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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.

Content Update 1

Posted by Cyan, Inc. (Creator)
235 likes

Thanks for your patience. Revealing content is very tricky business for us. It could affect your game experience, and we take it very seriously. 

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Obduction has already begun! We’re not talking about the Kickstarter campaign, or even the game production - the actual gameplay has started.

The game has begun, and you're already playing it. There are pieces of information that you are gleaning and gathering, you’re reaching some conclusions on certain things and you’re completely in the dark about a whole lot. That’s exactly how our games work when you play them. You land on the dock, or on the ledge, or in the desert - and you begin to learn about the new world you have been tossed into.

So, our philosophy is that we’re going to treat everything we reveal to you during this Kickstarter as if the game is already being played. We don’t want to ruin your experience - we want to make the experience even better. Sure we could simply dump large spoilers, but it would be like playing with a hint book - you get through it quickly, but it leaves you unsatisfied and wanting more. We want to feed you bits and pieces of information that make you contemplate, consider, and form theories that you can explore and test. We might even throw a few puzzles out there to create a little friction as you explore. But let’s face it - this is also a business proposition, so we also want to reward you with more information so that you don’t get too frustrated. So let’s get to it…

Interface:

Those of you who have played our games before know that the goal is to get the interface out of the way. We want the experience to speak to you - we want the world to be as unobscured as possible. So there should be very little visual clutter on the screen, and the interface should be as intuitive as possible. That was actually easier with Myst’s slideshow technology (point & click), but Obduction will be realtime 3D. How will it work?

We want to please everybody. Gamers will get the full free-roam controls (customizable) that they are used to. But the tricky part is making 3D easier for people who may not even know what “free-roam” means. For those folks we’re harkening back to the simple Myst interface, but we’re welcoming it to the new millennium. For this legacy mode we will predetermine locations throughout the game that the player will stand. Clicking on the landscape ahead will seamlessly move the player in realtime 3D to the next location. Clicking on the left side of the screen will rotate the view to the left to a predetermined new view angle. This mode plays exactly like the old point & click games did, but has the advantage of full 3D movement. You can decide if you want to explore the world in this easy mode where you simply point and click or if you want to loose the chains and switch over to free-roam to see everything. We already know this legacy interface works really well because we’ll be releasing an updated version of realMyst very soon that has it.

(SPOILER ALERT: We’re going to reveal some things. If you don’t want to know anything - STOP HERE!)

Setting:

You’ve seen our Obduction concept art. That’s just an early artist painting of what the world will look like. But the point of using the Unreal Engine 4 is to make the actual Obduction experience much more real than that painting or anything we’ve built before. We’ll be right on the cutting edge of what can be done in realtime 3D. For those of you who aren’t familiar with realtime 3D - think beautiful, fluid, living, dynamic scenery.

That shot with the farmhouse is our money shot. It summarize the situation you find yourself in - suddenly abducted from your nice comfortable Earth and dropped onto an alien world. Here are a few more details we can fill you in on…

That farmhouse has been damaged. There are perfectly burned holes in the picket fence (and there should also be holes in the house.) And the farmhouse is just the first building in a rather bizarre little town. That road in front continues to the left - more structures (rather odd structures), more distress. And there’s a small wooden sign just to the left of that shot - “Welcome to…” Wait, better hold off on that bit of information for a little longer.

Oh, and the farmhouse belongs to someone you might have seen already. Segue to...

Characters:

You’ve seen a concept sketch of one of our female characters. Her name is Farley. She’s strong, she’s smart, she’s resourceful, she’s curious. She has a 2 year old boy (who has no name, but answers to “kid"), a pet mofang, a dead husband, and a longing for fine silk. She’s also a mass murderer. But don't judge her, because you don’t know her story… yet.

In Obduction, like our previous games, you will get to know things about the characters that help you understand what’s going on in the world, and help you make choices based on your perception of those characters. We’ve spilled some of the beans a bit on Farley, but no doubt you have a few more questions that you’d like answered.

Story:

All of the information we’ve just shared means something. Like our previous games (and like real life) you have arrived in the middle of an ongoing story. Each of the bits and pieces of information will fill in the blanks, and the story takes shape. We’ll bet you're already anticipating where this story might go - and we hope you’re excited to see just how you can participate and affect it with the choices you make.

Gameplay:

Obduction’s gameplay is best described by playing Myst or Riven. If you haven’t played those games then you’ll need to know a few things. You end up in this new world without a huge cinematic or cut scene that gives you lots of information. We’re not trying to motivate you artificially by making you into someone else. This is you in this place - you have to act and react like you are really here. That will mean you have to scope out your surroundings - move around, look around, turn over a few stones, push a few buttons. Yes, there’ll be buttons… and levers, and cranks, and valves, and pumps, and more. As you explore there will be some places that are locked, or blocked, or walled, or crusted over, or more.

So your play will involve finding out how to get past those “challenges” by learning what they are, and how they work. Sometimes the puzzles can be really simple - like just turning on a light. And other times the puzzles are insidiously tough - like learning how a huge boiler works so you can open it up, climb inside, and crawl through the drain (like in Riven.) But it’s important to us that the puzzles are part of the landscape and culture, so that it doesn’t seem like there’s just a random vault with a random match in it. (Yeah, some of Myst had a bit of arbitrary-ness, but try Riven or Myst Online/Uru and you’ll see how our design evolved and just what we’re talking about.)

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That’s all for now. Thanks for being patient as we try to reveal, without revealing too much. Tomorrow we’ll get a little more into it with a content update by Eric - including some design philosophy and early character concept sketches. After that we’ll go into a little more of the content scope and overview.

Comments

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    1. K R Parkinson (GalvanicSpiral) on

      Regarding the classic-style point-and-click "update," that's actually not so new. Back in 2000, a game called The Crystal Key did it by using Quicktime VR for every scene, and displaying movies showing the player's path from one location to the next.

      Granted, this wasn't real-time 3d, but the idea was basically the same.

      The only problem, of course, is that it might make a sim-sickness problem for those who are sensitive (including me), but it should at least mitigate that problem to a certain extent by the player not having to free-roam everywhere.

      I'd feel better if an "old-style slideshow" option were available, but at least this is something, and I played Crystal Key back in the day without too many issues.

    2. Paskarl (k0SH) on

      I love to turn over a few stones.
      Nice update.

    3. Missing avatar

      David Stirling on

      Are you going to make an XBOX ONE version? And what about a re-release of the original MYST games for windows 8?

    4. Missing avatar

      Dennis Glowacki on

      I like some arbitrary-ness puzzles.

      A real time myst-style game with a physically based rendering system like ue4 has is such an insta-win

    5. Missing avatar

      George on

      Thanks guys/gals! This is such an awesome way to provide updates and start the game! No one else makes games quite the way Cyan does, and therefore I'm not surprised that no one does a kick starter quite like you guys either :). I couldn't resist and just had to increase my pledge!! Now, I must get back to replaying all of the Myst games...

    6. Missing avatar

      Chris Spencer on

      Thanks so much for the updates, its so great to see the progress :) I have always wanted to be part of a team building an adventure game and to be honest this is the next best thing :)

      Because you are making it free roaming I was wondering how you are going to tackle the texture quality for when people walk right up close to objects? What I loved about Riven and Exile was that everything looked polished.

      Also I wanted to ask, are you doing a lot of behind the scenes footage? I would love to see a making of documentary of the production you are going through. Maybe showing how to made the choice to use Unreal engine and how you make it work for the game :)

      Your games have brought me a lot of joy and have been a great escape from the real world :)
      Carry on making amazing games!

    7. Dana "Mystdee" Brightman on

      Oooooh !!! I am even more excited to play now! . . . so glad you will be adding the classic nodes. . . . I personally prefer that to the free roam . . . and I suspect I am not alone. . . Great update. . . wish I could find me $10,000 to update my pledge! ;) Would love to be in on that early development and do Launch! But I guess I will settle for what I CAN do and try to help promote this and get it funded!!

    8. Christian on

      I was reading through this update without paying too much attention. Then I came to "She’s also a mass murderer." I was like "Wow! That's ... wow! .... but why did you tell me?!" ;)

    9. Missing avatar

      salamander_god on

      Hello Cyan, Rand, team, Myst&Riven lovers,

      I'd like first of all to acknowledge how great it is for you guys to be making another game, and not a myst follow-up. It's always great moving forward and trying new things. Myst and Riven were such great games, my favorites. In fact when i think video game, i first of all think about these places to explore, wondrous and exquisitely detailed.

      I was wondering how you were thinking of integrating the characters visually. What I have always loved about Myst and Riven, but which has changed in End of Ages, and not for the best i think, is the live action characters. Real people in artificial (but realistic) environments make these places look real, and add to our impression of really being there (as you say, I'm not playing a character, I am actually there, near the farmhouse, etc.).

      Plus, it has to be much more simple that way technically. But my point really is I think you can go for the best 3D Realtime engines have to offer, and create superb landscapes and decors, but you can also offer your players what they want most of all :

      a) a feel of what Myst and Riven had to offer relating to the characters
      b) something a little retro (but hey, who doesn't like retro)
      c) the impression that they are really there, in a real place where other real people can stand and walk
      d) the knowledge that these fantastic props the characters are manipulating exist for real, somewhere.
      e) plus, live actors are much better at playing emotions, creating intrigue, and we relate to them much much much more than 3D "puppets"

      Please take a stance, take a chance, use real people for the characters. Please. Just try it at least. I'll love you for it.

      Thanks for reading

      Boris from Canada

    10. Adventurik on

      Wow. This is already starting out great! This was an awesome update. Thank you for all the information and bit of hints. As for me, I have enjoyed almost all the Myst games, including Myst V. But I'd like to ask for a bit of help that touches on Myst IV. The Dream Puzzle was severely difficult for colorblind people like me, and ruined my enjoyment of it. If you have color-based puzzles, can you add a color identifier to the interface? Rhem 4 took care of this quite nicely with a key-cursor combo. I really do hope you can include some kind of help like that.

    11. Christian Page on

      is there spider hints to eggs hidden in this post? lol

    12. Ghaelen D'Lareh on

      Of course! Of course we're already in the story, er - playing the game. This is the best aspect of these games for me. Where does the game end and the story begin? Does it ever end (or begin)? One of the layers of our story is the one we as explorers of the new world will write as we discover new places and things. Another is the one we are writing now. Speculating, theorizing, debating, resolving - Whoooooo..... this is gonna be fun.

    13. Missing avatar

      Aaron Cullison on

      My only question for now, will there be sliders?

      (Thanks and keep up the great work.)

    14. Missing avatar

      Art Blumberg on

      I started playing Cyan games with a little black and white wonder called The Manhole and eagerly purchased each successive game published. I discovered URU/online too late - the population of the world was declining and lately, I am the only one still logging in. I am looking forward to a new world to explore and I know Cyan won't disappoint.

    15. Seba on

      @Austin - as Adam said, roll up your sleeves and jump on the Cyan forums to see where things are at, or if You want to start the puzzle-solving from the beginning Yourself, look for somethings 'standing out' in the pitch video. But even then, You'll need the Cyan forums anyway ;)
      And anybody else with some time and puzzle-cracking inclination, get on board as well, every eager mind could help. We've hit a wall for far too long now for my liking :P

    16. Gwenn on

      Woah, that's a real teasing about the game! I know you don't spoil anything from the story or such, but that's still making me very impatient. I've always prefered this kind of game to FPS. I never played Myst or Riven, should maybe give it a try... :)
      Keep giving us such update, it makes me dreaming about the potential of the game! :) And good work!

    17. Carol Woodward (Noelani) on

      Hi, I just spent the past few hours posting this opportunity on youtube, tried to target Myst games and soundtracks. I hope this helps to boost the support. I really, really need this game. Good luck guys.

    18. Missing avatar

      Dorothea Boehm on

      Almost 20 years ago my husband and I lived in one house with our best friends (and all our children). One evening our friend (puffingly) carried his office PC and monitor (just think back HOW huge and heavy they were!) to his house and invited us to our first night with Myst.
      An - even up to today - unforgettable evening, a truly spiritual experience.

      For months and years we played the Cyan series, peak of which - for us -was Riven, which my husband and I played the two of us in long night hours. As our children (*1991, *1996) got older they loved to watch, then came up with comments and suggestions. We never used hints, it took very long, but it was magical.

      Ever since we waited to repeat this experience. Now it seems to us it won't be long. Thank you.

    19. Richard A. Watson (Cyantist) on

      @ Matt - As the person who placed all the "classic" nodes in Myst V and in the upcoming realMYST update - no we haven't forgotten. Thanks for mentioning it. :)

    20. Urie David Kline on

      Matt,

      You bring up an excellent point. A real pipe dream of mine is to have some way of laying the URU vision--as it was really, truly, meant to be experienced. Currently, we have Ages Beyond Myst, which was a single player version Cyan didn't really want, followed up by expansion packs filled with planned online content. Then, we had Myst V, which was like a much larger expansion pack of Live content that was refashioned for the engine and interface: not terrible, but it wreaked havoc on the storyline. Having tied up most loose ends, Myst Online then tried to continue the story of the Bahro and...well yeah, it was messy. So really since 2003, the Uru we got wasn't really the Uru that was meant to be. I know that it should probably fade into history like D'ni itself, but a big part of me still wants to see that happen. Maybe not as a game, but in some canonically accurate form.

      A guy can dream, right?

    21. Prom361 on

      Thank you for news informations! It's cool... And difficult to wait...
      An other important point you have not talking (or i have not see...): the music... Who is the sound and music maker? You have already choose? Tim... Jack... Robyn... The three! Ahah thank you for your music! Your are betters!

    22. Missing avatar

      Adam Gardner on

      @Austin I won't say much, other than to say that a bit of an ARG has already started, and you should check out the Cyan forums.

    23. Matt Giuca on

      This is sounding so cool. I love the idea of content-update-as-game. Already hooked on the description of the first character (who I won't mention in case people skipped for spoilers).

      Interesting comment: "We already know this legacy interface works really well because we’ll be releasing an updated version of realMyst very soon that has it." ... Uh, did you forget about Myst V? (Which also had that dual, or actually triple, interface.)

      Seriously, I get the feeling that Cyan likes to forget about Myst V for whatever reason (note that they're always talking about Myst/Riven/Uru but never Myst V). But I want you guys to be proud of that work. It was a little short and a little rough, but still a brilliant adventure, a good story, and a job well done under tight time constraints. And it did innovate, for example, by introducing this "classic" UI mode.

    24. Maarten Dijkstra on

      Thank you thank you thank you.
      Just perfect :)

    25. Austin Storm on

      I love this approach. Beautiful and thoughtful, like we've come to expect.

      Will there be an ARG, like the lead up to URU? Cyan does the best ARGs!

    26. Greg Szemiot on

      @Andrew - October 2015 it says for the Estimated Delivery on all the pledge levels for the game

    27. Missing avatar

      Stewart Bradford on

      Hooray for spoiler tags. Love the update despite skipping half of it. Lol. Hope I can avoid spoilers until release date.

    28. Andrew on

      OK, how long do we have to wait for this game to come out, again? Soo impatient...!! ;)