“Kickstarter is a way for us to reach out to our fans to help us fund the types of games we like to build and they like to play,” Rand Miller, Cyan’s CEO, wrote in the company’s press release. “Empowering our fans to fund through Kickstarter allows us to explore these creative opportunities. Oh, and they’re gonna love this game.”
The new game is an all-new story, though it draws on the same “steampunk” aesthetic as Myst did. All that’s known about the gameplay as of right now is that it’s built around exploration, with the player learning how to use the services of a mechanical adjunct as he or she traverses through multiple fantasy worlds. (In other words, it’s a Cyan game.)
Firmament was initially revealed in March 2018, shortly before Cyan’s successful Kickstarter for the 25th-anniversary edition of the Myst series. If the Firmament crowdfunding campaign reaches its goal, it’s planned to launch in the summer of 2020. The campaign is for $1.3 million, and will last 30 days.
Details on backer rewards are unknown. However, Cyan has already announced its intent to collaborate with Fangamer to create a line of merchandise for Firmament. This isn’t terribly unusual, as a lot of indie games end up with Fangamer merch lines, ranging from pins and plushies to apparel and soundtrack albums on vinyl.
— Firmament (@firmamentgame) March 25, 2019
At time of writing, the plan is that a “traditional” version of Firmament will launch for PC gamers, with VR-enabled versions launching at the same time for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. This stands in contrast to Cyan’s previous project, Obduction, which began as a typical PC game and only received VR support relatively late in its operational existence.
This marks further movement into the virtual reality space for Cyan, which launched a new publishing imprint, Cyan Ventures, in November. Cyan Ventures’ first release, Zed, had its own successful Kickstarter in 2016, and is currently planned for release in late 2019. Zed is the work of Eagre Games, based in Ellsworth, Maine, and co-founded by Chuck Carter, one of the environmental artists on the original Myst.
Cyan’s last two releases, Obduction and the Myst 25th Anniversary Collection, were both the result of successful Kickstarters, with the latter triple-funded by Myst fans before Cyan had the chance to put out a press release to announce the campaign had started.
Myst was the single best-selling PC game of 1997, which launched both a franchise as well as a fervent fan community that persists to this day. The official Myst convention, Mysterium, will be held this August in Cyan’s hometown of Spokane, Wash., at the Ruby River Hotel.