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

Monday, December 19, 2016

Working Walkthrough Preview

Alas, we won't be getting Obduction goodies under our Christmas trees--by the way, can anyone tell me what reward tier includes that little seed figurine?  Or is that actually one of the rewards?  I think I saw it before, but I could be wrong.

Anyway, as promised, I am providing a preview of what I am working on: my very own walkthrough.  As I go, I have to keep making nips and tucks in the formatting and all.  This is because I am still fiddling with the ultimate formatting criteria for my booklet.  It's going to be HUGE, too.  Some pages will have full-page images.  In case you are wondering what program I am using, it is Microsoft Publisher.  That program and I are old friends, and we go back to my days as a children's librarian when I taught interactive classes on various ancient civilizations.  I made full-color booklets full of information, text book style.  So I really learned Publisher inside and out, but after ten years I still encounter new things, believe it or not.  It actually began with a "newspaper" I wrote that was supposed to date to the reign of Hammurabi.  It was called Hammurabi Today, just one shekel an issue, and the newspaper's tagline was "Our news is news, not ancient history!"  HA!  I entertain myself.  (And that's copyrighted, fyi!)  It filled me with such glee to write that thing, and I had a really great article on classism.  I have a goal to publish this thing for kiddies some day.  I hope I will!  But that's another story for another time.

Without further ado, I bring you preview images of my walkthrough:

Yes, it takes forever to make this.  I'm sure you've already figured that, but I just want to confirm your guess.  On the other hand, it seems like it doesn't take too much work, but I assure you...it does.  I'm replaying the game according to sections I have outlined.  After I play that and work out the details, I write it and add images, etc.  I am shocked and amazed by how many things I missed in the first go.  In Farley's house, I had NO idea that the projector could be rotated to the right to shine on the screen with the Villein number hint.  Like...duh, you knooooowwww? (My best Valley Girl speak.)

It's bound to happen that you will notice new things after the first time, especially when you are trying to tell other people how to play it.  I can't get over how I completely had the swap device in the third sphere in the Gauntlet completely wrong.  So glad I fixed that!  I think, perhaps, there could be more tweaks to be made to that guide, but I think I'll just do it in the walkthrough booklet.  My desire for perfection may change that decision, though.  A friend of mine asked me "Do you ever half-ass anything?"  I replied, "Yes, my schoolwork!"  HA!  But then I made a graph to explain my ideas concerning ancient Egyptian socio-political development, so I could be wrong about that.  Actually, I just like making graphics.

I recently learned about the link text box feature in Publisher.  I think I'll toy with that, because if it functions the way I hope it does it will be remarkably simpler to write the pages!

For the layout and such, I have consulted the various academia books I have in my library hahaha!  Gotta make it look legit, amirite?

Note: I hope the images are showing up on your monitor as clearly as they show on mine.  I'm looking at them on a different screen at present and they are coming off as dark, so I don't know what that's about.  Also, any suggestions you may have I will take under consideration.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Guides Updated!

All right, so I went through my Maray puzzles guides and updated them, checked for typos, etc.  I probably still missed something, so if you find an error please tell me.

Speaking of errors!  My guide for Part I of the Gauntlet puzzle was horrifyingly incorrect!  I'm so surprised no one told me about it, with some people being to eager to correct others...  The main problem was in Swap Pod #6.  It contains two swap devices, which I hadn't realized before.  See, this is why you replay!  Now that you know the answers you can check and recheck exactly how you arrived at them.  I also learned that in the Group 5 swaps, you don't actually need to use device B at all.  All of this has been laid out more clearly in the revised guides:

Gauntlet Guide

Villein Numbers Guide

In other news, with regards to the walkthrough I am compiling, I have had lots of duh moments with that, too.  I think.  I can't quite remember now, actually ha!  Today is Monday and I thought it was Thursday, and I was gearing up for the weekend only to learn that it had already passed.  Talk about a bummer!

The walkthrough is looking amazing, if I do say so myself.  I am putting it together in such a way as you can have it printed and bound nicely (if you want) and add it to your physical rewards collection.  Obviously it also works just as well as a digital resource.  I will add the above guides to the walkthrough as appendices.  They'll look a tad different in terms of layout when they are added to the walkthrough because I want the formatting to match.  The puzzle answers will be within the walkthrough text itself, of course--just understand that the guides/appendices are spelling out the puzzle instead of just giving the answer.  In the walkthrough it would be more like "go here, move this, do that" and won't go into detail about how the puzzle really functions.

I even have a table of contents!  Oh I can't wait to show you!  So far I have reached the moment of just having opened the swing bridge, so I have a long way to go.  The cover of the booklet is gorgeous, and I managed to duplicate the Obduction title/logo, colors and all.  The image is a beautiful screenshot of the mind-trip zones in the trees.  It's the Hunrath portal looking through to the Kaptar portal.  If you've been good boys and girls this year maybe Santa will show you a preview.  Depends on how lazy or not lazy Santa is.

Since Santa is on the mind already, is it bad that I'm still waiting for a Festivus miracle that the physical rewards might find their way under my tree?  I do very much like presents.

You know, I already have lots of presents under the tree (which Bagheera and Topaz are working out how to destroy).  Have I mentioned this before?  I create a Christmas wishlist on Amazon, then have my mom log in to my account, order and gift wrap them and pay with my card so that I end up buying myself something for Christmas without knowing what it is I've gotten myself!  Clever, yes?  But then my mom goes one step further and buys me other things with her own money, and this year she sent me gifts from my cats!  Hahahahaha!!!!!  Before you snicker "crazy cat lady" just know that it wasn't my idea!  She, and a friend of mine also, sent Christmas gifts to the cats.  It's a crazy cat community!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Baladria's Walkthrough

I showed a friend of mine the Myst journal I compiled this summer.  You know the thing...that thing most fans do: a sort of role play journal with answers to all the puzzles.  There tend to be tons of drawings and the like.  That friend doesn't play computer games, so she was fascinated by my enthusiasm for Myst, and compared the journal to writing s dissertation.  Since she had been so mystified by that little ole thing, I showed her the two guides I put together on the two crazy Maray puzzles in Obduction.  She told me I should've gone into graphic design and game building instead of my current study and was blown away by my little diagrams.  I told her that am not by any means of the caliber required to go into either of those professions; she doesn't know about all the engines and gear and softwares that go into these things, all of which I know nothing about.  I guess I'll stick to little charts and diagrams that I make to relax. 

I'm going through my Gauntlet guide at the moment, running through Maray again to check all the facts and update where necessary.  I've already had some "duh" moments about the swaps which I hadn't caught on to my first time around. 

Now, I know there are countless walkthroughs out there, lots of YouTube videos, and websites with all the answers.  Nevertheless, I decided I would add to the noise and create my own walkthrough akin to the two guides I've written already!  And those two guides would be supplemental, more detailed versions of what you'll find in the walkthrough. I'm very excited about this and look forward to adding it to my material goods we should be getting eventually. 

They'd said December...wouldn't all the goodies look nice under my Christmas tree?

Be sure to check back to look for a new guide!  Yes, it will be public and available for download through Google Docs!

Happy holidays everyone!