PlayStation Exclusive ‘Pavilion’ Devs Are “Sticking With PlayStation”
The team at Visiontrick Media have been all kinds of busy in recent weeks. The two-man band just wrapped up their time at BitSummit in Kyoto, and are heads down working on their Unity developed PS4/Vita exclusive title, Pavilion. I had the chance to catch up with developer Henrik Flink and artist Rickard Westman to ask them about their current work-in-progress.
Now many know that Pavilion was once destined to release on PC and mobile devices along with PlayStation platforms. I got around to asking Visiontrick why they decided to limit their release to PS4 and PS Vita.
Our decision regarding going with PlayStation was based on finding a good ecosystem that was suitable to launch Pavilion in, this also in relations to what other games have been launched on the PlayStation platform and how the audience has reacted to those games. Sticking with PlayStation has also given us other benefits in terms of marketing and credibility in the press. So right now we want to focus on that platforms, and additional platforms is still not decided on.
I also wanted to give the devs a chance to tell our readers a bit more about the core gameplay mechanics of Pavilion.
The basic premise of the game is that you are guiding the character through this strange and unknown world. To do this you can interact with the environment in different ways. So one of the most basic entities that you will interact with is the bell. When interacting with the bell it will make a sound and the character will try to traverse to the location of the bell. While the character is traversing you will have the chance to manipulate his path using physical objects or such, doing this you can re-route him and change the outcome of his traverse or help him avoid certain elements in the level. So this is one of the basic situations that you will encounter early in the game. And throughout the game, the focus will be on how one interacts with the character and what consequences that will have.
Pavilion’s visuals are utterly distinct, and I was interested to learn where artist Rickard Westman drew his inspiration from when creating the art for Pavilion.
The inspiration for the visuals of Pavilion mostly comes from 19th century landscape painters, such as Arnold Böcklin and Caspar David Friedrich. But yea, M.C. Escher is something that often comes up when talking to the public or press, most likely because of the isometric perspective. But I can’t recall that it was ever a big inspiration for the visuals of Pavilion.
So the way of getting the visuals done in Unity is probably more primitive then one might think. Rickard first creates the whole background in Photoshop. When then just import it into Unity and match it up agains a the virtual tiles in our editor so the character will move correctly in the background. It’s then a tedious process of making sure that we add and match pieces of graphics that should be in front the character at certain tiles so it looks like the level exists in some kind of 3d space. Then we add some particle effects and foreground visuals to make it look even better. We tried to create a workflow that would be simple and straightforward and enabled us to rapidly build new levels to try out, and I would say that this has worked quite well for us.
The visuals of Pavilion are very much at home viewed in a 2-D perspective, but I couldn’t help but wonder what they’d look like in 3-D, and wanted to know if the devs at Visiontrick had ever contemplated a different perspective.
Pavilion has always been in 2-D, I don’t think we ever really considered doing it in 3-D. Mainly because we wanted to transfer Rickards background paintings directly into the game to get the game feeling very much as the actually concept image. We also feel like doing it in 2-D will create a more timeless feeling and hopefully it will not feel visually outdated in 10 years.
Visiontrick had touched on their reasoning behind staying exclusive to PlayStation a bit earlier in our chat, but I was interested in hearing them elaborate a bit further on the subject.
Since we haven’t published the game yet I cant speak of all aspects but up until now I would say that it has been very easy to work with Sony, can’t say it has been any big hurdles when getting approved as developer or giving us a go on the concept. On top of that they have also helped us in terms of showing the game at some of their press conferences and such. Which we very much appreciate, being a small 2-man operation.
Finally, I was hoping to hear a bit of an update on when we might expect Pavilion to his PS4 and Vita.
We’re aiming to have it done sometime during the summer, more specifically then that I can’t say.
I wanted to quickly thank Henrick and Rickard for offering a bit of their time during a busy development schedule. We’ll be looking forward to seeing more of Pavilion in the near future and getting our hands on it this summer.
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