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Riven

In art on 16/07/2011 at 2:45 am

When we go through our creative process, we don’t go into a white room with a white sheet of paper and close the windows. That’s ridiculous. What we do is fill our minds with what other people have done. We put pictures on the walls. We look at magazines. We look at pictures of incredible places. We get inspired—and “inspired” seems to mean bringing something out of something else, not out of nothing.

… One of the first questions we asked was, “Why do you have to die in a computer game? I get tired of starting over.” Of course, once you break that rule in the gaming world, nothing else is sacred. (Rand Miller, The Mind of a World-Maker)

One of my favorite games–nay, imagined worlds–of all time is Riven, the sequel to Myst. In development for four years, it was finally released in 1997 as a puzzle adventure game. The graphics still stand up today and at the time were revolutionary. The brothers Rand and Robyn Miller simply created one of the most immersive and challenging games of the 90’s. It had its own number system with a different base, two different languages, an entire back story full of drama and intrigue, and several hours of music and video.

The ending can never be truly be written. (Atrus, Riven)

In light of this, I was overjoyed to learn some months ago that Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid, is in the process of creating The Witness, a Riven-style puzzle adventure game. I expect The Witness to be my generation’s Riven.

Riven is now available on iPhone and iPad for 4.99.

Two die-hard Myst fans pitched a film treatment to Cyan, the company run by Rand Miller, and Cyan decided to get behind their project. A film is in the works!

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