Final Stretch! Release Plan!
Welcome to this new Ghost of a Tale update, in which I will talk about the final game (release date, price, etc…) as well as various improvements and overall progress on the game’s development (spoiler: it’s going great!). 🙂
I do wish I had time to post more development updates here but we’ve entered the final stretch to the game’s completion and I tend to not see time whizzing by. Paul is working hard on dialogs and quests and Cyrille still develops precious tools which allow me to streamline my everyday workflow. And at this point of the development the dividends pay up big time!
To start, here’s a screenshot that makes use of a new volumetric lighting asset (not yet in the early access version). But more on that later…
The final game’s release:
A couple of months back I was still hoping we would be able to release the game this year. Even though to this day I’ve refused to give out a specific date out of fear of missing it I’ve been known to say publicly “2017”.
The thing is, now that we’ve got a very clear view on the final stretch, that’s just not realistic. Well, technically the game’s content itself will be mostly done by the end of December, there’s no doubts about this.
So I guess technically you could say “Yay, game done this year!”. But that’s not the way it works. You don’t release a game as soon as you wrote the last line of code and animated the last walk cycle.
When all is said and done we’re going to need a few weeks (we estimate 4 to 6) just going through QA. That is intense testing and making sure there are no outstanding issues (whether it be in text display, animation, mechanics, quests, dialogs, etc…).
After that (well, almost in parallel) we’ll have several people working on translating the 60K+ words of the game into as many languages as we can financially afford. Which is at first: French, Italian, German, and Spanish. We will also try for Portuguese, Polish and Russian eventually (depending on how much it costs). And after that Chinese and Japanese would be great.
On that topic, some studios often go with horrendous Google translate (sometimes because of cost, sometimes because they can’t be bothered) but let me assure you that won’t be the case for Ghost of a Tale. We will make sure the translators know of context and are given the tools necessary to do a great job.
Meanwhile we will reach out to journalists and YouTubers in order to make them aware of the game’s release date (or in some cases of the game’s sheer existence). This phase includes anything marketing-related (screenshots, interviews, advertisement, etc…).
If you remember, the early access version of Ghost of a Tale was released more or less in a void. We can’t afford that for the final release; things need to be done properly in order to insure the game’s completion doesn’t go thoroughly unnoticed.
All of this amounts to roughly 8 weeks after final content is done and locked. Which is why we are aiming for a release in the beginning of March 2018.
Note that this is for the PC version. Xbox One will follow soon after that (barring any technical catastrophe). And finally the PS4 version.
(We haven’t looked yet at Xbox One X but if the Xbox One can run the game, the X won’t have any problem running it much, MUCH better!)
As I mentioned earlier I’ve very recently integrated a nice volumetric lighting asset in the game, which greatly brings out the atmosphere of mystery that I always wanted to capture.
Technically what it does is it allows for the display of light rays even when the light source is off-camera. In the screenshot below the sun is actually out of the camera’s frustum yet it casts visible volumetric rays.
At night it translates for example to a much more dramatic moonlight. Which inspired me to revisit the overall nocturnal look of the game and I think that you guys are going to like it! 🙂
What’s great is when you explore a dark wood at night and the moon rays fall through the canopy as Tilo runs through them. It just feels so nice.
Final game’s duration and details:
Some of you might wonder how long the game will last. That’s obviously difficult to say but based on the early access it should take at least 15 to 20 hours to finish. Of course it could be much longer if you want to discover all of the secrets and locations.
The final game will have roughly 60 quests, varying in terms of complexity (compared to the 30 or so in the early access). It will also have more NPCs, but let’s not spoil that right now!
The new locations to explore will more than double the area of what’s already available in the early access. Believe me, the world feels much bigger now and you will get lost without a map. 🙂
The final game will go on sale at $24.99. However, while the game remains in early access, the price will stay at $19.99. Which is a way for us of thanking you for taking a chance on an early-access game and trusting us not to fudge it up!
Finally I would like to officially welcome Jerome Jacinto to Ghost of a Tale’s (diminutive) team! Jerome is an experienced illustrator who worked on “Tooth and Tail” (where he took care of character design and key art) as well as the digital board game “Armello”.
Jerome is now creating the game’s NPC portraits, which appear during dialogs (the art in the current release is just place-holder if you hadn’t guessed!). This will make dialogs even more enjoyable than they currently are.
Here’s a gallery of some of the characters (no real spoilers as those already appear in the early access).
Of course each character will possess a wide range of poses to match their dialog and personality. Here are only a few of Gusto’s expressions:
I have to say every time Jerome finishes up a new character’s expression sheet it truly is a pleasure to peruse through all of them in anticipation of their use in the game… 🙂
Alright, so we reached the end of this update! Thanks again for taking the time to read all of it. I hope you liked it and now I’ll go back to work. As usual please don’t hesitate to leave your comments below and I’ll do my best to reply. See you in the next update!