What does Cyan have planned for Myst.com?

General discussion about Cyan products / the company.

What does Cyan have planned for Myst.com?

Postby Yali » Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:13 pm

So Cyan still has the domain name Myst.com. Are there any plans to create an official hub for the Myst franchise?

Here is an example of an official website done right: http://www.elderscrolls.com

I'm imagining something similar for Myst. I'd go with a dark, mysterious aesthetic meant to reflect the games themselves, have sections for each game in the series with a basic lore info (like characters, plot, background story info) and a gallery, a section on Dr. Watson's D'ni Research studies where RAWA can post all the known knowledge about D'ni (like he's been planning to do), a section on the novels, the TV show, the soundtracks, collectables, an official Myst/Obduction/Cyan forum which would need a serious revamp from the current one here (Personally, I'd go with a dark background and more graphical details to work with the official site. The current forum style is very basic and bright and I find it lacks a bit of the cool aspect that Myst and Cyan evoke. Check out the Bethesda forums for a good example of company hub forums done well http://forums.bethsoft.com/ .)

I'll try to make a mockup soonish to give an idea of what an "official" Myst hub could look like. I think it would be good to revamp the face of the series for the 21st Century without ignoring the dark and mysterious aspect the series (and Cyan's old site and graphic design work) evoked. With the TV show and Obduction coming soon I really think Myst needs a public image overhaul to bring back its eerie 90s glory.

Having everything - lore, products, D'ni info, community hub - all in one place would centralize the Myst and Cyan community and bring in new fans once Obduction starts to sell like hot cakes and the TV show airs. Right now the Myst and Cyan fanbase is orphaned on decade old sites like the MOUL forums and Myst Community. Without Uru Obsession or RivenGuild, everyone has sort of gravitated towards Facebook which really isn't the right way to go about bringing the community together IMO since Facebook is a closed community (although almost everyone has it) and its a complete public arena where everyone's info is public and owned by Facebook.

It would be better to move the community back to the main section of the internet away from the social media behemoth that is Facebook so everyone can participate equally and in public on Cyan's own turf without the hassle of Facebook's privacy policies. Also, creating a central space for Cyan content on the web would help define Cyan as a company and its franchises on their own terms. Basically what Bethesda has done with TES and Fallout. I just don't like that the Myst community is so tethered to Facebook. It really should have its own presence on the net like it used to over a decade ago.

More importantly, I would love to see some new spiffy web design and a main Myst hub that updates and revitalizes Myst's commercial image.
Yali
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Re: What does Cyan have planned for Myst.com?

Postby belford » Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:03 pm

First: the sensible assumption is that the Hulu TV deal fell through and Cyan went back to shopping scripts around.

Second: if Obduction sells, Cyan will be concentrating on marketing more Obduction. If there is to be a Myst hub web site, it is more likely to be done by fans than by Cyan.
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Re: What does Cyan have planned for Myst.com?

Postby JWPlatt » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:12 pm

Yali wrote:Here is an example of an official website done right: http://www.elderscrolls.com

Well, because it begins with an enigmatic black screen that asks for my birthday, and I can't figure out how to use the site after I enter a fictitious date and it locks any further edit or retry with the scarlet letters "ACCESS DENIED," even after restarting the browser (Chrome), it's not done right at all. :P
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Re: What does Cyan have planned for Myst.com?

Postby Yali » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:23 pm

Cyan will be getting new fans regardless and I'm sure Myst is still an IP they will be focusing on even in the event of an Obduction II. It was the best selling gaming franchise of the 20th Century and 100% of why were all here is because of Myst. They aren't going to abandon the D'niverse entirely. Plus, with Obduction rolling in new heads, its the best time to sell newcomers onto their legacy games. Hopefully Myst 3 and 4's rights will be given to Cyan in enough time for them to include them in a potential hub site.

As for the feasibility of a hub site, it would make more sense business wise for Cyan to own and author a hub site. They're the creators and rights holders of the franchise so they have to be responsible for marketing their existing games, not the fans. The fans can hardly do any large community projects right now because there's so few of us and we're spread across the web. Also since there hasn't been a Cyan game in over a decade (if you discount GameTap MOUL) much of the once thriving Myst community has dissipated. Obduction is the perfect time to reel everyone back in, create brand awareness for both Cyan IPs and make a whole bunch of new fans. Those new fans are going to expect a spiffed up forum and website, so its the best time to clean up before they come in full force. Doing so could get them much more keen on Cyan's older games if those games are well represented and centralized.

JWPlatt, TES is rated Mature which I find ironic since Riven probably has some equally if not more-mature themes in it than Skyrim. The bad ends with Gehn come to mind. You probably made a mistake by entering a year under 18 years ago. It happened to me once and I had to reset my cookies.
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Re: What does Cyan have planned for Myst.com?

Postby Magic88889 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:41 am

I highly doubt that Cyan has anything planned, unless that TV deal goes through, but we've been down that road before with this (more than once!), and I'm not exactly optimistic about it. Cyan has had a long time to do something with Myst since the last game, and other than maintain the Uru server with fan donations, they haven't done anything. They could have easily done another Myst game instead of Obduction, but they decided to create something new, rather than go with an idea that's over 20 years old (wow, that makes me feel old).

Don't get me wrong, I would absolutely love a new Myst game, site, show, whatever! Myst is by far my favorite game franchise of all time. I just don't really see much of anything happening at this point.
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Re: What does Cyan have planned for Myst.com?

Postby JWPlatt » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:54 am

Yali wrote:JWPlatt, TES is rated Mature...

Yes, I know. I intentionally gave an underage date to test it. We had to deal with this for MagicQuest Online. But:

  • Good sites identify themselves with a home page and info instead of being mysterious monolithic black that makes it feel like I accidentally landed on a porn site. They land on the home page with a default continent and language page based on your IP and provide a clear opportunity from there to choose your language without forcing you to answer questions up front before showing you anything.
  • The reason for the date entry should be clearly stated. Otherwise it feels like a junk call asking for undeserved personal info. The very people the birthday request targets - young people - should be trained to never give this sort of personal info online without explanation. Savvy youngsters will lie anyway, but you've satisfied the law.
  • There should be a clear cookies link.

One solution to my complaint is to not show any mature content on the public site without an account and logon. Account creation asks for birthday.

Sorry, I just couldn't resist the critique of a site done right. ;)
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Re: What does Cyan have planned for Myst.com?

Postby belford » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:07 am

The fans can hardly do any large community projects right now because there's so few of us


I believe you have nailed down the business argument *against* making a new Cyan web site. :/

Obduction is the perfect time to reel everyone back in, create brand awareness for both Cyan IPs and make a whole bunch of new fans.


I don't see that happening without a new Myst game, and I don't expect a new Myst game any time soon.
Andrew Plotkin -- Seltani founding member
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Re: What does Cyan have planned for Myst.com?

Postby Yali » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:03 am

Well, what of the TV show? How certain are you that it fell through?

If Hulu didn't work out (considering it was U.S locked) maybe Cyan could try to shop the script to HBO. Seems like they're doing very well.

belford wrote:
The fans can hardly do any large community projects right now because there's so few of us


I believe you have nailed down the business argument *against* making a new Cyan web site. :/


I don't see how that makes sense. Cyan has a new game coming out which is bound to bring in new fans. Cyan has 20 years worth of a classic IP proverbially rotting away without a clear centralized home for it, hampered by buggy digital versions, two games owned by their former publisher, and an orphaned MMO. I'm not saying Myst 6 is due right after Obduction, but there's a very strong chance Cyan will be working on another Myst project very soon. The last I heard, Cyan was to be developing a companion game for the planned show and even without the show, there is still Project Copperpot on the backburner, Book of Marrim as well (which RAWA asked us to not let Rand forget about because of its importance to the story) and even RAWA himself said that he's been developing several websites to contain all the known D'ni lore and language information, so it seems to me that Myst is not quite dead yet. Heck, Cyan may want to do another Myst game before Obduction II in the same way Bethesda alternates between TES games and Fallout. Its a good business strategy to satisfy both fanbases of their two main IPs.

I just see it as striking the iron while its hot. Obduction releases. Sells well. New fans come on board. Boom... revamp Myst's online presence and get all the games and lore in one place thus introducing all newcomers to Cyan's legacy titles and huge D'ni mythos, which could double their sales of their already existing games. Like a domino effect, this would raise interest in a potential TV show and future Myst games.
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