Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will be getting an early release in unfinished form via Steam Early Access on April 21st, as recently announced by Trine series developer Frozenbyte. That announcement came surprisingly fast on the heels of Frozenbytes’ first announcement that Trine 3 was being developed, which was only made on March 2 of this year. Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power represents a fairly major departure for the fantasy platformer/puzzle series, abandoning prior games’ side-scrolling 2D perspective in favor of 3D gameplay.
Frozenbyte cites the difficulty of this transition as the reason for offering the unfinished Trine 3 in Early Access, allowing them to get more feedback as they try to translate Trine’s gameplay into three dimensions. This makes sense, since the gameplay of the Trine series heavily depends on overcoming obstacles and puzzles by using the abilities of three very different characters to interact with the environment. Balancing those abilities and designing levels in environments that have three dimensions rather than two is likely to require tremendous amounts of trial and error and feedback to see what works and what doesn’t.
So Trine fans excited about the prospect of getting in on Trine 3 early should be aware of what they’re getting into, since they’ll be getting the game before the developers have the benefit of all that experimentation into what works and what doesn’t. The results might not be too pretty at first. (Well, metaphorically speaking; it’s a Trine game, so no doubt even the screw-ups will be so gorgeous they make the real world look like a sack of decaying filth by comparison.) It will also include only two levels at the start of its Early Access release, out of what the developers say will be a much longer game when complete.
Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will be available for Windows PCs on Steam Early access for $19.99/19.99€ starting Tuesday, April 21st. Frozenbyte say they expect the complete version of the game to be out later this year.
Updated: minor copy corrections