GDC 2017

Feb 252017
 
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Hello all! Yes, Ghost of a Tale will be present next week at GDC! Paul will be there in person with a build of the game featuring a new forested area for you to explore!

Screen Shot 02-24-17 at 03.19 PM

I’m starting to be happy with the overall result. Still got to create a few more assets to nail the look but it’s definitely getting there.

Also from the forest you can have a good look at Dwindling Heights’ tower peeking through the canopy.

Screen Shot 02-15-17 at 12.19 PM

So feel free to come by and say hi to Paul! He’ll be at a Unity booth (#1402).

(Speaking of Unity, a well-informed source tells me they’ll show off their new timeline editor with a special guest: a minstrel mouse called Tilo)

Xbox One

The Xbox One version of the game is coming along very nicely. We’re ready to submit to Microsoft for certification. Recent performance improvements allow us to use temporal antialiasing which looks really nice on a big TV!

Speaking of performance, we’ve once again optimized the game a lot in order to reach a stable 30fps on Xbox One. Which means, as I mentioned before, that the PC version now also runs faster.

It really is tricky because the game is primarily developed on a gaming PC and framerate drops from 120fps to 70fps are virtually invisible. But on a console that means the difference between a playable 30fps and a painful 21fps. Thankfully Unity has a handy profiler.

Screen Shot 02-24-17 at 04.37 PM

The level of detail granularity is nice, using sharper textures. And you’ll be able to see all those little details since the main difference between the Xbox and PC versions is the resolution.

Better Night Sky

I improved the look of night skies. Before the fog was so thick you couldn’t see a thing.

The only cheat is by a full moon you wouldn’t be able to see the stars twinkling of course. But they’re so nice I cheated. 😉

Screen Shot 02-15-17 at 12.13 PM

Assets Improvement

I implemented dynamic vegetation throughout the game and since I was at it I also redid the grass assets. The previous version was alright in game when the camera did NOT look down at it. But as soon as it was, the dreaded “razorblade” effect was kicking in. But no more!

Screen Shot 02-21-17 at 12.04 PMa

And the grass interacts with Tilo in a much more natural manner, while being more or less exactly the same number of polygons as before (if you can believe it)!

There’s something to be said for testing your assets in the worst possible conditions (using unflattering contrast); if you manage to make them look nice in those cases you can be fairly sure they’ll look good in-game.

I also recently started using Substance Designer to create textures for the game. I used to be a doubter (since I usually do all my texture work in Photoshop) but after having invested time in watching tutorials and trying it seriously I’m now a believer.

Screen Shot 02-23-17 at 11.15 PM

So in a nutshell development moves on and we can’t wait to show new quests, characters and locations. But we won’t until they’re ready for prime-time!

Meanwhile if you wish to support us then please download the latest version and help us chase pesky bugs. Thanks again for your continued support and see you in the next update!

  20 Responses to “GDC 2017”

  1. YES! always beautiful, and even more beautiful now. I am so buying this for xbone and already have it for PC.

    I know a few great dev’s going to GDC . wish i was also going.. it’d be so kool to meet them all. but.. oh well! Best of luck and someone hug TILO for me!!!

  2. Je n’ai qu’un seul mot pour le superbe travail accompli, wahou!
    Je suis vraiment impatient de pouvoir jouer au jeu complet alors bonne chance pour la suite.

  3. Nothing useful to say, just replying to let you know how much I love to read these updates.

    Can’t wait for the final release (or for any chance to play some new content, anyway).

  4. Super update Seith! La forêt est est très réussie! Juste pour être sûr de n’avoir rien raté, pas de quêtes / chose à découvrir dans ce nouveau lieu pour le moment?
    Est-il possible de savoir combien d’autres nouveaux endroits il y aura dans la version finale, ou bien on a déjà accès plus ou moins à la totalité dans cette build?

    • Merci! :)

      En effet, les quetes, NPC et items lies a cette partie ne sont pas actifs, il y a juste les decors visibles pour l’instant.

      Dans le jeu final il y aura un temple souterrain, une grotte au niveau de l’eau, des catacombes, et un rivage du lac. Et ceci sans compter les pieces qui ne sont pas encore accessibles dans les batiments actuels. Donc au niveau des lieux cela represente sans doute moins de la moitie de ce qui sera disponible.

  5. Ready for certification. Does this mean Microsoft has responded to you? Early this year I got Major Nelson’s attention when I wrote about the game on Reddit and he said he was going to pass this along to MS. Would be great if they finally responded to you guys.

  6. Oh that is fantastic to hear. Would not surprise me if Major Nelson gave that extra “bump” to the Game Preview team and made them go… “oh damn we now need to get on with this.” could you tell me what they said? Basically I just want to know if we can expect this on Game Preview soon. :)

    • Bump!

    • Well I can’t enter into any details of course but they simply followed up on that topic. Now as to whether or not you’ll see GoaT in the Game Preview program soon is still up in the air but the onus is not just on Microsoft this time.

      Long story short, we have discovered a memory bug within the engine itself and Unity is going to do their best to address it in a timely fashion.

      Rest assured that we will communicate in more details about this as soon as possible.

  7. Un simple commentaire pour vous encourager et vous remercier. Je dispose du jeu en version GoG, un univers magnifique remplit de poésie et aux petits ognons (j’apprécie particulièrement le soin que vous apportez au polissage graphique de votre jeu). Cet univers il me fait penser directement à un auteur de BD que j’apprécie énormément : David Petersen et ses merveilleuses Légendes de la Garde. Bon courage, je suis vos actus de manière régulière et j’ai grand hâte de découvrir ce jeu dans sa version définitive. A bientôt !

    • Merci pour votre soutien, Amaury! Je tiens de source sure que David Petersen connait le jeu (meme si ce n’est pas un gros joueur) et qu’il en a egalement apprecie les visuels… 😉

  8. Hey Seith,

    do you use any special grass shader to avoid the razorblade effect?

    • Hi Zerebokep. Not really. The main point is the orientation of the planes (don’t keep them all perfectly vertical) and the texture for the tufts of grass, which needs to be small and versatile (instead of what I was doing previously, which is to use one very wide texture).

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