Oct 15 2015

October Progress

True to our word, we’ve been devoting almost all of our resources here to applying that final layer of polish to 233. While we don’t have that much to announce today, we do have a couple snapshots of some assets that we didn’t quite have ready in time for this year’s Mysterium, now looking much nicer.

The Desk

The Desktop

The new-and-improved floor texture for the cage

New bricks!

The cage lever, no longer a gray checkered mass.

Additionally, we are happy to announce that Vincent, our font artist, has completed the Cyrillic alphabet for our Gehn font. Here’s a page from one of his journals, translated into Russian (thanks to the volunteer translators over at GULP!)

Russian!

And, finally, a few tidbits that can’t be shared as screenshots. We’ve welcomed a bunch of new people to our team since Mysterium, and are working on updating our Team Roster page accordingly. One of our new members, Michael, has been working pretty much nonstop to convert our code to C++ (we had been using Blueprints), which should make things easier to debug in the future, and help everything run faster in the engine.

Hopefully we’ll get another post up before November, but things are so hectic here you may not here from us before our big 233 deadline. See you then!


Sep 10 2015

Goals

Since Mysterium ended, there’s been a lot of reorganization and planning going on here at the Starry Expanse. We’ve brought on a few new members, who we hope will help speed along our development process. To that end, we’d like to announce our new goal: We intend to have the 233rd Age finished by November of this year.

While we’re not entirely sure what exactly will happen in November, we are for the first time dedicating ourselves to fully completing an area. We will, of course, continue to keep this blog up to date in the interim with the latest developments on the project, but we wanted to announce that goal publicly, so you guys could start getting excited now!


Aug 12 2015

Mysterium 2015 Recap

This year at Mysterium (the annual gathering of Myst fans), we gave a presentation demoing our latest work – most notably, Gehn’s 233rd age. We had a lot of fun, and while the age is not completely finished, we’re really proud of our work so far. You can watch the presentation in its entirety here:

We had a lot of fun working on the demo at Mysterium. We have a tradition of continuing to polish our presentations right up until the minute we go on stage. We’re never satisfied!

Texture work in the hotel room Preparing for the demo

 

The area is definitely still a work in progress – for example, in the demo above we had not yet added the textures for Gehn’s desk. We have since added those in, and you can see them in the screenshots below, rendered in beautiful 4K for your viewing pleasure:

Inside the cage

A linking book

The office

The bedroom

The bedroom

(We’re also aware that there are some weird glitches happening in the water, these are an artifact of the rendering process we used to make the screenshots and won’t be visible in the final game)

We set up the demo for Mysterium-goers to try hands-on, and everyone had a good time.

Mysterium demo

Mysterium demo

...uh...

We think it was a really successful Mysterium, and a great year for the project. Here’s looking forward to 2016! Stay tuned as we put the finishing touches on 233, and begin work on our next area.

 


Aug 7 2015

Watch our Mysterium 2015 presentation, live!

We’re kicking off the Mysterium 2015 convention at 2 PM EDT!

Watch the stream, live from Boston, here.

Edit: That’s a wrap! We’ll post a link to the archived livestream if/when one becomes available. Thanks for watching!


Jul 27 2015

See you in Boston…

As has become tradition, we will be attending and presenting at Mysterium this year! If you’re local to the Boston area, swing by the Burlington Marriott next Friday (August 7th) around 2:00 to see our demo! If not, there will be some form of live-streaming video of the presentation, details of which will be posted beforehand.

See you then!


Jul 8 2015

Bits and Bobs

Gehn’s desk in his 233rd age is supposedly organized just as his father’s desk was, in D’ni. Today, we have the beginnings of a few of the objects featured in that layout.

The inkwell

The vial

The pen

The pipe

 

These were rendered in Unreal, but they are currently using stand-in materials and textures.


Jun 17 2015

Power-up

Work on 233 is progressing nicely…

Linking Book Pedestal

A Closer View


Jun 3 2015

Marvelous Maglev

Just a small update today, with an object some of you may recognize. This is a high-poly model, where an artist goes all-out to produce the most detailed, accurate, beautiful model of an object as they possibly can, without any regard for poly count or performance.

The Maglev

While we’re pretty confident that our engine could handle a model like this in realtime, the next step will be to create the low-poly model, which judiciously reduces our polygon count without sacrificing accuracy and detail.


May 13 2015

Starry Expanse in the News

Earlier this week, the gaming news website PCGamesN published an article about the Starry Expanse Project, featuring an interview with us! If you’re interested in getting to know the team and our project’s history, it’s a great read. Check it out!


Apr 14 2015

Forest for the Trees

The process of recreating a game like Riven requires a lot of guess-and-check work. Matt, one of our artists, has been gradually figuring out the exact placement of each tree in the Jungle Island jungle, and the precise shape that the pathway follows. This is a constant struggle for us – the placement and shape of every object is triangulated using the original game renders (and other various resources). We use temporary “blocking” geometry, in order to lay everything out in position, before final assets are modeled.

Here’s a quick shot of an area in the Jungle that’s being “camera matched” currently:Jungle blocking

 

We’ve shared a few of these images in the past, but the jungle is a seemingly never-ending area! Once the positions of the trees and other jungle objects are locked down and double-checked, another artist will start adding detail and bringing the place to life.