Myst studio Cyan enter the Virtual Age with Firmament

Firmament

Cyan Worlds have never been one to leave a new frontier unexplored. As naff as Myst may seem by modern adventure standards, it went a long way to put the CD-ROM medium on the map for PC and Mac gaming. Uru Live may have fallen through, but it was ahead of its time when it came to delivering community-driven MMO concepts. Now, they’re taking a direct poke at virtual reality with their next upcoming game, Firmament.

Inside, out of the biting cold, we’ve got a mug of hot cocoa and a respectably lengthy teaser trailer, setting the scene and tone for the undoubtedly maddening hands-on point-and-clickery ahead.

So, we’ve got some Bioshock-esque steampunk’y technology, a dramatic sounding lady techno-ghost in a floating drone device, and some sort of deep underground super-science research facility to explore. So far, so Cyan, really. I’ve yet to play their latest – the crowdfunded Obduction – but I’ve heard no shortage of lovely things about it, so it doesn’t seem much of a logical leap to assume they can transfer the experience to VR. My only real concern is whether they’ll have to sacrifice visual clarity to achieve their goals.

Firmament is still a bit of a mystery, with Cyan not even having granted it an official page on their site yet. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one, and with a little luck and a following wind, it’ll be one of the first new VR titles I get to try out once the next-gen HTC headsets roll out.

10 Comments

  1. Sakkura says:

    Obduction is already playable in VR…

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      The big difference is that Obduction has an optional VR mode, but this one has been pitched from the start as a VR experience. Presumably it’ll be a somewhat more tactile game.

      • PampleMoose says:

        Interestingly enough, Obduction was supposed to originally be much more touchy feely, with interaction and inspection of 3D objects. In the end it was mostly used for backer objects put in the game and had no real gameplay significance, so many they’l double down on that this time.

        I hope the Obduction money helps them out with this one. VR is great and all, but I’d just love more Cyan type stuff. I loved the shit out of Obduction, but you can really tell when the money ran out, about ‘two thirds’ of the way through. If this holds up to the end, i’m down.

        • Robert The Rebuilder says:

          and had no real gameplay significance

          At least one puzzle required that you pick up something and look at its underside.

  2. RaymondQSmuckles says:

    My frustration with Obduction in VR is how non-interactive everything is. Objects are nailed to tables. Tables are nailed to floors. Floors are nailed to… well, OK, I’ll concede the immovable floor part. When playing in 2D by mouse, as it typical for adventure genre I don’t mind these bits. “OK, I can’t click that so it isn’t important.” yet in VR I found it infuriatingly limiting.

    • DoomBroom says:

      Lessons learned from Job Simulator. “The thing that I’ve found — you have to re-create the world view of how players interact with items and make everything that they expect to function, everything that looks like it’s grabbable, you have to make all those fantasies fulfilled. Otherwise you get interaction disappointment. If there’s something stuck to table, an apple or whatever, and you can’t grab it, it’s so disappointing to your brain.” link to venturebeat.com

    • Faxmachinen says:

      Obduction wasn’t really planned with VR in mind; IIRC it was a stretch goal on the Kickstarter.

      I don’t know if they’ll let you flip tables in this one, but Myst IV did set a precedent for interacting with anything. Knock on wood.

  3. EkoAzarak says:

    i still play Myst Online! link to mystonline.com

    still enchants me

  4. Jalan says:

    I’m torn between intrigue and the cynical outlook on where VR is potentially headed. My one hope is that it’s not a VR exclusive or rather that it sits in the exclusivity period for a short while before becoming unshackled similar to Bridge Crew.

    • Czrly says:

      Yeah. If it is VR exclusive, I’ll never play it.

      Although I was personally really disappointed by Obduction and so I’m not really expecting much from this new thing. I was a Myst and Riven fan but Obduction fell flat for me. It didn’t engage me at all and the ending was completely rubbish – even the “good” one. For the whole game, I was anticipating a moment when everything was finally brought together but that just never happened. It was just suddenly over.