Today we have a special surprise for you. We were recently interviewed by Screen Invasion about the project and its direction for the future; you can read (and listen to) the interview there as well as check out some new screenshots!
Unfortunately, it looks like yesterday’s announcement of support for the Nokia 5110 was a bit premature. It turns out, we don’t actually have any way of distributing the game to the 5110, due to limitations in the hardware.
As much as it saddens us to say it, we’re going to have to rescind our support for the platform. Perhaps one day, technology will be sufficiently advanced for us to renew our support of the Nokia 5110, but for now, you’re going to have to play the game on Mac OS X or Windows.
Historically, our stance on platform support for the Starry Expanse Project has always been that Mac OS and Windows come first, and everything else is a possibility for the future. But as technology advances, so must our project. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be bringing The Starry Expanse Project to a new platform – a mobile one.
We recognize that mobile platforms, particularly phones, are the way of the future. More and more games are being released for the iPhone, Android, and sometimes even Windows Phone platforms. These devices all have their pros and cons, but we have found that none of them really have the staying power, the resilience that we require of our technology.
There is, however, one platform that does meet these criteria. A powerful, flexible, mobile platform, with the strength to resist any and all competition.
We are, of course, talking about the Nokia 5110.
That’s right, folks. As of today, we are officially adding the Nokia 5110 to our lineup of supported systems. The game will be made available for the mobile platform on the same day as it’s available for Mac OS and Windows, and it will be a fully functional version of the game – not the usual crippled fare you’ll find in a mobile edition. We aren’t cutting any corners; check out some of these screencaps below, taken from our dev unit:
Keep in mind that, as with all screenshots that we post, these are a work in progress. We are aware there are some problems and glitches, so please refrain from reporting them.
We’re feeling extra generous today, so we decided to give you guys a sneak peek at another aspect of the project, one that we are asked about quite a lot: sound! For a long time now, we’ve been debating how we’re going to be handling the music in our game, whether or not to remake (or even replace) the score originally composed and performed by Robyn Miller. Well, we’ve finally reached a decision, and well…we hope you agree that we made the right one. Have a listen to a sample of the soundtrack from the upcoming Nokia 5110 edition of the Starry Expanse Project:
We are really excited about the new platform, let us know what you guys think of it! What other platforms would you like to see the game ported to?
Update: Unfortunately, development issues have forced us to rescind our support for the Nokia 5110.
As of today, The Starry Expanse Project now has an official page on Facebook. Be sure to express your interest via the thumbs-up button for more updates!
Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/starryexpanse.
Also, stay tuned for a surprise next week!
Update (2013-03-27): Sorry guys, the surprise has been postponed till next week. We’ll post on Twitter, Facebook, and here when it’s ready, and thanks for following us!
We’re hard at work on the next big Starry Expanse announcement, but we wanted to take a moment to address a question that has come up a lot recently, the Oculus Rift. For those of you who are not aware, the Rift is an upcoming head-mounted virtual reality display, specifically built for video games. It blasted through its Kickstarter campaign, raising over 900% of its original goal (that’s over 2 million dollars!), and is now well on its way to becoming a reality. It is backed by a lot of really big names, like Valve and Epic games, and already natively supports Unity and the Unreal engine.
So naturally, everybody wants to know – will The Starry Expanse support the Rift?
Our answer to that is, unfortunately, a vague one. We here at 59 Volts all agree that the Oculus Rift looks pretty dang cool. Playing our game on a head-mounted display as great as the Rift promises to be sounds like a dream – Myst is all about immersion, and what better way to immerse oneself than through VR?
At the same time, as much as it pains me to say this, our game is far from being complete. Like, still a few years, at least. With that in mind, we’re unwilling at this time to commit ourselves to supporting anything beyond what we’ve already promised – that the game will play on a standard Windows computer, or on a standard Mac OS X computer.
To be clear: this is not to say that we will not support the Rift. In all likelihood, we will ultimately do what we can to support the Rift. But we’re not promising anything until the game is a lot more complete.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted us about the Oculus Rift, we hope that this is enough of a satisfactory answer. As always, stay tuned for more updates about the project soon!
Yesterday (December 22nd, because yes, it is totally still December 23rd) was The Starry Expanse’s fourth birthday! The project began around 6pm that night in 2008, with a rather optimistic conversation about the future of the official Plasma tools Cyan had recently promised to deliver. Our original plan, for the uninitiated, was to rebuild all of Riven within Uru, using Cyan’s official tools. We knew nothing about the tools (which were not actually released for another year), we did not own 3DS Max, and we had extremely limited knowledge of how Plasma worked.
What we did have was the combined power of two crazy fans, and a dream. An insane, ridiculously over-ambitious dream.
Well, four years later, we’re proud (kind of way too proud, probably) to finally be able to let you guys actually play something that we’ve made as a result of that conversation. It’s been a crazy ride so far, with multiple engine upgrades, an ever-expanding team of Very Talented People™, nearly $4000 in donations, and hey – official approval from Cyan Worlds. Not too shabby.
We’re sorry that we’ve been so quiet recently. We’re mostly all college students, and the fall semester is always a crazy time for us. Now that that’s over, however, we’re back to work, and things are moving forward. You can probably expect to hear more from us in the next few weeks.
SO: What do we have ready for you guys to play with today? Well, it’s pretty much what we showed off at Mysterium. It’s more polished, better-suited for public consumption, but everything you saw at Mysterium is there: you can explore Prison Island, open the firemarble dome, ride the elevator, birdwatch, even mess around with the environment. It’s all very pretty, and just a taste of everything that’s to come. Be sure to check the included readme file for an explanation of how to change the environment settings.
To be clear: we’re calling this a demo, not a beta. We’re showing off some of what we have done, sharing our baby with the public for the first time. We’re not specifically looking to find problems with it, we’re well aware of what’s still broken or missing. So you can relax, and simply enjoy the first public hands-on experience of our game. That said, if you encounter any major problems with the demo, feel free to contact us and explain the situation. We’ll do our best to help you out!
Well, I guess I can’t stall any more, so without further ado:
- Mac OS X - torrent or direct download
- Windows - torrent or direct download
- Windows 64-bit - torrent or direct download
Direct downloads are graciously provided by our friends over at Myst-Aventure, and we are very thankful for it. We recommend μTorrent as a suitable client for downloading the files via BitTorrent. If you need help using it, feel free to contact us at our support address, or just ask in the comments.
We sincerely hope you enjoy this small demonstration as much as we love working on the project.
Our AMA on Reddit went over spectacularly! Not only did we get over 4000 upvotes and make the default front page (a feat in and of itself), but we also drew in over 13,000 unique visitors to this site, and received nearly $200 in donations. Best of all, we got more than 20 new volunteers! Don’t worry if you haven’t heard back from us yet, we’re just a bit snowed under with these emails. If you sent us an e-mail, we’re working on it, and we should get a reply back to you shortly.
Thank you so much to everybody who participated! And if you didn’t get a chance to ask your question, just leave it as a comment here, on an older post, or send us an email!
Now you can “Ask Us Anything” on Reddit! Come join us for a grand old time with your questions and comments about the project!
You guys know we’re always here if you want to talk. Just post in a comments section, or send us an e-mail, and we’ll reply as soon as we can. Other people, though, people who maybe don’t frequent this site, don’t know how accessible we are. In order to remedy this, we’ve decided to hold an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit, on Monday, August 20th, at 10AM EDT (14h00 UTC).
We hope you can come join the rest of the Internet in asking about our project!