If the concept of a stranger exploring surreal open worlds, solving puzzles and following the guidance of two conflicting interests worked for Myst, there's no reason it can't work again for Quern: Undying Thoughts, a new first-person adventure currently raising funds through Kickstarter.
Players are dropped into a universe made up of connected worlds, arriving at the entrance to a deserted ancient city on a "mysterious island surrounded by oceans as far as the eye [can] see." As you explore, you'll receive indirect guidance from two different sources, one of them a scientist who communicates "through letters, which are factual, rational – written with a logical approach. The other one is an ancient spirit, who makes connection... through visions, [giving] guidance about the spirituality of the island." The two soon prove to have conflicting interests, however, the scientist urging you to "experiment with the environment and manipulate it" while the spirit encourages you to "observe and be a part of it, without physically changing anything." Eventually you'll have to decide which of the two you're going to follow.
Inspired by the works of Jules Verne, Quern is a free-roaming, realtime 3D adventure designed for the standard keyboard/mouse combination, but the developers are also considering a mouse-only option as well. The island promises to be a study in contrasts, some of it warm and sandy and other parts covered with mountainous pine trees, with buildings that are clearly "ancient with relatively modern, mechanical additions." Above you, "the sky is full of rain clouds but it never rains, so the ground is dry and cracked." The game is largely non-linear, allowing you the opportunity to explore at will, all the while collecting objects for use and observing the environment carefully for hints and clues needed for puzzle solutions. You'll also encounter evidence of what happened on the island long before your arrival, which shines additional light on your own important role in the story.
In order to bring the world of Quern to life, indie developer Zadbox Entertainment has turned to Kickstarter to raise £20,000 by July 18th. A limited-time £8 minimum pledge is all that's required for a downloadable copy of the game for Windows, Mac or Linux upon completion, which is currently targeted for March 2016.