Final Stretch! Release Plan!

Oct 232017
 
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Welcome to this new Ghost of a Tale update, in which I will talk about the final game (release date, price, etc…) as well as various improvements and overall progress on the game’s development (spoiler: it’s going great!). 🙂

I do wish I had time to post more development updates here but we’ve entered the final stretch to the game’s completion and I tend to not see time whizzing by. Paul is working hard on dialogs and quests and Cyrille still develops precious tools which allow me to streamline my everyday workflow. And at this point of the development the dividends pay up big time!

To start, here’s a screenshot that makes use of a new volumetric lighting asset (not yet in the early access version). But more on that later…

The final game’s release:

A couple of months back I was still hoping we would be able to release the game this year. Even though to this day I’ve refused to give out a specific date out of fear of missing it I’ve been known to say publicly “2017”.

The thing is, now that we’ve got a very clear view on the final stretch, that’s just not realistic. Well, technically the game’s content itself will be mostly done by the end of December, there’s no doubts about this.

So I guess technically you could say “Yay, game done this year!”. But that’s not the way it works. You don’t release a game as soon as you wrote the last line of code and animated the last walk cycle.

When all is said and done we’re going to need a few weeks (we estimate 4 to 6) just going through QA. That is intense testing and making sure there are no outstanding issues (whether it be in text display, animation, mechanics, quests, dialogs, etc…).

After that (well, almost in parallel) we’ll have several people working on translating the 60K+ words of the game into as many languages as we can financially afford. Which is at first: French, Italian, German, and Spanish. We will also try for Portuguese, Polish and Russian eventually (depending on how much it costs). And after that Chinese and Japanese would be great.

On that topic, some studios often go with horrendous Google translate (sometimes because of cost, sometimes because they can’t be bothered) but let me assure you that won’t be the case for Ghost of a Tale. We will make sure the translators know of context and are given the tools necessary to do a great job.

Meanwhile we will reach out to journalists and YouTubers in order to make them aware of the game’s release date (or in some cases of the game’s sheer existence). This phase includes anything marketing-related (screenshots, interviews, advertisement, etc…).

If you remember, the early access version of Ghost of a Tale was released more or less in a void. We can’t afford that for the final release; things need to be done properly in order to insure the game’s completion doesn’t go thoroughly unnoticed.

All of this amounts to roughly 8 weeks after final content is done and locked. Which is why we are aiming for a release in the beginning of March 2018.

Note that this is for the PC version. Xbox One will follow soon after that (barring any technical catastrophe). And finally the PS4 version.

(We haven’t looked yet at Xbox One X but if the Xbox One can run the game, the X won’t have any problem running it much, MUCH better!)

Development Progress:

As I mentioned earlier I’ve very recently integrated a nice volumetric lighting asset in the game, which greatly brings out the atmosphere of mystery that I always wanted to capture.

Technically what it does is it allows for the display of light rays even when the light source is off-camera. In the screenshot below the sun is actually out of the camera’s frustum yet it casts visible volumetric rays.

At night it translates for example to a much more dramatic moonlight. Which inspired me to revisit the overall nocturnal look of the game and I think that you guys are going to like it! 🙂

What’s great is when you explore a dark wood at night and the moon rays fall through the canopy as Tilo runs through them. It just feels so nice.

Final game’s duration and details:

Some of you might wonder how long the game will last. That’s obviously difficult to say but based on the early access it should take at least 15 to 20 hours to finish. Of course it could be much longer if you want to discover all of the secrets and locations.

The final game will have roughly 60 quests, varying in terms of complexity (compared to the 30 or so in the early access). It will also have more NPCs, but let’s not spoil that right now!

The new locations to explore will more than double the area of what’s already available in the early access. Believe me, the world feels much bigger now and you will get lost without a map. 🙂

The price:

The final game will go on sale at $24.99. However, while the game remains in early access, the price will stay at $19.99. Which is a way for us of thanking you for taking a chance on an early-access game and trusting us not to fudge it up!

Character portraits:

Finally I would like to officially welcome Jerome Jacinto to Ghost of a Tale’s (diminutive) team! Jerome is an experienced illustrator who worked on “Tooth and Tail” (where he took care of character design and key art) as well as the digital board game “Armello”.

Jerome is now creating the game’s NPC portraits, which appear during dialogs (the art in the current release is just place-holder if you hadn’t guessed!). This will make dialogs even more enjoyable than they currently are.

Here’s a gallery of some of the characters (no real spoilers as those already appear in the early access).

Of course each character will possess a wide range of poses to match their dialog and personality. Here are only a few of Gusto’s expressions:

I have to say every time Jerome finishes up a new character’s expression sheet it truly is a pleasure to peruse through all of them in anticipation of their use in the game… 🙂

Alright, so we reached the end of this update! Thanks again for taking the time to read all of it. I hope you liked it and now I’ll go back to work. As usual please don’t hesitate to leave your comments below and I’ll do my best to reply. See you in the next update!

  72 Responses to “Final Stretch! Release Plan!”

  1. Excuse me, but F U C K Y E A H !

  2. This game still look amazing !!
    I’m waiting for the final release to enjoy it !

    • I understand totally. I’m almost certain the saves from the early access won’t transfer as is to the final version, what with all the changes to items, locations and quests.

  3. This is great news. I feel so blessed, it is portentially releasing reight around my birthday!! (March 8th) . I couldn’t ask for a better present.

    Total congrats on this long hard road and resulting in both a magnificent game, but also seeing the project grow and sprout into what it is now. Gosh.. such humble beginnings 😉

    Also.. still totally itching to have a physical or collector’s edition!!!

    • As always, thank you for your kind words, Nefarious Lord Gumby! Crossing fingers that the game will be out around your birthday, yes!!

      Physics edition is still up in the air. We wanted to take a look at The Indie Box, alas it seems they went belly up very recently. 🙁

  4. As always, it’s looking stunning. I must admit as it has got closer to release, I’ve backed off the early access version in anticipation of playing the full game.

    Good luck during the final stretch – can’t wait to play it!

    • Thanks Fluke! That’s good. As I was saying in another comment the early access saves probably won’t be compatible with the final version. So best to wait if you want to do everything in one go!

  5. The new volumetric lighting does wonders for the composition of the game! As an digital illustration major in my sophomore year, I really love the character portrait work; I also primarily draw animals (https://jmead0124.wixsite.com/josephmead/2015-portfolio) 🙂 It all builds to create a living, vibrant world. Storytelling is perhaps the greatest art there is, and you have pushed this game into a true epic. Well done!!

  6. If you need any help with trying to get some coverage i’ll be happy to stream what and when I can when you all have a final product (i’m already an Early Access Purchaser). I’ve enjoyed streaming what I was able to when it came into light on Steam, and would be proud and honored to do so when able to. Just send me an email or what not if you like.

  7. This is amazing, and it is wonderful to see everyone working so hard to finish a truly beautiful game. I will enjoy playing the beta, until the final game comes out.

  8. PS4!!! Been looking forward to that being definitively said!

  9. Thanks for the great update!

  10. Always happy to see these updates, and great to hear the game is progressing fine. Take the time that is necessary to release a great, performance-optimized game, hopefully without too many bugs.

    As a huge fan of the artwork in Armello I can already now say I will definitely love the artwork in this! “Tooth and Tail” is too hard-core for me though 🙂

    A suggestion on Audio – I know you won’t have spoken dialogue, but for instance mouse squeaks, frog quacks and so for the different animals would practically have the same effect for me. Add a couple of variations and string them together, and it would sound great, and much better than the “typewriter” sound in dialogues we have today.

    But make sure to update the Steam forums too from time to time – the guys that hang out only there tend to get fidgety if there’s no word for a couple of weeks…

    • Thanks for your suggestions, Stian! For the sound bits that’s something we thought about and although at this point it’s not high up on the priority list it sure would be great to try and implement it,

  11. Merci pour les infos.

    Du coup avec cette fenêtre de sortie je suis encore plus impatient et un petit peu salé (car il va falloir patienter encore un petit peu). Mais je sais que c’est pour la bonne cause, donc prenez votre temps.

    Sinon j’aime beaucoup les portraits réalisés par Jerome Jacinto (ça colle parfaitement). Quand au reste du jeu c’est de plus en plus beau. J’ai trop hâte de tout explorer avec Tilo. ^^

    Bonne chance messieurs pour cette dernière ligne droite !

  12. Yay, game done this year!!!!!
    (I’ve always been a technical person 😉

    Seriously, the release (whenever it will be!) can’t come quick enough now! The character portraits are spot on! Seith, any chance to give us some insight into how many game tracks there will be in the final release? I still love to listen to Jeremey’s trailer track and am craving for more!

    I still have a spare copy of the game in my Steam inventory, let’s see if I can use it for a forum competition or something over at RPS when the hype hits the nets.

    • Yay!! Well regarding the tracks it’s still a little too soon to give a final number but it could be around twelve or so, depending on Jeremiah’s availability.

      And thanks for your patience, as always. For, after all, you ARE the KwisatzHaderach (this one nevers gets old).

  13. I played the Xbox One version. It does really look gorgeous, but I gave up after about 30 minutes, due to it being frustratingly difficult for me.

    There was just no way for me to (by)pass some guards, which pretty much caused a death every 30 seconds. Tried various different approaches, no can do.

    Very disappointed, I was really looking forward this title.

    • Oh that’s strange. There should be ways for you to escape the rats. You can hide in different places as long as you break the line of sight. Conversely you could also throw bottles to the guards’ head in order to knock them out.

      Please don’t give up as at some point in the game you can find costumes for Tilo that make him much less susceptible to be chased by guards.

  14. Félicitation pour ce travail passionné et bon courage pour la fin !

  15. YES YES YES YES YES! oh lawd can’t wait!

  16. Thanks for this update! Getting better and better. I was seriously doubting it could be released this year, and you just confirmed it, but that’s totally fine 🙂
    I’m glad to wait the time you need to polish things before the final release.
    Keep it up guys!

    • Cheers Lucas! Yeah, releasing it this year would have been pretty much irresponsible from us. After spending so much time getting it right it would have been a shame to drop the ball at the end. But I think you won’t be disappointed when you get to play the final version.

  17. Somehow this game keeps looking more and more beautiful, love the volumetric lighting, it adds more character to everything. Also, as someone who is getting a Xbox One X at release, hearing you mention it has me very excited, if this game looks so good on the Xbox One, I can’t imagine how good you could make it look on the X, please please please do a 4K patch!

    • Hey Kyle. Yes, since we’ll get the game to run fine on an Xbox One it then would stand to reason that it behaves much better on an X.

      Of course, we’ll have to see first if Microsoft is willing to send us Xbox One X dev kits. I have to say so far they don’t seem to be, but we’ll keep asking!

  18. what the hell? we lots of people waiting for the Chinese and u guys just try Italian, German, Spanish Portuguese, Polish these minority language frist?? R u kidding. just take a look http://steamspy.com/ about Chinese language support game’s(Middle-earth: Shadow of War,PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS,The Witcher …etc) chinese owner number and proportion

    • Keep in mind Seith and much of his development team are based out of Europe, so they likely have connections to translators they can utilize right there. And this is a TINY studio so they have to do what they can, as they can. FIGS (french, italian, german Spanish) is the usual spread for games to start (along with english in many cases) so the fact they’re already expanding is a good sign they’re working their way to as many languages as possible. But budgeting is limited, and translations COST MONEY.

      Also the game isn’t even out so there is a good chance they might get the opportunity to snap up chinese and a number of other languages.

      Show some respect man, He’s busting his butt on this, has been for YEARS.

      • Kudos for keeping it civil evilkinggumby! Imo such totally rude and self-righteous people don’t deserve an answer at all, just let them dabble in their preconceived ways and move on. It’s a bit sad to see such attitude for the fist time on these boards but i guess it also means the game is drawing attention from a wider audience 😀

      • Thanks for your intervention guys! As KwisatzHaderach was pointing out it might be an indication that our potential audience is growing!

    • Hi Total. Chinese is definitely on our wishlist, so no worries. But as Evilkinggumby mentioned localization costs a lot of money when you have a microscopic budget. So we have to prioritize things and FIGS are something we promised before.

      That being said, we understand Russian and Chinese are important languages on Steam.

  19. Regarding release date: it’s still says “2017” on a side bar and FAQ.

  20. […] (he’s responsible for most of the game while getting some additional help from a few others) has posted an update on the game, answering a few questions after remaining quiet for a few months. According to Gallat, “the […]

  21. […] answerable for a lot of the sport whereas getting some further assist from just a few others) has posted an update on the game, answering just a few questions after remaining quiet for just a few months. In accordance with […]

  22. […] (he's responsible for most of the game while getting some additional help from a few others) has posted an update on the game, answering a few questions after remaining quiet for a few months. According to Gallat, "the […]

  23. […] (he’s responsible for most of the game while getting some additional help from a few others) has posted an update on the game, answering a few questions after remaining quiet for a few months. According to Gallat, “the […]

  24. […] for a lot of the recreation whereas getting some further assist from a number of others) has posted an update on the game, answering a number of questions after remaining quiet for a number of months. In response to […]

  25. […] (he’s responsible for most of the game while getting some additional help from a few others) has posted an update on the game, answering a few questions after remaining quiet for a few months. According to Gallat, “the […]

  26. […] (he’s responsible for most of the game while getting some additional help from a few others) has posted an update on the game, answering a few questions after remaining quiet for a few months. According to Gallat, “the […]

  27. […] (he’s responsible for most of the game while getting some additional help from a few others) has posted an update on the game, answering a few questions after remaining quiet for a few months. According to Gallat, “the […]

  28. […] And there will be a fair amount to test—the game’s story (focusing on Tilo’s quest to find his true love, Merra) will take 15 to 20 hours and play out over 60 quests. It’ll run longer if you want to go after all its secrets and hidden locations, the team said in a blog post. […]

  29. […] y como detalla el estudio en su blog, se encuentran actualmente trabajando en las misiones, diálogos, animaciones, entre otros […]

  30. […] (he’s responsible for most of the game while getting some additional help from a few others) has posted an update on the game, answering a few questions after remaining quiet for a few months. According to Gallat, “the […]

  31. Once again Seith, i’m going to have to applaud you for what you have achieved with ‘Ghost of a Tale’
    The level of care and detail you have blanketed the entire project with is astounding.
    I’ve mentioned before how I love the story’s atmosphere, comparing it to a favourite book that keeps you turning it’s pages, but you are outdoing yourself at every turn.

    I did say I wasn’t going to download the update and wait patiently for the final version. Well, I didn’t; I couldn’t. And I have completed two more play-throughs of this sumptuous game.

    And once again, I found myself enraptured from the quiet forbodding of the opening warning of the Eternal Green Flame, to Tilo’s escape from his cell. Then from hooking a jar of Brisance to a rope and hook to blow up some rubble, to exploring the castle for Silo’s Beetles and strange nocturnal Mushrooms for Faustus Rott under cover of darkness; All the time enjoying the encounters with the aforementioned Silas and Faustus, to the comically inept Ghusto & Fatale.

    The new lighting looks great. It will add even more depth to what is already a great game oozing pathos, charm, adventurousness and mystery.

    As the game is set entirely in Dwindling Heights, it has been a wonderful aside to read about the wider world through the scattered *Lore* that crops up during footnotes of conversations. It has truly opened up what is a small game by comparison with other Fantasy Games, but it is not the less ambitious for it. The world feels so tangible and logical, that i relish every visit.

    I ponder many questions after finishing a play through. What is Silas *really* up to? Is Faustus Rott to be trusted? What’s waiting in the catacombs? Was the Green Flame truly extinguished, or does it live on in the Rat Guard; unseen, not quite defeated. Is Tilo being manipulated more than he realises? Can Tilo even trust the simple, gruff Rolo?

    You can more than likely guess how much I am looking forward to the final game. And this latest update has my anticipation climbing higher. The new lighting, more secrets, and what looks like quite excellent illustrations for the conversations.

    Once again, congrats to you Seith, and all involved. You have created something special.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Lee. As creators of the game it’s always wonderful to see how much one can enjoy the game, including its characters and back-story. I can tell you’re asking all the right questions, and you will eventually get all the answers in the final version. Including maybe even a twist or two!

      Again, your comment put a smile on all our faces. 🙂

  32. Still no game preorder in russian Xbox live.

    • Oh. I believe Microsoft told us that Russia (and Japan) were off-limit for us but then again things might have changed since then. We’ll investigate.

  33. Hi there, I am one of the people who supported this game on Indiegogo and until now I am not disappointed. I have not played early access version yet (dont want to spoil the experience) but I am always happy to read about the progress.

    I would like to use the oportunity, since this story is slowly coming to the (happy to say) successful release, that this is one of the best, if not the best campaigns I have ever supported. In terms of honesty, obvious amount of hard work and passion put into the game and (for me) just right amount of information given to you followers and supporters.

    BRAVO and THANK YOU!

    • Oh that’s very nice to hear! Thank you for the compliment, Shadow. I’m glad you feel vindicated in your decision to support the game during the crowdfunding campaign.

      What you say here is very important to us indeed. We have made the choice since the beginning to be honest and open about the game’s development. And indeed we don’t have any incentive to twist things or spout half-truth in order to win a certain amount of pre-orders since the proof is in the pudding and said pudding is in early access for all to see.

      And so far I have to say this attitude has helped us attract reasonable and decent people. Which is all we could hope for!

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  35. Its amazing how much work you guys have put into this game already, Its beautiful and very well done gameplay wise as well. I bought the early access version on steam and It was a great purchase. I have a very small youtube channel in which I am gonna make a playthrough of the early access version. more or less for the sheer sake of having fun with it again. I am excited to see what else will be coming out when the game gets its full release.

  36. Amazing!!! I can tell through your words, that you are pretty excited with those lighting effects. And so you should be. LOOKS AMAZING!

    Very excited for the full release. And honestly, I didn’t think it could look any better. But hey, that’s why you da man!!!

    • Hehe. Cheers Crazycupmuffin! Let’s put it this way: I’m satisfied with the way the game looks now. And if we have a chance to do another one after that, it will look even better! 😉

  37. Absolutely fantastic news man. I will be greatly anticipating the Xbox One release. One question, when you say Xbox one X will run things much better does this mean you won’t be really enhancing the game for the Xbox One X and let the system do its things (16xAF, vsync, max resolution) or will you consider building a patch to make it 4K with additional enhancements? I sure hope so! 🙂

    • Hey Thijs, it’s still a little too soon to be sure since (as I was saying in another comment’s reply) we don’t have access to an Xbox One X dev kit yet.

      For now the way I envision it is the game would probably look the way it does on PC, with most of the visual settings maxed out. Which is the best GoaT can look.

  38. I remember when this was a little baby of a game back in 2014! They grow up so fast ;_;

  39. I found out about this game not long ago, and I must say it looks fantastic. I am a 3D platformer and exploration fan, but never played a stealth game before. Would you describe it as a “hard” game?

    Still excited to try it out. Best of luck!

    • Thanks Lucas! No I wouldn’t say GoaT is a hard game (unless you don’t have much experience playing video games). It’s also not a hardcore stealth game per se. It’s more of an action-RPG with stealth elements.

  40. Great news, and glad to see this project being followed through right to the end; I seldom engage in early-access, but this has been a gem. Looking forward to the final game, even if it means having to start all over again! (Will definitely have to upgrade my PC to enjoy it at its best…)

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