Panoramic Worlds HD - explore beautiful worlds!

My name is Matthew L. Hornbostel, and Panoramic Worlds is one of my creative personal projects.

It began as a simple flash virtual tour in late 2009, now known as Panoramic Worlds Classic, which was discontinued in 2011 while I began researching better software and game engines that would provide a better experience for players.

After considering several engines, I settled on Unity 3d, one of the most powerful, flexible, and user-friendly game development toolsets currently available. Ever since that decision, I've been steadily developing a realtime 3d version of the old virtual tour, which also includes more polished graphics and animation, immersive audio, and occasional puzzles integrated into the gameworld, as well as a bit of narrative content.

This realtime 3d version is still in development and will be released sometime in mid 2015, in two forms: SD and HD

The SD version will stream over the internet in the Unity Web Player, for free. The HD version is an offline version that can be played without internet access, and with slightly higher graphics settings available, aimed at players with high-end PCs and Macs. The HD version will be priced at $1.99.

Both the SD and HD versions will be periodically updated with new, free content following release, but the Flash version has no more updates planned at this time.

Some people have asked if I'm really making progress on worlds beyond the intial main one, because I haven't shown much of the other content yet. The answer is yes, absolutely I'm making progress, and that progress is starting to accelerate significantly as I approach release. But I understand that you're getting tired of waiting for me to get this launched, and I assure you that the release date, while still TBD, is getting very close. I hesitate to give an exact day because the last two or three times I set a goal for release I missed the goal, due to unexpected technical obstacles that I had to solve. But unless something else goes terribly wrong in the last few weeks, definitely before the end of 2015.

The other question I'm asked a lot is why not Steam Greenlight? The answer is that you need 100,000+ upvotes from Steam users in practice, to get greenlit. I'm inclined to build up an audience first gradually with Itch.IO, then Desura, and then later if things go well enough, Steam. Simply put, I don't have the funds or publicity right now to achieve a successful Greenlight. But by 2016, however, I very well may have enough of an audience built up around this project through other venues, to make a Steam release a viable option.

For more information on the making of this project, please check the History of Panoramic Worlds Development. Panoramic Worlds began in its earliest form, in 2008, and has been slowly moving forward ever since. Estimated cost of development is around $1040.00, with another $160 likely to be spent by time of release. My total ad budget is in the $100 range, and about 20% of that has already been used leading up to launch. In all, the project will cost $1,300 by the time of the HD release, plus thousands of hours of unpaid effort. It's a personal passion project, and it's not clear yet if it'll be successful as a product or not. If it's not, though, that is something I can live with - I think it's good work regardless of whether the public notices it or not, and I'm proud of it.

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