Spokane Journal of Business

Cyan Inc. will double its work force, office space

Work on second building to begin later this summer; staff expected to grow to 90

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Cyan Inc., the Spokane company that produced Myst, the worlds best-selling computer game, will double the size of both its work force and its Mead-area headquarters over the next several months, company spokesman Jeff Oswalt says.


Cyan plans to build a second, 12,000-square-foot structure on its three-acre campus at 14617 N. Newport Highway to house what is expected to be a growing number of artists and computer programmers that the company will be hiring, Oswalt says.


The company likely will double its 45-person work force by the first quarter of 2001, he says.


Both moves are related to Cyans drive to establish more of a presence as a production facility, Oswalt says. Well be doing production for entertainmentobviously computer games, he says, declining to elaborate. Lets just leave it under the umbrella of entertainment production, he says.


As part of the companys move toward entertainment production, Cyan recently hired Susan Bonds, an executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, as chief design and production officer, Oswalt says.


Cyans co-founders, brothers Rand and Robyn Miller, developed Myst and its sequel, Riven, which together went on to sell some 10 million copies worldwide. The company now is working on two additional successor programs to Myst, plus another new virtual-world project, code-named Mudpie, thats designed to be played over high-speed Internet lines.


Garco to build office


With about 12,000 square feet of floor space, Cyans new building will be slightly larger than its current 10,000-square-foot headquarters, which was built in 1995.


Garco Construction, of Spokane, plans to break ground on the new building sometime this summer, Oswalt says, and the structure should be completed next winter.


He declines to disclose the cost of the building project.


The new structure was designed by Andy Mahaffey, a staff architect at Garco. Mahaffey says the new building is not going to be anything like Cyans current headquarters, which is notable for its portal-like entrance and dry moat.


The new building will be a one-story, L-shaped structure located southwest of the headquarters building. It will have a masonry exterior and a pitched metal roof, Mahaffey says. Much of the buildings interior will be left open and filled with three-person workstations, he says.


It creates a better working environment when youre not stuck in a little cubicle, Mahaffey says. One of the plans is to not even put a ceiling in this space. The volume in this room is huge.

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