PC Release in 2 Weeks!
Welcome everyone to what is one of the last pre-release updates for Ghost of a Tale!
Before we start, you’ll notice in this update I sprinkled quite a few more screenshots than usual (most of which were created by the awesome Nautilus using the photo mode included in the game). Because now is the time to not only spread the word about Ghost of a Tale, but also SHOW that this little game is actually worth their attention!! 🙂
So here it is, after almost five years of learning how to create a game from scratch: the final version of Ghost of a Tale will be released for Windows PC on the 13th of March.
It will be available for download on Steam, GOG and Humble Bundle at the price of $24.99. There are no plans for physical release yet (although we would love to eventually have one).
(Note that the game will remain at $19.99 for the next two weeks, until it’s out of early access)
The release date for the consoles version (Xbox One (X?) and PS4) is not yet set because I want to make sure we address everything before we start entering the “certification dance”. I have a very poor internet connection and I can’t upload huge files back and forth as quickly as I wish.
In any case, the only thing I can say for now is the final version of the game on those consoles will come “later this year”.
Before you ask, there are no plans to release Ghost of a Tale on the Switch since it would most likely require a complete re-tooling of all the visual features and a fundamental re-authoring of most of the 3D assets.
But who knows, if the game is financially successful, maybe we’ll be able to afford hiring another studio to rebuild everything from the ground up while still maintaining the visual identity of the game…
On that note it will be very interesting to see how the upcoming adaption of Dark Souls on Switch is going to fare, both from an artistic and technical standpoint. It might teach us a thing or two.
In terms of the gameplay length for Ghost of a Tale (and keep in mind those are estimates) it should roughly take you around 8 to 10 hours if you don’t care much about the quests and story, but almost double that if you want to take your time and see (and do) everything.
The Poster Art
I’m also very happy to finally share with you the official poster art created by Jerome!
I really wanted it to evoke the animated movies from the 1980s, and I hope you’ll agree that Jerome perfectly captured that feel of mystery!
It seems to say “you’re going on a dangerous adventure as a minstrel mouse and you’ll meet interesting characters“, doesn’t it?! 😉
We went with LevelUp Translation for localizing the game and they are currently hard at work on the initial languages (French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian and Chinese). Paul is coordinating with them (hi Damien) on top of finishing all the remaining tweaks on the dialogs, lore and quests. Which is a huge task since GoaT is has more text than many AAA games (thanks for your help, Alex!).
You see localization is tricky with Ghost of a Tale because over the years we’ve developed a consistent world with its history and rules. It’s not an overly complex one but it’s full of puns and double entendre which cannot bear a typical word-for-word translation; it is a genuine adaptation that is required in this case.
Needless to say, lots of testing is going on right now! We have brave and dedicated testers (Rhumba, Fluke, Alex…) toiling away on our forum sending bugs, which Cyrille dutifully fields and confirms before we vigorously squash them!
Additionally we’re starting a final round of testing this week, with fresh meat… err, I mean testers (hi Enzyme), which Cyrille is also going to coordinate.
I’m focused of course on fixing bugs and finishing assets and animations to make sure you don’t see too many white capsules in the final game. White capsules make lovely stand-ins for NPCs but I understand most players frown on those in a finished game… 😀
And since we’re talking about finishing assets, Jerome is practically done with all the character portraits and illustrations. Nicolas created new sounds as well (which I still need to find time to integrate in the game) and I know that Jeremiah is working on the remaining tracks.
As I was looking for more recent screenshots to share for this update I inadvertently found a stash of old ones. I thought it’d be fun to compare how the game looked like when we showed it at Gamescom a couple of years ago and how it looks like now, in the final version.
The first comparison is with an interior shot, at the start of the game (in the jail):
The second one is an exterior shot, in Dwindling Heights’ courtyard:
It’s really nice to be able to gauge the technical progress at a glance. It’s also interesting how the artistic ambitions of the game grew to closely match Unity’s evolution as a real-time 3D engine.
The next update I’ll post will probably come after the game’s released, as I expect all of us will be properly swamped until then (and probably well after), providing support and bug-fixes as needed.
Now comes the real question: will the game meet its audience?
That’s the scary part. Because we have no control over any of that.
The one thing I know is we have given it our very best. The game is truly charming, fun, and even moving at time: it is exactly what I was hoping it would be, and then some! I’m immensely proud of the work created by everyone involved.
But we understandably live in a world of big marketing machines, connected influencers and calibrated advertising campaigns. Will the gaming website juggernauts even take notice of Ghost of a Tale…?
Of course I would love for the game to be successful, because I would love to get a chance to keep working in this medium, and for us to do more, better, equipped with the experience and knowledge we acquired during that challenging journey.
Wouldn’t it be neat if enough people in the world eventually cared about a certain adventurous minstrel mouse? 🙂