Devokan is a 2 SIM region in Second Life. It made the SL Hot Spots in early November. It is a quaint little place, peaceful and beautiful. In this article I cover many of the features of Devokan that casual visitors probably won’t notice. There is more to Devokan than meets the eye.
The people behind Devokan arrived in SL with the ongoing migration of Myst Online: Uru Live players looking for a new home after the April 2008 GameTap closing of Uru Live. There are at least 600 fans in SL now. Of those, 300 or so logon each month. About 50 to 100 are concurrently logged on any weekend.
The fans have also made a number of efforts to keep the fan community together. The fans in SL are often in SL because their friends from Uru Live are in SL. The primary means of contact in SL is the D’ni Refugees group and the Monday to Friday newsletter the The D’ni Voice, which is distributed via announcements in the D’ni Refugee group.
The Uru fans in SL have built several tributes to and replications of Myst game areas as well as Myst style builds. Devokan is a build in Myst style, somewhat a Steampunk look. The biggest difference being all manner of strange energy sources, other than just steam.
One of the Devokan regions is inspired by Channelwood, an area in the original Myst game.
The main region, Devokan, is a quaint village with puzzle and role play aspects. The role play is very casual, no meters, no combat and no hard story arc. Role play is based on the idea of the role play (RP) in Uru Live. The idea in Uru Live being modern day explorers experience an Encounters of the Third Kind call drawing them to an ancient volcano in New Mexico. Once there players find a character named Zandi that tells them about the quest ahead. Players proceed to solve puzzles and explore a virtual world of incredibly rich visuals and extensive, detailed history of the D’ni. (See: Myst-Uru Guild of Archivists) The D’ni were an old civilization that lived in a gigantic cavern 200 to 300 years ago. As other players are met people play their RL self in a unique current day environment. The same is mostly true in Devokan.
Devokan does not have the extensive back story and history that Uru Live has. Devokan’s history is being built over time. SIM owners and involved residents of Devokan are experimenting with different styles of game play. Their intent is to keep the game fun from their perspective.
To help people catch up on story and current events there is a bulletin board in the village. You will find it on an outside wall of the Inn. The notes are where Devokan residents leave messages for each other. These notes are current. Older notes are removed as the story develops. To read a longer history of the game as it proceeds one can read the posts on the Devokan section of Guild of Maintainers forum, a fan forum from the Uru Live era.
Scattered around the SIM are personal diaries. People interested in Devokan are offered a diary when the SIM owners realize someone is frequently visiting and playing in Devokan. Diaries are used to record an individual’s experience in Devokan and give others clues without writing spoilers.
The SIM owners (Dot Macchi and Paislee Myrtle) are constantly changing the build. Swans fly south in the Fall and return in the Spring. Light snow covers the ground. Some areas have ice. Trees move through the seasons. There are cute little places to sit and enjoy the peaceful nature of Devokan. Buildings age and fall apart and are replaced. Earthquakes change the terrain from time to time and break buildings.
Only as one reads the bulletin board notes and diaries do they have a clue there is more than they see just walking through Devokan. Strange stones with mysterious markings transport one to the library of Lost Pages. Transport devices from there take one to other places hidden in Devokan.
An odd person known as Quinquifid is a mix of a current and historic character. The person behind him and another known as Paislee are building the region. Notes from them and their diaries can be found in Devokan. Much of Quinquifid’s writing deals with the discoveries he makes (as parts of the build are completed). One sees his airship in different places. Much of his effort is in getting old machinery working.
One of the odd quirks of the building in Devokan is an eclipse… When one is using the KirstenLee S18 viewer with dynamic shadows turned on it is rather neat. (Donate if you are using it) The eclipse shadow travels across the Devokan Island. The viewer is not perfect and there are still render problems. But it is still pretty neat. Hint, with shadows off position the sun, frame you picture and turn on the shadows. That seems to eliminate, or at reduce, the areas that go black from miss rendered shadows.
The sun is passing behind a large metal sphere. It is this sphere that casts the shadow. Of course one’s next challenge is figuring out what is inside. One always has the SL option of cam’ing inside. But that can spoil the adventure. A flight feather can get one up to it, but that is sort of cheating. There are other ways if you can find them. Surprisingly even with my draw distance set to 128m I can see the sphere from the ground.
Devokan has public sail boats. I like these they work very well and sailing around Devokan is quit fun.
Quinquifid is exploring a new area he discovered, Selenitica. Somehow he was able to travel there via airship to discover it. There are now other ways to get there. It is another strange place. Quin has found mines, geothermal steam vents and more. One of the teleports found there is some odd electrical discharge thing. It hurts to use it. I usually scream. The mines are not too hard to find.
Devokan is a part of a larger network of Myst-Uru inspired builds in SL. Pages dropped around Devokan tell one how to find the related builds.
Traveling north one can sail to or fly into the Channelwood region (Discover Devokan on the World Map). The world map tp needs to be corrected as it links you in hundreds of meters up in the air. Use the link I provide. There are also links in the teleport system in Devokan. If one sails to Channelwood, sail to the far north and come on shore at the boat dock. This lets one walk through Channelwood as one would in the Myst game.
Ahnonay is a game area in Uru Live. I partial replication has been built by Dialyser Sommer.
Eder Gira is also a replication of parts of the Uru Live game. There is a board with lots of links to other Myst-Uru builds. Explore the region. There are other Myst-Uru related things in the region.
In Uru Live there were neighborhoods that players joined. The Bevin is a replica of one. These were often the social center of life in Uru Live for various groups. This replica is amazing. Be sure to check it out. This build gives on a sense of the size of places in Uru Live and is very well done.
Eder Delin was built by Jazz Porta. The seasons in Delin changed in Uru Live. Delin is currently in Winter mode.
Eder D’Uru is somewhat a replica of Ae’gura, the main city found in the Cavern in New Mexico. This is a loose interpretation of the city. I think it is more about what people would like to have done if they could have lived in the city. Much of the activity in the Uru fan community happens in the city.
This is a large build with an open space center. This means one needs to turn the Draw Distance up to see it well.
Many of the fans have homes and shops in Eder D’Uru. There are classes teaching the D’ni language and SL building. There are shops selling things made by Uru fans. Evens are regularly scheduled. Again one needs to explore and dig for information. Uru fans often forget to give what they consider basic information to those unfamiliar with Uru Live and the Myst games.
Myst Island is a replica of the original Myst game released in 1993 or 94. It held the position of bestselling video game until the SIM’s came along.