The Guild of Messengers (GoMe) runs a monthly photo contest for Uru fans. You can read about it in several places. There is a thread on GoMa here: Maintainers’ Myst-Uru Photos Thread. The ‘How To’ for participating can be found on the GoMe forum in PhotoQuest Remembered. The rules of the contest are here: PhotoQuest Remembered Rules.
This contest is a continuation of the contest that ran in-game, thus the ‘remembered’. Without a live online game the CD/DVD based Myst games are being used.
- Uru: Ages beyond Myst*
- Uru: To D’ni*
- Uru: The Path of the Shell*
- Uru: Complete Chronicles*
- Until Uru*
- Uru Live Prologues 2003-2004*
- Myst V*
- Myst Online Uru Live (MOUL)*
Some of these games are not available at this time. Until-Uru-servers are off line so historic images from days past are used. And yes, there are questions about whether some people are running UU servers but that is another story. The same ‘not available issue’ is true for Prologe and MOUL.
One must remember that many contests have a purpose. Fairness is not THE goal in this contest. Those running it have made every effort to be fair. But, the goal is to find the best pictures of a ‘remembered’ Uru. Some people have old photos (screen captures) and submit them. Some were never there and others did not think to save images. There is nothing to be done about that now. Excluding the historic pictures because some were not in early games for the sake of fairness would defeat the purpose of the contest. Places like the Myst-Uru like builds in THERE and Second Life are excluded at this point as those would not be ‘remembered’ images in the sense of the contest.
The interesting part of the possible rule changes being discussed is the current exclusion of images from fan created ages. There is considerable discussion about whether this rule should remain in effect. Of course this would change the complexion of the contest away from ‘remembered’. If that is permitted then up comes the question of, ‘if new fan created content in one system is allowed, why not fan created content in other systems?’ Think about that. If one person can create a Myst age in Blender and drop it in a modified game, why cannot another create a Myst style age in THERE or Second Life? After all CC is not the MOUL game engine. Why would one of those be eligible and another not? If one says CC/MOUL are similar and THERE/SL are not, we get into defining similar.
Also the question comes up of what is Myst Style and is there any limit on the type of age that can be submitted for a fan age and/or used for contest images? Can a fan age have dragons? We have seen several Cyan ages that have very strange animals (think the Pod Ages). Why could not a writer create a story and age with dragons or dragon like animals?
If one defines the answers to these questions then how does one limit the contest to images from ages designed for MOOS? Consider. One creats and age using Blender and Gimp/Photoshop. Next it is exported using PyPRP for use in the CC/PoTS game (consider CC a client side game engine) for use. One could make that sequence a requirement. Now what happens if an artist uses 3DMax and/or Maya? Do we exclude those ages? Also consider the use of Bryce for landscape. Now consider one using Blender and Second Life or THERE to build a Myst like age. Does one exclude those fan created ages?
See a collection of Myst-Uru-SL Images
This is probably going to get continuous before it is decided. It will also bring out the intolerance and bias that is a part of some people’s personalities. One has to decide where they stand in keeping the community together or dividing it. This debate will likely swirl around the next photo contest. Visit the GOMa thread “Myst-Uru PhotoQuest & Fan Ages” and express your thoughts.