Myst studio reveals a new 'steampunk-magic' adventure called Firmament

The past half-decade has been something of a renaissance for Cyan, the studio best known for creating the Myst series (and inspiring the many, many lookalikes that followed). A 2013 Kickstarter for its own Mystalike, Obduction, was a major success and led to a pretty good game, while a 2018 campaign for an anniversary collection of the entire Myst series was an bigger hit, pulling in more than $2.8 million.

Today the studio returned to the crowdfunding well once more with a campaign for its new game, first teased a year ago, called Firmament. It will be "deeply rooted in the spirit of Myst, Riven, and Obduction"—that's what Cyan does, after all—but has a more overtly steampunk vibe, and instead of being off alone in a strange world you'll be accompanied by "a clockwork adjunct" that looks a bit like a Destiny 2 Ghost but without the ability to speak. It does understand you, however, and over the course of the game your communication will evolve into "a complex symphony of actions as you solve challenges together and begin to understand the epic nature of what lies ahead." 

Old-time Myst fans may be disappointed to hear that composer Robyn Miller, who reunited with Cyan to work on Obduction after leaving the game business in the late '90s, won't be scoring Firmament. The good news is that former Blizzard composer Russell Brower, whose work can be heard in everything from World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade to Overwatch, is taking his place. Brower also contributed five songs inspired by Myst for the 25 Anniversary Collection. For a taste of what he brings to the Cyan table, you can download and listen to them free on Bandcamp

Firmament is being developed primarily for VR but will be playable on conventional PCs as well. Ironically, Mac support is not on the table: Cyan was initially a Mac-centric studio, "but with the minimum funding and resources we anticipate having available, and the complexity involved," work will be focused on Windows-based PC and VR.   

The Firmament Kickstarter campaign has a goal of $1.3 million and is set to run until April 26. The game itself has an "estimated delivery date" (and, all due respect to Cyan, but I know Kickstarters and I would really not hold my breath on it) of July 2020. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.