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: http://steamcommunity.com/app/319910/discussions/0/527273452874648751/
Last edited by JoelFB; Aug 27, 2015 @ 2:46am
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Showing 16-30 of 360 comments
Monkey Metal Aug 21, 2015 @ 1:45pm 
I would just like to thank you guys for your hard work and dedication on this game! I think its amazing what you have managed to do! Translating a 2D game in 3D is no easy feat! and I can only think of two other companie's that have managed to do it sucessfully, Nintendo (with Super Mario) and RARE (Banjo etc..).

I hope this game get the attention and praise it truely deserves! (and I hope it make's a ♥♥♥♥ load of money for you, so that you can continue what your doing!)

Anyway enough of me blowing hot air up you arse's.

Just wanted to say thanks, and because of games like yours, its has inspired me to try and make my own game. I'm slowly learning how to develop games, making models/animation in maya, programming in C++, using unreal 4 engine (I would love to make mods for this game but I found your editor not very noob friendly, and I could not find much in the way of tutorials - although I have check recently)

Keep up the good work!



Miroki Aug 21, 2015 @ 2:00pm 
JE vous consseil fortement de placer sur le titre du jeu " Chapitre 1" ce sera bien plus honest et cela laissera moin un gout de non terminé.
la 3d pause beaucoup de probleme , mais il est magnifique.
le meilleur niveau est celui du livre. absolument genial
VonRickroll Aug 21, 2015 @ 2:06pm 
Originally posted by Miroki:
JE vous consseil fortement de placer sur le titre du jeu " Chapitre 1" ce sera bien plus honest et cela laissera moin un gout de non terminé.
la 3d pause beaucoup de probleme , mais il est magnifique.
le meilleur niveau est celui du livre. absolument genial
Quick translation in case no one at FB speaks French :

I strongly advise you name this game "Chapter 1" as it would be more honnest and seem less unfinished.
3D comes with a lot of trouble, but it [the game ?] is gorgeous
Best level is the one within the book. Pure genius
ToxicKookie Aug 21, 2015 @ 2:32pm 
Originally posted by JoelFB:
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

High five for honesty.

That aside, I would personally like to see it go back to 2.5D. Haven't played it yet, but from videos on youtube and such it seems a bit too streamlined/casualized and a tad clunky. The removal of the upgrade system also feels like a bad move. And as you mentioned all this 3D, which really didn't benefit the game any, resulted in a much shorter, more developmentally expensive game.

I was a bit put off by the change when it was announced so I held off on early access and in light of all the reactions I'm not sure I'll be purchasing at all.
RaygonX Aug 21, 2015 @ 2:42pm 
Wtf ♥♥♥♥ u. I bought this game because i thought i would get a full game. U should add in the describtion that the game end in the middle of the story. Thats a nice scam
MULKMULKMULK Aug 21, 2015 @ 2:51pm 
game gud. give more game!
LoboFH Aug 21, 2015 @ 3:18pm 
I didn't finish Trine 3 yet, I've played 3 hours and I am enjoying it, the 3D adds some interesting flavour to the exploration, new spice in a 3rd chapter (that 's always good),

but...

I liked more Trine 2 and the 2D, why?, because the puzzles were more clever, because it was possible to try crazy ideas and waste (happily) time playing with the physics of the game (specially the mage gameplay). Now, the shotcomings to get 3D, have simplified a lot the gameplay, the freedom, the fun and the replayability factor. I don't like neither the combat in 3D, to be honest.

Just my constructive criticism for future projects, but it's a great game and I am enjoying it, thanks.
Last edited by LoboFH; Aug 21, 2015 @ 3:19pm
Starfire Aug 21, 2015 @ 3:33pm 
This is so unfortunate. A 3D game is not inherently superior to a 2D game. I absolutely loved Trine 1 and 2. I'm not mad or anything. I know you guys tried. I just wish you had tried innovating along the path you guys had been taking, rather jumping on the 3D bandwagon.
Ita Aug 21, 2015 @ 3:59pm 
Thx for your honesty

Just played 1-2 hours yet, the game is beautiful, i'm glad to go back in this universe =)
But why no Skill Tree ?! :(
Vegetariano Aug 21, 2015 @ 4:10pm 
$5.4M? Ouch. The media around the title seems so little compared with Trine 2.
Anyway, I hope you can get that money back and profit.
Last edited by Vegetariano; Aug 21, 2015 @ 4:11pm
[DemoniC][EVL] Aug 21, 2015 @ 4:46pm 
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

I'm sorry, but this seems a bit unbelievable to me. So you're saying here that you intended from the start to NOT have a complete story and instead have a cliffhanger ending, with no intention of dlc whatsover? So didn't you finish writing the story? Why already make the game then? I'm not buying it... this sounds like a really really weak excuse.

'we always wanted to make a game without an ending... that's what we set out to do...'

you could've and should've just been honest with your customers from the start. That you never intended to release a complete game apparently.

edit: I want to say that I'm not disappointed in the game per se, it was fun while it lasted, but this should've been told upfront, not after negative reviews came flowing in.
Last edited by [DemoniC][EVL]; Aug 21, 2015 @ 6:45pm
Caucasian Aug 21, 2015 @ 5:28pm 
Thank you for the honestly. That is respectable, my main concern was that there was no response on why Frozenbyte chose to make the game the way it did (in terms of shortness or the story being a cliffhanger). But after reading this thread, I am content to know that this was out of ambition over intention. So thank you and I can't wait to see what happens in the story next.
Madfish Aug 21, 2015 @ 5:30pm 
Thanks for the honest reply. I am a huge fan of the series and I want it to succeed and continue. I couldn't imagine Trine 3 cost that much to create, thanks for clearing that up. It is a little sad though, compared to how great T1 and T2 felt. What makes it so much more expensive? The assets you used in T2 were just amazing. I feel that many things we see in T3 look rather... unrefined. Maybe you should still work in "parallax", meaning give objects in the foreground more detail but take it easy on stuff that's further back, even now that we got a "pseudo 3d".

This "3D" focus - honestly said it didn't add much to the game for me. I think it the main thing here is that it is too little too soon. I could've imagined this with say VR - but without it? Mostly just a pain because it appears to break the games mechanics at times and adds luck as a factor.

I admit though, taking away so much from the story really hurt the game for me. It wouldn't be that impactful if it would be balanced out by something else - but I can't find much that does that. It feels and felt as if the charme of Trine, which to me was like a flow of story and movement through the levels, was replaced by being able to zoom in and out of the background a little.

That said I hope the Workshop integration will add to the game longterm. I don't believe it'll create this amazing and charming athmosphere though as that depended on the voice overs as well.

I'll still support you by buying every DLC you'll create for T3. But I do hope you can optimize the development costs a bit and expand on the story elements again. I wouldn't even mind if you re-use many of the gameplay elements as I'm sure you could easily compensate with unique settings. I still wish you success and may the saga of Trine continue in it's legendary glory :)
Last edited by Madfish; Aug 21, 2015 @ 5:31pm
KriKitBoNeZ Aug 21, 2015 @ 5:44pm 
I adore the Trine games. When I was very poor, I pirated the first two...and then bought them off of steam later. Probably replayed the crap out of them with many people just to show them how lovely video games can look and feel. I haven't finished this one yet, even though I had it in early access (due to bugs), but it is astonishingly wonderful to look at. I appreciate what you guys have done. I never ever have felt the need to thank a developer as much as I am compelled to thank you guys. Thank you.
TOB Aug 21, 2015 @ 5:53pm 
That's a helpful, transparent and honest post from the game developer. I wish that companies like Codemasters would be inspired by it but I won't hold my breath.

I'm about halfway through Trine 3 and I'm both impressed and frustrated by elements of the game but it's clear that some of the harshest criticism of the gameplay is a little unfair. It takes some getting used to (and we would have appreciated a rotating camera) but Trine 3 breaks new ground and introduces some new features (gotta love gliding with that shield.)

I realize that you may have gone over-budget with this game but much of the negativity stems from that price tag. As the shortest game in the series, a $20 price tag simply doesn't fit. If your number crunchers agree, a discounted price may move some 'inventory' and help get you back into the black on this one.

Most importantly, don't let Trine die! A Trine 4 title that has a much stronger separation of side-scroll and 3d elements would be fun to play. You don't need help with imagination and creativity so I'll leave it to you to reconcile those elements of the first two titles with the ambition of the third to create a fourth great title.

Best of luck.
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