Riven's remake gets its first gameplay reveal, and the original Myst sequel's co-director is heading up the project

on-stream view of gameplay from the remake of Riven: The Sequel to Myst, showing a boiler on the shore of a crater lake with scaffolding going out into the middle of the lake
(Image credit: Cyan Worlds)

At this year's MysteriumCon, Myst creator Cyan Worlds provided a first look at alpha gameplay of its upcoming remake of Riven: The Sequel to Myst. The short demo came at the end of a presentation where it was also revealed that Riven's original co-director, Richard Vander Wende, has been heading up the remake.

The demo showed off a portion from the middle of the game, with a puzzle involving a large boiler on the shores of a lake and some scaffolding leading out from the shore. The look of the thing reminds me a lot of Cyan Worlds' 2021 remake of Myst, and like that first remake, Riven's gorgeous, dreamy aesthetic survives the shift from pre-rendered scenes to realtime, full-3D exploration.

Time will tell if the remake is able to handle the gameplay transition better than Myst, but there is some hope on that front⁠—Cyan Worlds stated that it will be working on improving aspects of Riven that players found frustrating back in the '90s, and will even be delving deeper into the world and lore. The game's creators insist, however, that they will not be "dumbing down" the foundational point and click adventure.

To that end, Cyan Worlds has gotten Richard Vander Wende, co-director of the original game and a former artist at Industrial Light and Magic and Disney, to return as director for the remake. Vander Wende is widely regarded as a major source of Riven's unique, gorgeous world, and Cyan Worlds said that he has been working on the project for some time already, as opposed to being a recent addition.

Cyan Worlds described the Riven remake as being playable from start to finish, but still quite a ways away from being ready to ship. Cyan Worlds is not yet ready to commit to a release date for the Riven remake, though Cyan Worlds' presenters jokingly promised that it will definitely come out in advance of Riven's 30th anniversary in 2027.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.