Report article RSS Feed Triptych in a coma; unlikely to wake up.

The reasons why Triptych might never come to light in what could be the final news announcement.

Posted by C-zom on Sep 8th, 2013


Around May, Triptych hit a stage in it's development phase where everything was finalized and ready to go after extensive layering in the level design department was finished, which got projected to a Q3-Q4 2013 window. However, I'm the only person working on Triptych in a visual or game play sense. The fact that I doubled up on jobs in the summer and had more financial obligations to pick up, etc, I have barely found the time to design it in a 50-60 hour work week cycle for the summer. All the writing is done, the voice acting is done, it's just that the game is far behind the completion rate of the other departments who have all moved on to other things.

Triptych received a soft, private alpha in June and was received to very poor reviews. Another one occurred in August with more finished builds of Chapter 2 and 3, very ambiguous and lowly advertised sections of Triptych to the public up to that point. The results of the internal beta led me to be confident that Triptych would not meet expectations, by fault of sheer scope in the script vs manpower able to achieve those results in a real form. The main complaints are ones I echo,

  • Nothing to do beyond literally walk straight and listen to eerie or see eerie things. It is a visual novel even more than Worry of Newport was, an aspect that terrifies our players because Triptych was advertised as more of an adventure. It is, in the script, indeed, but level design compromises because of the one-man team led it back to the roots.
  • Voice acting is a primary concern across the board and some of the conversational pieces in Chapter 3, pivotal moments of the story, are simply /not there/ emotionally. Do you guys remember playing Symphony of the Night and listening to Dracula and the protagonist talk in the most exaggerated silly voices to a water-leaking script? A beta tester sad, verbatim, that was the experience in Triptych. Of the thirteen testers, not a single one of them had something good to say about how the actors put the story across.
  • Length of the experience is measured at about 4 hours condensed due to level design constraints, with about 3 hours of that being in raw voice acting. This means a constant barrage of information and reading to do, with almost no filler in puzzles, combat, or stealth. The lean diet lends to rabbit starvation; there is nothing to do but the story, and that can lead to exhaustion on the player's part in trying to handle or figure it all out. Six of the testers, very patient fans of Worry of Newport, gave up halfway through Chapter 2 with fatigue. 

As a developer and writer I have lost much of the passion I had for Triptych, and the integrity I felt was in the script no longer sits with me because of the way it is represented. I am entirely confident with Chapter 1 and it's flanking cut scenes, and may honestly just release them as an incomplete thank you to the patience of the fans and to show what "good" elements came out of Triptych. But because of the severity of the issues we're talking about coupled with the fact they all fall on one person's shoulders who is just too busy to cope with it, means that Triptych might not be raised back from the dead. I am never one to release half finished projects, and I have had to bite the bullet and cancel on good ones before (The First Stone; Anthology of Horror) so I might just have to do it here as well again.

The final fate of Triptych will be decided October 1st. I will take this month off to think about it and weigh the pros and cons of fighting uphill to the finish line. Expect a demo in the next few days, in the mean time, as promised, of Chapter 0, 1, and 1b.

Post comment Comments
ZeroComfort
ZeroComfort Sep 8 2013, 1:44pm says:

I'm sad to hear about your struggles, in either case I wish you the best.

+9 votes     reply to comment
Doyle_138
Doyle_138 Sep 8 2013, 2:18pm says:

Maybe you should pause the project and continue later if the motivation returns?

+4 votes     reply to comment
cryptoshadow
cryptoshadow Sep 8 2013, 5:46pm says:

That was really unexpected. I'm sad and disappointed to see that Triptych might never get finished as I've always thought that the game was very promising. Sure, it was more a visual novel than a traditional game but that's what was interesting with this project and made it quite unique in my opinion.

That would be a shame to cast aside all the hard work you and your team have done so far. As Doyle_138 suggested, maybe you could make a pause and continue later ?

And finally, what about the future if Triptych is left in the dark ? Do you still plan to do "A Tales from Afar" or another horror-themed game ?

Anyway, I wish you all the best for the future.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Alpha473
Alpha473 Sep 8 2013, 8:12pm says:

A pity, this project was very promising.

No chance you can focus on finishing a first, even small part, to be the way it should have been?

Maybe this could bring in more manpower on the leveling side... Just a thought.

+3 votes     reply to comment
C-zom
C-zom Sep 14 2013, 1:24am replied:

Chapter 1 will be released within the next week or two in all it's short, but polished, glory for the community to review, talk about, and decide whether or not they'd like to see more. The (new) Chapter 1 is arguably the best aspect of Triptych according to anyone who's played it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Argoon
Argoon Sep 9 2013, 4:36pm says:

I'm sad to read this, all the best for you and i hope you find the time and help to finish what you started.

+2 votes     reply to comment
VimanaExpress
VimanaExpress Sep 9 2013, 6:42pm says:

:C I don't want to cry, but it's too much. There will always be a place for this mod in my heart *sob* *sob*

+3 votes     reply to comment
Angerfist219
Angerfist219 Sep 9 2013, 6:59pm says:

This mod and WoN was the only reason I kept Crysis installed. I hope everything works out for you.

+3 votes     reply to comment
TheUnbeholden
TheUnbeholden Sep 19 2013, 2:04pm says:

Aslong we get chapter 1, you can delay the other chapters for atleast a year without any complaints. You can work on the other chapters whenever you feel you are a ready.

The only way to rectify the issue of so much voice work and story in such a small time span is to just create more levels... You can work on it as slowly as you like, perhaps 30-60 minutes a week. Most modders that I know of do it only in their spare time after they have taken care of the important real life stuff. I wish you luck friend!

Who knows.. after chapter 1's release you met get some decent help from mappers.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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