I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time. I picked up Seith CG’s “Ghost Of A Tale” in GOG’s form of Early Access (In Development I think) long ago, and while I did spend a few hours fiddling around with it, and loved it, I vowed to wait until it was finished before I continued.
It’s a third-person real-time action/adventure, where you play a cute little minstrel mouse on a rescue mission.
Upon first play, maybe a year or so ago, I fell in love with its cuteness, and its playability. The controls work really well. I imagine this would also be a fantastic game for a child, although I haven’t yet played it enough to swear to that. The few hours I have played have not had anything scary, although there has been some tension as you avoid patrolling rats. Release trailer:
It was last updated to version 4.9 last fall I think (on PC anyway). At that time, IIRC I think he said it was at about 60% complete, and he said that unfortunately it would not be completed in 2017 as he had originally been shooting for. He did hint at early 2018, but only a hint. No promises.
I kept checking after that, but the latest version was always sitting at 4.9. I was beginning to worry.
Then suddenly, today GOG announced the release during my regular GOG check for sales. The guy must have been quietly working away at it all this time.
Yeah, I had my eye on this for a while too. It looks absolutely fabulous. It’s especially cool that the little mouse runs on all fours and the difference in size between mice and rats is realistic.
However, looking a the video, you don’t seem to do much in the game except walk in dark hallways and hide from rats. It looks like a so-so stealth game. I’d love to be proven wrong, though. I’m looking forward to your impressions.
Hmm. That sounds like he’s pushing back the Xbox release (that he obviously has up and running already) to get the PS4 out at the same time, which would be pretty disappointing. Of course, I could be reading into that.
Not any more. I’d love to try this, looks like my bag, but they pushed the price up a little beyond my “give it a shot” threshold given the lack of impressions (other than glowing Steam reviews from the EA version).
Well damn. And here I thought that was a tactic that might actually make sense and work. i.e. because selling it directly, he wouldn’t have to give up say one-third (or whatever) of the gross revenue, he could afford to sell it cheaper himself, for anyone that would bother to look for the official site. I thought that was actually clever, and would gain him a few more sales, but he must have changed that during the night, or early this morning.
Also, I think this would have been a case where offering a release discount for a week or so could have helped immensely. I mean, many indie devs do exactly that, and while I have no idea if it actually works, it is so common now, that I assumed it does work.
My own theory is that by offering a release discount (even say 10%, though I am personally far more likely to bite at 20%), you are more likely to get more additional sales than if you wait a few months and offer the same discount.
But I think I understand his reasoning here. IIRC, he had previously sold it as a work-in-progress for a substantial discount (I can’t remember what I paid though), with the promise that the price would go up to $24.99 on release day. Which I think was a mistake, because that locked him into that release day price in the hopes of garnering more pre-sales. But from what I’m seeing, more people are aware of it now, on release day, than were aware of it during development.
All of the previous is IMO, of course. All I can tell you is that I’m not envious of those of you who are independent developers, as you also need to be quite canny in business decisions as well. As if being a dev wasn’t difficult enough.
When I played it (long ago), the controls were quite simple and the gameplay quite easy (although I only played the beginning area, which was probably supposed to be easy). I remember picking up bottles and things to throw as distractions, and also pick-pocketing keys for access to new areas, a bit like in “Thief”.
I do remember reading at some point that there were more complex strategies for dealing with later enemies (such as a strategy that would work for one enemy would not work for another type).
I don’t think the game was designed to be difficult; merely fun. But that’s just from what I’ve gathered from reading about it over the years. I admittedly haven’t been following it closely enough to know as much as I probably should, given my high level of interest, and given the fact that I already own it, but haven’t yet even tried the release version.
What I can tell you is that my girlfriend adored what she saw of me playing it, and made me promise not to play it again without her here to watch, as there is a story that she wants to follow along with, and she loved watching the mouse move (there are “idle” animations, a “normal” walk, a “sneak”, and a “scurry”, all of which are represented by very nice, convincing, and very cute animations), and she got very attached to Tilo, and got very upset when I got him into any danger.
I mean, the game doesn’t appear to have a lot of gameplay “depth” (but again, I must stress I’m only at the beginning), but the cuteness factor is absolutely through the roof, and maybe I need to turn in my man-card now, but I’m finding that appealing as well. It’s beautiful, runs very nicely, and it’s very fun in a light-hearted sort of way.
But yeah, at full price, I would maybe wait for a few reviews to come in first. But this is the sort of game that if I didn’t already own it, I personally would have bought at full price immediately upon release, just because I’m a sucker for these play-as-a-cute-little-animal types of games.
Hey, I fully embrace cute and that doesn’t make me any less of a man. Anyone who can resist the charms of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Yoshi’s Woolly World, A Hat in Time or Ghost of a Tale lacks not manhood, but a heart. ;)
Thanks, man. :)
One thing I forgot to mention is that this game, while it does have some nice ambient sounds, has no voice-acting. Everything is displayed in text. And while I don’t believe that VA was ever in the plan, I think the game would benefit from such a feature, even if it were only nonsense gibberish to match the tone of what was being conveyed.
I played this for a while last night. Yes, it’s cute. I like it, but it has issues that made me a little disappointed with it too.
It absolutely should have had voice acting. I think this is the first game I’ve ever said this about, but I would probably like it a lot more if it had a decent crew of voice actors.
I also never care for stealth games where you can knock enemies out briefly but not kill them. That’s on me as I knew what the game was before buying it, but it’s still annoying that the same guards are always there, following the same paths.
Lastly, it’s a bit too puzzle-y for my tastes. Some may call this variety, but it’s all just gimmicks. There are different tools that you can use in different situations to get past guards or obstacles. For example, a bottle will knock out a guard without a helmet on, and a jar of slime will knock out a guard without shoes. The game is pretty good and giving you what you need when you need it, which is what makes it seem gimmicky to me.
I do like the story, graphics, cuteness, and will probably enjoy the game overall, but it could’ve been a lot better.