A very productive few months!
Since our last devblog, things have progressed rapidly behind the scenes. We’ve been able to bring forward some of our plans and fit them in around the upcoming content. We’ve also been able to bring on two new full-time artists, Ozan and Batuhan, who we had been working with on a freelance basis for a while now. They are both Turkish so feel free to say hello in either English or Turkish (for the many Turkish fans of the game!).
You can check out some of their previous work for Chapter 5 below:
As many of you will have seen on discord, we are attending Format 2021 based in Birmingham, UK and will have a developer stand for the entire duration. We’d love to meet some of you guys and hand out some merch, so if you’re in the area or don’t mind a drive, grab some tickets Here. There will be guest appearances, other great developers (I know Melzeebub is excited to meet the guys behind Hell Let Loose) as well as food and a bar so definitely check it out if you can.
As far as we are aware, this is the first gaming convention to happen post-covid so tickets are going fast; we recommend grabbing them as soon as possible.
For those not able to attend, don’t fret, this is still good news for you guys too – We intend to have all of the new features out and tested prior to Format. That means the new features are coming, and soon!
We’ve now got our localisation system live! While it’s still a little rough around the edges (some things still need localising), it should be miles easier for non-english speakers to understand whats going on in the notes and the voice clips. Talking of voice clips, we’ve also got subtitles going now so you don’t have to scream at your friends for talking over them. It also clarifies the name of Officer Mills, who many people seem to think is called Officer Milf…
At the time of writing, we have the following languages on the live build:
We have Chinese, Spanish, Turkish and Russian on the way too!
New Achievements are on the way
Many of you have been asking about the new achievements on steam; those will be coming very soon, and will be granted upon startup to those who have already completed the relevant chapter.
Once we get the big features out of the way, we will be revisiting the original chapters and revamping them with more story elements, new scares and some tricky easter eggs. There will of course be some new achievements coming too!
Death System / Revive System
So whats this new death system all about? Well to start, we’re adding a life system. No more running into monsters to get back to the start (well, unless you want to, I’ll explain further down).
As it stands, death in Labyrinthine works like this:
Monster sees you, runs to you, kills you, goes back to wandering around, you see a movie and then you reappear alive and well. It’s not the most exciting system…
The new system in the works will do the following:
Monster sees you, runs to you, kills you in the world (i.e. your friends get to see you being thrown around and attacked while they have a chance to escape), you drop to the floor and begin to bleed-out at which point someone can revive you or if you bleed-out, your team loses a life. If you’re out of lives, you enter spectator mode. What happens when everyone dies with no lives left? Game over.
We’ve noticed a lot of people have loved the ability to take the game at their own pace without being punished. That’s why we’re also including an “unlimited lives” option so that people can play without the worry of dying and losing a team life.
We don’t have a great video at hand of the most recent system, but here’s an example of how it looked a couple weeks back. Trust me when I say it looks a lot better now, with polish to the animations and camera smoothing. This system is pretty much ready to go and we’ve rigged it up to the old video system – we’re hoping to have this out pretty soon!
New Animations and New AI
We posted the video above on both discord and the last update for Labyrinthine, but in case you’ve not seen it yet, it’s posted again here!
As we said from the start, the old video death screens were a temporary measure until we had the time / resources to do in-world animations. Well we’ve spent the past few months working with a high-quality animator to get every monster’s death animations done, both from the front and behind (that’s right, things will be sneaking up on you!).
We also wanted to make sure everything fit together so we’ve gone ahead and had all of the monsters re-animated too. This means the monsters will have completely different feels to them as you come across them in the game!
Those of you eyeing up the official Labyrinthine pipeline may have also noticed the “AI Rework” card. We know the AI can be a little strange at times; there’s several behaviours that are designed to prevent them from bugging out that can lead to them doing weird things like aggroing and de-aggroing quickly or screaming over and over (looking at you witch). We have plans to make them much more intelligent and have them use more than just sight to hunt you down…
While we don’t have anything to show just yet, we’re going to be reworking all of the monsters sounds that fit their new animations. These new sounds will make the monsters much more threatening !
Settings Reworked + Steam Input
A few changes worth mentioning; settings are now stored in a cfg file in the game folder’s data directory and we’ve also switched over to SteamInput for controllers. What this means is that Steam should handle most of the controller work in the background. This provides support for a much larger range of controllers and also gives users the ability to customise the controls to their liking at a much finer level. For example, being able to modify deadzones, change the way buttons work, enable haptics etc.
Bug Tracker + Whole bunch of bug fixes
We’re getting a ton of usage out of the new bugtracker. We’ve been able to identify several issues linked to each other by having the tracker, so it’s been a huge help. Massive appreciation to the moderators for what they do! If you spot anything that isn’t already on there, make sure to post it on our discord or on the steam discussion boards.
Also, remember that the bugtracker is open to the public for comments so if you want to add something in relation to the bug, please do.
That’s right, glowsticks are being changed!
We’ve decided to make them a little more interactive. Currently on live, we have some new physics enabled which will allow them to bounce around a little (it’s a video):
This is cool and all, but Michal wanted to do something even better… Introducing throwable glowsticks! We’re going to be adding this shortly but you will now be able to “charge” your throw and launch glowsticks with some distance. Of course, short taps will still drop them on the floor but this new mechanic can be used to pinpoint areas, check corridors or just for fun. (NOTE: Does nothing to stop monsters running at you).
Check out the video below:
Randomisation has had a ton of work done to it over the past two months. Since last time, we’ve implemented the objective system, cleaned up generation, added puzzle generation, got monsters working, added start and end points and created a scaling system based on the users level. There’s a bit of work to do yet and we’d like to get a couple maze types ready before release, but this one is very close now! Keep your eyes peeled…
Testing the randomisation mode, we can say it definitely brings back that fear of being lost. For those who have played Labyrinthine’s story chapters a few times, you will have likely mentally mapped the areas and know the best routes for escape. Having that safety net removed, you are once again being stalked in unfamiliar territory. We are not looking forward to testing with the new AI reworks!
There’s a lot more we want to bring to the table with the randomisation mode, including new traps, monsters, maps and secrets. It’s likely it will initially release semi-barebones and then be improved upon as we go. We think there’s a ton of potential if we pull this mode off right and we’ve got a few incentives to play it regularly up our sleeves too! For example, we’ve been testing the water with a customisation system. We’re planning to include customisation options for players to find within the randomised mazes, with some items being super rare and spawning only in certain maze types. Stay tuned for more of this though!
While this looks super goofy, it’s a development screenshot showing a skin with woodchips, as well as a customisation option, the red cube (that was off center but I don’t have a better pic to hand!).
We also found this on google and thought it would fit in great with the Jonny Honks fair theme!
Chapter 5 Updates
I think nearly everyone in discord is sick of seeing “When is chapter 5?” being asked several times a day so let’s get chatting about it!
Let’s start off by saying Chapter 5 is unlike anything seen so far, not just in the environment, but also the visual quality and gameplay, let me explain why…
If you don’t really care why chapter 5 is taking time, feel free to skip ahead to the good stuff, I’ll leave a title for you.
Labyrinthine was started in October 2019 with a planned release of October 2020. I won’t go into the full details and bore you but we spent a few months working on the original plan for the game, one giant maze that was hosted on a dedicated server. We then reworked the game into what you see today, several chapters with four players per game. These months lost obviously meant we had to work quicker to reach our intended release date. Thanks to the fantastic kickstarter supporters, both Zach and Lonnie were able to go full time and we were fully on track for our halloween release. That is, until we were hit by several checks by steam that we didn’t expect. This caused us to cut content from Chapter 3 to get the game out; Something that has been painfully obvious from players reactions to it.
We had originally intended to rework Chapter 3 after the Early Access release and just get it up to what we had planned, but that’s when we were hit with problem #2. Steam Refunds.
Any aspiring game developers out there, watch out; any game selling for more than $5 with less than 2 hours of content will be refunded. A lot. We sat and watched streamers play through the game, get to the end and say “That was good fun, and we’re still in time to get our money back” and it wasn’t even an uncommon occurrence sadly (honestly, people were openly writing in the refund reason that they were refunding it as they completed the game or because they were under the limit).
The reworks to Chapter 3 never got done because we put all of the focus in getting Chapter 4 out as well as fixing all of the networking issues that had cropped up. We then had to spend some time getting Chapter 4 reworked as it had been rushed due to the amount of refunds we were getting so the small sample size of testers didn’t reflect the wider audience. If you look at our time-line, it sort of looks like this
EA release -> bug fixes -> Chapter 4 + Network Overhaul -> bug fixes -> Chapter 4 rework -> bug fixes
The Chapter 4 rework was well received and the average playtime was now over the refund time, which brought down our refunds substantially.
So then we are there in April; we’re earning enough to keep us all in full time employment, we’re bringing in new talent to speed things up and improve and we don’t have the same levels of urgency that we did before. We are going to go all out this time round and really deliver something that players will love. We want to show people what we’re capable of!
Okay, time for the good stuff
Chapter 5 looks stunning. With all the pressures lifted, we’ve taken things a little slower and properly planned out how we want the game to feel and look. We’ve spent time learning new techniques, doing more photoscans and perfecting our art workflow. Unity is often given a bad reputation for “looking bad” but that’s simply not true. Just check out some of these images from in-game!
We’re sure the pressing question is still “when is chapter 5?”. The answer is simply, when it’s done.
We can’t give any solid dates as we then have to stick to them and that means rushing stuff again. We’ve got a hell of a lot of it done already despite it being a large map but we’d rather have it to a quality we want before we start making any promises or estimates.
It’s probably not the news a lot of people want to hear, but we think it’s the right direction and we’d like to think most people would agree (I’m sure many people will let us know!).
We intend to revisit the old zones too and rework them to meet our standards (after Chapter 5 of course!). There’s a lot of potential for Labyrinthine to grow into and we fully intend to keep it growing as long as we can.
Time to end the update
Thanks for making it this far into the dev update, it’s definitely been a long one! Below are the Chapter 5 screenshots uncropped (done on an ultrawide screen).
This Post Has 37 Comments
My friends and I play and stream this all the time. It’s an amazing game and we can’t wait for the updates. Keep up the awesome work
Lets fucking go finnallyyyy
I’m never gonna stop playing this
SHEESH KEEP IT UP
Please put the game in Spanish,
It is the third most spoken language and it is not in this beautiful game
Plox pongan el juego en español, es el 2 idioma mas hablado del mundo y no esta en este hermoso juego. por favor se los pido chavales. buen juego XD
We said in the blog that Spanish is coming; We’re just waiting for the translation to be completed. 🙂
This is awesome! Can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on 🙂
Been here for this game since day 1 and have never asked for my money back. People need to understand what early access is and stop whining for a refund. If you can’t appreciate the work being put into the development of a game, by all means wait for the full release. Glad that the devs can now focus on their project without having to worry about financial uncertainty. I love supporting early access games because playing them allows me to appreciate the time, details and changes that went into the creation of the game.
Every time a change is made, I make sure to go back and replay the chapters.
@Devs Looking forward to the next update. Keep up the good work.
Thanks Phantom! We love that there are players still around from day 1!
We can’t blame people not understanding early access… due to other devs using it as a scapegoat for bug-ridden full releases, early access has lost it’s meaning sadly. But like you said, we’ve got the financials down, now it’s time for us to make Labyrinthine into something special!
they messed mine up wiped laptp and ive been left with f all wtree involved aswell how can i fixit as yay wont or oculus
bebabababu beebebe? bonos sue du fulte alto meis oto ged roui
bunus tres osa bes? testo boos 5 tris oha tes kasa sei ona dos
hey was just wondering if anyone knows if you can test chapter 5 in steams beta mode i know you were able to with other early access games id love to play this game chapters 1 to 5 (even a beta or preview in one go on my stream if im able to thanks all 🙂
But when will chapter 5 released?
Can I comment first?
Es ist genau mein Spiel, ein Spiel in dem man sich wunderbar verlaufen kann. Wo ich doch keine Orientierung habe.
Die Momente, wo aus der hecke die kleinen Holzgeister Springen sind klasse und erschrecken mich immer noch, obwohl ich das schon einige mal gespielt habe und eigentlich weiß, das sie da sind, davon dürfte es gerne mehr geben.
Es wäre schon klasse, wenn einige Gruselige Hände aus der Hecke greifen würden, wäre sicherlich eine tolle zusätzliche erschreck Sekunde.
Ich freu mich schon auf das neue Kapitel!
So I was just randomly checking out games on my wishlist. Looking for discounts and updates on EA games. Saw this game and figured I’d read the latest update to see if this game was beeing worked on or if it was “abandoned”. Was glad to see that not only is it beeing worked on – but worked on by what seems passionate developers. Was heartbreaking to read that some streamers play the game and then refund it once they are “done”. IMO thats abuse of the refund system and its intent. Regardless – I’m all for supporting passionate developers and games. So I’ll be buying this game for both myself and my friends. No refunds here either xP We love co-op horror games. Been burned by EA games before so was waiting to see how this game played out. And cant say I was dissapointed by what I read. Looking forward to playing your game and waiting with glee and exitement for future updates ^^ Good luck guys o/
Thanks for the support DeathSpank, always good to see players who look beyond what’s currently available to see where the game is going 🙂
I smashed through this game with a couple of friends and it is hands down one of the most insanely fun, unique experiences out there. I compare it to Phasmophobia ( a game I have so damn much fun playing) but with a more forceful means of making everyone participate (instead of hiding in the damn van like in Phas.) which seriously makes for some of the funniest moments i’ve experienced to date with my friends. I think as soon as the 3rd chapter is remade and chapter 5 is released, I will definitely be taking another full game run 🙂
seriously, fantastic job guys, I really love what you are doing and cannot wait to see what else you have in store for us!!
Definitely worth its money and it’s sad to see that people refund after having fun. The price of Labyrinthine is less than a movie ticket and people don’t ask for a refund after seeing a movie and on top of that, the game is still in development so there will be more content for free.
Also: Pig dude made me soil me undies. Looking forward to what’s to come. Kudos!
Hey guys, I don’t want to be bugging you but what’s going on with Labyrinthine, I thought that after chapter 4 things will get developed faster? I mean randomization mode was a feature, meant to come along with that chapter in the middle of feburary.
I also remember that in late april, chapter 5 should’ve been almost ready but instead we’re basically one day away from august and you’re just starting to prepare to test the randomization feature?
As I said earlier, I don’t aim to offend you with my message as I really like this game. Me and my gf bought it one week after it’s realese date and after that we finished it
about 5 times and we posted very positive comments about Labyrinthine.
It’s just that the development of your game seems way too slow for what you promised us throughout the months and we keep on getting delayed. This so called “foundation that you’ll build upon in the future” was supposed to be introduced back in feburary, not in late august or september, or maybe even in october, who knows when such big delays happen all the time…
With this speed of progress It’s doubtful that the game will be finished by the end of the year, which is going to be another consecutive disappointment, because of your promises.
Randomisation wasn’t planned for february at all – I’m not sure where you are getting that from. We had talked about making puzzles and spawn points randomised but we ended up building an entirely new gamemode with a progression system instead. These things take time, especially when we have to combine it with a revival system and in-world deaths. Unless you know a little about gamedev, you probably won’t understand some of the issues we’ve had to tackle with creating procedural levels. Not just from a placement point of view either – there’s a lot of optimisation work that needs to be done and we recently create our own dynamic occlusion system to work with the randomised maps. Again, the “foundation” was never supposed to be in for February.
You’re talking about the delays as if we have failed to hit targets, yet on our internal timeline, we’re actually a week ahead of where we planned to be. We’re extremely catious of promising or giving dates for anything because people have a tendency to act how you are now acting, i.e. “It’s doubtful that the game will be finished by the end of the year, which is going to be another consecutive disappointment, because of your promises.” so I doubt we ever said randomisation was going to be out in X month.
To put it in perspective, it took devour about 5 months to release a new map using the exact same mechanics as the previous zone with some reskins. Many of the assets were premade from the unity store. In 5 months of Labyrinthine development, we have create an entire new gamemode with fully procedurally generated levels, completely remade the death system, completely re-animated every single monster, overhauled the audio of all monsters and nearly finished a AAA quality map using mostly our own assets done in-house, all while fixing bugs and making minor changes.
As mentioned in the devblog, chapter 5 is being done to a much higher standard than the other zones so it will inevitably take longer. We’ve put more focus on randomisation to give people some replayability while the chapters are being created. We’re sorry it’s taking long but that’s just how it is when you have to make huge changes to the game.
Thank you for the reply!
Well, as I appreciate your answer, I can’t understand if you’re trying to make a fool of me. Discord is your most reliable and active zone and yet you’re surprised by what I’ve read. This randomization feature may have took changes throughout the months by your side, but it was something mentioned way back in November when chapter 4 should’ve been released but instead you released it in mid February, saying how from now on you won’t have such delays because of the newly added build for the game. With that you were supposed to add the randomization feature, but you took other directions which is absolutely fine, but don’t tell me that I almost imagine things myself.
Adding to your sentence that “you never said out publicly a date” for any update is a complete lie, because you said in discord when to expect the upcoming updates. After that you gave excuses about needing more time and you won’t be able to release them when you should’ve… let’s not pretend that this isn’t happening because it is, all the time actually.
Also as I can see we’re talking about your game not about how Devour is doing things, so why do you even bring up their progress to highlight your progress?
What upsets me is indeed your previous “somewhat of promises” for when things will happen, because there’s no solid live progress for the game since February. There’re still many bugs and things to smooth out and I understand that it’s normal having an Early access game, but it’s taking way too long and at the end new things are still very buggy after taking all the time you need. I’m sorry but that’s the truth for me, I still commend you for placing a good price on the game as if it was more expensive like Ghost hunters corp, it wouldn’t have ended well.
I’m not making a fool out of you; I just checked through discord and the only thing said about randomisation is that it will be high priority after chapter 4. The delay of Chapter 4 was because of networking. We had previously used a networking system that was unreliable, caused major issues with steamworks and had next to no support. We had to completely re-work every piece of the networking and build it from the ground up and then test everything. This is also when we split down the big map into smaller scenes and created a lobby. It took time.
We did say future updates will be quicker. The reason being is that we had a much more stable networking system that didn’t give us weird scenarios where we had to create workarounds. We never promised randomisation in February.
Chapter 4 was the last time we gave a date. We’ve not given any dates since due to how people reacted when we had to delay because of the network rework.
The point with devour is that we’re going faster than most other games in the genre. There’s nothing wrong with the speed devour is going at either, we’re just doing more in a shorter amount of time.
I’m unsure of what you mean “no solid live progress”, we’ve added bug trackers and pipelines and commit to the public_testing branch. We just last week showcased the new randomisation and death system plus all the new stuff included. There’s a lot going on.
Thank you for the quick reply!
Well that’s some reasonable explanation now, but a normal follower will not know about all this, if he doesn’t ask you directly, so people would kind of go that route.
Of course I know about your recent updates, including the new revival system and also the new animations when you’re down on the ground. Me and my gf are following every time you post something but what I mean by no actual live progress is that the story is stuck at one place for a long time and issues were still present in the past 2 months when we last played.
You didn’t say anything about a date/month for when the randomization would be ready in the announcement Channel, but in the General and the Feedback channels, this was a very common discussion between the fans and you – the dev team. There were always discussions of these features coming “very soon” so you would kind of get an idea, but it never went that way.
After reaching out to you here and at least having a glimpse of your difficulties I can understand you more and try to have a little bit more patience. As I said, I think that this game has a big potential and I just hope that after you take as much time as you need, the game will live up to the expectations and even exceed them.
In my personal opinion, Devour is a bad comparison to your game, because I feel that Labyrinthine is a higher tier game in every way and I think that you strive to create a more impressive experience.
In summary, I would like to wish you good luck with your work and let there be less problems, in order to see this game as a fine product by the end of the year or later, depending on your decisions. For now we’ll be just waiting for the new chapter to come out and let it be soon, because we were really excited to play it since before you even showed us the preview pictures of it.
Please release this soon !