Switch Launch and more...

13 months later and here we are, even more certain that this was the right thing to do. This time it feels right to move on. We are really happy with the result and eager to begin the new adventure of making Earthlock 2.

What’s more, the first review of the new version just came in and confirms our feeling, giving the game an 8 of 10 while concluding:

Finally, the time has come! We have spent over 13 months improving the original game and are happy to present EARTHLOCK - the extended edition

When we first launched back in September 2016 we were really proud of our achievement. We had worked nearly five years on our first game, and though we had to make a lot of cuts to get it done, we still felt like we had made a solid RPG. During the six months we spent getting it out on all the platforms we realised there was room for making the game even better. Thanks to generous help and suggestions from the community we identified numerous ways that could up the fun-factor and deepen the story.

As we began work on EARTHLOCK 2 in January 2017 we we couldn’t let go of a feeling that there still was a lot of unrealized potential in EARTHLOCK 1. Choosing between a new and exciting project and going back to the old one we had been laboring with for the last five years wasn’t easy. Doing the right thing never is...

13 months later and here we are, even more certain that this was the right thing to do. This time it feels right to move on. We are really happy with the result and eager to begin the new adventure of making Earthlock 2.

What’s more, the first review of the new version just came in and confirms our feeling, giving the game an 8 of 10 while concluding:

“...Earthlock is a game that simply demands to be played! 
...Bravo Snowcastle Games, you’ve made a charming game, a positively outstanding one!”

Read the rest of the very thorough review from Miketendo 64 here

Launch Day - almost

It’s been hectic here at Snowcastle trying for the first time to do a global multi platform launch. We have only partially succeeded – we knew it was ambitious but really wanted to try. Here is an overview of the current launch landscape:

Nintendo Switch - (First launch

  • American region launching at 09:00 AM PST (confirmed
           Backer keys ordered: ETA 5 days

  • EU region launched at 15:00 CET (launched
           Backer keys ordered: ETA 5 days

  • Japan Region: March 15th (confirmed)

GOG 

  • Global launch 21:00 CET or 12:00PM PST (confirmed)

Steam + HumbleBundle

  • Global launch 21:00 CET or 12:00PM PST (unconfirmed - likely delayed 3 days)

Playstation 4

  • Japan region: Mach 15th (confirmed)

  • American region: March 20th (confirmed

  • EU region: Tentative March 28th (unconfirmed)

XboxOne

  • American region: Tentative March 26th (Unconfirmed

  • EU region: Tentative March 28th (Unconfirmed)

  • Japan region: Tentative March 28th (Unconfirmed)

Reasons for delays

For the PS Store and Xbox Store, we first need to have the original version removed and that takes a whole lot more time that we had imagined, so the process is ongoing. This obviously impacted the launch date of Earthlock.

The main reason for the extra delays in the EU region is that the game have to go through a full new PEGI review process. This takes 10 days, and only once this is done will we be able to start the final process of getting it up in the digital stores for PS4 and XboxOne. So this has taken longer than anticipated.

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Free upgrade for those who own the original version

If you own Earthlock: Festival of Magic on PS4, XBO, Steam or GOG then you will get the new Earthlock for free. It might take a few days after launch, but we have been informed by Sony, Microsoft, Valve and GOG that this can be done. If there is any unforeseen complications we will let you know.

Languages

EARTHLOCK will launch in English and Japanese first, the rest will be patched in as soon as possible. We are in the process of getting it translated to all the following languages. Here is the list:

  • English (Default
  • Japanese (Default
  • Norwegian (Completed - done in house TBA) 
  • German (TBA)
  • French (TBA) 
  • Spanish (TBA)
  • Italian (TBA) 
  • Polish (TBA) 
  • Arabic Chinese (Complete re-translation TBA) 
  • Russian (New TBA) 
  • Brazilian Portuguese (New TBA)

Need Support?

If you have questions or need help, please contact support@snowcaslte.no
Feel free to post comments below, but ideally if you like us to respond to you directly, please either send a PM or an email.

Thanks!
– Snowcastle Team

    Erik Hoftun
    Announcing the Shouldhavebeen Edition! (PC/XboxOne/PS4)
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    Earthlock SHB Edition

    We are very happy to announce that we will be relaunching Earthlock in Q1 next year. In many ways this version feels like a new game!

    In fact, the changes are so big that there was no way we could keep it compatible with existing save games. In order to avoid problems where a patch would void all save games, we have set up a new game in the e-stores: EARTHLOCK

    After we completed the PS4 version in January 2017 we began pre-production of Earthlock 2. However, after a few weeks of getting super excited about our next game, we realised that we were not comfortable leaving Earthlock: Festival of Magic behind as it was. A lot of the criticism we had gotten on the game by then were things we agreed with. For the initial launch we had to make quite a few cuts during the development and some of those cuts really hurt the story.

    Long story short; We decided to make what we ended up internally calling the Shouldhavebeenedition. That way we could leave Earthlock 1 behind us with pride and begin work on Earthlock 2.

    The subtitle, Festival of Magic was an old remainder from our first kickstarter campaign and felt obsolete, so we decided to cut that, leaving us with: EARTHLOCK.

    So what have we done in the last year? 

    • Story: It’s massively changed. Almost from the start. We have added more depth, humor and character to the story and things that did not make sense before now do
    • Crafting: At Plumpet Island, we are happy to report that all buildings on Plumpet now have some kind of functionality
    • Side Quests: Yes, there are now side quests - as initially intended
    • Mini Games: Like treasure hunting
    • New scenes and characters
    • New and better animation
    • Improved cut scenes
    • Highly performance optimised
    • And much, much more

    Important to note: Anyone who owns Earthlock: Festival of Magic will get the new game for free (Steam/GOG/PS4/XboxOne). The game is now in final QA and localization and will be published in Q1 2018.

    (This is also the version that we will be launching on Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately we won't be able to publish this version on Wii U.)

    Merry Christmas from Snowcastle!

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    Erik Hoftun
    Snowcastle is Hiring!
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    We are currently looking for a 2D/3D artist who is comfortable doing character concept art, 3D characters as well as the odd prop and environmental model. In short we, are looking for a talented all-rounder! For detailed description and requirements for the position, see the full text here at Art Station.

    Erik Hoftun
    Earthlock is Coming to Switch

     

    We are very happy to announce that we will be publishing Earthlock on the Switch.

    We will initially be doing this in Japanese and English only, and then as soon as we get the game translated to other languages, we will update with those. We can’t say much more about this release right now, but you may expect more exciting news about this release soon. As we release on Switch, we hopefully will be able to release the Japanese version of Earthlock on Playstation 4 at the same time.

     Right now Bendik and Erik are attending Tokyo Game Show and meeting with Cross Function, our publishing partner in Japan. 

    Right now Bendik and Erik are attending Tokyo Game Show and meeting with Cross Function, our publishing partner in Japan. 

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    Erik Hoftun
    Wii U Release Imminent!

    In This Update:

    • Wii U release imminent!

    • Japanese Publishing deal

    • Nintendo Switch version

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    Wii U release imminent!

    We are very happy to announce that we have passed certification and the game is scheduled for Wii U launch on:

    We had some snags with the US version, though still in the certification process, the title has been approved and moved on to release preparations as we speak. If everything go as planned (and we don’t see any issues with the delivery as is at this point) the US version should be visible and ready for download on the 14th September.

    It has taken a lot longer than anticipated, but we were dead set on keeping our promise to release the game on Wii U. So, from all of us to all of you, we sincerely hope you enjoy the journey through Umbra!

    Japanese Publishing Deal

    We are very happy to announce that Cross Function will be helping us publish Earthlock in the Japanese market digitally (no physical launch there).

    We will be going over to Tokyo Game Show on September 20th to 24th to show off the Japanese version.

    Switch Version?

    At this time we can’t say much more than earlier, but keep an eye out for announcements from Cross Function during Tokyo Game Show!

    Best regards,

    Snowcastle Games

    Erik Hoftun
    EARTHLOCK - New Update!

    While EARTHLOCK: Festival of Magic has been out for some months already, we’ve silently been collecting your feedback in the dark corners of our office. Focusing firstly on issues that have affected larger portions of our audience, we’ve quietly released patches along the way before taking on more obscure bugs that might not even have been reported.

    But the time for silence is no more! Over the last few months we’ve worked hard on optimizing EARTHLOCK on every available platform.

    The optimization work done on EARTHLOCK differs wildly on different aspects of the game, from smoothing out camera nodes to generally improving frame rates and stability.

    Each and every scene in the game (and that’s a whole lot of scenes!) has been reworked to try to bring players the best possible experience adventuring through Umbra.

    Have a look at some of the bigger changes we’ve done:

    Code / Bugs:

    • New death volume to fix unity bug where character can fall through the floor at random locations.
    • Turned off occlusion on all cameras. (Should reduce crashing on some rigs)
    • Fixed colliders to avoid getting stuck

    Optimization:

    • All scenes in the game has been optimized for improved frame rate.
    • Water reflections have been adjusted in some scenes (no longer reflecting things that can`t be seen)
    • Elements no longer cast real time shadows when those shadows can't be seen
    • Realtime shadow casters adjusted to avoid unnecessary performance drop
    • Most VFX has been edited for improved visual quality and optimisation
    • Removed DoF from all combat arenas
    • Smoothed out camera nodes
    • Burning Desert - many models rebuilt with better UVs and textures for higher quality and added LOD for performance

    Improvements:

    • Earthlock artifact new animated texture
    • Zaberium Temple Combat arena retextured
    • New improved camera bloom
    • Plains Overworld is now more lush with vegetation

    Wii U Version

    Now for those of you thinking “ All available platforms… WHAT ABOUT THE WII U VERSION!?” or even “Yeah yeah yeah, look at all these platforms getting a sweet deal while us Wii U folk are still waiting…”. –

    Fret not! We’re still working hard on the Wii U version. And to sweeten the wait, we will launch EARTHLOCK: Festival of Magic at the low price of 10$ on the Wii U.

     

    Erik Hoftun
    EARTHLOCK: Festival of Magic is hitting stores around the world.

    In collaboration with Soedesco Publishing, we are bringing EARTHLOCK: Festival of Magic to stores around the world! EARTHLOCK will be available on PC, Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 in Europe, Australia, New-Zealand and The Middle-East on January 27th and in the United States on February 14th!

     

    Erik Hoftun