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Miniature Multiverse

What is it?

Miniature Multiverse is a first-person, panoramic-interface, graphic puzzle/adventure game made using 360-degree photography taken inside imaginatively detailed miniature-art environments. Within this game, you'll explore a wide range of fantastical places, solve a variety of (relatively easy) puzzles, experience ambient sound and animation all over the place, and unearth a mysterious story of the 'endless explorer' and the truth behind the 25 realms.

'Miniature Multiverse' began as a creative concept of indie artist Matthew Lyles Hornbostel (i.e. me), in 2010 and has been in intermittent development since that time, including a failed Kickstarter circa 2011 and various dead ends before the problem of HD 360-degree image capture inside a sprawling miniature set was solved.

I've accelerated development around 2017 and now am near release, with the 'Miniature Multiverse Extras Pack' (with artbook and other exclusive stuff) launching in late March 2019 and the full release of the game around Easter 2019 (April 21st, 2019 is the current release target. The game will be submitted to Steam, then Itch.IO, at that time.) I've spent over $1100 of my own cash on this project since the effort began in 2010, including a ton of miniature supply stuff and also a few shaders/audio assets, PlayMaker for Unity, and some camera gear. That figure does not include the hundreds of hours of unpaid work involved. I'm really hoping this takes off a bit as I poured a lot of work into it.

 

Miniature Multiverse will be available for Windows, via Steam & Itch.IO with possibility of other release venues/platforms later on.


The 2011 Kickstarter failed to hit its goal despite KS staff designating it as a project they loved. But, rather than give up, I expanded the scope of the project and funded it entirely on my own. This old KS media shows a bit of how I was trying to make the project work at that time.

Vyrsul
A somewhat desaturated image of a world called 'Vyrsul' and a screen captured early teaser promotional clip captured in early December 2018, showing me wandering around in the first area of the game, 'Lokus', and ending with the transition to another world, 'Pryme'.

How this was done

How do you walk around in a miniature world?

Well, that's a great question. I struggled with it a bit myself. The first few tests used chrome ball bearings and silver Christmas ornaments (really!) and a high-res camera mounted above them, capturing 360-degree reflections in the spheres. Ultimately, the resolution resulting from this did not meet my standards, and distortion was noticeable, so I wound up using a custom system which used a GoPro style compact camera, snapping stills at 15-degree increments for each and every node in the tour. I then stitched the images together in Photoshop and painted out the background carefully for each node - replacing the roof of my garage with a virtual extension (typically a 3d rendered sky) that would complete the illusion of a fully realized world even in the distance beyond the already-extensive scale miniatures I'd built for each world or 'realm' in the game.

Once I've physically built a miniature world, captured photography inside it, and worked with it in Photoshop, I add realistic digital animations as needed, from imaginary wildlife, to water flowing, fog and lighting effects, etc, and embed that stuff seamlessly into the node via various methods in the Unity 2018 game engine. Puzzles and interactions are implemented either with coded scripts or with a GUI-based scripting toolkit called Playmaker. Sounds are layered in too.

The result of all this careful work is, I hope, the illusion of fully realized and real-looking fantasy spaces, that will amaze you when you wander around in them and discover all the cool things I've put there.

Features

Efficiency. This should run and look great even on lower-end systems.

Visuals and artistry you'll love.

360-degree free-look interface.

Available for Windows on Steam.

Pricing

A vast expanse of miniature-art worlds at a very low price!

  • Miniature Multiverse
  • 200+ handcrafted miniature-art panoramic nodes to explore
  • Over a dozen puzzles integrated into the game's imaginative realms.
  • On Steam and Itch.IO
  • No ads, play the full game and all its diverse areas for one simple price
  • $ 1.50!

  • Miniature Multiverse Extras
  • Your name in the game itself (if bought before game release)
  • A making-of PDF artbook with concept art and behind the scenes info.
  • Hint Guide PDF with hints & solutions to all challenges in game
  • A making-of video clip relating to the game.
  • $ 1.00