I love the Ars Technica "War Stories" series where they interview designers of some of the most iconic and popular computer/video games on the challenges they faced.
This episode features Rand Miller, one half (with brother Robyn) of Cyan, Inc. creators of the early 90s puzzle adventure game, Myst. The game was developed on hacked, maxed-out consumer-grade Macs using the HyperCard program. Myst would go on to become one of the most successful and inspirational games of all time.
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If you had a Windows PC with a CD drive in the mid-1990s, the percentages are pretty good that you lost countless hours of sleep to playing Myst. Full of difficult but rewarding puzzles and featuring a captivating story with an ending that was dictated by your in-game actions, the game was cutting-edge stuff, back in the day. Myst's popularity led to five sequels to the game. Now, a Kickstarter campaign is making it possible for Windows 10 users to replay or discover all six games in the series for the first time.
According to Tech Crunch, Myst's original development house, Cyan Inc., has bought the rights back to all six of the games in the series and will be re-releasing them to run on Windows 10, to celebrate Myst's 25th anniversary. The games will be released as a set, which can be had as a digital download or as a boxed set of DVDs. The Kickstarter campaign for the games, which has already far surpassed what Cyan needed in order to churn the updated version of the games out, also offers investors the option to own replicas of items used in the original games and hand-drawn pieces of concept art.
While I was more of a Warcraft: Orcs & Humans guy, most of my friends back in the day were nuts for Myst. While a couple of the sequels to the original game have been available to play on Windows 10 for some time now, I can only imagine that the ability to play all six games in the series on a modern PC will be attractive to a ton of gamers, both new and old. Read the rest
Cyan, the company behind the legendary Myst adventure game, is back with an unexpectedly well-received sequel, Obduction. Though the original and Riven were huge hits, further sequels suffered from changing tastes, growing ambitions, and a crank-em-out publishing deal with Ubisoft. But 2016, it turns out, is a great time for perfectly-refined retro adventures in beautifully strange Art Nouveau worlds.
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After Myst 5's release Cyan was in dire straits. Staff was let go then rehired and the studio was only surviving through contract work and ports of its older titles on new platforms like IOS and Android. A new version of Myst was released on Steam.
"We finished up Myst 5 as contract work for Ubisoft because the way things panned out and then it was just a matter of trying to stay alive," Miller says. "We got some gigs selling some of the older stuff and trying to put stuff online. We converted our stuff to mobile apps, which kind of saved us a lot with people leaving and we were getting getting smaller and smaller.
"And then the mobile market came up and allowed us to at least keep some of our key people. And that allowed us to think, gave us some breathing room. The mobile market was keeping us alive, then we realised there was potential now with Kickstarter to maybe consider something larger. And that's where the seeds of Obduction started to take route."
Mike Ando creating a Myst "linking book" with an embedded screen to play realMyst.