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Wednesday, September 27, 2000
Myst III: Exile Designer Interview
2:00 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story has posted an interview with Francis Tsai, a designer for Presto Studios who is working on the adventure game Myst III: Exile. This much-anticipated threequel to the adventure game series from Cyan is still largely incomplete, but is already generating tremendous interest among Cyan's many fans.

This long interview covers many aspects of the game, from its technology and plot to the characters involved in this continuation of the Myst saga. Along the way Checkout takes a rather pedestrian and tired swipe at the Mac gaming platform, but we suppose that is par for the course. Here is an excerpt about a thorny issue among adventure fans -- the slow dwindling of the genre itself:

Gamers have been bemoaning the end of adventure games for years, but ever since
The Journeyman Project, Presto has been firmly committed to the genre. How do
you see adventure changing to keep up with the audience?

Adventure games are more about thinking -- observing the environment, thinking about the
storyline, the characters and their interactions, and making decisions based on those
factors. Because adventure games tend to be slower paced and more deliberate, and
because so much of the gameplay relies on what you observe in the environment, there is a
higher expectation in terms of the game's visual quality. It's less about reaction time and
technical expertise. At the same time, people's expectations of computer technology in
general are always increasing. Pre-rendered adventure games like Myst have placed a
higher premium on the quality of the graphic images, and as a result some technological
aspects like real-time 3D have been relegated to a somewhat secondary role. I believe
Exile, with its capability of offering a 360 degree field of view, is a step in the direction of
complete freedom of exploration in an environment. I think as computer technology and
games continue to evolve, adventure games will become as immersive and interactive as any
real-time 3D game, while keeping story, characters and aesthetic design at the forefront.

Doomsayers also predict the end of the Macintosh as a gaming platform. With the
obvious exception of Star Trek: Hidden Evil, Presto has always been primarily a
Mac developer. Will Presto remain committed to the Macintosh?

I don't think the Macintosh is going anywhere just yet, and as long as that's the case,
Presto will continue to develop for the Mac whenever it's feasible. We just finished work
on the Macintosh version of Myst Masterpiece, and Exile will be available on the Mac
platform as well.

The other Myst title in development by Cyan, known as Myst3D or RealMyst, is also coming to the Mac platform. Read the rest of the interview for more details behind this engrossing adventure; the concept art included does not appear to be new. Myst III is due in the Spring of 2001, and is expected to be a simultaneous release published by Mattel Interactive.

Myst 3: Exile Official Site

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FAKK2 Multiplayer Q&A8:09 AM
Diablo 2 Expansion Previewed at CGO6:00 AM
Myst 3: Exile Chat Transcript6:00 AM
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Archives  News  Myst III: Exile Designer Interview