I wanted to post a few points of clarification about the Copernicus (Kingdoms of Amalur) teaser that was recently leaked to Kotaku. After we released the environment fly-through video in the last days of 38 Studios, there were a lot of misconceptions about what the video was intended to be, and I don’t want the same fate to befall this piece.
- This teaser video was a work in progress, from the illustrations to the game footage to the audio. It was a rough cut to get the pacing right; pretty much every asset would have been reworked or replaced by the time it went final. In fact, there were some tweaks to the script that had been made, but we never got around to recording the updated read-through.
- The finished teaser was intended to be released at the time of the MMO’s announcement. It likely would have been accompanied by a video of gameplay footage, or possibly with a live hands-on demo depending on when and where it was first revealed.
- The logo at the end was based upon the ouroboros, an ancient symbol of the cyclical nature of the universe. This symbol has great significance to the story of Amalur, a world trapped in an unending cycle of creation and destruction. And yes, we had this symbol before the Elder Scrolls Online announced using a similar logo (that’s what you get for basing your IP on classic themes).
- The illustrated style showcased in the teaser was something you would have seen throughout the game. Our cinematics team was packed with amazing illustrators, and we were using animation like this to introduce our races and tell little bits of history you’d encounter as you traveled through Amalur.
Seeing this video posted online gives me a mix of emotions. On the one hand, I love this teaser and am very proud of the work it represents. On the other hand, it makes me sad to be faced once more by what could have been.
Anyway, I wanted to get these points across because it would be unfair to the cinematics or audio teams for anyone seeing this to think it represented a final version of a trailer. Even though it’s really cool, it would have been spectacular by the time we were done with it. I wish you could see it with the same context we did on the inside of the studio, through the eyes of a passionate team that wanted to make something really special.
I still miss that world something fierce.