What is The Starry Expanse Project?

The Starry Expanse Project, also known as realRiven, is an official fan project to remake the game Riven: The Sequel to Myst in real-time 3D. Released in 1997, Riven is a classic point-and-click adventure game which, like its predecessor, presents its world as an interactive slideshow of pre-rendered images which can offer little more than a static snapshot of the game world. Our remake is an attempt to recreate Riven as a rich, fully realized 3D environment in which players are able to look and move in all directions, and immerse themselves in the Fifth Age like never before.

Who are you?

We’re a team of Myst fans from all over the world and a broad range of backgrounds, pooling our talents to make the best tribute to Riven we can. Early in the project’s history the majority of us were students, but as the project has matured so has our team, and now most of us are professionals who work on the project in our spare time. Only about half of us actually work in the games industry.

Where can I see your work?

Each year since 2010 we’ve presented our work at the annual Myst convention, Mysterium. For a more practical demonstration of what we do, you can view all of our previous presentations here.

Does Cyan Worlds know about you?

Yes, we have been in regular contact with Cyan Worlds for many years, and they’ve been incredibly supportive of the project.

Has Cyan Worlds sent you any of the original assets from Riven?

Unfortunately we can’t disclose the particulars of our relationship with Cyan Worlds due to contractual obligations. That said, apart from the music and sound effects, everything that has been shared on the website has been created from scratch based on the original stills from the game.

When is it going to be done?

This is the big one, and I’m sure that many of you are only reading this page right now to get an answer to this specific question. At this time we cannot provide a release date for realRiven. The project is a long-term one, and although the original game took dozens of artists several years to complete, we are a much more humble, volunteer-based outfit and it will take us a lot longer. That said, we are absolutely certain that we will finish, and in doing so ensure that every detail is accurate, realistic, and as true to the original game as possible. All we can suggest is that you follow us along for the ride, and if you’d like things to moving a bit faster. . .

How can I help?

Recruitment is currently closed, we are not accepting new team members at this time. However, if you have an interest in helping out we would still love to hear from you! We keep a record of everyone who volunteers, and on request we can contact you if the situation changes.

You can reach us at general@starryexpanse.com.

What platforms will realRiven support?

Our current plan is to support PC, Mac, and hopefully Linux. Opportunities may arise which allow us to consider developing for consoles as well, but these are currently secondary concerns.

Will you support VR?


How much will the game cost, and will it be open-source?

We cannot say. This greatly depends on negotiations with Cyan Worlds. It will likely not be free, and as a result it’s unlikely that the whole product would ever be made open-source. It’s possible that individual components of the game will be made open-source.

Will your game be translated into my language?

We intend to offer the game in as many languages as possible. If you speak a language other than English and want to see Riven translated into your language, you can help us! All of our translation efforts are crowd-sourced using GULP. Head on over to our page and see if your language needs some support! It is worth noting that we are currently only planning on offering translations of written text due to the complications involved with dubbing speech. At the very least we are planning to offer subtitles.

Have you considered a Kickstarter, Patreon, or any other form of crowd-funding?

Yes, we continue to seriously consider our crowd-funding options. Although we are not planning to launch a campaign at this time, it’s not out of the question we will do so in the future.

What happened to the funding counter?

The funding counter was removed from our front page because we decided that, without a specific fundraising goal, it felt odd to continue publicly counting our funds. We promise that all donations received are accounted for, and are only used for the direct benefit of the project.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!