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Deep-dive Q&A: Behind the scenes of Obduction, Cyan's move beyond Myst

Hayden Dingman | Oct. 7, 2014
We visited Cyan's offices in Washington and picked their brains about Obduction, a crowdfunded spiritual success to Myst.

RM: The design's taken longer than we thought, because we tweaked it a lot more than we thought we would. But the production's actually going faster than we thought. I mean, one art guy and how much we've spent on building tools, it's actually like, "Wow, we're getting things done really quick." But you know how at the end...it always grinds at the end.

What size game are you looking at?
RM: Heh. We were looking at Myst-size is what we said. It would be similar to Myst. The number of Ages and stuff. But with the design where we're at, we decided we're bigger than Riven now easily.

That's pretty damn huge. Riven's a big game.

RM: [Laughs] Yeah, that's what we keep saying in basically those words. We still probably need to take the machete to it. We talk about it all the time. We're going to have to. And we've started that with some of the stuff. Chopped this. But then we added a new thing.

RW: But it makes it better.

RM: Yeah, it keeps getting better. So we chop one thing out and we're like "Oh cool, that'll save a lot of time," and then at the same time put this new stuff in like, "Oh that's sweet it's going to be awesome" but it adds a bunch of time.

But I'm really pretty optimistic based on what we've mocked up. We're pretty close to a...We're doing this different than we did before. It's massing model playable. A prototype that has no looks at all but you can go through the entire puzzle-play more or less. That's been surprisingly easy in Unreal. Even the stuff they've done...they've prettified a couple things. Even that has gone so much faster than I thought it would be.

I don't know how long it'll take. We'll have a better view in six months and an even better view in nine months. And then once it gets to QA that's when all hell breaks loose. That magical bug curve that grows and grows and grows and then you finally peak and start heading down and realize "Okay, now we might be able to finally ship sometime in the future."

RW: And like Rand was saying before, too, we probably will have to chop things just because time and budget scope, but.

I was amazed, going back and playing Myst again this year...that game is a lot smaller once you know all the puzzles. I think I finished it in four hours?

RM: It's so true.

RW: That's what I'm really concerned about with this. We know what we're doing and it's still taking us time [to finish].

 

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