Happy Birthday, Us!

Yesterday (December 22nd, because yes, it is totally still December 23rd) was The Starry Expanse’s fourth birthday! The project began around 6pm that night in 2008, with a rather optimistic conversation about the future of the official Plasma tools Cyan had recently promised to deliver. Our original plan, for the uninitiated, was to rebuild all of Riven within Uru, using Cyan’s official tools. We knew nothing about the tools (which were not actually released for another year), we did not own 3DS Max, and we had extremely limited knowledge of how Plasma worked.

What we did have was the combined power of two crazy fans, and a dream. An insane, ridiculously over-ambitious dream.

Well, four years later, we’re proud (kind of way too proud, probably) to finally be able to let you guys actually play something that we’ve made as a result of that conversation. It’s been a crazy ride so far, with multiple engine upgrades, an ever-expanding team of Very Talented People-, nearly $4000 in donations, and hey – official approval from Cyan Worlds. Not too shabby.

We’re sorry that we’ve been so quiet recently. We’re mostly all college students, and the fall semester is always a crazy time for us. Now that that’s over, however, we’re back to work, and things are moving forward. You can probably expect to hear more from us in the next few weeks.

SO: What do we have ready for you guys to play with today? Well, it’s pretty much what we showed off at Mysterium. It’s more polished, better-suited for public consumption, but everything you saw at Mysterium is there: you can explore Prison Island, open the firemarble dome, ride the elevator, birdwatch, even mess around with the environment. It’s all very pretty, and just a taste of everything that’s to come. Be sure to check the included readme file for an explanation of how to change the environment settings.

To be clear: we’re calling this a demo, not a beta. We’re showing off some of what we have done, sharing our baby with the public for the first time. We’re not specifically looking to find problems with it, we’re well aware of what’s still broken or missing. So you can relax, and simply enjoy the first public hands-on experience of our game. That said, if you encounter any major problems with the demo, feel free to contact us and explain the situation. We’ll do our best to help you out!

Well, I guess I can’t stall any more, so without further ado:

Direct downloads are graciously provided by our friends over at Myst-Aventure, and we are very thankful for it. We [EDIT: NO LONGER] recommend μTorrent as a suitable client for downloading the files via BitTorrent. If you need help using it, feel free to contact us at our support address, or just ask in the comments.

We sincerely hope you enjoy this small demonstration as much as we love working on the project.


* Edited this post on August 7, 2016 – we no longer recommend uTorrent as a suitable bittorrent client. Please seek recommendations for better clients.