Our Thanks: To Achievements, To the Team, and To You
As we look back at 2022, we will earmark it as one of our greatest steps forward towards our goals. From a completely reworked graphical pipeline with HDRP, to implementing a completely new in-house network library, the list of advancements this year paints a bright future for the development of Pantheon, while we continue our march towards Alpha. The last year had its challenges, successes, and opportunities to continue to grow the game, but also, the team behind it. As we work towards our next Pre-Alpha session, the next Cohh Carnage stream, and a future with more consistent testing, we take a quick moment in the tradition for this time of the year to give thanks, highlight moments we were most proud of, and remind our community once again, that without you, none of this is possible.
I am thankful for the dream opportunity to bring the living world that is Pantheon into existence.
People make that possible.
I am grateful for our new, hugely talented team members, and how the existing team has welcomed them and their fresh contributions. I am in awe of the culture we’ve developed at Visionary Realms: a forward leaning passionate pursuit of a vision backed by hard work, combined with self-perpetuating mutual respect and support among all team members.
I am deeply grateful for our passionate Pantheon community, our relationship with them and their support. The community has helped fund our development, given us valuable input on design decisions, tested the game, and has displayed great patience as we forge ahead on this highly ambitious project.
We deeply appreciate our investors and industry partners. The faith and support they’ve extended has been essential to our growth and accelerating the project. Technical accomplishments including our HDRP rendering pipeline, terrain and content creation tools and ViNL, our homegrown high performance network library for multiplayer games on Unity, clear the way for accelerated content creation just as we’ve completed a significant fund raise which allowed us to expand the content team. The timing could not have been better!
Finally, I am thankful to Brad McQuaid for starting and giving so much to the vision that is Pantheon.
– Chris Rowan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
2022 has truly been an epic year – challenging, ambitious and productive. I couldn’t be more thankful for the people that make up this amazing team I’m blessed to be part of each day. No matter how much we lean in, how high we set our sights or how hard we drive, each person on this team has the guts and the fortitude to go all in. Many people hope to be part of a team like that – I live it daily, and for that I am immensely thankful.
We continue our unwavering stride to Alpha and beyond. The seeds of imminence sewn this year will soon be revealed as Pre-Alpha testing ramps up in significant ways. I’m thankful for the view overlooking where we’ve been. I’m thankful for the horizon set before us. Onward and upward, indeed.
– Chris Perkins, Creative Director
More Pre-Alphas coming up! That’s what I’m extra thankful for this year. Very soon we’ll have a lot of testing sessions and be able to focus more on content and worldbuilding, so big huge thanks to the team and the community for getting us this far. The coming chapter is going to be thrilling!
Also, the communications team is an awesome one, and I’m so grateful to them for keeping things active, interesting and exciting, even though sometimes there’s not much new to share.
– Ben Dean, Director of Communications
I am thankful for all of the wonderfully talented and enthusiastic new hires this year. They have all been a great addition to the team and it’s been a pleasure getting to know and work with them all. I’m also thankful for being part of such a dedicated team with such a great work environment.
– Jeanna Ruschell, Director of Human Resources
2022 has been a great year. We created a new level of pledge that allowed more people to participate in our pre alpha testing and it was well received. We also saw the addition of Steve Clover to the team. I have known Steve for a very long time both personally, and professionally, and I am so excited to be working with him again. I am thankful that he saw what we are doing with Pantheon and wanted to be part of our team to make this happen. I am also thankful for our most stalwart supporters who go above and beyond in spreading the word about Pantheon which results in growing our base of those eligible for alpha and beta testing. I can’t wait to get them all in to see the world we are creating. I also couldn’t do what I do without having the loyal Ogre, Medawky, Jason Bolton right there answering tickets and supporting our testers during pre-alpha testing. Jason knows when to step in and assist and I am thankful to have him as a team member.
– Michael Butler, Customer Service Director
This year was really important for me, and there’s a lot to be thankful for. What I’m the most grateful for was to be hired by VR. Never in my life have I worked with such passionate, kind and overall amazing group of people. The energy that everyone brings to our constant communication is invigorating. Personally, what we did this year for our characters was something that I’m really proud of. Both Tara and I worked very hard to make sure we created a system that not only worked for our armor swapping, but also for character creation and to see that expand as we move forward fills me with joy. However, I’m also really grateful for all the sweet comments I got from the community for the emote I did on our Human male reveal. That animation was meant to only be a showcase for our face rigging, but the reaction we got from that was totally amazing.
– Duarte Ferreira, Animator and Rigger
I’m really thankful to be part of Visionary Realms. I really feel the warmth and affection from all the good people that work here. I always hear about friends that complain about their bosses, that work in toxic environments or that they usually feel not welcome in general; I’m really grateful for my luck, however, as I do not get those feelings here.
In regard to my personal achievements, I’m very happy that I’ve managed to almost complete all the buildings that we will use to populate Availia’s region. It has been an exciting 7 months of work; at times I would dream about them at night! I really can’t wait to start building the region, as I am excited by the amazing concepts our artists have made.
– Leonardo Evangelisti, Environment Artist and Worldbuilder
I’m thankful to have been invited into such a cool project with so many passionate, skilled people! I’m also thankful that we’ve been able to not only solve for all of the issues that were presented to me from day one, but also work improvements to other things into those solutions. This means we now have a working solution for armor-fitting, and a lot of new options for character customization came with it! On a more personal note, I’m so thankful for the amazing people in my life who have been so supportive and encouraging. My friends mean the world to me, and I couldn’t have gotten where I am without them!
– Tara Solbrig, Character Artist
I’m so grateful for our fantastic community! It is a pleasure to watch them grow and welcome new members like they’ve been around for years, and my job feels so rewarding to be a part of it. I can’t wait to see what 2023 holds for the community and wish each of you a wonderful and safe holiday and new year.
– Ben Walters, Conduct and Security Manager
I’m honestly thankful every day for being able to work with brilliant artists and programmers. We couldn’t make any progress at all building the game’s systems and content without them. Their speed and professionalism is just amazing. In terms of team achievements, the thing I am most thankful for is how much more immersive we’ve been able to make the world feel, with the work on things like weather and lighting as well as mechanics like climbing and sprinting. Terminus is already fun to explore and it’s only going to get better.
Separately, I am honestly thankful for our community as well. It may seem weird, but every time I look at our Discord or our forums and see the discussions and debates happening there, it helps give me a sense of renewed purpose. Developing an MMO like Pantheon is the longest grind ever at times, and I really couldn’t do it without the community’s support.
-David Beach, Game Designer
There has been a lot of solid progress made in 2022 so far, with too many things to list. One of the many highlights is Kyle’s great work on the new network library integration and performance optimizations that allowed us to have over 500 people playing together in a small area during the recent PA. That (and the fixes we made during that PA) was a major step forward toward not only alpha, but release. I am very thankful for this company, all of the great people I get to work with, and for our truly awesome community that makes this all possible. Thank you!
-Steve Clover, Senior Programmer
Joining VR as soon as I graduated, there were a lot of insecurities and doubt in myself as an artist. Unaware of the adversities I would be facing, I spent a lot of time looking back at my portfolio and tried to find positivity in the years I spent learning environment art. Joining the team with still some doubt in myself, all of it vanished as I got comfortable with the team. Being in creative environments for most of my life, I have come to value communication as the most important factor as an artist. We’re constantly problem solving and squeezing out every ounce of creativity we can muster. This can be draining and commonly lead to burnout, but the one thing that prevents this is communication. Bouncing ideas and frequent critiques creates new perspectives and feeds the art gremlin in my brain preventing it from starving. I was encouraged to explore, learn, innovate, and this wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing team that makes VR. I am still building confidence but VR is where I’ll continue to grow! Oh, and this of course includes the art gremlin (she enjoys eating weird magical plants).
-Ester Shin, 3D Environment Artist
As we finally start to emerge from the pandemic and all the havoc that came along with it, 2022 has quietly become a hallmark year in many ways for Visionary Realms and Pantheon. The additions that were made to the team in the past year have truly been remarkable, both in their professional contributions and their strengthening our unit as a whole – in fact it’s hard to believe that some of them have been with us for less than 12 months, as they feel like they have been woven into the fabric of our cozy little group since its inception. Their output coupled with that of the rest of our team has had me awestruck during our weekly meetings this year, as every member of our team has made a meaningful contribution to the advancement of this project.
Our community has continued to amaze me this year as well, and I’m sure others will share this sentiment in their reflections, but it can’t be overstated. Community matters isn’t just an empty mantra, but the lifeblood of this project, this game, and its fans. 2022 has firmly cemented that. To everyone who came out for our PA session this year, everyone who participated on the forums, discord or social media, everyone who put in a CS ticket or reached out via email, it was a pleasure to assist and interact with you and I look forward to what our future holds together. Community Matters.
-Jason Bolton, Customer Service
In regards to personal achievements, I’m most proud of the terrain tools I have worked on over the last year. Everything was written from the ground up to ensure we get the exact look and feel we envisioned for Pantheon. You are never fully done when it comes to tools but I feel like we are in a good place. Thinking about relationships on the team, It’s hard to pick out people to thank because nobody works in a silo. That said, I am thankful for Kyle leading the charge in programming, while always having the answers I need. I’m thankful for Joppa giving me the freedom and trust to realize any dreams I muster up for the tools we create and implement. Lastly, I’m thankful for Chris Rowan for continually having unbounding confidence in the team and for finding our amazing investors to keep the wheels turning.
-Robert Crane, Senior Programmer
2022 has seen such change on almost every front of living in this life of mine, and through it all; every development meeting, every social check in, every touchpoint, through the feedback, the challenges in circumstance, the missed calls due to internet drop-outs and infrastructural interruptions, and the storms of life… from this Team there has been only grace – to meet me where I’m at as a living soul, in my greatest need. For the kindness and understanding of this wonderful Team, I am truly and with all that is in me, most grateful for each member of it. Creatively, it has been an inspiring, humbling and extremely gratifying 2022, well spent in the happy company of my VR Family. So much change, and so much growth. I count myself most fortunate among men to be a part of this ever-growing world that takes shape and has turned so great a corner this year.
For the incredible new hires and friends that have exploded into the VR fold in powerful and impactful ways: Brett Nuckles, Holly LeMay, Esther Shin, Tara Solbrig and Duarte Ferreira, I say an enthusiastic and high energy “Thank you!” You have each made immeasurable differences to our progress throughout 2022! To old friends Chris Perkins and JN Gerhart, my Brothers who richly inspire me, and all our dedicated hard working Team members across our kindly Management, innovative Design and Gameplay, genius Code and Programming, talented World and Environment Building, gifted Character and Animation Team, our diligent CS Team, satisfaction driven Quality Assurance, and those who kindly support with innumerable services across the departments to keep us all rolling onwards and upwards – I am honored to work alongside you and call each of you friend. The bond this Team shares is a credit to the deep care taken, and the level of interpersonal investment in each other; all bent in commitment towards a service of adventure, fun, care and emotional engagement for all our treasured audience out there who love this world of Terminus just as much as we do! Let’s hang out and do it all again, bigger and better in 2023 – bring it on!
-Jared Pullen, Senior Concept Artist
Working with such a spirited team, whom continues forward without letting anything get in the way has been inspiring. To watch the dedication of my peers and leaders help forge Pantheon into the vision we have laid out, motivates me like no other position I have had. Watching the team grow this last year has been incredible, and also a driving force to continue to push what we are capable of to the next level. I could wax poetic about my team on and on, but the other aspect that keeps me so highly engaged and willing to sacrifice anything I have available for Pantheon to succeed, is the community that stands beside us in this journey. Your support, your feedback, and your consistent presence is proof positive that every day of hard work is worth the effort. By supporting our content and sharing with friends and family members across our various social media platforms, you continuously help light the path. Thank you for your passion and thank you for your support in our successes, and in the challenges we face. With the power of this great team at Visionary Realms, in combination with your voice and passion, Pantheon will not run astray.
-Tony Guidi, Content Creator
Editors Note: All of us here at Visionary Realms are thankful for the work Tony puts in each and every month in ensuring that these newsletters are interesting, informative, and done on time. We also would like to thank David Schlow for his tireless efforts in making sure that they look amazing as well. Thank you Tony and David.
|Producer’s Letter||Monthly Recap||Visionary Realms Gives Thanks||Community Feature|