Your First Cantr Day
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 their name:
This will bring you to the events page, where you can see what happened since you spawned in this town. The first time you log in, this page is probably mostly empty. The first day, the events page is always very boring. Only after checking the next day or the day after do interesting things start to appear. Reading this events page is the way to understand the basic mechanism of the game.
A very good start is to tell the people around you who you are and that you just arrived there. Use the little form on top of the events list, say your name and that your new, and press the 'Talk to all' button. Everybody on that location will now be able to read what you said once they log in (most likely not immediately, since people are rarely online at the same time). When you speak there, keep in mind that you are writing from the perspective of your character - it is not you talking, but your character. Don't refer to the world outside the game when you talk. When you check the events page next time, you are likely to see some response.
Note that none of the people on 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 like your characters.
When you see another character telling you their name, you can click on their name in the events page, then click on the little smiley face in front of their 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 you say your name the first day, since all others will see you as 'a woman in her twenties' or the more masculine equivalent of that.
When you click on 'objects' you enter the objects page, where you can see all objects that are laying on the floor of that location. Everybody on that location can see those objects. You can read notes that are there by clicking on the eye button:
It is strongly advisable that you read the notes on the floor before doing anything else on 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 exist on whether hunting is allowed, whether you can gather your own food or resources, whether you can wisper to others, whether you are allowed to leave - laws can exist on any possible behaviour. Those rules are not defined by the game designer, but by the players that play on that location. Your character is in the beginning very vulnerable - you have no food, no clothes, no weapons - so you'd better accept the laws at first!
It is often a good idea to pick up notes and make a copy. 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. 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 to avoid jail or even mob execution.
This should help you out to avoid immediate disappointment thanks to your character being immediately imprisoned or killed, because there is really no extra protection for new players in Cantr.
For helpful information on how to create a good Cantr character, see this Webzine article on character development (Archived link). Also definitely check out the page on the rules of thumb for playing Cantr. To learn more 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 explains 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 help you need when parts of the game are unclear to you.
I hope this will help you survive the first few days, which are somewhat tough to get through, but after which you're likely to be hooked to Cantr! Have fun!