• Peyote Lake
  • Bighorns
  • Grizzly
  • White Anemone
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Purple Anemone
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Waterton
  • Foothills
  • Iceland
  • Red Sunset
  • White Tiger
  • Red Panda
  • Lightbeams
  • Orange Fungi
  • Grapes
  • Daenan
  • Arlayn
  • Stream
  • Alindar

Yearly archives: 2015

Gallery Update

Just a quick note to point out the Gallery and HOTE Artwork pages have been “renovated”: the picture descriptions are displaying once again, and this time to the right of each image like I always wanted to do in the past.


HOTE: Rebuilding

Over the weekend I went on a business trip to the nearby mountain community of Banff. The trip was nothing much special, though I did get an opportunity to spend some time with a few of my newer coworkers and hopefully build on the still-forming relationships (after all, I spend the majority of my time with these people, so might as well try to be friends).

The drawback of going on this trip is that I was away from home for the weekend and had most of my time taken up by meetings and work-related activities…which naturally meant the muse decided to pay me a visit and was pretty annoyed when I had to regrettably tell her, “Not now.”


Joomla No More

Welcome to the new Incyanity!

I know, I have said this before. It was almost a year ago that I wrote “Moving to Joomla was so easy!” and what has happened since then? Not a lot. Only nine new posts and no work on Heart of the Empire. :( No real new content for Solitary Pilot either. Most of the delay had to do with offline concerns like moving and my health, but some of it had to do with Joomla too.


Getting Settled

It’s been two months since I moved into my new home. Time flies!

Although I sold the previous condo on March 25, and then took possession of the new one on June 5, it wasn’t until the August long weekend that I could actually move.

In between I worked a lot of overtime, had a mishap getting the new place painted (yike$), and tried not to go crazy while living with my parents.

Now that I’m in my new place I’m almost (but not quite) settled in. Still a “few” boxes to take care of! But it’s been good. Very good, in fact. Much better than the previous place. It’s quiet, and appreciably soundproof. I don’t feel anxious anymore about having the TV or stereo on, or having a conversation. I can’t hear my neighbors except for the most obvious bumps and bangs, and then only from the neighbor upstairs, but not anything like what I experienced before. I no longer have to use earplugs to get any sleep! I still have some furniture to buy (shelving mostly), things to organize, and art to hang, but coming home isn’t a stressful endeavor that I’d rather avoid. What a relief.

My job has been overwhelming lately so getting back into my routine hasn’t been easy. A lot of overtime, and combine that with some family emergencies, well… Life has still been a bit of a challenge and I’ve struggled. I haven’t done as much creative work as I wanted, and feel like I basically missed most of the summer.

Thankfully, it hasn’t been all work and no play. Photo dump ahead!


The Fifth Age: Riven – Day Two


realMyst
Riven – Day One | Riven – Day Two | Riven – Day Three | Riven – Day Four | Riven – Day Five


I recently got an itch to revisit a game series that, next to the first-gen Nintendo, is probably primarily responsible for getting me into gaming in the first place. The first game in this series is called Myst. The sequel is called Riven.

38

A wooden eye hides the D’ni number five.

I’m three hours into the game. In my previous entry I discovered it’s been long enough since I last played that I don’t remember many of the puzzles, and even though I still have my Myst adventure journal which has copious quantities of notes in it covering Myst, Riven, Exile, and some of Uru and Revelation, I’m making a conscious effort to not spoil myself by reaching for the book when I get stuck.

Let’s see what puzzles and curiosities the Riven islands hold for me today.

Fair warning: if you’ve never played Riven, there are spoilers ahead!


Third Time’s the Charm

(Or so I hope!)

threeI sold my home on March 25! I found out while at work and the first thing I did was start to cry when the words “I sold my home” actually left my mouth. Disbelief, mostly, I think. Relief, too. By the time the offer to purchase came in I was quite a ways down the road to giving up. Sure, it had only been just under two months since my place was listed, but the oil price-related economic downturn here has been a huge factor. The worry that my listing would become lost among all the others that were still languishing on the market was very strong.

But, I got lucky. :) A young couple came along and viewed my home, liked my home, wanted my home. I will gladly let them have it.


Relief

soldOfficially homeless. Best news!


Nine Days to Relief?

Don't ask if it's a lie, just gimme cake.

Don’t ask if it’s a lie, just gimme cake.

It hasn’t been an easy couple of months. At the start of January I wrote about the troubles I’ve been having at home, and following that I put in the effort to get a For Sale sign up. I signed away my life to do that on February 3—my birthday.

Although I’ve sold a home before, this has been my first experience going through the process most other people go through to rid themselves of real estate they don’t want. It’s been an eye-opener for me, especially with dealing with feelings of discouragement.

Right when I put up that For Sale sign, the price of oil crashed. Calgary is an oil and gas town in an oil and gas province. The change in mood around here was palpable: like in other cities, companies began cutting operations and laying off employees, and there were a lot of grim faces all around. This also meant that, quite suddenly, people became cautious and protective of their money. Very quickly, my realtor began telling me how the market was drying up. Other homes larger and nicer than mine were slashing their list prices yet were still languishing on the market. Some were getting no showings at all.


The Fifth Age: Riven – Day One


realMyst
Riven – Day One | Riven – Day Two | Riven – Day Three | Riven – Day Four | Riven – Day Five


I recently got an itch to revisit a game series that, next to the first-gen Nintendo, is probably primarily responsible for getting me into gaming in the first place. The first game in this series is called Myst. The sequel is called Riven.

D'ni number five.

D’ni number five.

Riven was released simultaneously for PC and Mac in 1997, and I must have picked it up right away. It starts off more or less right after Myst ends and is quite a bit longer and more involved compared to the first game. I have memories of playing it while still in high school. A friend played it at the same time and I remember talking with her over the phone about the puzzles we were both stuck on. Sometimes we would play together via phone and talk our way through what we saw.

Now I have Riven on Steam, and it’s time to walk the paths of the Fifth Age once more. Unlike realMyst, Riven has not (yet?) been updated for more modern machines and play; it’s still the point-and-click slideshow (with occasional Quicktime movies) puzzle adventure it originally was. A fan project called The Starry Expanse is working on updating the game with Cyan’s support, and I hope to see that succeed.

Fair warning: if you’ve never played Riven, there are spoilers ahead!


realMyst


realMyst
Riven – Day One | Riven – Day Two | Riven – Day Three | Riven – Day Four | Riven – Day Five


Presently, I have forty-one games in my Steam library (small, compared to many gamers) of which I’ve only played about half to completion or an end-game state. I tend not to be the type of gamer who rushes out and gets the newest release; my library is composed mainly of games I became fond of by watching other people play (with the intent to one day play them myself), as well as games I played in years past on much older operating systems that have since been digitized and rereleased.

Recently I got an itch to revisit a game series that, next to the first-gen Nintendo, is probably primarily responsible for getting me into gaming in the first place: Myst.

02

The Myst linking book.

Myst came out for Mac OS in 1993. I was twelve and didn’t have a computer at the time, but a few years later I started babysitting a couple of boys up the street whose mother was in graphic design and had a monstrous-sized Mac. The boys and I would play Myst on it together.

I was hooked. This game captured my interest like nothing else I’d experienced until then. As soon as I got my first PC (a Tandy!), Myst was a game I absolutely had to have. The original version was a point-and-click slideshow puzzle adventure with a few bits of Quicktime video slotted in. The version I bought came with an official Myst journal for the player to use. I still have this journal with all my penciled-in notes, sketches, and questions. It still has lots of blank pages in it for future adventures.

Later on, Rand and Robyn Miller, the original developers, also released some novels, and I had to have those too. And then the soundtrack. And then the sequel, and the soundtrack to that. And so on.

In 2000, realMyst: Interactive 3D Edition came out, and somewhere along the way I picked it up on Steam. It’s spiffier than the original in that the entire game has been redone to render in real-time and with 360° free movement. It has some new surprises tucked into it, but the textures are looking a bit dated by today’s standards. (There is a masterpiece edition of realMyst out that uses modern textures that I will purchase in the future.)

Regardless, for me, Myst has lost none of its charm. Over the last week I took my time revisiting this world and put just over eight hours of gametime into realMyst. I plan to progress through the rest of the series. Here is my adventure.

Fair warning: if you’ve never played Myst, there are spoilers ahead!