Cyan, the creators of genre-defining puzzle adventure games Myst (1993) and Riven (1997), are only a week away from the end of their latest campaign, a new VR puzzler called FirmamentWith still over $400,000 to go, the company is now asking backers to tell friends about the project in an ostensible race to the finish.

As an ‘all or nothing’ campaign, the project will only come to fruition if it reaches the $1,285,000 mark. At the time of this writing, it’s garnered over $860,000, or a little over two-thirds of the way there.

In a bid to breathe new life into the campaign, the studio released an update to the Firmament Kickstarter recently asking backers to contact friends to get the campaign to the finish line:

Today we reached 10,000 backers, and we’re more than 60% funded. That’s 10,000 fans supporting Firmament and affirming that this type of game is important. We love making these worlds, with their meticulous integration of story, environments, and puzzles. And we know that there is a subset of gamers (like you) that love these worlds that we make. That’s what motivates us, keeps us authentic and focused on our passion.

We are so grateful for people like you – 10,000 strong so far. With little fanfare or prodding, you raise your voice in support of Firmament. Without you, we can’t build these worlds.

Based on our previous games, we know there are more of us out there – more people who truly enjoy this kind of adventure — easily ten times as many. With only 10 days left, we’d like to ask you to do one more thing — help find the missing people and bring them along. If each of you can reach out to just one more person who shares our interest in the deep, immersive worlds Cyan builds; one more person who is willing to support us before we ship – instead of after, we will easily meet our goal and be able to build Firmament.

We have come this far, let’s complete this journey!

Thank you so much for your support,

The Cyan Team

The studio’s penultimate Kickstarter saw Obduction (2016) brought to life, a game that launched on desktop, PC VR and PSVR headsets. Obduction’s crowdfunding campaign exceeded its initial goal of $1.1M back in November 2013, garnering a total of $1,321,306 with more than 20,000 backers.

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Some of the excitement around Obduction invariably came from the prospect of stepping into a wholly new world built by Cyan, which had previously released both remastered versions, and an additional chapter to Myst. Virtual reality played no small part in its funding either. At the time, native Oculus support was a stretch goal, which the company promised at the $1.3 million mark. The prospect of stepping into a Cyan-built world, created in the tradition of its past games, was nothing short of tantalizing.

According to the recent backer update, the company says that meeting the crowdfunding goal is a prerequisite to building Firmament; if the project falls short, its possible the company will move onto ‘safer’ projects. Considering Obduction was their first title with VR support, the studio has likely taken home plenty of critical VR-specific learnings that could be applied to a game if built from the ground-up.

We’re wishing Firmament all the best, but with only a week to go in the campaign and no publicly playable demo (a short demo is available to backers) it may have a difficult time in repeating Obduction’s success.

Check out a video of the demo below (no commentary), recorded by YouTube user ‘EPICO’.

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  • DanDei

    Considered it, but the trailer just didn’t sell it as something particularly interesting. Also wasn’t a fan of Obduction. Some of its riddles were just too tedious and the VR implementation severly lacking: bad performance and a choice between either horrible aliasing or an image so blurry, I thought I was on a quest to find my lost contact lenses.

    • Rosko

      It took a very fast pc to get it looking sharp but it was possible. For me one of the most visually stunning worlds in VR.

      • Gonzax

        It looked fantastic in Vr and it was a a great game with some incredible places to visit and some of the best visuals I’ve seen so far. A few puzzles were really hard to figure out but I guess that was to be expected coming from them. The worst part of it all for me was how slow the free locomotion was, I don’t want to move like a snail. That being said, as I said before, overall it was a briliant game and i really enjoyed it.

    • mirak

      Obduction was quite easy compared to Riven or Exile.

    • MeowMix

      The VR for Obduction was an added feature after the game was already built, essentially a VR port. That’s part of teh reason the VR side sucked.

      With Firmament, they’re promising a built from the ground up VR game; and the optimizations used to make it VR ready will also benefit the PC/Console ports.

    • HybridEnergy

      and now you can just end the statement at “I thought I was on a quest” and still be correct. lol

  • Grey Lock

    Looks awesome, but without Co-op it’s not for me.

    • Zerofool

      What other puzzle/adventure games with co-op support do you know of (not to mention, with VR support)?
      Besides Myst Online (aka URU Live) and Portal 2‘s co-op mode, I can’t think of any others (well, there are a few short escape-room VR games on steam, but they don’t count :) ).
      Yes, co-op would be a great addition, but would complicate the design so much that a game of that scope would cost much more to produce. And apparently, there aren’t that many fans of that genre left out there nowadays, it’s a miracle they successfully completed the campaign as it is. Maybe someday when game production (at that quality level) comes down in cost even more (AI-assisted asset creation, etc.) we could see something like that by indie studios, but for now all story-driven atmospheric puzzle/adventure indie games will be strictly single player (and personally, I’m OK with that).

  • alboradasa

    How sad that a team of industry veterans, responsible for one of the most influential and iconic games of all time, can’t even get the gaming press to acknowledge their kickstarter. Kotaku and Polygon both seem totally uninterested and without mainstream coverage Cyan look pretty doomed. What does it take to get column inches these days?

    • Miqa

      The only thing sad is, that a team that has shipped multiple products, is relying on Kickstarter in the first place.

      • mirak

        It helps them to not have investors or have to do a credit to a bank.

        • Miqa

          I get the financial liberties. I however still think it is unacceptable. Cyan has been in the business since the late 80’s. If they are unable to fund their own projects they should perhaps stop and think about what they are doing. It’s like if Ford would go out and say they are having a Kickstarter for the next Focus.

          • mirak

            Cyan is just a studio, it’s not EA or Ubisoft.
            Cyan dis some games from Ubisoft bit it was not as good.

          • jj

            or maybe we as consumers need to think about where we vote with our dollar. instead fo everyone buy ANOTHER ea game, get something indie.

            This could 100% be due to their integrity and resistance to sell out just to make it or make cash, like every other AAA game out there does. It makes it impossible for them to compete because they cant even make standard income.

  • John Smith

    Cyan has done this before, promised Myst inspired games through Kickstarter with good reviews but we want an actual MYST title. Were tired of Myst clones the likes of Obduction and Firament and it shows.

  • Veraxus

    I like Cyan and all… but Obduction was rough, and what they’ve shown of Firmament has not inspired much in the way of either awe or interest. The sleepy voiceovers certainly don’t help, either.

  • Foreign Devil

    I really liked Obduction in VR. It was a clever concept and more or less well executed. I screwed up and got the bad ending though. Which was annoying. Hope they find a way to make this new game one way or the other.

  • Looks amazing. Made a pledge just now to help them get over the finish line.

    • Sonia

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  • HybridEnergy

    They are almost there with only 30 hours to go. 1,265,000

  • RobawesomeVR

    Funded!! Congratulations Cyan!