Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power

Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power

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JoelFB  [developer] Aug 21, 2015 @ 12:19pm
Post-launch thoughts from the developers of Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power
Hi guys, with the massive amount of feedback we have received for Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power (threads and reviews), we felt it was necessary to respond with some facts and brutal honesty. This will be a long post so please bear with us.

Right off the bat I will say that we are proud of the game and what we have achieved overall. We think it's a fun game and we don't think it's too expensive either considering all the elements we have been able to put into the game. However, our view is perhaps skewed, and we are now realizing that we have been looking at this perhaps from a different perspective and that many players do not accept that. We still think the game is good but the cliffhanger story and the relative shortness of the game are valid criticisms but ones which we didn't realize would cause a disappointment in this scale. Sorry!

I hope this post will help you understand why we made certain decisions and why the game is as it is.

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.

As for the cliffhanger ending and DLC – there are no plans for a DLC. Continuation of the story is a different matter however, but we have released everything we had and everything we aimed to release since the beginning of the Early Access. The future of the series is now in question, as the feedback, user reviews and poor media attention has caught us by surprise.

Regardless we will continue to fix and update Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power, as we've always done with our games, and I'm confident we'll get many issues fixed shortly (including some of the technical bugs and multiplayer problems). I apologize for those issues and I ask for your patience as we work those out. From our perspective the launch has been reasonably smooth on the tech side, we should be close to a good technical state in a short while.

We will be more active on the forums next week – we'll probably be able to do some support on the forums and by email for technical issues but for other discussions we'll get back to next week. Right now we need a breather to bounce back from all this.

- Joel, Frozenbyte, Vice President, developers of Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power

Edit: New thread with video response:
Last edited by JoelFB; Aug 27, 2015 @ 2:46am
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Showing 1-15 of 363 comments
Andreasrex1987 Aug 21, 2015 @ 12:38pm 
that explains a good dead of things. I honestly hope the game sells well so you can make a sort of ultimate edition or a free update making the game longer.
Mexicutioner Aug 21, 2015 @ 12:46pm 
I dont support DLC during a games development, especially when DLC is released on the same day the core game is. I support DLC after the games already been developed and is an afterthought from the developers. Shame, I really like trine 1 and 2 (1 more) but I wont be supporting this business model.
Last edited by Mexicutioner; Aug 21, 2015 @ 12:54pm
Adaax Aug 21, 2015 @ 12:51pm 
Respect for the honesty and mea culpa, but it seems a bit deceptive that this comes out after a lot of people spent their hard-earned money on what sounds like an incomplete game (didn't buy it myself, so this isn't sour grapes).

I know this is capitalism and you have to make money, but it also looks like you sacrificed a lot of goodwill in the process. Might it not have been better to shelve this once it looked like it would go way over budget? Surely you must have known early on that you couldn't fund the complete game.

A 2D Trine 3 might not have won points for originality, but, if done right, it might have expanded your fan base to the point that a 3D #4 might have been more feasible. Anyway, hindsight is 20/20, but it's too bad things happened this way.
Smurky Turkey Aug 21, 2015 @ 12:51pm 
I appreciate the honesty and the detailed response, but I can not help feel saddened and disappointed by Trine 3. The element of 3D is an interesting one and offers some fun moments, but in my mind it does not make up for an adventure that feels incomplete and lacking compared to trine and especially trine 2 (which was a lengthy adventure).

Trine and again, especially Trine 2, felt complete from beginning to end. There were plenty of different areas/biomes and bosses. In comparison Trine 3 ends when the adventure starts to really kick off and I ended up looking like a dolt out of sheer suprise because of how sudden it ended (finished the game on GoG).

There is also a leck of depth, or atleast, I feel so. The skill trees and many of the options of the previous games have gone away, which combined with the sudden ending and short duration leave a rather bitter aftertaste.

Sorry for sounding harsh, but I really love the series and can not help feeling like the third game is a huge step back and a tough product to recommend.
Aerisana Aug 21, 2015 @ 12:53pm 
Thank you for your Honesty.
I appreciate all the hard work that went into this beloved game.
If only all Developers were this honest about every project, the world would be a much better place.
I may purchase this after all, but would not play it since it may dissuade me from future versions of Trine.
Enjoy the gift of faith.
Please Learn and grow from this experience and may your next project be all the more perfect.

p.s. In my opinion most gamers I know are enjoying more old school type of games. To phrase that differently, Longer games and more Detailed and Wonderful stories are the way to go. It seems Graphics these days are a Nice "Icing on the Cake" but the Real Draw is Length of experience with out "grindy- replays" Mixed with a Wonderful story. ( Witcher / Skyrim / Fallout). I know my examples are a very different type of game than what the Trine world is about. Imagine if you will something akin to Trine 1 in play style and graphics, but with many, MANY differnet paths to "the top of the tower" or "the bottom of the dungeon". Perhaps something similar to a world map with dozens of different locations in wich to start. And maybe MANY different ways and paths to progress through each individual maze. Similar to Trine 1 but with 70% less dead ends and more ways to go through.
Somethingl like trine mixed with some old school Ideas ( Metroid / Magic Sword ).
Sorry to ramble on but I hope this may help in the Future.

Edit: I did purchase this game to help your Next project. I do hope it will be the most excellent one yet. Honestly I will not play this though.
Last edited by Aerisana; Aug 22, 2015 @ 4:25pm
Fila! Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:00pm 
I think the honesty is commendable but if you take a step back and analyze what you have just said... it doesn't paint a pretty picture for the independent game industry. Time and time again it's been proven that indy devs have no idea how to manage their projects and most end up over budget.

It definitely starts to feel like there is a purpose to having publishers with whips after all because someone needs to keep control of things.

And honestly now, when I read a comment like this

We still think the game is good but the cliffhanger story and the relative shortness of the game are valid criticisms but ones which we didn't realize would cause a disappointment in this scale. Sorry!

The only thing I can say is: What the hell were you thinking???
Last edited by Fila!; Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:00pm
Timeraider Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:01pm 
To be fully honest.. i think the 3D test did fully work out. I absolutely LOVE the way the 3D works, looks and feels. Just sad it costs a ton more cash and time ofcourse..
Mexicutioner Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:03pm 
How did you manage trine 1 & 2 without any sort of budget problems but mess up 3? Sounds to me like people at office want a bigger piece of the pie this time around. Cliffhanger ending? That could only mean you purposely made it short so you can throw out some held back content in a month or two.
Last edited by Mexicutioner; Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:06pm
NoNick Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:22pm 
Hello JoelFB, Frozenbyte,

why didn’t you put this information on the early access? “We are running out of money and need the money from the Trine 3 sales now. The idea for Trine3 has X levels and we have finished now y levels.”

Adding the missing levels as small DLC to complete the game would be okay for me.
59 Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:23pm 
go back to 2D. Or make it 2.5D The directional freedom is fun, but the story (the most important part of the game???) has suffered tremendously.
damoose1 Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:23pm 
The problem is that almost the entire game uses the 3D environment. I think the game should have primarily remained a 2D platformer - like the previous titles - but with some 3D puzzle areas added in here and there. It would have significantly reduced the scope of a lot of the levels that did not need it and left space for a much longer and detailed game and story.

Also, having so many destructable items with no real mechanical purpose seemed to further take away from what could have been a bigger game. Being able to destroy a fence looks great and all, but it provided no extra depth to the gameplay. It kind of made it worse as you would end up destroying a fence that prevented you from falling off the map.

Just some of my quick observations on top of what others have said.

On its own, Trine 3 is a great game and is probably worth the price compared to some other games. However, it is part of a previous series, so it has to be held up to those games, and it just is not as good, unfortunately. Hope it does well, so we can continue the story in future.
Last edited by damoose1; Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:25pm
59 Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:24pm 
im making another post to make sure you see it - go back to 2d. And just make specific parts of it 3d. Parts that are easy to render and program. Making the entire game 3d is too much of a strain for your team, seemingly so.
ZachDaniel Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:26pm 
Apparently Mexicutioner didn't read the post at all.
Gerochi Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:35pm 
I will not say that I enjoyed Trine 3 because it was fun and had potential, and I think that's what people feel lost about, that it had unfullfilled potential, as you yourselves admit and I think that's good.
Personally I hope that you make the next Trine game 2D again now that you've tried 3D and seen the initial results, and learnt from it.
I will always love the Trine series for the vibrant environments and parkourish battle/exploration, but it feels that you had to sacrifice a lot of things(Leveling-system, different abilities to the heroes, more maps and enemies) just to introduce 3D. It's not bad, but it's not as good as it could've been.

Keep on keeping on, you make amazing games and probably will continue doing in the future, don't let this let you down, and continue making what you do best. :D
Last edited by Gerochi; Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:39pm
stevo Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:43pm 
I don't even have a problem with the length, even though it is in all honesty way too short. My problem is that everything is a shadow of its former self. Simplistic puzzles, no character growth absolutely kills it, but then again with the short length, what would be the point. The 3D is just a wasted dimension that very rarely ever adds to the gameplay. It's sort of just there for no reason other than to tick a checkbox.

Filler sidequests.

Buggy as hell multiplayer. In such a short time I think I counted 7 glitches and bugs that wern't merely graphical.

All in all, I think you kind of crapped out. The game I loved is there. It's just missing the love developers gave it the first 2 times around.
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