New location! New quests!

Aug 112017
 
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Welcome all! Today I’m very happy because I get to talk about new content added to the early access! 🙂

Indeed we’ve opened up a new location: the Northern Slopes (along with the old armory) but we also worked a lot on the existing Far Tower area. Not only is the location much prettier to look at (thanks to many new assets) but there’s actually stuff to do there now!

Here’s a lighting test for the time-of-day system which is recorded in the new area:

We’ve added 5 new quests to the existing 28, which brings us to a tally of 33 quests available in the early access version. The new quests range from quite easy to much more involved.

Furthermore we introduce a couple of new gameplay mechanics: among which are the “brisance kegs”. Those are in effect a sort of exploding barrel/nitroglycerin. They are heavy items which Tilo can grab and move anywhere within a certain distance.

And that’s what makes them special: every time Tilo takes a step the brisance bar fills up a little until it fills up completely and as you guessed… the whole thing goes ka-boom! So better not let that happen.

But that’s not all: the brisance is sensitive to shocks so Tilo can also throw projectiles at it to blow it up at a distance.

Conversely, Tilo can light up the fuse of the brisance kegs (using his candlestick or fire steel) to create a delayed explosion. Which will prove very handy throughout the rest of the game, against some enemies and also as a way to affect the environment.

In this update we have added new shortcuts for you to discover, making traveling from one part of Dwindling Heights to another even more enjoyable.

Besides the usual helping of bug fixes you’ll also find long-time requested features like a brightness slider, an LOD slider (for people with powerful machine who just want the game to look as good as possible) and a way to sort the inventory clothing items by costume and/or body parts.

And by the way just to give you some hints: the new quests can be accessed by talking to Faustus, visiting the garden and exploring the far tower area (mind your steps).

The guards now have new attack sounds (coupled with camera shakes when Tilo gets hit) so they overall feel more threatening. Some of them now wear greaves, which means that they won’t slip down on a grease jar anymore.

You can think of it as a rock/paper/scissors situation: some guards wear a helmet so you can’t knock them down with a bottle but they could slip and fall on a grease jar, while some others have no head protection but they wear greaves, etc… So you have to choose the right tool for the right situation.

The map system has also been improved in that the markers that appear on it now visually indicate if the items they refer to are located above or below Tilo’s current position.

Story-wise you can also pick up more roses in the world, which in turn will let you learn more about Tilo and Merra’s story.

Anyway there are too many things to mention here so I encourage you to read the detailed release notes.

With this update we are nearing the 60% of publicly available content. One thing to keep in mind about the whole process is we only publish things when they are ready. In other words out of the remaining 40% about half is already created and the other half is well on the way. Of course for now the “non-public” content is only reachable by us developers and alpha testers. But boy do we have some beautiful things in store for you! 🙂

To illustrate this point, here’s a screenshot of Tilo exploring the catacombs (which are not open to the public yet)…

In terms of availability this update can be downloaded on Steam today, then in a couple of days on GOG and finally (barring any unforeseen troubles) on the Xbox One before the end of the month.

Update on August 18: The new build is now available on Steam, GOG and the Xbox One store!

As usual, don’t hesitate to leave your questions and suggestions in the comments below! See you in the next update! 🙂

  26 Responses to “New location! New quests!”

  1. Looking good! I’ll jump in on it when it nears 100% content, and hopefully before it’s ready for release : D

  2. Every new update = the feeling you get on Christmas morning 😀

  3. It looks so, so lovely Seith! Makes it hard for me to hold out for the release build! Everytime you post an update I get so excited by the places and features that are to come! Nautilus is right, feels like Christmas (eve, where I life ;).

    Glad to see this slowly getting its head above the water!

  4. I’ll have to start it up again. Many changes since my last visit to Dwindling Heights. I am really looking forward to the final version also.
    You are one of the prime examples of early access done right!

  5. Still hoping you bring this great game to linux! I backed it on indiegogo but I’m willing to buy another copy if this happens!

    • Hey Nitroflow. I know some people are interested in a Linux version, believe me! It will essetially come down to time: if a Linux version ever sees the light of day it will probably be after the PC and consoles versions are safely tucked in bed.

  6. Is the “Heroes All” quest bugged? The quest will not progress after lighting one or all candles. I lit them in the order I believe to be correct, the candles blew out by “ill wind”. I lit them in the same order again, the last candle being lit already when I got there, which maybe I did by accident, but then all the candles stayed lit and the quest still didn’t progress – as in I have tended 0/9 graves. I can’t tell if I’m missing something, or if this is not supposed to happen 🙁

    • Hi Bre. Thanks for your report. Yes, we just saw there was a bug if you light the candles with the fire steel instead of the candlestick. This will be fixed in the upcoming patch!

  7. Asolutely incredible screenshots! The visual style is a perfect mix of realistic lighting and exaggerated architecture- reminds me quite a bit of the old Hobbit PS2 game that was a staple of my childhood! Excellent work.
    Also, I know that with all the work that’s being poured into this game blog posts are not top priority, but would it be possible for you to post some of your early sketches and concept art for the game? I am a sophomore in college, studying to be a concept artist. I love seeing the ideas behind the final product for games!

    • Thank you Joseph. I will try down the line to post more “making-of” updates but as you said, our focus is squarely on finishing the game. So that might have to wait a little. But I will keep it in mind!

  8. So nice, I cannot wait to play it. Amazing UNITY can do this, they should give you an award. Turning on my Xbox to play again!

    • Hehe. Maybe they will, who knows!

      The Xbox One version should be up before the end of the month if everything goes well (and it’s always a big if!!!). 🙂

  9. I love this so much. I think I’ll wait until the full release to dive back in again so that I can enjoy it in its completion, but every update is just mind blowing.

  10. Merci !!! C’est une excellente nouvelle et longue vie à Ghost of a tale ! (surtout sur XBox One) ; )

  11. Just played the 60 minute trial on Xbox earlier today then spent 30 minutes contemplating if I would buy it or not. I definitely did buy it and don’t regret it all. I love it!!!! I think I’m almost done but with it and can’t wait for the rest.

  12. I am torn. I don’t know if i want to dive back in until the finished product is available. But i reeeeeeaaally want to see what’s new.
    I’ve played through, and finished every quest, three times. I like the fact that burning the Flags now alerts the Rat Guards. I’m just worried that if i play too much of the game in small portions i’m going to loose the overall impact of the story and sense of progression.

  13. These guys are truly Unity Wizards! Usually I’m sceptical of 3D Unity games for performance reasons, usually this is caused by developers don’t knowing or don’t caring about optimization and fine-tuning. This just runs smoothly and looks amazing.

    If Unity needs a game to showcase what this engine can do in the right hands, this is the one.

    • Thanks Stian! I must confess I’m often surprised when I play PC games made with Unity that are far less demanding than GoaT (from a technical standpoint) and yet struggle to provide a smooth experience.

      Then again the game is also going to consoles so we really had to optimize a lot of things!

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