Miniature Multiverse [Myst-like indie experiment]

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Miniature Multiverse [Myst-like indie experiment]

Postby matthornb » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:25 am


What Miniature Multiverse is:
It's a virtual tour, exploration of handcrafted miniature art environments in first person view, using a panoramic 360-degree interface, complete with ambient audio and animation, transitions between nodes, and worlds, etc.

Where did this come from?:
Miniature Multiverse began some time around the end of 2009, and I tried to launch it as a Kickstarter but that failed (in 2011) and since then it's been on the backburner - until fairly recently. It's cost me a bit to make and I've had to scale back my ambitions a bit, from 7 worlds at launch to just 3, but I hope if it takes off, to add more on an ongoing basis as free updates.

What Miniature Multiverse is not:
It's not a full fledged adventure game at this time - no puzzles, no obstacles - it's just an elaborate art project/virtual tour. It is also not Myst fan art as it does not have any ties to the Myst canon. It does, however, draw bits of stylistic inspiration from various sources, including the Myst series (the creatively freeing multi world concept), the Neverhood (the idea of miniatures as an aesthetic for a digitally explorable world), and a few other ideas from other places.

Here's an example view of one of the worlds in the project:

Why do this now?:
The camera tech is better resolution and cheaper than in the past, so I can capture these worlds in better quality than was possible back in 2011, at lower cost. Unity 5 free version allows a wide range of features that would not have been available for free in 2011. So all of that reduced the initial launch cost of the project, while also improving its potential quality. Also, I've figured out all the requisite interactions for this - it's a good first step in using Unity 5 + PlayMaker, and I realized that this virtual tour could be made fully functional faster than a game with a lot more complex interaction [puzzle design] - and that means I can get it released soon. This allows me to have something released that'll tide everyone over while they wait for other stuff I'm working on.

What other stuff?
Well, once you set aside my video productions, and still art/comics/articles, and Vivid Minigolf and some other scattered minigames, there are some projects which'll actually be of real interest to this fanbase if they ever get completed. Spiral Skies, which is a small adventure game project, limited in scope but I'm still trying to debug it before release. Panoramic Worlds, is basically a realtime 3D puzzle/adventure game equivalent to 'Miniature Multiverse' - that is, it's open ended and can be expanded for years following release. 'Isola' - a three part episodic adventure game production - looks defunct [website has not been updated in a long, long time] but as with Miniature Multiverse, more is going on there in the background than meets the eye. And of course, I want to do actual Myst fan art to give back to this community. More information on that will be posted on, on September 24, 2017, the 24th anniversary of Myst's release. But that includes a reworking of Sevkor using Korman plus some other stuff beyond that.

How does Miniature Multiverse affect that other stuff?
I'll soon be selling Miniature Multiverse on Itch.IO for $1.75. I intend to put a large chunk (50%) of whatever it earns towards expanding Miniature Multiverse with batches of new explorable content, in the form of free updates to the base software, (30%) towards completing other virtual-world projects - Panoramic Worlds, Spiral Skies, Isola, and yes, some of my more ambitious Myst fan stuff. 10% goes to other unrelated projects, games and videos, 10% to the Itch.IO platform.

Every dollar spent will be put directly into covering core costs related to these projects; I am not going to make any sort of salary on these as they're personal projects done in my spare time. So if, say, I somehow manage $5000 in sales, in 2017, $2500 of that will go to making and releasing over 20 substantial new worlds for Miniature Multiverse. The rest will be even more efficient in terms of areas created per dollar because miniature supplies would not be an issue there.

I'm serious about getting this stuff done, and any funding raised here would make a huge difference in my creative work and the rate it can progress.

I love the creative process and the more of this stuff I can get launched in the next few years, the better for everyone I think.

Much more will be posted in the hours leading up to release.

Image <- Miniature Multiverse on Itch.IO <-
Matthew L. Hornbostel, creator of Panoramic Worlds,
a Myst fansite, and
various other stuff.
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:06 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

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