About this project
WE FUNDED!!! BUT...
If you missed the Kickstarter campaign, you can still help get to the next stretch goal (and get Obduction and more) at obductiongame.com!
Ob`duc´tion, n.1. The act of drawing or laying over, as a covering.
Obduction is an all-new, real-time, first-person adventure that harkens back to the spirit of Cyan’s earlier games Myst and Riven. Obduction resurrects that incredible feeling of suddenly finding yourself in the middle of a new world to explore, discover, solve, and become part of.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the launch of Myst, one of the best-selling computer games in history. Myst was an exploration through a landscape of dramatically realistic images (rendered in Strata - check out the new Strata reward tier!) tied together to create an experience that was described as “becoming your world.” The Myst name is widely recognized as uniquely defining a new kind of gaming - amazingly immersive worlds where the point is to understand your environment rather than test your reflexes. The Obduction project will take what Cyan knows about creating deeply immersive worlds and apply it to an entirely new game with fantastic scenery, incredible architecture, compelling story, and exceptional challenges.
Obduction will be built with the same framework that made Cyan's earlier games such a wonderful experience: stunning landscapes, deep storyline, engaging characters, dramatic soundscapes, and challenging yet intuitive puzzles. Obduction is an entirely new property, delivered using one of the most powerful game development technologies available today. Obduction is an adventure game for the new millennium that stays true to the concepts that made the genre great.
At the base funding level, Obduction will be developed for both Windows and MacOS, with a targeted release of mid-to-late 2015.
The game is being designed with a flexible scope in mind, so that as the budget grows, the game grows. More places; more puzzles; more mystery; more complexity; more adventure!
With the generalities out of the way, it's time to dig a bit deeper into specifics. If you know anything about Cyan's worlds, you know that you don't want to know too much ahead of time. We'll try our best to whet your appetite, without giving away too many spoilers.
Obduction's experience supplies what every good storyteller does: a very personal window into a much larger world. Obduction begins with... well… an abduction - your abduction. On a crystal clear, moon-lit night, a curious, organic artifact drops from the sky and inexplicably whisks you away across the universes to who-knows-where (or when, or why).
And, as anyone who ever played Myst or Riven knows, exploring everything around you allows you to read between the lines and to begin to answer your questions. Why is there an old, abandoned farmhouse - complete with white picket fence - in the middle of an alien landscape? You'll find out. From this point on the story becomes your story.
Obduction has a few game design elements in common with Myst and Riven, and it skews into new areas as well. Cyan's basic design philosophy is simple:
- Build every element of the experience to make you, the player, feel like this virtual world has become your world.
- The interface should be intuitive and transparent.
- The story should be revealed through exploration and not necessarily shoveled out in cinematic form.
- The puzzles should range from easy to difficult, but even the toughest puzzles should be designed so that you know that all the pieces to solve it are there in front of you.
- The sound and music should be balanced; they should add emotion but not become distracting or annoying.
Cyan has a proven history of delivering visually stunning environments that immerse players in our games. We plan to continue that tradition, leveraging Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4. Today's modern realtime engines have plenty of horse-power to produce zillions of bullets per second, but they can also be used to make remarkable landscapes and architecture that approach and even surpass the pre-rendered days of Riven. Unreal 4 is an amazing resource that enables us to build a world that you can lose yourself in.
We’ve got add-ons. Three to be precise - add on a digital game, a boxed game, or a t-shirt. Here’s how it works: Increase your pledge by the cost of the desired add-on(s) without changing your selected reward tier. After the end of the Kickstarter campaign, you’ll receive a survey where you can confirm which add-on(s) you wanted. (Note that shipping is included in the amount of the add-on.)
We'll be excited to reach our target goal and make an amazing experience. But we're also anticipating what it means to move beyond that goal. Kickstarter funding over the base level would be used to make Obduction bigger and better - adding such stretch goals as new places to explore, additional platforms, localization, technological bells and whistles, and more.
Very simple: It's what we love!
We love the wonder of having an entirely new world at our fingertips. We love the twisted unraveling of an unexpected storyline. We love the satisfying "Aha! moment" of solving a particularly perplexing puzzle. We love the rush of revelation when we find out what's around the next corner. We love the twinge of emotion entering a dimly lit room because we feel like this place has become our world.
And we hear from more and more people who love all of those things, too. We'd love to make it for you!
Cyan has done it all. We started with self-publishing, hand-stuffing 3.5-inch floppies into boxes. We've done full-blown publisher models, where they get 88%. And we've even done all kinds of hybrid publishing models between the two.
Currently, we are independent, and it feels right. It's not the Myst heyday - money has come and gone, but we've managed to stay alive as a small, independent studio through times when indie studios were falling by the wayside. And now it seems that times have changed, and indie studios are making a comeback thanks to some interesting new publishing platforms and models - including Kickstarter.
Simply put, Kickstarter is a way for us to deliver a stunning experience that doesn't empty your pocketbook, while keeping us independent enough to make choices that a publisher might not understand. (Like we did with Myst 20 years ago.)
Instead of a detached, corporate marketing department guaranteeing to upper management how many units they will sell to justify a budget, we'll be relying on excited fans, family, friends, and even strangers who love what we're doing and want to be part of it. The funding and the budget become part of the development process instead of being coldly handed down from an accounting officer who doesn't even know the name of the product - let alone the names of any of the real people who will be making it.
In addition to regular Kickstarter updates, we will be making our development process transparent and accessible to our supporters in the form of exclusive backer forums. You'll be able to interact directly with the creators, read behind-the-scenes blog posts about the ins and outs of the game's development, and stay current with our overall progress. Don't worry, we'll do our best to keep the information spoiler-free, so that you still have a rich and surprising game to explore, even if you are an avid process junkie!
The funding will be spent solely on Obduction. It's very straightforward: we'll spend the funds that you invest on making Obduction the best possible experience.
We already have a team here - a few who've been here since the Myst days, and some who are more recent. We'll be adding to the team after we get funding, so we can flesh out our design and then get started on all the new art, modeling, texturing, sounds, music, lighting, characters, interface, technology, and more.
We don't want that team to be too large. One thing we've learned over the years is that it can be much more efficient and satisfying to have a smaller team that works closely together. We want everyone on the team to have ownership as we design and build this experience together. And we'll make sure you know who is on the team and how things are going.
We've done quite a few updates since we started. Here's a list that summarizes and links to a few of the more important updates. There's lots of information you don't want to miss!
UPDATE 4: The "Over $450,000, reddit AMA, Bonus Q&A” Update
UPDATE 7: Add-ons!
UPDATE 8: Content Update 1
UPDATE 9: Content Update 2
UPDATE 10: Stretch Goal Update!
UPDATE 11: Meet More of the Team
UPDATE 13: Content Update 3
UPDATE 15: New Reward Tier!
UPDATE 16: Distribution Update and More!
UPDATE 17: Amazing Update! Big News!
UPDATE 18: New Tier - Double Disc!
UPDATE 19: “Making Of” - Part 1
UPDATE 20: Making Of” - Part 2
UPDATE 21: ONE MILLION and Climbing!
UPDATE 22: “Making Of” - Part 3
UPDATE 23: WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
UPDATE 24: Stretch Goal Update!
Cyan was started in 1987 by brothers Rand and Robyn Miller. They released a new kind of children’s software they called The Manhole. It was a simple, whimsical, black & white world to explore with very little to get in the way of the journey. It was well received by children of all ages. The brothers followed up with Cosmic Osmo and Spelunx - two more rich, non-threatening worlds for children to explore.
In 1991, Cyan began work on Myst, a project that would take everything they had learned about making worlds and use it to create a truly unique experience for an older, more sophisticated audience. Myst was about finding yourself lost in a world and simply exploring, understanding and becoming part of the story - and the public response was nothing short of phenomenal. Sales for Myst and its sequel Riven have exceeded 12 million units worldwide - which made them the best-selling computer games of the 20th century.
After five products in the Myst series, Cyan turned its attention to making an ambitious, new kind of Myst game, a never-ending world that would allow players to explore together. Uru: Ages Beyond Myst (Myst Online). It spawned a thriving, dedicated community and is still available to explore for free.
Cyan continues to draw on our past as we dream into the future. We are looking forward to creating more exciting worlds that move yet again away from the standard fare - to something unexpected.
Cyan is located on the northern outskirts of Spokane, Washington, about 119 trillion miles from the nearest habitable planet.
...And a team of other amazing and talented individuals.
*Special thanks to Strata for their generous support of the Obduction Kickstarter campaign.
*Special thanks to Robyn Miller for use of the Myst Soundtrack music used in our video. Get your remastered Myst Soundtrack here.
Risks and challenges
Producing interactive entertainment is a very complex business, and we take it seriously. Cyan has been building games for almost 30 years. Over the years we've done every step of game development for everything from small mobile Apps to massive multiplayer online games. Though every project has inherent risks, and there are plenty of unknowns associated with any large endeavor, our experience gives us certain advantages as we anticipate the exciting and complicated task ahead. Cyan has a reputation of being honest, upfront, and down to earth. We appreciate your investment, and we'll make every effort to produce an experience that makes you happy and us proud.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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