Panoramic Worlds v2.0 - explore beautiful worlds in 2014!

I'm also working on a few other projects beyond the free and paid releases of this game.

Here are some links to other websites I'm currently running.  You can look through them to see what other creative projects I am working on besides this one:

Panoramic Worlds: Realtime 3d Edition has been postponed until mid-September 2014, in an attempt to resolve some difficult-to-fix bugs and ensure a more complete, polished release. HD release will now likely begin first on Itch.IO and not Desura, at least for now. Why Itch.IO? A few reasons, one being that they've basically got minimal approval criteria, nothing that could delay release further, no obnoxious DRM/license-key requirements, and - I suspect that given the generally weak line-up of indie games released there so far, that my project will stand out more there than it would on any other major gaming portal. In case you're wondering, the "HD" version is a PC/Mac standalone version, with higher-resolution textures (3-4 times the detail but also 3-4 times the download size), less compression, and higher filesizes... but it looks great in fullscreen on a high-end computer, and it will run offline without issue, plus content updates and newly-released worlds usually end up posted in the HD version about 7-12 days before they are integrated into the web version. The (more heavily optimized) web version will be embedded here on this website for free, beginning in early November 2014, and the HD version will be available for $1.99 at the end of October 2014 (all updates free after that, just one payment one time) on Itch.IO.


What is this? Is it a game? What kind of game? It could be classified as a 'first-person adventure game', but it is comparatively light on puzzle content, with more emphasis on exploration and less on mental challenge than is typical of that genre. Quite frankly, I don't want to frustrate you with an excessive number of dense, obtuse barriers in an attempt to pad out gameplay. But I've opted to include some puzzles so it isn't purely a 'walking simulator' or visual novel either. What it is - in effect - is the start of a long story about a person following his brother into a rift in space-time, an open-ended premise allowing the potential for an endlessly diverse set of beautifully artful new worlds to be added periodically. There's certainly a broad story arc, but also a lot of intriguing worlds within that, many of them with their own mini-narratives and backstories. This is all about wandering and exploring through worlds that are alien and different than ours, sometimes very unearthly and imaginative, sometimes fairly grounded and similar to our world, a steadily expanding assortment of alternate realities. I'd prefer not to spoil too much more, but much of the fun of this is in exploring and observing the gameworld and soaking in the ambience of these imaginative areas.

Who is developing this? One person. My name is Matthew Lyles Hornbostel, and I've been intermittently developing Panoramic Worlds in various forms since the end of 2010. I've worked on a lot of other art stuff too, but this seems to be my best shot at a real personal breakthrough right now. If it takes off, not only will it evolve into something much more impressive than what you've seen so far, but it could get many of my other projects moving forward much, much faster than before. As much as 300% faster, possibly. If you want to see more worlds added to this game, and further development of my other projects, I encourage you to buy Panoramic Worlds as a show of support. If you aren't interested in any of the projects I'm working on, though, then you probably shouldn't buy it. Your call.

Why all the delays? When will this REALLY be released? I hear this complaint, with this and a dozen other projects, all the time. I just want you to know that although I'm working as hard as I can, software development is a bit unpredictable, and some things end up taking longer to get working than I would like. While I do have a pretty decent build of the game at this time, I am struggling to get all the details right and I'd prefer not to release an unreliable product. You should now expect HD release on Itch.IO sometime between Oct. 20 and 30, 2014, and web release about a week or two after that.

What about Desura? What about Steam? I'll attempt a release there at some point but it won't be as simple or quick to do that as it is with Itch.IO. Right now I just want to get this out there as quickly as possible once I have a good first version to release.

Is there content unique to the HD version? Not really, just slightly higher visual detail on surfaces, higher resolution options, and higher update priority.

I've been obsessively following this project for months or years... If you were a friend or fan, following this project in August 2014 or earlier, you'll get a download link to the HD version for free on the day of release. If you 'liked' on FB before Sept. 2014, or were already in contact with me via email, prior to September you'll get the same deal.

That's awesome. You're basically handing out free copies to hundreds of 'early adopters' and fans of the project. It was a great deal, too bad not many people did much with it. I do have a few emails from that early timeframe plus a few FB 'likes' and a list of friends/family who showed interest in person. I'd say the total list of early adopters who'll get the HD version for free is probably around 50 people.

What if I missed out on this free offer (for any reason)? You can still buy the HD version after the fact on Itch.IO, for $1.99 (or less during sales later on) and support the development of new 'Panoramic Worlds' content in the future.

If you got my email address will you spam me? Nope, the only email you'll get as a response will be a notification of the download link so you can download the game. Unless you sent a question about Panoramic Worlds and you actually want a response from me.

How do we know that there'll be (many) free updates after the first release? Well, the number and scope of updates will depend somewhat on the sales of the first version. If this manages even a couple thousand sales it's a hit, as far as I'm concerned, and should be set for a steady flow of updates for at least the next year or two. It doesn't take much - consider that the first release with 7 worlds, has cost only about $450 to make.

What is in the first release? I'm including 7 worlds, and I'm now making an effort to optimize them so they'll look great and run smoothly on most high-end or mid-range computers, pretty much any PC or Mac desktop made since 2007-2008. We'll see how long that takes but not much longer I hope.

What about the Flash tour - the original version of Panoramic Worlds with actual panoramas instead of realtime 3d? The old Flash tour from 2011 is available here. The new version is going to be way better, though, in a long list of ways.