Remaking Riven: A Familiar Journey On A New Path

The year is 1997. I am in highschool and pretty much one of the nerdiest guys there. Of course I’m one of the only guys connecting to the internet at the time… and where do I go?

Fast forward twenty seven years and I’m working on one of the most intense and satisfying game properties I have ever been a part of.

Hi, my name is Ryan (Greydragon) Warzecha and I’m the project manager on Riven.

As a long-time fan and now a proud team member of the Riven project,  I am beyond excited to share some thoughts before the upcoming release. I’d also like to give you some advice before you jump in for yourself… This journey has been nothing short of transformative, not only for the game itself but also for all those who have worked in the trenches.

Riven Reimagined

I want to start this off by expressing my immense happiness and gratitude for being part of this awesome team. We are small. We are scrappy, but we are mighty. To many of us on the team the original Riven holds a special place in our hearts. It has also left an indelible mark on gaming history. However, as we dove into this new project, it was essential for all of us to embrace a fresh perspective.

Changing the Past, Embracing the Future

To truly appreciate and enjoy what is coming, I encourage everyone to set aside their preconceptions of what Riven used to be. Open your mind. This project is not merely a remake; it is a reimagining.

I joined the team talking with the design team almost daily. Rand, Richard and Mark from the original team had large discussions about where they wanted to take the new version of Riven. Robyn Miller consulted and also gave some new perspectives. When I heard of some of the new designs, I was worried, shocked and maybe even a little sad. Sad because as a long term fan, Riven was the pinnacle of 90s Cyan.  With that said, I believe the changes don’t ruin Riven, they only enhance it. 

Here’s why you should approach this new Riven with an open mind:

  1. New Puzzles:  You don’t want to be hindered by your own memory of how something might work. 
  2. Fresh Narratives: While the essence of the story remains, we have expanded and enriched the narrative to provide deeper insights.
  3. Enhanced Interactivity: While I feel the VR version of Riven is awesome, I do want to say that this is just optional. Even in the flat screen version, the ability to move around the scene and see different perspectives allow you to be fully immersed in Riven like never before.
Nostalgically Different 

I am reminded daily of why Riven is so special. It is a testament to the power of storytelling, the beauty of exploration, and the thrill of solving mysteries. Yet, we had to change it in order to be relatable in this new market of games. We work tirelessly to bring you the definitive version of Riven. 

So, to all the fans out there, I ask you to join me on this journey with open hearts and open minds. Let go of what Riven used to be and prepare to be amazed by what it is about to become. Together, we can celebrate the legacy of Riven while also embracing the exciting new adventures that await.

With boundless enthusiasm, 

Ryan (Greydragon) Warzecha