Hollow Earth

Cyan’s New Game: The Manhole Online: Spelunx Live


Hello, everyone. Uru Live’s second closure is a sad time for the community, to be sure. However, I’m pleased to finally be able to give some good news about a project in the works for quite a while.

For the past five months, I’ve been working on a back-channel deal with Cyan Worlds itself to develop a brand new game for the hardcore Uru fan. With a final release date of February 2009, The Manhole Online: Spelunx Live will be a brand new kind of game for a new generation of gamers. MOSL is a vast environment with hours of re-playable content. From the first person shooter haunted house arena, the swimming pool, and the 60-foot high definition sculpture of myself, MOSL offers something to all kinds of gamers.

Rand Miller, who, along with his brother Robyn, made the first version of the Spelunx game as well as The Manhole, and Cosmic Osmo, was thrilled to finally be able to push these games into the new frontier of the MMO. I chatted with him this morning via three-way video conference to his office in Spokane. Rand expressed his enthusiasm for the project and Cyan’s dreams for the future. “Spelunx was a dream for us at Cyan. I mean, we tried getting Myst to do something more for us, but really, Uru Live didn’t work out how we planned. So we made sure we had a backup plan and I think this is a game which will revolutionize the gaming world.”

Robyn Miller, wearing a Bugfish mask, expressed similar sentiments. “The colors, man. It’s all about the colors. We need the colors.”

Rand chuckled. “We had some event in Uru that referenced the importance of colors. It was really fun to see the fans look at such a blatant hint at what the next game from Cyan Worlds would be and they completely missed it.”

Robyn: “They’re a bunch of fools. Their souls will not be spared unless they choose a color.”

Rand: “They’re, uh… kind of like little weasels.”

Players start out the game as circles of color in Zandibar and must fight the Zandibarbarians to escape into the rest of the game. There they can meet other avatars and choose which color is most like them. Cyan Worlds has spent many months coming up with a “color picker” which makes sure no two colors are chosen by the same people. Says Rand. “The game says I’m a periwinkle blue and Robyn here is summer squash and GreyDragon is warm cupcake. We’ve sort of gotten to calling each other by the colors the game chose for us.”

Richard “rusted hardwood” Watson was unavailable for comment. Rand said that telling the man the truth about Uru was the hardest part of the job. “I have to tell you it was really hard to tell rusted hardwood that the lore he put his heart and soul into for years was just a front for this glorious new game. That was a month or two after Uru was launched. We were going to update the Cautious Optimism chart for him while he was curled into a ball weeping, but, you know, that chart only has so many colors and, really, MOSL just had so much more to offer. We pretty much said ‘Will we really feel good about leaving MOSL’s colors alone to go work on a game like Uru with so … honestly so few colors?’ I mean it was a no-brainer.”

For my own part, I’ve had a great deal of input in the design of the infinite worlds you can explore in MOSL. The island of Zandibar is shaped like my head. As is the lake of chocolate pudding. While the flying rainbow birds were Robyn’s idea, I came up with the idea of giving it my face, which I think will increase the game’s popularity.

However, it’s not all about me. Res Eng Aaron “lazor red” Biegalski was an integral part in making this game come together. From his job as the ethereal being which powered all the computers (or, as summer squash calls them, “dream pods”) used in the making of the game, to his input in making the planets resemble his head (it was later decided that my head was more suitable). Lazor red expressed his thoughts on the game, but they were, unfortunately, spoken in the language of pure awesome, and thus cannot be replicated in the written language.

All in all, Manhole Online: Spelunx Live is a splendid new game which will take gaming to a whole new level. With innovative new creative designs and 21st century cutting edge graphics, the game draws players in like nothing before. Said periwinkle blue “To be honest with you, for the last month or so we haven’t actually been making the game, we’ve just been playing it, getting a feel for it. I know a lot on the design team feel this was the most important thing they’ve done with their lives. I’ve even encouraged the staff to paint their bodies in the color the game chooses for them. We’ve had some tough times, though, deciding who will go outside the play-space to Home Depot and get the colors the game tells us to paint ourselves with. ResEng T Appling, or rather, turnip purple is going through a hard time. He just needs to find his inner color.”

Manhole Online: Spelunx Live will be release to the PC February 2009 with releases for the Xbox, PS3, PSP, Nintendo DS, Atari, and Commodore 64 coming in March. The Mac release is unknown. “Who really cares about those weirdos?” periwinkle blue said near the end of our interview.

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Filed under: General

2 Responses

  1. Alahmnat says:

    Hehe, I think I may have to start calling GD “warm cupcake”… ;)

    Nice.

  2. Whilyam says:

    I know he’d appreciate it. He’s been spending the most time on the game.

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