Event Submissions, Mass Mysteria, & Our Next Guest

Greetings All!

It’s been a while since our last blog post. Time for some news!

Event Submissions

Event submissions are now open! As a fan-run convention, we rely on you to help us fill the schedule with a fun assortment of events. We try to have everything from fan project presentations, to group activities/games, to last year’s showtunes night. So if you have an idea, please submit it!

This year we are introducing a new category called “Microtalks”. Do you have something you’d like to show the community, but you don’t want to stand up there for 30-60 minutes? Try doing a microtalk. These can be as short as 5 seconds, or as long as 10 minutes. Bring props and visual aids if you want, or just stand up and talk. It’s up to you.

Event submissions are due by May 20th, 2019.

Other Submissions

We also want to throw in a quick reminder that Coloring Book and Enamel Pin submissions are still open for another 2 weeks. We’ve had some great submissions so far, but we’re certainly looking for more!

Mass Mysteria Update

We’re sorry for the radio silence on Mass Mysteria. Today we’re happy to announce the opening of city-specific discussion channels on our Discord server. We know not everyone uses Discord, but after much discussion we decided it was the simplest way to get discussion spaces set up. We hope you’ll join us on Discord!

Once you join the server and agree to the rules, head over to the “#mass-mysteria” channel for general discussion, or to the “#bot-commands” channel to opt-in to your city’s channel. Check out our Mass Mysteria info page for more details about the events!

Special Guest: Russell Brower

We are very excited to announce our next special guest for Mysterium 2019: Russell Brower!

Russell Brower

Russell Brower is a three-time Emmy Award winner, Composer, Musical Director and Conductor. For over a decade, Brower was the Senior Director of Audio and Lead Composer at Blizzard Entertainment, developer and publisher of the World of Warcraft, Diablo III, StarCraft II, Overwatch and Hearthstone franchises. Previously, Brower served as a Principal Media Designer and Music Director at Walt Disney Imagineering, creators of Disney’s theme parks worldwide.

As an independent composer and sound artist, he has worked on such projects as Animaniacs, Batman: The Animated Series and many other series, specials and films. He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Society of Composers & Lyricists and the Game Audio Network Guild and is a member of NATAS and NARAS, and is a Film Scoring instructor for the UCLA Extension Program. “Invincible”, from his score for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, made its first appearance in the Classic FM Hall of Fame Top 300 in April 2014 at no 52.

Myst fans will know him best from the Myst 25th Anniversary Kickstarter, for which he composed several Myst-inspired musical pieces available to backers.

We’re very excited to welcome Russell to Mysterium!

Next Time on Mysterium

That’s all the news we have for today. We expect to open registration and hotel reservations in mid-February, so keep an eye out for that. We’ll also be announcing even more special guests.

Until then,

-Taniith
Mysterium 2019 Chair

Pins, Coloring Books, Special Guests, and More!

Shorah All!

As promised in our last post, we’re opening the next round of art submissions today. We also have some exciting news about special guests for Mysterium 2019. Let’s get to it:

Art Submissions

First, a reminder that shirt logo submissions must be received by January 4th, 2019. That’s just under 3 weeks from now!

We have two additional art categories opening up today. First is pins!

We created a trio of exclusive enamel pins for Mysterium 2018 (two of which are shown above). We’re planning to create a new set of exclusive pins for 2019, and this time we’re opening it up to anyone who wants to create a design! Simple pin art isn’t that hard to do, and they look really great once they are manufactured. You can check out the details for pin art submissions here.

Second, we’ll be making a coloring book for Mysterium this year!

Adam Winsor – MandalaMantis.com

Coloring books geared toward adults have become popular in recent years. They’re a fun way to do something creative, and many people find them to be relaxing. This idea was tossed around the room at Mysterium 2018, and we decided it was time to make it happen. You can find the details for coloring page submissions here.

Unlike logos, the submission deadline for pin and coloring page submissions is February 15th, 2019.

Special Guests

Given that this will be the 20th annual Mysterium, and that it’s in Spokane, we felt like we needed to do something extra special. So, we’ve been calling in favors and reaching out to as many special guests as we can find from across the Myst series. We’ll be announcing them periodically over the next few months, but today we’re very excited to showcase our first guest – Chuck Carter:

Photo by Jeff Hitchcock

Or as we on the committee like to think of him:

Photo by Ellen Rockett

Chuck, along with Robyn Miller, created the artwork that brought the worlds of Myst to life. After Myst, he worked on a number of other games, including a number of titles at Westwood Studios. He has created artwork for TV shows like Babylon 5, Crusade, and Mortal Kombat Krusades, as well as for motion rides like “Star Trek: The Experience” and Disney’s “Mission to Mars”.

We last saw Chuck at Mysterium 2016 (video here), where he told us all about his then-new indie studio Eagre Games, and a game he was working on called ZED.

ZED is the story of an aging artist, lost in regret and the haze of dementia. Inside the dreamscape of this creative mind come undone, players reassemble the artist’s fragmented memories into a final, lasting legacy: a loving final gift to his unborn granddaughter.

Making its debut on PC (with optional VR support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive), ZED is a surreal trip, with an unexpected narrative that unfolds across fanciful, fractured lands. Spanning regret, reconciliation and redemption, it’s a bittersweet story that’s both deeply personal, and undeniably universal.

Then, a month ago, Eagre announced that ZED would be published through a partnership with Cyan Ventures, a new publishing arm from Cyan. We were already planning to invite Chuck back, but it was a no-brainer with news like that!

We’re working with Cyan and Eagre to hopefully have a VR rig set up in the convention room so that people can try out ZED in full VR.

You can find out more about ZED on over on its Steam page. Be sure to add it to your Steam wishlist while you’re there!

We’re all very excited to have Chuck back this year, and we think you’ll enjoy having him at Mysterium, too. Stay tuned for more special guest announcements in early 2019!

Miscellaneous

We’re wrapping up negotiations with our Spokane-area hotel, and plan to open up registration in early 2019. We expect event and panel submissions to open in mid-January. We will also have some more news for Mass Mysteria in the coming weeks.

As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments!

-Taniith
Mysterium 2019 Chair

Mass Mysteria Dates Announcement

Greetings Friends

It’s been about a month since our last round of Mass Mysteria news, so let’s jump right in!

Mass Mysteria Dates

Mass Mysteria will take place on Saturday, May 4th 2019. In the event of a major weather event in any one city, we also have a rain date of Saturday, May 18th.

We know the 4th isn’t possible for everyone, but it was the day that most survey respondents could do. We also know that “May the Fourth” is a Star Wars holiday, and we encourage people in both fandoms to embrace the crossover (and post pictures).

Clearing Up Confusion

In talking to people on Discord and Facebook, it seems like there is a little confusion about Mass Mysteria. We’d like to clear a couple things up:

First, this is not just in one city; it’ll take place in every city on the list on the same day. You just have to choose the city nearest to you (or host a meetup yourself).

Second, some folks have told us that they would volunteer to host in their city, but are worried about the time commitment. Mass Mysteria is intentionally designed to be a very low effort event. If you volunteer to host, the only thing you’re obligated to do is help us pick a good meetup spot in your city and be there to help collect people at the start of the event. You don’t have to plan events, you don’t have to deal with hotels or meeting rooms. Mass Mysteria is all about meeting up with other local(ish) Myst fans and having fun.

If you had considered hosting but were worried it was a large time commitment, the signup form is still open! Check it out at https://goo.gl/forms/1XN6ylZB3NISLUOK2.

Coordinating

In the next few weeks we’ll be contacting all hosts, so keep an eye out if you volunteered.

We’re also planning to set up some way for fans in each city to talk to each other ahead of time to plan any fun activities they’d like to do during Mass Mysteria. This will probably take place on opt-in Discord channels on our Discord server (https://discord.gg/xXvSA7E), but we’re open to other ideas for communication if you have them.

That’s all we have for now. As always, if you have any questions or comments, don’t be afraid to drop us a line!

Until next time,
-Taniith
Mysterium 2019 Chair

Mass Mysteria November Update

Greetings all!

This is the first update for our little Global Mysterium experiment, or “Mass Mysteria” as we’ve come to call it.

Spreading The Word

We’ve had a number of responses from possible local hosts, and over 100 sign ups on the mailing list, which is great! We’d love to reach more people though, so please help us by inviting other Myst fans to check out the original announcement post (here), and to join the mailing list.

Picking A Date

The next step is to pick a date for the event so that people have time to plan for it. We’ve decided to find a date on a May weekend in the hopes of avoiding months with major weather events. We also want to avoid any major holidays, so we’re asking you to help us out by filling out this form with possible dates. We’ll select one of those as the main date, as well as an alternate in the event that any one location has to cancel due to weather.

Host Cities

As far has host cities, here’s the list of possible locations that volunteers have submitted:

United States

  • Boston, MA
  • Providence, RI
  • Bangor or Portland, ME
  • Buffalo or Rochester, NY
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Tampa, FL
  • Boulder or Denver, CO
  • Seattle, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Columbus, OH
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Salt Lake City, UT

International

  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Saarbrücken, Germany
  • Lille, France
  • London, UK
  • Cardiff, UK
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Nijmegen, Netherlands

Many thanks to the fans who have already offered to help host in their city. There’s still plenty of time, though! If you don’t see a city near you, consider becoming a host! At its simplest, all you need to commit to is proposing a public place for locals to meetup, and being available should anyone have trouble finding the group. If you would like to add yourself to the host list, you can do that here.

Activities & Comments

Finally, we’re hoping to put together some fun activities that groups can do during the event. This could be a photo-scavenger hunt, a puzzle packet, or anything else that requires minimal setup/resources. If you have any ideas for activities, or anything else, please drop us a line! You can reach us through social media, through our website, or by joining our Discord server.

Until next time,
-Taniith
Mysterium 2019 Chair

Announcing Global Mysterium

Shorah friends

Happy #Myst25 day! Myst was first released 25 years ago today, and we thought we’d add to the celebrations by announcing a new project we’re working on: Global Mysterium Day.

(We’re still working on the name… Mass Mysteria, maybe?)

We often get messages like “you should bring Mysterium to X city,” or “will Mysterium ever come to Europe/Australia/etc?” We would love to bring Mysterium to every major North American city, but as an all-volunteer organization it’s just not possible. As for other countries, we’re always happy to give advice and support to any group trying to organize a Myst convention/gathering, but it’s such a daunting task that no one really wants to take it on.

In the past, it’s been a tradition for local groups to plan “mini-Mysterium” gatherings: local fans would all agree to meet in a nearby city on a specific date and time. Maybe they’d explore museums, or grab a bite to eat, or just sit in a park and nerd out about Myst. These mini-Mysteria were a way to meet and hang out with other Myst fans for a day without all the work of putting together a big convention.

We thought it’s about time we bring that back in a more significant form, to help people all over the world connect with other local Myst fans. Not everyone can travel to Mysterium, but maybe we can bring a little piece of Mysterium to everyone. And we need your help to organize it!

Our Role

We will pick a date and time sometime next year (probably a Saturday somewhere between February and April). Next, we’ll help build a list of local fans who will lead the groups in their cities. Then, we’ll publish the list of cities/meeting places and help get the news out to as many fans as possible.

On the selected day, groups around the world will meet up with other local Myst fans. We’ll provide suggestions for activities, possibly some puzzle packets or a fun photo scavenger hunt, but ultimately what you do is up to you and your local group. After it’s all over, we’ll aggregate stories and photos so the whole Myst community can see what different cities did during the day.

What We Need From You

We need three things from you:

First, signup for news about Global Mysterium here. We promise emails will be infrequent and not spammy.

Second, spread the news! This only works if we get as many people as possible to show up. Our posts reach a lot of Myst fans, but we know there are plenty more who don’t follow us because they can’t make it to our normal conventions. So help us by spreading this post around to every Myst fan you know!

Third, volunteer to help lead your local Mysterium group. This isn’t going to be a ton of work, but we need to have a local contact for each city we include in our list. You’ll be responsible for helping to pick a good meeting location, and we may ask you to share contact information so that folks who get lost can find your group on the day of the event. If that sounds like something you’d like to do, fill out this quick form here, and we’ll be in touch.

This hasn’t really been tried before within our community, so we’re figuring things out as we go. We’ll have more details for you as we get closer to the event, so stay tuned. We may even get some Cyan involvement, but we can’t promise anything just yet. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, you can always contact us through our website here.

Other News

We’re still working away behind the scenes on Mysterium 2019. Odo is doing his hotel dance, and we’re lining up some very special guests that we hope to announce in a few months.

Also, we know many people were interested in buying the exclusive pins we made for Mysterium 2018.

We have some left, so we’re selling them in sets of 3 for $20. We won’t be making them again, so if you want a set you should grab them while you can! You can find the store here: http://store.mysterium.net/. (We wish we could sell them to everyone, but unfortunately we are only able to ship them within the US)

That’s all for now. Until next time,

-Taniith
Your friendly neighborhood Esher