Jul 252014
 
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Hello everyone! With August very soon upon us this might end up being the last update before Gamescom. I’ve just wrapped up work on the reveal trailer yesterday at 3AM. It was back-breaking work, but it’s done and I’m happy with the result. I want to thank Paul for his indispensable help on finishing the trailer and obviously Jeremiah for his hauntingly beautiful soundtrack.

The trailer is an important element to get right because for a lot of people (I hope at least) this will be the first time they’re introduced to the world of Ghost of a Tale. You guys already know about the game of course, but it’s still pretty much unknown to the wide gaming audience.

It’s a difficult act to balance as Ghost of a Tale is definitely not a AAA game. People expecting the scale of Skyrim or the action of Dark Souls are not going to find it. Instead they’ll find a small game with elements of exploration, action, stealth, adventure, and I hope the charm and heart which I think so many bombastic AAA games lack nowadays. Here’s a screenshot for you (it’s HD resolution so you can make it bigger). It’s not part of the trailer, just some dark, humid location in the demo.

Image of Tilo standing by a lectern

So now I’ll move on to working on the playable demo we’ll show on our booth (Hall 10.1 Aisle C No: 51). It’s going to be at pre-alpha stage, meaning a lot of elements are not there yet, like the questing and dialog system, inventory, etc… But the mission for Gamescom is not to say “here look at our game, it’s almost done!” but rather to simply raise awareness. And despite the fatigue, the bugs and the long hours I have to say I love how the game is shaping up. What is shown at Gamescom is going to be but a fraction of what Ghost of a Tale has to offer… 🙂

Cheers, Seith

Dec 222013
 
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Hello everyone,

Welcome to the Christmas update of Ghost of a Tale. This is going to be a longer post, but hopefully you’ll find it an interesting read! 🙂

First, here’s a gift for you all: a new Ghost of a Tale wallpaper. You can click on “Media” at the top of this page then scroll down a little and you’ll find an archive put there by David. It contains several different screen sizes to accommodate your favorite display. As always, this screenshot is a direct, unaltered gameplay screenshot (well, save for the logo)…

Wallpaper

When I started the Indiegogo campaign back in May I was hoping for some kind of closed alpha to be released right about now but it seems that was a little optimistic, as I’m still putting something together as we speak. I am aware that we live in a time where huge studios cancel or delay their games on a whim, without much apparent respect for their audiences. And sometimes when they do release their games they are crippled by strings of bugs, broken features and half-baked ideas. But let me assure you that I have no desire to follow in those tracks!

Actually, given the fact that this is my first game ever (and that I’m still learning as I go) I’m very happy about the way things are evolving. Indeed I’m slowly reaching the feature-freeze stage where everything starts to gel and game mechanics just… work. Although one of the perks of developing the game 95% on my own is being allowed to change my mind and experiment with things without enduring the wrath of irate team-members. On the other hand if I break it, I have to fix it!

Still, I am glad to benefit from the help of great collaborators whenever the need arises (thanks Paul, Cyrille and Stephane)!

As a side note for a couple of months now I’ve been working with a new computer (bought with the campaign’s funds) and the speed at which I can develop the game has been greatly enhanced. It doesn’t look fancy but it’s got 16gigs of RAM, SSD drives and a GTX Titan graphics card. I am so happy about it because it makes the development process so much more effective (and enjoyable!).

Computer

And now for something completely different, here is a new peek into the process of creating the game’s sets. The dungeon you see on the new wallpaper is (probably) going to be part of the alpha. Its purpose is to show off game mechanics in a restricted environment and give a very small taste for the game.

It all starts with a process called “white-boxing”, which means that the architecture is created out of simple textureless cubes and planes in order to get a sense of space without getting bogged down by minute design decisions.

(Pay no attention to the HUD on the picture, it’s just a place-holder)

Whiteboxing

After that stage I go back to Maya and create the actual models used in-game. You’ll notice the environments require a relatively low amount of polygons since a lot of work comes from the textures themselves. As I already mentioned before, DirectX 11 allows displacement to be used to great effects. Of course geometry and surfacing need to be perfectly in sync to yield a pleasing result, which requires quite a lot of back-and-forth.

Maya whitebox

This is the same location as in the other screenshot, but the temporary white-boxed assets have been replaced with their final counterpart. Still, a screenshot doesn’t do the game justice in this case because it doesn’t convey the flickering torch lights and slowly drifting smoke, along with the sound of crackling fire.

Final

Again with Ghost of a Tale I am striving to create an experience both engrossing and aesthetically pleasant, despite the very limited manpower. And as a friend of mine was putting it, ultimately it should feel like you’ve been invited to another world which was given a lot of thoughts and care. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you have a fast machine and a great graphics card! ^^

On the behalf of the Ghost of a Tale small team, happy and safe holidays to you all! 😀

May 162013
 
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Although at this point it would be extremely tempting to scream like a little girl, I have in fact decided to exert temperance. I will therefore indulge in a simple wheezing sound.  Oh, and George Broussard (Duke Nukem 3D, Max Payne) has just tweeted: “Have to tweet this. “Ghost of a Tale” on indiegogo is beautiful.”  Now how nice is that? 🙂 It is deserving of a froggy wallpaper, wouldn’t you say? https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101126402/W…  Enjoy!

Wallpaper featuring frog