Welcome to a new game development update! This will be a lengthy one, so please bear with me. In order to make your reading more palatable I’ve interspersed a couple of screenshots for your viewing pleasure…
The last couple of weeks have been particularly productive. Paul and I met to lock everything in terms of quests, story and structure. The result is an even clearer understanding of the game’s scope.
Regarding that topic, it is interesting to note how much the game has evolved since the Indiegogo campaign. At the time I only had a very rough idea of what I wanted the game to be, but many important elements were still up in the air.
For example I thought the game would take place on Periclave, this huge island you would roam around, fighting enemies and… well that was about it really. There was no sneaking involved, no interaction with the environments, no detailed story for the world and its characters, no real AI no speak of, etc…
So I decided (about a year ago) the game actually wouldn’t take place on Periclave at all but rather happen on the mainland, in and around an ancient keep called Dwindling Heights. And you would get a chance to know who Tilo is before he embarks for Periclave. So to anyone wondering why the game doesn’t take place on Periclave, here are a couple of reasons.
First, the story turned out so nice that it simply felt like wasting it by starting the game on Periclave, with no proper introduction to the world whatsoever. Plus I wasn’t sure I could do justice to my ambitious designs for the island. Which brings me to the next point.
Over-ambition will kill even the best of projects and I want the game to be released this year, not linger into the realms of vaporware and pretty screenshots. Biting more than I could chew was a real danger.
But the main reason is this: I want to maintain a very high level of quality throughout the project. From story to coding to visuals. And that means focusing on a smaller (relatively speaking) track of land and making sure everything works there.
Then if the game is successful (which I VERY much hope!), it will be my immense joy to expend the scope in the next game and to do justice to the intricate world of Ghost of a Tale.
But enough rambling. Suffice it to say that despite the huge workload I am indeed very happy with the way the game is turning out. Alright, and now for something completely different!
I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Canal Plus not long ago to talk about the game and I thought French-speaking visitors might be interested in watching the show online here: http://www.canalplus.fr/c-infos-documentaires/pid1829-c-le-journal-des-jeux-video.html?vid=1212596
It was a fun virtual experience; by that I mean on the picture you can see Fred (the show host) on the left and Fabien (from PastaGames) on the right, but if you look closely on the right hand side I’m visible on a tiny screen. I was remotely controlling a Segway equipped with a webcam from the other side of the country, if you can believe it!
In the footage that was shown you can get a glimpse of the new in-game water interaction (among other things). Here’s a fun little video of Tilo wading through murky waters; I had to develop the shader to get exactly that look. It took me two days, but I feel it was worth it. I like how foam breaks in Tilo’s wake. Of course it looks better when not shot from my handheld phone!
Finally, I’m proud to announce we have a first build of the game running on an actual Xbox One, thanks to Cyrille!
This is great news because the building process itself is fairly smooth and I’m told no computer was hurt in the making of it. And even though the Xbox One version is not the main priority (finishing the game on PC is!) it’s still nice to know Ghost of a Tale can run on the console even though no specific optimization has taken place yet. So big kudos to Cyrille!
And on those exciting news I’ll go back to work! I hope you enjoyed the update!