Castle Story - the 1.0 Launch Update!
The big day has arrived, with no lack of emotion, for us at Sauropod Studio and all the people who entrusted us with this massive project. Five years ago, almost to the week, 30,000 people fell in love with goofy, clumsy and unwittingly adorable creatures called Bricktrons. Set in a world of flying voxelized islands, bright colors and towering castles, we imagined a mix of gameplay never attempted before: a voxel-based real-time strategy game with dynamic physics and polished graphics.
Quite a daunting task, to be honest, and an uncomfortably high chance of failure. And yet, here we are. We’re announcing 1.0, with tons of pride because we were able to surpass all those challenges, and are finally able to remove the early access tag. We have so many more great ideas for Castle Story and really hope the game’s reception will allow us to keep adding content to it.
Our beginnings were humble and likely part of the appeal; Germain and Francois, our two founders, two college friends with a unique idea, joined by Benoit, the older and slightly wiser brother. Crammed into a spare bedroom of an apartment furiously coding away to prove this idea was doable, the contrast is striking. Sauropod Studio has since grown to a full-fledged studio of over twenty developers; Artists, Programmers, Communication folks and paperwork ninjas all helped make Castle Story a reality.
There is no denying that the road has been bumpy. Miscommunication, missed deadlines and crippling bugs were publicly known, but legal issues, funding problems and growing pains were kept private for various reasons. We overcame all of them, and came out much wiser, if a bit weary. We had some help, however. We happened to have 30,000 backers observing every step we took, eagerly waiting for a finished product – rightfully so! It helped us stay motivated and stay focused, but it also introduced the added challenge of community management from day 1, a task we completely underestimated.
For the most part, Castle Story’s development was filled with great moments and memories. Every single update we released improved the game drastically and was cause for a mini celebration! We saw the number of active players steadily climb as we added more and more content into the game. We met so many new faces both online and IRL during conventions and other occasions. An amazing community was built around the game and the fan art you’ve come up with always gives us a little tingly feeling.
From the very bottom of our hearts, thank you for sticking with us on this long journey, thank you for being part of this story and thank you for all your support. It means the world to us and we hope you’re eager to see what the future will bring for Castle Story and Sauropod Studio.
Alright that’s enough sappy stuff. Let's see what's new and shiny!
During our Kickstarter days, we came up with a clever idea for including our backers’ names into the game in a fun way; Credit Island. You can now enter Credit Island and discover the names of the thirty thousand individuals who generously made Castle Story possible.
You’ll find names written in big, large, destructible yellow letters across the landscape – those are our premium, elite and atomic backers who pledged $250 and more. However, every single person that pledged any amount on our Kickstarter has their name encapsulated in a blue gem below the ground. Mine it out to release that backer’s name.
The location of the names is the same for everyone making it possible to map the names and share them with friends.
We’ve reworked the skybox to make it much more visually pleasing; new clouds movement, brand new super spoopy moon mesh, a gigantic, mysterious monolith now peeks across the horizon, the ocean’s shader was revamped, we’ve tweaked the skybox’s colors, you’ll be able to see neighboring islands in the horizon, we’ve adjusted the sun’s lighting and much more.
New Enemy: The Warlock
While you guys are busy gathering tons of resources, building awesome castles and crafting glorious weapons for your Bricktrons in the 0.9 update, we were busy upgrading the Corruptrons’ team with a brand new unit to destroy it all in the 1.0 update!
Introducing The Warlock.
A new Corruptron will begin roaming the islands of Castle Story in the upcoming 1.0 update. This terrifying, magical enemy is fueled by the corrupted crystals it carries on its back.
Corruptrons Levels & Invasion End-game
It was time for the Invasion mode to get some sweet lovin’. As you progress through higher waves, the Corruptrons will begin increasing in difficulty – not only in number! Every Corruptron can now be one of three levels. The first one represented by the good ol’ Corruptrons you know and love hate.
But as they reach level 2 and level 3, the seams in their little stony bodies will begin gleaming with corrupted energy and glowing in the dark, just like their creepy little eyes.
Higher level Corruptrons will be harder, faster and stronger!
Additionally, once you reach wave 60, we’ll consider that you’ve won Invasion! We won’t stop you from playing though, feel free to keep the waves coming at your own risk. ;)
These changes not only add a deeper purpose to Invasion, but help reduce performance loss when there are a huge amount of Corruptrons on the map – the game doesn’t need to spawn as many to give you a challenge. It can just spawn harder ones.
New Military Units
With the arrival of 1.0, we’re introducing FOUR new military units, on top of the existing Knight and Archer, totalling six different kits you can equip your Bricktrons and wage war with!
Halberdiers are melee units that are easier and cheaper to produce than Knights, although they possess the same attack power. However, they have less armor and are less resistant to attacks than Knights are. They’ll make great cannon fodder and cheap, easy defense against early attacks.
Arbalists are ranged units that use a crossbow to take down enemies. They have less range, but more damage than Archers. However, they are more expensive and difficult to produce. If you can afford them, they’ll do a great job at defending your castles from the top of their walls.
Artificers are ranged units that use a magical wand which can be toggled between two abilities. By default, they will fire magic missiles at enemies, but their mode can be toggled to a healer by selecting the unit and pressing H (or using the pie-menu). When toggled into a healer, they will heal nearby units as long as they are stationary and not moving.
Alchemists are just there to blow sh** up. No, really. They are a late game ranged unit that throw bombs, dealing explosive damage in a splash around them. They’re not super effective against other units but will take down a wall before you can say kaplow, making them extremely useful in attack during PvP games. If they run out of ammo, they need to be replenished by selecting the Alchemist and right-clicking a stockpile containing bombs, which can be crafted at the laboratory, described below!
Many new resource types are making their appearance in 1.0. They’re as follow;
Bombs are the ammo used by Alchemists. While Alchemists will start with 3 bombs, they can carry up to 10 and 3 bombs are quickly thrown – you’ll need to craft more in order to replenish your little weapons of mass destruction.
Fabric is made from plant fibers and is used in several military kits’ recipes such as the Alchemist, the Archer and the Artificer.
Rope is made from plant fibers too and is needed to build bridges and craft Archers’ kits.
Cogs are made of iron ingots and are needed for certain military kits and certain structures such as the Catapult.
Glass Ingots are made by burning stone with brimstone in a furnace – it’s used to craft bombs and build certain structures such as the machine shop.
New Crafting Stations
With new resources and new kits, come new crafting stations! First of all, we remade the workbench’s model. It looks a lot more workbenchy now. We’ve also changed what’s produced on it, check it out;
The Chopping Block is the very first structure you’re going to build – made out of a single log, you’ll need it to produce planks (by holding right-click on the chopping block) which, by the way, are now needed for stockpiles. So the early game has just changed from logs > stockpiles to logs > chopping block > planks > stockpiles. It also serves as a good entry point to learn the concept of producing with the crafting stations. Remember, hold right-click on it to toggle its mode to planks production.
The Furnace still produces iron ingots like it did in 0.9, but it now also produces glass ingots. To toggle between producing iron ingots, to producing glass ingots, or seizing production, hold right-click on it.
The Loom is also a resource production machine which will turn plant fibers into rope or fabric. Similarly to the furnace, if you want to toggle which resource it produces, or make it stop producing at all, hold right-click on it.
The Workbench isn’t new, but we’ve changed its functionality. It now allows you to queue early game kits such as the Halberdier and the Archer, or lanterns, which you’ll need because the night is quite dark now!
The Forge is a metal working station which will allow you to craft Knight Kits and Cogs.
The Altar is a station where Bricktrons can manipulate magical gems to concoct, well, magical things such as the Artificer’s kit and Wards!
The Machine Shop lets you craft Arbalist’s kits and bear traps.
The Laboratory lets you craft the Alchemist’s kit and bombs for the Alchemist to wildly throw at your enemies.
New Bricks: Corbels, Parapets, Merlons...
We’ve added three new types of bricks in 1.0 which will open the door for many different castle variations which weren’t possible before.
Corbels are a new type of stone brace which you can use decoratively, but can also be plugged in Plug Bricks and on which you can place stone bricks. We’ve added two different types of corbels.
Parapets are decorative arches to make your castle’s entrances snazzy, but we’re sure you’ll find tons of other uses for them. We’ve added three different types.
Merlons are decorative bricks which will help you create crenelations on the top of your walls. They’ll likely replace your half-brick crenelations. The merlons are a lot sexier anyways. We’ve added two types; regular ones and corner ones.
New UI: Menu & Minimap
We’ve entirely redesigned the menu’s UX to improve the maps and gamemodes selection flow. You’ll now select a gamemode first, then a map, not vice versa. You’ll generally need less clicks to start playing. We’ve also visually redesigned the menu not only to make it aesthetically more pleasing, but also to improve the clarity of information.
We’re adding a brand new mini-map to Castle Story. It serve the purpose of replacing the old, confusing crystals-capture progress display on Conquest – the information is now displayed directly on the map, showing you where the crystals are, which are being captured and by who (color-coded), which parts of the map are hidden by the Fog of War, it displays your own units, shows you where the camera is and allows you to move the camera around quickly by clicking and dragging on the map!
Enemies Break Bricks
Corruptrons will now happily chip away at the walls of your Castles if they figure out it’s the quickest way in, as opposed to trying to work their way around, or only attacking the door – or, even, digging under the ground to find a way into your fortress! Your castles and walls will really be put to the test now – you’ll need to make use of that repair task much more often!
We’ve added an extensive in-game help panel that contains articles, helping you figure out how to play the game. A new player following the guides article by article should be able to do everything in the game by the end of it. It also includes information about all the structures, resources, military kits and how to craft them. Additionally, it’s super easy for us to update (and in the future, for you to translate), allowing us to easily maintain it and keep it up to date with new features that may be added in the future.
To access the in-game help, click on the question mark at the top right of the screen when in a game.
Debug Mode – Instant Build, 2X Speed & Spawning Units
Debug Mode is a special tab which will allow you to use several “cheat” features such as the ability to instantly build blueprints when you click (or remove them when you hold CTRL and click, the ability to speed up time, control the time of day (or pause it entirely), spawn any military unit and even spawn Corruptrons, if you’d like to test how well your Sandbox builds stand the test of Corruptrons!
New Terrain & Vegetation Visuals
We’ve added tons of new terrain visuals; snow, clovers, thick grass and more, making the islands of Castle Story this much more varied and pleasing visually. Additionally, we’ve reworked the trees’ mesh to make them considerably nicer looking and added three different types of plants to add more visual accents.
All these tools are, of course available to you in the World Editor to make your maps prettier!
We’ve added four new official maps to the game introducing new concepts we hope will inspire you in your own Workshop creations.
Komorebi is a small, symmetrical map intended for shorter Conquest games, whether singleplayer or online.
Arecibo is an invasion map challenging the player to build an actual fortress due to its lack of chokepoints. Enemies will come from hills surrounding the player and funnel towards the center of the map, where your home crystal is.
Tortuga is a large, slightly chaotic map riddled with forests, cliffs and gaps needing bridges to cross. It’s a perfect non-symmetrical map for the Conquest mode.
Nova is a huge, gorgeous sandbox map in the form of an archipelago, putting you to the test of building a castle that spans several smaller islands.
Improved Combat Feedback
We’ve reworked the health and stamina bar’s shaders to make it much easier to spot at a glance which units in your squad are taking damage and when one of your Bricktrons is in dire need of retreat. Additionally, we’ve added a new bar to the new unit, the Alchemist, that represents the amount of bombs they have left in their inventory.
Public Server List & Multiplayer Connections Improvements
Playing Castle Story in multiplayer will never be easier than in 1.0 with the introduction of a brand new Public Server List. Join anyone in the world and build glorious castles together, fight off Corruptrons or even each other!
Additionally, we’ve added a relay server to our infrastructure which will drastically reduce the instances of players being unable to connect to each other via Steam.
We’re adding Steam Achievements with the 1.0 update, ranging from surviving Invasion waves to silly shenanigans Agent Bougre has been up to. Good luck!
Castle Story will ship supporting English and French by default. However, we’ve put a system in place allowing the game to be translated very easily by editing a simple CSV file and placing it in your UGC folder. We’ll share more detail about that soon, keep an eye on the forums. In the future, we’d like to allow users to share translations via the Workshop.
New Art Assets
- We’ve remade all the icons in the game to improve readability.
- We’ve made new meshes for the catapult, door and stockpile to improve consistency with the game’s art style.
- All structures will now be built gradually element by element as the Bricktrons deposit more resources into the blueprint.
- We’ve improved animations for Bricktrons harvesting plant fibers.
- We’ve added and reworked tons of new sounds.
- We’ve added new, dynamic music to the game.
- We’ve improved the way crystals look. They’re much.. oomphier now.
- We’ve improved performance on several fronts of the game.
- Wards, bear traps and explosive barrels can now be moved around and are stored in stockpiles.
- Randomized the players’ spawn points in Invasion.
- Wisps now show you the name of the Bricktron they will spawn.
- Updated all thumbnails on all maps.
- Tweaked the difficulties on Conquest and Invasion.
- We’ve brought back borderless windowed mode to the game, by default.
- Added new names to the Bricktrons and an algorithm that groups them up together. Expect to see Athos, Porthos and Aramis together.
- Re-decorated all the official maps to include the new textures and vegetation.
- Improved the behavior when placing tunnel tasks.
- Tweaked the noise algorithms that spreads the resources under the ground making it easier to obtain Brimstone. We heard ya!
- The Knight’s defensive stance now reduces incoming explosion damage. Will be particularly useful in PvP against Alchemists.
- Re-arranged the layout of bricks in the sidebar to something more userfriendly.
- Added a small, random delay to sentinels waking up so they don’t all fire synchronously. Just looks more natural that way.
- Increased the Tips ‘n Tricks text in the loading screen.
- Tweaked orange scarves so they look less like the red ones.
- Destroying part of a rope bridge will now destroy the entire bridge.
- Allowed users to create games on custom ports.
- Rebalanced the arrows’ damage to doors.
- Made all the task’s radiuses circles for easier use.
- We’ve tweaked nighttime to make it an actually challenging, interesting element of the game, as opposed to a simple, mild visual change! Get your lanterns, you’ll need them.
- Added a little bloop sound when you receive a message in chat.
- Made “loose” quarry stairs disappear instead of being stuck there forever, impossible to pick up.
- Fixed an issue where certain stairs positions in tunnels would cause Bricktrons to be stuck in a neverending digging loop.
- Fixed an issue where resources were flying too far away when dropped by Bricktrons.
- Fixed an issue where loading a PvP save would put all parties in the same team.
- Fixed an issue where Bricktrons struggled to build the ropebridge. Keep in mind that every plank is a different job and they may work on another task before completing the ropebridge if they calculate it’s more efficient.
- Fixed an issue where raising and lowering terrain didn’t affect grass on neighboring tiles in the World Editor.
- Fixed an issue where moving sliders in the options made the screen flash.
- Fixed an issue where the cleaning task didn’t clean up military gear off the ground.
- Fixed an issue where creating islands with the “Don’t Lower” option checked would remove the grass.
- Fixed an issue where save/loading broke ropebridges’ blueprints.
- Fixed an issue where combat units could pick up military gear off the ground.
- Fixed an issue where loading a Conquest game sent all the Corruptrons on the map attacking you at once, at the same time.
- Fixed the Lights Out mode being a little different between hosts and clients.
- Fixed an issue where asking a Bricktron to break a shield on the ground would break that Bricktron forever.
- Fixed some animations breaking for the clients in multiplayer.
- Fixed an issue where Bricktrons being unable to reach the catapult’s operator spot would be stuck trying with a barrel in their hands.
- Fixed an issue where the Biftron punching wouldn’t break bricks.
- Fixed an issue where Bricktrons would steal resources from allies’ stockpiles and crafting stations in co-op games.
- Fixed an issue where manually assigning a Bricktron to the catapult wouldn’t allow it to fire.
- Fixed an issue where you couldn’t manually detonate barrels anymore.
- Fixed an issue where a sentinel’s projectile would fly up in the air if its target died before it could reach it.
- Fixed an issue where having the slider on low intensity in the World Editor would stop any trees from being placed.
- Fixed an issue where landscape tasks below constructed bricks would add the bricks as goals to destroy.
- Fixed an issue where loading a Conquest PVP game during the build phase would remove the build phase.
- Fixed an issue where Bricktrons carrying bricks wouldn’t drop the brick and pick up a sword if called to arms.
- Fixed an issue where explosive barrels in catapults didn’t save when you loaded a game.
- Fixed an issue in multiplayer where a construction task’s beacon wouldn’t appear if the client created the task.
- Recalling workers to an unreachable Crystal will send Bricktrons to the nearest available crystal instead.
- Fixed a typo in the keybinds’ menu.
- Fixed an issue where Bricktrons’ pickaxes would disappear for a frame while digging.
- Fixed an issue where selecting all passive workers also selected knights and archers.
- Fixed an issue where loading a multiplayer game with Bricktrons set to hold position wouldn’t show “hold” bubble above their head for the client.
- Fixed an issue where destroying a catapult that’s being cranked would keep the cranking noise playing forever, making you real cranky.
- Fixed an issue where doors didn’t block light.
- Fixed an issue where Bricktrons would pick up resources from partially built blueprints.
- Fixed an issue where Bricktrons couldn’t pick up iron ingots from the furnace to use elsewhere. They had to be placed on stockpiles first.
- Fixed an issue where the fog of war’s slider didn’t display a percentage on MAC OS.
- Fixed an issue where radius tasks would shrink to their minimum when clicked for the first time.
- Fixed broken reflections on Linux.
- Fixed Corruptrons receiving souls to their crystals.