After four months spent in Early Access, Trine 3 officially launched last Thursday. Since then it's achieved a 'mostly positive' review status on Steam, but there's been one fairly common complaint: the game is too short. That's a tricky subject at the best of times, but the number of complaints has prompted Frozenbyte VP Joel Kinnunen to address the issue.
Writing on Steam, Kinnunen says the team is proud of what they're produced. Even so, he notes that development on Trine 3 was considerably more expensive than its largely 2D predecessors, thanks to the introduction of fully 3D art in the new installment.
"Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power has ended up costing nearly triple that of Trine 2 – over 5.4 million USD," Kinnunen writes. "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."
He goes on refute claims the studio has cut or withheld content in order to sell it as DLC down the track. Instead, the final version is a product of the studio's initial "vision" for the game overreaching its capacity to fulfil it.
"We tried to make something too ambitious, and it ended up financially impossible," he writes. "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."
There are no plans for DLC to make up for the so-called "cliffhanger ending", though he didn't rule out the story continuing in some form. Still, whether that happens or not remains to be seen.
"The future of the series is now in question," Kinnunen writes, "as the feedback, user reviews and poor media attention has caught us by surprise."
Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is available on Steam with a launch discount.