Beta soon…?!!

Mar 082016

Those last few weeks have been rather intense in terms of workload but they’re definitely bearing fruits. It’s fantastic watching everything come together. I feel a bit like Tilo, catching a tantalizing glimpse of the outside world! 🙂

ScreenShot 2016_02_19 22;18;39001

Talking of the outside world, I recently took a field trip with a friend of mine to an old abbey in the south of France. There, I was able to capture amazing new textures to improve the looks of Dwindling Heights and give it a more authentic cachet in some areas. And again it’s one of those rare occasions where I can actually work on GoaT while leaving the house!

It’s hard to believe but it’s going to be three years almost to the day that I have started working in earnest on Ghost of a Tale. How time flies when you’re having fun… 😀

I found an old picture of the environment I showcased during the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign (running on Unity 4.0) and compared it with a recent screenshot (running on 5.3), just for the heck of it (it’s obviously not the same location)…

ScreenShot 2016_03_07 22;51;36001

So much work and experience gathered in-between those two pictures! And great people met along the way without whom Ghost of a Tale would not be what it is today (Paul, Cyrille, Jeremiah, I’m looking your way).

Which brings me to the crux of this update: if everything goes well (and it’s a big “if” of course) we should go to beta within the next couple of weeks. The beta version will contain all of the pre-release’s features but some will be incomplete (as they’re still being worked on). Place-holder asides though it should give us a good idea of the game’s actual state.

The goal for us is to get feedback from people who never played the game before. And hopefully we won’t have any bad surprises! On that topic, we already have a short list of potential testers so I think we’re all set on that side… 😉

An unknown that remains in the equation is we’re going to try and move to Unity 5.4 when it’s released (very soon). The reason is a few of the bugs we still have (and which unfortunately affected a couple of recent Unity games) are supposed to be taken care of. So fingers crossed!

And as always, please feel free to express your support and/or ask questions in the comments section below…

  53 Responses to “Beta soon…?!!”

  1. So exciting to see all the progress you’ve made! Congrats!

  2. So glad to see this taking more and more cute little mouse steps to completion..

    When i read about beta, i was hoping we’re going to jump on the beta wagon with early access through Steam or something like that, but it seems it’s not the time for that yet.

    Anyway, can’t wait to get my hands on it, beta or not! Looks insanely awesome and you seem so dedicated to deliver one game to remember.. Keep it up!

    • You’re correct.

      In my opinion (and I know it doesn’t reflect the state of things) games released in early access are supposed to be incomplete (missing features/content) but they should be thoroughly playable and enjoyable as such. Not an excuse for a festival of bugs. Hence the beta phase before we do the pre-release. To make sure the gaming experience is as smooth as can be within the acceptable framework of an early access (pre-) release.

  3. Harder and harder to be patient! 🙂

    • Don’t be patient!! Throw over the tables! Shout at us and… err.. no you’re right actually, it’s better if you’re patient. Please be patient… 🙂

  4. Never heard of this game before, got whiff of it from a retweet and this looks madingly charming! I applaude the team, well done!

  5. Can’t believe it has been three years… I’m super excited about the state of the game and can’t wait to finally get my hands on it!

    • Hard to believe indeed. Working every day on the same project makes you acutely aware of time passing by. But not having a publisher means we’re not under pressure to release the game in an unfit state. Which is a jolly thing. 🙂

  6. I’d love to be part of beta team! Been following GoaT since day 0 and man I literally can’t wait for it.

    • Hi Kein. Thanks for your long-time support! The first beta testers are already selected. And we’ll have to see if we need to expand the list before we do the pre-release.

  7. Heard about this from Twitter definitely interested in testing it. I mostly do iOS game testing but I recently started play testing PC game

  8. Interesting to see the progress between the two pics. Especially the textures of the clothes carefully chosen, the lighting is better treated, no more over-exposed areas.. . Quality takes place over time (and work for sure)! Would be interesting to compare the same location though, because the cold and warm lighting are quite opposite.
    Will the beta be publicly released? Would love to be lucky enough to be part of it!
    I wish you well in your next development steps!

    • Thanks Lucky! The first picture was at a time where the game was happening on the island of Periclave. But it now occurs on the main land, in Dwindling Heights (an old prison). So the settings couldn’t admittedly be more different.

      Believe me, you’re not the first person to ask about being a tester. But we prefer to keep the circle very small for now. If the need arises we may expand the scope, but hopefully we won’t have to…

      • Oh really, the island does not exist anymore? It looked good!
        I would say, the more beta testers, the less bugs in the final game 😀

        • Nope, it would have been much too big to manage as a first game. It was a difficult decision to take but it made a lot of sense. Plus it avoided GoaT becoming one of those overly-ambitious indie games that don’t really pan out in the end.

          Also, to do the story justice it was better to start at the beginning. If GoaT is successful then we’ll get to explore the island of Periclave. Except we’ll know exactly what it stands for and why we’re there. And needless to say it will look an order of magnitude better than it would have 3 years ago!

          • I see. So the place in the banner picture at the top of this page won’t be in the game? Was looking really nice. Anyway I hope we’ll have the opportunity to visit it in the next Goat. I’m pretty sure it will be a success!

  9. Just wow! I’m looking at this post on my phone and I can’t stop zooming in on the those beautiful lush, rolling hills. And just look at the sky box! Fantastic job there, Seith! I just want to jump right in and take a hike! It’s also astounding to see how Goat’s visuals have evolved over recent years! Although I think those rock textures from 2013 still are head and shoulders above most AAA titles nowadays… Keep it up and keep having fun for as long as you need☺

    • Thank you, for after all, you are the Kw-… err sorry.

      I’m glad you like the picture. However please keep in mind that GoaT is NOT an open-world game. It will encompass outdoor areas (not a lot in the pre-release) but nothing at the scale of The Witcher 3 (which this picture might lead to believe).

      So to be clear: you will not be able to go explore those moors and hills. If GoaT is successful though, then maybe one day you will! 🙂

      • Ah, yes, yes… I’m certainly aware of GoaT’s scale and my comment was not to be taken literally. Rather I was implying that I love scenic backdrops like the one in the picture and that it makes even a small world that much more believable. Anyway, awesome pic 😉

  10. It’s awesome to see the game slowly but surely go towards release! The progress between the two screenshots…

    P.S. Seith, you forgot to put the actual link to this post into the Indiegogo update. Obviously it’s not hard to find, but…

    • Ah that’s right. I realized it after the fact. That’s what you get for trying to post an update while being sick as hell (average-sized cold).

      I even managed to actually DELETE a GoaT update on the Indiegogo site! Yeah, I guess some days it’s better to stay in bed; but it’s just not my style… 😀

  11. It’s looking good, man! Excited 😀

  12. Wonderful to see the direction this is going, and that so much progress is happening.

    Would love to beta test.

    I’ve beta tested other things, so I know what to expect. I work as a programmer myself, so try to get precise behavior and cause documented.

    • Thank you! We’ll see if we need to widen the beta testing pool. If we do we’ll probably ask for system configuration (in order to get a better sense of how the game runs on different hardware).

  13. Let’s hope Unity 5.4 gets rid of more bugs then it will introduce…

    • Hehe. That’s always the issue isn’t it? I’m a bit nervous about that. Especially thinking back how things went almost flawlessly between 4.6 and 5.0 (very different engines) but the move from 5.1 to 5.2 turned out nothing short of catastrophic.

  14. Go Seith and Co! Youre nearly there 😀 With constant support from Australia, and hoping for an eventual PS4 release! 😀

  15. Awesome news. It’s been a joy to see how Ghost of a Tale has evolved over the years from it’s ghostly grey beginnings to its colourful clarity of today. I’m looking forward to taking Tilo across the lands and exploring. Congratulations to all involved!

    • Thank you Edgar! Indeed, the game now happens on the mainland (instead of a haunted island) so it dictated a different art direction as far as lighting/atmosphere is concerned.

  16. This is one of the most beautiful and surely the cutest game that I CANNOT WAIT TO PLAY! 😀
    I will test this on my Gaming PC, PS4, PS3, XBone, Wii-U and on my calculator if I must, if only I will be able to experience this in action! ^-^

  17. I do like the way the colour palette has changed, much less grey, but still has a very mysterious feeling to it… That top picture is beautiful!

    Not long now… I get the feeling I’m going to become a lot less productive when this is out, lol.

    • Thank you Jimmey. In that specific case the sun was setting down behind the camera, which always tends to look better as it brings out warmer colors.

  18. I’ve been following the progress of this game since mid last year and I’m more excited for it’s release than any other games. The effort you put in amazes me and I can’t wait to play it!

  19. Can’t wait to see it, pal! Glad to hear =)

  20. Best wishes for you, guys. I am counting on you since first gameplay. I believe, this game will be great. No matter, how long i will have to wait. 🙂 You are doing good work!

  21. Awesome work. You’ve got my attention. I hope you gain the attention of millions, when it’s time for you to shine.

  22. Love the updates! I was wondering if there were any ways we can still help fund the project!

    • Hi Johnny. The best (and only) way to show financial support for the project is going to be when it reaches Early Access (both on Steam and GOG). That will be the moment to show your support. And then spreading the word will help a lot of course!

  23. I’m really looking forward this since you start this project..
    Time’s running out really fast and It’s 2016. Still good works and you are awesome.
    Keep going Seith, I’m still wait for this! 🙂

  24. Random support comment here, but I didn’t notice it was aimed to be released this year. I think I only saw this game in 2015.

    • Thanks for your random support comment! Yep, we’re still aiming for a release towards the end of the year. The pre-release will happen before that of course.

  25. Just wanted to hear more about the game and congratulate the devs for this amazing game… Just wondering when we could expect the release on steam.

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