On Halloween in 1997, Cyan, Inc. released Riven: the sequel to Myst to the delight of players and puzzle enthusiasts around the world. 25 years later, the development company has announced that it will be revisiting the iconic islands to bring players a smooth, 3D and fully modern remake of the classic game. While Cyan usually holds his cards fairly close to his chest, the news of the Torn up remake wasn’t entirely unexpected since fans had been working on their own for nearly 15 years. In fact, Cyan’s efforts to reorganize Torn up was born out of this fan-based initiative.
mystThe surprising success of helped define not only the style and direction that development company Cyan would rely on for the foreseeable future; it also helped spur adoption of the CD-ROM format, literally changing the gaming landscape. Torn up could have been any other sequel, capitalizing on the success of myst but happy to be just a dull carbon copy. In place, Torn up is one of the most beloved entries in the myst series and one of the highest rated puzzle games still today. Perhaps that’s why fans have become so eager to see a modern remake of Torn up that they attempted to make one themselves.
What is the starry expanse?
The Starry Expanse project began 13 years ago as a grassroots effort by game fans to finally give Torn up the remake it deserved. the original myst has received seemingly continuous updates since its release, with an update Masterpiece Edition and a 3D version called realMyst released in 2000, a Unity-powered remake realMyst: Masterpiece Edition in 2014, and even a VR version in 2020. The Starry Expanse Project, which adopted the moniker of real rivenwanted to bring the same love to Torn uptranslating computer-generated still images into a fully realized and immersive 3D environment.
Since 2010, the team has presented its progress at Mysterium, the annual convention of myst fandom. They operated with full transparency, which involved contacting Cyan directly to ensure that their work was done with the developer company’s approval. However, at the start of 2020, the project seemed to be going uncharacteristically quiet. The community pieced together, from tweets and scuttlebutt, that the project was under NDA after being absorbed by Cyan himself, and some fans even feared that meant the project was dead.
The Starry Expanse Led to Cyan’s Riven Remake
On Halloween 2022, 25 years to the day since Torn upCyan put an end to the rumors by announcing a Torn up remake of Cyan but built from the beginning The Starry Expanse had already done. After teasing the ad in real life myst styled with cryptic images and numbers posted to his social media accounts, Cyan made the news official.
While a Torn up remake is certainly exciting news, what makes this project special is its launch into the fan community. The Starry Expanse project made this possible by demonstrating to Cyan that the fan base (and customer base) wanted a modern 3D version. Torn up. More pragmatically, the team also literally did the initial work. Cyan explicitly credits The Starry Expanse project with key elements that the Cyan team was able to reference to jump-start development. The hours the band spent matching the camera to the original game wouldn’t be wasted. The exact influence The Starry Expanse had on the new house Torn up remake remains unclear, but based on its own press release, the team seems excited to pass the torch.
Some community members are still worried about Cyan taking over the reins of The Starry Expanse, mourning the loss of what was once a community project. With so much work to do to complete the Torn up do it again, nothing is set in stone yet. However, this episode in the history of the worlds of myst shows that fans can influence the games they love – and hope with Torn up is that this influence will be positive.