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The Pot Healer Adventure – Numbakulla Island Project

April 21, 2007

Seeker Gray By Seeker Gray

(Editor’s Note: Seeker Gray comes to us from Second Seeker, another fantastic place to find fun things to do around Second Life.)

I have found a special place, an exceptionally special place. Oh, dear reader, how can I begin to tell you how happy I was to find The Pot Healer Adventure – Numbakulla Island Project? Numbakulla in an adventure puzzle. It feels very much like Robyn and Rand Miller’s Myst, the first of the adventure puzzle games. I’m not sure I slept much for a week when that game came out!

Numbakulla belongs to Moopf Murray, who kindly allowed the Pot Healer team to build and develop the sim as what they call “an immersive game of exploration and puzzles.” And to those who think pot has to do with a certain herb, dismiss that thought from your mind, this game is about finding pieces of a broken pot and reassembling it. What you do after? Well, that’s part of the game, and you’ll have to find out for yourself!

To the explorers who come after me…

It was my grandfather who first told me about the family legend of Numbakulla. Often as a child I would sit and listen to him talk about the history of the island and the sacred task of looking after the trees. Eventually, my interest grew, and I resolved to find the island, and discover whether his tales were true.

So it was I came here, ten years ago, on a quest to make a link with my ancestors, and read their minds through what remained on the island. In that time, I have made myself a house in the great tree, which is not one of the sacred trees of Numbakulla, but a beautiful tree nonetheless. I have tried to repair things where I may, and have kept a record of my explorations.

I immediaetly met one Ally Brewster who kindly showed me around and answered my many quetions. She claims that she is not alone in being so helpful, so fear not, gentle reader when you visit. If you get stuck, just ask someone. You may even start up a friendship!

Madam Brewster wants to remind our readers that one must remain observant.

Sometimes things are right in front of you. Sometimes things are hidden under things or in things. There are thousands of hidden spots. Never be afraid to leave anything unturned.

This is not an area in which you will spend a single evening. It can take months to get through all of Numbakulla.

This is not for the quick-minded. It takes time to solve.

I’m purposefully not saying too much about this place. You need to find out these things for yourself. Hopefully my enthusiasm and photographs will suffice. But I do think that this area and this adventure constitute one of those rare places in Second Life that trully fulfills SL’s promise.

So call in sick to work today (dear me, did I really say that?) and visit The Pot Healer Adventure – Numbakulla Island Project. Just don’t tell your – ahem! – supervisor it was I who told you about it.

Stranger stop and stranger see
Listen stranger carefully
My song is sung, my race is run
But yours is barely now begun
Light and fire, wood and stone
As the pot is deftly thrown
Water, clay and bellows’ air
Make it strong and make it fair
Find the scattered pieces here
Remake the pot we once held dear

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9 comments

  1. Is there any connection with Philip K. Dick’s novel?


  2. I thought I was familiar with Dick’s works, but I don’t see a connection. Which novel would that be?


  3. galactic pot healer
    http://www.philipkdick.com/works_novels_galactic.html


  4. I actually live right next to this thing in Gualala. This is what helped my girl and I decide to get our island. I’ve been over there a couple times but didn’t know it was all a connected game thing…I just thought it was a bunch of bad ass builds!

    Thanks for hippin me to the truth, Seeker!


  5. it’s soooooooooooooooooooooo boring 😦


  6. I first “visited” Numbakulla last summer. I was very impressed by the environment – and the poetical writing – as well as by the fact that didn’t involve any stupid violence (not as far as I could see).

    I still haven’t come even close to finishing it, but that’s not the problem.

    One of the problems with Numbakulla is that, for some reason, the Notebook doesn’t seem to keep record of all the objects picked. (Yes, I have it attached at all times.) For example, after I had spent many, MANY hours in the sim, my SL installation froze and crashed; when I returned, only one of the objects picked (the “flower key”) was recorded (“you have this key already”), but the rest I had to get again. Even more weirdly, after a few hours in the sim – and no crashes – I also had to pick some of the objects again. And anyone who has played this game knows what that means…

    The most important problem, however, is that the instructions, while very poetical and a genuine pleasure to read, are faulty at best. The clues are written into the text intelligently enough, no quibbles there. But the fact is that – since it may take MONTHS to explore all of the sim, as the article says – the visitors absolutely need more introductory instructions (e.g. the exact number of “keys” and other objects that one will need to collect, a general hint as to the “logic” underlying their locations: when I cannot open a certain door, it’s obvious that I don’t have the object required to do so – but is it locationally connected to the door, or was it placed randomly, anywhere on the island?) as well as better feedback to offer a more structured experience.

    I do hope Nambakulla not only stays but is improved, so that more visitors would be motivated to play it.

    In fact, I like it so much that I would be very glad to see more such games in SL – possibly written by the same creators.


  7. Here I am again… (Perhaps there is a better, more convenient place to leave my comments re: Numbakulla, but I haven’t found it so far.)
    As I said in my first comment, I am a huge fan of Numbakulla and have invited many people to visit it.

    Unfortunately, the odd glitches – some keys are “on me” all the time, other have to be re-picked – continue. Worse, I have encountered some new ones:

    POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
    (although I am trying to be as discreet as possible)

    * the handle of the mechanism that reveals one of the keys didn’t work this time. (And I have a witness: another visitor who also couldn’t make it work.) I’ve picked that particular key on various occasions before, so I do know how it’s done. It just didn’t work today.

    * the “skyboat is missing” sign on a certain table has been there at the time of my first visit; it still is. I am assuming it’s a warning for visitors (and there’s certainly nothing else to be picked – or COULD be picked at this time – in that particular room). OK, so no skyboat… Does that affect the outcome itself?

    * During my many visits I’ve noticed a certain object that, by the mere look of it, appeared “suspicious”, i.e. as if it could be a “key” or something. But clicking on it didn’t work,so I had thought it was a “red herring”.
    During my last visit (a few days ago) before this one today, however, I tried to pick it up by right-clicking TOUCH (instead of just clicking directly on it). This time it worked: it turned out it was indeed a “key”.
    I wasn’t all that happy: the though crossed my mind of how many other such keys had I failed to pick because clicking on them simply didn’t work…?

    * the command (/inv 5) does not work. The “searching” goes on forever and none of the objects picked ever appears in my inventory (although I do have them and use them).

    As I said, I am a huge fan of Numbakulla. (And I am not exactly a babe in the woods when it comes to handling technology and/or simulations.)

    I really REALLY wish somebody had a thorough look at the sim and correct any glitches there may be, so that many more people could enjoy it.


  8. And it’s me again, with another “update”… 😉
    Yesterday and today (as far as I know, I do have a life ourside Numbakulla ;)) the underwater ladder didn’t work. Instead of ascending (as I did on previous occasions), people just kept sliding sideways. I actually discussed it with some of the other visitors, so it wasn’t my individual problem.

    On the bright side, one of the faults I mentioned in my previous post (the handle) worked fine today.

    Was it glitch on the part of SL – or was it a “local” problem?

    But at least I found one more item.

    And BTW, I might start a travel blog.
    Then I’ll whine and complain – AND lavish praise – until the cows go home… 🙂


  9. I’m with Ms. No on this one… I started out thinking it was quite interesting, and two hours in, I was stressed out, and was trying to bust my way through walls and doors to continue the story. I have around six keys that I’ve yet to use, the handle she mentioned was broken for me. There are tons of places to explore, which is a plus, however 90% of them lead nowhere, or into little bedrooms and other such little idling rooms, meaning that anyone who thinks they’ve finally figured a puzzle out may find themselves looking at yet another dead end. One of the puzzles (I shan’t detail it) seems to have done nothing but unlocked the ability for me to see the credits, and it was a somewhat longer one to finish.
    As far as I can tell, the whole place was built in or around 2004, and it doesn’t look like it’s been touched much since. On one hand, it implies that it’s perfectly capable of continuing itself. On the other, there have been so many improvements to SL since then that they aren’t taking advantage of. I went with a friend who had looked last night, and while I helped her spot a few new items, we remained baffled at every corner due to a lack of direction. I still can’t figure out if the spade is actually useful, or is just so you can dig in the dirt at the beginning.



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