The Starry Expanse Project, also known as realRiven, is an official fan-led 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.
I joined the project way back in early 2011 as an environment artist, and since then I’ve tried to help out wherever I can. I have created 3D environment assets, animations, designed and scripted functionality, helped the team develop a robust production pipeline (a problem made trickier by the fact that such a large team is distributed across so many continents and time zones), and more. It’s been a long journey.
Since 2016 I have led the team; managing the project’s unique logistical needs, supervising production, and directing our marketing/PR efforts. I have written several blog posts about my contribution, including the unique design challenges of the project, both technical and environment art, and animation.
In 2019 the project was officially recognised by Cyan, creators of the original Riven. We will be collaborating with them to make the dream of a real-time Riven into a reality. I’m beyond excited.
You can check out the project’s website and blog here, where we regularly post updates on our progress.