History

Cyan Worlds, Inc. is a company created and founded by the brothers Rand and Robyn Miller in 1987. The company was best known for their creation of children games such as The Manhole or Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel, whimsical adventure based games. They were both games released as CD-ROMS and floppy disks to be used as computer games.  Each game had a similar goal to travel to different worlds and play the different mini-games. The creation of Myst wasn’t much different in multiple aspects. Instead of being geared toward a younger audience, Cyan Inc. wanted to create a game from a more mature audience, and that’s exactly what Myst was.

The work on Myst began in 1991 by a team consisting of Rand and Robyn Miller, Chris Brandkamp, Chuck Carter, Richard Watson, Bonnie McDowall, and Ryan Miller. As unbelievable as it sounds, the creation of the game started with original drawings done by the Miller brothers themselves. As each world was sketched out the Miller brothers added a sense of depth to the story, and the predicted game play became more complex. Chuck Carter took these creative drawings as a chance to bring an artistic value to the creation of the graphics. He used a 3-D experience during the creation of the game to bring the players into the world themselves. With such amazing detail, Myst became not only an artistic achievement, but almost realistic. The graphics weren’t the only compelling aspect of Myst. Every player can agree that one of the most memorable and enjoyable parts of the game was the music and sounds during game play.

The creation of Myst was a huge project in itself, but the reception of not only the game play, but also the storyline and graphics was a break-through. Myst was the best selling game through the 1990s for many reasons. The graphics of the game were no longer just seen as graphics, but as a new art form. Many players and critics considered,”Myst‘s “virtual morality” a religious experience.” Not only that but it was also described as, “a mixture of the pre-modern and the post-modern, a sense of surreal antiquity recalling early science fiction.” Myst was being seen as something new in the adventure genre of games with its interactive gameplay and complex storyline that everyone was so eagerly drawn to.

With Myst being such a big hit, Cyan World Inc. took this opportunity to create sequels and improve the Myst experience. Riven was released on October 29, 1997, which was just as well received as Myst was, Myst III: Exile, and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. All games that made the Myst franchise sell over 12 million copies worldwide, and have a significant impact in the gaming world.

By Jessica Pearl


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