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Extrasolar / Martian phenomenon :o
« Last post by Ainia on April 08, 2014, 09:51:47 AM »
Greetings fellow Artocos Island explorers,

For those of you who aren't watching the XRI Twitterfeed or Facebook page, it seems we have a NASA-documented phenomenon of interest on Mars! Of course, it's easy enough for any experienced rover driver to recognize it's an obelisk!  ;D

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I think the idea is that there are relatively few rover drivers, and you are not in touch with any of the others, apart from the XRI employees Turing and van Susteren.  Otherwise it makes no sense that we are all given the same set of tasks as though they were new to each of us, and that we have to defuzz the island map on our own.

It means that we can't engage in shared exploration within the game.  We can share experiences here but they are OOC, not within the framework of the story.

I have at least one picture with the lander and two rovers in it, from early on.  Both are JR-S type, so can't get over the sand, I suppose.  I assume there are relatively few XR-K rovers.

There are only 18 rovers in the lander and we only ever see six hatches open (although I'm going to be generous and assume that's an oversight, as the same hatches are open even at the end of the game) so we can assume that after the two that are already accounted for there are only three others wandering about and at least two of them (probably all three) are JR-S types.
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Yes, I think that you can assume that XRI went quality of quantity as for rover drivers. Perhaps those with lesser test scores than us geniuses are hired to only look at the pictures, but since we get them firsthand, and all classified pictures get intercepted before the second round lookers, we would be the ones discovering.

As for the rovers we do encounter, I suspect the rover near the lander is property of our xenobiologist, we all know turings rover, the rover near the end of story is of someone who's name I'm not gonna tel, and that leaves no rovers to be specified. So I guess indeed quality of quantity.
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Having lots of other drivers is a bit strange, when you think about it. The island is small, so how did the others manage to miss the monuments? Is Turing managing them all? If so, it seems you're the only one who's actually making any discoveries. And what kind of spaceship would be big enough to deliver multiple rovers and GPS units to a distant planet?
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Extrasolar / Re: Can't finish one mission
« Last post by Ainia on April 07, 2014, 07:16:37 PM »
Greetings Nebu2k,

The adult and elderly/deceased Gordy Trees are pretty easy to recognize, I think. When I was hunting for the young specimens, I was expecting to find a newly-sprouted, sapling-like version. However, it turns out that

(click to show/hide)

Hope this helps!
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Extrasolar / Re: Can't finish one mission
« Last post by frank_stallone on April 07, 2014, 04:18:08 PM »
I never found a
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either, and I just finished the main story. I'm not super thrilled with that, it really put a damper on my enjoyment of the game, and definitely not looking forward to the long trek inland in the post-game.
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Extrasolar / Re: Let's play… "Spot the Critter!" [[semi-spoilery]]
« Last post by Auroness on April 07, 2014, 03:25:29 PM »
Found one of the little guys. Thought he could hide behind a plant.

https://extrasolar.com/photo/68knfx3iDxc195SX9Z1Dc7
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Although we never see any of the others, there are other drivers out there. I assume when I send in a photo to be identified, that is is being compared to other photos, and possible other investigations before we get a response back. The other drivers may be submitting at the same time, so the response we get back is rather generic, or to save bandwidth, they simply repeat the same response to every driver.
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Some additional thoughts, having just finished the game:

I really liked the concept of exploring this distant planet via time delay and waiting to see what the pictures would look like, but the illusion was spoiled somewhat by the sheer number of living things out there. After you've left the starting area, you know you're going to see dozens of funky plants in every single shot - the place is far too fertile to be even remotely plausible. There's no thrill of the hunt, and after a while I didn't bother tagging a lot of stuff because it all looked the same.

It could have been more creepy. For example, you've taken half a dozen shots of rocks and sand, then suddenly you get one with something blurring past the camera. Instead it's very colourful and 'safe'. Lost your rover? Don't worry, we've got a limitless supply of them.

The analysis of the species didn't seem like the kind of thing a scientist would write. The names were a bit incongruous, too. Also, how could somebody produce a full colour sketch of a typical specimen from a single shot taken at night?

I would gladly have paid to reduce the waiting period, but by the time I was getting fed up of spending four hours between moves I assumed I was pretty much at the end. I wasn't, though. If it had been clear that there was more to do, I would have paid.

About the number of living things, why wouldn't there be? If you drop a rover on a random patch of earth, you're standing a pretty good chance to encounter a lot of species. The only exceptions on this are deserts and mountain ranges, of which the later still harbors a good amount of life. And sure, there could have been a bit more diversity, but remember that most of earths diversity is in its, seas, insects and microorganisms, all of which are not find able with the current rovers.

I do agree it could use a bit more danger, let rovers be attacked by razorbacks, I say, but that would require a lot more programming work, and even more of a supply of rovers. What fun would it be if you lost your rover and be locked out of the game as a result. Perhaps a small delay in activating the new rover would be good, as to let it calibrate itself. And remember, according to the story, you are on of the better rover drivers out there, it makes sense that they would want you to keep on working.

As for the descriptions, perhaps those are not the full scientific write-ups, but more something for the drivers, wouldn't want to bore you with dry, be it made-up, facts. And for the sketches, that something of a fun vs. immersion thing, and they chose for fun on this aspect.
40
Some additional thoughts, having just finished the game:

I really liked the concept of exploring this distant planet via time delay and waiting to see what the pictures would look like, but the illusion was spoiled somewhat by the sheer number of living things out there. After you've left the starting area, you know you're going to see dozens of funky plants in every single shot - the place is far too fertile to be even remotely plausible. There's no thrill of the hunt, and after a while I didn't bother tagging a lot of stuff because it all looked the same.

It could have been more creepy. For example, you've taken half a dozen shots of rocks and sand, then suddenly you get one with something blurring past the camera. Instead it's very colourful and 'safe'. Lost your rover? Don't worry, we've got a limitless supply of them.

The analysis of the species didn't seem like the kind of thing a scientist would write. The names were a bit incongruous, too. Also, how could somebody produce a full colour sketch of a typical specimen from a single shot taken at night?

I would gladly have paid to reduce the waiting period, but by the time I was getting fed up of spending four hours between moves I assumed I was pretty much at the end. I wasn't, though. If it had been clear that there was more to do, I would have paid.
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