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Developer turns to Kickstarter to fund a 'spiritual successor' to 'Myst'

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The makers of Myst and Riven have taken to Kickstarter to fund their next project. Cyan, the developer of those two legendary exploration games, is asking for $1.1 million in backing to produce a new title for PC and Mac called Obduction. CEO and co-founder Rand Miller explains it as "a spiritual successor to the experience that Myst provided without necessarily tying ourselves to that same exact story line." Specifically, that means "stunning landscapes, deep storyline, engaging characters, dramatic soundscapes, and challenging yet intuitive puzzles," according to the Kickstarter page.

The company notes that obduction means "The act of drawing or laying over, as a covering." Little of the plot has been revealed, but the story will center on an abduction. In the beginning of the game players are taken away to a mystical and far away world where there just so happens to be a farmhouse with a white picket fence. Miller explains that the developers explicitly wanted to recreate the same feeling of intrigue and mystery offered in Myst's opening, which famously leaves the player on a dock leading to an unexplained island.

Game developers like Cyan have turned to Kickstarter in order to receive backing for games that major publishers are unwilling to take a risk on. Miller says that since Myst and Riven "we've taken some [ideas] to publishers, and… they're not always met with enthusiasm." He adds that "it would be easy for us just to do a Myst sequel," but he notes that the experience would not be nearly as satisfying. As with any Kickstarter project, there's a number of tiers of support, all with their own rewards. There are also unannounced stretch goals that could lengthen the game or add complexity — should the title surpass its target. If the base funding amount is reached, however, Cyan says it will build the title using the Unreal 4 engine with an expected ship date of mid 2015.