Dev Diaries


State of the Game, November 2015: Into the Danger Room!


Posted date / 11.10.15

Hello all, Aradune here, and welcome to our first Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen newsletter! A lot has been going on as of late, both internally and externally. And releasing the first issue of this monthly newsletter in many ways marks the culmination of these efforts, so it’s really very exciting to be writing this up and getting it out to all of you, our loyal fans.

From a business standpoint, we’ve recently revealed a lot more about our team composition, including that in addition to developers we also have experienced business people on board (Chris Rowan, our CEO, and Tim Sullivan, our CFO). They are handling finances, business development, helping with production planning, and even finally getting our pledge and crowdfunding side of things far better organized. We also have a PR team established, headed by our Director of Communications Ben de la Durantaye. That team is implementing and executing well-orchestrated and planned PR and marketing plans. The goal is to continue to get the word out there about Pantheon, keeping the communication lines up and running, reaching out and establishing relationships with the media, involving us in shows and panels, and even just making sure our message boards and Facebook page is well moderated. Check out our team profiles on the Visionary Realms page to read more on our directors.

The Danger Room - Internal Testing Zone
The Danger Room is an internal testing area where we can spawn NPCs by clicking an in-game button and test builds, weapons, armor and skills in real combat. Few eyes will ever see this zone.

From a development perspective it’s significant to mention that we received our first round of funding several months back. This seed funding, in combination with all of the generous crowdfunding we’ve received to-date, enabled us to move those who were volunteering their time into paid positions as well as bring on additional much-needed new people to the team. We also finished a major development milestone last month and have a playable version of the game at its core – you can create a character, choose from up to five classes, and play in one of five zones from levels 1 to 10. Mobs spawn, items drop, inventory, merchants, and banks work, combat is a lot of fun, and the core foundation upon which we will build the rest of Pantheon is now in place. We are currently hard at work tuning and tweaking this foundation, internally testing these zones as well as the in-house zone we call the ‘Danger Room’, looking through detailed combat logs and bug reports and adjusting formulas and data accordingly. Very soon we will be ready to start our next major milestone which will include the rest of the classes, higher level content, features, and functionality. When finished, it will put us in a great position to start bringing in external pre-alpha and the alpha testers.

Also worth mentioning is that finishing this major milestone will give us a very real and important additional benefit: we can show potential investors much more than just the prototype we had ready earlier this year – we can show them the actual game, the tools we are using to build the zones and to create the content, and the cloud based infrastructure our IT group has in place that is already building and running our game servers. This, combined with solid financials and production planning, means we are poised and ready to go after the additional funding necessary to build up our team of world builders and environmental artists who will be necessary to create the vast, epic fantasy world that is Terminus.

From a player facing standpoint, I’m sure you’ve all seen our completely revamped Pantheon website as well as our Visionary Realms site. Not only is our player facing side of things now much more polished and professional, but we also have a dedicated web programmer/web master on board (who, btw, is currently hard at work upgrading our forum software). We’ve made sure we have what we need in place with the web pages, with Facebook and Twitter, and now with this mailing list to better communicate with all of you, keeping you more up to date as to where the project is at and where it’s going. You’ve probably also noticed that I and other members of the team are posting more, whether it be on our own site, or on Facebook, or on other MMO related message boards. We’ve also begun to receive more coverage in the media, including a great write-up on Venture Beat last month and an interview with MMORPG.COM.

Because of where we are at and what we’ve accomplished both internally and player facing, we find ourselves in a position of passion-fueled confidence. Not only is the new website a lot more polished and visually appealing, but it also contains detailed lore, a comprehensive FAQ, and a lot more information about what makes Pantheon truly different. No longer is there speculation as to whether this project is on course and moving forward. No longer are some people wondering if Pantheon will just be an ‘old school’ MMO, or an emulator of sorts. Now people interested in the game can read up on its details and explore the depth that is truly there. The new site also includes a fly-by video of the game world, as well as a series of screenshots showing both how beautiful the game world is as well as real in-game images of Pantheon being played, of combat and battles, of inventory and interacting with merchants, and much more. And it’s very important to note that all of this this isn’t ‘fire and forget’ – in addition to this monthly newsletter, you can look forward to the web site being regularly updated with new screenshots, more details about the game, more information on its systems and differentiators, and more information about the races and classes you’ll be able to play. We’ll also be at several of the major shows in 2016 and beyond, showing off the game, and releasing a longer, more detailed video when the timing is right.

So with that, I’ll leave you to the rest of the newsletter and give you the opportunity to learn this month about what we are calling the Living Codex. I look forward to interacting with you all to a greater degree on the message boards, to posting some in-depth developer diaries, to watching and participating in this exciting PR plan, and, of course, to writing up my part of next month’s newsletter. In the meantime, it’s back to programming Pantheon’s gameplay and keeping our in-house content creation tools as useful and user-friendly as possible – and if I don’t get back to that, our game designers are going to hunt me down mercilessly.

Until next month,

Brad “Aradune Mithara” McQuaid

Chief Creative Officer & Gameplay & Tools Programmer

 

 
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