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unrealMYST: an experiment in VR and UDK

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    unrealMYST: an experiment in VR and UDK

    Hey guys, this is my first post here and my first project using the UDK. I've had id downloaded for a while and have tinkered a little here and there but since i'll be getting an Oculus Rift developer kit in the coming weeks i've decided to crack down and actually do something worth while. My first project for the Oculus Rift will be my ultimate dream since I was a child, to visit Myst Island from the classic gaming franchise. As soon as i heard about the Oculus Rift, this game franchise came to my mind. How amazing would it be if I could actually "link" to the ages of Myst, exploring them and feeling the way I imagine the stranger who came across those mystical books must have felt the moment he touched the linking page and was sucked into a new world.

    The goal behind the project is quite simply, integrate Myst island into the UDK. You will be able to walk around the island, exploring everything that was written into the linking book by Atrus.

    How will this be accomplished? I think everybody here, who's a fan of the Myst series, knows that years ago, the miller brothers released a supposed heightmap of myst island. And i also think that the more hardcore fans in the audience know that heightmap, though it may have been a starting point, is definitely not the real deal. So rather than relying on a single heightmap I've decided it would be fastest, and produce the best results if I were to obtain an actual copy of Myst Island, in this case, from Myst 5:

    That is Myst Island, granted, it doesnt look quite right... It's considerably more run down. The major elements are all there, the terrain, the architexture, but the flora is decrepid. The goal of this project is to give that Island a facelift, and on top of that, to bring it to the next generation in terms of visual fidelity. I want you to be able to walk around Myst as it was when Sirrus and Achenar were children. Blue skies, birds chirping, buildings clean and new, fish swimming on the shore near the dock.

    I'll be using this thread to post my progress along the way, from importing assets, to improving them, to generating the new terrain from the actual island model that I can paint grass and flora onto.

    What do you think of this venture, and what would you like to see?

    if you have any comments on the legalities of this project, I intend to talk with the Miller brothers about this undertaking, and hope to gain their support as it's intended as a freeware experience with all new assets (derivative however)

    Enjoy pics!

    btw if anybody can help me out with the water shader for the game, i'm using the one found at the following youtube link. However when I apply it to a fluid plane in my map it acts as though my scenery is incredibly tiny, meaning that the bubbles and shore foam show up large, and the depth at which the water becomes fully opaque is far too deep, meaning i can see to the very deepest depths of the area surrounding my island. Not very convincing as real water when I can see the square edges of my landscape. also is there a way that i can increase the components of my landscape in on all sides so my island remains in the center of the landscape while the edges continue to stretch out?

    yt link for water shader:

    Hey guys here's an update. Been busy the past few days working on my commercial game so I havent had much time to work on this. However just in the past two days, off and on, I've managed to create my first ever speedtree, you can tell its noobish and totally temporary. I've managed to almost completely overhaul the water shader i linked to above to included better refraction, realtime fresnel reflections, realtime vertex displacement to simulate waves rolling up and down the beach, and added a few extra nodes to my landscape shader to simulate soaking up water along the shore line. Ive set up a proper udk dev environment for the project as well, which will allow me to customize gameplay controls, interfaces, and other things of that nature.

    Also I got a disheartening letter from someone named Tom, over at Cyan who says that they arent handing out license for using Myst Assets in the way i've requested and that they are currently looking into the Oculus Rift as an interesting thing to integrate into their own projects. That's fine and dandy and everything but I dont intend to use their assets, just their likenesses. Its a strange email considering the fact that they gave the Starry Expanse the okay and i'm doing exactly what they are, only i'm not recreating the whole game. So I'm going to keep up work on this, and when I have something good to show off, i'm going to go over their heads and talk directly to the tinsel man and his brother with a proper pitch video.

    Here's images!!!

    Not bad for only using the UDK for a week now


      Amazing. Brings back some good memories, so much so that i would be willing to help out on this if you wanted.

      - anything you know about making 3d models would probably be better than what i know, but i got you covered if you need any udk advice or help.
      - I would like to see a picture of the piano/ spaceship model thing [on the inside]. -
      Don't forget- no matter how good you are at everything- sound was extremely important in this game..
      - would love to be involved in this- message me if this is not a solo project

      * Great work btw


        Hey thanks for the reply, sent you a message. As far as the piano interior of the ship, that was actually one of my plans for this as it's one of the more intricate/beautiful puzzles of the island. It would be a shame not to feel like i've seen it in person


          I'm watching this. MYST was my childhood and still my favorite games of all time. You will find no person with a better expertise on the MYST and D'ni mythos and lore than me. If you need any help with any of that, I'm your man.


            Hey guys, I've just finished up my current game and submitted it to the windows store for review, allowing myself some more time to continue working on this. I've a few images to show off so i'll go ahead and do that first:
            Low poly:

            High poly:

            Spaceship in Rift Mode: