Expanded Saga Game Ideas

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Re: Expanded Saga Game Ideas

Postby korovev » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:10 am

I don’t care about Gehn’s issues, my point is that his ‘haphazard writing technique’ in his later years is mostly an informed inability. The Art is described as very difficult to master, yet he could manage to write habitable Ages by patching passages from other Books, something which should supposedly work badly, but not as badly as making up symbols or writing impossibilites. As you mentioned, his 5th Age was already good enough to hold for decades, despite being inorganic. Once stuck there, deprived of source materials, he was forced to come up with original descriptions. Even with his divinity complex (assuming that that has any influence on the Skill), this had to produce some kind of progress.
Besides, he was (for a short while) trained as a Bookmaker, not as a Writer, while Atrus and Katran had the assistance of Anna, who learned the Art before the Fall but apparently didn’t teach Gehn.

As a side note, since the Art doesn’t create Ages but merely links them, Gehn cannot logically be hold responsible for his Ages’ instability, only for his actions there. But then again, everything we know about him comes from Katran’s journals, which from a historiographic point of view should be considered biased.
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Re: Expanded Saga Game Ideas

Postby numinous » Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:09 am

korovev wrote: Once stuck there, deprived of source materials, he was forced to come up with original descriptions.


I think this is a point not often referenced or even acknowledged, Gehn, once trapped on Riven no longer had any linking books from which to copy. All the Ages he wrote while there were written purely from his knowledge of the Art. There is no doubt that Gehn was highly inelligent and obviously he would have gained a lot of experience from writing literally hundreds of Ages. The problem with Gehn's writing is that he never learnt the fundamental principles. A good analogy would be following a GPS while driving, you don't really have to think about where you're going or how you actually get there you just need to do as the thing tells you at each step. This is very different from consulting a map and planning a route and perhaps taking notes and actually learning what roads lead where and what the best roads to take would be. In the latter instance you become knowledgeable about the area you're driving, in the former you (probably) learn nothing. This is what Gehn was doing by just copying passages from other books. He never REALLY learnt the Art, but he did certainly pick up enough phraseology to Write Ages of his own.

I think his "Riven period" Ages (the Age that became Tay included in that) were probably very poorly put together. I imagine his writing style would be to describe the features he wanted in the Age but not give much thought as to how the disparate elements he included fit together. Atrus, with Anna's teaching, would write Ages with "The whole" in mind. Gehn would write with only the PIECES in mind, with no regard to how they would actually fit together. I don't think he ever changed that aspect of his writing. It would be like having to go back to primary school to learn grammar from scratch.

korovev wrote:As a side note, since the Art doesn’t create Ages but merely links them, Gehn cannot logically be hold responsible for his Ages’ instability, only for his actions there.


I still think there's a lot of room for interpretation on how exactly The Art creates or does not create an Age. It's the whole schrodinger's cat thing, i.e. the cat is both alive AND dead in the box until it is opened and the current state observed. It would be fair then to assume that all the possible Ages a person could link to would, prior to the initial link, also be in this state of superposition. Re: superposition... "This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox: the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that the outcome as such does not exist unless the measurement is made." The very act of writing an Age and then linking to it for the first time causes this superposition to collapse into the single, observed state, thus effectively CREATING the Age, and yet prior to creating the link the Age existed in all possible states. Gehn's writing therefore DOES in fact cause those particular aspects to manifest and therefore DOES put some of the blame for the Ages instabilities on him. If this weren't true of the Art in general then no amount of changes made to a Descriptive Book would affect an Age before or after linking and clearly it does as RAWA has stated many times in the past. Drastic changes cause the link to skip to an alternate Age but small changes actually change the current Age. Ain't quantum mechanics fun, lol.
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Re: Expanded Saga Game Ideas

Postby korovev » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:02 pm

numinous wrote:A good analogy would be following a GPS while driving, you don't really have to think about where you're going or how you actually get there you just need to do as the thing tells you at each step. This is very different from consulting a map and planning a route and perhaps taking notes and actually learning what roads lead where and what the best roads to take would be.

Maybe a better analogy would be a remixer vs a musician: without tracks to mix and unless he has some musical theory background, a remixer wouldn’t be able to do much. Yet a very good remixer can still come up with something passable making some noises. All the while keeping Ages withing inhabitable parameters, which is no triviality.
If Gehn was just a very good remixer, then it was good that he didn’t have formal Writing training, otherwise he might’ve been unstoppable :shock:

numinous wrote:Drastic changes cause the link to skip to an alternate Age but small changes actually change the current Age.

But then Gehn’s beliefs would actually have some small truth in them, after all :P
And then you have the Fissure, which seems to exist between states,* and Yeesha Magic, which can expand and collapse wave functions on the fly, throwing everything into As Effective As the Plot Demands territory :lol:

* And didn’t help with Riven’s stability, what with it possibly being right in the middle of a fault line. Though I still have to understand how people could stand unfazed on the edge of a vortex apparently capable of bending steel; maybe it was tin.
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Re: Expanded Saga Game Ideas

Postby Graizur » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:38 pm

My "headcannon" is that Catherine learned a more open ended form of age writing from Anna. Remember it was Anna who actually had formal D'ni training when D'ni was still a living civilization and city. The little bit of insight we have into Katran's writing shows us that she allowed her subconscious to process complex concepts and would see symbols to write in her dreams. This means that Catherine would write something and be open to how the age potentiality filled in the blanks, and it is the Bahro, I believe which filled in the blank for Tay.
The Bahro sound like insects, have wings and are biologically connected to the linking and descriptive process, like the ink beetles.

Also, Gehn's was rewriting riven over and over again, trying to write another age with those same exploitable resources, beetles, trees, etc, writing materials.

So The Bahro, to me, seem to fit the description of what could have weaved together Tay and weaved the giant wasp nest city that the Black Moiety bring you to.
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Re: Expanded Saga Game Ideas

Postby KathAveara » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:17 pm

Actually, I believe it's stated somewhere that Katran added that "hive", to remind the Moiety of the Tree that used to stand on Riven.
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Re: Expanded Saga Game Ideas

Postby korovev » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:37 am

Sorry, couldn’t resist :lol: :
[Reveal] Spoiler: headcannon
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