We've got some good news. GameTap and Cyan Worlds have reached an agreement that would return the rights of Myst Online to Cyan Worlds! We're very excited, but at the same time, there are some hurdles to overcome. Cyan Worlds is currently operating at a reduced capacity. We're not in a position where we have plenty of resources and people to bring MO back fast and furiously. But we've got a plan, and we'd like to run it past you - our fans and supporters.
Please realize that this roadmap is tentative and dynamic - but it's a starting point. There's no guarantee that we can accomplish all of these milestones, but they are something to discuss, adjust, and shoot for. We also need to mention that the roadmap below will most likely involve some minimal subscriber fees - something along the lines of $25 (US) for six months. (That number is subject to change.) We are not trying to make any money on this at this stage - but we do need to cover some of the costs. (Additional fees may apply for future Cyan content, front-end shard ownership, etc.)
You should know that the roadmap does not involve any new content from Cyan at this time. The plan is to start to move the content creation - the "Art" - to you. In addition the guilds themselves will start to exercise some authority in writing, monitoring, approving, communicating, etc.
For now, please watch and participate in the mystonline.com forum (http://www.mystonline.com/forum/index.php). This will be a good place to find updates - as well as through the Guild of Messengers and their affiliates (http://www.guildofmessengers.com) Also, consider joining one of the Guilds.
And because we felt like we all needed a little levity to combat the crazy whiplash of the continuing death and resurrection of Myst Online, we've decided to temporarily name the resurrection plan - Myst Online: Restoration Experiment (MORE) as in "We want MORE!" :)
Thanks again for so much support!
The MORE team
+ MORE servers will be restarted. These will be run by Cyan and run on machines that are either owned or leased by Cyan. The software and game assets will be as it was when Myst Online was shutdown on the GameTap servers. However, all the accounts and avatars from the GameTap servers will not be available and will have to be re-created. :(
+ There will be some restructuring of MystOnline.com to accommodate new direction of MORE. Including the forums and the policies running the forum.
+ Release of the 3DS Max Plasma plugins for creating MORE content. Release of the source for the plugin (only) to the Guild of Writers. This will allow for the easier creation of fan created tools as well as being able to use what Cyan used for creating Myst Online content.
+ The Guild of Maintainers (in conjunction with Guild of Writers) will act as an agent in approving fan created content creation for MORE.
+ Create methods and processes for testing fan created MORE content. How this will work has not been determined but is crucial for fan created content. Then a process will be created to bring Guild of Maintainers final approved and tested content forward to main server for all users to enjoy.
+ Release binaries for a few front end servers to be run on fan run servers (front end shards). These fan run servers will have to be registered with the Cyan server and will help alleviate bandwidth issues. These front end processes will be limited to game servers and file servers. All authentication and avatar databases would still be handled by Cyan servers. This way a user needs only one account with all their avatars, no matter what front end shard they connect to. As a matter of fact, accessing the front end shards will be seamless for the user, and they may never know (or care) which one they are running on.
+ Create processes and release binary updates to the front end shards so that shard owners can host specific age game instances (such as a particular Neighborhood) and be able to control the states of that instance. End users will not have to do anything special other than to link to that age and they will be routed to the shard that is hosting it. This will allow the front end shard owners to provide unique experiences on the age instance that they host. (By the way, the states the front end shard owner's change will only affect the instance of the age they are hosting and will not affect other age's states, even if it is the same age.)
+ (Pie in the sky milestone!) Cyan Worlds will create new content and storyline. This may be done solely by Cyan or in conjunction with the Guilds. :)
The delay in regaining the rights to Myst Online was due to both Cyan and GameTap working through a gradual understanding of how the game's development might proceed.
Miller said Cyan did not pay anything to regain the publishing rights. But at some point, if a commercially successful revival comes about, the two companies have an agreement on how each will be compensated, he added.
Sorry for the long silence, things have been quickly shifting in these strange times.
Even though the development of MORE Urulive has been progressing (the new account system is nearly done!), I'm sorry to say that outside events have caused us to put this project on indefinite hold.
The MORE project was not funded directly but was riding on the coat tails of other projects. Unfortunately and very suddenly, a major revenue stream to Cyan was disrupted. The current Wall Street problems have had a significant, although indirect, effect.
We have no alternative than to put this project on hold. The ultimate future of MORE UruLive will be determined over the coming months. If or when moneys become available we will reassess the roadmap at that time.
Currently, Cyan is redirecting its priorities to focus only on fully funded projects. Of which, Myst for the iPhone/iPod Touch is one of and that project is progressing very well.
From all of us at Cyan, thank you for all your support.
Letter from Cyan (copy at Guild of Messengers)
More of the Ongoing Uru Review
Other Uru Stuff