In pictures: Inside Cyan's 'Myst Vault,' the living history of Myst and Riven

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Myst book, Gehn's pipe, and other props

RM: Here's a cool story. Those are the original things from Riven, like Genn's pipe which you squeeze frog juice in and he smokes it for whatever reason.

Cyan Worlds Studio Tour

That's the original Myst book that my brother found at some thrift store that was like "Oh, this looks cool and we definitely should use that as a Myst book." It kind of became the basis for the Myst book.

The door

Cyan Worlds Studio Tour

The door's off in the background.

RM: The door over there...Anything when you do blue screen work needs to be a practical. So we had to build a whole door so that Gehn at one point can open it from both the inside and outside. And we get to keep the door which is sweet.

Cyan Worlds Studio Tour

This lever is another practical that's laying around the office...

Cyan Worlds Studio Tour is Gehn's gun.

The $10 million advertisements

RM: A bit of a cool story to these. Broderbund was doing Riven, they were going to publish Riven. They handled all the marketing and whatnot. So we're thinking "This is going to be a huge advertising budget. It's Riven. I mean, Myst made tons of money for them and they didn't have to advertise it really."

So the rumor goes out, they're going to spend ten million dollars on advertising and we're like "Wow, that's cool." They did nothing to stop that rumor. I think it was completely bogus.

Cyan Worlds Studio Tour

But they did come up with this really cool campaign that was just two-page spreads in magazines that just had a Myst page laying there, and somewhere in the picture, like on this boat I think it says And that was it! That was the only thing in the ad! We were like "This is awesome!" And they did the same thing with those underground train tracks, except it was graffiti on the walls. "Oh that's going to be awesome." I think they did seven of these. Seven different ones.

And they did the first one in Wired magazine, two-page spread. "Cool, and they're going to go in more magazines. This'll be sweet!" And uh...the marketing guy at the time, the one hit Wired, everyone loved it, everyone thought it was really cool, and he was like "Nah, we're not doing it," and pulled the plug.

D'ni map

RM: This is the original map of...In the second novel, we wanted a map of what it was like to walk down from...In the first book there was a journey from the Cleft down to this underground empire of D'Ni that was long dead. This cavern down there.

Cyan Worlds Studio Tour

So we thought we should document the map. We got a local artist, and we kind of wanted lots of details. We have so much history with the D'ni. It's just crazy. The D'ni were the ones that did the art of writing these books that can link, but they also don't use rectangular coordinates. Everything is polar coordinates. There's this spot from which they originally came, it's called the Great Zero, and everything is measured from that point. You measure distance and angle, and it's all written in D'ni numbers and everything is real consistent and we had translated all this stuff and acted like it was a real map to the surface. Then we made that for the second book. I love how it turned out. Feels kind of real.

Costumes, Part 2

RM: Let's see...two more. This is the guy at the beginning of Riven when the gate comes and traps you. He's the goofy guy. We named him Cho because that's the first words he says. "Cho?"

Cyan Worlds Studio Tour

And Katherine is over there. That's probably Atrus's boots and I think he carried a satchel with him as well.

The underground

RM: So at the height of Riven, all of this...we were packed into all of this. This was the art department down here. We had a...those guys needed to work in the dark because artists don't like glare, so we put them down here and we decided we needed to make a cool space, so we put work stations, big salt pillars, but since then...I think for years after we shrunk in size this went down to nothing and just held crap because we just kept moving stuff down here.

Cyan Worlds Studio Tour

Notice the star-field up top.

Last year we tried to clean it up. Now we have parties down here, we eat down here, and we also rent it out. It all helps the budget.

Keep reading to enter the heart of the Myst Vault.

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