I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the Book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written. -- Atrus

Thursday, September 26, 2013

realMyst Masterpiece Edition -- a Present from Cyan!

*Update 2/8/2014 -- this game has been released, check new post HERE for links to places where you can purchase on Steam or Mac App Store*

At last I can come up for some air!  I am a little behind, but finally I have a minute to respond to the news Cyan has recently publicized while I listen to the Myst soundtrack.  As soon as September 24 hit, we fans were sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for any news we could get on Myst's official 20th anniversary.  While our amazing game was not blessed with a Google Doodle, as Tai'lahr on the Cyan forums was hoping for, Cyan did give us a little something for our Platinum Jubilee.

(Traditionally, fine China was the 20th anniversary gift -- but apparently this gift has been demoted [or promoted?] to the 2nd anniversary in our modern era.  I suppose it makes sense because eventually one would want to eat off plates without having to wait 20 years.  First year is now clocks, which definitely beats the traditional paper, so we are able to await the good gifts to the music of the tick-tock.)

It appears that Vector Cramp wins the prize for speculating "an updated version of realMYST for Mac and PC.," because that is precisely what we are getting!  Yay!  Color me content!  (I just realized I didn't pay very much attention to the first page of he Kickstarter thread on the forums and in my excitement I posted in a great deal of haste haha what a dork!)

Cyan announced their present to us on Facebook as well as in the news section on their website, complete with teaser screenshots, followed by a clarification after several people bombarded them with very important questions.

The new addition to our lovely family is realMyst Masterpiece Edition.  I was concerned that this was just another iPad release, but NO!  It's going to be available for PC and Mac, and through Steam.  Whether we are getting hard copies I am not sure, but my wallet is willing to buy anything and everything that comes out.  Rent what?  We're getting day/night Channelwood (so excited!) and some updated water effects, and other stuff.
Image of the new and improved Channelwood for realMyst Masterpiece Edition
Furthermore, I can praise my Myst cohorts more for their brilliant ideas -- some have suggested a realRiven.  That would be mind-blowing, I think, but also I don't know if it is manageable?  Would the actor cut-scenes prove an obstacle for a project like that?  Still, can you imagine creepy Riven girl at night?  Yikes!

There are a few disappointed folks, naturally, as well as some skeptics concerned with the finished product, but I think this is quite a good nod to the anniversary celebration.  I think that this is more of a "let's give our fans something" rather than a "let's try to get some profit off another Myst game," which is more applicable to the whole jumping on the "let's make everything in the universe available on Apple products" train.  Because, really, Cyan didn't have to do anything for the anniversary.  For this I am grateful.  These guys really care; they are really in touch with their fans, which is really unique.  George R.R. Martin is the same way with his fans.  But with Cyan, they are truly invested in their Myst project, even though they want to move on to Something Else (and now I am much more open to it since we are getting a Myst present after all).  I mean, think about it.  They hired a guy to invent a new language for which they made a grammer/dictionary (came with EuroM5EoA).  And some hardcore linguists in our sub-culture have built websites/databases to help us all learn a fake language.  If and when I finally set to study it, it's totally going on my CV.  Those of us who are in the archaeology field tend to be known for being wackadoodles anyway, so why not fit the bill?

Talking of archaeology, one of my Egyptologist colleagues directed me to an interesting article, "Lost to the Ages" (published 9/24), about Myst's legacy (or lack thereof?).  Maybe it has already been posted elsewhere -- I tend to be that person who is the last to know.  It's concerned with the rise and fall of adventure games, how Myst played a "John the Baptist" role, preparing the way of the adventure genre, except that the genre kind of got trampled on not too long after by shooter games.  Or shall I say it got shot down...

I suppose that for many people, at the end of the day they just want to shoot something without really having to think about it.  I understand this sentiment, truly.  I spent many a year trying to study and read for my French literature classes while several of my guy friends gathered at my apartment not so much as to visit but to play Halo 3 on my TV whilst devouring pizza and Coke.  They weren't having the whole wander around aimlessly until you find something scenario.  Recently, I divulged to my supervisor my Myst obsession and he admitted to being convinced to play Myst, even though he wasn't a gamer, because he had heard good things and it looked interesting, but he couldn't get beyond Myst island without more blatant clues and thus didn't continue the game.  I guess this was a drawback for many.  I have a friend who doesn't want to hear about Myst at all because she had heard too much when it first came out.  So there is that side as well.

As far as Myst's legacy...it definitely has one.  I mean, enough so that the above article discussing its legacy exists.  Also, let's not forget -- and I know I mentioned this a dozen times -- it's at the Museum of Modern Art here in New York City.  I was there, man!  I've seen it!  Add to that the apps for Apple platforms which has awoken some nostalgia in many who did not continue on into obsession mode and for whom Myst is more of a memory of something that they participated in in the early 90s.  The game has made a lot of mainstream news this year due to its impact 20 years ago.  I don't think this was done for any other game.  I could be completely wrong on that score, however.  I don't remember any official articles discussing anniversaries of SimCity 2000 or Super Mario.  People do dress as Mario and Luigi at conventions and kids still play the games, but somehow Myst is garnering a bit more sophisticated attention.  That's really interesting.

I don't think this will have people who haven't followed the series after original Myst rushing to buy realMyst Masterpiece Edition.  For this reason I doubt any hard copies will be made and those of us who have crazy collections and multiple copies of everything that has ever been published on the series will have to deal with not having something to add to our shelves.  I would love to be wrong about this whole paragraph, though.  If something tangible does come out, I am prepared to buy the hell out of it!  Cyan can be sure of that!

So after all of the above, I'm not quite sure if I kept to a main idea, but that's my stream of conscious on the matter.  In the time it took to write all of that, I am now on track 12 from the Myst III: Exile soundtrack ("Theme from Edanna").  Haha!  Wow.  On that note...Shorah!

Baladria (me!) jamming to Myst: the Soundtrack [edit: I flipped the image so that "MYST" wouldn't be backwards haha!]

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sad :'(

I skipped off to the "kickstarter" thread on the Cyan forums and saw this:

And on our anniversary, too.  I guess I won't be writing very much about the new project after all, not that that ruins anyone's day or anything.  I was just really hoping.  Myst shouldn't have been alluded to because it caused us to misinterpret and now I am sad.  Why'djya do it, man?!  Anyhow, I'll be lurking to see what it's going to be.  (And seriously folks, how the fish do you solve this stuff?  I had no idea what you all were talking about in the last 8 pages of the thread! *amazed*)

On another note, regarding what the other folks were talking about concerning Android...yes please, can we have (real)Myst/Riven for Android?  Because that would rock.

Live Action Myst

I'll be quick because I have SO MUCH to read.  Ah grad school.  Let's start with this:

Good ole classic Riven mine cart ride.  Remember how fun that was the first time you experienced it?

Yesterday, I was on the subway, and for a good while because I'm living way up in the Bronx now, and I had the privilege to be in the front car and look out the window to see where we were going.  I might have compared a Myst ride to the Dublin Luas train (skip to about 1:00):

I remembered thinking about that when I was in Ireland summer 2012.  But no, forget it.  NYC subway wins.  I was going to try to record it myself.  I even pushed my way into the front car.  But, the window was dirty (no surprise) and there was no way I was going to get a video.  However, it seems that there are YouTubers who are geniuses like me and someone captured my point very beautifully:

That's pretty much all I have to say.  It was just one of those "Live Action Myst" moments...or shall I say "Real Myst" moments?  Either way, I am going to view taking the subway in a whole new light now, and it's going to be fun!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Things I Do for You...

Now that things seem to be shuffling along among the Cyan team, fans are getting back into the swing of things, namely speculation on what Cyan is doing next.  Or rather, what Cyan is doing now, because we don't know.  I might have written "because we don't have a clue", but in fact, according to greydragon, we have been given enough clues to figure out as much as they want us to.  We've been given a picture, or I guess two pictures, and some replies in the "speculation thread" on the forums that obviously are clues, but I sure as hell haven't been able to figure anything out (apart from that reply that incorporated the color cyan, which obviously means it's related to Cyan -- I see what you did there).

As I paged through the replies that have been posted since I last visited the site, I realized two things: 1. I forgot how stupid forum puzzles make me feel, and 2. I need a Twitter account.

Regarding #1, allow me to explain.  Here's the way things work.  We fans are given a clue about something that requires some intense technological expertise (or brain power superior to my own) to figure out.  Then some very computer-savvy fans -- with excellent time management skills -- post replies pertaining to computery stuff.  Then one of these geniuses (because they truly are geniuses, damn) figures it out and I am left stunned.  It's pretty cool to see them work it out, though.

As for #2: much of the speculation thread contains links to stuff on Cyan's FB page and Twitter account, and a zillion other links.  How do you guys find this stuff?!  I've noticed that I have been missing out on a lot of things, which makes me extra proud that I am able to be among the first group of folks actively participating in the new Cyan forums.  As I posted earlier, I am usually well behind.

I don't like the idea of being part of more than one social network thingy, and so up till now I have not even been curious about Twitter.  However, in hopes I can better keep up with the goings on at this most exciting time, I finally caved and created an account purely for Cyan.  At least now I may have a better chance at being as up to speed as my fellow fans, who are by far more intelligent than I am.

Tweet, tweet!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ready, Set, Action!

In the previous post, I mentioned my desire to record the screen during gameplay.  I tried using CamStudio only to discover it is shite for recording games.  I browsed the internet for recommendations and found Mirillis Action and I acquired it.  I highly recommend it!!  I'm sure I am behind the times with this discovery, but for anyone else looking for a software that performs this excellently and hasn't discovered Action yet, then here is my recommendation to you.

local_character did in fact log on to play yesterday morning and he explored a great deal more of Eder Kemo and made even more progress in terms of finding all the Cloths and discovering that fireflies stick to you and can be transported to another Age.  Unfortunately for him, when he linked to Gira the fireflies stayed behind in a somewhat aura fashion right in front of the Linking Book.  That was really weird!  I will post more about his exploration later when he returns to Kemo/Gira.  This post is more about my experimentation with recording.

I also had the bright idea that I should record a video of me giving commentary, and stuff that in the corner of the recording of the game play.  The first trial didn't go so well because it recorded the game sounds, too, and you couldn't hear a word I was saying.  I will have to think some more about how I want to do that.  Perhaps record separately, after gameplay.

My first foray into game recording was with pellet dropping.  I figured that was routine and simple enough to use as an experiment.  So here is my video:

I'm still trying to figure out how to get that Action header off the video.  Any suggestions?  I ask this of my audience that doesn't exist haha!

Friday, September 6, 2013

local_character Finally Returns

It has been two whole months since local_character logged in to Uru.  While we played for less than an hour, I was happy for it.  He made some great progress in that short amount of time, also.  Last time, we left off at nighttime Eder Gira.  He had figured out the steam vent puzzle and touched the first Journey Cloth of the Age(s).  After this he didn't know what to do and there he left it for two months.

So today we returned to Eder Gira, and it was daytime.  He said he liked the daytime a lot better because it wasn't as "depressing".  Lets see how much he likes it as he progresses!  This Age drove me crazy.

When I arrived to his Eder Gira, he told me he may have found another cloth and I asked him where.  I was pleased to discover he found this one:

local_character finds second Journey Cloth on ledge in Eder Gira with Baladria
After this he leapt to the other mini island where the lonely steam vent is located and the following signature local_character dialog ensued:
(09/06 09:24:17) From local _character: i can see up your skirt
(09/06 09:24:26) From local _character: aye
(09/06 09:24:50) From local _character: come down
(09/06 09:25:16) From local _character: helllllooooooo!!!!!!!
(09/06 09:25:42) To local _character: whoops
(09/06 09:25:50) To local _character: a little too far aha
(09/06 09:26:01) From local _character: can you see up my skirt?
(09/06 09:26:09) To local _character: yes
(09/06 09:26:14) To local _character: not a pretty sight
(09/06 09:26:23) From local _character: hahahaha

Just a touch earlier we had the following conversation:
(09/06 09:19:12) To local _character: let's do screenshot anyway
(09/06 09:19:43) To local _character: hahaaha hello?
(09/06 09:20:30) To local _character: are you there?
(09/06 09:21:29) To local _character: knock knock
(09/06 09:22:38) Baladria drums fingers on her desk
(09/06 09:23:02) To local _character: hey
(09/06 09:23:21) To local _character: haha thanks
(09/06 09:23:21) From local _character: sorry afk
(09/06 09:23:31) To local _character: once more, yes?
(09/06 09:23:33) From local _character: had to move my car
(09/06 09:23:51) To local _character: good ok
(09/06 09:24:03) To local _character: hahaha you had to move your car

So much time was wasted!  It was frustrating, for sure.  But at least he found that Cloth.  Next, after a bit more consideration he finally understood how to use the steam vents a second time to make the jump to the other side of Eder Gira.  He glanced at the Eder Kemo Book, but then found his first sparkly:

local_character finds his first calendar spark
He started exploring more when I got the idea to look up how to record my screen for demos and such, thinking it would be cool to record as well as to make chatlogs, screenshots, and KI images.Of course, during this time local_character ran around finding all sorts of things and I completely missed that he had ventured to Eder Kemo without me.  I was chatting to him, but again was receiving no answer, and so I returned to trying to download CamStudio which was having a fight with my antivirus software and then the roles were reversed because he was talking to me and was receiving no response:
(09/06 09:44:02) To local _character: where did you go this time?
(09/06 09:47:31) To local _character: are you moving your car again?
(09/06 09:47:32) To local _character: lol
(09/06 09:51:35) Baladria hums a song from Brigadoon
(09/06 09:53:08) From local _character: hey
(09/06 09:58:59)  local _character: that wasn a nic eplace
(09/06 09:59:08)  local _character: it was raining
(09/06 09:59:20)  local _character: what are you doing???????
(09/06 09:59:32)  local _character: it was a nice place
(09/06 09:59:44)  local _character: hey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(09/06 10:00:50) To local _character: sorry
(09/06 10:01:06)  Baladria: let's go!
(09/06 10:01:06)  local _character: :(
(09/06 10:01:15)  Baladria: why didn't you have me come along?
(09/06 10:01:21)  local _character: where?
(09/06 10:01:27)  Baladria: to the raining place
(09/06 10:01:41)  local _character: i went  you didnt go
(09/06 10:01:52)  Baladria: you didn't tell me that you went there

Apparently this is a recurring theme.  However, calling Eder Kemo "the raining place" was highly amusing to me.  Newbies, man.  Newbies.  We considered returning to Eder Kemo, this time together, but we both realized we had to go: him to work (and apparently to get his car fixed), and me to two meetings.  We, hopefully, are going to play again tomorrow morning when perhaps I will do some screen recording!  That could be fun!  Anyhow, here were the last bits of our conversation:
(09/06 10:05:04)  local _character: i have to go soon
(09/06 10:05:08) To local _character: me too
(09/06 10:05:11) To local _character: :(
(09/06 10:05:15)  local _character: :(
(09/06 10:05:23) To local _character: so call it a day?
(09/06 10:05:40) To local _character: dude 15 minutes every month isn't very rewarding haha
(09/06 10:05:55)  local _character: what do you mean?
(09/06 10:06:20) To local _character: i mean it's not fair that a month goes by and we only play for like half an hour
(09/06 10:06:33)  local _character: i know  
(09/06 10:06:49)  local _character: i need better time management
(09/06 10:06:53) To local _character: yes
(09/06 10:06:57) To local _character: hahaha
(09/06 10:07:18)  local _character: i have to go get the check engine light fixed on the car
(09/06 10:09:18)  local _character: lets see if we can playn tomorrow
(09/06 10:09:25) To local _character: ok goooooooooooooood!
(09/06 10:09:28) To local _character: yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
(09/06 10:09:31)  local _character: how do we save?
(09/06 10:09:44) To local _character: it's saved with touching cloths
(09/06 10:09:49)  local _character: ok
(09/06 10:09:55)  local _character: later
(09/06 10:09:59) To local _character: toodles
So, some progress, but hopefully tomorrow will bring more adventures.

local_character touching second Journey Cloth in Eder Gira