How NVIDIA Helped Capture the Beautiful World of ‘Obduction’

by Brian Caulfield

PC game genres have their flag bearers — game developers who create something so fantastic, they’re revered by gamers. Cyan Worlds, creators of the legendary Myst franchise, falls into this category for fans for graphic adventure puzzle games.

Obduction, Cyan’s latest adventure game, is being hailed as a spiritual successor to Myst and its follow-up, Riven. It launched to critical acclaim on the PC and today’s patch adds the highly-anticipated VR version of the game, high dynamic range (HDR) lighting and NVIDIA Ansel technology.

A Tradition Reimagined

In 1993, Myst put gamers in the role of the Stranger, who uses a special book to travel to the island of Myst. Once on the island, players solve puzzles and travel to other worlds known as “Ages.” Clues found in each of these Ages help reveal the backstory of the game’s many characters. The game has several endings, depending on the course of action the player takes. It was a revelation, inspiring novels and possibly an upcoming series on Hulu.

Now you can play Obduction in VR.
Now you can explore the world of Obduction in VR.

Carrying on that tradition, Obduction is equal parts clever and gorgeous. In it, players find their characters transported to strange alien worlds, but with human elements within the settings. Their task: explore and solve puzzles to figure out how to return home.

HDR adds to the beauty of Obduction by expanding the range of both contrast and color, so a game can display a wider and richer range of colors, much brighter whites, and much deeper, darker blacks. This gives the display a more dynamic look, which is where the name high dynamic range comes from.

NVIDIA provided sample code for HDR to Cyan, giving them a great jumping off point. As they changed the code to make it their own, we supported them with advice and information.

Ansel Comes to ‘Obduction’

This patch also adds Obduction to the roster of games that support NVIDIA Ansel, our revolutionary way to capture in-game shots. In Obduction, gamers can compose shots from any position, adjust them with post-process filters, capture images in super-resolution formats and share screenshots in 360-degrees via a smartphone, PC or VR headset.

In addition to our tech contribution, which will continue after today’s launch, NVIDIA is giving away $50,000 worth of codes for Obduction to random gamers registered with GeForce Experience 3.0. This marks the third game code giveaway this month and more are coming soon. Just download and log into the new GeForce Experience 3.0 to be eligible.