Myst was different from most video games. You weren't under a constant barrage of enemy attacks, dodging fire, or leaping over lava pits. You weren't given some lengthy backstory. In fact, other than a short opening monologue, you weren't given any backstory at all. You were thrown into a mysterious situation and simply began to quietly explore the island and its ages. The story was told non-verbally through the exploration. You'd open a desk drawer and learn a lot about it's owner simply by its contents.
While The Mercury Men has much more leaping, dodging, and shooting, you will find moments where there is little to no dialogue, only the characters exploring their environment and situation. Rather than have a character talk us through what every little thing is, we allow the viewer to simply watch and form their own theories. It's nice to have a little mystery and curiosity in storytelling.
A LARGER WORLD
We spent months developing the larger world of The Mercury Men before writing a single line in a screenplay. I could bend your ear for hours. (Unfortunately my wife has had to listen to hours of the history of the "league" and the "first men of Mercury.") While this wealth of backstory does hopefully give some depth to the events, out of it comes our digital props as well. We can reveal little pieces of the world while still leaving some room for you the viewer to fill in the blanks with ideas and theories of your own."We started our design work and realized that we would need to have even more story and history than would be revealed in the game itself. It seemed having that depth was just as important as what the explorer would actually see."--Rand Miller on developing Myst's fictional history
And finally, Myst holds a special place with me for an entirely different reason. I didn't meet my father until I was 16 years old and Myst was one of the very first gifts he bought for me. We spent an entire weekend hunched over an old Compaq computer monitor exploring that world together. Immersive and interactive storytelling was cemented in me instantaneously.
AND ANOTHER STORY
Like every video game, the idea of a film based on Myst was tossed around for years. But unlike every video game, Cyan Awards chose to do something unusually spectacular. They awarded the movie rights to THE FANS! Not all fans mind you, but a few filmmaker fans. You can check out their project at http://mystmovie.com. Really looking forward to what they're putting together.
It’s an amazing thing to witness a process like that - a “bootstrap” kind of operation that by sheer force of will and fan excitement manages to pull off something big.--Rand Miller on Myst film project