On Trine 3's Length and Future

A post on Steam from Frozenbyte addresses the amount of gameplay in Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power, their just-released platformer sequel (thanks DSOGaming). They explain that they did not reduce the game's length to increase the demand for DLC, but rather suffered a bit at the ambition of creating a fully 3D game which caused them to burn through their development budget much faster than expected. They say they do not actually have and DLC plans, in spite of what they call a "cliffhanger ending," and admit that the negative reaction to the game's length has put the future of the series in doubt, saying: "The future of the series is now in question, as the feedback, user reviews and poor media attention has caught us by surprise." They do offer assurances, however, that they will continue to support this release, expressing confidence that issues users have encountered will be ironed out shortly. Here's part of the post:
Back in late 2012, we set out to do Trine 3 in full 3D - bigger, badder, better. We took a big risk with the 3D gameplay implementation - it was to be a massive improvement over the previous games in several areas. We have always been ambitious and this time our ambition may have gotten the better of us.

Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power has ended up costing nearly triple that of Trine 2 – over 5.4 million USD. We have squeezed everything we could into the game, there's nothing left on the table. We initially had a much longer story written and more levels planned, but to create what we envisioned, it would have taken at least triple the money, probably up to 15 million USD, which we didn’t realize until too late, and which we didn’t have.

So we did not intentionally make the game “short” as many have said in order to make money off of future DLC or whatever. We tried to make something too ambitious, and it ended up financially impossible. What we sold on Early Access was the “realistic” vision and what we promised is what we have delivered, in our opinion. The finished Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power game might not be as long as we hoped initially, but something we are very proud of nonetheless, and generally around 6-7 hours is what we think new players will spend with the game on average. We're aware that some players have completed the game in less than that, 4-5 hours for example, and we accept that. I'm sure you can speedrun it much faster too, but so you could in previous Trine games and in most other games too.
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20.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 23, 2015, 12:18
20.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 23, 2015, 12:18
Aug 23, 2015, 12:18
 
El Pit wrote on Aug 23, 2015, 11:35:
I usually buy games based on the quality of the game, but to each their own.

Did you buy Arkham Knight, too, because Warner opened up about it being a shitty port and even pulling the game for a complete overhaul? Just asking.

You misunderstood my comment. I bought both Trine 1 & 2 and spent over 40 hours in both games combined. I immensely enjoy these type of games.

Concerning Trine 3, I anyhow planned on buying that game because I don't doubt for a second, that the game is fun. It's just that I don't have much time for the moment and intended to buy the game at a later stage.

I agree, that you shouldn't applaud someone making a mistake, it happens, especially if the intention to create a great game was real and the game, in the end, still turns out to be great fun but just too short.

That's why I bought the game now full price to support them... and no, I haven't bought Arkham Knight yet, eventhough I own the previous 3 games.

This comment was edited on Aug 23, 2015, 12:57.
19.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 23, 2015, 11:35
El Pit
 
19.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 23, 2015, 11:35
Aug 23, 2015, 11:35
 El Pit
 
vacs wrote on Aug 23, 2015, 10:11:
After reading this honest statement by the developers, I opened Steam and bought the game instantly, instead of waiting for a sale.

Way to go, too bad not many developers are this open about what went wrong during the production, even though it is still an amazing fun game.

I usually buy games based on the quality of the game, but to each their own.

Did you buy Arkham Knight, too, because Warner opened up about it being a shitty port and even pulling the game for a complete overhaul? Just asking.
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
18.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 23, 2015, 10:11
18.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 23, 2015, 10:11
Aug 23, 2015, 10:11
 
After reading this honest statement by the developers, I opened Steam and bought the game instantly, instead of waiting for a sale.

Way to go, too bad not many developers are this open about what went wrong during the production, even though it is still an amazing fun game.
17.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 23, 2015, 08:06
17.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 23, 2015, 08:06
Aug 23, 2015, 08:06
 
Meh.

I gave up on Trine 2 - I was having some issues with timing on a given puzzle and the mechanics of the level. At one point, one of the platforms bugged and got stuck in a position that made me unable to complete the level. Temporary glitch, no problem, I will just restart the level...and then I found out that the glitch was somehow carrying over into any restarted level as well as my save game. I literally could not play any further without starting over - I was done at that point.

Now, they've taken out a part of the prior games, they have an abrupt ending, and they went with an overly ambitious design - given my past history, I'll wait until it's discounted quite a bit before I try it.

Looking at some videos of the game, I think they just did too much. I like the idea of an open 3D world compared to the rigid 2.5D design from the earlier games, but I question how well it works, how fun it is. The Trine series is built around hampered, confined, selective gameplay mechanics; does this same gameplay or mechanics carry over to full 3D that well?
They went from A to B all the way to Z.
Off to finish Cradle,
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16.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 23, 2015, 07:25
16.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 23, 2015, 07:25
Aug 23, 2015, 07:25
 
Enjoyed the other Trine games, but always bought them on Steam Sales. Look forward to this game, but will also wait till it's down to 10 bucks. But this quality of game, would rather have quality than quantity as how many games end up with that middle couple of hours of side quest just to pad things out?
All this won't stop me getting it/enjoying it.
15.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 23, 2015, 01:18
mag
15.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 23, 2015, 01:18
Aug 23, 2015, 01:18
mag
 
Creston wrote on Aug 22, 2015, 22:50:
jdreyer wrote on Aug 22, 2015, 13:59:
I feel bad for these guys, they're one of the good guys.

Yeah, though I'm normally very skeptical, in the case of FrozenByte I do believe them, and so it's a very unfortunate set of events. I've very much enjoyed their games, Shadowgrounds was awesome, and Trine and Trine 2 were a lot of fun, but a puzzle game with 4-5 hours of content doesn't really strike me as all that great...

I hope this doesn't put them out of business...

I completed Trine 2 in 8 hours, and that was with a loooot of screwing around. And a lot of that time was just trying to get the XP orbs. So if the XP orbs are out of the game... doesn't that pretty much account for the shortness all on its own?
14.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 22:50
14.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 22:50
Aug 22, 2015, 22:50
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 22, 2015, 13:59:
I feel bad for these guys, they're one of the good guys.

Yeah, though I'm normally very skeptical, in the case of FrozenByte I do believe them, and so it's a very unfortunate set of events. I've very much enjoyed their games, Shadowgrounds was awesome, and Trine and Trine 2 were a lot of fun, but a puzzle game with 4-5 hours of content doesn't really strike me as all that great...

I hope this doesn't put them out of business...
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13.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 22:40
13.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 22:40
Aug 22, 2015, 22:40
 
Slashman wrote on Aug 22, 2015, 21:02:
Frozenbyte are not a new studio. They've been around. Why would they budget so poorly for something like this?

The fact that they point to needing three times as much to make the game as long as they wanted to is pretty telling. 15 million isn't a huge amount for a game these days and while I have no doubt that the "3D" design pushed costs higher, they admit that at 5.4 million it cost triple of Trine 2. That means they needed a budget almost TEN TIMES higher to go from "2D" to "3D." I don't really buy that.
12.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 21:02
12.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 21:02
Aug 22, 2015, 21:02
 
Frozenbyte are not a new studio. They've been around. Why would they budget so poorly for something like this? Trine is one of their best franchises.
11.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 19:55
Cram
 
11.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 19:55
Aug 22, 2015, 19:55
 Cram
 
TB's WTF is Trine3 video was interesting, if a little sad. He starts off fine, in an ok mood but as the video goes on he becomes more and more depressed and then upset. Unfortunate.
10.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 19:10
10.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 19:10
Aug 22, 2015, 19:10
 
DangerDog wrote on Aug 22, 2015, 18:10:
I wonder what was the root cause of the cost going up "triple" of the last one? New rendering tech?

I've watched a clip of gameplay and while the 3D stuff sort of switches up the gameplay with depth I'm not sure it really called for it.

I read on the forums it's three tutorial levels and three game levels. Generally you would think going 3D would be a productivity improvement over drawing stuff in 2D.

Sounds a little like they look at the average length of time people spent playing Trine 1 and Trine 2 and decided to design the game around that scope.


Trine 1 and Trine 2 did not draw stuff in 2d.. they always used 3d.. but it makes a HUGE difference if 3d art is only viewed from 1 side compared to all sides...
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9.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 18:10
9.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 18:10
Aug 22, 2015, 18:10
 
I wonder what was the root cause of the cost going up "triple" of the last one? New rendering tech?

I've watched a clip of gameplay and while the 3D stuff sort of switches up the gameplay with depth I'm not sure it really called for it.

I read on the forums it's three tutorial levels and three game levels. Generally you would think going 3D would be a productivity improvement over drawing stuff in 2D.

Sounds a little like they look at the average length of time people spent playing Trine 1 and Trine 2 and decided to design the game around that scope.

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8.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 17:39
8.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 17:39
Aug 22, 2015, 17:39
 
"Frozenbyte concluded that even though it was not able to fulfill its vision, it’s still proud for Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power as it offers around 6-7 gameplay hours."

I have so many games to finish (across PC and PS4/XBO) that 6-7 hours seems good to me for $20 if I had nothing else to play. I don't need 10 to 15 hours of Trine (at $39.99). Of course, it has to be fun, though, and Trine 1 and 2 were.
7.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 17:26
7.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 17:26
Aug 22, 2015, 17:26
 
From what I've seen and read, going 3D was a mistake. Platforming is way easier in 2D, especially with Trine's floaty physics and loose controls.
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6.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 16:39
6.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 16:39
Aug 22, 2015, 16:39
 
No one ever complains about the length of a game...if it's priced accordingly. If they were selling it for $5 or less no one would be upset. $20+? Yeah, then they have a reason to be pissed off.
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5.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 15:57
5.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 15:57
Aug 22, 2015, 15:57
 
Gotta agree with jdreyer, these guys have enough goodwill with me that I'll buy this one anyway. game length isn't always a bragging point for me, I'm not sure I'll ever finish Witcher 3.
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4.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 13:59
4.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 13:59
Aug 22, 2015, 13:59
 
I feel bad for these guys, they're one of the good guys. They've always offered great games at a great price, and supported their customers. They rebuilt the first game on the new engine, and offered it to owners of the first game for free. Single player, multiplayer, local multiplayer, the first two games had a lot of options for playing. And it's a game for the whole family, I had so much fun playing with the kids. Regardless of poor reviews, I'm going to buy this anyway. I know we'll have fun with it, even if it's shorter. Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons was also a short game, but brilliant. Just because a game is short doesn't automatically make it bad.
"Even after you've had the COVID-19 vaccine, you still need to wash hands, watch distance and wear a mask because you can still transmit the virus even though you're not going to get sick." - NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins
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3.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 13:02
3.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 13:02
Aug 22, 2015, 13:02
 
Xero wrote on Aug 22, 2015, 12:59:
I think the part where there is no upgrading your characters anymore and discovering chests is a major bummer. There was always that enjoyment of level hunting for orbs and chests that made the first two a blast.

In this one, what I hear, you start and end the game with your character exactly the same throughout with no upgrades and improvements. That's a major bummer and shocking they let it release that way.

In all honestly, the full 3D originally caught me by surprise when it was shown the first time and I thought, damn, I actually preferred Trine as an awesome 2D scroller platform game. It's what I felt made it very unique. Taking the game into full 3D puts it back with the rest of every other similar platform game out there.

Really, aside from having the Trine name attached to it, what makes it really stand out at this point from the rest? They didn't cram enough goodness in to it to make it that much different.

Here's hoping 4 (if it ever releases at this point), goes back to basics and they come back to 2D scroller with all that made the first 2 great.

My very first thought after playing the first Trine was, holy fucking shit, why can't Castlevania look like this... For a '2.5D' platformer, nothing compares, so I agree with your post quite wholeheartedly ; )
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2.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 12:59
2.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 12:59
Aug 22, 2015, 12:59
 
I think the part where there is no upgrading your characters anymore and discovering chests is a major bummer. There was always that enjoyment of level hunting for orbs and chests that made the first two a blast.

In this one, what I hear, you start and end the game with your character exactly the same throughout with no upgrades and improvements. That's a major bummer and shocking they let it release that way.

In all honestly, the full 3D originally caught me by surprise when it was shown the first time and I thought, damn, I actually preferred Trine as an awesome 2D scroller platform game. It's what I felt made it very unique. Taking the game into full 3D puts it back with the rest of every other similar platform game out there.

Really, aside from having the Trine name attached to it, what makes it really stand out at this point from the rest? They didn't cram enough goodness in to it to make it that much different.

Here's hoping 4 (if it ever releases at this point), goes back to basics and they come back to 2D scroller with all that made the first 2 great.
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1.
 
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future
Aug 22, 2015, 12:28
El Pit
 
1.
Re: On Trine 3's Length and Future Aug 22, 2015, 12:28
Aug 22, 2015, 12:28
 El Pit
 
We tried to make something too ambitious, and it ended up financially impossible.

Is it alright if Chris Roberts will quote you in late 2017?
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
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