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An all-new, immersive adventure game from the award-winning creators of Myst and Riven.
An all-new, immersive adventure game from the award-winning creators of Myst and Riven.
22,195 backers pledged $1,321,306 to help bring this project to life.

The "Over $450,000, reddit AMA, Bonus Q&A" Update!

Posted by Cyan, Inc. (Creator)

Rand here with a nice long update. Thanks to so many gracious supporters - over $450,000 in a few days! We're slowly and steadily getting there. Please help us keep spreading the word - still have quite a hill to climb!

And… I'll be doing an AMA on reddit on Tuesday (October 22) at 4:30 pm EDT (that's 1:30 pm PDT, and 20:30 GMT) Get your questions ready - but go easy on me. :)

And speaking of questions I've been spending the weekend answering billions of (or a couple hundred) questions from Kickstarter individuals. The FAQ has been updated with some of the answers, but many of them were just one-offs that might be valuable to share. So I've collected and attached them below. (Answers in bold)

See you at the reddit AMA, and stay tuned for more updates that we have planned later this week.


Quick question - Is Obduction going to be a FPS genre or the same point and click style as Myst & Riven?

I played Myst when I was a kid but I found the constant clicking an unpleasant experience. Though recently I played realMyst on Steam and I found my experience in the game multiplied by 10x.

We're hoping to make Obduction both ways. Of course it will include a mode for free roam where you're free to explore where you want to. But we're also planing on a "nodal" point & click mode that allows the player to simply click to move or turn - similar to the original Myst but in the realtime 3D environment.

BTW - we're releasing an updated version of realMyst very soon that has both modes as well. (And the nodes are placed n the same places they were in the original Myst! Hope that make sense.)


What is the ESRB rating?

Myst was either E or T depending on the platform. Will be aiming for the same thing with Obduction.


I'd like to make a "become the artist" pledge as a gift for my <girl/dad/spouse/dog>. Any problems with doing that? (I.e. art and name in game to be his/hers not mine)

We can work with that. It's just a matter of logistics. At some point we'll be getting the information from you with the specifics of how you want the reward fulfilled.


Greetings. I look forward to this game. My question, silly as it sounds is, does the Digital Collector pledge also include a copy of the game? 

Yes, all rewards from the $25 and up include the digital copy of Obduction.


Can you promise no action sequences, fighting, etc? I'm dying for another Myst-like challenge and experience, still the best game I have ever played (along with the sequels of course!).

The Obduction experience has been inspired by the Myst experience. There will certainly be many differences - with some skews into some sequences that have action. :) But the essential experience will be same as Myst & Riven - where you explore, you don't die (easily), and you don't kill things (much). 

(FYI - those parenthetical exceptions could have been there for answering this question about Myst & Riven - so don't be alarmed.)


When it comes to the listing of backers' names in the credits of Obduction, how is that name determined? Kickstarter has the ability to change your profile name anytime. For example, I may not want someone to see my real name when making comments in the KS comments section, but I may want my real name listed in the credits.

So how is the desired name made know to Cyan?

We'll be collecting a list of names for the credits based on information we receive from you. So "yes" you can give us whatever name you prefer for the credits (although we reserve the right to edit for "taste" reasons if necessary.)


Are you guys at Cyan aiming for the visual storytelling method in Obduction that was refined in Riven? A good example of this is the Wahrk game which serves as 1) a piece of art 2) a storytelling device 3) a character portrait of Gehn and 4) a gameplay device all in one frame. 

This was the best part of Riven; having the gameplay, story and environment all be one entity, that is the world. The feeling of everything coming together (i.e. the culture, characters, plot, religion, number system, world) to connect into an overarching statement was what made Riven my favorite game ever made. 

We're integrating the environment into the gameplay. That's been something that I've been championing since the early Myst days. As one of the designer of Riven (and beyond that - Myst Online) it's always been very important to me that the gameplay, the story, and environment support each other in natural uncontrived ways. So "yes" - I couldn't agree more!


Out of all the game engines out there what made you guys choose unreal engine 4?

It's always hard to decide on an engine - but the Unreal Engine has a great track record for building amazing places, pushing the technology limits, and offering decent support. Our choice mean we're really interested in using the latest and greatest technology - even though at the moment we're out on the bleeding edge.


Will Richard Watson be involved in this project?

Yes, Richard Watson will be involved on multiple levels, including design.


Is the "Art of Cyan Book" different than the "Art of Obduction" book?

The "Art of Cyan" book is a digital book that includes things from Cyan's previous projects. The "Art of Obduction" book is a physical book that will be Obduction art.


Considering the success of Myst and Riven, and what I perceive to be a successful company, why do you feel that you need to raise funds on Kickstarter? Why are there not residual profits to invest in this project?

There aren't really any residuals on the older games. We've been staying alive as an independent studio by converting some of the older game to mobile platforms like iPhone and iPad. Profits that we made back in the day on Myst and Riven were used for Myst Online development, and other business related stuff (not sports cars, mansions, yachts, etc.) :) 

So, with all that said. The money that we're making from the mobile market is helping us do the initial design of Obduction. But beyond that we don't have the funds to produce a large game like Obduction without the Kickstarter funding.


Just backed this. I'd like to ask 2 questions regarding the game:

1.) Is the physical boxed version a big box old-school type box similar to those of the 90s era or is it a small DVD-like case of nowadays?

2.) How long is the game estimated to be in terms of hours?

1.) The physical box will be a medium sized old-school box - exclusive to Kickstarter.

2.) Our estimate for gameplay is similar to, but slightly less than Myst - Myst took some people a few hours (cough-cheaters) and others up to 40 hours. (With stretch goals we're hoping the experience can last a bit longer.)


Is this game an MMORPG game, or single player RPG?

Neither really. It is single player, but you don't play a role - you play yourself. It's you who is transported to this new world. You decide what to do and where to go - as if you were really there.


Will this game be single player game? I like my friends in Myst Online:Uru Live and would like to play the game with them? 

Obduction will be a single player experience, but there is a stretch goal potential for a simple shared experience. (Can't give more details at this point, sorry.)


Two quick questions: 

First, would all of the (up to 10) top-tier sponsors be meeting at Cyan all at once for the creative sessions and dinner, or would the meetings be individually scheduled? 

Second, with regard to creating an Obduction object, would there be any particular minimum requirements for a design such as size or functional context, and what would be the preferred medium to deliver said design in, if any?

We'll have 4 unique days set apart for design sessions for the tier sponsors to choose from. Depending on how many sponsors, and which days are selected, it could end up being fairly private.

As for the object - no minimum requirement. It can be anything - but we reserve the right to size them to fit our needs (and reject them for blatant attempts at inappropriateness.) We've got a rather interesting storyline that these will fit into. As for preferred medium - back of napkin sketch, carved gourd, clay, 3D file, etc. We'll work with what you produce.


I saw in the FAQ that DRM for the digital version will depend on the distributors, which makes perfect sense. Can you offer any guarantee that there will be at least one DRM-free distributor? e.g. GOG, Humble Store, GamersGate, Desura - Steam doesn't count. My only reservation is that there's the possibility that the game might only release on platforms with inherent DRM (many developers seem to be going the route of Steam only these days).

The physical boxed version of Obduction will be DRM-free, but I can't guarantee a DRM-free digital version right now, but stay tuned. Talks are ongoing.

Alex Tardif, Alycia Shedd, and 155 more people like this update.


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    1. Yvonne van Barneveld on

      Dear reader,
      When will I recieve my pledge "Gimme the box" After several time asking for this I still didn't recieve any answers or the box itself. You will make me so happy :)
      Please... any answer?

    2. Sarda on

      I'd just like to say that, while I'm backing this no matter what, the option to have it on Steam would be a huge plus. Maybe do something where you send out a survey and let each backer recieving a digital copy choose from the available options what sort of key they get? I'm sure this will soar right through the Greenlight process.

    3. Missing avatar

      Darkshift on

      @Noah Norton - A Cyan-blessed fan project is currently underway to make a realtime 3D version of Riven. They even have Prison Island mostly done already. :) It's called Starry Expanse ( Check it out!

    4. Ruby Zindler on

      Couldn't agree more with your well-placed cough, Rand! Myst "speed runs" make me clench my jaw whenever they pop up. There is simply no substitute for playing through every Age properly.

      Can't wait for Obduction - I've been keeping my eyes open for every opportunity to buy whatever Cyan makes for years and am so glad you all are ramping up! Any chance for a Myst/Riven in-game easter egg or two for old timers like me?

    5. Seba on

      Personally I'd love a DoubleFine-esque documentary, I find it really interesting and entertaining myself, but in that case the documentary was actually part of the project, with a separate company (2PlayerProductions) is handling the filming. So that's probably out of Cyan's scope at the moment. But some simpler video updates during production would be most welcome.

      And I'm with Paskarl, I'm hoping for the classic BigBox format in the end. Kickstarter has been as much a revival of classic games/developers as a revival of classic game packaging, so I'd hope for Obduction to receive the same treatment.

    6. Paskarl (k0SH) on

      "a bit bigger than a DVD case, and about twice as thick. I'm assuming that this is the size. Honestly, I don't need a bigger box."
      Honestly, I do :-)
      From a collector point of view a size of a box from these days would be disappointing..

    7. Christina 'Riv' Hawkes on

      Yeah, I don't necessarily think we need a hours-long uber-produced thing, just something like the "Making of Myst" video that came with the CD :)…

    8. Helena on

      Hate to disagree with other people here, but I don't want a documentary. It's a waste of time and money that would be better spent on the game itself. Also, I'm pretty sure the cost of producing Double Fine's documentary was part of the reason they went so far over budget.

      @ Noah: The 'reward matrix' on the main page shows both a digital and physical copy of the game for the $75 tier.

    9. Dimitrios on

      And .... btw Wahrk game in the school was a masterpiece of storytelling......... I totally agree!!! I remember even now how i felt when i understand what this small thing was hiding and why it was there. I sat back and for one more time i said: They (CYANists) are genius, they are artists etc.....for several hours!!!!

    10. Dimitrios on

      Updated RealMyst!!??? oh no, now i need not only to sell my car, but everything valuable i have and there are not many...!!! :)
      Cyanists i love you!!!!
      PS : It will be my 4th Myst lol!

    11. Missing avatar

      George on

      Thanks for the update Rand! I've been replaying Myst and Riven in anticipation of Obduction. Will the updates to realMyst be pushed to the iOS version as well?

    12. Noah Norton on

      Also: I'm very excited about a new RealMyst version! I hope it runs on Mac OS X ! :)
      I'd also gobble up a "RealRiven" if it even became available. And MystOnline/URU for OS X... Heck pretty much any product Cyan has for Mac I buy up :)

    13. Noah Norton on

      For those that get the boxed version, will they also get a copy of the digital version since the digital version is a part of the "lower" tiers or does the boxed version replace it? I'm good either way just looking for clarification.

    14. Missing avatar

      Jorge Gutierrez on

      @Matt Guica: If the game is going to be fully rendered in 3D, I don't see why this can't be done. I totally agree that this would be a great addition to the game.

    15. Missing avatar

      Tristan on

      A documentary would be very cool

    16. Matt Giuca on

      On more important (gameplay) matters, I hope you offer the three different control schemes of Myst V: Classic (Myst/Riven style), Classic Plus (Exile/Revelation style) and Free Movement (realMyst style). I still haven't decided which is my favourite out of those three; when I play Myst V, I like to switch between them.

    17. Matt Giuca on

      I don't know what the European boxes are like. The Uru box I got is the same size as all modern "proper" game boxes (like Diablo III): a bit bigger than a DVD case, and about twice as thick. I'm assuming that this is the size. Honestly, I don't need a bigger box.

    18. Paskarl (k0SH) on

      @CosmicMeeting/ MattGiuca: Than I hope its similar to the european box ("Eurobox") of that time. Uru is nothing more than a DVD sized box, sometimes doubled in width due to some extras. But nothing compared to the Eurobox or the bigger US boxes.
      That´s why I´m confused about this "mid size thing".
      Because I´m not sure if they know any size of old game boxes outside of the US.
      Why should they? ;-) It´s up to the local publisher.
      So they know the old US boxes (huge) and the ones from today (DVD size). +
      But something in beetween? *doh*

    19. Maarten Dijkstra on

      Thanks for the update :)
      Personally I don't see me upgrading my pledge from the basic $25, because the artbook is the $45 level is an 'art of cyan' rather than 'art of obduction'; please consider that as a pdf addon?
      I would definitely be interested in pledging more for Oculus Rift support however.
      And being a backer of the DoubleFine Adventure kickstarter, can I say that the documentary series they've put out with 2PP has been amazing, and totally worth it, even more so perhaps than the game itself? Maybe a documentary, or series of docos, could be another stretch goal or addon? thanks!

    20. Matt Giuca on

      I'm guessing that the "medium sized" boxes are the ones that have been around since about 2003 -- so the Uru box was a "medium" sized box, whereas Myst and Riven were "large" sized boxes.

    21. CosmicMeeting on

      Paskarl: Maybe they're talking about the size of the European releases. Both Myst (bought in 1995) and Riven (bought at release) boxes I have are what I would call medium sized, significantly smaller than the boxes I've imported from the US, but still a good bit larger than a DVD case. The boxes are in storage atm, but I would say about 25x18x5 cm.

    22. Paskarl (k0SH) on

      "The physical box will be a medium sized old-school box"
      Can someone pls enlighten me what a medium sized box would look like???
      The Myst boxes are big. No, they are HUGE. Don´t want to have a medium one besides those which cost the most but even does not attract attention at all!!!!

    23. Missing avatar

      Erick Brown on

      Oculus Rift support is a must.

    24. Gavin Lambert - Tormented Dreamer on

      Glad to hear about the dual control scheme. I think it was Myst V that did that before -- while most of the time I preferred to use "direct control" mode there were a few times when it was useful to hop straight to a node -- usually either when revisiting a previous location or trying to find something elusive (since the nodes let you know where interesting things might be).

    25. Peter Arentsen on

      Its unreal 4 engine so probably windows 7 and higher and a real graphic card.

    26. Missing avatar

      Charles V Geise II on

      What will be the system requirements for Obduction? URU level or modern extreme. I will have to know if I will have to get a better system. (XP Lives!!)

    27. Missing avatar

      Anthony Tardiff on

      I know this is off topic a bit, but that version of realMYST you mention . . . can you put it out for Mac please? Pretty please? I mean, it is on Unity now, right? Should be a (relatively) easy thing to get it up and running on mac. I own two versions of the original, but getting it running on a modern mac system (GOG PC version through Wine) is a pain, and never seems to work right, and I'd love to have the little graphical improvements that the Unity engine offers.

      Oh, and hello to Alex Tardif. I'm guessing you are a distant French Canadian relative of mine. :)

    28. Missing avatar

      Rob Dye on

      Hi, Rand. I am a big fan of all the Myst games. In fact, I majored in computer science largely because I played the first game and wondered if I could make games like that some day. I'm currently an admin rather than a developer, but I want you to know what a large impact you have had on me.

      P.S.: Are there any plans to publish more Myst books? I'm dying to read the Book of Marim. I'd also love to read the Book of Yeesha, the Book of Ghen, or any other books set in the Myst universe.

    29. Fuzzy Puffin on

      Loved the visual storytelling question (and the response.)
      Riven's whark puzzle is simply ingenious game design.

      @Michael Cyan didn't make or publish Myst III or IV. That would be entirely up to Ubisoft.

    30. Jose Cardoso on

      @George You do realise that Steam's DRM is not and never has been mandatory? Blame the publishers that choose to invoke it or, even worse, their own far more restrictive implementations (I'm looking at you Ubis*ft).

    31. Missing avatar

      George on

      Please make sure you release a Steam-free version. I consider Steam to be one of the most restrictive DRM systems out there, so a Steam-free digital version would be absolutely necessary in my case.

    32. Michael Robert Ujwary on

      Question: would the success of this game --and, from this, even the company itself-- encourage Mysts 3 and 4 to be released for sale on digital distribution sites, or is that entirely the responsibility of Ubisoft and entirely not an option?

    33. Ghaelen D'Lareh on

      Glad to see this update and got answers to questions I had and some I didn't know I had. Love that maybe (cough) this will be another place to meet (cough) in the future (pick your mode of linear time). Glad to hear there is yet another Cyan story that's going deep and maybe a bit dark and maybe a bit suspenseful and a lot mysterious without requiring killing as a rule. Whew!. Happy to see this kickstarter funding going well so far!

    34. light487 - Kickstarter Junkie on

      I'd much prefer Steam but I know a lot of people prefer GoG.. The limited amount of DRM in Steam, which I personally don't consider to be true DRM, is of no concern to me.

      As many other have said, almost constantly, Oculus Rift support is a must for this game. I don't really have any near future intentions of getting an OR headset but it just feels so right for this style of game.. even the original Myst and Riven could be played in this way to great effect.

    35. Helena on

      Thanks for all the answers - some very interesting information there! I'm really happy to hear about the Reddit AMA; those can do wonders for a project. Regarding DRM: I'm getting the boxed version, but I would strongly encourage you to partner up with GOG (or a similar distribution site) for the digital version. DRM-free releases are very important to many people.

    36. Christina 'Riv' Hawkes on

      I second the request for a "Making Of" video! The videos that came with Myst and Riven were fascinating.

    37. Missing avatar

      Alex Tardif on

      Thanks for all the answered questions! So excited for this :D

    38. Kingfoot on

      I live here in Washington, do you do studio tours?

    39. Missing avatar

      Austin on

      I would just like to say that I am very excited about this, but *highly encourage* incorporation of Oculus Rift support early-on, as opposed to an afterthought or post-release patch. "The team that brought you Myst is developing a new game compatible with the rift" will generate a lot of attention! Just something to think about! Good luck and I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

    40. Missing avatar

      Matthew Merkle on

      One question I have:

      Is there any plan to do a documentary for the making of the game, at least in similar style to the Myst/Riven "Making Of" videos? Those were highly entertaining and I would even put a bit of extra cash towards it, if necessary. I don't expect a Double Fine Adventure-length documentary, but something like 30-60 minutes covering the entire project would be awesome.