This year again, we have been to Gamescom. This time was quite different thanks to the fact that we were part of the awesome Indie Booth Arena, which is the best place to meet other indies and play wonderful uncommon games.
It was also the first time that Epistorywas showcasted during a public event since its release in March 2016. And guess what? People liked it! Some players, even told us that Epistory was the best game presented at Gamescom this year. What a compliment!
Like every year, we met some wonderful people: some new and some who knew us from last Gamescom. Hope, we’ll meet again next year.
After weeks of hard work, we present to you the new and shinier version of Epistory with Mod & Profiles (multiple saves) support and more... You spoke and we listened. We understand it would have been better for most of you to receive the update in chunks over the weeks but given the amount of changes it was a lot easier for us to handle one big transition to the new version instead of several small incremental versions. We even had to stop planning for a workshop beta. Without further ado, here’s the changelist.
As always, we welcome your feedback and bug reports.
Hi Fox Riders! The moment has come to announce that Epistory – Typing Chronicles will leave early access and be released on Steam on the 30th of March 2016. We are so enthousiastic and we can’t wait to read your feedback about the last chapters of the game. So, if the game isn’t yet in your Steam library, it’s you last chance to get it at the Early Access price! As a bonus, find below some screenshots of the upcoming chapters and a short teaser made with love. See you on the community hub!
Update: We didn’t make it but we’d like to thanks all the people who voted for Epistory. Next year you’ll do it!
It’s the 6th Annual Indie of the Year Awards, a celebration of this year finest indie games chosen by indies fans. If you could give us a hand and vote for Epistory on IndieDB it would be great. The top 100 will be announced on the 11th of December. Let’s do our best!
After fighting an insectile corruption and embracing the power of fire, we left our heroine and her companion at the edge of the Forgotten Forest. Along the treacherous, twisting paths of her adventure, she began to uncover the secret pieces of her story. Now she must fight not to drown under the crushing weight of uncertainty and fight with dignity to restore her inner peace.
Discover new enemies, learn new magic and explore two brand new dungeons full of mystery. Be brave; for there is no turning back on the way to the truth.
After a bug in our save system was found, we cannot guarantee compatibility between the update and the current (Halloween) version. Depending on where you last left the game it will work, or not. Regardless of the state of the save, we recommend a new game because of the work that has been done in the first two dungeons.
Please be aware that this update marks the end of our early bird pricing. Epistory now be fixed at $12.99 due to the major updates that have been done since launching on Early Access.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us on this adventure so far. We hope you will enjoy this new chapter and we can’t wait to hear your feedback!
As promised, Epistory – Typing Chronicles is now available on Linux and Mac! If you encounter any bugs please give us a heads up and we’ll fix them as soon as possible.
The challengers amongst you will be pleased to find the new “Arena” mode in the main menu. It’s a special place where the world will finally recognize the value of your typing skills. We’re still working on the leaderboard that should come soon. It’s also a bit rough around the edges.
Note that Spanish language has been added to the game. More languages to come during the Early Access.
Here’s the patch note for the new version:
Added: Infinite Battle “Arena” mode, where you’ll soon be able to challenge yourself and get your name at the top of the leaderboard.
Added: Linux version
Added: Mac version
Added: Spanish version
And plenty of stuff behind the scene for the upcoming Chapter 2…
Removed magic effect on enemies’ last word.
Special characters are displayed when the required magic is locked.
Reworked “Burning Hollow” level design.
Reworked story in “Forgotten Forest“.
Fixed: typing the word while it moves result in some letters not colored properly.
Fixed: avatar moving using the last letter of a word typed if the typing mode auto switch is triggered.
Fixed: auto typing mode switch was not happening if an untypeable (fire) word was displayed
Epistory needs to establish a subtle, layered narrative voice within its opening moments. Join the game’s writer in a deep exploration of why this story is harder to begin than most.
Wether you’re writing a game, or a movie, or a novel: it’s always difficult to start a story. There’s just so much riding on those opening moments. This difficulty is basically the premise for Epistory’s plot, in which a struggling writer is trying to start a novel. The player assumes the role of the muse, helping the story come to life.
Epistory adds an additional complication: as well as attracting the player’s interest immediately, it must also establish the narrative voice. In this article, I’ll be explaining more about what this means and how I’ve tried to solve the problem.
What’s In A Voice? By ‘narrative voice’, I simply mean the voice of the narrator: who is telling the story? Why? And in what context? Are they speaking to the audience directly? Are they writing a letter? Is the audience an active party in the story, or are it given a camera’s eye view into someone else’s world? Ultimately, narrative voice defines the relationship between the storyteller and the audience.
Most narrative voice is established by its medium and a few quickly-gleaned implications. When a written story starts with a line like “Call me Ishmael” (a laMoby Dick), we instantly understand that there is a person telling the story to the reader. We understand that the narrator has their old world view, and agenda, and feelings. But when we watch a film and a camera sweeps across the Earth – like no human can do – we understand that a picture of the world is being presented to us impartially. We are invited to watch through a window.
Whose Voice Is It Anyway? In Epistory, the narrative voice comes from a writer who we never see. All the words of narration – from the introductory sequence to the writing stretched over the levels – are the words this writer has written in their novel. The player’s goal is to help the writer create the story: typing words and discovering things to encourage the author’s inspiration. This is a very hard thing to explain in-game: not least because we don’t meet the writer. We have to inferher presence. Originally, the game’s script did this the obvious way: it begins with a writer saying “I hate writer’s block! How am I ever going to write this story?”, and quickly settles down into the story itself, “She looked like a lost little girl”. This establishes the narration as the writer’s voice and ensures it makes sense within the context of the game. This works – but it’s messy because it creates two distinct narrative voices. The author’s (“I hate writer’s block!”) and the story’s (“She looked like a lost little girl”). Because we don’t really know which is which, we have to infer every time – and so there’s a constant dissonance. It’s hard to know who is telling the story. Also, writers tend not to ask themselves questions in their own prose, so the voice may not sound authentic to player.
A New Voice I wanted to try and do something a bit more subtle and seamless: using a single voice that represents all the narration. I’ve tried to do this by presenting the story as a work-in-progress and showing the writer’s edits. The theory runs like this: The game begins on a black, foggy screen. A blank canvas. Then some text appears: “Once upon a time”. This is how all fairy stories start, right? The player knows that a story is beginning. But the text is quickly erased character-by-character. The story has changed, the writer’s hand is revealed by implication. The writer tries again, and this time she writes: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. This is how Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities - the best-selling novel of all time – begins. Even if the player doesn’t follow the reference (and most won’t!), they should understand that the story has been restarted. But this beginning is rejected too, and so it is also erased. The pattern has been established now: the author doesn’t know how to start the story. So, third time lucky, the narrative begins in earnest: “There was a girl. And she rode on the back of a great fox.”. And hey presto – the fog clears to reveal the player-character.
Voice of Reason Because there is only one narrative voice, the player can trust that it represents the words of a story being written around their actions. We build on this start by adding more interactions which make the player aware of the author – and vice versa – by changing text as the player interacts with the world. It’s a subtle idea, and maybe not everyone will get it. I expect most people won’t be able to articulate it. But subconsciously, I believe people will understand that a story is being written around them by an unseen author.
Successful execution relies on two things: using recognisable (or cliched) opening lines, so that the player understands what the writer is trying to achieve (ie, the beginning of a story); and a character deletion effect, so that the player is aware that the writer is deliberately erasing and rewriting text. Sound effects can help reinforce the idea of writing and erasing, too.
This, however, is not the whole story. While we work hard to establish and contextualise the narrator’s voice early in the game – we later sow in a few seeds of dissonance. Because in Epistory, not all is what it seems…
For the next few days we will focuson ironing out the bugs and quirks that were reported. Most notably any save bug that you or we encounter. The game is currently playable in several settings but the save is sometimes a bit dodgy so that is our top priority.
Then, in the coming weeks, we will continue to produce the next chapter of the game. We should be able to deliver it in a month. A month and a half, maximum.
We will of course do minor content release in between chapters with stuff like improved UI and feedback, bug fixes & general polish. We want to avoid players going through a new chapter while it’s only half done because it will ruin part of the joy of discovery.
We are also going to create an unstable branch for the game so you can try our latest advancements before we make it available for everyone. We may also add a separate branch for people wanting to try the new areas before they are finished if you ask for it.
Hi folks! We are so glad to announce the release of Epistory on Early Access. See you the 30thofSeptember on Steam. Meanwhile, you can visit the Steam page of Epistory and put it in your wish list: http://store.steampowered.com/app/398850