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What would you change in Myst IV?

#1 User is offline   Thestrangered 

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:33 AM

That is the question. I have seen a lot of criticism about Myst IV, and while I liked it, it really didn't have this awesome Riven and Myst feeling to it. Maybe it was the puzzles, the story, I don't know.

So, what would you like to change in Myst IV? what would you change so it would be better?

(and please no "GET RID OF SERENIA AND DREAM!" or "THE BROTHERS NEVER RETURN! TRAP BOOKS!" or such. I'm talking about samller changes. Get rid of a certain puzzle, or change it. A certain way to improve the depth of the characters)
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#2 User is offline   aander91 

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 11:07 AM

Better scripting.
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#3 User is offline   luna 

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 11:29 AM

well, maybe it is too much of a change but either get rid of the memory amulet or the other hints for the puzzles. Sometimes you get the solution on paper and as memory which I think is kind of over doing it for a myst game. It is supposed to be hard after all.

Click to reveal hidden content
like achenar's snake lock. There is a paper showing you what to do and a memory every time you encounter it.

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#4 User is offline   Talashar 

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 12:46 PM

Either recast Catherine or cut her lines out entirely.

Make Achenar more nervous.

My suggestions for Serenia and Dream would be fairly major changes, so at the very least I'd skip the last puzzle.
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#5 User is offline   Johnraka 

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:56 PM

View PostTalashar, on Aug 26 2010, 07:46 PM, said:

Either recast Catherine or cut her lines out entirely.

Make Achenar more nervous.

My suggestions for Serenia and Dream would be fairly major changes, so at the very least I'd skip the last puzzle.



Lose the 'time' factor on the Spire chair and make the Mangree puzzle a bit easier (or different) for those of us who are not musically inclined. (Would lose the 'time' element here too).
Mind you I had similar issues with the Spaceship in Myst so...

Found the whole 'Spirit' thing in Serenia a bit tedious too. Myst/Riven was about solving puzzles, as good as Revelation was it started to go down the usual 'PC Game' route in terms of its gameplay which made it less enjoyable than Riven or Exile..
Oddly enough I enjoyed the whole 'dream' thing although I appreciate that I am in the minority here...
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#6 User is offline   Thestrangered 

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 03:06 PM

As for the amulet, I think you are right. One of the nicest things in Myst was figuring out what's going on. The amulet gives out too many hints about the environment. I would limit the amulet for something as low as 2 memories per age. Also, once you make the amulet less frequently used, you make it more special.

As for Serenia, I would get rid of Curtains in Dream (it's a great song, but really it doesn't fit in a Myst game. Unless it's on a radio or something, like Zandi's radio...but not as background music). More scientific explanation on how things work (I think more could be expanded on the big dream flower-thingy). Better actors for some protectors. I would get rid of the first dream puzzle (it was quite stupid), and make the second dream puzzle easier (putting memories back together was good enough, but the way the symbols work makes no sense). And I think I would get rid of the offering puzzle...or at least make it easier...the offering vanished too often.
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#7 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 06:17 PM

Might be big, but I'd remove the amulet (replacing it with video/sound journals/recordings by the brothers, more journals and notes, and some recorded footage from the crystal imager).

Recasting Catherine :P Sorry, Yannin, you too.

A different journal, definitely (that was quite jarring and just weird and ugly looking for no reason - something more like Myst V's [not with the functionality of save points, but with that general look] would work better).

Atmospheric effects workable during the animations for the big movements (so the air didn't suddenly go clear every time you make a cinematic movement, then revert back to having wind and dust and all afterwards).

A little bit more of a case for Sirrus (either in his Serenia speech, or in a journal or memories there) for the end.

Better technical, visual, sound, and musical stuff, of course (not that it was bad in that, but more greatness is always good).

A differently laid out Serenia. I'm not sure particularly why.

Better Atrus journals. The wording and all just didn't seem to fit.

A bit different interpretation of Catherine's journals and role in the story.
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#8 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 07:59 PM

Making both brothers completely innocent and have instead an escaped and bent-for-vengeance Gehn be the Big Bad.

Ok, seriously, I'd definitely get rid of the amulet; all it does is serve as exposition, and it doesn't really do that at all well; some of the hints are far to blatant. Some, like the hint for the snake-dragonfly-creature-thing in Haven are insulting to the players' intelligence (I think finding a note is good enough the first time).

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A little bit more of a case for Sirrus (either in his Serenia speech, or in a journal or memories there) for the end.

Yes, definitely. The way he is in the game, he's so obviously the villain the only reason to get the bad ending is because you want to (sort of like in Riven, but that's beside the point).
Also, I wish they had been a little more faithful to the original characterisation of the brothers from Myst, even though there wasn't much to really to go on. Still, I don't get 'Overacting Supervillain' from Robyn Miller's performance in Myst. And Achenar is just way too calm, even after the effects of the therapeutic Mangree.

And Serenia. I intensely disliked Serenia, but I feel it could be handled much better. I'm fine with fantasy and spirit worlds and all that, but it would have been better if Dream was handled a bit more, well, like a DREAM. More subtlety, more of the feeling that what happened in Dream may or may not have actually happened. And no puzzles. I don't know about Team Revelation, but when I dream, there aren't any well-structured puzzles.
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#9 User is offline   realXCV 

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 09:07 PM

Better acting.
A different final puzzle.
More puzzles.
The view from the top of the observatory they didn't have time to do.
Compatibility with Snow Leopard
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#10 User is offline   Thestrangered 

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 12:28 AM

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Might be big, but I'd remove the amulet (replacing it with video/sound journals/recordings by the brothers, more journals and notes, and some recorded footage from the crystal imager).


Don't know if completely removing the amulet is the solution, but as I said, making it much less frequently used would be better.

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A different journal, definitely (that was quite jarring and just weird and ugly looking for no reason - something more like Myst V's


Yeah, I think all Myst games need one (even though I never use it :P ).

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Atmospheric effects workable during the animations for the big movements (so the air didn't suddenly go clear every time you make a cinematic movement, then revert back to having wind and dust and all afterwards).


Well, easy solution for that: make it realtime! :sepdet: (maybe not that easy).

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A bit different interpretation of Catherine's journals and role in the story.


Thinking about that, it could be really nice. Maybe she returns from Tay after nightfall...
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#11 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 08:45 AM

View PostThestrangered, on Aug 26 2010, 11:28 PM, said:

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Might be big, but I'd remove the amulet (replacing it with video/sound journals/recordings by the brothers, more journals and notes, and some recorded footage from the crystal imager).


Don't know if completely removing the amulet is the solution, but as I said, making it much less frequently used would be better.

Well, I didn't like the background and general flavor of the amulet either (and it just seems tacked on to Serenia/Dream just so that they could get its gameplay usage), or its very linear "oh look, a clew, Watson!". Less frequent, less bashing-over-your-head recordings just of a natural kind would work just as well for most of the cool things it did (more voice acting, more atmosphere in places, and not everything being the same journal type).

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Quote

A different journal, definitely (that was quite jarring and just weird and ugly looking for no reason - something more like Myst V's


Yeah, I think all Myst games need one (even though I never use it :P ).

Yeah, all Myst games should have a Myst IV camera and a Myst V journal (without the save functionality part - that's not needed).

Quote

Quote

Atmospheric effects workable during the animations for the big movements (so the air didn't suddenly go clear every time you make a cinematic movement, then revert back to having wind and dust and all afterwards).


Well, easy solution for that: make it realtime! :sepdet: (maybe not that easy).

Shouldn't it be easy even if not realtime? I mean, the atmospheric effects have to be placed over the static cube images and the various animations in the normal scenes anyway - would it really have been that hard to also place them over the full videos (or to just make the videos with such effects)?
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#12 User is offline   realXCV 

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 12:00 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Aug 27 2010, 10:45 AM, said:

Shouldn't it be easy even if not realtime? I mean, the atmospheric effects have to be placed over the static cube images and the various animations in the normal scenes anyway - would it really have been that hard to also place them over the full videos (or to just make the videos with such effects)?

If you include the effects in the videos, they may not look like the realtime versions because they won't be at the same state.
If you place them over, you have to compensate for the camera movements. If one effect is visible at the beginning and at the end of the video, it has to be shared between the two nodes. Not just something similar in both nodes. If something looks right from an angle, it doesn't mean that it will look right from every angle. The shadow effect used in Tomahna (day) and Serenia requires a fixed camera position.

When you enter Atrus' bedroom, you can see the skybox behind the transition video.
In the ride between the two island on Spire, the effects are visible.
During the cinematic where the camoudile kills a zephtyr, the sky and lens flare effect are visible.

But they should have at least made sure that the FOV angle are the same between the node and the video. Same goes for the lighting.
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#13 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 07:06 PM

View PostrealXCV, on Aug 27 2010, 11:00 AM, said:

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Aug 27 2010, 10:45 AM, said:

Shouldn't it be easy even if not realtime? I mean, the atmospheric effects have to be placed over the static cube images and the various animations in the normal scenes anyway - would it really have been that hard to also place them over the full videos (or to just make the videos with such effects)?

If you include the effects in the videos, they may not look like the realtime versions because they won't be at the same state.
If you place them over, you have to compensate for the camera movements. If one effect is visible at the beginning and at the end of the video, it has to be shared between the two nodes. Not just something similar in both nodes. If something looks right from an angle, it doesn't mean that it will look right from every angle. The shadow effect used in Tomahna (day) and Serenia requires a fixed camera position.

When you enter Atrus' bedroom, you can see the skybox behind the transition video.
In the ride between the two island on Spire, the effects are visible.
During the cinematic where the camoudile kills a zephtyr, the sky and lens flare effect are visible.

But they should have at least made sure that the FOV angle are the same between the node and the video. Same goes for the lighting.

Yeah, I can see it could be difficult. Still... I don't know. I actually didn't notice too many problems in any Age other than Haven, which has particularly jarring transitions (especially near the beach and jungle [for example, go to about 1:35 in this video to see the rather drastic change that happens for almost all of the video points there]). Probably was simply a more noticeable effect than others, or simply harder to replicate in videos. Still, it almost would have been better if the effect wasn't there to begin with, or was included in the video, even if it made a stuttering effect or something when viewed.
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#14 User is offline   realXCV 

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 02:14 AM

That's obviously not their best. It looks like it was rendered before they even thought of adding realtime effects. If you disable all the effects, it starts to looks a lot more like the video.
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#15 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 02:26 PM

View PostrealXCV, on Aug 28 2010, 01:14 AM, said:

That's obviously not their best. It looks like it was rendered before they even thought of adding realtime effects. If you disable all the effects, it starts to looks a lot more like the video.

Yeah, I'm sure there's got to have been something they could have done to at least make it closer to the effect-full version (but yeah, perhaps they were the first scenes rendered that would really need such extensive integration with realtime effects). I almost wish I could just selectively disable the effects for that area alone (it ends around the Jungle, iirc), because it still doesn't look too bad without them (but the transitions are a bit jarring).
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#16 User is offline   realXCV 

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 03:48 PM

Easy solution: disable the effect while you are in that area and re-enable them when you are in the jungle. Just disabling the particles should be enough.
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#17 User is offline   MagnumVsRockford 

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 03:38 PM

Re-render the scenes in HD and enable for widescreen screen resolutions. It is really starting to annoy me on newer computers.
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#18 User is offline   aander91 

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 04:10 PM

View PostBob Blusoe, on Sep 5 2010, 09:38 AM, said:

Re-render the scenes in HD and enable for widescreen screen resolutions. It is really starting to annoy me on newer computers.


This. I really had problems getting this to look decent on my widescreen monitor.
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