Now that the dust is settled I can at last find time to post an update! What an experience it’s been!
Ghost of a Tale has been out in early access on Steam and GOG for more than three weeks now. And it’s been both exhausting and exhilarating. Some days we worked nonstop around the clock with only 4h of sleep so it was rather intense, but in the end it was all worth it.
I want to thank Cyrille (Cosmogonies) and Paul (FakeNina) for answering emails and replying on forums while at the same time toiling away on the game. If Ghost of a Tale’s launch wasn’t a total chaos it’s all thanks to their constant dedication and hard work, for which I am immensely grateful.
Thank you also to all of you guys who took the time to send us your saves, screenshots and bug reports! You have truly made the game better for all those who will come after you.
To say the reactions to the game have been overwhelmingly positive is an understatement. Here’s a typical example of a player’s reaction about the game:
I’m really glad we tested the game beforehand as best we could because it actually paid off: Ghost of a Tale was called one of the best example ever of a game released in early access. For some reviewers it even set a new standard in terms of quality of a pre-release. Which is music to our mousey ears!
I was excited for Ghost of a Tale. Having play 1hr30 of it, so far, I *love* it.
The new high standard for Early Access.
— Jim Sterling (@JimSterling) July 28, 2016
Of course there are still bugs remaining and we’re working tirelessly to squash the most annoying ones as quickly as possible. We also added requested features and players were sometimes amazed to see we genuinely cared for their feedback.
We’ve got some great suggestions (regarding AI, game mechanics, etc…) which will make the game even better than it is while keeping the original vision intact.
All in all I’d say the game has attracted a really nice crowd, with a lot of good will and a genuine desire to help. And that’s probably one of the most welcomed achievements of the game as far as I’m concerned.
How did the game do in early access?
It did alright! The sales are not fantastic by any measure but it should allow us to finish the game as intended. Now for any slightly bigger studio that level of revenues would without a doubt spell the end of the project. But not in this case, rest assured the game will get finished!
Early access games are rarely a smash success and we released Ghost of a Tale without any publicity whatsoever. I didn’t even have time to do a proper new trailer, Microsoft couldn’t provide any marketing support since the game is not yet out on the Xbox One and almost no journalists were aware of the game’s pre-release. Talk about a hard sell!
Anyway the uptake is a lot of players went “This looks really nice, I’ll wait until it comes out of Early Access!”. So if Steam’s dashboard is to be believed we have ten times more potential buyers waiting for the game to be finished than the actual amount who already bought it. Which seems to indicate the game should be fairly successful when it gets officially released.
So what now?
The very first step is to take care of all the remaining bugs to ensure the early access is basically as bug-free as possible, since the systems and game mechanics will be used in the final version.
The second phase involves tweaking the gameplay, integrating more feedback from players, etc… Then early access will be deemed complete in the sense that it procures a thoroughly enjoyable experience to players new and old. Development will then branch out to what will become the full (final) version of the game. We are currently nearing that stage.
On that topic, a quick message to all of you backers who got access to the Beta version of the game on Steam: you can now switch back to the default branch. The Beta branch is going to be used mostly for experimental builds, where we introduce tweaks or changes not yet ready for prime-time.
So if you’d like to provide us with feedback about new features (and potentially new bugs) please stay on the Beta branch. If not, then simply opt out of it in the game’s properties.
What about consoles?
We are currently working on getting the Preview version onto the Xbox One. I will of course post here whenever there are related news.
Regarding the PlayStation 4 we don’t have anything to announce yet, besides the fact that Sony is indeed aware of the game and would like to see it come to their console. Once more I’ll let you guys know as soon as there’s anything new to report.
Will the game be available on the Humble store?
Yes it will, thank you for your patience! It will also be possible to buy the game directly from this site through the Humble Widget. I’ll post an update when that’s ready to go.
Alright, I have to get back to work now. And I’ve still got hundreds of emails to go through. So please be patient, it will take me some time…
Finally I simply want to thank again all of you backers of the Indiegogo campaign who chose to give Tilo a chance three years ago. It looks like you won’t have to regret it! 😀