Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Revelation

Okay, I must admit, this is a bit off-topic. The title of this blog doesn't refer to the last book of the Bible. I've been playing the fourth Myst adventure: Revelation. I just had to comment on the exceptional graphics.

The attention to detail in the age of Tomanha is astonishing. When the clouds move across the sun, approprate parts of the landscape dim accordingly. When I turn about, I hear my virtual feet scuffle. When I focus on nearby objects, distant objects go out of focus. When I focus on distant objects, nearby objects go out of focus. The water is very realistic. Some of it is still with slight movement. Some of it moves slowly and you can see impurities in the water float along in it. Fast moving water looks real and doesn't look like a simple loop. Mist from the water may rise up. The alndscape looks real. I have only gone to one other age: Spire. This seems to regress a little in quality, probably due to the lack of similarity to earth, but the action is just as realistic. The burning sun under the age is a cool effect. I started to sweat when I first saw it from underneath the crystal "organ".

I did, however, look for my shadow. It's not there. I looked for my feet which I heard scuffing about and they aren't there. The cursor is fairly realistic, but it looks like a disembodied hand - like Thing on the Addams Family. I do like the fact that you can choose a left hand or a right hand. Also neat is that the shadows of the hand change depending on the elevation of your focus as though it were lighted from a point alwaus to the front of my focus and just slightly above the horizon. These are very minor issues, but humorous to think of.

Some of you not familiar with Myst may think this commentary odd. The Myst series is a set of adventure games that conisist of exploring different worlds or "ages" and solving puzzles associted with a storyline. The travel from one age to another involves opning up a book that describes the age to which you desire to travel and placing your hand over the window on the first page. You then materialize in the new world. The writing of these books is usually done by Atrus who learned the art of writing these books from a people called the D'ni (pronounced "Dunny"). The storyline involves Atrus' somewhat dysfunctional family. He has a good enough marriage, but his father, Ghen, is an evil overlord and his sons take after their grandfather. I haven't gotten to the fifth and final Myst yet to meet his daughter as an adult, but in Revelation, she is precocious yet personable pre-teen.

Enough off-topic for now. If I find anything striking in either of the other two ages, I'll post again. If not, Happy Mysting...

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