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Bigfoot

Griftlands Reboot, Alpha and Roadmap

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Bigfoot    2157

Hello everyone!

As you may have seen at the PC Game Show, we are finally ready to talk about Griftlands. As always we try not to say too much until we’re reasonably sure we have solid information to give you, but we're feeling confident with the status of the game and want to fill you in.

We have a lot to discuss here: Alpha on the Epic Game Store, Early Access on Steam, and a big change in gameplay.

Griftlands, the RPG
Every time we make a game, we set out to make a new experience that’s never been made before. Over 4 years ago, we set out to make a new RPG, and the development of the game twisted and turned in many interesting ways.

After a couple years, we thought we were close, and announced the game. It turns out, we were premature in the announcement, and after another year of development, we realized that we were not delivering the experience we had set out to. Specifically, we wanted a world where you had the freedom to do what you wanted, and the world would respond systemically to it; where you could build relationships and the nuances of them would come back to haunt you. We wanted to let you wander a large expansive world, build out your party, and backstab your own party members when they least expected it. 

We wanted the story to be systemic, but it felt either robotic or too linear. We built a full trading simulation, modeling supply and demand, we built a fully featured crafting system, and a dynamic faction simulator. Unfortunately, the whole was never better than the pieces; we found that each piece of the game felt disconnected with the rest, and that actions often felt inconsequential. We built large worlds that felt tedious to travel around, and as designers we knew the systems were not working to provide a holistic experience.

What we did see was the people loved the world, and loved the premise of negotiation and manipulation. In short, we focused our design, and over the last year, we’ve been working on something new in the same world.

The New Griftlands
Today, we’re announcing a reboot of Griftlands, a single-player deck building game where you negotiate, fight, steal or otherwise persuade others to get your way. We put aside the huge simulation and RPG elements and focused on negotiation, combat, and manipulation. You play the game as one of three characters, and each decision you make is important -- which jobs to take, which side to choose, and which cards to collect. 

In Alpha, you play as Sal, a freelance adventurer out for profit and revenge, and you do the dirty work that other people won't. As you play, you build two separate decks: one for negotiation, and one for battle. 

The world of Griftlands is harsh, and death can come quickly. Each time you play offers new jobs and situations to encounter, and a chance to rebuild your strategies. A successful run will require a sharp wit, a sharp blade, and enough cunning to know when to use each.

Alpha and the Epic Game Store
As with our previous games, we will be running an Alpha period in order to iron out the kinks. We have partnered with Epic to bring the Alpha of Griftlands to the Epic Game Store exclusively for one year, and will launch in Early Access on Steam next June.

Klei has a history of partnering with new distribution platforms when starting new projects, for example the Don’t Starve Alpha was only available on the Chrome Webstore, and the Invisible Inc. Alpha was only available through the Humble Widget as a direct download. After rebooting the game, Epic approached us as a partner and we felt that this fit well with our process of going from Alpha to garner feedback before putting it on all platforms.

On July 11, we are going to launch the Alpha version of Griftlands for $14.99. 

Early Access on Steam and Early Roadmap
In June of next year, we will be releasing Griftlands into Early Access on Steam. Anyone who purchased on Epic will get the game on Steam for free, and vice versa.

Griftlands has taken a long time, and it’s gone through more twists and turns than any of our previously released projects. Making new experiences is never easy, and if nothing else it’s guaranteed to work out differently than we anticipated. 

We have quite a bit of work ahead of us. Our expected timeline is:

  • Alpha: The Sal campaign (days 1 through 4) is released
  • Fall: Character 2 campaign (days 1 through ?) is released
  • Early Access: Character 3 campaign (days 1 through ?) is released
  • Launch: Full campaign for all characters released

We expect the full game to launch in the Fall of next year, and we’re looking forward to taking that journey with you, from Alpha to Early Access to launch.

Best, 
Jamie.

F.A.Q.

What happened to Griftlands the RPG?
We set out to make a new kind of RPG, and while we think that game can exist, after several years of development we felt we couldn’t make it work yet. Perhaps we will try again one day, but in the meantime we decided to take the world of Griftlands in a different direction.

If I purchase the Alpha, will I get the full game at launch?
Yes. When you buy Griftlands during Alpha, you will have access to the game through Early-Access and you will get the full game at launch, on both Epic Game Store and Steam.

Is Griftlands a CCG?
No, Griftlands is a single-player rogue-like deck building game with an emergent narrative. You earn cards during play via the jobs you complete, and build out your negotiation and fighting skills. There are no microtransactions. 

How will you be responding feedback for the Alpha?
We have built an in-game feedback system in the game. Simply press F8 at any time in the game and you can send us your feedback. Of course, there will likely be too much feedback for us to respond to individually.

We will be primarily garnering and responding to feedback on our forums, and will keep everyone up to date with the current status of the game both on the forums and inside the game.

What platforms will Griftlands be on?
We will be supporting PC during Alpha and Early Access. We will be adding OSX and Linux support in the future.
 

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__IvoCZE__    7538
1 hour ago, Bigfoot said:

Alpha and the Epic Game Store
As with our previous games, we will be running an Alpha period in order to iron out the kinks. We have partnered with Epic to bring the Alpha of Griftlands to the Epic Game Store exclusively for one year, and will launch in Early Access on Steam next June.

I guess I will take a break for a year from this game... deep sighs as you propably don't know what epic does.

But thanks for the heads-up on my birthday!

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ImDaMisterL    20362
7 minutes ago, Dynamix_Roxx said:

I hate to ask again and again, but is this coming to consoles? It looks awesome! 

Not official info, but it's a possibility! Klei usually ports their games to consoles after they have been officially launched out of beta/EA for computers.

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KevinWalter    69
1 hour ago, Bigfoot said:

We have partnered with Epic to bring the Alpha of Griftlands to the Epic Game Store exclusively for one year, and will launch in Early Access on Steam next June.

"My disappointment is immeasurable... and my day is ruined."
 

1 hour ago, Bigfoot said:

Klei has a history of partnering with new distribution platforms when starting new projects, for example the Don’t Starve Alpha was only available on the Chrome Webstore, and the Invisible Inc. Alpha was only available through the Humble Widget as a direct download. After rebooting the game, Epic approached us as a partner and we felt that this fit well with our process of going from Alpha to garner feedback before putting it on all platforms.

That's a funny way of saying "Epic paid us a ton of money and we sold out."

I've been a Klei fan for a long time. Own every title you people have made. Many of them on multiple platforms. It's not an issue of just not being available on Steam... it's the decision to "partner" with a company that clearly doesn't give a Puftlet's backside about your community and only sees developers like Klei as a weapon they can purchase to use as a cudgel against their competition.

I find Epic as a company distasteful, and feel much the same about developers and publishers who sign exclusivity agreements with them. I'm honestly not sure a year will be a long enough time for me to be okay with spending my money on this game.

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ResettePlayer    5087

Ooooh, glad to see this taking shape. Though I really enjoy RPGs, I see that the card-based gameplay works well with what you were going for. Excited to see how this unfolds! The small glimpse you have given looks swell.

And boy, is this a good-looking game.

 

Edit: Okay, Epic is a bit icky and I will not be purchasing the alpha, but maybe we could be a tiny bit less dramatic and accept the fact that games are not cheap to develop and Griftlands has already taken longer than intended. Maybe Epic offered a crap ton of money. The game will not be exclusive forever, and if that money makes the game better and closer to the devs' vision, is it really selling out in the worst sense?

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Really, Klei? I love every last game you’ve made and will continue to support you, but this just angers me. I’ll buy Griftlands (even on Epic, that’s how much I like you guys), but I won’t be happy about it. At least you will eventually have it on Steam, big plus for that, and beside my disappointment, Griftlands looks awesome. Awesome trailer too. I’m looking forward to playing. Epic or not.

Edit: Epic is actually worse than I thought it was, and I didn’t think that was possible. Sorry Klei, I guess I’ll have to wait a year.

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Thalkas    1224
3 minutes ago, __IvoCZE__ said:

I guess I will take a break for a year from this game... deep sighs as you propably don't know what epic does.

Yea I know what you feel, with all my heart I hate Epic among others for mails with attempted burglary and a lot of other things. But if it is better for Klei with start on Epic then we need to accept their choice. Good news with release on steam, although after one year but better this than nothing.

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Dynamix_Roxx    329
4 minutes ago, KevinWalter said:

"My disappointment is immeasurable... and my day is ruined."
 

That's a funny way of saying "Epic paid us a ton of money and we sold out."

I've been a Klei fan for a long time. Own every title you people have made. Many of them on multiple platforms. It's not an issue of just not being available on Steam... it's the decision to "partner" with a company that clearly doesn't give a Puftlet's backside about your community and only sees developers like Klei as a weapon they can purchase to use as a cudgel against their competition.

I find Epic as a company distasteful, and feel much the same about developers and publishers who sign exclusivity agreements with them. I'm honestly not sure a year will be a long enough time for me to be okay with spending my money on this game.

I can’t believe after watching it I didn’t notice it was on Epic. Omg nooo!! 

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Quyzbuk    604

 

3 minutes ago, KevinWalter said:

I find Epic as a company distasteful, and feel much the same about developers and publishers who sign exclusivity agreements with them. I'm honestly not sure a year will be a long enough time for me to be okay with spending my money on this game.

I was thinking about that too, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, it's an alpha going there first (which... do they even have forums yet on that bare bones joke of a store?) and if you support them there you get your proper Steam version for beta and final release.

 

Honestly this seems like a win for everyone, you get Steam regardless, and they get the cash upfront from Epic to continue their day to day with zero affect on their customers, whom they are still very clearly respecting. From this point of view, it really is a brilliant move. 

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Guess this'll be like when Tencent held the Roseate skins hostage for about a year before it was brought to DST proper. Its unfortunate to see another thing like this happening again.

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__IvoCZE__    7538
Just now, WilliamGreywind said:

Guess this'll be like when Tencent held the Roseate skins hostage for about a year before it was brought to DST proper. Its unfortunate to see another thing like this happening again.

It's funny you mention Tencent when this is Epic keeping the game.

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Mobirae    24

You guys are better than an epic exclusive. That's very sad. I'll be passing on this. Sucks considering I have every other Klei game. 

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__IvoCZE__    7538
3 minutes ago, Mobirae said:

You guys are better than an epic exclusive. That's very sad. I'll be passing on this. Sucks considering I have every other Klei game. 

Heya Newcomer, I hope you will be happy here even though epic exclusive is a thing...

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KevinWalter    69
13 minutes ago, ResettePlayer said:

The game will not be exclusive forever, and if that money makes the game better and closer to the devs' vision, is it really selling out in the worst sense?

Why not just make it exclusive for 5 years? 10? Why not just make it entirely exclusive forever?

Why is 1 year acceptable but not some other number? Why do you draw the line there? A year is a long time. Plenty of time to forget that a game even exists...

People used to complain about console exclusivity for map pack releases that were only a couple weeks or a month... now we have exclusivity deals that last years.

I'm not even mad. Just disappointed.

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MrCarmo    10

Y'know i love you Klei, but i'm really disappointed... I know your studio needs the cash infusion but... it's just... i don't know, crappy? I'll wait that 1 year. You wont sell much there.

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__IvoCZE__    7538
21 minutes ago, ResettePlayer said:

The game will not be exclusive forever, and if that money makes the game better and closer to the devs' vision, is it really selling out in the worst sense?

The problem is that If it wasn't E p i c, most of the players here would like it even if it was exclusive to some other platform ( than steam and epic )

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Bluckles    337

I think it's important to know that it's just for the alpha. I don't think Epic is a good launcher but I don't see the problem with having it just for the alpha. It's a competitive business move to take a game and make it exclusive for a small time to a store. Personally I don't want to buy a game twice so I'm not going to get it on Epic just to eventually move to a more favorable launcher. Pretty bad decision but big deal. 

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DirtWolf    109
3 minutes ago, Bluckles said:

I think it's important to know that it's just for the alpha. I don't think Epic is a good launcher but I don't see the problem with having it just for the alpha. It's a competitive business move to take a game and make it exclusive for a small time to a store. Personally I don't want to buy a game twice so I'm not going to get it on Epic just to eventually move to a more favorable launcher. Pretty bad decision but big deal. 

If you buy on Epic, you'll get it on Steam for free

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KevinWalter    69
1 minute ago, Bluckles said:

I think it's important to know that it's just for the alpha. I don't think Epic is a good launcher but I don't see the problem with having it just for the alpha. It's a competitive business move to take a game and make it exclusive for a small time to a store. Personally I don't want to buy a game twice so I'm not going to get it on Epic just to eventually move to a more favorable launcher. Pretty bad decision but big deal. 

You get it for both platforms when you buy it for one.

The issue isn't that it's available on Epic. It's that it's exclusive to Epic for a time, and like so many others this year... Klei took the money and signed the contract.

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ResettePlayer    5087
13 minutes ago, KevinWalter said:

Why is 1 year acceptable but not some other number? Why do you draw the line there? A year is a long time. Plenty of time to forget that a game even exists...

Well, depends on the person. It seems we did not forget about this game when it was originally announced in 2017, two years ago. The games industry moves very quickly, so one year is about as long as this may be tolerable... but this is not even the full game. It's a buggy, incomplete alpha (kind of like the Epic store itself). According to this roadmap, more content will be released when it's put on Steam anyway. 

Bear with me, Epic is pretty gross. I wish Steam's only main competitor was not such crap. Should the deal change to Griftlands being an Epic exclusive forever (which is incredibly unlikely, but just for argument's sake), I'll join the riot. But heck, it's one year of an incomplete game. We'll have plenty of time to offer feedback through Early Access before full release.

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