September Producer’s Letter
Greetings Pantheon fans,
Last week we unveiled Pantheon’s new art direction in a 5-minute video and in this month’s Producer’s Letter we would like to take a bit more time to talk about what it all means for Pantheon.
First, why the change?
When we took on the Pantheon project we targeted a more realism-based art style. As development continued we began to realize that this direction caused a few problems. The target style didn’t perform as well as we would have liked in-game, and it was expensive to make. With our new painted style we addressed both problems. A simpler style is less taxing on hardware, making it much easier to hit faster frame rates and less likely to slow down performance in busy areas. Additionally, the style is much quicker to create and implement. In August, for example, we were able to add models for Gadai camps, crafting stations, 3 new creatures, 4 armor sets, miscellaneous environment objects and textures like stumps and dead trees, ground textures, bushes, grass, several player and NPC animations, six new creature concepts and more. This is about 4 or 5 times more art than we were able to produce with the old style.
Visionary Realms is a team of around 30 people across all departments and we are crowdfunded. A simpler, more efficient art style fits in perfectly with our budgetary needs. Not only can the art be done quicker, but it is also much less expensive to make.
We also want Pantheon to have its own identity. We didn’t feel that it had that kind of soul with our old style. Now, we are able to capture our artist’s creativity and the game is more identifiable when it is seen or played. We feel our previous style felt a little too generic and appeared much like many other RPG-style games on an indie-friendly budget. With its own identity, something that can be identified as Pantheon, the recognizability and accessibility increase. We feel that with this move, we are able to more efficiently catch the attention of more gamers and continue to grow our community.
Onto development progress! While we work on a better development tracker, here is a list of what the team has been working on this last month
- Added cougar concept
- Added new toad concept
- Completed new boar creature
- Added new fire beetle creature
- Finished bear model ready for rigging and animation testing.
- Completed all male armor. Working on female armor modifications.
- Added new art assets for loot crates
- Mostly finished all set dressing items for Avalia and surrounds.
- Finished first pass of player customization art assets (not code)
- Finished primary set of player animation for new art style
- Added new day/night cycle
- Finished transition to Azure backend
- Finished quest system
- Audio integration
- Creature’s now spawn and de-spawn based on day/night cycle correctly.
- Completed LFG tool for finding groups.
- Extra work on crafting/harvesting.
- New shader tools for grass/bushes to animate in the wind.
- Lots of bug fixing.
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