The Cavern Today was founded to give the Myst and Uru community a voice during the days of Until Uru. It began with a single fan podcast, but over the years TCT has grown to include a forum for the community, several series of spinoff podcasts, and even a magazine.
The Original Podcast (2005 – 2008)
The original TCT podcast started as a news and variety show, with early episodes featuring news about upcoming Myst games as well as in-cavern news surrounding Until URU. Later the show began to feature Cyan employee interviews, serialized stories, in-cavern story skits and round table discussions. When Myst Online: Uru Live ended, the TCT staff decided to discontinue the podcast and move on to other projects.
The Archiver Magazine (2006 – 2008)
The Archiver started off as a humble newsletter, keeping the community abreast of events both In and Out Of Cavern, such as Mysterium and the DRC Liason elections. However, after two issues, production stopped indefinitely. The project existed in a sort of limbo until the beginning of 2007, when Editor-in-Chief Alahmnat recruited several new members to help take on some of the burden of article writing and image sourcing.
From that point, The Archiver sped off in a whole new direction, progressing from a simple, 7 page newsletter to a 30-plus page behemoth of a web magazine, so as to better document the buzz around the cavern following the Gametap incarnation of Myst Online: Uru Live. At various stages throughout its life time, it has included coverage of the episodes and other In Cavern events, interviews with community groups and the Guilds (and one massive one with the guys behind the Myst Movie), articles on D’ni science and culture, tours through each of the new Ages, as well as a fictional serial called Pursuit into Majesty, complete with custom-drawn, D’ni-inspired artwork. Some issues were also translated into French, German, and/or Dutch.
After a few more issues, Alahmnat, following his move to Spokane to work with Cyan, then passed the reigns of the mag first to MTigerV, and then to Narym, who edited the magazine from Issue 7 to the publication’s end.
The magazine continued for four issues following the official closure of the cavern, before itself being put to rest halfway through production of an unreleased sixteenth issue. These latter issues included retrospective pieces, as well as more interviews, opinion pieces, and features following the Uru diaspora that headed into various other online worlds.
The Archiver, during its lifetime, was lauded for its high production values, large amount of content, and an eclectic mix of community news, and articles on the universe that Cyan Worlds had created for its fans. Over a dozen people, from countries as diverse as the United States, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, and the U.K, have all helped as writers, photographers, and assemblers, to help The Archiver leave its own little stamp on the history of Myst Online.
The Cavern Today: Topside (2008)
Topside Was The Cavern Today’s answer to how to move forward from the ending of Myst Online URU Live, while we waited for Myst Online Restoration Experiment with the ability to branch out into different online worlds – sort of following the direction the community was moving. Unfortunately as the potential release for MORE was pushed back and the community grew thin and distant, The Cavern Today staff decided to shelve the URU-based podcast, at least temporarily.
The Cavern Today: Over the Fence (2009)
Over the Fence was created by a podcasting fervor that our team simply could no longer suppress. We like bringing our programming to our fans and wanted to engage them in some way. As URU had been news-less for so long we decided to take an “out of cavern” approach or perhaps “out of character” as is often referred to when speaking of online worlds which are often role-play based. OTF allowed us the latitude to talk about ANYTHING of interest. Technology, gaming, hobbies, etc. Our focus was squarely on the hot topics and recent news items surrounding gaming and technology, along with anything that personally resonated with our staff. The goal was to be interesting and not necessarily comprehensive. The greatest fun of these ‘casts were the out-takes that a certain diabolical editor kept finding in the pre and post show banter.
Though the series ended once the main TCT Podcast was brought back in 2010, The team has adapted OTF into its own spinoff podcast, which it updates in-between TCT’s podcast episodes.
The Cavern Today Podcast (2010 – )
In early 2010, Cyan released MOULagain, a free to play ‘snapshot’ of Myst Online: Uru Live. Bolstered by Uru fans returning to the community at large, the TCT Staff decided to return to its roots and restart The Cavern Today podcast. The revived series includes many previous TCT staples such as as in-cavern staff skits, the Mowog Thought, original music from community members, and much more.
Due to a smaller production team and, generally speaking, less activity from Cyan and the Myst/Uru community, this new iteration of The Cavern Today releases on a less-frequent schedule than its predecessors – but in the meantime, the team keeps itself busy with Over the Fence, a spin-off podcast modeled after TCT’s subproject of the same name, which features discussions about the more general topics of gaming, entertainment, and technology.