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Myst and Riven

The Myst and Riven Unofficial FAQ

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Subject: !8! The Future of Myst: Riven
Date: 03/08/1998

Riven has been released since last Christmas 1997.

Check out the official Riven WWW site, opened on June 18 1997. Refer to the
section "Commercial Sites".

Please be reminded that everything that is mentioned in this section is
objective and subject to changes. It is recommended that readers who have not
finished Myst, or intend to read either of the Myst novels, to avoid reading
this section, as the good experiences may be affected.


Subject: [8-1] What will be the name of the game?
Date: 05/23/1997

The name of the sequel is known on Cyan's WWW site as "Riven: The Sequel to

It is interesting to note that Riven is mentioned in one of the Myst novels,
where we will face Atrus' wife and father, Catherine and Gehn, respectively.


Subject: !8-2! Are there any release dates for the sequel?
Date: 06/13/1998

The following is the press release from Broderbund (edited):

"Broderbund's Red Orb Entertainment to Ship the Cyan Production, Riven: The
Sequel to Myst

September 11, 1997 07:00 PM

NOVATO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 11, 1997--

NOTE TO EDITORS: Although this release has been updated and does include new
contact information, it should be considered an extension of the press
release Broderbund issued last June. Due to the large number of press
requests for information on this title, Broderbund has reissued this press
release as a convenience.

The Red Orb Entertainment division of Broderbund Software, Inc. BROD, and
Cyan Inc., the creators of Myst, are preparing to ship Riven: The Sequel to
Myst, perhaps the most anticipated computer game of all time. The visually
engrossing Riven, scheduled for release this fall, promises an immersive
experience in a world of intrigue and adventure unlike any ever known.

The story line begins where Myst ends although no prior knowledge of Myst is
needed to fully enjoy Riven. As was learned at the end of Myst, Atrus is
trying to find his wife Catherine who is trapped in another world, now known
as Riven. It is up to the player to assist Atrus by traveling to Riven to
free his beloved spouse. Riven carries on the tradition of Myst in its
superlative graphic detail and captivating, all-encompassing aura, and takes
that tradition several steps further. The game design offers intriguing
puzzles that are more seamlessly integrated into a richer, deeper story line
for the player to unfold during the course of the journey. This time a much
larger area of the world can be explored before encountering puzzles. Riven
is also populated with intriguing characters -- not all human -- that show
up in often unexpected circumstances and surroundings.

`A significant amount of character interaction exists in Riven, thereby creating an organic, live feel to the environment,' said Rand Miller, founder and president of Cyan, Inc. `It's reassuring to know you're not alone and yet it's disconcerting at the same time. This dual feeling provides an unbelievable sensory experience that will only enhance the engrossing nature of Riven.' Riven also pushes the envelope of game design with unprecedented graphic, animation, and sound effects aided by the cutting-edge technology from SoftImage that animated Jurassic Park's dinosaurs. The intricate level of detail in the landscapes and objects throughout Riven, from wind-shifted topsoil blanketing a mountainside to the knotted wood grain of a tabletop, exemplifies the supremely high standards set by Cyan. Dissatisfied with the look of computer-generated water, for example, the game's designers studied its physical properties and the complex qualities involved in its movement. Returning to the studio, they spent hundreds of hours designing water effects that resulted in startlingly realistic representations. Riven's water shimmers, undulates, reflects, and glints in the sun. The developers at Cyan have spent the last four years amassing superior resources to perfect the world of Riven. Richard Vander Wende, an originator and co-creator of the Disney feature film, Aladdin, has been added as a co-director. Riven is being created using 13 SGI workstations and four SGI servers with a development team of more than 30 artists and designers. Conversely, Cyan's landmark title Myst, which has sold more than three million units in North America according to PC Data (4/97) was created by Rand and Robyn Miller and three others working on six Macintoshes out of their garage. `Riven has taken the best attributes of Myst and pushed them several steps beyond,' said Ken Goldstein, vice president and general manager of Red Orb Entertainment, a division of Broderbund. `Myst's design was so unique and captivating that it raised the bar for CD-ROM design to a new level. We believe Riven will do that all over again.'" ------------------------------ Subject: !8-3! What features and story will Riven have? Date: 08/22/1997 According to the "Myst 2 Unofficial Home Page" (refer to the section "Miscellaneous"), Riven will feature: Macintosh and PC versions will ship simultaneously, bigger environment, full-screen animation, less like a sequel and more like a whole new game, more interaction with game characters, 5 new islands with more than 5000 views, game will take place in "Equiquay" or "Riven" (among other islands), game will start off where Myst ended. Also, Cyan plans to spend about $2 million on the sequel, where $500,000 has already been spent on Silicon Graphics Inc. Indigo 2 Extreme workstations and SoftImage software. Puzzles will be more difficult to solve, and will involve Atrus, Catherine, and Gehn. Jake Wallace has written up a storyline which he deduced from playing Myst and reading "Myst: The Book of Atrus". Check out this detailed story which describes the development of Myst and the possible plot of Riven, at: <URL:> Here is the (edited) e-mail that he sent me, which is essentially the storyline he conceived: "Riven is Gehn's 5th Age. Gehn calls it his Fifth Age, while the native people who live there call it Riven. Gehn was trapped there in "Myst: The Book of Atrus". Just preceeding Myst, Katran (or Catherine) accidentally linked to Riven. This sets the basic plot for Riven. Katran was born on Riven, and a new D'ni Guild was formed there by Gehn. It should be the main Age in the game." From <URL:> (edited): "4,000 images 3 hours of animation intense graphic depth and detail 2 hours of music and sound effects multi-track sound" Check out the above page for a good introduction to the game. I believe the paragraphs within will appear in the game box.

------------------------------ Subject: *8-4* What are the minimum requirements and will my X system work? Date: 06/13/1998 Riven is being shipped in hybrid form which can be played on both Windows 95 and Macintosh machines. The following minimum requirements are not final. PC Windows 95 100MHz Pentium 16MB RAM 70MB hard disk space 4X CD-ROM drive SVGA video card at 640x480 high colour Windows compatible sound device Video and sound cards compatible with Microsoft DirectX Macintosh 80MHz PowerPC System 7.5 or MacOS 8 8MB RAM free 70MB hard disk space 4X CD-ROM drive 13-inch colour monitor in high colour Mark DeForest said in the Riven Lyst that "anything in a 486 motherboard will have major problems and a source of great frustration trying to run Riven, no matter how fast the processor is". He also said that "Riven should run very well on a Cyrix 6X86". [DeForest 1997]

------------------------------ Subject: [8-5] Who are the people creating the sequel? Date: 11/20/1996 Being known as "The Riven Team", Rand Miller is the Executive Producer, and Robyn Miller is the Director, among others listed at the location below: <URL:> ------------------------------ Subject: !8-6! What platforms will Riven support? Date: 08/22/1997 (1) (edited) From: "Mark H. DeForest" <> To: (Riven Lyst) Subject: Re: Spyder daily /SF Chronicle Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997 09:24:50 -0700 "... both the PC and Mac version will be on the same set of CDs (rumoured to be 5). They share the same assets (images, movies, sounds) and the game engine is being written to a cross platform library, which means that a large portion of the source code is the same for both systems. In a way, one is not being developed without the other, but together as one project." There are no details about whether Riven will be released in DVD-ROM format. (2) From <URL:> (edited): Also, Riven will be released in the following languages: English, French, and German. Chinese, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish is later supported. ------------------------------ Subject: [8-7] What are the Riven Journals? Date: 05/23/1997 (Quite empty) The WWW site is at: <URL:> ------------------------------

Subject: !8-8! Is there a mailing list for Riven? Date: 06/13/1998 (Quite empty) Yes, there is an unofficial Riven mailing list interestingly named as "The Riven Lyst" and the location is: <URL:> The Lyst started on July 8th 1997, which is also the second wedding aniversary for Doug McBride. On August 10th 1997, there were 84 subscribers from 10 different countries, though I'm quite sure there are more numbers than that. "Currently, two Cyan (Mark DeForest and Richard A. Watson), one Organic, and one Salvadori employees are subscribed (Riven "celebrities", in a way.)" (McBride 1997). This mailing list, like many others, does not tolerate chain mail, flame messages, and large file attachments. Essentially, the list has two channels, one for subscribers who have finished Riven or don't mind reading Riven spoilers, and the other for Myst players and what-not. You can also browse archive of past Lyst messages, and subscribe to the digest version of the Lyst (only one e-mail per day with all the messages posted that day). ------------------------------ Subject: !8-9! How was Riven developed? Date: 06/13/1998 (Quite empty) (Edited) From: Richard A. Watson <> To: Riven List <> Subject: Re: New Subject- Conceptual work Date: Sat, 2 Aug 97 16:37:56 -0700 "Initial concept design of Riven took about four months of Rand Miller, Robyn Miller, Josh Staub and I locked in a dark room (from March 1994 to July 1994). ;) Since August 1994, Robyn and Richard Vander Wende have been tweaking, changing and adding puzzles and details as we go along." (Edited) From: Mark H. DeForest <> To: Subject: Re: Re-Myst Date: Fri, 26 Sep 1997 02:24:15 +0800 (SGT) "3D graphics was developed on SGIs with SoftImage graphic production work on Macs gameplay developed on Mac with a HyperCard prototyping tool runtime graphic effect tools developed on Mac with C++ runtime for both PC and Mac developed on PC and Mac, written in C++ (and some assembler) Playstation and Saturn runtime versions developed on PCs (WinNT)" ------------------------------ Subject: *8-10* Will there be a sequel to Riven? Date: 06/13/1998 (Quite empty) (Edited) From: Richard A. Watson <> To: Subject: Re: a sequel to Riven? Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 02:08:38 +0800 (SGT) "We don't like to close any doors, but I'd consider a Riven sequel _very_ unlikely." ------------------------------

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Last update @ June 13 1998.
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