Post news RSS Christmas theme is back & Open Letter

In the game players will be able to find Christmas lights, a Christmas tree, listen to themed Christmas music and most important... PRESENTS!!!

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The annual Christmas theme is back in Urban Tale!

Intro to the Christmas update:
In the game players will be able to find Christmas lights, a Christmas tree, listen to themed Christmas music and most important... PRESENTS!!!
Players should try to locate snowman that are in the game and top them over, apparently Santa hid a few presents in various snowman across Urban Tale!
Also, as in the last update we added a growth system, during Winter months (in-game) naturally this not active so keep that in mind when harvesting fruits and such from the Forrest area.

We would like to take this opportunity and address Urban Tale as a whole and the cycle it went thought since the idea was born until today.

Idea and first issues:
Urban Tale was an idea that we had where you could as a young adult could venture into the world and find different opportunities. At the time, we were unaware of the development process needed for such an endeavor. After 4 months of development, we realized we were at the time unable to execute this grant idea, so we start to outsource part of the game.
Things went well and development progressed, while most of the designs ware done at the early stage of the development.
Then came the "tricky" implementations of core mechanics, and this is where problems started to come up. After a few months we realized that with the current company helping us do the development, it would not be realistically possible to execute the initial idea, but we did not want to settle for anything else. So we went and change the outsourcing company with one that presented themselves to us as capable and with a great track record of completed games, a company from Ukraine worth mentioning.

New Partners:
At this point we started the new business relationship and the set release date was about 8 months away.
From the get go, they made us aware that IT would be much easier and faster if they took over the complete development of the game.
Having a great track record of completed games (later turned out it was all fake), we made the decision to let this company do the complete development of the game, with our senior product manager overlooking the process remotely.
At this point, Urban Tale was in an "early" development stage, with about 1 year of work put into it.

Agreements and demands:
Once we agreed with Ukraine company that they can completely overtake the development, a new condition came from their side, which was not discussed before.
The initial agreement was they would get paid based on milestones that we presented to them and to which they agreed before, but then they requested to get paid on a monthly basis as they would take Urban Tale as their main project, and they made us aware that if the monthly payment would be missed by 1 day, they would immediately stop development and could not tell when they would resume it.
We agreed to that and this was going fine for about 3 months. Where we realized they are not getting stuff done which should have been done at that point in time.
We could tell as every 1-2 weeks they could send the last version they had.
But they assured us that they are on track and due to the time pressure they were being unable to push the current version of the game as they were so busy.
Well we said okay, then give us weekly written reports of the game, to which they did not agree saying it would take too much time for they, instead they would call on a weekly basis.
Another 3 months went by, and Urban Tale was 1 month from being released (this was the original release date).

1 Month to release, no code and game not working:
So 1 month to release and the company to that we outsourced the development to was not answering our email and calls anymore.
To this point in time, we paid all 7 invoices they send us + some extra stuff, in order not to jeopardize the development cycle.
After about 10 days of us sending them emails and placing unanswered calls, they replied, saying the following:
"We will need another 6 months to complete your project, and this time we request a payment up front for the full 6 months of development that lie ahead. We have misjudged the project. Sorry."

This is what we received from them 3 weeks prior to the initial release date, keep in mind that all our marketing efforts ware focused on that initial release date.

Code as ransom:
At this point Urban Tale seem to be a dead project, honestly we did not know what to do, even more so as the last version of the game we had they send us was 3 months old, and they were refusing to send us the current-last version claiming they won't do so if we don't extend the development for another 6 months and pay them 6 months of front.
The current-last version they had was a ransom, so to speak.
The motivation we had for the game was at an all-time-low at that point.
As this point, we would need to pay them another 6 months for the work that was already agreed and paid for to be done in the first 6 months.
Naturally, we couldn't afford that, not money wise nor time wise and not to mention that any kind of trust in them was gone at that point as they turned out to be scammers. So we had to count our losses and take the version that was already 3 months old at that point.

Chasing the release date:
After the initial shock. We said we will not give up on this project.
And took the last version we had (3 months old at that point), change the release date where a lot of people ware not happy about it, but we hope this open letter now give you a better understanding of the events that transpired and let up to the release date being moved.
We pushed the released date to another +8 months, started again development in house at that point.
But as things would come, some internal issues came up, and we were again facing the danger of the game not being playable on release date and this was already 2 months into the new release date.
So we again had to hire outside help (again) in order to have an MVP product that would be presentable on the new release date.

During these 8 months a lot of content was stripped just because the code we had at that point was all over the place and made no sense at all. Furthermore, we had a lot of issues with the new team helping us, naturally everyone (us and them) had to get familiar and adjust oversell with some of the worst code that any of us has seen to that point.
But we overcame that and after some development issues we had like a week before the new release date a somewhat of a product.

The release day:
Then the release date came. The game was OUT, and we were thrilled... for about 6 hours.
As we had to find out the hard way, you get a lot less exposure on Steam if you move your original release date, at least this was the case back then.
So the joy and happiness of releasing your first game was shattered to bits. Again.
We had a product, which was breaking every so often, on the player's side and random bugs would occur for no reason which had a lot to do with the spaghetti code that we received.
We had the source code where all in all 5 different teams worked on all with different logics which resulted in a spaghetti nightmare, at least that's what we called it.

Despite the reality hitting us hard on the release date and having a source code that was barely understandable, we received some positive feedback on the first 2-3 days.

That gave us hope and right away we started to address issues that ware reported and issues that we knew about. We really tried.
We pushed alot of updates in the first few months of the release date trying to address everyting.

Full Release:
After 33 major and about 20 minor game updates, the game was moved from Early Access to Full release.
The game still has bugs, we acknowledge that, especially in the scaling department on wide screens and in the gamepad area, but the bugs that remain to this point are root problems, and it would be impossible to address them without redeveloping the core of the game and this is why we still have not addressed the few issues that remain.
We just can't afford to redo the core of the game especially because in terms of sales we never came anywhere close to a return on this investment, yet we persisted on making this game good and enjoyable for the sake of the players that liked the game and the concept.

We received a lot of support from the community, and we are grateful to you, honestly we are, but Urban Tale was a complete bust for us in a lot of way not just economically, and we hope you understand why we slowed down the update rate to a point where they aren't anymore.

Other projects:
As you know, we developed 2 other games:
Rising Mist and Doggo Estates and are also currently working on a another untitled game.

As the Urban Tale experience taught us, we will likely never ever again outsource, even to help with minimal development, our projects.
That is why both Rising Mist and Doggo Estates are completely in-house developed games, and so will be this next game that we are working on.

Urban Tale 2:
We received many emails about a possible Urban Tale 2 and would like to address that as well.
The possibility of this happening is a maybe. We don't know what the future holds.
We were thinking about it yes and the only thing we were able to agree upon is this, if Urban Tale 2 does happen, then we would likely do a Kickstarter campaign for it and if the project would get funded, we would reward the owners of Urban Tale and the ones that support us in this game with free copy of the sequel.

Thank you:
As said your support meant the world to us on the release day and the weeks that followed, without it, we would have given up on the release day as the journey to getting Urban Tale released in the first place was, as you can hopefully now understand, very, very difficult.

Hopefully you can understand our position.

You can also check out our other games if you want:
Rising Mist

Doggo Estates

or you can subscribe to our mailing list to stay updated about our events and development.
Also we have a bundle package now of all our games if you are interested.

You can also engage with us via email or on the Steam Forum.
Thank you for reading.

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