2017 - Pantheon Comes to Life!


Posted date / 01.17.18

The development cycle of a game as complex as Pantheon spans many months, many years and many contributors. When viewed as a cumulative whole, every stage of the journey is seen as an integral component, every year a step towards the final goal, every line of code a building block toward launch. Some moments stand apart however, and while many may not view 2017 as a banner year, here at Visionary Realms it has been a truly remarkable one.

2017 marked many milestones for us, not the least of which was the start of the long awaited Pre-Alpha testing phase. We also had our first live gameplay demonstration at TwitchCon, increased our number of live streams with our friend CohhCarnage, closed our Series A funding, expanded our team and reached increased levels of exposure thanks to many opportunities and the never ending support of our fans.

The team here at Visionary Realms is eternally grateful to each and every one of you who have supported us in this journey - and not just those that pledged - everyone who voted for us in a poll, told a friend about this crazy idea to bring community back to the MMO, posted in a message board, ranted on reddit and even those who criticized us on social media. Everyone has played an integral part in keeping us on track to create the next great realm for meaningful shared experiences.

We were so moved by your support that many members of the team wanted to reach out and share either their favorite moment from 2017, let you know what they've been up to, or just say thank you.

Chris Perkins - Creative Director and Lead Game Designer

There have been many significant moments for me over the course of 2017 working on Pantheon. The project has come such a long way over these last 365 days… not to mention the incredible people who have joined the team in that time. We are stronger than ever and the momentum is palpable and exciting.

But as I take it all in, there are a handful of "I will never forget this" moments that come to mind - my favorite would have to be the memory of watching the first players log in to the first session of Pre Alpha testing and begin to scatter all over Thronefast. More than anything else, those moments at the beginning of PA sealed for me the honor and joy of what I get to do each day, the incredible team I get to do it with and the passionate players and supporters we are blessed to share this project with.

Onward and upward we go into 2018!

Benjamin Dean - Producer and Director of Communications

What a year! We had some great streams; got the game into pre-alpha with pledgers in-game playing; we got to show off the game to new audiences; we got a bit of exposure at a couple of shows and got to meet some of our fans face to face for the first time ever at TwitchCon.

Interesting bit of trivia: TwitchCon was held at the Long Beach Convention Center. It's a great space but it's not *that* common for major gaming events. 20 years ago, in 1997, GDC was held at the Long Beach Convention Center. It was at that GDC that EverQuest was first shown publicly. Brad recounted the story to me on how they suspected they had a good game but it was only at GDC when they *knew* they had something special, based on fan reaction.

How appropriate that 20 years later, at the same venue, Pantheon makes its public debut. And the reaction was more than we had hoped for. It was a real thrill!

Jared Pullen - Senior Concept Artist

To craft a world in images that lives and breathes and moves... one that resonates, unique among many - what a blessing it has been! To be a part of this incredible Team on our incredible journey has been such a joy, and truly a labour of love. As I go about my work, from the thought that goes into each motif, symbol and emblem, to the architectural sensibilities of Pantheon's many races and identities, it has been approached with full immersion in mind, for those who would be players. No, not players - 'inhabitants' of this rich and diverse world.

To our treasured audience I say 'thank you'... for every show of faith, I say 'thank you'. Striving daily for you at Visionary Realms has been such a pleasure in 2017. Entering Thronefast as an Archai Monk and fellow player upon the day of Pre-Alpha 1 is chiefly among my fondest memories of the year that has been. Therein  I met you... fought alongside many of you during the tests, and what a rare pleasure it was! To make that connection with our audience is something I will not forget, and it will fuel me in the days to follow as we endeavour as a Team to bring you this experience. Through unwavering care and commitment to each of you, I here give of my service gladly with excitement, energy and enthusiasm!

Tod Curtis - Senior Programmer

From 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' on the Atari 2600, to 'Zork' on my first home computer, I've always dreamed of creating adventure and role-playing games. The late nights working through Ultima IV on my Commodore 64, and Might and Magic on my PC, and then the mystery and joy of stepping foot in Norrath for the first time in Everquest--games in this genre hold some of my fondest memories.

So to be a part of the team building Pantheon is a dream come true. And watching it grow and prosper in 2017 was an amazing experience. The little team that could--we knew that we had the talent, the passion, and most importantly, the creative vision to make something truly special.

My fondest memories of this past year were the Twitch streams with CohhCarnage. Going back to the very end of 2016, each one came at a crucial time in development, when we really needed to show that we were making the progress that all of you fans had hoped for. And each stream really delivered the goods. The feeling of accomplishment of seeing the game being played, and seeing the world come to life right on cue, was a special moment each and every time.

Now, we are watching Terminus come to life with swarms of players, and that is special in another way. I can't wait to see what 2018 brings to the table--but I will for sure be there helping make it spectacular!


Robert Crane - Senior Programmer

It's hard to stick a pin on the best moments of 2017 but I did have a chuckle when Cohh stumbled upon the fishing ability in the Codex in one of the Twitch streams.  The look on his face was priceless.

We have such a strong team working on Pantheon that I stare in wonder most days.  I'm convinced that we can deliver a game that players have been waiting an eternity for.

I wish you all the very best for 2018!

Lynn Ashworth - Project Manager

It's a challenge of course to think back on the year and select one milestone in 2017 that defined this project for me more so than the launch of Pre-Alpha 1. The team has spent the year working hard, keeping the faith and coming together to create a game that our community expects.

I cannot wait to see what 2018 brings us!

Justin Gerhart - Lead Writer

For me, 2017 will forever be the year VR leaped forward internally. The personnel we added on the creative and technical sides of the team transformed our capabilities and output exponentially. The gap between idea and implementation shrunk dramatically on all fronts, while the look and feel of the game world took on a life of its own.

But the moment I will remember above all is the first Race Art meeting we had with Jared, Forrest, Joppa, Dan and myself. The Human Character and Environment meetings were done separately, but with Halflings Joppa and I wanted to pour the creative collective into one bottle and see what shook out. That meeting set the standards for method and expectation that we still use today, and was one of those glittering moments where I felt, "This could be pretty special."

Ben Walters - Community and Web Manager

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to our awesome community, without you folks we wouldn't be kicking so much butt and as far along as we are with development right now and I feel honored to be able to work so closely with you all on a daily basis.

We have seen all of our official platforms grow quite considerably over the last year and I think the best is still yet to come, so here's to an even better 2018 for VR, Pantheon and our incredible community.

Tim Wathen - Game Designer

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to thank you for your continued support.  We wouldn't be here without you.   It was around this time last year that I officially joined VR.  What made me want to get more involved was the same thing that brought us all together, that desire for a game like Pantheon.   It's been a pleasure working with such an awesome team and getting to know the community.  The highlight of my year has been the growth of our team.  We've brought on some truly amazing and talented individuals.  We've leveled up so to speak and you, the community, are a big reason for our growth.  Moving forward, the road is long and there is a lot of hard work to be done but having the community in our corner makes it all worth it!  So thank you for being next to us to us while we take this ride together!

Kim Morrison - QA Lead

Hail Adventurers! I want to take a moment to thank all of you for the support you have given us over the past year. As I look back on our accomplishments in 2017, the one thing that sticks out the most is hitting our Pre Alpha milestone. It is hard to work with an amazing team who is building what I call my dream game and not be able to share it with the world. I am so proud of everyone on the Pantheon team and to finally be able to share some of it, has been rewarding to say the least. Here's to another exciting year together!  

Will Barry - Character Artist

It's been awesome to see how the game is slowly coming together with the implementation of new technologies, the addition of an awesome Art dept, twitch streams, communities and general support. I'm especially fond of the shaders and environment tweaks implemented by Bruno and the awesome character and environment designs done by Forrest and Jared. Looking forward to some creature and armor concepts in the new year.

Sierra Rush - VIP Planner & CS Lead

From May's stream to the start of Pre-Alpha, 2017 was a really exciting time to be a part of the team. I was thrilled to get to meet some of our awesome community at Twitchcon in October.  It was probably the highlight for me.  As It really showed not only do we have a really fantastic online community on our forums, but we also have a great community on our other social media platforms.  Getting to spend time Face to Face with some VIPs as they got a taste of the game was fantastic.

Every step of the way, we have had your fantastic support to build the game we've all been waiting for. It's the love and the passion we all share and why we're all here.  I can only see that growing alongside our community in the year to come.

What an awesome year! Now on to Harvesting