November 11, 2013

Cyan's Obduction

Slightly creepy photo of me, staring directly into camera.

Four reasons why you should back Cyan's new kickstarter: Obduction

  1. Because Cyan is harnessing their creative talents toward a type of story that's never been attempted in video-games. This is either courageous, foolhardy, briliant, or all of the above. 
  2. Because I haven't seen Rand so excited about a project since the original Myst. It's downright cute (sorry Rand).
  3. Because it has absolutely nothing to do with Myst, which is creatively invigorating for everyone involved. Starting with a blank slate stuff.
  4. Because I've agree to play one of the lead characters in the game (that's me, above). Rand will also be playing one of the lead characters. 
    For the first time since Myst, we'll be appearing in a video-game together. And I promise, neither of us will be asking for a red or blue page!

As of today, November 11th, there are only four more days to go.

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November 11, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 11, 2013

A Myst History - Speaking at GDC

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I recently had the opportunity to speak at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, at the Moscone Center. This brought back some memories: twenty years ago, Rand and I introduced Myst at a Macworld Expo at Moscone! 
I had a lot of fun and the audience was very welcoming and they had excellent questions. You can watch my talk.

April 11, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 08, 2009


Just a quick note... after a long absence, the Myst and Riven soundtracks will soon be available again. Give it about 4 - 6 weeks and you'll be able to find them at most online stores, such as: Itunes (U.S. and Internationally), Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster, IMVU, Lala, Shockhound, and Amie Street.

I'll let you know when they're out.


June 8, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack

May 11, 2009

Lost Myst

Just a bald head. And part of an ear. But, weirdly enough, you probably know exactly who and what you're looking at.

I've been enjoying LOST ever since the beginning. Maybe this quote in Time Magazine, is part of the reason.

May 11, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 04, 2009

Mobile Tinsel-mysting

A lot of you probably know about my involvement in the original Myst. For the past couple months, I've been testing an iPhone version of the game. I found it to be a faithful port of the original.

It's finally released and, from what I've been told, Cyan is already working on updates. So myst away!


May 4, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 30, 2008

More Uncovered Myst Files


Naq aDen, the Official Republic of Tinselman Chairman of Tinselistic Archives, recently travelled to the far reaches of the galaxy to at last uncover the original Illustrator file of Myst island. Yeah!

Unfortunately he was wholly unsuccessful, so here you go Naq (and remember, the Khan is always with you).

(I've released this map before in lo-res bit map form, but never in editable high resolution form).

July 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

March 13, 2008

Grayscale Riven


I discovered a plethora of old Riven files, hidden away in the depths of my computer. I guess i never went looking for them before now. Here's an interesting one: the grayscale representation of Catherine's prison island. I created this in Illustrator, using the method we invented in Myst. When the grayscale data is "extruded" (using a 3-D program) it is transformed into something that looks like an island.

If you want to try this yourself, using this prison island data, I've included the original data for you, as an Adobe Illustrator file (click on link below).

Prison Island PDF

March 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

March 10, 2008

Flowcharts From Riven


I just saw a Boing Boing post that immediately brought me back to Riven days. The game had a number of endings and possibilities for a player and, during production, we quickly we began to get bogged down in trying to keep track of everything. So we created a set of flowcharts. Largely, they helped to clearly point out the holes in our design: to tell us what we hadn't thought of yet.

The flowcharts started out as sketches and were, of course, a total mess. During production, I put them in the above form to give us something we could actually use on a day to day basis.

Myst II flowchart (pdf)
Gehn flowchart (pdf)
Catherine flowchart (pdf)
Rebel Prison flowchart (pdf)

See more Myst!

March 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

February 01, 2008

Final Resplicery


Justin Norman, of Shrieking Tree, has created two "Resplicery" films (as he calls them) set to the Myst/Riven soundtracks: "Escape from Comatose Mansion" and "A Weathered Dream Sequence". All in all, he's put together five of them, but I have to admit, "Escape from Comatose Mansion" is my new favorite (spooky!). You can watch all of them at his Resplicery page (but don't go there expecting to see something that looks like Myst... his work is wholly different).

February 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 26, 2007

Lights... Camera... Tintin!

The Hergé 100 year anniversary exhibit at the Pompidou, Paris.

Yes it's true. After all these years, our intrepid reporter is at last being immortalized on the silver screen. The film will be Directed by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, and produced by Kathleen Kennedy, all of whom have signed up for a trilogy. In shimmering CG!

Jackson is careful to explain that, while Weta will maintain Hergé's timeless designs, the film and its characters will not look "cartoonish". As he says,

We're making them look photorealistic; the fibers of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. They look exactly like real people — but real Hergé people!

Eek! Sounds a bit scary to me! I can't help but wonder why they wouldn't just stick closer to Hergé's time-tested ligne claire visual style: a look that generations have grown up with.

Tintin_06_2But I didn't grow up reading Tintin. I discovered the series in the early 90's, right around time we were starting Myst. About this same time, I was beginning to wonder how I'd ever render all the images that the Myst world required. Of course I'd draw them by hand; initially, I had no question about that... after all, that's how we'd done our previous works. And so, for about 20 minutes one day, at the very beginning of the project, I got out Hergé's The Black Island and began to sketch islands.Tintin_052

And then I turned around and quickly abandon the effort. After all, there's only one Hergé!

The rest, as they say, is history: we turned to 3-D. And though desktop computing power was at a minimum (relative to today), the addition of 3-D (Stratavision 3-D) allowed us to render thousands of images, not hundreds. More importantly, it instilled a maturity in the environment: enough to give users the sense they'd actually stepped onto the shores of Myst island.

Tintin_04 And now we return to Hergé. While recently in Paris, my family and I visited the Pompidou (like all good tourists). On the way out, we discovered that we had just missed a Hergé exhibit (celebrating the artist's 100th birthday). Oh, how our hearts ached! But the catalog! There must be a catalog! Of course, I immediately rushed to the museum bookstore and found it: Hergé! And what a catalog! If you're a Tintin fan, I highly recommend this thick but small volume, practically stuffed full of original drawings, paintings, prints, and photographs.

Tintin_01_small I also picked up Tintin et Moi, an revealing biographical portrait of Hergé, told through the artist's own voice. The principle audio of all this is eerily compiled from 14 hours of in depth interviews, recorded in 1971 by Numa Sadoul. It's fascinating! (video preview)

Note: An article entitled A Boy's World: The Tintin Century is available in the latest issue of the New Yorker.

May 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack