Your First Cantr Day

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Po polsku (in Polish)

Many players are quickly discouraged when playing Cantr because of a somewhat steep learning curve and a possibly harsh first few days. This little text will help you through them.

Once your account is accepted, and you log in for the first time, you will see on the player page a list of your characters. You can access your character by clicking on the little smiling face in front of his or her name:

This will bring you to the events page, where you can see what has happened since you spawned in this town. The first time you log in, this page will probably be mostly empty. The first day, the events page is sometimes very boring. Depending on the population size and the activity level of the town it may take a day or more for interesting events to begin to appear. Reading this events page is the best way to understand the basic mechanism of the game as well as the people and activities of the town.

A very good start is for your character to say his or her name and that they have just arrived there. Use the little form on top of the events list, type in the words of your character, and press the 'Talk to all' button. Everybody at that location will now be able to read what your character has said once they log in (most likely not immediately, since players are often not online at the same time). When you check the events page next time, you are likely to see some response.

When your character speaks, keep in mind that you are always writing from the perspective of your character - it is not you (the player) talking, but your character. Don't refer to the world outside the game when your character talks. Your character knows only what he or she has directly and personally encountered in Cantr.

Also, remember that communication in Cantr is not instant. The result of this is that smilies and abbreviations such as "lol" are usually frowned upon. If you wish to express an action, rather than words, the custom is to enclose the action with asterisks. (Example: Hello. *smiles*) As with everything else, there is a point where this gets overused.

Note that none of the people at that location - of which you can see a list by clicking on the people page link - is an artificial character; each and every one of them is played by a real player, just as your character is.

When you see another character telling you their name, you can click on that name in the events page, then click on the little smiley face in front of the name, and then you will see a form where you can enter the name by which you want to remember this character. So, at first every character will look like 'a man in his twenties' or something similar, but gradually you will learn most names. This is also why it is generally appreciated when your character gives his or her name the first day, since all others will see you as 'a woman in her twenties' or the masculine equivalent of that.

When you click on 'objects' you enter the objects page, where you can see all objects which are laying on the ground. Everybody at that location can also see those objects. You can read notes that are there by clicking on the eye button:

It is strongly advised that you read the notes on the ground before doing anything else at that location. Often among these notes is a set of laws or rules that have been established for that region and in some places you will be dealt with harshly if you ignore those laws. Laws may exist on whether hunting is allowed, whether you can gather your own food or resources, whether you can whisper to others, whether you are allowed to leave the town, etc. - laws can exist on any possible behaviour. Those laws are not defined by the game designer, but by the characters at that location. Your character is, in the beginning, very vulnerable - he or she has no food, no clothes, no weapons - so the actions and choices your character makes will greatly affect his or her present and future life!

Your character may want to pick up notes and make copies. You can pick them up with:

You can then go to the inventory page, where you can make a copy with:

And drop one of the two you have with:

Note that it is usually not appreciated if you take up the note but forget to drop a copy again!

One of the first things to worry about is food. In some locations, you are free to gather this yourself. Just go to the location page, and click on the pictogram in front of any of the edible resources on that location. Once you gathered some food, your character will automatically eat on a daily basis (if the food is edible without being cooked or processed). Some foods are for healing only and cannot be used for daily nourishment. But, as said, read the notes on the ground first! In some locations, gathering food for yourself is forbidden or limited, because there is a limit on how many people can be gathering resources at once. Some locations also have free food available for newspawns or special work programs for them. Find this out first if you want your character to avoid jail or even mob execution.

This should help you out to avoid disappointment when your character is immediately imprisoned or killed for breaking the law. Because there is no special protection for the characters of new players in Cantr, you may want to be conservative in your character's actions at first.

For helpful information on how to create a good Cantr character, see this Webzine article on character development. Also definitely check out the page on the rules of thumb for playing Cantr. To learn more about buttons and technical game mechanics, check out this page describing the basic game mechanics (including the interface guide), and a text on the dynamics of the game, which will explain to you the basic idea of how to play.

Finally, don't forget to check out the discussion forum, which forms the backbone of the Cantr players community and where you can find all the help you need when parts of the game are unclear to you.

I hope this will help your characters survive the first few days, which are somewhat tough to get through, but after which you are likely to be fascinated by the (almost) limitless possibilities of your characters lives in Cantr! Have fun!