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