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Final Stretch! Release Plan!

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!)

Development Progress:

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 price:

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!

Character portraits:

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!

Seith

128 Comments

  • althrioan
    October 23, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Excuse me, but F U C K Y E A H !

  • Strkl
    October 23, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    This game still look amazing !!
    I’m waiting for the final release to enjoy it !

  • Evilkinggumby
    October 23, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    This is great news. I feel so blessed, it is portentially releasing reight around my birthday!! (March 8th) . I couldn’t ask for a better present.

    Total congrats on this long hard road and resulting in both a magnificent game, but also seeing the project grow and sprout into what it is now. Gosh.. such humble beginnings 😉

    Also.. still totally itching to have a physical or collector’s edition!!!

  • Fluke
    October 23, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    As always, it’s looking stunning. I must admit as it has got closer to release, I’ve backed off the early access version in anticipation of playing the full game.

    Good luck during the final stretch – can’t wait to play it!

  • Joseph
    October 23, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    The new volumetric lighting does wonders for the composition of the game! As an digital illustration major in my sophomore year, I really love the character portrait work; I also primarily draw animals (https://jmead0124.wixsite.com/josephmead/2015-portfolio) 🙂 It all builds to create a living, vibrant world. Storytelling is perhaps the greatest art there is, and you have pushed this game into a true epic. Well done!!

  • Tragik TK
    October 23, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    If you need any help with trying to get some coverage i’ll be happy to stream what and when I can when you all have a final product (i’m already an Early Access Purchaser). I’ve enjoyed streaming what I was able to when it came into light on Steam, and would be proud and honored to do so when able to. Just send me an email or what not if you like.

  • jessica tuls
    October 23, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    This is amazing, and it is wonderful to see everyone working so hard to finish a truly beautiful game. I will enjoy playing the beta, until the final game comes out.

  • Steve D
    October 24, 2017 at 12:45 am

    PS4!!! Been looking forward to that being definitively said!

    • Sebastian
      November 11, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      You say it!

  • Undermelon
    October 24, 2017 at 1:49 am

    Thanks for the great update!

  • Stian
    October 24, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Always happy to see these updates, and great to hear the game is progressing fine. Take the time that is necessary to release a great, performance-optimized game, hopefully without too many bugs.

    As a huge fan of the artwork in Armello I can already now say I will definitely love the artwork in this! “Tooth and Tail” is too hard-core for me though 🙂

    A suggestion on Audio – I know you won’t have spoken dialogue, but for instance mouse squeaks, frog quacks and so for the different animals would practically have the same effect for me. Add a couple of variations and string them together, and it would sound great, and much better than the “typewriter” sound in dialogues we have today.

    But make sure to update the Steam forums too from time to time – the guys that hang out only there tend to get fidgety if there’s no word for a couple of weeks…

  • Jerem
    October 24, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Merci pour les infos.

    Du coup avec cette fenêtre de sortie je suis encore plus impatient et un petit peu salé (car il va falloir patienter encore un petit peu). Mais je sais que c’est pour la bonne cause, donc prenez votre temps.

    Sinon j’aime beaucoup les portraits réalisés par Jerome Jacinto (ça colle parfaitement). Quand au reste du jeu c’est de plus en plus beau. J’ai trop hâte de tout explorer avec Tilo. ^^

    Bonne chance messieurs pour cette dernière ligne droite !

  • KwisatzHaderach
    October 24, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Yay, game done this year!!!!!
    (I’ve always been a technical person 😉

    Seriously, the release (whenever it will be!) can’t come quick enough now! The character portraits are spot on! Seith, any chance to give us some insight into how many game tracks there will be in the final release? I still love to listen to Jeremey’s trailer track and am craving for more!

    I still have a spare copy of the game in my Steam inventory, let’s see if I can use it for a forum competition or something over at RPS when the hype hits the nets.

  • Peter
    October 24, 2017 at 10:23 am

    I played the Xbox One version. It does really look gorgeous, but I gave up after about 30 minutes, due to it being frustratingly difficult for me.

    There was just no way for me to (by)pass some guards, which pretty much caused a death every 30 seconds. Tried various different approaches, no can do.

    Very disappointed, I was really looking forward this title.

  • Joaz
    October 24, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Félicitation pour ce travail passionné et bon courage pour la fin !

  • Misfit
    October 24, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    YES YES YES YES YES! oh lawd can’t wait!

  • Lucas Veber
    October 24, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks for this update! Getting better and better. I was seriously doubting it could be released this year, and you just confirmed it, but that’s totally fine 🙂
    I’m glad to wait the time you need to polish things before the final release.
    Keep it up guys!

  • Kyle
    October 24, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Somehow this game keeps looking more and more beautiful, love the volumetric lighting, it adds more character to everything. Also, as someone who is getting a Xbox One X at release, hearing you mention it has me very excited, if this game looks so good on the Xbox One, I can’t imagine how good you could make it look on the X, please please please do a 4K patch!

  • total
    October 25, 2017 at 3:10 am

    what the hell? we lots of people waiting for the Chinese and u guys just try Italian, German, Spanish Portuguese, Polish these minority language frist?? R u kidding. just take a look http://steamspy.com/ about Chinese language support game’s(Middle-earth: Shadow of War,PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS,The Witcher …etc) chinese owner number and proportion

    • Evilkinggumby
      October 25, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      Keep in mind Seith and much of his development team are based out of Europe, so they likely have connections to translators they can utilize right there. And this is a TINY studio so they have to do what they can, as they can. FIGS (french, italian, german Spanish) is the usual spread for games to start (along with english in many cases) so the fact they’re already expanding is a good sign they’re working their way to as many languages as possible. But budgeting is limited, and translations COST MONEY.

      Also the game isn’t even out so there is a good chance they might get the opportunity to snap up chinese and a number of other languages.

      Show some respect man, He’s busting his butt on this, has been for YEARS.

      • KwisatzHaderach
        October 27, 2017 at 5:25 am

        Kudos for keeping it civil evilkinggumby! Imo such totally rude and self-righteous people don’t deserve an answer at all, just let them dabble in their preconceived ways and move on. It’s a bit sad to see such attitude for the fist time on these boards but i guess it also means the game is drawing attention from a wider audience 😀

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    October 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm
  • iMouse
    October 26, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Regarding release date: it’s still says “2017” on a side bar and FAQ.

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  • Lee Henderson
    October 30, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Once again Seith, i’m going to have to applaud you for what you have achieved with ‘Ghost of a Tale’
    The level of care and detail you have blanketed the entire project with is astounding.
    I’ve mentioned before how I love the story’s atmosphere, comparing it to a favourite book that keeps you turning it’s pages, but you are outdoing yourself at every turn.

    I did say I wasn’t going to download the update and wait patiently for the final version. Well, I didn’t; I couldn’t. And I have completed two more play-throughs of this sumptuous game.

    And once again, I found myself enraptured from the quiet forbodding of the opening warning of the Eternal Green Flame, to Tilo’s escape from his cell. Then from hooking a jar of Brisance to a rope and hook to blow up some rubble, to exploring the castle for Silo’s Beetles and strange nocturnal Mushrooms for Faustus Rott under cover of darkness; All the time enjoying the encounters with the aforementioned Silas and Faustus, to the comically inept Ghusto & Fatale.

    The new lighting looks great. It will add even more depth to what is already a great game oozing pathos, charm, adventurousness and mystery.

    As the game is set entirely in Dwindling Heights, it has been a wonderful aside to read about the wider world through the scattered *Lore* that crops up during footnotes of conversations. It has truly opened up what is a small game by comparison with other Fantasy Games, but it is not the less ambitious for it. The world feels so tangible and logical, that i relish every visit.

    I ponder many questions after finishing a play through. What is Silas *really* up to? Is Faustus Rott to be trusted? What’s waiting in the catacombs? Was the Green Flame truly extinguished, or does it live on in the Rat Guard; unseen, not quite defeated. Is Tilo being manipulated more than he realises? Can Tilo even trust the simple, gruff Rolo?

    You can more than likely guess how much I am looking forward to the final game. And this latest update has my anticipation climbing higher. The new lighting, more secrets, and what looks like quite excellent illustrations for the conversations.

    Once again, congrats to you Seith, and all involved. You have created something special.

  • Medovyj_kot
    October 30, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Still no game preorder in russian Xbox live.

  • Shadow
    November 1, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Hi there, I am one of the people who supported this game on Indiegogo and until now I am not disappointed. I have not played early access version yet (dont want to spoil the experience) but I am always happy to read about the progress.

    I would like to use the oportunity, since this story is slowly coming to the (happy to say) successful release, that this is one of the best, if not the best campaigns I have ever supported. In terms of honesty, obvious amount of hard work and passion put into the game and (for me) just right amount of information given to you followers and supporters.

    BRAVO and THANK YOU!

  • Shock_Tart
    November 4, 2017 at 3:56 am

    Its amazing how much work you guys have put into this game already, Its beautiful and very well done gameplay wise as well. I bought the early access version on steam and It was a great purchase. I have a very small youtube channel in which I am gonna make a playthrough of the early access version. more or less for the sheer sake of having fun with it again. I am excited to see what else will be coming out when the game gets its full release.

  • crazycupmuffin
    November 4, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Amazing!!! I can tell through your words, that you are pretty excited with those lighting effects. And so you should be. LOOKS AMAZING!

    Very excited for the full release. And honestly, I didn’t think it could look any better. But hey, that’s why you da man!!!

  • Thijs
    November 5, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Absolutely fantastic news man. I will be greatly anticipating the Xbox One release. One question, when you say Xbox one X will run things much better does this mean you won’t be really enhancing the game for the Xbox One X and let the system do its things (16xAF, vsync, max resolution) or will you consider building a patch to make it 4K with additional enhancements? I sure hope so! 🙂

      • Thijs
        November 22, 2017 at 5:39 pm

        That would be fantastic, PC look. Hope you get a X devkit soon man. 🙂

  • Yep
    November 12, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    I remember when this was a little baby of a game back in 2014! They grow up so fast ;_;

  • Lucas
    November 14, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    I found out about this game not long ago, and I must say it looks fantastic. I am a 3D platformer and exploration fan, but never played a stealth game before. Would you describe it as a “hard” game?

    Still excited to try it out. Best of luck!

      • Lucas
        November 15, 2017 at 3:16 am

        Thanks for the reply. Will totally check it out when it releases!

  • Miguel
    November 15, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Great news, and glad to see this project being followed through right to the end; I seldom engage in early-access, but this has been a gem. Looking forward to the final game, even if it means having to start all over again! (Will definitely have to upgrade my PC to enjoy it at its best…)

  • Albert Chessa
    November 22, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I’m so pleased Seith! You and your team take all the time you need, you’re making one of the most worthwhile Interactive works ever in my humble opinion 😀 i bought the Steam game and I don’t even have a PC that’ll play it – I just wanted to pitch in, and I’ll definitely be getting the PS4 version as soon as that comes out 😀 I’ll also be promoting Ghost of a Tale through my podcast Interactive Artistry, and share with our listeners how you generously sent me character cards of the game as progress continued to be made 😀 I am so speechlessly excited for the game and intensely proud of how far this amazing game has come…I can’t wait to purchase it, and support this beautifully compelling world in any way I can (tees, statues, the inevitability Netflix show! Yeah I said it!) 😀 as someone who grew up on Secret Of Nimh and Watership Down, Ghost Of a Tale – it’s story, atmosphere, characters, world and lore – take that further and is even more kindred to me! If that were even possible 😀 Seith, once again, thank you so much – were all rooting for you, all of us around the world! Keep it up, we’re so close now! 😀

  • Valerie
    November 23, 2017 at 3:41 am

    This game looks amazing and more beautiful than ever, I’m so pleased you’re taking the time to finalise it and test it intensely, I’ve been looking forward to the release of this for SO LONG! One of the games I’m most excited for in 2018. Good luck in the final stretch 🙂

  • Lars9918
    November 26, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    You worked hard and you created a really beautiful game, Seith. I can’t wait to play the final Game 🙂 Thank you

    And do you know a youtuber named “Gronkh”? He is the biggest Let’s Player in germany, and he played your game in a Livetream some years ago. Maybe you could contact him to play again?
    ^^

  • Chriss
    November 28, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Awwww amazing.

    Since the very first screenshots my girlfriend and me are waiting for the final release. And we will wait as long as it needs to be completed. My girlfriend is not a gamer, every now and then we are playing games together like little nightmares or ori and the blindforest. She is not interested in news about upcoming games or new releases in general. I have to find these games that she would like to play. Your game instead makes her ask me every two months ‘any news on that game with that cute little mouse that we saw hiding from that evil rat?’. Thank you guys for every grin on my face everytime she asks me about your game and for doing such a wonderful game. Greetings from Germany

  • Howard
    November 29, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Loved the early access. Congrats on sticking with it and giving it your all. Cant wait to see the final version. Good work and good luck!

  • Radu
    December 1, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Love the game. If you want to translate it to Romanian let me know. It’s free of charge

  • Hanumeya
    December 2, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you for this game! I’m really waiting for this game, because i love mouses and rats.

  • Svetlana
    December 4, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Hello! Me and my husband live in Russia and we are big fans of the game Ghost of a Tale. He is a professional translator and I am a professional editor. If you need any help in translating the game to Russian language, we would be glad to volunteer)

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    December 6, 2017 at 10:14 pm
  • Fr0gg0
    December 19, 2017 at 12:19 am

    This game feels like a AAA game, good job.

  • Seakkenned
    December 21, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Man I cant wait,I’ve been excited about this ever since I first heard about it back in 2015.I was convinced that it was never going to come out,so this is a very nice surprise.Ill be there day one.

  • Jenny
    December 26, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    I just bought the early access version of the game today and can’t stop playing it! Such a fun experience and so much neat lore and details! Can’t wait for the final release!

  • Kathryn
    December 27, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    I’m really excited about this game and have been quietly following your progress. Can’t wait for it to come out in 2018! Out of curiosity, do you have any thoughts or plans for a Nintendo Switch release? I feel like your game would be right at home on that console. (Fortunately, my husband has an Xbox One so I’ll get to play it regardless, but I think you’d find a strong audience on the Switch.) Wishing you the best of luck as you reach that homestretch!

  • Dmitry
    December 29, 2017 at 4:20 am

    Warm greetings from Russia! Good mood for you in the New Year! Your game is very cool!)

  • casey
    January 13, 2018 at 1:49 am

    The game is amazing so far, eagerly await. I played most of the EA early last year and look forward. Such a great stealth game. I like mice too as a vegan lol.

  • Kamil
    January 18, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Please contact to TECHLAND (https://www.facebook.com/TechlandWydawnictwo/) and publish it in box in Poland with nice extras, i would definitely buy.

  • Fabrice8282
    January 26, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Je vais acheter votre jeu à coup sûr. Dommage qu’on ne puisse pas basculer de la version actuelle à la version finale, ça vous aurait permis de récolter encore plus d’argent d’ici la sortie de cette dernière.

  • Fabrice8282
    January 26, 2018 at 8:55 am

    A moins que je ne dise une bêtise… Si on achète le jeu aujourd’hui à 20€, on devra repayer pour profiter de la version finale ou pas ???

  • Thurrn the Ranger
    February 3, 2018 at 9:15 am

    This game only just recently came to my attention and I have just attempted the trial on the XBOX One. I must express my earnest appreciation for your evidently meticulously-crafted endeavor. Immersion, investment, and enjoyment were all present in the unfortunately short stretch of time with which I was able to partake in Ghost of a Tale.

    Thank you. I eagerly anticipate the game’s release.

  • Varstahl
    February 4, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    I’ve tried this game in the early early access, and I’ve been waiting for the final release ever since. Can’t wait to play the final version, I’m dying in anticipation 😀

  • Dan
    February 5, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Seith! Still can help you with russian localization 😉 if you wish

  • Joseph
    February 12, 2018 at 5:50 am

    Hey Seith! So I know you guys are probably reeeaallly busy with all the work going into the planned March release; just wondering if we should expect another blog post before then. If not, whatevs, but I love following this game’s progress. Thanks! 🙂

  • Leonardo
    February 16, 2018 at 12:27 am

    Excellent work, since I saw the trailer I liked it a lot, now with the early access I do not regret the purchase, I know it’s a lot to ask but there will be a Spanish version at least in subtitles. Exitos y gracias por este gran trabajo.

  • xMrNex
    February 17, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    fuck ye, when the game will FULL release? After Early Access?

  • Buck DeFore
    February 19, 2018 at 4:03 am

    As a GOG purchaser, I’m hoping the final launch will be occurring there simultaneous with Steam. Looking forward to it!

  • Fabrice8282
    February 25, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Bonjour,

    Merci pour votre réponse concernant l’accès anticipé. En fait j’avais bien compris au départ, mais l’incompatibilité des sauvegardes entre la version actuelle et la version finale m’a mis le doute. Du coup, je peux payer le jeu moins cher et soutenir votre projet, et ça c’est plutôt cool, mais en revanche, je dois attendre la sortie de la version finale si je ne souhaite pas avoir à tout recommencer du début.

    D’où ma nouvelle question : une idée quant à la date de sortie sur Xbox One ?

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    April 9, 2018 at 3:41 pm
  • Faith
    June 6, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Xbox One final version will come out…. when exactly?
    Thanks!

  • Odon Duran Huerta Romero
    July 2, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    Amigos, como gran fanático de las animaciones de los 80 y 90 como el secreto de NiMH, estoy enamorado e su juego. Es hermoso: Su ambientación, concepto, personajes, etc. Adoro cada detalle y centimetro de este juego. En verdad estoy muriendo en deseos por jugar la versión final en XBOX ONE. Compre la versión Beta, estoy comprometidos a ayudarlos tanto como sea posible.
    De verdad adoro lo que hacen amigos. Sigan trabajando duro ^^

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