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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 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."
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.
Looking for the all-new realMyst for iPad and new iPad?
Cyan Worlds, in north Spokane, announced the game is now available at the iTunes apps store, priced at $6.99.
It's the rich and detailed Myst Island scenario, recreated with lots more dimensionality and textures.
Office Hours is eager to test the game, or gather comments from gamers. Drop any thoughts and comments here to share with the Myst community.
Cyan Worlds now has an iPad version of the classic breakthrough game Myst. The revised version is the 3D enhance realMyst, redesigned and enhanced for the mobile iOS platform.
It will come out in April, said company President Tony Fryman.
“To explore the islands and Ages of Myst in realtime with such a gossamer interface is an amazing feeling.” said Rand Miller, CEO of Cyan Worlds. “Walking on the boardwalk above the water in Channelwood has got to be experienced to be believed.”
Spokane Valley manufacturer Sterling International, maker of bug traps and the Rescue line of anti-bug systems, got some ink in the Wall Street Journal.
You could easily devour an hour here, reading the article on the onslaught of the nefarious stink bug. Sterling's new stink bug trap is the reason for its inclusion in the story, written by WSJ staffer Heather Haddon.
Do not neglect the comments here, which highlight the vast range of feelings people have on the business of bug eradication.
Personally, we have nothing against stink bugs. Live and let live…
Photo Credit: WSJ.com
We do want to give some more space to the new Bug Chucker game released this week by Cyan Worlds.
The entry below may have squashed the news slightly. Don't let that bug you.
The game is a very affordable 99 cents at the iTunes store. We'll test it this evening and post a report, on our companion tech site, www.srtxt.com.
For more information on Bug Chucker, here's Cyan World's main summary.
This may be a coincidence of harmonic proportions. On more or less the same day, both Spokane's Cyan Worlds and Spokane Valley-based Rescue (also known as Sterling International) have debuted major new "bug" products.
Cyan has released a new game app for the Apple platform, called "Bug Chucker." And to quote Miley Cyrus, that's pretty cool. It costs 99 cents at the iTunes store. It's a space-battle game involving a spaceship inhabited by bugs who are under attack by the evil Sawz, the robotic minions of Lord Lahguh.
Cyan is the company that innovated videogames by developing the breakthrough titles "Myst," "Riven" and "Manhole." More information: here.
Meanwhile, bug-trap maker Rescue just released its new stink bug traps. But wait, there's more.
The new traps come in two varieties, indoor and outdoor. For more than a year Sterling (Rescue) focused on developing an outdoor trap that attracted the pesky stink bugs and left them unable to crawl away.
But over time the company also decided to develop an indoor version (pictured here). As you can see, it's an illuminated model that uses LED lights to attract stink bugs. It will be available in July and cost around $17.99. For information: Recue's stink bug blog.
Company spokeswoman Stephanie Cates said the company realized, while learning more about stink bugs, that they're attracted to some lights. So that led to this indoor baby.
In an email, Cates said: "The indoor stink bug problem is significant. Many people in the mid-Atlantic states report finding stink bugs in their homes — sometimes as many as 30 to 40 per day."
We noted yesterday the Apple iTunes store was about to release the iPad-iPhone version of Cyan Worlds’ moody world exploration game, Riven, more or less a successor to the groundbreaking Myst.
It just went live today at www.itunes.com, and can be downloaded for $5.99.
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.
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.”
We noted earlier that Mead-based game company Cyan Worlds was developing a light app-style game for the iPhone and iOS community.
The game, Stoneship, is now available for $2.99 at the iTunes store.
Happy gaming, Myst fans. More info.
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.
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.