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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.

“Making Of” - Part 1

Posted by Cyan, Inc. (Creator)

What’s up, backers? Eric here. So, this is Part One of a three-part update focusing on some of the behind-the-scenes work that went into putting together the teaser trailer. Assuming you’ve already watched the teaser video, I’m not really sure there’s a whole lot of spoiler-y stuff in these updates... But - just in case you blindly backed the project without even seeing our pitch video... First of all, you rock. Hard. Secondly... here’s this:

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

Okay... with that out of the way, let’s talk trailer.

The Concept

From the very beginning of planning the Obduction Kickstarter, we knew that we wanted an immediate “hook” to capture viewers’ interest in the project and keep them watching to hear the full pitch. But at the same time, there were limited resources - so the challenge was to come up with something true to the game concept that would be some decent eye candy, but also not a complete back-breaker to produce in a relatively short amount of time.

So the concept we came up with was to focus on a single Seed (the mysterious objects we discussed a little bit in my previous update) which appears before the viewer and engulfs them in its glowing [REDACTED] - a setup which also serves as the framework to deliver “sneak peeks” of the environment artwork. (And let’s face it... catching a fleeting glimpse of worlds you truly want to explore - that’s the real hook.)

I had attempted (poorly) to explain the teaser concept to the rest of the team by comparing it to a luxury car commercial... lots of close up, almost abstract shots of the seed.... deep rack focus.... enough lens flare to make JJ Abrams salivate... and particles everywhere. And they all kind of looked at me like I was an idiot. And maybe I was. So I thought the best way to convey the idea would be to storyboard it out. [For anyone not familiar with the term, a “storyboard” is essentially a series of image mockups meant to pre-visualize a movie. Think of it like a rough comic-book version done beforehand.]

So, here’s the original storyboard for the teaser. (Apologies in advance for the crude doodles... I’ve never pretended to be an illustrator!)

Click for hi-res versions
Click for hi-res versions
Aside from a few adjustments here and there, the finished teaser is actually pretty close to what was pitched in those storyboards. And the ‘boards were super useful, because after seeing it, people suddenly “got” the idea and generally thought it was pretty cool. Granted, I was still looked at like an idiot for thinking it could actually be produced in the time available.... but I’ll be covering production in Part 2.

Until then,


"Unbounded in its ken, from prison free

Will clearly view what here we darkly see:

Those planetary worlds, and thousands more,

Now veil’d from human sight, it shall explore."

-Robert Gambol, Beauties of the Universe

TrueStoryGuy, Morten, and 92 more people like this update.


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    1. Eric A Anderson on

      "ECU" is film shorthand for "extreme close up".

    2. JP Sugarbroad

      I'm one of those that backed before watching the video. Watched it when you first mentioned the seed in the trailer video in a previous update.

      What is ECU?

    3. Daniel Floyd on

      I always find it amazing that people like you can visualize something like this in your head, help other people see it, and then make it a reality. Thank you for giving us this look behind the scenes. As much as I love Cyan's games, I also enjoy learning about how they came to be.

    4. Ghaelen D'Lareh on

      Love the story board - the visuals are stunning! And the tidbits of info only whet my appetite to go there. Can't wait!

    5. Nick Roberts (the Ranting Thespian) on

      @Graghiraover - We kind of did. It became the "prison age" in MYST V called Taghira.

    6. Nick Roberts (the Ranting Thespian) on

      @Caroline - That is actually the background image to an URU: Ages Beyond MYST age, called Eder Gira, which many speculated that it would eventually be available to explore at one point, until it was used as the basis for the MYST V age, Taghira

    7. Grover on

      @Eric: Wasn't talking about "Eder Gira", but "Beyond Gira" which we never could explore (afaik)… ;)

    8. Eireni 'Fikia' Moutoussi on

      I barely glimpsed it and knew it would be a good investment! Good job, and good luck!

    9. Caroline Vidican on

      When I saw the second image of the other world in the story board, the sort of green one, I felt a strange longing, a strange "wanting to be there". I wonder if two hundred years ago, explorers in Africa had the same feeling when they came through a pass and saw a whole new world unfold before them? Can't wait...

    10. Maarten Dijkstra on

      It's funny, when I came across this kickstarter I scrolled down the page, read everything and backed. No hesitation whatsoever. Then in the comments section people were talking about the video and I was like 'Oh yeah, I should go check that out!' ;)
      Keep 'em coming Eric!

    11. Draco18s on

      I totally backed without watching the video.

      Now to go do so...

    12. Natalie Manahan

      I really liked the storyboard. Helps put the images in perspective.

    13. Laurie Stoker on

      Actually, I was one of those people who blindly backed your project without seeing the pitch video. You had me at "Cyan!" Anyway, I want to say that I have the greatest enthusiasm for this game and I really, really want you to succeed!

    14. Eric A Anderson on

      @Grover: Don't get your hopes up... I was just using some stand-in concept art for the storyboards. I already built Eder Gira once, I don't want to do it again! ;P

      @Michael: Yeah, the early logo was way too spikey and aggressive... Which didn't fit the game at all, so we changed it. I quite like the new one.

    15. Missing avatar

      Michael Winter on

      Eric, is it wrong that I like your placeholder font for Obduction better than the sans-serif final one?

    16. Grover on

      Beyond Gira and a Pod? WOOT!

    17. Timothy Cook on

      The [REDACTED] just makes me think of the SCP foundation...

    18. A. Adams on

      Eder Gira!! O.o