Inflexion, the studio behind upcoming Victorian-style survival game Nightingale, is gearing up for the game’s Steam Early Access launch set for February 22.
Before that milestone lies a big server stress test scheduled for the start of the new year, to help Inflexion gather data to ensure that February’s launch will be smooth.
Nightingale‘s Early Access release window has seen some changes from the original plan. Initially set for end-2022, the decision was made in order to give the team more time to polish the product alongside an upgrade to Unreal Engine 5. As a result, additional gameplay improvements continue to be added based on player feedback, with new features such as third-person mode being part of the mix.
Maribel Diaz, Inflexion’s community coordinator, said: “Early Access means different things to different studios; for us, it’s always been about establishing a solid foundation for player experience, one that we could then build upon with the community.
“We know delays are frustrating, but this new date means our team can finish their work, take the holidays to recover, and then come back full force to support Early Access launch and continue development.”
20,000 Playtesters Helping To Improve Nightingale’s Fantasy World
Over the course of Inflexion’s playtests these recent months, players have contributed tens of thousands of hours to help the team iron out how Nightingale behaves and feels.
August and November’s playtests saw nearly 20,000 players jump in, with the most dedicated player clocking 194 hours in the game.
Players were given several new toys to play with, including an expanded character creator with more options, together with an improved building system. Those who had difficulties in the early game were treated to a smoother onboarding system, with increased accessibility and quality-of-life options like a realm overview.
Inflexion has used the testing to kick the tires on previous design updates, and gather feedback on late-game balance and bug fixes. Its developers are also working on ensuring better performance across player equipment setups.
The policy of transparency with the community also saw Inflexion answer some of the more frequently asked questions about Nightingale via its latest Developer Update.
For starters, the Realm Cards that determine how a potential game environment will look, as well as the flora and fauna that spawn, will not be sold as microtransactions. These will all be craftable in-game, a worthwhile incentive driving players to spend more time in the Faewilds.
With the new upgrade to Unreal Engine 5.3, the game is set to handle bigger loads and still perform competently. This will be important for those looking to party up in teams of six when Early Access rolls around and explore the uncharted lands together.
Meeting the Fans at Gamescom 2023
August’s Gamescom 2023 provided the platform for Nightingale to meet with its community in person for the first time, and the team brought a life-sized portal along for the ride, together with cosplayers portraying key characters Puck and the Scarlet Woman. Gamescom also saw the release of the official trailer that set the release date of February 22, 2023, which added to the excitement on the show floor.
Behind closed doors, the team met with media and content creators to give them a live demo of the game, showing off the progress made by Inflexion in the past year.
“While gamescom was a lot of work from various different teams to prepare for and also execute during the actual show, it was an absolute delight to meet so many of you in person and share the enthusiasm for the game with you,” said Steph Herdman, Inflexion’s community manager.
Reflecting on the multiple playtests that Inflexion has invested in this year, Herdman said “player input is very important” to the team. “These sessions are “incredibly important to us to solidify a foundation for the game before it is openly played by everybody.”
Gamescom, the world’s largest gaming event was held in Cologne again this year, and welcomed some 320,000 visitors from over a hundred countries.