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Everything posted by BladeLakem

  1. I think that players ask the question, but generally poitnedly look the other way on it. Mostly because Cyan hand-waves that part of it as well, and seems content with it.
  2. We can note flags in the docs themselves until the site can support it in terms of flags and such. I think we need to sit down and decide how we are handling some of these things conceptually and then worry about forum/archive implementation.
  3. I'd like to be in on this. However, I think that there needs to be a lot of discussion with Cyan on story aspects of the FCAL process before the Archivists can effectively do their job in this respect.
  4. I always like the encountering people from another Age sort of thing. I just like worldbuilding, so designing a culture is always a fun thing for me. I don't think it'd run afoul with RAWA's guidelines, either - provided that contact with the D'ni is not a part of their background. (Well, I could see an argument for contact with some D'ni - a rogue Writer, etc. But not major sanctioned contact - that'd creep into off-limits areas, I'd think.) There's a lot to work with in that kinda of scenario. There is a long history of first contact stories in fantasy and science fiction. And introducing an outsider is a time-honored way of keeping your audience interested and teaching them about the culture at the same time. From a interactive fiction angle, this is more difficult. But it allows for some interesting opportunities. Say that an Age is made for people to visit. You can staff the age with people playing 'natives'. They can go about their business, their stories and such, and explorers waltz in and initiate first contact. That way the story gets played from both sides. As for the anti-Age group, I can see some interesting possibilities there. However, you'd have to play it very carefully - new Ages is the bread and butter of Myst gaming, really. Such a group would probably have to take a somewhat moderate position ("We shouldn't be writing Ages, but we can use the ages that are there already.") or very carefully make them an antagonist. This is a narrow line to walk - see the Anti-DRC movement for examples of just how narrow. The Hopi story veers a little into a gray area of blending surface concerns with cavern concerns - that's the same issue of government intervention in some ways. However, a small group might be good. Or a group of Navajo could claim domain over D'ni as 'the descendants of the D'neh that rose from the earth'.
  5. The Archive here is an excellent resource. MystLore is also an excellent resource.
  6. I'm strongly on the other side of the fence on this one. I think that the dynamic story is what gives Uru its unique flavor. It has not done a lot to address the issue of universal gameplay in Uru, no. However, I think that has more to do with the delivery method and how it was handled instead of the concept itself. The primary gameplay in Uru is passive - delivered content. It's also centralized - content comes from Cyan and trickles down. In that model, then there is always a deficit. However, if Uru is set up to support content in both top down and bottom up modes, then you can make it work. It starts with the understanding among the player base that they are going to be acting, instead of just observing and reacting. And it has to be followed up with active feedback from the people running the game/event in order to start the cycle. Now, it does break down when the loop is broken, which is what happened in Uru, IMHO.
  7. One of the ways you can categorize story in Uru is by static vs. dynamic. Static story is passive. It' is made up of set pieces - places, history, cultural artifacts (the D'ni language, etc). One does not so much interact with these things as one explores them and learns them. From a development perspective, these are more traditional projects. History isn't that different from a traditional narrative. Art is made in the traditional way, etc. Static story will probably need an FCAL to be considered 'canon'. Dynamic story is story in motion, and resembles role-playing. This is interactive and largely improvisational. These are the things you do In Cavern - conversations you have, etc. This have a certain level of canon to them because they actually happened. But only the things that actually happen. The rest is hearsay. The fact that I said something fits into that canon. Whether it is true or not is another issue. Thoughts?
  8. The paradox of D'ni in the real world is always going to be there. There's no reason why, if the government knew about D'ni, that they wouldn't exploit it like crazy. And I mean exploit it in all senses of the word - using resources, experimenting on linking books to make discoveries in physics, etc. The fact that the greater world does not know about D'ni seems baked into the universe. RAWA's comments seem to indicate it's just a direction Cyan doesn't want to go. So, yes, magical realism by your definition fits right in. People get used to things, no matter how fantastic, unless they are extremely traumatic. As an example, I ran a Weird Happenings role-playing game once. Pretty much I inserted whatever weird stuff I could think of and throew it at the characters. For the first year, there was a ton of 'Oh my god! Is that what I think it is?!?'. However, when I started the second year and added new players, the old players walked around like the fact that someone had figured out how to disassemble a person into component parts that looked like waxy white Koosh balls was perfectly normal while the new people gaped and stuttered a lot. So, I guess I'm saying that people adapt over repeated exposure. In fact, you can see examples of that 'accepting the fantastic as mundane' all over Uru. People use Relto books like a personal safety system. People link in and out like it's just riding the bus. People talk about Relto being theirs (This whole universe is theirs, and we only ever see a 1000 square meters of it). Etc. Though, the fact that the certain things that should happen (like the government finding out about D'ni) don't seem to happen could be a plot element. What if, somehow, the government never finds out, even when people try to tell them? Something seems to stop it. But no one knows why. Could be an interesting element.
  9. This is a running list of projects, storylines and organizations for expanding canon or alternate universes that are out there. Please post corrections, suggestions and additions so I can update this list. Background D'ni Musicological Research - recreation of D'ni musicD'ni Language Restoration Project - project to expand the D'ni language. Collaboration with RAWA and the D'ni Linguistics FellowshipD'ni Zoological Society - the D'ni Zoological Society has taken up the task of naming, photographing and classifying the myriad plants and animals in the ages of D'ni.The Lara Documents - Restoration of found D'ni documents, lead by IC character J.D. BarnesSubterranean Restorations fan-run storyline and restoration projects
  10. This is a running list of places for IC interaction for Uru. If you have additions or corrections, please post them. Official Places to be IC officially sponsored or approved by Cyan DRC Forums - Official Cyan site for IC stuff Canon-friendly Places that are not official, but are for interaction based in the Uru Canon D'ni Explorer's GuildUruBlogs - collection of IC Blogs. Individual blogs may or may not be canon-friendlyUru Obsession IC Forum - note that may not create additional 'character accounts' for this forum. Please read the In Cavern Guidelines. Non-Canon Places that aren't trying to be canon-friendly and are striking out on their own. Narayan is Waiting - Narayani Collective's RPG forums, based on the Age of NarayanNew Beginnings - a multi-player text adventure (MOO) set in the Myst Universe
  11. As far as your own characters go, if it was acceptable in MOUL, I don't see why it wouldn't be acceptable in MORE. The other players will decide for themselves whether your characters are believable and reasonable. Until we see specific problems that are serious enough to address, I'd rather let these kinds of things work themselves out. If you have a character that "dies" and then shows up in the Cavern again a week later, the other people are just going to write you off on their own. If you're seeing an obvious problem here that I'm not thinking of, feel free to enlighten me. This, too, is more likely to be measured by the other players rather than by restrictions from us. As long as you're not using a trademarked brand of gas station, for example, I don't have a specific problem with this that is leaping to mind. - The Relto Book Faerie. - How much do surface governments know about anything? - Yes, they link to the Cleft, but once they're on the surface, it's up to them where they go. Good questions, for which I don't know the answers at this point. While I don't oppose this in theory, in practice, Catherine's style is meant to be uncommon - few could pull it off and result in a stable Age. If too many people want to make "bizarre" Ages, we'll have to become more strict with this. This will likely be dependent on the Guilds doing the approvals. If you make changes to your Age, it will have to go through the approval process again.
  12. Some of this comes down to presentation. If you say the Age is the only place where the Caterer's got <insert specific plant/ingredient here>, then that is likely to be contradicted. If you say the Age is one of the places where the Caterers got <insert specific plant/ingredient>, then you'll probably be fine. The point of "self-contained" is to avoid contradictions with things Cyan or other Writers release. A project like Ahra Pahts would be fine, since it is self-contained, even though different areas within it are created by different people. No. Others groups in D'ni may have participated in it. In fact, saying that no other D'ni participated in <insert specific behavior> is as likely to cause a contradiction as saying that they all did. Basically, your goal is to not do anything that reveals information about D'ni society as a whole, because those are things that would be most likely to be contradicted. Attempted assassination of a King would be an indirect problem, because revealing a new assassin would imply that assassinations were commonplace enough to not be considered "new" information about D'ni society as a whole. Since that hasn't been revealed, that would be a problem. Trading in illicit Books, however, is something that is known to have been commonplace enough that one would expect to be able to learn about many people guilty of that who haven't been heard of before. I'm not saying that, but I'm not not saying that... If MORE at some point turns into Something Other Than MORE, we will do our best to incorporate the events of MORE into it as we did with incorporating the events in Until Uru into MOUL. A Linking Book to your Library would need to be written in the Library. I suppose that depends on how long "someday" is. I don't have a problem with this in theory, as long as one doesn't use this as a loophole to get around the rules and then "conveniently" end up not revealing it was, in fact, a deception.
  13. Clarifications by RAWA A Writer is limited by the fact that countless Ages on the Great Tree will match any given description, and the normal Writer (unlike Yeesha) has no control over which of those "matching" Ages his/her Book will be tied to. So while they will link to an Age with similarities to Myst Island, it won't be close enough to be considered an "instance" in the sense of "instances" that were seen in Uru (where "instances" were, for all intents and purposes, "identical" rather than just being "similar" to one another). This goes back to the age old question "If two Writers write identical Descriptive Books, will they link to the same Age?" To which the answer was along the lines of "No, since so many Ages on the Great Tree will match any given description, the chance of writing links to the same Age are so small that it is 'impossible' for all practical purposes." I've changed the wording of this example slightly in attempt to make this distinction clearer. ------ original ------ - Writer wants to "Write" a link to another instance of Myst Island. Verdict: Denied. This would violate Rule #1 (player Writers do not have Yeesha's special abilities to be able to write to other instances of an Age.) ------ updated ------- - Writer wants to "Write" a link to a specific instance of Myst Island. Verdict: Denied. This would violate Rule #1 (player Writers do not have Yeesha's special abilities to be able to write to specific instances of an Age.) - A journal would be fine, though you're likely only going to be able to provide a translated version of it. - Revealing what's behind a previously locked door in Bevin would problematic, as that is something that would be likely to be contradicted later. If it were a separate type of neighborhood (i.e. not a Bevin, Kirel, etc. 'hood layout) that would be ok, as there are likely many 'hood layouts that have not been revealed yet. - Correct, as those are places that have been mentioned/used in Cyan's games, novels, etc. However, I would personally be OK with you finding an area that might be Faresh's house, which leaves open the possibility for us to reveal Faresh's "real" house at some point without contradiction. It also leaves open the possibility for others to find places that might be Faresh's house, as well, so it's not just limited to one person getting to officially "lock down" anything that's been mentioned by Cyan. It would probably be safer, though, to do something like this under the looser guidelines for things that aren't intended to be "official", once those guidelines have been made available. SCGreyWolf is correct. Yeesha's Relto pages are off limits. Other collectibles would not be off limits, though the guidelines for props, clothing, etc. do not exist yet, either The specifics of these guidelines are still in flux. So I don't have a definitive answer to your question. But here are my thoughts, in case unofficial comments will help to give an idea of what's currently intended. The main point of the guidelines is to minimize contradictions as much as is humanly possible. An area of D'ni with a view of the lake is more likely to cause a contradiction than one that doesn't, so my personal preference would be to lean toward areas that don't have a view of the lake. Part of the Fan Created Art License is that if we make changes that affect your work, you are responsible and required to change your work to match up with the new information. So in this case, if, hypothetically, the Arch of Kerath were destroyed, and you can see the Arch of Kerath from your area, that's going to cause a contradiction, and you're going to be responsible for keeping your area in compliance to that agreement. So... my initial instinct would be to start with strict rules to minimize potential conflicts, as it is always easier to start with strict rules and loosen them as we go as it is to start with loose rules and try to tighten them as we go. Does that help, even if it doesn't give a concrete answer? The guidelines in this thread are pretty much limited to answering the questions of "Hey, I want to make a story, can I use <insert name of Cyan character>?" or "Hey, I want to make an Age, can I use <insert name of Cyan Age>?" or "Hey, I want to make a story, can I reveal that the D'ni <insert revelation about the D'ni>?" The answers to which are: we're trying to provide as much flexibility as we can while trying to maintain continuity as much as possible. Items - separate guidelines will be created... eventually. Fan run characters - I don't see these changing much from MOUL. Fans made all kinds of characters and character-oriented stories within the Cavern. You'll still be free to do that. So you essentially just found a second copy of the City Book in your Relto? Off the top of my head, it seems like that should be OK. Clothing - yes. Under separate guidelines, though. Book of Atrus - no. Copyrighted material. It depends on how strictly the rules are interpreted, which, in turn will depend on how much effort is going to be available for making sure FCA remains in compliance if/when changes are made. The safest way would be to say "no lake", so that once the area is approved, those approving the areas don't have to worry about contradictions with the lake later. But that's less than ideal. If it's going to be feasible for those approving the areas to make sure that released areas remain in compliance, then maybe things like the lake can be allowed. I don't know the answer to that at this point.
  14. RAWA posted guidelines for Official Story/Age Creation on the MystOnline forums. I am reproducing them below, as well as questions he has answered. I'll update this list as needed. Let me know if I missed anything or if the post on MystOnline has been updated and this one hasn't.
  15. This is a list of terms for dealing with story and the fiction of the D'niverse, designed to give people a common ground for discussing things. Some are commonly used, while others are suggested for use. This list will change as needed, so check back from time to time. Comments, suggestions and critiques are welcome. Artisitic License - Areas where Canon contradict the Myst games and novels, usually due to technical or logistic concernsBig 6 Guilds - The Guilds that have been in some way recognized as official by Cyan: Archivists, Cartographers, Greeters, Maintainers, Messenegrs, WritersCanon - The official body of what is true in the D'niverse.Content - More tangible gameplay items in Uru. Places to be (i.e. Ages), puzzles to solve, games to play, things to doCyantist - an employee of Cyan WorldsD'niverse - The fiction that is the background of the Myst and Uru games.Digital Actor - A character run by a person, usually in reference to those characters run by Cyan. See also Official CharacterFan Created Art License (FCAL). Legal permission from Cyan to use Cyan content/story for fan-projects. Handled by Cyan right now, but soon to be assisted by the Guilds.Fan-run story - story run by fans instead of Cyan.Fiction - The fiction is continuity of a universe or background. For Uru, the D'niverse is the fiction.Guilds - OCC, quasi-official fan organizations that provide services to fans in Uru. What constituted a Guild is a topic of much debate. IC, D'ni institutions that provided infrastructure and government. Some were 'restored' by the DRC in modern times.In Cavern (IC) - Acting as if the D'niverse as real. Similar to In Character in role-playing terms.Meta - talking about either the D'niverse from an outside perspective, or talking about a plot from an outside (often design) perspective.Official Character - Characters run by Cyan WorldsOut of Character (OOC) - Acting as if the D'niverse is not real. See also meta.Plot - A designed set of elements (scenarios, characters, events). Often referred to as a story as well.RAWA - Richard A. Watson, Cyantist and official D'ni Historian. RAWA has the final say of what is Canon.Role-Play (RP) - A gameplay style where a player plays someone different than themselves.Story - Intangible elements of gameplay. Plots, characters, history, events, etc. The nature of Story is a topic of debate.U are U - The gameplay style where a player plays themselves in the fiction. A play on the spelling of Uru (U-R-U). Sometimes You Are You.User Created Content (UCC) - Content (and sometimes Story) created by players of Uru.
  16. In 2006, the DRC Liaisons (now defunct) put together a very good document on IC and OOC standards in Uru. It was posted on the here on DRC Forums. It is reproduced below in its entirely.
  17. Veteran role-players are familiar with the terms "In Character" (IC) and "Out Of Character" (OOC). The terms In Cavern and Out of Cavern are the Uru equivalents of these terms - they even use the same acronyms. However, they are not exactly the same things. In traditional role-playing, being In Character means you act as if you are that character - you act as if you know what that character knows. Out of Character is when you step outside that role, and act as yourself as player. In Cavern is the same sort of thing. But it becomes a bit more complicated with the inclusion of the U are U concept, the idea that you are playing yourself in Uru. Rather than constructing a separate persona, the majority of players in Uru simply 'insert' themselves into the world. In this context, IC is focused on ones relation to the fiction of the D'niverse as opposed to the persona. Being IC means accepting the D'niverse as real and reacting accordingly. This is an immersive style of play. You are you - you aren't expected to know things you wouldn't normally know or be someone you normally wouldn't be. U are U is a continuum based on just how true to a player's IC life is to their Cavern life. At one end, the only adjustments are those required for the universe - knowing that D'ni exists, finding a Relto book, etc. As you move towards the other end of that spectrum, more details are adjusted. One thing to note is that being IC in this manner is separate issue from that of what most people refer to as Story. When people are talking story, they are generally referring to a narrative of some sort - a designed plot with a premise and defined elements (events, characters, themes, etc.). Someone who is IC can be a part of a plot, interact with it and move it along. However, they aren't tied to a plot. They may just be accepting the Cavern as real, immersed in the fiction. A subset of IC is Role-Playing (RP). Role-playing is a more traditional take on things. Someone has constructed persona that is different from themselves. It is a different 'person' with different skills and motivations than the player playing it. (All of the official characters in Uru fall into this set, except for when Cyantists log in as themselves). Some of these personas are just personalities - people to interact with. But often these characters will be part of a plot.
  18. Welcome to the Specific Plot Discussion forum! This forum is the place to talk out your own plot, story, project and character ideas and get feedback from others. You can use this to collaborate on your stories, make announcements about your activities, request help for projects and more. This includes projects, stories and characters that are intended to conform to canon, as well as those that break from it. This is also the place to discuss reactions to specific plot lines, give feedback and discuss what people are doing. No story in Uru lives in a vacuum, so constructive feedback and discussion is encouraged.
  19. Welcome to Polishing Canon! This forum is focused on discussing the nature of Canon in Uru and the D'niverse. This is also the place to discuss how to integrate stories and characters into Canon, as well as discussing when and how to break from Canon to forge your own path. Below is a brief discussion of Canon, which will be updated regularly. What is Canon? Canon is the body of information that is considered true and factual within a continuity of story and/or history. Within the context of the D'niverse, canon defines the details of the D'ni, the Art of Linking, the lives of Atrus and family, etc. For example, it is canon that the D'ni fled Ronay to Earth around 10,000 years ago. The ultimate authority on what is Canon is Cyan World, and more specifically Richard A. Watson (aka RAWA), the official D'ni historian at Cyan. Ambiguity of Canon, Levels of Canon and Artistic License The Canon of the D'niverse has gotten a bit vague in several places over the years, due to changes in development of the story and contradictions between various games and novels. Different games have presented details of the world differently, either due to technical limitations or business needs. Some decisions were made to retcon aspects of the world as well. In addition, there are areas which are deliberately vague and, in all likelihood, will never be clarified by Cyan. As I mentioned above, the ultimate authority on Canon is RAWA and Cyan. What RAWA says is true is the 'most real' aspects of the D'niverse. This is the most authoritative aspect of Canon. Slightly less authoritative are the Uru games (Uru: Ages Beyond Myst and the expansions, Uru Live, D'mala, Myst Online: Uru Live). These are treated by Cyan as the reality of the D'niverse in action. This can still be trumped by Cyan, however. What about the Myst games and novels? The Myst games and novels occupy a unique place in Canon. The games are not considered completely canonical. This is partially due to what Cyan has called 'artistic license'. Parts of the games are considered to have been artistic license to deal with technical issues and other considerations. The best example of this is the concept of a trap book. In Myst, Sirrus and Achenar are trapped in the books ("Bring me the blue pages!"). However, Cyan has stated that trap books do not exist in canon, even though they were used in both Myst and Riven. Rather, there were meant to be Ages behind those book, but would have made the game too complex to create. Another instance of artistic license is that Myst Island as presented in the Myst games isn not entirely accurate - Myst is actually bigger and has underground living chambers. Making this more complex is that the Myst games exist inside of canon as games. Within the canon of the D'niverse, Cyan made the Myst games based off of information they got from the early DRC, in the form of the journals of Katran. The differences between the games and 'reality' are written off, once again, as artistic license. The same holds for the novels. However, members of the DRC have stated that the Myst games are 'pretty close' to the reality. So while they are not considered authoritative, the Myst games and novels are considered to be strong sources. Modern happenings in D'ni and fan story Because Uru is considered 'real' in the D'niverse, everything that happened in the various incarnations of Uru can be considered to be 'real'. This means that actions taken by explorers (players) in the cavern have a level of canonicity to them. If something happened in the cavern, then it happened in the cavern. However, it is important to note that while the actions themselves did happen, anything those actions imply do not gain the same level of canon. You can say you are a descendant of D'ni, and the fact that you said it is as canon as anything else that happens in the cavern. But that does not make it true. There are a lot of gray areas in this interpretation. However, RAWA has stated that Cyan will generally try to treat things that happen in Uru as real.
  20. Welcome to the Building the Fiction section of DPWR's Writer's Ring forums! The purpose of this section is to provide a general forum for the discussion of Story and how it relates to Uru and Myst Online in its various incarnations. This is a place to discuss what the vague term 'story' means in the context of Uru and to talk about the fiction that is the D'niverse. This is also the place to talk about all of the skills and techniques that are involved in running story in Uru. This includes designing plots, scenarios and characters, and discussion about what makes a good story, character or event.
  21. Yeah, it's hard to come up with symbols that don't involve books and pens when so much of D'ni revolves around...well... books and pens...
  22. Fair enough. My goal was to make sure the essence of what I was trying to describe was understood.
  23. I am beginning to agree with you, and not just because you know where I sleep I think the issue here is that 'storytelling' in Uru has several definitions. But the one that I think we are discussing is Story. I think it's what we are all really reaching for, but I think it's one that no one has been able to define or talk about clearly, even Cyan. The Art of Story is made up of the Arts of Being In Cavern and Expanding Canon. These are disciplines of speculative re-enactment (as opposed to historical re-enactment), role-playing, world building and community management. I think you use a lot of the skills the GoFA is talking about - acting, creative writing, etc. But I think that these arts can't be reduced to their component parts. There needs to be a place where Authors (as opposed to authors), Imaginists or whatever you call them can gather, discuss and plan Story (not just story) and can get support for this art (which is vital to MORE) as an art itself, not just as a byproduct of other activities. Whether that place is a part of the Archivists, a part of the Fine Artists or an independent entity, I am not certain. But it needs to be considered on its own.
  24. I disagree that there is a conflict between creating Story and being an Archivist. I mean, no one is asking that Maintainers don't make Ages (and, in fact one of the Maintainer Guild Masters is really good at Age creation and actively pursues it). I'd think we'd need people well-practiced in Story to help be judges of what might be an issue and what might not. Now, I can see that an Archivist who makes a story shouldn't be part of the validation process for their particular story. But I don't think they should be precluded from engaging in storytelling themselves.
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