As a Concept-Artist, this is pretty much the thumb-of-rule to adhere to. And to answer the question; Where To Start Game? I will state that; “Holo Port Is Like Customs At An Airport!”
An Airplane lands at a designated ‘GATE’ and when the ‘passengers’ exit, are guided to ‘CUSTOMS’ and have their ‘passports’ checked before allowed to enter a ‘DOMINION’ and move freely within those borders.
Holo Port is like Customs! A Player must first ‘Pass’ their designated Holo Port (GATE) before they are allowed to move freely within the borders of the StarArena!
Below is the Sketch Concept of what happens within the StarArena, and things get a little more complicated? To stay with the above analogy;
“The Player stays Home and sends a Game-Clone to The Arcade, which must ‘Pass’ the ‘Gate’ at Holo Port _i.e. Customs_ to Enter The Game! From there ‘The Baby Hero’ is ‘Operated’ remotely by The Player while within the StarArena!”
What Does This Mean To Grown People?
The Clean Cut & Dry Version _while addressing more evolved humans_ is: The StarArena is a Computer Network and To Enter, A Player must successfully establish a Web-Socket (connection) at the Gate(s of The Arcade by ‘Insert A Coin!‘
Once you are In-Game; “Your Only Purpose Is To Hack & Slash Your Way To The Top, Vanquishing Your Opponents, Taking The Treasure And Becoming The Gunshin!!“
Before pressing onward… Let me first check my audience: TRUE or FALSE? “BoardGameGeeks” are Grown Men that play with cardboard maps and figurines, pretending they are the Masters of The Universe, or Any~Other Fantasy-World, with other Grown Men or Lady Geeks!?
If So; We Are Good To Go!
If you say; No?? Close this window, I think you are visiting the wrong website!?
When You play any of the Star Arena Game Variants; You Always Step Into A Cyber Fiction Setting! The Majority of the Stories are set inside the Common Wealth of The Arcade and the surrounding Virtual Waste Lands that flow over into dark and uncharted areas of Cyber Space!
The StarArena_MetaVerse is a world behind your computer screen that sounds cool, exciting and like a fun place to explore, but once faced with the evils that spawn out of the dark underbelly of the web; You soon wish you were safely back behind the boring television screen at home, instead of having your Neuro-Connected Avatar surrounded by Soul Sucking Virtual Viruses and Digital Demons in this Augmented-Reality on Silicone Steroids!
But, …that is enough ‘Exposition’ for now! Let us ‘LOCK IN’ the ‘Importance’ of *Holo Port* and avoid further confusion amongst old and new Players & Game Masters.
What Exactly Is The *Holo Port* Issue?
The Holo Port Issue was a discussion amongst the Test-Teams about: Hard-Rule #4, they questioned if there was a typo in the ROC? In these Early-Editions it says: Step Into The Game From… and proposed it be changed towards: Onto?
There is no discussion: The Holo-Port is a Players Starting-Point on each Map!
Even though there are variants, its function remains the same!
With the MetaVerse_Expansion, the starting points on the outer ring are called Holo Dock‘s. With a few Arcade Adventure Maps, the individual starting point of the game is named Holo Gate. Small nuances, Same Function! Whenever you see; HOLO? This where you Start Your Game on Own Color and Insert Coin to Enter!
Why Is It An Issue? Well I noticed Test-Teams playing ‘Loosey-Goosey’ with the Game Rules and for some reason; It feels ‘convenient’ to park your pawn on the desktop instead of the designated *Start Point* on the game board? This type of tabletop anarchy always leads to chaos and inevitably instigates a mutation of game play into other unsanctioned variants. Let me show you the correct way…
It never was an issue until the Mini-Table-Top versions were produced and the surface they were placed on became an extra (illegal) level.
In the land of ‘Make-Believe; That Game Table you are playing at? Does Not Exist!! You Are Surrounded By Cyber Space And For Your Game-Clone To Return Safely From The Arena; Don’t Let Your Hero Be Thrown Out Of Bounds!!
To conclude: Even though the Story-Engines differ between the 1997~2005 & 2015~2021 Editions, They Do; Stay-True to the Original-Mechanics and Game-Concept!
Therefore: *HOLO PORT* is the equivalent of *HOME* or *START* in the basic foundation of ye olde board games worldwide. And forever will remain so…
All I can think of further is; An in-depth article about the Workings & Variants of *Holo Ports* within the StarArena_MetaVerse. Maybe later. 😉