We’ve been back from Gamescom for a week now and it was a blast. Of course I was a little anxious as to what the gamers’ reaction would be. As I said in the previous post, up to now Ghost of a Tale was just a couple of pretty screenshots. And from one day to the next it became something real that players were experiencing first hand (even though it was just a demo).
Here are a couple of pictures of the convention (including a nifty paper Tilo created by Paul and a group of fans who wanted their picture taken with the poster!):
In a sense it was trial by fire. Usually when studios or publishers introduce a new game it happens behind closed doors for a hand-picked group of journalists and the demo is carefully conducted by a developer who only shows the game under its best profile. We did the exact opposite.
We put the controller in people’s hands and said “Go ahead, try it!”. It was a little nerve-wracking at first but it quickly proved to be an exhilarating experience for us (and the players seemed to have a grand time too!). So I am personally reassured that Ghost of a Tale will probably turn out to be a pretty good game!
I also want to thank Stephane for organizing the logistics of our presence at Gamescom, David for coming up with the idea of the Tilo costume (and wearing it despite the heat!), Cyrille for his help both programming-wise and on the booth, Jeremiah for his kick-ass soundtrack and finally Paul without whom GoaT’s gameplay and story would not be what they are today.
The media coverage was quite extensive and we had articles on many websites (RPGWatch, PCGamer, IGN, Rock-Paper-Shotgun, Gamekult, GameInformer, Destructoid, IndieHangover and many more in many different languages). And that doesn’t even include quite a few threads on various forums like Reddit and Neogaf, interviews by German media and the mentions in a bunch of podcasts and on Youtube.
Basically for a lot of people Ghost of a Tale completely came out of the blue. A lot of them noticed the game during Microsoft’s press conference and went online to find out more about it (and watch the full trailer). So a big thank you to Microsoft for that!
As to anyone wondering what’s the deal with Microsoft: they simply heard of the game and decided they also wanted to see it released on their new console. So they sent us development kits free of charge along with the means to pay for the port of the game. And that’s it. So Ghost of a Tale remains at its core an indie PC game which is also going to be released on Xbox One thanks to Microsoft’s help.
As a side-note I found German gamers to be very polite and thoughtful! Which made for an extra-nice overall experience. We had a lot of people playing the game and on average the demo itself was about 15 to 20mn long. Although some people spent almost 45mn to do everything and Cyrille holds the speedrun record of 2:38 !
Thanks again to all of you who continue to follow the game’s development. And keep sending us good vibes, they are very much appreciated!