I....I....I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL NOVEMBER?!?
That is all...
Myst Blogs is a compilation of various blogs
and journals from Myst fans all over the world.
Enter the mind of Myst fans!
This is based on last year’s equivalent, but much of that turned out not to be true, so I might as well repeat myself. Second time’s a charm, and all.
Mostly the same as before:
Now, keeping in mind that I have virtually no personal experience with other mobile OSes, I do have plenty with Windows 8 (in various settings, including on a tablet), as well as with some of what I deem to be more interesting jailbreak tweaks.
Let’s start thusly: iOS 6 disappointed me. Part of it goes back to what I wrote last year:
With each successive release having been a little more mature than its predecessor, iOS 5 has perhaps reached roughly the point of satisfaction that 10.4 Tiger had: plenty of features, not all of which you’ll use every day, and some you wish it had. But unlike Tiger, you’re largely stuck with what the OS has to offer. Extensibility mechanisms are few and far between. Apple has shown no sign of willingness to change that, and each passing year proves them more right in their conviction that they won’t have to.
And yet, 10.5 Leopard felt like a much bigger (if somewhat controversial — glass Dock, anyone?) leap than iOS 6 did. It’s not that it made the experience worse (to me, Apple Maps worked okay from the start, though I’ve found Street View to be far more useful and far less glitchy than Flyover, which isn’t really available here anyhow); it’s that people are using iOS devices more and more, in the “post-PC” way Jobs predicted, and in various ways, the OS hasn’t grown to accommodate for that. Hence, like I said, a bit of a repeat of last year.
Various design choices make carrying a bit of information from one app to another fairly cumbersome: typically, only one app will be actively running in a multitasking sense; only one app will be visible; mechanisms like Springboard, the app switching bar and the Notification Center are less about temporarily interacting with an app than they are about switching to it and fully bringing it frontmost; and each app lives in its own sandbox, including file management, so accessing a file you’ve created in another app isn’t as easy you might expect either.
iOS does provide a means of opening applications with URL schemes, enabling several sharing workflows. 3.0 and 5.0, respectively, added APIs to show sheets for sending off e-mail messages or tweets, so you won’t have to leave the app at all. And 3.2 introduced support for an Open With feature. The main limitation with these is that (the middle one excepted) they’re “push”-type workflows: you’re sent from one app to another, and then never back. Rather, what you frequently want is to “pull” information from another app, returning to where you had left off afterwards. The original app lacks a means of getting any result.
For some cases, app developers have become inventive to work around this:
But those aren’t desirable hacks, and many cases simply cannot be handled well at all. Tools such as 1Password and TextExpander come off as more cumbersome than their Mac counterparts through no fault of their own. Moreover, when integration is available, it is often limited to hardcoded, specific apps; you’d have a hard time launching a TextExpander competitor now simply because so many third-party apps have already been integrated with TextExpander itself in particular. You cannot, as an app, offer your services to other apps.
So, wanted: a means where app A (e.g., a word processor) can ask the OS for available apps of a type of service X (e.g.: text expansion), where app B in turn can register itself to offer just that, and where A can launch B with the special “bring me back my info when you’re done” parameter. Workflow-wise, it may make sense (and be less confusing to the user) to show the app’s relevant bits in a sheet; in particular, no navigation in the app’s UI should be possible.
The built-in apps are hardly bad (unless you count Reminders, the UI of which clearly only happened in some nightmare of mine), but Apple won’t and shan’t try to cover all situations — they’ve made a conscious choice to make their apps simple, leaving plenty of room to allow third parties (or themselves, as in iPhoto vs. Aperture) to offer something more advanced. Some may prefer using the GMail web interface as their mail client, iCab as their browser, or Calvetica as their calendar. There’s APIs for accessing some or all of the same data, but there aren’t ones to set defaults. Most jarringly, opening a web link in some app will still launch Safari, unless the app happens to provide its own means of choosing a different browser.
This doesn’t affect me much, but one scenario where I recently saw this as a problem is wanting a locked-down browser for a kid without relying on Safari’s own rather limited Parental Controls, but rather by using a third-party browser that’s designed around kid use. Making that the default browser, and preventing app installation as well as launching of Safari itself through Parental Controls, ought to do the trick.
And if this capability were to arise, it would encourage third-party developers to build alternative apps we can’t even dream of yet.
I know plug-ins go against Apple’s “everything is an app” grain that they’re apparently carrying over to the Mac as well, but they’ve already violated that principle in a few ways:
In addition to wanting an OpenVPN plug-in (sigh), there’s various obvious places where plug-ins would help:
The silo nature of “files belong to an app” isn’t for everyone, but it’s presumably here to stay. One thing that should alleviate the pain is system-wide search (see above). OS X has had this since 10.4 (though it really didn’t start working well for me until much later); resource constraints (e.g., battery life) aside, this arriving in iOS is hopefully just a matter of time.
In a sense, this will be more useful than on the Mac, due to so many native apps being available: search for a name, and see phone calls with them, their Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever profiles, your e-mail exchanges, replies and direct messages via Twitter, games you’re playing with them, and appointments you have with them. Search for a genre, and get the Wikipedia article as well as the iTunes songs or movies, or the books in iBooks or Kindle. Search for a subject, and get e-mails, articles, even news.
iOS gets this one so wrong, Apple’s own Pages has additional gestures to make it far less painful. Various jailbreak tweaks work similarly, and the whole thing screams for a UX overhaul.
While the phone app got some nice improvements in iOS 6, such as being able to set a call-back reminder or send a predefined text message response, it’s mostly the way it’s been since 1.0. It feels, perhaps to evoke familiarity, too much like a 90s’ era telephone brought to a touchscreen UI, ignoring technologies and capabilities like the Internet. It doesn’t even integrate with VoIP (though third-party apps have some limited hook-in abilitiy, such as being able to run in the background).
Eevn without a long-needed overhaul, though, there are improvements one could wish for:
There’s various smaller stuff — Mail ought to have OS X Mail’s better threading and junk filtering support; important toggles like Airplane Mode require far too many taps; Settings has gotten far too nested (maybe add a search field?).
You’ll also note that I skipped the current prevalent discussion entirely; that of 7 supposedly featuring a Jony Ive-inspired flatter UI. There’s not much for me to add to that discussion, really. Lastly, the discussion of whether Apple should add a Gatekeeper-like “allow me to run non-Store applications” switch is complex enough to warrant a separate post.
I think it’s a terrific OS. Let’s make it even better.
Unfortunately, it looks like yesterday’s announcement of support for the Nokia 5110 was a bit premature. It turns out, we don’t actually have any way of distributing the game to the 5110, due to limitations in the hardware.
As much as it saddens us to say it, we’re going to have to rescind our support for the platform. Perhaps one day, technology will be sufficiently advanced for us to renew our support of the Nokia 5110, but for now, you’re going to have to play the game on Mac OS X or Windows.
Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. Back in 2011 I had a lot of ideas for how Cyan could improve Uru. To that end, I traveled to Cyan Worlds headquarters in February of this year to cut a deal. I am happy to announce that, after long negotiations, I have been given the rights to Uru Live. Let me take a moment to go over the changes which will be going in effect in the coming weeks and months as my team and I work to convert Uru Live into the bustling economic powerhouse it was meant to be.
The first change is to the name. We are rebranding the game “Whil’s Quest™” to fit with the content updates we have planned. Those updates include a complete reboot of the Uru storyline and a shift in the game’s core mechanics. The game will now be a primarily single-player experience with optional multiplayer servers. The player will take on the role of Whiller McWhillington Esq. III Jr.™ who finds the ancient city of D’ni following the trail of his father, Whiller McWhillington Esq. III Sr.™. Players will enjoy hours of repeatable gameplay and unique custom content on a large-scale sustainable recycling program complete with reticulating splines, updated localization files, and 20% less Herobrine than Minecraft.
Speaking of Minecraft, fans of the popular sandbox game will be pleased to know that Whil’s Quest™ will be rendered entirely out of cubes and will come with a fully-featured crafting and resource-gathering system.
On the topic of resources, this new version of Uru Live will launch with a much-asked for feature: player currency. Single and multi-player experiences will reward players with currency for completing activities such as: quick-time events, block stacking, D’ni tax filing (it’s all in base 5!), mowing your Relto’s lawn, in-game drug-smuggling missions, playing a game of Bastion, listening to old D’ni YouTube fads, quick-time events, posting to the official forums, making a sammich, and quick-time events. Players can use these “Whilbucks™” to purchase additional costumes and hats for their character, purchase season passes to additional levels, purchase the solution to any puzzle in the game, unlock better weapons and armor, purchase hats for their character, trade for useful items such as health, mana, and stamina potions with other players, and unlock the ability to actually play the new SimCity.
As for the online component, the game will be available on a wide range of platforms and will feature mini-games which players can use to accrue currency. The game will be primarily web-based with the new flash-based game engine. New ports will be coming out for Android phones, the PSP, the original GameBoy, and Java.
Now, with all that good news there must come some bad. First off, obviously the plans for open source are cancelled for the foreseeable future. We will try and get a modding API out sometime in the next decade, depending on whether or not I feel like it. Another piece of bad news is that I am afraid in the corporate streamlining that many of Cyan’s employees had to be let go. Rand Miller, who of course started the company, has been given a very nice severance package including free parking in the lot next door, an early beta of Whil’s Quest™, as well as 1500 Whilbucks™. RAWA was let go, but we have yet to be able to find him. If you’re out there, Richard, we’ve got some nice parting gifts to give you, buddy, come on out. We’re pretty sure that’s you in the ducts. We’re honestly surprised you got up there.
So I hope this has given you a window into the plans my team and I have for the future development of Uru Live aka Whil’s Quest™. I look forward to working with some of you and I look forward to playing with all of you. Remember: Where there’s a Whil, there’s a way.™
Hier, l'oeuf polymère fait par Tchérie d'Amûr transposant l'effet Greeble de la 3D sur un objet réel m'a rappelé une astuce utilisée il y a longtemps pour rendre un effet "Star Wars" en 3D. En quoi consiste l'effet "star Wars" ? Ben, sensiblement la même chose que le Greeble : recouvrir une surface d'excroissances [...]
Historically, our stance on platform support for the Starry Expanse Project has always been that Mac OS and Windows come first, and everything else is a possibility for the future. But as technology advances, so must our project. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be bringing The Starry Expanse Project to a new platform – a mobile one.
We recognize that mobile platforms, particularly phones, are the way of the future. More and more games are being released for the iPhone, Android, and sometimes even Windows Phone platforms. These devices all have their pros and cons, but we have found that none of them really have the staying power, the resilience that we require of our technology.
There is, however, one platform that does meet these criteria. A powerful, flexible, mobile platform, with the strength to resist any and all competition.
We are, of course, talking about the Nokia 5110.
That’s right, folks. As of today, we are officially adding the Nokia 5110 to our lineup of supported systems. The game will be made available for the mobile platform on the same day as it’s available for Mac OS and Windows, and it will be a fully functional version of the game – not the usual crippled fare you’ll find in a mobile edition. We aren’t cutting any corners; check out some of these screencaps below, taken from our dev unit:
Keep in mind that, as with all screenshots that we post, these are a work in progress. We are aware there are some problems and glitches, so please refrain from reporting them.
We’re feeling extra generous today, so we decided to give you guys a sneak peek at another aspect of the project, one that we are asked about quite a lot: sound! For a long time now, we’ve been debating how we’re going to be handling the music in our game, whether or not to remake (or even replace) the score originally composed and performed by Robyn Miller. Well, we’ve finally reached a decision, and well…we hope you agree that we made the right one. Have a listen to a sample of the soundtrack from the upcoming Nokia 5110 edition of the Starry Expanse Project:
We are really excited about the new platform, let us know what you guys think of it! What other platforms would you like to see the game ported to?
Update: Unfortunately, development issues have forced us to rescind our support for the Nokia 5110.
Tiens, dépoussiérons un peu ce blog qui s'endort… Je ne fais plus guère de 3D ces temps-ci, mais comme chaque année à la même époque, C4D nous gratifie de son Easter Egg pascal, ça me donne l'occasion de respecter la tradition. Les plus perspicaces d'entre-vous y verront peut-être une référence à un objet étrange apparu dans [...]
As of today, The Starry Expanse Project now has an official page on Facebook. Be sure to express your interest via the thumbs-up button for more updates!
Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/starryexpanse.
Also, stay tuned for a surprise next week!
Update (2013-03-27): Sorry guys, the surprise has been postponed till next week. We’ll post on Twitter, Facebook, and here when it’s ready, and thanks for following us!
It’s time for the T-shirt logo contest for Mysterium 2013! This year’s Age theme is Myst Island itself, in honor of 2013 being Myst’s 20th anniversary. Please send us your submissions!
Entries must be submitted by April 15th, 2013.
Entries not meeting submission guidelines will be discarded. The submitter will be notified and given the chance to resubmit.
Entries are to be kept confidential until after the winners are announced. Entries found posted in any public format prior to that date will be disqualified. (This includes publicly asking people to look at your entry elsewhere, but does not include privately asking people for help.)
Screenshots from any of the games are not allowed.
The Committee reserves the right to make small design adjustments as needed to facilitate printing. We will do our best to work with the submitter.
You may submit as many designs as you like. If submitting one or more monocolor designs, please specify if it is for the front or the back.
All submissions become the property of Cyan Worlds Inc.
Entries must be high quality (300 DPI minimum for raster images), however vector images (.svg, .ps, .eps, .ai) are strongly preferred.
Our preferred file formats are: .ai, .psd, .ps, .eps, .svg
We will also accept: .png, .pdf
Please do not submit: .gif, .bmp, .jpg
The Falling Man Logo – .jpg, .eps, .tif, and .svg – http://www.mysterium.net/logo/
The shirt front logo should be a simple, easily recognized design. It must incorporate the falling man. It will be used on the front of the Mysterium t-shirt and on other convention memorabilia.
Grayscale – keep in mind that this will be black pigment on a white background, and thus we cannot guarantee the accuracy of halftone reproduction.
Must use Falling Man logo
May contain Location and Date
May contain word “Mysterium”
Print size should be no less than 8” x 8”
The FRONT LOGO may alternately be substituted with a maximum 3” x 3” POCKET LOGO with the same requirements listed above.
The shirt back logo is more detailed than the front logo, and often visually represents the location Mysterium is being held.
Up to four colors – these may contain halftones/shading, but no color blending/gradients
May use Falling Man logo
May contain Location and Date
May contain word “Mysterium”
Print size no less than 9” x 12”
Please direct all submissions, concerns or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and the committee will respond promptly.
We’re hard at work on the next big Starry Expanse announcement, but we wanted to take a moment to address a question that has come up a lot recently, the Oculus Rift. For those of you who are not aware, the Rift is an upcoming head-mounted virtual reality display, specifically built for video games. It blasted through its Kickstarter campaign, raising over 900% of its original goal (that’s over 2 million dollars!), and is now well on its way to becoming a reality. It is backed by a lot of really big names, like Valve and Epic games, and already natively supports Unity and the Unreal engine.
So naturally, everybody wants to know – will The Starry Expanse support the Rift?
Our answer to that is, unfortunately, a vague one. We here at 59 Volts all agree that the Oculus Rift looks pretty dang cool. Playing our game on a head-mounted display as great as the Rift promises to be sounds like a dream – Myst is all about immersion, and what better way to immerse oneself than through VR?
At the same time, as much as it pains me to say this, our game is far from being complete. Like, still a few years, at least. With that in mind, we’re unwilling at this time to commit ourselves to supporting anything beyond what we’ve already promised – that the game will play on a standard Windows computer, or on a standard Mac OS X computer.
To be clear: this is not to say that we will not support the Rift. In all likelihood, we will ultimately do what we can to support the Rift. But we’re not promising anything until the game is a lot more complete.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted us about the Oculus Rift, we hope that this is enough of a satisfactory answer. As always, stay tuned for more updates about the project soon!
Shorah to the community! I’m Capella, chair of the Falling Man Group for 2013, and I look forward to working with the new committee to bring Myst fans everywhere a wonderful Mysterium.
The Falling Man Group knows that you’ve all been patiently waiting to hear about Mysterium 2013, and we’re here to bring you the good news: Mysterium 2013 will take place in Rochester, New York.
Rochester has a great location in upstate New York. It’s right alongside Lake Ontario and less than a day from from many major cities, including Toronto, New York City, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Washington DC, and Boston. The city is beautiful in the summer, and packed with things to do that will appeal to Myst fans. Here’s a short list:
-Strong Museum of Play (complete with an International Center for the History of Electronic Games, plus a Butterfly Garden!)
-The George Eastman House, a museum of photography and film
-A science center with a planetarium
-Seabreeze amusement park (accessible via bus routes)
-The Dryden Theatre (one of the few places in the US able to show nitrate film)
-A variety of attractive parks and walking trails
-And much much more.
The 2013 Mysterium planning committee will consist of Capella, Lutra, estelendur, and Kaelri. You’ll be hearing more about us and our roles in the next few weeks. The Falling Man Group will provide their experience, resources, and support to the new committee.
We can’t wait to see you in August!