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Riven on the Meta Quest 3: A New Era for an Iconic Game

“Thank god you’ve returned. I need your help.” In 1997, those words introduced players to Riven, the highly anticipated sequel to the best-selling puzzle game Myst.

Now, nearly three decades later, Riven arrives on Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest 3, bigger, bolder, and more ambitious than ever. Long hailed as developer Cyan’s true masterpiece, Riven stands as a tour de force of world-building, supported by ingeniously crafted puzzles. For the first time ever, Cyan has rebuilt Riven in full 3D, enabling players to experience Gehn’s iconic Fifth Age as a living, breathing world.

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Ahead of today’s release, we had the opportunity to sit down with Cyan’s Development Director, Hannah Gamiel, and CEO, Rand Miller, to discuss the modernisations made to Riven, the lessons learned from previous VR releases, and much more. Read on for the full interview, or head over to the Meta Quest Store to pick up Riven, available now.

Interview paraphrased from The Meta Blog

What are some of the changes you’ve made to Riven on the Meta Quest 3 to bring it into the modern era?

Rand Miller: This was a challenging balancing act for us. We wanted to remake Riven in a way that honored the original while also feeling fresh and special for both long-time fans and new players. The most significant modernization was, of course, VR. Rebuilding Riven’s cherished worlds with a sense of presence and immersion was something we could only dream of in 1997.

Beyond VR, we implemented hundreds of changes to make the Ages of Riven more accessible and to enhance the environmental storytelling that Riven is known for. For example, we made a marble puzzle less granular, replaced a simple pipe-crawl with a more majestic environment, and even added a new puzzle to one of the islands that previously lacked any interactive elements.

Since this is the first time Riven’s been brought into full 3D, were there any areas or puzzles that gave you particular trouble? Anything that didn’t work as well when the player isn’t as constrained?

RM: Absolutely. Many elements needed to be rethought for real-time 3D and VR. One that comes to mind is a particular locked gate that originally required the player to “slide under” by simply clicking. In 3D, this wasn’t as satisfying and was quite intrusive in VR, so it evolved into something more fitting for the new medium.

Another challenging puzzle involved animal symbols. The freedom of movement in 3D meant that the puzzle had to be redesigned to be more positional, adding a new layer of complexity and immersion.

This is Cyan’s fourth VR game—were there any lessons you learned from Obduction, Myst, or Firmament that proved particularly helpful in bringing Riven to VR?

RM: Each project taught us invaluable lessons. With Obduction, we learned the basics of VR immersion. With Myst, we refined those concepts, and Firmament pushed us even further. Each game presented unique challenges and insights that we brought into Riven. It’s a continuous learning process. With every project, we become better equipped to tackle the next, and someday, we hope to be true VR experts!

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Do you have a favorite location in the remake?

RM: The Sunner lagoon is a personal favorite. There’s a spot behind a large rock in the shadow of a tree that I’d love to vacation at. In VR, it feels like you can almost sense the breeze on your face.

Hannah Gamiel: For me, it’s the Jungle Basin. The technical hurdles to make this area run at 72Hz on Meta Quest 2 were daunting. It has dynamic water, interactive environments, and complex vistas that challenged our team. Seeing it come together beautifully on Meta Quest is incredibly satisfying.

What’s next for Cyan post-launch? Anything exciting in the works?

HG: We have some exciting projects in development that we can’t wait to share. Re-exploring our established universes while working on Riven has been inspiring.

We’re also thrilled to announce that Myst will receive a Meta Quest 3-enhanced update soon. While playing Myst isn’t required to enjoy Riven, it’s a great way to dive deeper into the universe. Now is a perfect time to pick up Myst in anticipation of the upcoming update.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

HG: We hope that Meta Quest 2 and 3 users will be amazed by Riven. We constantly strive to push the boundaries of what these devices can achieve graphically, and we’re incredibly proud of the result. Riven has something for everyone on Meta Quest, and we can’t wait to hear what you think!

Experience Riven on the Meta Quest 3 Today!

Immerse yourself in the legendary world of Riven, now more captivating and immersive than ever on Meta Quest 3. Head over to the Meta Quest Store and start your adventure today!

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