Pavilion which will launch on PS4 and PS Vita, is a fourth person puzzling adventure game, created by Visiontrick Media. The essence of Pavilion is the mystery element; it won’t make things easy for you with text bubbles or tutorials. The more you engage in this game, the more knowledgeable you will be.
This unique game caught our eye making us curious to know more about it. We got in touch with the creators of Pavilion, Henrik Flink and Rickard Westman, the pillars of Visiontrick Media. We asked them many things about Pavilion, from the foundation of Visiontrick Media, Pavilion’s graphics and in game details to their views on PS4’s hardware.
So just read on to find out what Pavilion is all about:
Gamepur: Tell us about Visiontrick Media. What is its story?
Visiontrick Media: It all started 8 years ago when we (Henrik & Rickard) met while attending the same school focused on game development and visual art. After graduating we got separate jobs in the game and movie industry and eventually ended up on the opposite sides of the world. But we kept contact and constantly bounced ideas and game concepts off each other. We continued like that for a number of years, trying to get some projects off the ground but they all ended with not being interesting enough or just ended up unfinished for some time or financial reason. Later, in late 2011, we made a short demo of a simple puzzle game which sole purpose was to hopefully generate some money to finance some bigger and more interesting future project. But we just found that approach to be not motivating enough and from that we decided to shift focus, scrap almost everything, start new and only focus on the interesting bits and make it into something that we were more passionate about, both in terms of game design and visuals. We then put together a design document for Pavilion and applied for a government grant, which we fortunately got in early 2012. Out of that Visiontrick Media was born, as well as the seed for Pavilion.
Gamepur: Pavilion seems to be a very mysterious game, what is it exactly about?
Visiontrick Media: It being mysterious is very much a trait of the game, so we feel we can’t reveal too much about it. But we can say that Pavilion is about a journey into the unknown in search for something or some things. We are putting a lot of effort into making the game explain itself through the world, character and player interactions and it is very much the gradual understanding and sense of unexpected discover that makes it interesting. Other than that it is a puzzle game where you need to think both inside and outside the box.
Gamepur: Can you give us details about the main character of Pavilion? What will be his abilities? What did you have in mind while creating the main character?
Visiontrick Media: Something that we have not talked much about yet is that our main character is a pretty gentle and unadventurous fellow. For example he has a fear of the dark, is afraid of heights and is reluctant to take risks. These, among others, are traits that the player will have to take into account when interacting with the world and then gradually observe and understand how the character acts and reacts in certain situations.
Another thing we have put a lot of effort into is making the character expressive with animations. Not only in terms of the character reacting to the environment in a way that one would expect him to but also by expressing his inner state towards things. And since we don’t have any text or speech in the game the character is absolutely the most interesting and useful tool for us as developers to use to communicate certain things to the player.
Gamepur: Pavilion’s recent teaser trailer shows a unique style of graphics. The game’s overview says that those are hand-painted 2d graphics. Can you give us an insight about the graphics of Pavilion?
Visiontrick Media: The graphics are made in Photoshop and we layout everything based on an isometric grid. Then we do simple line drawings of the level design on top of the grind and when we have that done we start to compose the graphics by both painting a lot by hand as well as merging and using photo-sourced material. This has proven to be the most efficient and enjoyable process to create Pavilion’s detailed, immersive and surreal world.
Gamepur: Gaming world is buzzing with a resolution and FPS war these days; all of us want to play games which look crisp and clean. Does Pavilion fulfill this requirement? Does it run at an amazing 1080p/60FPS? If NO then at what res/fps figure will Pavilion run?
Visiontrick Media: Pavilion will indeed run at 1080p/60FPS. This was something we decided on early on and to deliver an excellent game in terms of both visuals and atmosphere. Of course, we are making a 2d game, so obviously today’s AAA 3D titles might have a harder time meeting the new standards than us.
Gamepur: We only know that Pavilion will release in 2014. What will the exact release date be? Also how much will it cost?
Visiontrick Media: Right now we are looking at a release sometime during the end of Summer. But as we have said before, we don’t want to release it until it is as good as we know it can be so we can’t promise any exact date. Price is also something we don’t have any exact number on yet, we’ll see what feels fair near the end of production.
Gamepur: Pavilion will be launching only on PlayStation platforms, i.e. PlayStation 4 and Vita, we are curious to know why only PlayStation?
Visiontrick Media: We are a small team and have to focus on certain things. It is not easy to make a game and Sony has been very supportive in both the aspect of giving us feedback and letting us update things through their channels. For example they have supported us with marketing, like showing Pavilion at press conferences and so on. This is something is very important for a small 2 man operation, there’s only so much you can do on those terms.
Gamepur: Do you have any plans of transporting Pavilion to other platforms like Xbox, PC or Nintendo?
Visiontrick Media: Right now we are focusing on PS4 & PSVita and any other platforms are not yet decided on.
Gamepur: What kind of development benefits did PS4’s Unified Architecture and 8 GBs of GGDR5 RAM bring to Pavilion?
Visiontrick Media: Since Pavilion is a 2D game with big painted backgrounds we are very happy with the 8GBs of RAM, enabling us to have more than one level in the memory at the same time making the transition from one level to another seamless. In general this also means that we just don’t need to worry about running out of memory as one have done in earlier console cycles.
Gamepur: Since Pavilion is meant for PS4, can you tell us till what extent are the features of DualShock 4 controller like Touchpad, Lightbar used in Pavilion?
Visiontrick Media: This is something we are still exploring but for example you will be interacting with certain entities through the touchpad and the light bar will also be used to symbolize and give feedback on a certain state of the game which we can’t talk about yet without spoiling too much. But we are still exploring these features and feel like we want to have functionality that doesn’t feel like just a gimmick.
Gamepur: PS4 has received praises from developer’s community for its Unified Architecture and 8 GB RAM, however somewhere down the line slow PS4 Clock Speed has been a cause of concern for developers. How did you guys tackle the slower clock speed of PS4? Has it resulted into any development challenges while developing Pavilion for PS4?
Visiontrick Media: Pavilion is a pretty simple game in terms of performance so this is something we haven’t had any problems with, and hopefully it will stay that way.
Gamepur: Thank you for this interview. We wish you luck for Pavilion! Do you have any message for our readers?
Visiontrick Media: Likewise! We’ll be posting new material from the game during the coming months so keep an eye out. We would also encourage people to take a closer look on that last video we released, we still feel like there is things in it that holds certain importance but which has not yet been commenting on.Thanks!