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

Mysterium 2019: The Return to Spokane

Greetings!

It’s time for everyone’s favorite post of the year: the Mysterium kickoff! If you missed our previous announcement, we are excited to bring Mysterium back to the home of Cyan — Spokane, WA — for Mysterium 2019. This year’s Mysterium will be chaired by Taniith.

When is Mysterium 2019?

Mysterium 2019 will be held on the first weekend of August, running from Friday, August 2nd through Sunday, August 4th.

We have many exciting events planned for you all this year. However, in order to accommodate everything, we have decided to extend Sunday’s schedule. This year, Sunday (and, thus, the Convention) will end at 4 PM, giving us about four more hours for activities. We want to make sure everyone is aware of this change before you begin making travel plans. Please be sure to spread the word!

20 Years of Mysterium

It’s hard to believe, but this year marks 20 years of Mysterium! As such, we felt it would only be appropriate to make Mysterium 2019’s theme: “Mysterium Through the Ages.” We’ll also feature some additional elements from Ahnonay. Who doesn’t love some time magic (and quabs)?

We are truly honored to have reached this landmark. It’s incredible to have such a dedicated and passionate community. Without your participation, we wouldn’t be here today. As such, we plan to pull out all the stops and make this a Mysterium to remember. We already have events and puzzles in the works, Cyan has confirmed that they will be involved in this year’s convention (including a visit to Cyan HQ), and we are reaching out to a few “special guests”… but that’s another blog post.

As always, we need some participation from the community to make Mysterium a reality:

Logos of Mysterium Past

We’ve had many beautiful shirt logos over the years, and we want to do something interesting with them to commemorate our anniversary. Unfortunately, we are missing quite a few of them, and we only have low-res copies of several others! If you made logos in years past, or know the people that did (many are listed in our history section), please please please send the highest resolution copies you have to logo@mysterium.net. In particular:

  • Logos from 2000-2007 are either missing or low resolution
  • 2008, 2009, 2013 we have a mix of resolutions

We’ll even take high-res photos of shirts from 2000-2007, if that’s all we can get. Thank you in advance!

Logo Contest

Speaking of logos, Mysterium 2019 Logo submissions are officially open! We encourage you to integrate the number 20, “Mysterium Through the Ages,” Ahnonay, Spokane, or Cyan in your designs. More information about the design requirements and submission process can be found on the Logo Contest page. Submissions are due by by Friday, January 4th.

If your logo is selected you will receive a free Mysterium shirt, and possibly some other swag too!

Artwork

Logos aren’t the only artwork submissions this year! The fabulous Kelly/Rayne has begun spearheading a project to put together a coloring book for attendees. We also plan to make several new exclusive enamel pins for next year.

We’re trying to stagger artwork deadlines, so stay tuned for more details on how to submit artwork for those in the coming weeks.

Be sure to follow @MysteriumCon on Twitter, the Mysterium Facebook Page, or our Discord server for Mysterium 2019 and Mass Mysteria updates. We have a lot of awesome things planned for our 20th anniversary, and we can’t wait to share more with you over coming weeks and months!

-Mysterium 2019 Committee

Mysterium 2018 Wrap Up

Hi everyone!

Well, this week brings to a close an incredible 19 years of Mysterium. It thrills me to know that after all of that time, people are still excited enough to turn out – nearly 80 of you this year, including an exceptional number of new faces! We want to cover a few points while we still have your attention:

Feedback and Wrap Up

While we welcome feedback any time, we’ve compiled a few questions that we hope you’ll be willing to answer for us, attendee or not. These surveys help to inform our choices for future years. The majority are multiple-choice, so we hope it’ll be pretty quick to get through. You can find the survey at: https://goo.gl/forms/wHwM2yOGKucXsicJ3.

Around the end of the month we’ll publish a round-up of the photo album links and Mysterium Showtunes song lyrics that we’ve received. So if you’d like your photos or songs to be included, please head over to the contact form and let us know where we can find them! By that time we also hope to have the recordings of the weekend edited and uploaded into a playlist on YouTube.

Please remember to set any photo albums to be publicly viewable, especially for albums on Facebook!

Thank Yous

It takes many hundreds of volunteer-hours to bring everything you saw over the weekend to fruition. Thank you for those bold (or crazy?) enough to volunteer to bring Mysterium to a brand new city with me this year: Capella, Drew, M13, Rayne, Strix, and Taniith. Thank you to Teagen for volunteering early on to lend us local expertise and on-site cat-herding. Thank you to the Mysterium spouses and parents who, despite indifference to Myst, participated in our merriment with good attitudes.

Thank you to our presenters: Rob Santos, Hollister of the Starry Expanse team, and Philip Shane of the Myst Documentary, all of whom bring much more variety to the Mysterium experience than any of us can muster alone.

Thank you to our contest prize donors: K’laamas, Kefrith, Lex, Parker, Rayne, and Robert!

Thank you to Memiki for another year of delicious cookies.

Thank you to Cyan, and especially Ryan Warzecha, for tolerating our crazy and persistent requests with grace. And, thank you to the outstanding hotel staff this year; they were extremely proactive and flexible as small changes were needed throughout the weekend.

Mysterium 2019

As confirmed by Cyan on Sunday, we will be holding Mysterium’s 20th anniversary gathering in Spokane, WA on the weekend of August 2-4th, 2019! We expect that Mysterium will pay a visit to Cyan again this year, although we do not yet have a firm plan in place with them. If any Spokane local is available to, at the least, help scout hotels as we get close to making final decisions, please get it touch with us. We’re also hoping to introduce a few more pleasant surprises again in 2019, as well as revisiting events you enjoyed this year.

Taniith will be the con chair for 2019. Stay tuned here and on social media for more information.

Don’t forget to join the Mysterium Discord server to stay in touch with other attendees and the committee!

Until next time,
-Odo
Mysterium 2018 Co-Chair

(Praise Gehn!)