyone feel (whether this is due to playing in 3rd person, which helps give a different sense of scale to places), that the Great Shaft is much larger in scale than it was Uru and End of Ages? Or is it perhaps the reduced brightness enhances the sense of scale?

The version(s) we got were chopped-up pieces of this one, it seems. The original is still the best; it's sad it wasn't used as intended.
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Re: Nexus demo, DiRT's Descent, and Hector's Cove !

Postby Sirius » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:11 am

sarpedon2 wrote:Anyone feel (whether this is due to playing in 3rd person, which helps give a different sense of scale to places), that the Great Shaft is much larger in scale than it was Uru and End of Ages? Or is it perhaps the reduced brightness enhances the sense of scale?

I'm sure the Shaft itself is the same size and length. However as you noted there are a few things that make it feel larger: the 3rd person camera (which also prevents us from getting a good view of it), the lack of light (also, all the support structures with firemarbles on them from Myst V are gone), the black fog (contrarily to Myst V's weird green fog), and the lack of intermediary Tomahn when you take the elevator.

sarpedon2 wrote:Also regarding the Intangibles attempt to recreate this area of MOUL, given that many areas require different avatar animations to advance (the pipes which the player must hang across along the sluice gate leading to the next cave), would the developers have reincorporated these animations, along with an inventory, or would they have adjusted the areas to suit the current state of MOUL?

Hmmm, I think the Intangibles are more focused on new Ages, while Chloe (GPNMilano) is in charge of the Descent stuff ? Haven't heard about Chloe in a while, though, either she is very quiet or she didn't have time to work on this stuff in the recent months/years.
Anyway, I can't speak for them, but I can say having all those animations into MOULa is completely doable - that's how we fixed the Gahreesen Wall Climb in Deep Island (despite the engine theoretically not supporting it).
But just because it's doable doesn't mean it's easy. Most of those animations are completely buggy even in the DiRT demo (which wasn't even intended to be multiplayer at the time ?). The Intangibles may feel their time is better spent working on other puzzles.
As for the inventory itself, this is on the todo list since one of the new Ages require it. But I guess it's fairly low priority since the DiRT demo almost doesn't use it, and it's a complex mechanism. Also, this would require a UI, fixes to ensure it works in multiplayer, etc - all a lot of work.

Deledrius wrote: The original is still the best; it's sad it wasn't used as intended.

Well, Myst V got a few improvements, like better models and reflections for the rising floor, a Tomahn along the way, structures inside the Shaft itself, etc. And I think I actually enjoyed having Esher around during the game (despite how annoying he can be sometimes).
But I get what you mean. Myst V removes too much, and that impacts the overall "coherence" of the Age. The whole "Descent" experience is about fighting your way to D'ni by overcoming the difficult terrain, broken machines (that may or may not be of use to you), the darkness, etc (and even overcoming Plasma's bugs contribute to that feeling !). Removing all the secondary broken stuff and abruptly ending the trip in front of a closed door makes it much less enjoyable.
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Re: Nexus demo, DiRT's Descent, and Hector's Cove !

Postby Deledrius » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:32 pm

Sirius wrote:
sarpedon2 wrote:Anyone feel (whether this is due to playing in 3rd person, which helps give a different sense of scale to places), that the Great Shaft is much larger in scale than it was Uru and End of Ages? Or is it perhaps the reduced brightness enhances the sense of scale?

I'm sure the Shaft itself is the same size and length. However as you noted there are a few things that make it feel larger: the 3rd person camera (which also prevents us from getting a good view of it), the lack of light (also, all the support structures with firemarbles on them from Myst V are gone), the black fog (contrarily to Myst V's weird green fog), and the lack of intermediary Tomahn when you take the elevator.

It really shows how important details are in art design!

Sirius wrote:
Deledrius wrote: The original is still the best; it's sad it wasn't used as intended.

Well, Myst V got a few improvements, like better models and reflections for the rising floor, a Tomahn along the way, structures inside the Shaft itself, etc. And I think I actually enjoyed having Esher around during the game (despite how annoying he can be sometimes).
But I get what you mean. Myst V removes too much, and that impacts the overall "coherence" of the Age. The whole "Descent" experience is about fighting your way to D'ni by overcoming the difficult terrain, broken machines (that may or may not be of use to you), the darkness, etc (and even overcoming Plasma's bugs contribute to that feeling !). Removing all the secondary broken stuff and abruptly ending the trip in front of a closed door makes it much less enjoyable.

It made the entire thing into an area that serves as a connection/bridge Age to the other Ages, a sort of semi-progressive hub, instead of the focus of the journey itself. That wildly changes the tension, tone, and overall purpose of the Shaft in the players' experience.
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