Post news Report article RSS Feed Triptych will crawl to a December Release.

A look at the contingency plan to release Triptych, bumps and all, to the community.

Posted by C-zom on Oct 1st, 2013

I've given a lot of thought to the extremes over the month of September as I doubled down on my personal life and issues going on (Car crash, financial issues, and so forth.) and I realized that perspective is key to things. It could always be worse. In that sense, Triptych could be worse. The problems that I talked about were staring me down and are still legitimate, but I've resolved to release Triptych by the end of the year, in whatever state it may be in, as I race to fix as many of them as possible. This is not to say an unfinished product will be canned, this is to say, "enough".

Enough of what? Triptych has been an ever evolving project since it was conceived. It's been rewritten countless times and expanded upon, trimmed, than expanded again more times in the last two years than I care to count. Enough of that. By the month of December, the place where I find Triptych is in will be where the community gets it. I need to challenge myself to put my own foot down.

Triptych has torn a lot out of me emotionally. It's challenged my self confidence in writing and level design, it's brought open some emotional wounds as it's traveled with me for two years of life. I've poured my frustrations and downward spiraling emotions into the crypts, graveyards, forests, valleys, and horizons and painted landscapes that I feel portray some things I was struggling with and, by exchange, the character's are as well. My knees were kicked in by the issues I talked about on the last news post, but I'll crawl to the release if I have to.

Worth noting, we actually achieved all of our stretch goals in August. That is to say, when we release Triptych, we will also plan to:

1: Release all the story material/scripts/voice lines alongside the mod
2: Ian and I will record commentary over a playthrough of Triptych and talk about the writing process and history.
3: A Triptych Demo will be released two weeks before release, of to-be-determined material.
4: I will add a four hour developer commentary to the release of Triptych, activate-able in the install. I will talk about, well, everything.
5: Ian and I are going to write 10 short stories in the Triptych canon fleshing out the backstory, side characters, and more. This will come on release day as well.

Some further notes,

  • Triptych is an interactive story. Period. Right from the horse's mouth. I know I promised adventure, but what am I to do? Machine for Pigs promised horror. Look what happened there. Sometimes, like our studio or chineseroom, you can get stuck in a niche if you're decent at it. I don't believe I'm excellent or even good at what I do, but I know it's better than the alternatives -- nothing. I create interactive lovecraftian horror stories, and I'm going to do that here. If walking in a straight line,
  • The voice acting will stay how it is, hammy as it may be. I've contacted one of the VA's to re-record a substantial chunk of lines for quality purposes. The rest will have to stay. No recasts, no rewriting -- "Enough."
  • I've retracted my plans for a demonstration. I believe giving the community what they already tasted last year will spoil what remains of the enthusiasm behind the project, and I insist that the next release be all or nothing -- getting the full Triptych, rather than, "Just waiting for the dinner all over again" as a friend put it. Chapter 1 is incredible, but if people play it and just sit on their hands waiting all over again... well, I don't think they will.

So... where IS Triptych now?

The mod is actually done and could be played from end to end if it were released now. The issues that are frustrating me are the quality of the voice actors, the linearity of the levels, and the brevity of the whole experience. I am not confident in the continuity, the cohesiveness or the way it 'feels' to play. I will spend the next three months polishing the level design and extending it, crafting a brand new sound stage engineered from the bottom up (Having played Machine for Pigs, Outlast, and Lone Survivor, I've released the sound sucks in Triptych) and having some key lines re-recorded by the actors.

I am also pretty sure the community has no idea what the hell Triptych even is, so I'm going to scrub all the previously meta trailers and make some decent ones like Newport had where people can actually get a sense for it. I'll also post some articles in the feature box describing it, and try to hook up some pre-release tester videos so people can spread "hype" or just plain old information about it.

See you all at the end of the month when I give a milestone on where I'm at. Also, I'm serious about that sound designer thing. If you or anyone you know is interested in helping me create a soundstage, get in touch!

Post comment Comments
NCC-1701 Oct 1 2013 says:

Its good to hear you will be finishing this. I've only really intermittently followed its progress, but I was still very sad to see it die.

+5 votes     reply to comment
ZeroComfort Oct 1 2013 says:

Like the USS Enterprise said before me, I'm not a hardcore fan or anything, but I've kept watching this space hoping to see this finished.

And now that this will be the case, I'm glad I stuck around.

+5 votes     reply to comment
nashathedog Oct 1 2013 says:

I on the other hand can say that this is one of only two Crysis mods that's really had my interest since I learnt of it and the previous news was disappointing to say the least. This is well worth looking forward to and I can't wait.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Argoon Oct 1 2013 says:

Fantastic news man i'm glad you didn't give up.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Doyle_138 Oct 1 2013 says:

I'm very curious how it will be to play/experience it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
sbnewsom Oct 1 2013 says:

Wait, machine for pigs wasn't scary? Hmmm, I must of played a different game.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Angerfist219 Oct 1 2013 replied:

Yeah, I thought the atmosphere in that game was insanely creepy and suffocatingly intense, although not all levels were equal in that respect. Just the right amount of jumpscares, and decent pacing, unlike say, Outlast whose every 2 second jumpscares get fatiguing fast.

+1 vote     reply to comment
TheUnbeholden Oct 3 2013 replied:

I think Outlast paced itself well, the amount of actual enemies in Machine for Pigs, was well.. 2 encounters for 5-6 hours. It was bad when it came to gameplay.

+2 votes     reply to comment
SonofX51 Oct 3 2013 says:

Don't beat yourself up on level linearity. Linearity is not a bad thing, and you pretty much have to have it if you're going for a cohesive, interactive story (unless you're going full on adventure game here, which you aren't).

I disagree about Machine for Pigs not being scary, it was scary, but it was scary in a different sense than what is the standard for Amnesia/Penumbra, and probably shouldn't have been called an Amnesia game.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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