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, no 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, less compression, and higher filesizes... but it looks great in fullscreen, 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 web version will be embedded here on this website for free, beginning in early September 2014, and the HD version will be available for $1.99 at the end of August 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 a pile 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.

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 Sept. 5 and 20, 2014, and web release about a week 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... are there any cool ways to get the HD version for free? If you send me an email or like my studio on Facebook, between now (Aug 20th, 2014) and the end of the month before release(Aug 31, 2014) I'll send you a download link to the HD version for free on the day of release. If you've already 'liked' on FB, or were already in contact with me via email, prior to the 20th you'll get the same deal.

That's awesome. You're basically handing out free copies to hundreds of 'early adopters'. It is a great deal, and I'm kind of hoping you'll all take this news and run with it, telling friends, family, online groups you frequent, etc, about the offer I'm making, before the release date hits and the deal expires.

What if I miss 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) and support the development of new 'Panoramic Worlds' content in the future.

If you get 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 send 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 cost only about $450 to make. What is in the first release? I aimed for 7 worlds, but three of them are proving tricky to get working right. I can guarantee at least 4 in the first release, with three others in the works that are almost done but may or may not be ready by the point of release. We'll see.

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.