CT Hostess Susa’n was on stage to announce the sixth Cavern Tour of 2020, on Saturday 13 at 11:00 KIT, starting from the Cavern Tour’s Hood. The Nexus is currently malfunctioning, and the neighborhood is not showing up; if the problem persists, you should ask Susa’n for an invite.
The host, Larry LeDeay, will use his Twitch channel for the presentation, so you will need to keep a browser or the app open in the background. Videos will be available for two weeks after the tour.
The tours occasionally visit hard to reach places. Mir-o-Bot (KI# 32319) is employed for special effects and long-distance travel (and to avoid stairs). If you arrive late, you can PM Susa’n (KI# 9122427) to join the in-progress tour – but do try to arrive in time!
A recent update to the MOULa client reportedly included a physics update, stirring the longstanding question of the future of ‘skydiving’ (a.k.a. glitching), the practice of jumping on invisible colliders to reach normally out-of-reach places, stemming from an older practice of jumping off high places. Innumerable marker games have been created to map skydiving paths along the Ages, and more recently a robot-assisted training course.
Skydiving, however, depends on broken physics engine (PhysX) implementation, causing an uneven game experience depending on computer and network characteristics, fixing which has been part of the open source roadmap since the beginning in 2011. Perhaps even more importantly, upgrading the physics engine (to at least version 4) will lift a major obstacle to a truly native macOS and Linux clients.
Hoikas and Doobes therefore agreed to illustrate the developer side of the issue, and clarify a few questions and misconceptions regarding the client update roadmap:
- the latest update did not break the bot functioning itself, but the physics that the marker games dispensed by the bots depend on;
- the ‘physics update’ mentioned in the release notes is a bump from PhysX version 2.6.0 to 2.6.4, the same version used in the Gehn shard in the last six years;
- the entire process of updating the MOULa client happens in the clear, on the Writers’ IRC, on GitHub and on the OpenUru Discord server;
- explorers who create content for the game based on bugs are invited to be active participants in the discussion on how development moves forward, as developers cannot be aware otherwise of them.
As for future options, a ‘skydiving client’ was released years ago by Lyrositor – who in the meantime retired from the community – but an update to the KI functioning made it unusable. The source code, and some guidelines on how it could be brought up to date, are publicly available to any coder willing to take up the challenge. However, the long-term solution to preserve skydiving would be a dedicated skydiving shard.
As an addendum, it was noted that another planned update is the transition from the exceedingly obsolete Python 2.3 to 3.8; for robot makers, this will require checking their code for no longer compatible syntax (e.g. from
print "string" to
Doobes’ latest releases – Chiso Preniv, Veelay Tsahvahn and the New GoMe Pub – have been ported to the Minkata shards, where the heavy testing will begin. From then, if all goes well, they will be ported to Cyan’ staging server for the last quick checks, and eventually on MOULa, hopefully very soon.
But the big news was the announcement of another, yet unnamed Age in the works! It will be a competitive puzzle Age, based on the Gahreesehn Wall idea, but as a circular maze with configurable (or randomizable) walls. The player or team that will manage to reach the center of the maze, will win.
There will also be a one-in-four chance to remove the walls to gain an advantage, using a control panel beside each wall; but it may also be a disadvantage, so you will need to make a strategic decision! To make things even more challenging, a timer will also be available. During the Q&A, Theo suggested implementing a command to save and load wall configurations.
As for his other Ages in the work, the next release will likely be Kotsahvosahn, a.k.a. the Waystation, the beginning of the journey of D’ni citizen and Messenger Lothias, so it will be more story-heavy than Doobes’ previous Ages.
After that, Doobes has started a new project with AgeExplorer, which promises to be both story and puzzle-heavy.
- On May 10 the Club adventurers visited TikiBear’s recently updated Ages (Duck Knee Skydiving Club, Sprite Gallery, and Paper Pagodas);
- On May 17 they visited Doobes’ Ages (the New GoMe Pub, Chiso Preniv, and Veelay Tsahvahn), finally released on the shard only a few days before;
- On May 24 they started the 3-part expedition to the Geologica series, by Ametist and Metabasalt, starting in Dragon’s Tooth, but also visiting Ametist’s latest release, Tiam.
In June, the Touring Club will visit Enobmort and Noidrocca by J’Kla, Paah’kweh and Sonavio by Boblishman, and Pre-Swaltu by Tolip Ydop. A gallery of fan Ages with some details is available on the Writers’ wiki.
After the expeditions, the participants will be able to share their observations in dedicated threads in the Guild of Writers’ forums (look for threads that start with “Fan Age expedition”). The expeditions are streamed (without comments), and the videos will be available for two weeks after.
One of the main objectives of the Touring Club, besides getting more explorers to know and appreciate the many Ages created in the last 15 years, is also to give some feedback to the authors, who are very welcome to attend the tours and talk about their works.
Setting up a Deep Island client can be a bit tricky in some situations; a quick guide is available in our Troubleshooting section.
Korov’ev mentioned that Mystitech Productions released Episode 10 of its The Lost Art machinima, on Saturday 30.
- realMyst: Masterpiece Edition has been released on Thursday 21 for the Nintendo Switch.
- After more than three months, a new update was posted in Thursday about Firmament. Among other news, it mentioned the need to improve on the gameplay and setting aspects of the game, and the official hiring of a member of the Starry Expanse team.
The convention will be held virtually, with a combination of Twitch and Zoom for presentations, and Discord for live chatting. The convention dates will be the same as planned, August 7–9, with a possible extended weekend. Refunds will be available, but roll-overs to next year’s in-person convention will too.
The deadline for event submissions has been extended to June 30, with the option to submit pre-recorded presentations. The deadline for the Digital Activity Book is also extended to June 30.
The existing T-shirt design will be used for Mysterium 2021, with altered dates. A store page will be opened soon. The 2020 pin designs will also be rolled over into 2021.
Shokhootahn Rehn gave two announcements, one for the D’ni Language Classes and one for the Story Nights.
He is still putting things away after his recent move. As a result there will not be any daytime classes until further notice. They should be able to return sometime in autumn. Night time classes, however, are unaffected.
There are currently two students working on lesson 6. Meanwhile, Aqua completed her final exam and passed the D’ni 101 class! Votahret ah’shem khe-bahrtahtahvteeom!
Details about the D’ni Language Classes (click to expand)
- Those who would like to attend the lessons should contact Rehn via PM or KImail (KI# 58324); be sure to include your KI number in the message!
- The Guild of Instructors’ Hood will be open and public unless a class is in session, currently on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, starting at 20:00 or 21:00 KIT, depending on the student’s schedule.
- Last-minute changes to class times are posted on the left-hand imager in the hood.
Story Nights and Story Nights – Europe are now at the same stage. They are continuing with the story arc of the D’ni kings, and will continue for the next four weeks.
Rehn hinted at a possible special Story Night on the Gehn shard, in a “certain memorial Age”.
Details about the Story Nights (click to expand)
- Story Nights are held in Tsahno’s Hood every Saturday, gathering at the fountain at around 23:00 KIT, with the story starting at about 23:30 KIT.
- For Story Nights – Europe, the gatherings are on Saturday starting at 13:30 KIT, with the story starting at about 14:00 KIT. On All Guilds Meeting days, the event will begin at 14:30 KIT or 30 minutes after the end of the AGM.
- The stories are told using voice chat, so you will need to have your speakers, headphones or KI devices on. If you would like a reminder, please send r’Tayrtahn (KI# 58324) a KImail with your KI number included in the text, so that he can add you to his buddies list.
- Last-minute changes to Story Night times are posted on the left-hand imager in the hood.
And that was it for this month. Please consider donating to keep the Cavern open!
May ended with a CavFunding of 90% (CavCon 1.9), a population of 35,052 explorers, and 1441 unique visits. The reserve covered 29% of the costs and is now empty. The server costs were the same as last month.
The next All Guilds Meeting is planned for Saturday, July
4 11, 2020 (Leesahn 2, 9676 DE) at 13:00 KIT.