You are currently viewing December 2022 – Developer Update

December 2022 – Developer Update

What’s this? A developer update? We haven’t put one out since March believe it or not. Time flies!

We’ve got a few things to talk about in this update, as well as what the future holds for Valko. Let’s get started!

Chapter 6

While we would usually save talking about the new chapter until the end, we thought it would make sense to bring it up first as people often don’t read to the end (shame on you!).

There's more than Silver deep down in the mines
How close is chapter 6?

Chapter 6 is really close. It’s actually nearly 100% playable, most of the new monsters are in and hunting, the puzzles are working, the environments are set up. Basically, we’re almost there.

So what’s taking time, you may ask? Well. For those not “in the know”, chapter 6 will be the final story chapter of Labyrinthine. This is where the story will end, at least for now, and that means we need to make sure to tie up loose ends and bring everything together. For those eagle-eyed players who check the pipeline, you may notice that we have had a planned “story revamp” for a while now. There’s a few events and systems we wanted to do for that revamp that we are implementing into chapter 6. Basically, we have a bunch of lore work to go into Chapter 6 that is taking a little bit of time. We have also contacted a few dedicated players to have them do some voice work, including the voicing of a certain character who can be found down in the mines.

Where is chapter 6 set?

Chapter 6 will continue on from the end of Chapter 5. After leaving on the boat, you will cross the lake and arrive at the New Fir Silver Mine, the source of the Fir family’s wealth.

With Chapter 5 being open like Chapter 3, we wanted to bring Chapter 6 back to being an enclosed maze, much like Chapter 2 and Chapter 4. Expect to get lost!

We hope you don't mind tight spaces!
How come you guys arent sharing more sneak peeks like you did with chapter 5?

We learned our lesson with Chapter 5, we shared too much and it definitely built a lot of hype, speculation and expectations that resulted in disappointment for a lot of people. We are purposefully trying to avoid any giving away too much, we’re taking the approach of “Release it with very little info and let players discover the chapter for themselves” with this one. We will say there will be some stuff players will not be expecting at all….

When can we expect it?

While we don’t give out any dates, we are aiming to have it in private testing at the very least by the end of the year.

What is the monster?

Everyone keeps asking what the monster will be. Simply put, it’s going to be a █████████ (click to reveal)

Christmas Cosmetics

One of the new cosmetics, coming out soon!

Last year’s Christmas cosmetics are spawning and will continue to do so until the end of the month. We also have several new ones coming very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for the update!

More Cosmetics

Sick of purple beanies? Sick of camo caps? Then we have good news! We have a bunch of new cosmetics coming in a future update which should help reduce getting the same one repeatedly. There’s quite a lot of variation as some of them were done for an anniversary event that sadly didn’t get out in time. There’s no ETA on these but we plan to get them out sooner rather than later!

New Characters

Yes, you read that correctly! We’re at a point now where adding some extra characters makes sense. For those who haven’t been around since the kickstarter, the original “male teen” character was used purely as a placeholder. We had the support of Zeke (Ezekiel_III) since he voiced clubfoot in the game, and as a thank you, we created him as a playable character.

When we hit kickstarter, our top reward was to have yourself created in game as a character. A close friend of Zeke (Swiftor) bought this package as a gift to Zeke and had Zeke’s partner, Kate (ClassyKatie) created as a surprise for him.

Since then, we’ve not felt that new characters held enough value to be a priority so we’ve just kept the same 3, however, with the game coming closer to full release, we’ve gone ahead and started working on some new characters for people to play with.

Early base sculpts of the new characters

Virtual Reality (VR)

A large portion of our time the past few months has been spent trying to get VR working nicely with the game. This has included a lot of smaller optimisations, hours of internal testing and various discussions on how we want to implement things. So far, the reception from the private testers who have played in VR is overwhelmingly positive. We put out a VR feedback survey which gives us some insight into what people think. We will be showing you snippets of that survey below. Let’s look at some of the key points we wanted out of VR.

Motion Sickness

The biggest issue when tackling VR is motion sickness. To put simply, motion sickness is caused by your brain receiving mixed signals from various parts of your body, trying to figure out whether you are moving or stationary and essentially confusing itself, creating nausea and dizzyness. For those who don’t suffer from it, I envy you. Motion sickness is one of the worst feelings you can have.

We’ve been working to get things feeling as natural as possible and we’re happy to say we feel it’s at a point where most players will feel relatively okay while playing.

Overall, most of the surveyed players don't get sick

Immersion is so important in VR. We’ve looked at a lot of VR games and noticed so many have stiff, rigid characters that move or bend in really bizarre ways. While it’s hilarious to watch, it does break immersion when your friend is limbo dancing all over the screen.

With Labyrinthine, we wanted the characters to look as smooth and natural as possible. We have spent some time ensuring players sync up as close as possible and that movement is tracked as accurate as we could. Obviously we will still have amusing moments at high ping or when players are in weird positions but overall, we’re really happy with how natural and immersive it looks.

Characters are fully synced, here's a player stretching
Easy to use

Another thing we wanted to tackle with VR was making it as easy to use as possible. Players should be able to pick up the controls within a few minutes of play and they should not feel clunky or confusing. We’ve toyed with a few different ideas, for example with item selection, we’ve looked at belts, glove icons and even hand symbols, but ultimately settled with a selection wheel for each hand.

Overall, we’re very happy with the controls. They might not be perfect and things may change but they feel intuative and easy to use.

New Maze Types

Testing some assets in game, this is not finalised lighting

Alongside the new story chapter and VR implementation, we’ve also started work on the next maze type; The Carnival. This maze type will feature a new monster plus some more “ghostie style” jump scares.

Once Chapter 6 is completed, we will also be working through the other maze types we have planned. The goal is to have 3 maze types unlocked every 5 levels, capping out at lv25. There is another planned “easter egg” level which will make an appearance but these are the mazes we have planned before moving from early access to full release.

New Merch

A ghostie beanie, modelled by GreedyArsonist

In the next few months, the merchandise side of things will be changed up a little. It’s going to be moving to it’s own store where we can introduce more non-Labyrinthine products. We will also be expanding out the designs and creating a bunch of new products as well as creating limited-edition items and expanding what is available. Who knows, we might even do the plushies people keep begging for!

The Future of Labyrinthine

An early screenshot of Labyrinthine's development

Wait, with all the story chapters completed, what happens once the maze types are done?

You might be wondering what our long-term plans are for Labyrinthine. When we set out developing Labyrinthine, the plan was very different from what you see today. We have expanded it massively from it’s original concept, adding in various features that just weren’t in the initial draft such as cosmetics, random generation, daily objectives, new monsters, new mazes etc.

Our plan right now is to complete Chapter 6, Get the new maze types that are planned out, add some more lore/rework parts of the early game and also look at increasing the amount of “variant” monsters in the case files.

When we complete everything mentioned above, Labyrinthine will technically be “completed”. At this point, Labyrinthine will be in “maintenance mode” for the most part. This is quite a subjective term but to us, it means we will continue to fix bugs and we aim to add smaller bits of content (new cosmetics, maybe maze types or even monsters etc). We don’t have any intention to “abandon” it or neglect Labyrinthine players, so maintenance mode simply means it won’t be the team’s main focus.

What about DLC?

DLC has been talked about multiple times and is a very real possibility. While it wouldn’t be worked on immediately after release, a DLC in the not so distant future isn’t unreasonable. What we do with DLC depends mainly on player feedback.

We could do a couple extra story chapters; This could be something as simple as experiencing the “Jonny Honk’s Happisburg Hedge Maze” as it was intended or as elaborate as following the footsteps of another group visiting one of the other regions of the maze.

We may also look at doing “Maze Packs” which would add new case files, monsters and cosmetics.

Either way, in keeping with our values, we would price the DLC to be as user friendly as possible and we may only require the host to have the DLC.

And a sequel?

We don’t have any plans for a sequel at this time and things we may want to implement will likely be done to the original game through DLC. That said, who knows what the future holds; we will be leaving the game’s story at a point where we can continue it, if we choose to do a sequel in the future.

So, what's next for Valko Game Studios?

With Labyrinthine “completed”, we will be shifting focus onto one of our other upcoming projects (we have a lot planned!). While we originally wanted to stray from horror and both enjoy creating more colourful and vibrant environments as well as showing that we plan to be genre-diverse, we think it only makes sense given the audience that our next project is one of our planned cooperative horror games.

We’re not giving out too much detail just yet, as we’d like to formally announce it once we have more to show. What we are willing to reveal though, is that it will be a four player co-op horror with a focus on smart AI. It won’t be maze based and it will have replayability. We’re excited for it!

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Michael Pratt

    You guys have done such an amazing job making this game, and I can’t wait to see all of this soon. Just off the title music alone I want to already want to play the “Unannounced Project” as soon as I am able to.

  2. MagicalSorin

    How envious of beta testers, I hope to have the opportunity to be one of them.


  3. nutsack magician

    I like how you blame chapter 5’s abysmal response on the fact you gave sneak peaks and not on it just being extremely counter-intuitive to the idea of a HORROR game by being a slow slog through a wide bright area with nothing interesting happening. Sick side hop on that one guys.

    1. nocturnalnimbus

      You are delusional, all the chapters have been absolutley entertaining and fun for everyone else, game is great. cant wait for more from you guys

  4. Kamyk

    I have no complaints with chapter 5 other than the damn mosquito, but chapter 4 was the pinnacle so far. I’d really like to see a bit more variety in the case file mazes in terms of both layout and monsters. It would be nice if case files used the themes from the story mode. I’d love a case file set in crypts for example.

    1. Amallah

      Heya, I can confirm that already exists in Case Files. 🙂

      The mazes for Case Files are procedurally generated and there are 11 maze types currently available, so there’s already a lot of variety as far as layout goes, and there’s a healthy variety of Case Files-exclusive monsters that don’t appear in story mode as well. There are already maze types for Case Files based on the themes of the first four chapters. Unkept Hedges is the theme of chapters 1 and 2 and are unlocked by default, Forest is the theme of chapter 3 and is unlocked by default, and Crypts is the theme of chapter 4 and is unlocked at level 5. There isn’t a swamp maze type at the moment, but it is currently planned.

      You’ll unlock more maze types and monsters as you level up, with the last unlock currently being at level 15 when you unlock Trenches.

  5. McMelon_xoxo

    As someone who has enjoyed playing this game in pancake mode with friends, we can not wait to get into chapter 6 and complete this so we can start all over again, We are are a group of VR lovers and can not wait to experience this game in a whole new light, although we know what to expect playing in VR brings a whole new host of scares and screams and I for one can not wait for it!

  6. Anakara

    You guys have nailed atmospheric horror! I haven’t played a game that scared me as much as this one in decades! Also, I finally understand the term “heart in my throat”. The open area forest map with the tree thing scared me utterly. I look forward to wherever you go with your development. Well done! Thank you for creating such a great game and making it co-op from the get-go.

  7. John The Impaler

    This is one of my favorite games, so when i hear new case files, my day is made.

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