The Day Before developer Fntastic released a short "dev vlog" earlier today as part of its ongoing "Life at Fntastic" video series, but rather than clear the air around the increasingly opaque game, it's confused everyone even more.
The six-minute video consists of old but technically current gameplay, much older footage from pre-alpha prototypes, and brief shots of narrator Dana Soltangazinova, a Fntastic communications team member. The video was first teased a few days ago, and in the few hours since it was published on YouTube, it's racked up 741 dislikes to about 1,000 likes – not a biblical ratio by any means, but not an encouraging one. Recent responses on the studio's Twitter post (opens in new tab) about the video aren't overwhelmingly positive either.
Bewildered and disappointed fans have latched onto two main oddities here. First of all, there's a distinct lack of devs in this dev vlog. Soltangazinova is the only featured team member, which wouldn't be that strange if it weren't for the circumstances surrounding this video. But after a string of alleged setbacks including a delisted gameplay trailer and deleted Steam page, Fntastic is now in the unenviable position of needing to definitively prove that The Day Before is an actual video game, and this is the second consecutive video from the studio to dance around actual game development.
If I was going to release a dev vlog amidst white-hot controversy over the very existence of my game, I'd probably want to show some never-before-seen gameplay and have multiple designers from different disciplines speak to how that gameplay came to be. Alas, the only other Fntastic contributors mentioned in the video are "volunteers who have been helping us with our Discord server and Steam page." You know, the Steam page that was recently nuked and the Discord community that can't decide if the game is real.
Some of the "volunteers" pictured in today's dev vlog also appeared in last month's "Life at Fntastic" video (opens in new tab), which was received extremely poorly and showed everything except the game. We saw people holding laptops on beaches, shooting guns at a range, staring contemplatively at snow, and DJing at neon-lit clubs, but the actual game dev presence was limited to four seconds of one guy in some kind of mo-cap getup staring at animation software. The video also described a group of "hundreds of external volunteers worldwide who help with development," seemingly doubling down on the controversial volunteer stance that put Fntastic in hot water last June.
And again, there's no new gameplay in this dev vlog, and The Day Before could really use some fresh footage to show its stuff and take the edge off that gameplay trailer which was allegedly pulled due to the same trademark issues that apparently ate the game's Steam page. There is new discussion about how the game has evolved since 2019, but it's vague and not particularly revelatory, in part because Fntastic is sticking to a script of extreme optimism.
"Our team, as always, is not afraid of difficulties and constantly moves forward," the video concludes. "All in all, we've been creating The Day Before for four years. It's been a long and exciting journey, and we believe that after the game's release, we'll give people faith that in this life, if you persevere toward a dream, it will come true despite all the obstacles and doubts in your path. Until then, we will continue doing our best to finalize the game and release it on the 10th of November. We're using the month [sic] we have to make The Day Before exactly the way we've always imagined it to be."
Once again, Fntastic promises to release more details on how the game actually looks and plays – "the world hub, quests, base building, character customization, player interaction, and so on" – in the leadup to its delayed launch. Fans are getting understandably tired of vagaries, and it really shouldn't be this hard to show off a game, yet here we are again.
After announcing a delay caused by alleged trademark issues, The Day Before devs said they were going to delay it anyway.