The Starry Expanse Project is a crowd-sourced, 3D port of Riven that has been lovingly created by a group of volunteers and fans of the original game (think Half Life’s Black Mesa). For those of you that aren’t familiar with Riven, it’s the sequel to Myst – one of the most immersive and brilliant adventure games of the early 1990s. Before The Sims, Myst was the highest selling PC game of all time.
The volunteers at The Starry Expanse Project recently took to the blogosphere to announce that, whilst the Rift is a device that would certainly enhance TSEP, it is going to be some time before the game will be ready, so the developers are being understandably cagey on providing concrete support for the Rift:
“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 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.”
With the game set to take a few more years to finish, it is understandable that the designers are reluctant to comment on whether or not the game will provide support for the Rift. With a time frame like this, they are even reluctant to state the kind of graphics that TSEP will incorporate as the technology they started with will have moved on significantly in the 7 or so years the game will have taken to finish. There are some amusing comments on their site that address this issue.
But with so many dedicated gamers creating custom mods for their favorite titles, it’s almost irrelevant whether or not the game will have official Rift support from the developers themselves. Nathan Andrews’ recent Half Life 2 mod, Jack Derriere’s PanPaint mod and Vireio’s Perception mod are the latest examples of gamers not waiting around for official support, and getting it done on their own.
The amount of homebrew support for the Rift is encouraging: heart warming in fact, and until the Dev Kits are released, they’re all we have!
A public demo of the game was released in late 2012.