Feb 18, 2018
Lethe - Episode One - ZeroComfort
In case you missed our great Weeklong Deal: here's another chance with the final day of the Lunar New Year's sale with yet another great discount!

Currently still 70% off! Grab it for €4,19, $4.49 or your regional equivalent!

The Lunar New Year's sale is until Monday 18th 6 pm GMT (10 am PST).
Feb 11, 2018
Lethe - Episode One - ZeroComfort
This is just a friendly reminder to those who missed the fact that as of Monday February 5th, Lethe has been heavily discounted (highest ever!), and it will keep running until Monday 12th 6 pm GMT (10 am PST).

It is currently available for €2,79, $2.99 or your regional equivalent.
Lethe - Episode One - John E. K.
Orignal post from The Murky Isle

Today we at Faber Interactive and KoukouStudios are very happy to celebrate the first year since the release of Lethe: Episode One and a 50% anniversary sale will be running on Steam as part of the week-long deals. If you didn’t have a chance to play the game yet, it’s a great time to try it out now. There have been several updates since day one, including Steam Achievements support and several optimizations and improvements.

And some exciting news: The announcement of Lethe 2: Origins.

Lethe 2: Origins
Lethe 2: Origins is our new title currently in development. The game takes place in a remote village on the same island as Lethe: Episode One but 30 years earlier.

If there’s one thing that we think we nailed in the first game, it is the atmosphere and that’s something we are passing over to Lethe 2. There’s a great difference between the two games though. Unlike its predecessor, in Lethe 2: Origins, storytelling is the place where everything else meets while gameplay is knitted around it. Another big difference (undoubtedly welcomed by many) is that the world is no longer limited to underground interior spaces.

As you might have already noticed, Lethe 2 doesn’t include the word episode. Yes, we have abandoned the episodic approach and there are two main reasons for it:

  • The episodic approach had a negative impact on sales and the game’s reputation:
    When we started with the development of Lethe: Episode One the story was screaming for further future expansions. That’s when the idea about the episodic approach came along. The plan was to make three standalone episodes that didn’t necessarily rely on each other but in the long run if put together, they would explain parts of the story that in some episodes would remain unclear. Unfortunately even though we were pretty clear about the standalone nature of each episode, people were scared away by it and the episodic part of the game’s title costed us a large number of sales. Knowing that even AAA developers have failed to deliver episodic games before, we don’t blame them.

  • Longer development times due to technology and game mechanics changes:
    Lethe: Episode One was developed on the Unreal Development Kit. Since Epic Games abandoned the project and moved to Unreal Engine 4, our best bet was to follow suit. Migrating the project to their new tech and developing new features took an extra amount of time, adding up to a new project already detached from Episode One that can no longer be considered an episode.

We can’t give away much just yet so let’s leave the topic here for now. There’s more to come in the near future as we push forward through development.

Let’s take a look at what happened since August 1st 2016.

Lethe: Episode One - Reception
With YouTube overflowing with search results after typing “Lethe: Episode One” in its search-bar and over 2,6 million views on a single gameplay video by Markiplier, we are more than happy to have invested in the project.

Unfortunately the popular press totally ignored the game and not a single of our attempts to contact them was ever replied (Episode One made it to Metacritic but got stuck with just two reviews and never got a rating because of it). Considering that we didn’t have any insiders or the power to fund a place on their pages that was to be expected. On the other hand the medium/small press guys gave us a very warm welcome in the industry and we’re still very thankful. User ratings have been very encouraging too, summing up to “very positive” rating.

With Lethe we aimed towards a specific audience interested in slow-paced atmospheric horror. A good number of them embraced our work and offered their valuable feedback for further improvements. Sales haven’t been as pleasing as we hoped for, but a small cult has formed around the title.

Lethe: Episode One - Sales
While the quality standards for Lethe: Episode One are far higher compared to several top indie game sellers for 2016, with 7500+ units sold on PC to date it isn’t exactly considered an indie financial success. Yet, given the size of our team at the time (2 core developers and 3 freelancers) it has done far better than the average median indie game, while in the meantime we are able to keep our small studio running solely on the gas our sales provide. Once again thank you for supporting us in this journey.

I believe that the low number of sales can be brought down to three reasons (I’m certainly not an analyst though and I’d be very interested in hearing your opinion on the topic).

  • Lack of a promotion campaign:
    Lethe: Episode One was never given a proper promotion campaign. We’re a very small studio and by the time we reached that point we had already invested all we had in the production. We went this far thanks to the word of mouth and your support, and we’re very grateful for that.

  • Episodic title:
    As already stated above, even though we were clear about the standalone nature of each episode a lot of potential buyers were scared away by the episodic title. Some even stated that they like the game but they won't bother buying until all episodes are released. Of course that’s a double edged knife for a small developer like us. Reduced sales usually mean that future releases are less likely to happen.

  • High amount of competition:
    2010 introduced the second “survival horror apocalypse” in gaming. And alongside the “indie apocalypse” it spread so fast that by the timeLethe: Episode One came out the audience was already fed up with “run and hide simulators”. On top of that Steam is still flooding in extremely poor-quality horror projects. It’s not a wonder that people are cautious when it comes to products by new developers nobody knows. Going for a mainstream horror game by an already popular developer reduces the risk factor of wasting time with refund policies.

It’s sad but yes, piracy is a huge issue for us. By the end of 2016 we tracked down an approximated number of 25000 pirated copies of Lethe: Episode One. A number that is already more than three times greater than the current legit sales and rising twice as fast.

When considering that with the added income we could have hired a few people to help us with our next production, instead of working an average 10 to 12 (and sometimes even 16) hours a day… Well, it’s disappointing at the very least. Unfortunately there’s not much we can do, other than hope that those people are at least planning to buy the game in the future if they enjoyed it.

If we take in account that Lethe: Episode One came out of the blue, without any sort of a promotional campaign and from an unknown developer, we can safely say that it performed fairly well. Though in the long run the financial uncertainty spreads in the air more often than we hope for. It certainly doesn’t help with clearing out our worries and to focus on the development of our next big title, but as long as we manage to keep the number of sales stable until the release of our next installment we’re very positive that everything will end well. As a safety measure though, we're currently also examining possible alternatives when it comes to funding the project. Any suggestions from the veterans among you are most welcome.
Jun 6, 2017
Lethe - Episode One - ZeroComfort
We've recently noticed some problems with playing offline and having spent some time figuring out the problem last week, we're now releasing this hotfix to solve the issue.

Just a reminder for those who participated in the Public Beta and have been subscribed to its branch, to not forget to opt-out of the Beta branch. We've been keeping the Beta branch up-to-date with the latest patches, but we'll no longer be maintaining it and will eventually deactivate it. So please make sure that you're opted out to prevent any possibly complications.

PS: We've also changed some settings in the back-end which will hopefully reduce some problems a part of the players have had with the updates.
Lethe - Episode One - John E. K.
We have collected the most commonly asked questions and compiled them into this FAQ. If you would like to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us at contact@koukoustudios.com.

What about <insert language here> localization?
As mentioned before, we would very much like to support multi-language localization for Lethe: Episode one; However, as a small company we’re relying solely on our product’s sales and this kind of (big) overhaul is currently simply out of reach.
Because we know there is a demand, we would like to extend an invitation to localization groups who have already made a localization for Episode One or worked on quality translations before, to contact us and provide us with their material, so that at a later point in time we might be able to make this a reality.

What about motion sickness?
Previously there have been requests for a way to limit the amount of camera sway, in case of motion sickness or nausea; Because of these requests we have previously introduced a Configuration File tweak that reduces the sway and should solve most cases of nausea. Check it out here.

Do I need to play all episodes to understand the story?
Each episode is a stand-alone experience with a self-contained story and ending on its own, focusing on different sub-plots or individual characters. Episodes do not need prior play of any other episode to understand, but will create a deeper connection to the story and provide a much more in-depth experience.

What is going on with Lethe (Episode Two)?
The project is alive and we’re actively working on it but that's all we can share about it at this time. An official announcement will follow once possible.

Support for VR?
There are currently no plans to provide native support for Virtual Reality due to the complexity of the matter. There is however at least one non-official (and thus unsupported) way to use your VR headset with the game:
You may try to force VR compatibility with "VorpX", as some people have managed to get it to work with an HTC Vive. However, we can't provide any guarantees that it will work, it might be detrimental to your experience in the game and/or break certain parts of the game, simply because it is not supported by default.

Is there going to be a Mac version?
Due to low demand and the high number of technical issues that need to be overcome as a result of the discontinuation of Unreal Development Kit’s development, have unfortunately led us to cancel the Mac version.

What about a DRM-free version?
The DRM-free version of Episode One is still in our plans, but due to the development of the next project taking up all our available time and the requirements of such a move we’re keeping this under wraps for now.

How do I fix this technical problem?
Most, if not all of the known technical issues reported can be solved by following this guide.
Apr 4, 2017
Lethe - Episode One - ZeroComfort
Today marks the update of the game with the 1.2.12 update/hotfix that will solve the reported issues with the Librarian and Escape Artist achievements, plus a minor save system improvement.

If you meet the two achievements' criteria, they will be unlocked as soon as you load your saved game in the final map.

We've also taken the opportunity to give our website a facelift and updated our blog accordingly:
PS: We're still working on the Press page, so expect it to be up again soon.

If you face any issues please refer to this guide, if your problem persists please let us know in the support forums or contact us directly at support@koukoustudios.com.
Lethe - Episode One - ZeroComfort
In case you missed our tweets ( https://twitter.com/KoukouStudios ),
or our Facebook posts ( https://facebook.com/KoukouStudios ):

We're currently having our highest discount ever as part of a Weeklong Deal which lasts only until March 6th!

Grab it now for under 5$! Don't miss it!

Spread the word! Share, tweet and retweet!
Lethe - Episode One - John E. K.
Lethe: Episode One gets updated to version 1.2.10 introducing several game improvements and 19 steam achievements.

    1.2.10 Changelog
  • Enabled Achievements for the default branch;
  • Minor tweaks.
    1.2.9 Changelog
  • Resolved some reported and unreported issues with the Achievements;
  • Small improvements to the frame-rate at the start of some levels;
  • Added anti-Nausea mode in the config. Check out the details here.
  • Minor improvements to stability.
    1.2.7 Changelog
  • Added support for 19 steam achievements.;
  • Upgraded to the latest version of the Unreal Development Kit;
  • Smoother character animation blending;
  • Minor AI improvements;
  • Fixed sound issues.

In case you missed our previous announcement:
With the game’s engine upgrade to the latest version of the Unreal Development Kit a lot of files have been modified. The configuration files will be recreated and your in-game settings will most likely be reset.

If you face any issues please refer to this guide. If the problem persists please let us know in the support forums or contact us directly at support@koukoustudios.com.
Feb 21, 2017
Lethe - Episode One - John E. K.
With this update we’re migrating all Beta patches to the default branch, bringing the the game up to version 1.2.10 and marking the end of the Beta branch. Thanks to those few who helped us out!

Steam Achievements will be available to everyone!

Important Note:
Because the upgrade to the latest version of the UDK modifies a lot of files, the configuration files will be recreated and your in-game settings will most likely be reset.
    If you want to keep your settings, there’s a number of things you can do:
  1. Take note of your settings and re-apply them;
  2. Make a backup of the following config files and move them back after the update has completed and the game has been started at least once:
    • UDKSystemSettings.ini
    • UDKInput.ini
  3. Mark the above configuration files as read-only before the update and remove the mark after having started the game at least once.
We will be rolling out the update this Friday 24th to give you some time to prepare.

Now, onto the changelogs:
    1.2.10 Changelog
  • Enabled Achievements for the default branch;
  • Minor tweaks.
    1.2.9 Changelog
  • Resolved some reported and unreported issues with the Achievements;
  • Small improvements to the frame-rate at the start of some levels;
  • Added anti-Nausea mode in the config. Check out the details here.
  • Minor improvements to stability.
    1.2.7 Changelog
  • Added support for 19 Steam Achievements;
  • Upgraded to the latest version of the Unreal Development Kit;
  • Smoother character animation blending;
  • Minor AI improvements;
  • Fixed sound issues.
Feb 10, 2017
Lethe - Episode One - ZeroComfort
Lethe - Episode One is currently still on sale for just $8 with our friends at Chrono

Go grab your wishlisted copy now!

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