I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the Book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written. -- Atrus

Thursday, September 26, 2013

realMyst Masterpiece Edition -- a Present from Cyan!

*Update 2/8/2014 -- this game has been released, check new post HERE for links to places where you can purchase on Steam or Mac App Store*

At last I can come up for some air!  I am a little behind, but finally I have a minute to respond to the news Cyan has recently publicized while I listen to the Myst soundtrack.  As soon as September 24 hit, we fans were sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for any news we could get on Myst's official 20th anniversary.  While our amazing game was not blessed with a Google Doodle, as Tai'lahr on the Cyan forums was hoping for, Cyan did give us a little something for our Platinum Jubilee.

(Traditionally, fine China was the 20th anniversary gift -- but apparently this gift has been demoted [or promoted?] to the 2nd anniversary in our modern era.  I suppose it makes sense because eventually one would want to eat off plates without having to wait 20 years.  First year is now clocks, which definitely beats the traditional paper, so we are able to await the good gifts to the music of the tick-tock.)

It appears that Vector Cramp wins the prize for speculating "an updated version of realMYST for Mac and PC.," because that is precisely what we are getting!  Yay!  Color me content!  (I just realized I didn't pay very much attention to the first page of he Kickstarter thread on the forums and in my excitement I posted in a great deal of haste haha what a dork!)

Cyan announced their present to us on Facebook as well as in the news section on their website, complete with teaser screenshots, followed by a clarification after several people bombarded them with very important questions.

The new addition to our lovely family is realMyst Masterpiece Edition.  I was concerned that this was just another iPad release, but NO!  It's going to be available for PC and Mac, and through Steam.  Whether we are getting hard copies I am not sure, but my wallet is willing to buy anything and everything that comes out.  Rent what?  We're getting day/night Channelwood (so excited!) and some updated water effects, and other stuff.
Image of the new and improved Channelwood for realMyst Masterpiece Edition
Furthermore, I can praise my Myst cohorts more for their brilliant ideas -- some have suggested a realRiven.  That would be mind-blowing, I think, but also I don't know if it is manageable?  Would the actor cut-scenes prove an obstacle for a project like that?  Still, can you imagine creepy Riven girl at night?  Yikes!

There are a few disappointed folks, naturally, as well as some skeptics concerned with the finished product, but I think this is quite a good nod to the anniversary celebration.  I think that this is more of a "let's give our fans something" rather than a "let's try to get some profit off another Myst game," which is more applicable to the whole jumping on the "let's make everything in the universe available on Apple products" train.  Because, really, Cyan didn't have to do anything for the anniversary.  For this I am grateful.  These guys really care; they are really in touch with their fans, which is really unique.  George R.R. Martin is the same way with his fans.  But with Cyan, they are truly invested in their Myst project, even though they want to move on to Something Else (and now I am much more open to it since we are getting a Myst present after all).  I mean, think about it.  They hired a guy to invent a new language for which they made a grammer/dictionary (came with EuroM5EoA).  And some hardcore linguists in our sub-culture have built websites/databases to help us all learn a fake language.  If and when I finally set to study it, it's totally going on my CV.  Those of us who are in the archaeology field tend to be known for being wackadoodles anyway, so why not fit the bill?

Talking of archaeology, one of my Egyptologist colleagues directed me to an interesting article, "Lost to the Ages" (published 9/24), about Myst's legacy (or lack thereof?).  Maybe it has already been posted elsewhere -- I tend to be that person who is the last to know.  It's concerned with the rise and fall of adventure games, how Myst played a "John the Baptist" role, preparing the way of the adventure genre, except that the genre kind of got trampled on not too long after by shooter games.  Or shall I say it got shot down...

I suppose that for many people, at the end of the day they just want to shoot something without really having to think about it.  I understand this sentiment, truly.  I spent many a year trying to study and read for my French literature classes while several of my guy friends gathered at my apartment not so much as to visit but to play Halo 3 on my TV whilst devouring pizza and Coke.  They weren't having the whole wander around aimlessly until you find something scenario.  Recently, I divulged to my supervisor my Myst obsession and he admitted to being convinced to play Myst, even though he wasn't a gamer, because he had heard good things and it looked interesting, but he couldn't get beyond Myst island without more blatant clues and thus didn't continue the game.  I guess this was a drawback for many.  I have a friend who doesn't want to hear about Myst at all because she had heard too much when it first came out.  So there is that side as well.

As far as Myst's legacy...it definitely has one.  I mean, enough so that the above article discussing its legacy exists.  Also, let's not forget -- and I know I mentioned this a dozen times -- it's at the Museum of Modern Art here in New York City.  I was there, man!  I've seen it!  Add to that the apps for Apple platforms which has awoken some nostalgia in many who did not continue on into obsession mode and for whom Myst is more of a memory of something that they participated in in the early 90s.  The game has made a lot of mainstream news this year due to its impact 20 years ago.  I don't think this was done for any other game.  I could be completely wrong on that score, however.  I don't remember any official articles discussing anniversaries of SimCity 2000 or Super Mario.  People do dress as Mario and Luigi at conventions and kids still play the games, but somehow Myst is garnering a bit more sophisticated attention.  That's really interesting.

I don't think this will have people who haven't followed the series after original Myst rushing to buy realMyst Masterpiece Edition.  For this reason I doubt any hard copies will be made and those of us who have crazy collections and multiple copies of everything that has ever been published on the series will have to deal with not having something to add to our shelves.  I would love to be wrong about this whole paragraph, though.  If something tangible does come out, I am prepared to buy the hell out of it!  Cyan can be sure of that!

So after all of the above, I'm not quite sure if I kept to a main idea, but that's my stream of conscious on the matter.  In the time it took to write all of that, I am now on track 12 from the Myst III: Exile soundtrack ("Theme from Edanna").  Haha!  Wow.  On that note...Shorah!

Baladria (me!) jamming to Myst: the Soundtrack [edit: I flipped the image so that "MYST" wouldn't be backwards haha!]


Daniel Hoy said...

The Myst series will always hold a special place in my heart. Can't wait for RealMyst Masterpiece!

Abbie Dragonslayer said...

RealMyst Masterpiece has gotten all excited like a kid at Christmas but is there gonna be an iPad version? I sure hope so :-/

Briana Jackson said...

For now it appears that the game will only be available for PC and Mac. Speaking of Christmas, Rand mentioned on the Google+ hangout that the game may be available for Christmas. Ooooooh!

Briana Jackson said...

Oh right, and if you haven't backed Obduction yet, please do it now! They're running out of time! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cyaninc/obduction

Jory Jones said...

If you are interested in realRiven you should check this out:


So far what they have demoed looks amazing.

Briana Jackson said...

Ah simon! I've been aware of Starry Expanse but have not yet looked into it. I shall, though. Thanks!

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