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Posts tagged: rand miller

Cyan releases modernized Myst, loaded with new visual and sonic improvements

A big day for fans of Mead-based Cyan Inc. It's the official release of realMyst: Masterpiece Edition. This version is an augmented, spiffed-up version of Myst, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary. It's also a replacement for the 2000 edition of realMyst, which took the original game into 3-D.

The official press release reads: ”Cyan, Inc. announces the availability of realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - a completely updated version of realMyst for MacOS and Windows. realMyst: Masterpiece Edition delivers the rich story and gameplay of the original Myst in a visually and aurally stunning, dynamic, realtime 3D experience updated for today's computers and graphics cards.

“Myst was originally released in 1993 to both critical and popular acclaim. Its storyline, environments, graphics, music, and interface created an award winning experience that made it the best-selling game of the last millennium. realMyst: Masterpiece Edition shakes that original adventure forward - updating the journey to a state-of-the-art experience. The realtime 3D environment allows for complete freedom of motion and viewing - with seamless movement from place to place. And the new, easy-to-use Classic Mode navigation option provides a simple point-and-click exploration that works just like the original Myst.

Company co-founder Rand Miller said, “To explore the islands and Ages of Myst in real time…it's an amazing feeling. We wanted to recreate the Myst experience of 20 years ago but with the sophistication that today's computer can deliver.”

The ease of the “classic” Myst interface was not an easy thing to implement. “We located and marked every still image location and angle from the original Myst in 3D space in realMyst.” said Jason Calvert, senior software engineer for the project. “The idea was to provide an uncompromising 3D experience with the point and click interface that made the original Myst accessible to anyone.”

The real time version also makes possible visual enhancements such as day and night cycles, rippling water, waving branches, falling rain, moving clouds, setting suns, and more. And since exploration can take place at night, realMyst: Masterpiece Edition offers a unique new addition - a flashlight. The audio also benefits from real time with sounds that emanate from specific locations and react realistically as the player explores.”

This edition is priced at $17.99 US. It is available immediately for MacOS and Windows on Steam and the Mac App Store. For current owners of the original version of realMyst on Steam, there is a 33 percent discount.

What did it look like when Cyan just started working on its original games?

Now that Cyan Worlds has exceeded its $1.1 million Kickstarter campaign (now at $1.24 million) for its next big game, we felt the urge to find out how Rand Miller, Robyn Miller and their team managed to keep the company together.

More than three times in the past 10 years, the little Mead game development firm seemed to have struck out, losing support as it kept trying to find a sequel to the big hit that Myst and Riven had been.

We found this Tribute Video to Cyan Worlds, uploaded by Matt Giuca.  He says, on YouTube, that he made the film in 2005. But the footage goes back years. Some of the best parts of the video are those early scenes of how Cyan got started and the enthusiastic look on the faces of those building the first game.

Matt, I hope you're still in touch with the Millers, so you can do one more video on the next chapter of the Cyan Saga.

 

Cyan reaches Kickstarter goal of $1.1 million, now plans to develop ‘Obduction’

Cyan Worlds on Wednesday exceeded its Kickstarter campaign goal of $1.1 million.

The Mead company had started the crowd-sourcing campaign more than three weeks ago to raise funds to move the game off the drawing board into digital production. The SR story about the announcement was published on Oct. 18.

The total raised has grown to $1.109 million. The Kickstarter page says more than 18,000 contributors have pledged money toward the project, to develop a game now titled “Obduction.”

Cyan Worlds has said little about the game, other than to say it's the evolved spiritual successor to its breakthrough exploration game “Myst.”

 

 

Cyan close to two-thirds of its target $1.1 million Kickstarter game fund

Spokane game maker Cyan Inc. is close to two-thirds of the target goal on its Kickstarter funding campaign.

It's trying to raise $1.1 million using crowdfunding from fans and supporters to develop its next game, currently titled Obduction.

The campaign has 18 days to go.

20 years after Myst, Cyan starts campaign to build its next game, Obduction

Cyan Inc., the company based in Mead that developed Myst and Riven and spinoffs from that franchise, announced on Thursday it's developing a Kickstarter campaign to build a new game.

They call the new game Obduction. It's described this way in a release: “Obduction is an all-new, real-time, first-person adventure that harkens back to the spirit of Cyan’s earlier games Myst and Riven. Obduction resurrects the feeling of a player suddenly finding themselves in the middle of a new world that they feel compelled to explore, discover, solve, and become part of.”

The Obduction Kickstarter campaign is already launched, shooting for a goal of about $1.1 million.

The release also notes the meaning of the word: Ob`duc´tion, n.1. The act of drawing or laying over, as a covering.

The plan for a new game was mentioned in a recent interview with Rand Miller, the CEO of Cyan. On the 20th anniversary of the launch of Myst, Miller said he wanted to find a new game to compete with first-person shooters, and a game that's more about the gamer's experience of discovery than claiming territory or eliminating rivals.

It's described by Miller as different from Myst. It's not Son of Myst, but still carries the tones and resonances of Myst and Riven, meaning playing involves searching, uncovering and revealing the world one engages in the game.

Using terms often attached to the games Myst, Riven and Uru, Cyan describes the Obduction project as a “deeply immersive world” that requires a player to move around, examine and develop a sense of place and connections.

The announcement said the Kickstarter campaign will build versions both for Windows and MacOS, with a targeted release of mid-to-late 2015. Kickstarter funding over the base level would be used to expand the scope of the game (adding such things as new places to explore, additional platforms,  localization, technological bells and whistles, and more.

Cyan’s Myst chosen by Museum of Modern Art for videogame collection

New York’s Museum of Modern Art has added Cyan World’s groundbreaking game Myst to a collection of significant, artistic videogames.

The MoMA game collection, at www.moma.org, is the start of an evolving exhibit expected to grow to around 40 major games. The full list of the first 14 is found here.

The initial list includes games that became widely known, including Pac-Man, Tetris, The Sims, SimCity 2000 and EVE Online.

Myst was released in 1993, produced by Cyan Worlds, based in Mead. The MoMA listing recognizes brothers Rand and Robyn Miller as the game’s primary creators. Later versions of the Myst franchise included the games Riven, realMyst, Myst V: End of Ages, and Myst Online: Uru Live.

MoMA said it will install the 14 games for a public exhibit in March. Some of the games will be installed in interactive mode, allowing visitors to experience the games firsthand.

“Robyn and I were really excited and tickled to hear Myst was chosen by MoMA,” said Rand Miller, the CEO of Cyan Worlds.

Robyn Miller played a key role in the first Myst product. Since then he’s left the company and is an independent filmmaker.

Myst drew widespread attention because it allowed players to explore and find solutions in a world of challenges and puzzles. It drew praise for drastically breaking from the style of games where one destroys orcs, kills enemies or takes over territory.

This marks the second time this year Myst was chosen for a major collection.

Earlier this year the Smithsonian Museum compiled a traveling exhibit called The Art of Videogames. Myst was one of 80 games included.

The Smithsonian group, which included Donkey Kong and Space Invaders and other arcade favorites, resulted from people voting for their favorite games. “The MoMA collection was based on aesthetics,” Rand Miller said, “and that makes it a bit more satisfying.”

Cyan Worlds continues working on projects, employing 10 people. It’s created iPad and iPhone versions of Myst and is preparing to release an iOS version of Riven, considered the sequel to Myst.

Cyan Worlds will soon release Riven for iPad, iPhone and iPod

More than a dozen years after being introduced as a CD-Rom game, Cyan Worlds’ Riven will soon be back in circulation in app form, at the iTunes store.

The north Spokane company said Apple should release the new app version of Riven any day. It will be available at the iTunes store for $5.99. Like its predecessor, Myst, Riven follows as the successor in the story about a lost island, presenting players with an assortment of challenges and puzzles.

It took Cyan four years to build the first game. The iOS app took about a year, said Cyan Worlds CEO Rand Miller.Cyan Worlds President Tony Fryman said the firm is considering developing an Android version. But it would take more work than developing for iOS, he said.

“Creating the iOS version of Riven was no easy task,” he said in a release. had to lovingly and meticulously cram almost five thousand images, three hours of video and three more hours of sound and music into my iPhone. We began without knowing if we could even pull it off. I’m still amazed I can experience Riven in the palm of my hand.”

The end result is that almost every detail of the five CDs of the original Riven was condensed into one of the largest iOS apps available.

Myst the Movie a step closer to the screen

We were directed to a recent post on Deadline.com, which mentions that Mysteria, a film company, has signed up two producers for a possible feature film based on “Myst,” the groundbreaking game developed in north Spokane by Cyan Worlds.

Back in 2008 we wrote, in an SR business story, about two Myst fans in Indiana who convinced Rand Miller, CEO of Cyan, to let them move forward with a movie based on the Myst books. Mysteria is those guys, who were admitted movie novices without a lot of Hollywood connections.

The story in 2008 noted that Cyan optioned the film rights to Mysteria and waited to see what would happen. The news update this month suggests Mysteria has gone out and moved the project forward. Its partners even rounded up two would-be producers.

Cyan Worlds President Tony Fryman said this is the deal: “The option ties up certain rights (as defined in an agreement) for a period of time while the option is shopped around Hollywood. The Option holder then cuts a deal with a selected studio whom then decides to produce a movie or not. If the Option is not “exercised” within the specified time then the rights typically revert back to the original owner.”

The original rights owner is either Cyan or Rand Miller.

Mysteria has its own blog, which serves as a somewhat limited chronicle of the project.

The Deadline item says producers Hunt Lowry and Mark Johnson have worked a deal with the two Indian Mysteriacs, Adrian Vanderbosch and Isaac Testerman. Those two have been working a few other big deals; they’re the ones producing a version of the John Grisham novel “The Testament.”

 

Cyan Worlds posts the trailer to ‘The Manhole Masterpiece Edition’

Those guys and gals in Mead, Cyan Worlds, are moving full-bore into iPhone and iPad apps. They’re soon to see their original iOS game, Stoneship, become available in the iTunes store.

Meanwhile they’ve posted a YouTube video of the trailer to their iOS version of the The Manhole, Masterpiece edition. First made in 1988, the game is a classicly simple but addictive computer game. Wikipedia’s entry offers a full and loving rundown of the game and its history.

Rand Miller, the Cyan CEO, wrote us this note on what’s new: “The Manhole: Masterpiece Edition was a remake of The Manhole - Cyan’s first product. The original was in black and white and we recreated it from the ground up in the ‘90’s (after Myst) using some of the same rendering technology we used in Myst combined with hand drawn characters. At that time we also wrote all new music and sound effects as well.”

One notable addendum: Chuck Carter, a former Spokesman-Review graphics artist, did all the art work on the remake.

 


Stoneship: Cyan moves from big games, looking to sell small games via apps

Whether or not Cyan Worlds ever gets around to doing another large Myst-style game/online world, the Mead-based software company is turning out a number of quicker, easier-to-build games for the iOS platform.

Here’s how Cyan’s CEO Rand Miller described the focus of Stoneship, the new App to be released soon. Screenshots from Stoneship were provided courtesy of Tony Fryman, Cyan’s president.
Cyan Worlds has managed to become somewhat proficient with iOS (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad) development after our conversions of Myst, The Manhole, and Riven (coming soon).

Among our small team of programmers we had a couple guys who had an idea for a new iOS game - something specifically for the iOS platform and different from Cyan Worlds’ usual direction. We gave the go ahead and Stoneship was born.

With our reduced staff and resources it’s a huge advantage to have smaller development projects that we wrap up a little quicker. And developing for iOS is also great for small developers like us, because we can self-publish in the App store very easily.

The iOS platform has enough advantages that we’ll be doing more projects in the future.

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