Obduction History

Obduction History

Postby Lord Tulla » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:40 pm

I have to say that I'm somewhat surprised and overwhelmed by what I happened to find by accident yesterday - a new Cyan game in development modeled after their exceptional MYST & Riven series games.

I've bought and played every MYST & Riven game since it first appeared in 1993 (MYST for WIN 3.1 and 256 Colors) and was saddened when it ended with MYST V: End of ages.

But Now I find Obduction is in development, and of course I contributed to that effort via PayPal.

Yet, I have questions I've not yet found answers for... What is the history of this game? When did Cyan begin to seek user funding support for its development? How close is Cyan to a release date?

I've read through this forum and see messages dating back to 2006 :shock: I have to ask how is it I missed knowing about this game until now?

I see terms like Kickstarter and backers and wonder are they different names for that same thing? What are they?

I'm somewhat lost here and believe I've got a lot of catching-up to do. So I would appreciate it if the forum members could help me out.

Does the history of Obduction's development seem like it would be a good FAQ?
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Re: Obduction History

Postby KathAveara » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:44 pm

Here's the Kickstarter page for Obduction, for some preliminary reading about KIckstarter and Obduction. I'll let someone else explain the nitty-gritty.
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Re: Obduction History

Postby Lord Tulla » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:58 am

KathAveara wrote:Here's the Kickstarter page for Obduction, for some preliminary reading about KIckstarter and Obduction. I'll let someone else explain the nitty-gritty.
Thank you for the head start and link to a previously unknown page.

I learned some new things: the anticipated release date [mid 2015], the Kickstarter page, and there are additional contribution levels above the $250 tier shown on the PayPal page [my tier] - some of which have a limited number of members and a few are "maxed-out".

Yet I'm still wondering when Cyan first began reaching out to the public for support? I get the sense for some of the Obduction topic messages it was a few years ago.

Nonetheless, thank you for your help... :)
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Re: Obduction History

Postby MoP » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:10 am

Tai'lahr compiled a great selection of links and materials from the campaign, which should help You catch up (I think the thread was stickied at one time, probably the migration to the Obduction Backer forums messed that up, hopefully they'll bring that back because it's definitely a great resource):
Obduction KS Campaign Information Links Collection

From that, I think Visian_Thistles "eye-witness, narrative account" retrospective of the campaign might be of interest to You, particularly Part II where You'll also find a brief explanation of what Kickstarter is:
Thanksgiving Story - Part II

I'll try to answer a few of Your question here in a sec as well.
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Re: Obduction History

Postby Lord Tulla » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:28 am

MoP wrote:Tai'lahr compiled a great selection of links and materials from the campaign.... I'll try to answer a few of Your question here in a sec as well.
What a wonderful topic by Tai'lahr :!: It will take some time to review it.

Dziękuję za dzielenie się nim [Thank you for sharing it...]
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Re: Obduction History

Postby Lord Tulla » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:45 am

Ok, it seems my initial impression of when the Obduction funding campaign began was in error. From what I read in the "Thanksgiving Story", it began in Nov 2013 with the requirement to accumulate $1.1 Million within 30 days. That goal was exceed to a little over $1.3 Million.

I only wish I had known about this earlier so that I could have joined-in then. But I'm in the fold now and feeling good about my PayPal contribution...

Yet, it makes me speculate. If an avid MYST/Riven game player such as I was unaware of Cyan's plan for Obduction until just now, how many others might there be wandering about with no clue... :?:
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Re: Obduction History

Postby MoP » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:18 am

Lord Tulla wrote:I see terms like Kickstarter and backers and wonder are they different names for that same thing? What are they?

Actually, re-reading it now, Visian did a great job at concisely summarising this, so just for continuity, I'll re-post her explanation:
Visian_Thistles wrote:KickStarter allows various commercial and non-profit ventures to be funded before their production is complete, through a pre-order-like system. Instead of taking out a loan or getting an advance from a publisher, developers with new ideas can go directly to their potential customers for the money they need to bring work to fruition. KickStarter is a type of “crowdfunding,” which means that numerous people (“backers”) contribute small amounts to make up the pool of cash. After being jilted by publishers, Cyan found this technique a natural choice that would allow them to remain completely independent. Their budget was small for the gaming world, but large by KickStarter project standards: 1.1 million dollars. There was also an element of risk: KickStarter doesn't collect money from any of the backers unless a project meets its funding goal. If Cyan couldn't raise the entire $1.1 million in thirty days, they would get nothing at all, and the game would be canceled, at least for the time being.

So "Kickstarter" is the platform which Cyan used to crowd-fund Obduction. The way it works is the project creator (Cyan) put together a pitch in the form of a web-page hosted on Kickstarter (to which KathAveara posted a link above), which contains all of the promotional material, details, art etc. they could come up with at the time, and a "pitch-video" in particular at the top which acts as a "calling card" so to speak for the project. About $1.3Million is what Cyan actually got in total, and they are still gathering via PayPal to reach "stretch goals" (these are features that the creators promise to deliver if an additional, higher goal set by them is reached).

"Backers" are the people that "backed" Obduction (in other words, "chipped in", gave money to reach the goal) on Kickstarter (or via PayPal, so You're now a backer as well btw. ;) ).


Lord Tulla wrote:I've read through this forum and see messages dating back to 2006 :shock: I have to ask how is it I missed knowing about this game until now?

As for the time-line, a little more back-story on Kickstarter - crowd-finding, and Kickstarter in particular became a very popular funding model in the (independent) games industry when Tim Schafer decided to fund his first adventure game since Grim Fandango this way, back in 2012. The game in now called "Broken Age", working title was "Double Fine Adventure" and if You're curious, here's the project page:
Double Fine Adventure on Kickstarter

They weren't the first to do this of course (Kickstarter was created in 2009, and games had been funded that way before), but Double Fine we're the first to gather a really impressive amount of money ($3.3Million), which became a huge story and "kickstarted" crowd-funding as a way to fund bigger-budget games. Many other "old-timers", veteran developers, authors of often forgotten but beloved franchises (many adventure games as well :yay:) used it to get back into game development, by asking their fans directly for support.

And Cyan was obviously one of those beloved devs with a cult following that had been "dormant" for far too long. So ever since, fans have been asking for a Cyan Kickstarter, and Rand would leave hints here and there that indeed they'd been looking into it, but wanted to come prepared instead of rushing it. The direct confirmation and speculation began in August 2013, which You can see in here:
Looking Forward to that Kickstarter
The thread is obviously huge by now, but You can follow some of the very early hints and speculation in the beginning. And as You've now posted, November was when it finally came to be.

As for the older messages and snippets You might've encountered, those are likely connected to the fact that the initial concepts and ideas for Obduction aren't new. Would have to dig a little deeper to find the exact quotes, but RAWA mentioned this when he stopped by for a Q&A in the Obductee's Hood during the campaign:
RAWA wrote:We did quite a bit of design for Obduction about ten years ago, when I was calling it "Something Else Entirely"

So they reached out for support to the fans only recently, but the Obduction concept is one that got on Cyans ever-popular "back-burner" years ago.

...

Well I clearly went overly verbose and You've gotten most of the answers already; but didn't know how detailed to go with this, and just went with the flow. :shock:
Hopefully it'll be of some use to someone eventually.


Lord Tulla wrote:Yet, it makes me speculate. If an avid MYST/Riven game player such as I was unaware of Cyan's plan for Obduction until just now, how many others might there be wandering about with no clue... :?:

Yes, this was a hot topic amongst the more involved backers during the campaign, trying to reach out to as many people as possible. Cyan had been doing their part with social media, Rand doing interviews etc. And there were many ideas initiated by the community itself (compiled here). This one brought to life by NomadMolly became particularly famous due to Cyan mentioning it in one of the updates:
Image
Thankfully it was all enough to get us over the finishing line and beyond (a certain celebrity endorsement was a massive help near the end as well).

Lord Tulla wrote:Dziękuję za dzielenie się nim [Thank you for sharing it...]

Proszę bardzo! [You're welcome] :D
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Re: Obduction History

Postby Lord Tulla » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:12 am

MoP wrote:
Lord Tulla wrote:Yet, it makes me speculate. If an avid MYST/Riven game player such as I was unaware of Cyan's plan for Obduction until just now, how many others might there be wandering about with no clue... :?:
Yes, this was a hot topic amongst the more involved backers during the campaign, trying to reach out to as many people as possible. Cyan had been doing their part with social media, Rand doing interviews etc....

While I'm not involved with social media, I did make an effort after End of Ages ran its course to periodically check Cyan's website, and other MYST/Riven forums and work efforts (Ages of Ilathid, Sehv Tsahno, and Eldoren).

Who remembers Gordon Currie and his fantastic Riven website? Nice guy who worked at some level with Cyan, and later tried to make his own game (Eldoren)... I contributed to his work as well.

And then I had big hopes for the MYST Movie. I followed that team's work until their idea died due to producer changes required before they would move forward. And now that website is gone.

And now Obduction. I am so looking forward to its debut... :D
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