Myst 5 demo is out!

Apparently the last in the series (which, even though I’m a fan is a good thing). I haven’t tried it yet so I have no comment on how it plays. I’m a little worried about the real time 3d ( Remember URU? gah! ). Either way… woo!

Anyhoo… you can get it here
280 meg

I tried it. It looks really promising. The control is approximately 1.37 billion times better than Uru. They have a few different options for movement, including one that’s a straight shooter-style setup (your cursor is locked in the middle of the screen, and mouselook is always on) that worked very smoothly, and an interesting setup that uses node-based movement just like the non-3D Myst games. It’s actually sort of neat; I imagine non-action gamers might even prefer it.

I dunno, it seemed decent, but I still think it feels like a step back from Myst IV. I miss the note system from Myst 4, and I thought the long pauses in speech from the guy in the demo were really damn annoying. I also thought the atmosphere was a lot stronger in 4 than what I saw here. But again, it’s not bad, it just feels not quite as good.

I liked IV a lot, too. I thought they took that 2D engine about as far as it could go in that game, and there were definitely some advantages that it had over even a 3D engine (the depth of field thing was really amazing, for instance). Still, on balance, I think I prefer the 3D free-movement. I do miss the note system and the camera, though who knows? Maybe that’s something you get in the full game at some point.

I’m still not a big fan of the real time 3d engine… it’s just not “myst” to me. Even with todays graphics I find that we still can’t match anything in terms of what pre-rendered can do. I’m even going to go out on a limb and say that Riven looked better than this, though I guess that’s not really hard.

“I thought the long pauses in speech from the guy in the demo were really damn annoying.”

Yeh, same here… I just wanted him to shut up so I could go exploring. When he was giving me the speech on the slate I kept thinking “In russia the slate writes on you!” and even went to make a drink while he was rabbiting on.
The demo also needs a save thing… it’s a real pain in the ass when you change graphics and have to start again or if I have to go out and come back later. Even if your demo is only 20 minutes long I don’t think it’d be an issue to at least allow me to save my game.

Here’s some screens for those who haven’t downloaded it yet… They’re with everything on high (The resolution is as high as I can go but it should be fine for most of you.)

I really didn’t like IV, I thought the puzzles were just not engaging and the 2D thing had worn out its welcome.

I kind of like V, but I didn’t “get it”. Was there any point to writing on the slate in the demo? I guess that is how you get the guy to teleport it up to the inner chamber thing (after the demo ends), but that would just be a cheap thing to get around this artificial constraint they imposed of not letting you carry it up the ladder. But, hopefully they do more interesting stuff with the writing in the “real game”, because it could be neat.

Was there supposed to be a way to figure out how to open up the tunnel without trial-and-error? I spent a long time at the top of the hill cross-referencing all the symbols to numbers, etc, etc, which all proved utterly pointless as any guesses I had as to how to do things, proved fruitless. In the end I just started trying random things, walk down there, okay almost need to tweak it one more, walk back up, etc etc. It was like 10 trips or something… annoying.

So I read the answer in a walkthrough. And I have gotta say I am pretty disappointed.

First of all, I actually tried the thing that is supposed to trigger the rain event, and the code that’s supposed to parse the picture I drew on the tablet just failed, and the alien guy did his “I don’t know” shaking his head thing. So I assumed that the little glowy symbol was for something else (after all – there are symbols all over the freaking place).

That is kind of unforgivable, to hinge your game design on some feature that is hard to get right from a tech standpoint, then to go ahead and mess up the programming for that. Jeez guys. They didn’t even design the game so that there’s a “that was close” kind of indicator – either the alien dude knows the symbol or he doesn’t, so there is no tolerance for error. This is an unforgivable design error especially in combination with the “pattern recognition tech is hard” issue.

(Another note: At one point early in my play-through I drew a circle with the dot inside, which happens to be the number 1 but I didn’t know that at the time… and the alien just interpreted this as the tombstone-shaped symbol that means the entry link point, and teleported the thing there. Oooops.)

Furthermore, this just ends up being some kind of elaborate disguise of a key/door puzzle where the fiction is stretched to the breaking point. why is this teleporty alien guy following my instructions to make it rain on this bizarre tent thing that just exists to give me a secret code to get into a place I’m not supposed to get? Whatever.

At least the trial-and-error way that I solved the puzzle made sense, and it let me employ some reasoning in a natural way (to figure out how to open the tunnel in a reasonably small number of turns). The other part where I used some reasoning and perception (figuring out the numbers were numbers, and mapping those to the letters or whatever) was totally unused in the demo, which is kind of a bummer.

I always, always feel like these modern adventure games’ puzzles are very poorly designed, and this is no exception. But, I really like the idea of a puzzle game in a freeform 3D environment, so watch me buy it anyway.

After I finish my current game, maybe I will make a 3D puzzle game the way they ought to be made!

I just want to know if Atrus’ house is built on the same basis as his crappy book worlds. There you are, bursting to go to the loo, only to hit four different mechanical puzzles just to unlock the toilet paper.

I think you should, if only to have just another 3d puzzle game :D

It’s 3 circles with vertical lines coming out of them. How hard is that to draw with a mouse? Unless you did like me the first time and drew them as you saw them on the ground, instead of upside down on the slate to match the shape of the slate with the shape of the stone the symbols were on. Even drawing the more complex (although still pretty simple) symbols side by side on the slate was recognized by the creature the first time for me. So I think from a technical standpoint, they got it exactly right. Whether or not it adds significantly to the gameplay is another matter, but there’s nothing wrong with how it works so far.

Much as I loathe it, I want to understand this confounded demo. I got to the four stone rotatey-nubs around the big dome house. All I could think to do was line them up to the symbol of the window they corresponded to. When I discovered not all of them had the right symbol available, I tried matching them to the window opposite. That didn’t do anything, so I tried matching them to the next one along clockwise, then anti-clockwise. Didn’t have the right symbols. Then, I cried for a while.


Have you looked through the windows at the symbols inside the dome?

Dude, all I am saying is, the game didn’t work for me, which is an objective fact, not an opinion.

Maybe I did something wrong. I did try both right-side-up and upside-down versions of the symbol, but maybe I messed something up when I flipped it upside-down. Maybe I elevated the middle part of the symbol in the wrong direction, or something. This is exactly my point about the lack of player feedback. The game gives you either a “that’s right!” or “that’s not right!” answer, there is nothing in between, so when you get something “basically right” but one part of it is wrong, then it just looks entirely wrong. So then you go off on some other line of inquiry. In fact, when you draw the thing upside down, you ought to get some kind of reaction other than “that’s wrong”. Especially since the fictional backdrop for this is that an intelligent creature is looking at the tablet.

Keep in mind that there are tons of symbols written all over the place, that do nothing (in fact as I pointed out, some of them do something that is the wrong thing). So there is no special reason as a player to believe that this one symbol is supposed to work.

That they didn’t make this work better is simply bad game design. But like I said, I will probably buy it anyway.

To take one small part of this problem and rephrase it in a different light:

If you’re a game designer and you make the decision that you’re going to have a puzzle where a player has to figure out to write down a symbol that’s upside down from how you show it to them on the screen… then you are responsible for the player experience that results from your decision. It is the designer’s job make that player experience good, in light of things that will inevitably happen (symbol written a little messily, or gotten a little wrong after flipping it, or whatever). If the designer can’t do this for a particular puzzle, then he shouldn’t have put that puzzle into the game in the first place.

welcome to every Myst game ever. The most overrated games in existence.

I’ll kill you last, Wobbo… last… :evil: (PS -Riven is still my second favourite game ever. )

I remember liking the original Myst A LOT, but that could just be because it was such a new experience. I definitely didn’t like Riven nearly so much, etc etc.

Actually, it was probably because it was a really good game. I was surprised at how well it held up when I played RealMyst.

Riven was good, too, but it fell short of Myst for me in a few ways. It was a little disappointing that almost everything took place in one world–an interesting one, certainly, but one that lacked the surreal quality of the first game. The puzzles in the first game were also generally better.

Riven took place in at least two worlds (three if you count the prison age… four if you count where you start ).

I don’t count any of those, since they account for about 1% of the game, all combined. Most of the game involves travelling between the islands of Riven, which wasn’t quite as compelling as discovering new Ages in Myst.