It wasn’t clear last week whether Cyan, the makers of iconic puzzle adventure games Myst (1993) and Riven (1997), would be able to make up the remaining Kickstarter funds for their next VR-compatible title, Firmament. Miraculously the studio was able to rally support for the game in the final hours. Firmament is coming.

A total of 18,420 backers pledged $1,433,161 to the project, placing it over the $1,285,000 goal by a fair margin.

However, on April 16th—only ten days before the campaign’s official end—the project had only just crossed the 10,000 backer mark, which put them only 60% of the way to a fully funded campaign. With 48 hours to spare, the project crossed the ‘all-or-nothing’ funding threshold.

In case you haven’t been following along, Firmament is an upcoming adventure puzzle game with VR support. In typical Cyan fashion though, not much is known about the story behind Firmament. What we do know is it will be built ‘in the spirit of Myst’, however not in the Myst universe itself. Furthermore, system specifications will be similar to those of Obduction (2016), the studio’s first VR game and first Kickstarter campaign, which reached success back in 2013. Like Obduction, Firmament will equally support VR headsets and motion controllers, as well as traditional monitors.

Image courtesy Cyan

However, going on to unlock a $1.4 million stretch goal, Firmament is also now targeting PS4/PSVR and macOS. The stretch goal also includes support for English, French, Italian, German and Spanish localization. This comes in addition to the originally promised support for PC, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Valve Index. The game is set to arrive to backers in July 2020.

The makers celebrated the final moments in a Facebook livestream where they popped bottles of cyan-colored champagne and took a few community questions.

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One of the most pertinent questions addressed the issue of whether Firmament would ever support Oculus’ upcoming standalone headset, Quest. The studio says that the visual bar for Firmament will be high, although it isn’t entirely outside of the purview of Oculus Quest support. However Cyan CEO Rand Miller remarked that “Quest is hard.” A Cyan spokesperson maintains that Quest support isn’t a focus for the studio at the moment.

The success of Firmament’s Kickstarter means more to the studio than you might think. In the campaign’s FAQ, the company explains that they had spent the majority of the Myst 25th Anniversary Collection’s Kickstarter funds to fulfill backer obligations. Leftover funding allowed the studio to further optimize their first VR project Obduction, design Firmament, create a video and proof-of-concept for Firmament, and “basically stay in business for a number of months.”

Simply put, the studio either needed to fund Firmament or face running out of money. So here’s to another few years of insanely complicated, and equally engrossing puzzle games from Cyan yet to come.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Zerofool

    I’m really glad that the campaign completed successfully, I can’t wait for the release. I doubt they’ll make the July 2020 deadline, but I don’t mind, as long as it comes out and it’s good :)

    In one of the streams, they mentioned that we can expect many other things from Cyan this year:
    A major patch for Obduction is in the works, they said that the majority of the assets were optimized for performance. I can’t wait to give it a try, hoping they also made the interactions more natural.
    Also, they said that realMyst-related news are also coming (after ZED is released). I hope they’ll make yet another remastered Myst version, this time made for VR (probably in UE4, similar to the proof-of-concept they teased a few years back). Lets wait and see :).
    They mentioned that other announcements are on the way as well, but no details were given. Nevertheless, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for Cyan (and for VR in general).

    @Scott Hayden, thank you for giving Cyan and their projects the much needed spotlight in this day and age. Keep it coming – impressions from the proof-of-concept build, interviews with Rand, exclusive VR news from the studio… all this would be much appreciated!

  • namekuseijin

    it’s not a game with “VR support”. It’s being designed for VR with flat rendering as a bonus. It means, I hope, they optimize for VR to favor smaller maps in higher framerate than the optimization mess that was Obduction, which was designed for tv.

  • John Smith

    Rand Miller said in a recent Q&A his ultimate future project is to make an official “in-depth” VR Myst sequel where the player revisits the original Myst island set within an all new storyline. I’m certain we’ll see this Kickstarter within the next few years. In fact, Firmament will be the proof of concept for this future Myst game. Miller also stated there’s a major underlying backstory regarding Firmament that’s sure to surprise a lot of Myst fans out there and was very adamant about not releasing details.

  • JB1968

    Cyan should first fix their terrible PSVR port of Obduction before promising any other “VR title”