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Classic Games (Games) Games

Myst Creators Announce Obduction 103

vivIsel writes "Cyan, the company behind Myst, is taking another shot at an game in that vein — this time in a new game universe, with the Unreal 4 engine. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they haven't gotten a lot of traction with traditional game publishers, so they are turning to Kickstarter with a $1.1M total ask. The Kickstarter video also has some neat shots of the Cyan headquarters — which looks a bit like one of the buildings on Myst island itself."
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Myst Creators Announce Obduction

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  • Are they supporting the old standard - the PC?
    • Re:For PC? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lgw ( 121541 ) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:24PM (#45159967) Journal

      Yep - it's the Unreal 4 engine.

      I just finished playing through RealMyst (the version with a 3D engine and modern movement). Gaming has come such a long way, but as a small puzzle game it still stands up. Just a tiny amount of "hunt the pixel", mostly solvable without clicking everywhere to see what moves. These guys knew their stuff - here's hoping they still do.

      Off to check out the kickstarter - I love that method of funding games.

      • Re:For PC? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .werdnaredne.> on Thursday October 17, 2013 @10:25PM (#45160313) Homepage Journal

        Licensing the Unreal engine means Linux ports are less likely, and the game is much more expensive.

        For what they're trying to do, why not go Unity like so many other Kickstarter games?

        • by rwven ( 663186 )

          There's a UE4 game already being worked on that is coming to linux: []

          Also, with the announcement of Steam OS (linux based), it would be very surprising not to see an officially produced and supported version of UE4 for linux.

          I think we have a lot of great stuff to look forward to on that front.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          What do you mean "much more expensive"?

          Here's what wikipedia says about the Unreal Development Kit:

          According to the current EULA, game developers can sell their games by paying Epic the cost of $99 USD, and 25% royalty on UDK related revenue from all UDK-based games or commercial applications above US$50,000.

          Granted, this was for the Unreal Engine 3, not the Unreal Engine 4. Maybe the Unreal Engine 4 will be more expensive, I don't know.

          • The $99 upfront isn't bad, but 25% royalty to the engine company is HUGE.

            Compare to Unity which is $1500 upfront and done and it just doesn't compare.

        • I have absolutely no experience with either (beyond playing games as a consumer). I am skeptical on principle that if a much cheaper but just as good version of something existed, Cyan would choose to pay more, even if they do know they're going to raise as much money as they need through donations.

          A big dumb company like EA, I could believe they would go with Unreal rather than a cheaper less known version simply because that's what everyone is doing, but the people who made Myst certainly aren't just
        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          Myst was written using HyperCard, which no one at the time thought you could make a game with. This is one group of devs who I'm not going to tell what engine to use!

        • by nhat11 ( 1608159 )

          There's games that uses the UE on ARM processors and consoles, why not linux? (Well its on droid so technically it does run on Linux)

      • Yep, I'm definitely funding this right now.
  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:20PM (#45159947)

    and comes free with Windows. What other game has you endlessly clicking on things, hoping that something will do... anything.

    • Yeah but they have a new two person version of Solitare. []
      • Solitaire is always a two person game. If you're ever heading out into the woods, make sure you put a deck of cards in your survival kit. Then, if you get lost or hurt, just start playing solitaire and someone will pop up behind you to tell you where to put the next card.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      What other game has you endlessly clicking on things, hoping that something will do... anything.

      cookie clicker?

      • Defrag.

        It's like "Centipede" on geological time.

        I LOVE that game! Click once, and eventually, you always end up winning!

        • Defrag.

          It's like "Centipede" on geological time.

          I LOVE that game! Click once, and eventually, you always end up winning!

          Always end up winning? Not really. Sometimes I get the "bad ending" telling me I haven't got enough disk space to complete the game....

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Phantasmagoria. But if you click endlessly long enough, you get a nice consensual sex scene. []

      " Hey, mom and dad in the '90's, could you buy me this computer game about a haunted house? Oh, you know, it's like Mario Brothers, with pixellated coins and mushrooms and shit, no adult-themed content that I would compulsively beat my dick to after school everyday while you two were still at work. Really? You will? Aww, thanks mom and dad, you're the greatest! "

      And the best part is, when you resume control of the main character in the next chapter, it starts off with her on the bed sobbing. Ooh, need a little quick flip of the waistband, hehe.

      -- Ethanol-fueled

    • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Friday October 18, 2013 @12:45AM (#45161185)

      and comes free with Windows. What other game has you endlessly clicking on things, hoping that something will do... anything.

      You must have been one of those people who were very bad at reasoning out word puzzles. Random clicking was reserved for when you got stuck because the puzzle made no sense... and back when Myst came out, googling "walk through" wasn't much help... possibly because neither Google nor walk-throughs existed back then. That is not how the game is supposed to be played. And considering that this new game would be using the Unreal 4 engine, one can assume that instead of loading up a pile of CDs worth of bitmaps (because 3D rendering was in it's utter infancy back then) with clickable regions to string together a narrative, we'll now have an interactive polygon-based world where the triggers are a bit more obvious and intuitive.

      Don't crap on a game because it hasn't aged well... it was a marvel of narrative and immersive gaming when it debuted, and some would argue games today still lack the substance and storytelling that Myst enjoyed, preferring instead to focus on polygon count and realistic explosions over plot.

      • possibly because neither Google nor walk-throughs existed back then.

        Google I'll give you - but walkthroughs existed long before Myst. I remember trying to solve the Infocom "Hitchhikers Guide" game with a friend at work during a slow month (loved getting paid for that) and we got stuck. We tried kicking the door, picking the lock, opening the door using everything we could on the door, all to no avail. We went down to the "Computerland" store and asked them if they knew what to do. They pulled out a 5.25" floppy disk, put it in one of their IBM PCs and printed a complete

        • Too late to fix it - but I just realized this was Bureaucracy and not Hitchhiker's guide.

          • by Grench ( 833454 )

            Hitchhiker's had a bastard of a puzzle too, the infamous Babel Fish puzzle, where you literally could not complete the game without solving it. Had my brother and I stuck for many years. Tried many different combinations of where to put the satchel, where to put the dressing gown, where to put the junk mail, etc. Damn fish kept getting stolen by various types of cleaning robot (including an airborne one).

            Eventually managed to solve it and complete the game, but when I went back to the game again recently

        • Yep. Only difference was back then a walkthrough was pure text or ascii graphics at best and got distributed via Usenet or FTP.
        • by Gilmoure ( 18428 )

          Good to know. Not there yet. Still trying to get out of the bathroom before the bulldozers crush me. Fritz ROCKS!

      • You are spot on about everything except there being no walkthroughs, back in my day if you got stuck you had to ask you friends or wait a year for the walkthrough to be published, the Myst walkthrough took two years from the game release date, I can remember my friends complaining about having to wait longer when the release date kept getting pushed back. Partly because of the delays in the publishing and the dawn of the internet age people started looking to the internet for solutions to Myst puzzles, shor
    • and comes free with Windows. What other game has you endlessly clicking on things, hoping that something will do... anything.

      Muh- Minesweeper!

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:36PM (#45160049)
    I use Linux exclusively. According to their kickstarter page, Linux support is currently up in the air with no promises. This makes me weary as in the end that usually equates to no. I suppose I could dust of my MacBook, but all the same, I would rather be able to play it on my main OS of choice. If they could commit 100% to Linux support, they would already have my money. As long as they are not sure, then neither I am I.
    • AFAIK, Unreal4 doesn't support Linux, so the chances of a port are slim. Unity supports Linux though, which is why there are so many Kickstarters offering Linux support - Unity makes it easy to just slap it on.

      • Why would they choose unreal. they could use many other engines that do support Linux. Opengl.....

        • OpenGL is just a graphics SDK. Only draws polygons and pixels. You need something with scenegraph support at least. Plenty of options there.

          Although Unreal is well supported, and it's pretty easy to find experienced develpers so it's a sensible choice.
    • by k8to ( 9046 )

      This is quite typical for kickstarter. "Maybe we'll do Linux, you know, if the Windows users give us a lot of money." It's awkward.

      • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Friday October 18, 2013 @12:02AM (#45160941)

        This is quite typical for kickstarter. "Maybe we'll do Linux, you know, if the Windows users give us a lot of money." It's awkward.

        But honest.

        You only have to glance at the pie sales charts posted with every Humble Bundle to see that much.

        • You can go even further with that trend, considering the contributions from Linux users tend to be substantially higher from Linux users, and the pie chart isn't of total users, but of contributions.
        • This is quite typical for kickstarter. "Maybe we'll do Linux, you know, if the Windows users give us a lot of money." It's awkward.

          But honest.

          You only have to glance at the pie sales charts posted with every Humble Bundle to see that much.

          Yep. Sadly the HiB folks are largely outsourcing wine wrappers or making rookie mistakes (like linking to specific versions of a shared lib instead of the symlink), but it won't be that way forever. I develop on Linux primarily in my work, and so I do the same for the game projects I do for fun. I do the Linux implementation first, then port the changes to the windows version... It's sort of falling behind the Linux version of the game engine since my other fellow devs use Linux now too.

          The other day w

        • This is quite typical for kickstarter. "Maybe we'll do Linux, you know, if the Windows users give us a lot of money." It's awkward.

          But honest.

          But is it honest really? Personally, I wouldn't want to put any "maybes" in a call for funding. Offer what you can and will do, not what you could or might.

          Contributing to reach the main project goal is fine -- if it doesn't get reached, I get my money back. But there's something fundamentally dishonest about the stretch goals, because you're then trying to get people to put more money in with no opportunity to get the money back if the goal's not reached.

          Linux support is included in many projects as a stre

          • I see a bunch of people saying "I'll only pledge $1, until they say they'll have Linux support", which kinda misses that if they don't reach their goal, there's *no* chance for Linux support. Does it come down to asking Linux people to support the Windows version, on a maybe? Yeah, it does, and no it isn't really 'fair'. They could always say "no" outright. Stating the maybe, and the limitations, because *people asked for that information* seems better than a no, to me. It boils down to a question of 'D
            • Still, technologically, there's no reason the Kickstarter platform couldn't have additional conditions as described.
    • I sent them an email earlier, and they basically said it depends on the Unreal engine. Below is their direct reply. "we're supporting MacOS and Windows. But our Linux support currently depends on Unreal Engine 4 support. It's possible, but we can't promise it, yet."
    • Maybe nitpicky, but isn't 100% unlikely for kickstarter? I mean, it's less than 100% certain that they'll put out ANY game, right?
  • Back when Myst came out on the Mac, my then-wife got sucked in. She was glued to the computer for a couple of weeks. She would say, "I'll be right down" at 10 PM and finally come to bed at 3AM or 4AM. I don't know if she ever got through the whole thing. I helped/watched for a while here and there, and it was pretty interesting. Afterwards, she told me she finally understood how I could get so focused on the computer and lose track of time. So that was a win.

    So, I'm not a gamer (outside of a bit of Solitaire, but if they can make it as interesting and engaging as they did before, more power to them.

    • by jerk ( 38494 )

      I remember spending a solid 24 hours playing Myst for the Mac when I was in high school and it remains my absolute favorite game of all time. I opted for the $75 level on Kickstarter. The enjoyment I got out of Myst is worth it even if this game is somehow horrible.

    • You left off a closing parenthesis. You inconsiderate bastard. )
      • ...and you've got and not only changed topic but also changed speaker within a parenthetical. Everyone's even now.
    • by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

      A couple of weeks? Wow...I burned through it in 9 hours. Even so, it was an incredible game and an amazing gaming experience that I won't ever forget. Solving that game for me was like Parzival winning the Halliday Prize in Ready Player One.

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      She wasn't very smart was she?

    • A friend who works in the game industry reckons that the fact it was on the Mac at all was a big part of its success. There were almost no mainstream/known games with semi-decent graphics on the Mac back then so on that platform at least, Myst sold a shedload.
  • Honestly, that's not a lot of money to spend developing a game. I've run software projects on that much that were nowhere close to as involved as game development. So I'm a little suspicious about their projections there.

    The other thing is this: these guys don't have a million dollars to drop on this? And no publisher was willing to give the guys who did Myst $1M to build this? Hoe about half? Something just doesn't sound right here.

    But I'm in for $45. I'm loyal that way...they have definitely given me a ba

    • First off, most actual studios who ask for KS funds are only asking for a kick-start in the finances, and will be looking for more cash (as 1 million is nothing when it come sot game design my actually full studios).

      Secondly, no they do not. You try running a studio full of people for ten years without producing anything even slightly viable. They were the most successful studio coming up on twenty years ago, and they had 2 successful projects, many ports, and a few licencing deals. Then the AG industry wen

      • by stungod ( 137601 )

        Good points. The thing is that the KS isn't asking for seed money, although that's another part that's kind of shady-looking. What they're saying is that they'll build the game for $1.1M, but if they get more then they'll make more content. But realistically, I'd expect them to need to add a digit before they had something they could ship. I know there's some economy by using UE4, but they still need to license it and pay for development, QA, etc.

        As for how much money they have, you're right - I don't kn

        • by Anonymous Coward

          As the video said: publishing companies don't think that the kind of games they make will sell. Having 50k-some people put up money for a game that isn't even finished is evidence they can use to convince a publisher to fund them or a bank to give them a loan.

        • I don't think it's shady at all that they're asking for 1.1m. Consider Mighty No. 9 [], where they asked for 900k, developed by veterans of both the industry and the genre (who have insanely strong credentials, like Keiji Inafune, who was Capcom's Head of Production until 2010 and co-created Megaman).

          You do have to consider that studios that go with Kickstarter tend not to be massive development studios like you see with EA-style development. Bioware, for example, has about 800 people spread across 5 studios,

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You won't appeal to shooty crowd, but I want something different, I loved Myst and I loved Riven.

    But, I don't want any more of the 'book' plot. It got milked to death, it became a 'jump through books' soap-opera. Worse later on it became a lame Lara Croft run-jump balance and go find books thing.

    Give me a puzzle game, an explory game, a consistent plot that tells an unfolding story. The story should fascinate, the scenery should become ever more interesting and varied as reward for progressing through the g

    • I loved Myst and I loved Riven.

      I'm in, too. I loved Myst. But I never could love Riven. IIRC it was 5 CDs. The first time I tried to play it I kept clicking something wrong and then riding the stupid rail from one CD to another and then back over and over. I felt more like a DJ than a gamer and finally gave up.

      • Yeah, that sucked. It's available on DVD now, though.

        (For my part, I was disappointed by End of Ages. After years of live actors in rendered environments, the animated 3D models just looked fake. I hope technology has caught up sufficiently for this game to look better.)

  • Screw this spiritual crap, we want an actual sequel/prequel.

    • by Zobeid ( 314469 ) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:57AM (#45163463)

      I feel just the opposite. I loved Myst but never really got into the sequels, and all their accumulated lore is just confusing to me. I'm sure it would be confusing and daunting to new players too, who haven't done any of the old games -- and many, many of today's gamers weren't even born back in the Myst days. It's sort of like going into the comic shop and seeing Fooble's Adventures #50 and thinking, "Neat cover... But do I even have a hope in Hell of understanding what's going on, if I haven't read the first 49 of them?"

      A new world means no baggage, no preconceptions, a fresh start. Anybody can dive into it without misgivings.

      • And it means they get to clear their heads of cobwebbs and limitations too :) Besides, if people are jonsing for D'ni, they can always go visit, or go check out the other Kickstarter that's up- []
  • The Unreal Engine SDK now has Oculus Rift support. An adventure game similar to Myst that took full advantage of Oculus would be so awesome. If Cyan has plans to support it for this game, they can SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
  • If they add support for the Oculus Rift, I'll totally be in line to buy this and a Rift!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... me and the wife played it through to the end. I eagerly awaited the sequel, Riven, and bought it right off but honestly didn't make it very far. As beautiful and well-done as it was, I was just finished with the concept of endless puzzle games.

    Myst found a proper niche where it was genuinely novel for its time and was able to be addictive because of its novelty as well as the amazing visuals and atmospheric qualities. In a way it was a victim of its own success, addicting people then turning people a

  • I suspect that you have that backwards.

    • by mgiuca ( 1040724 )

      Nope. After Myst was a huge success, Cyan put some of the money into building their own dream office from the ground up. The Cyan office is vaguely reminiscent of Myst, and not the other way around.

  • Myst was released 20 years ago, and the fact that Cyan feel the need to trade on the reputation of a property that old ought to be at least as much a warning sign as it is a cause for excitement. Yes, Cyan may technically be the company that produced it - but, whilst companies can theoretically live for ever, people move on. It's an absolute certainty that any new property would be produced by different people, under different management, with potentially different attitudes and values (and I've seen at fir

    • Sort of like EA with Madden.

    • I worked on two of the numerous releases of Myst, and the biggest thing we all noticed was that the magic just wasn't the same when the graphics were no longer shockingly superior to the rest of what is available. Myst was once an amazingly beautiful place to explore, with promise of more beautiful places to explore if you punished yourself by going through their rudimentary puzzles. I'm not sure you can create a new product based on that principle when you're using a recycled engine that is already in us

    • by benro03 ( 153441 )

      Well, the narrator of the video is Rand Miller, who was one of the creators of Myst and played Atrius, so I would say that a good portion of the management team is still there.

  • by Shrike82 ( 1471633 ) on Friday October 18, 2013 @09:03AM (#45163511)
    I did wonder why Myst was getting attention in various places like Slashdot [] after all this time. Stir a memory in the thirty-somethings and then announce your "new, fresh game that isn't at all trading on a name from decades past".

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"