Large update!

Feb 182015

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… πŸ™‚

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.

ScreenShot 2015_02_13 13;53;590012

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.

ScreenShot 2015_02_18 16;31;06001

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:


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! πŸ™‚

  34 Responses to “Large update!”

  1. Nice update! I quite this new water shader. πŸ™‚

    Any news on the release scope? 2015 for sure but which quarter/noth do you aim for?

    Continue with the great work.

  2. Thank you for the update, it sounds like the project is shaping up extremely well. I’ll watch the video soon, I hope my French is up to the task ;).

  3. The game’s looking even prettier than I imagined it could be, so very much looking forward to playing it later this year! πŸ™‚

  4. From what you’ve written, I’m assuming the keep covers a much smaller area than the island does; am I to assume that, although a smaller area, the scope of gameplay time/elements is still similar to what you initially intended?

    • Yes, that is correct, the geographical area is smaller (compared to the huge island). The scope of gameplay elements is also different from what I had originally planned; it’s much richer now.

      • Been meaning to ask, as well, is there anything stopping you from creating a PS4 port in the future?

        I’m assuming, technically, it’s of a sufficient spec to handle the game, although I have no idea if there is a PS4 version of Unity, off the top of my head, though I’d be surprised if there wasn’t.

        I know MS supplied you with an Xbox dev kit, did that come with any strings attached? You’ve written about it before, in a way that suggested that there wasn’t any, I was just curious if there may have been anything that wasn’t mentioned previously.

        • A PS4 version should be, in theory, perfectly possible. However, due to the game being released on Xbox One, I am unfortunately not at liberty of discussing it any further. Of course if you’re familiar with this kind of “exclusivity” then you probably have a good idea about how things usually unfold.

  5. I absolutely love how this game is shaping up. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed for a Mac (or, even better, Wii U) release, since I don’t have a PC (or PS4 or XO). I supported the IndieGoGo campaign anyway, since I want this game to exist, but I would reeeeeally like to be able to play it.

    • Thank you for supporting the campaign! πŸ™‚ Regarding a release on Mac, it depends entirely on several technical factors which are totally out of our control (most notably Unity’s support for tessellation on openGL). And unfortunately the Wii U falls into the same category, plus it might simply not have sufficient memory (2Gb compared with the 8Gb of the other current-gen consoles). But if Nintendo ever contacts us with all the things we need for a port that would be on-par with the rest, who knows…?

  6. The game is still looking fantastic. I’m glad that you decided to put Periclave on the sheft for now, and I’m excited to explore Dwindling Heights.

    You may not know this yet, but will we be able to tweak / turn off chromatic aberration? I’m personally not a fan of the way it looks in video games, and I’d love for there to be an option.

    Thanks for the great update!

    • That’s a good question, Gabriel. I haven’t yet come around to doing the in-game options but I already gave it some thoughts and it seems like it should be possible.

  7. Looking absolutely lovely! πŸ˜€

  8. Guys, this is amazing! Thank you so much for the Update. Is there any option to pre-order the game right now? πŸ˜€

    • Hi Marcel – there will be some way to do this, guaranteed! Actually, its not too far from ready. But Seith is so busy on the game itself that he just hasn’t had time to approve it πŸ˜€

      • Hehe, good to hear that. πŸ™‚ I am really looking forward to this game. It looks absolutely amazing. Unfortunately i missed the Indiegogo-campaign. I would love it to support you guys. Thanks and greetings from Germany to France.

        • cheers for your backing! There is a little dialogue box on the right side of the home page, if you like you can sign up there to get notification of when it is up and running πŸ˜‰

          • hey Marcel, Seith contacted with a bit more info about this… apologies if I gave the impression that opening was pretty much imminent, it looks like it is still several months away.

  9. My French is too basic to understand what was said in the TV interview, but I thought it was great! And kudos to Cyrille… it’s absolutely mindblowing to see the GoaT demo up and running on the Xbox One πŸ˜€

  10. Yo,

    Great job for this update guys, looking forward to playing the game πŸ™‚


  11. Just outstanding. I love that water shader (you might want to consider slowing down his movement a tad?) and the whole project looks fabulous. Keep it up! I look forward to exploring your world.

  12. This game keeps looking better and better! I never got into Dark/Demons Souls, but I love a lot of the animation and movies you mention as inspiration (during the funding campaign). Keep up the good work. Can’t wait for this to be released on the Xbox One!

  13. I can’t even overstate how impressed I am with the general art direction of your game.
    It truly is a thing of beauty.

  14. Nice!! I can’t wait to play it on Xbox One. The game looks beautiful.

  15. When I saw this game I fall in love! I’m a Ps4 and WiiU owner. I know that it’s not probably that apears on WiiU, but something tell me that all Ps4 owners will enjoy this game in the future. Damned exclusivity!!!

    • He he. I hear you. I guess it’s on par for the course when your crowdfunding campaign doesn’t rack in millions of dollars… πŸ˜‰

  16. I have a Xbox One and I cannot wait for this to come out. Hopefully I won’t have to wait much longer then the PC release though πŸ™ Either way, good luck on finishing your game and I very much look forward to playing it when it releases!!

  17. Intresting. Looks like you are really good developer because trait of good devs is that if they have to kill their babies(parts of the game) in order to make game better they kill them. Looks like you decided for way more straightforward experience and I am looking forward to it.

  18. This is absolutely amazings!!
    can’t wait to play this game

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