Early access and beyond!
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! 😀
JacobAugust 19, 2016 at 5:07 pm
SeithAugust 19, 2016 at 8:25 pm
Aurelien REGARDAugust 19, 2016 at 5:38 pm
I don’t know how you manage to release the game in EA, fix bugs AND manage to send so much love to your community at the same time. Very impressed, as always! You guys are the best.
SeithAugust 19, 2016 at 8:24 pm
Merci monsieur! I’d say it’s hard work, but then again YOU out of all people would know exactly how hard that is… 😉
JimmeyAugust 19, 2016 at 5:42 pm
One day I’ll get a chance to play it, until then I’m just happy it’s been a success, nice job!
SeithAugust 19, 2016 at 8:22 pm
Thank you Jimmey! 🙂
luckyAugust 19, 2016 at 7:02 pm
That’s good news, congrats 🙂
luckyAugust 19, 2016 at 7:03 pm
Oh totally messed up the blockquote… I wanted to quote the sales that were “not fantastic”.
SeithAugust 19, 2016 at 8:22 pm
No it won’t. What will, however, have an influence on whether or not there is a Ghost of a Tale 2 is of course very much linked to the sales of the game once it’s out of early access.
h0bbittenAugust 20, 2016 at 8:30 am
First things first let me tell you how much i appreciate the work you do, as a game developer u have already done more for this game than most gamedevelopers out there. I feel that the amount of attention you give this game is almost if not equally as much as the early minecraft days, which is AMAZING!!!
Second: You have made me SO hyped for this game with your constant updates under development and the small amount i have played this game has DEFINETLY not dissapointed me!!! I havent been this happy for a game ive hyped so much since Ratchet & Clank: A crack in time and Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus (Games which i have completed at least three times!!!)
Third: Because of irl stuff i still havent had time to make it out of the prison, but surely when i find time ill make it out of there:) and as a small time youtuber i will definetly make a playthrough of the game when it is out of EA.
Thx for the great work so far Seith
SeithAugust 25, 2016 at 7:28 am
Hi Hobbitten. I’m very happy the game didn’t disappoint you, even in its pre-release state. Thank you for taking the time to share the good vibes, that’s very much appreciated! 🙂
Lee HendersonAugust 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm
I don’t know why i’ve waited so long to leave a reply. I’ve been following the progress of this game for a while, but i’m compelled to write now after watching some of the Early Access videos. It looks amazing. I play my fair share of Banquet games; AAA games. But it’s the smaller, far tastier games that i adore playing. I followed “Ori and the Blind Forest” for what seemed an eternity. And purchased both versions. Same with “Unravel”, my game of 2016.
I’m an artist myself, and the sheer quality of them was astounding. But i also like stories; and the worlds the stories inhabit. “Ghost of a Tale” looks an astounding achievement. I own a lowly Xbox One, but this will be a Day One purchase for me. I’ll most likely be taking a screenshot and using as my Background. If there is a special edition with a leatherbound Artbook and a little model of Tilo and a fold out map of the castle, i’ll buy that version. Till, like Yarney from “Unravel”, looks like a relustant hero i want to take a journey with. I look forward to its release.
SeithAugust 25, 2016 at 9:00 am
Thanks for the kind words, Lee! You should eventually be able to play the game on Xbox One, after we do a pass of optimization that is (from a visual point of view).
AxelAugust 20, 2016 at 2:57 pm
Seith, I’m very hyped for this game. I’ve backed it on the Indiegogo campaign, and I’ve been following it this whole time. I remember when the store first opened up, and I sent a penny as a way to help test it and David sent me my own “Virtual Frog”! I have the Inquisitive Perk, and I wasn’t sure whether receiving the game for it included the pre-release or just the official release. I’m anxious to play, so I look forward to playing no matter what. Thank you very much for continuing to work on this game all these years!
AxelAugust 20, 2016 at 2:59 pm
My mistake, it seems I already have a steam key! I searched through my old email, and found that I had missed it! Looking forward to playing it now!
RodeiAugust 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Hi, im playing the game, and is very fun, but i have a question. ¿U gonna put some indications for do some misions in the finished game? Cause is so hard for me and probably for more people find the objetive. Thank u for do this game ^.^
SeithAugust 22, 2016 at 7:39 am
Yes, in the next update it will be possible to ask for more details to the NPCs about where to find quest-related things, including marking locations on your maps.
mushroomerAugust 20, 2016 at 9:54 pm
aaaand – eventually the game is a damn stealth without any combat mechanics? it looks great, yes, but only visually. constant sneaking and hiding is boring and hey, i’ve almost bought this game, and for now – i’m glad i haven’t
SeithAugust 22, 2016 at 7:36 am
Sorry you don’t like the game! But it’s good you didn’t buy it I guess. No harm done.
luckyAugust 22, 2016 at 9:27 am
Mushrroomer, this game is simply not your style… When I play FPS i get bored, but some people like it. Matter of taste.
And you don’t have to hide constantly, e.g. when Tilo wears an armor.
On the contrary I find it great that Seith dig into this kind of game, there is not enough of them!
Jean-BaptisteAugust 23, 2016 at 11:28 am
You talked about a beta access through Steam. Does it mean one cannot access the beta through GOG.com ?
SeithAugust 23, 2016 at 1:29 pm
Hi Jean-Baptiste. I replied via email but for the benefit of everyone: it is currently possible via Steam to access a Beta branch with builds that are not yet published in the Default branch (the normal one).
The GOG version ends up being a bit late because the process takes a little more time and we first want to be sure there’s no serious trouble before rolling out the builds on GOG. There’s usually a couple days of delay.
Jean-BaptisteAugust 23, 2016 at 2:50 pm
Wow: AI breakdown, it’s just a flurry of glitched rats. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUazSadmpwE
Seith, you’ve got to be aware of that…
SeithAugust 23, 2016 at 9:11 pm
Not to worry, the next update will take care of that. Out of the thousands of people who played the game, that particular freakout (linked to picking up a shield) has probably affected one or two persons.
This YouTuber is a true game-breaker, which is exactly what we need during pre-release! 🙂
zlddAugust 23, 2016 at 9:52 pm
Hello from someone that’s had an eye on your wonderful game for too long now. Congratulations on releasing the game in Early Access – how did I miss it?!
I wanted to ask whether there’d be a physical copy of the game for Xbox One? If not, would it be a Play Anywhere title, or would it be limited to GOG/Steam on the PC side?
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making Ghost of a Tale. This industry needs more people like you. You’ve got something very, very special on your hands, and not just for Redwall fans.
The best of luck!
SeithAugust 25, 2016 at 2:56 pm
Hi Zldd. It is a very nice feeling when I hear the game has found a particular echo in players, so thanks a lot for writing this.
I’m not sure there’s going to be a physical edition of the game yet. In any case the game will first reach Xbox One first as a Preview game (so digital download).
waalxSeptember 27, 2016 at 8:25 am
I found out about this game just a few months ago beginning of 2016. I was following your website and was already quite impressed by what was shown here, the artistry and style is so good. I bought the early access on Steam a week ago and gave it a quick test-run. I don’t want to spoil the story for myself so playing more than a few hours was enough.
However I’m writing about a concern I had before you released the game. You said previously that it would be unplayable on lower-end computers. I have to say that so far at 720p med setting I can run the game on my humble Asus Zenbook 3ghz, 10gb ram, Nvidia 940m and running of an SSD hard drive. Its somehow my understanding that running games of an SSD make a huge difference. Some games that say would be unplayable on a mobile GPU like my 940m, they still run fine for me. Mostly. Maybe this can be helpful for some people.
A question. Will the NPC have voice-over in the multi choices dialogs? *spoiler* Like the chained frog you encounter very early-on in the game – it should be speaking it’s own lines.
Bravo! C’est du travail exemplaire mec!
SeithOctober 13, 2016 at 9:43 pm
Yes indeed, I’ve been working a lot recently on optimization all around and there’s going to be a significant boost in performances in the next release. But you’re right, the tech requirements for the game will go quite lower than they are currently.
Regarding voice-over that’s still up in the air at the moment. They may come in at a later point but it’s not decided yet.
AnatilOctober 1, 2016 at 8:35 am
I’m glad there are people who enjoy playing games in these states simply because I prefer to play a game that’s complete. Looking forward to its final release.
SeithOctober 13, 2016 at 9:43 pm
That’s understandable. That being said, the early access is also funding the game. 🙂
EarlyAccessDunceOctober 9, 2016 at 2:18 pm
I just wonder what happened since August…when this game had its surge thanks to sterlings coverage..after that pretty much …dead? Update 1.93 (26 August 2016) GOG.
luckyOctober 10, 2016 at 8:19 pm
I’m pretty sure Seith is working hard to complete the game. Many bugs to fix and new features to add before 2017 (hopefully the game will be released in 2016).
But like everybody here I’m eager to read another update on this blog! I guess it will come soon, the usual rythm is one post per month.
SeithOctober 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm
Yes Lucky, you’re about right. Well, except about the release I’m sorry to say. The game will be released in early 2017 (if everything works fine).
SeithOctober 13, 2016 at 9:45 pm
What’s happening is we’ve been working very hard and time flies! 🙂
I will be posting an update about what we’ve been working on and what’s in store for the early access next week.