In 1998, Cyan Worlds Inc. and Mattel decided to outsource the work on future Myst game to other developers. This would let Cyan work on their upcoming project Uru while still keeping the Myst main-series afloat duringsaid development period.
Various developers were given a chance to pitch their idea for a story and soon enough Presto Studios was working on the next game in the series, Myst III: Exile. However, they were not the only developer to be assigned the Myst license.
DreamForge Intertainment, the developers of the horror themed adventure game Sanitarium, started work on the fourth Myst game one year after Presto Studios effort. This game, known internally as Myst IV: Adventure Beyond the D’ni Ultraworld, would never be released or shown to the public during its development.
After having worked on the game for two years (June 1999 to June 2001), it was cancelled as the rights to the Myst franchise transferred from Mattel to Ubisoft. Myst III: Exile was released the next year and the next game in the franchise was to be developed internally at Ubisoft and was released in 2004 as Myst IV: Revelation.
Patrick Fortier, the creative director of Myst IV: Revelation, opened up about the unreleased version of Myst IV, hereby referred to as Ultraworld to avoid confusion, in 2004 on the Uru Obsession community.
According to Fortier, Ultraworld’s development was only about 20% finished, but the designs themselves were completely done. The game was presented in realtime 3D, a first for the series at that point. Some ideas from Ultraworld even managed to carry over into Myst IV: Revelation. Specfically the inclusion of Sirrus and Achenar, the two brothers from the original Myst.
Shortly thereafter Areth and Gadren, two users from Uru Obsession community, were able to unearth concept art, screenshots and even video showing off Ultraworld in motion.
The game ran at a low framerate but featured some very beautiful visuals for its time, having complex enviromental design that rivalled, if not outmatched, Cyan’s own 3D project, Uru, at the time. The standard Myst-cursor was still present, stationed in the center of the screen as the player walked around and interacted with the enviroment.
The concept art shows us a look at Atrus, Catherine as well as Sirrus and Achenar’s 3D models. What’s the most interesting about these models is that Sirrus was bald and without facial hair. In his appearance in the original Myst, as well as Myst IV: Revelation, he had well combed hair and a goatee beard.
Two original characters were also featuerd in Ultraworld, Kervis and Merinia. The purpose of these characters are unknown, as is most of Ultraworld’s story. A sketch showing off an “Ice Locall” age is also featured among the concept art, showing a mechnical panel controlling some sort of platform.
After Ultraworld was cancelled DreamForge Intertainment was soon gone. Their last known project was an unfinished Werewolf: the Apocalypse game that eventually led to the shutdown of the company. Not much else is known about Myst IV: Adventure Beyond the D’ni Ultraworld and the Uru Obsessed community has since closed down.
Ubisoft’s Myst IV: Revelation would be released in 2004 for PC and Xbox, but the resume for Ande Gaumond claims a prototype was made for PC, PlayStation and Gamecube. Whether or not this potential prototype was another unknown attempt at Myst IV or an early version of Myst IV: Revelation is unknown.
Article by Andrea Ritsu
- Rob Breisch: Modeled and textured scenes for a Myst 4 proposal.
- Greg Stangl: Myst IV PC • June 99 – June 01 (Cancelled). Modeled and textured various rooms, outdoor areas, and prop items. Modeled and textured all trees and plants for background environments and interior decoration. Created special effects such as rain wash over windows, color changing Mood flowers and morphing statues.
- Kim Haines: Unreleased Titles: Myst IV, Ubisoft Entertainment changed developers (PC) 1999-2001″
- Sunil Ketty: Myst IV – Not released by Dreamforge. Core responsibilities included all game lighting and the creation of low polygon models and texturing.
- Marty Stoltz: DreamForge Intertainment 1995-2001 Greensburg, PA. Cinematic Director / Post-Production Supervisor. Directed and edited all pre-rendered and in-game cinematics. Created post-production effects and compositing. Designed and Created all animatics. Supervised cinematic team.
- Andre Gaumond: MYST IV – PROTOTYPE “, Playstation, GameCube and PC game, produced by Ubi Soft Entertainment
- MYSTerium: Concept Art – Renders – Screenshots