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Whaddaya get when you blend obsolete Steampunk with Zelda, Secret of Mana, & Megaman?
An Action-RPG focused on exploration, deep puzzles, and a mystical story.
An Action-RPG focused on exploration, deep puzzles, and a mystical story.
5,909 backers pledged $242,309 to help bring this project to life.


Posted by tenpoundpixel

Fall season is here despite the weather being very wonky. It's time I round up all the developments so far that Rob and I have made along with questions I've gathered from Facebook, Twitter and the private Cryamore Backer server on Discord.



There's been a whole lot more environment polish that's happened since. Last update I showed what the overworld was starting to look like and since then, I've been rolling out the graphical finish on various spots to help Noka Island achieve the "LUSH" look we've aimed for.

Here's a look at a few choice pieces.

Above is an area of the Terrestrial Woods. I've been emulating the style of our former background artist and expanding our asset library to have more unique pieces to help cobble areas like this together.

Above is an area inside Molten Mountains. I've made sure that each dungeon has a certain look associated to it, some inspired by Cambodian temples, Incan ruins and the like. 

Another area inside Molten Mountains. We'll be adding some finishing touches later on of floating embers to help set the mood even more.

Here's a closer look at the mural at the end of the area. You'll want to look out for stuff like these as Esmy can gather some valuable data from them.

These temples connect to the story and I want to at least convey some visual storytelling with its decor and architecture.

Also, since we're at Molten Mountains, here's a start to the polishing of animations for the guardian of the Molten Mountains temple, Eilem Ifreeta.

She does not tolerate infidels.

The overworld has also been getting some love. Here's the new entrance to the Northern Caverns.

Complete with some newly created friendly critters you'll see in your adventures ranging from birds, to rabbits and deer. Please don't try to attack them, don't make Esmy into that kind of person when there are plenty of hostile monsters you can take your frustration out on.

As it is, Rob has implemented an asynchronous loading system in Cryamore. What this means is that chunks of the game will be loaded in and out on the fly as you move through each area, so instead of hitting an invisible collider that then brings up a fade to black before appearing in the next area, Cryamore will now feel more like an open-world game.

We decided we could finally do this after realizing my rework on the world map was made to be near seamless from area to area.

So three areas can now be linked together like so...

Of course there's some seams that need fixing which can easily be done by aligning the proper objects but this should give an idea of how the world of Cryamore will now feel like.

Gameplay and Features

As mentioned, Rob has implemented asynchronous loading but what else has been changed in terms of tweaks and balance to the overall systems?


Originally, monsters dropped cryam of their specific element(s) and each once could be traded in town for a specific value to acquire the town's currency of Ghil. Cryam could also be used to augment your stats, acting as EXP points of different values depending on element, and it's third function was part of the requirements to acquire new abilities where you had to have a set amount of cryam plus the necessary catalysts to get new abilities.


Speaking of abilities, we've made it so Esmy can just synthesize cryam and catalysts herself to obtain her other abilities. There's no need to go back to town and visit the Cryatisium to do so.

The reason for this is it adds an unreasonable amount of backtracking when you're faced with an obstacle and have the catalyst necessary. As much as we'd like to have Cryamore be a lengthy game, we don't want to extend its length artificially like that as that'd just be frustrating.


But then what about the Cryatisium? They were supposed to be who you went to for trading different elements of cryam into Ghil or synthesizing new abilities! Are they now jobless?

Worry not for the Cryatisium is now assigned to give you temporary boosts to your condensers. Heading to Rime Rapids and need a little buff to your fire attacks? Get a day or two worth of added fire damage! Feel like you could use a few more EP points to use more of your high power abilities? Get a buff for that too, and maybe one for boosted EP regen while you're at it.

Just make sure you have the cryam for it.

I'm still in the process of polishing up the interiors of Ghilcrest and the UI necessary for this system but Rob is reworking the Cryamtists functions at this moment.


I'm juggling with all of that the polish for the status ailment effects as well. Before the polish phase, we were just applying a color hue change to the first frame of Esmy's hurt animation but now we can have Esmy fully express her struggle.

Above is what the frozen status will play like. Other status effects you'll run into are stun (like frozen but you can't force yourself out of it), burning, blindness, confusion, and poisoned so expect unique animations for each.


You may have noticed those bushes on the overworld environments above. These bushes act as hazards for everyone. That is, if Esmy walks into them, her movement will be slowed as she makes her way through but this also affects enemies.

You have the option of just running around it or shredding it up with your attacks (maybe even find some cryam or a secret underneath) or use the time it slows an enemy down to get away with something like Boulder Dash or Vanish or maybe prepare a charged up attack. Whatever the case, we feel its addition adds to the environment as it's more breakables and combat variables.


What you see above is the animation for when Esmy uses her Napbag which is Esmy's default choice of recovering stamina while on the field. Run out of stamina and you'll collapse and be prone to attacks from monsters around you. You can use Energeticolas to give you a quick boost but they can only fill your stamina gauge up to a certain amount, if you want to get more and faster, you'll need proper sleep and that's what the Nap Bag is for.

The lack of this made previous build tests when the Fatigue system was completed and included in but the nap bag was left out quite a chore as we often ran out of stamina and had to wait for Esmy to sleep it off on the ground to only 15% of stamina.

Speaking of testing...

Backer Testing

I was able to gather a couple of old builds we had and gave our backers in our Discord channel that were willing to try the game out copies to try out. Here's some choice bugs and suggestions from build 3.8.10 which featured Northern Caverns, the Overworld, Ghilcrest, and Rime Rapids.

Gryphonblade 77: Ability Wheel can end up disappearing after synthesizing catalyst in the Cryatisium

Zzzzzx: Pistols + Combo Launcher (Drive) + Talking to people = Esmy gets stuck

shadowreaper5: Ability can sometimes get stuck. There's still EP that gets drained but the animation and VFX does not play and won't trigger colliders.

Jeffery P: Collision here makes Esmy's model blink

Riftsilver: If you can manage to walk out of bounds, I managed to get through via the tree and (skybox?) at the top of Ghilcrest. It extends (infinitely?) in any direction. I walked for almost a minute straight and it took the same amount of time to get back, you can also navigate to locations you probably shouldn't be.

Justin M: For Esmy's interact/grab/pull phase that gets toggles on and off, having the "grabbing" sprite as her idle whenever grab = true would help in how that feels to operate. It took me a bunch of press > move > press to get used to how that worked since her idle doesnt change if she isnt moving.

Razeruk: Give the player a way to replenish their resource needed to fight a boss.

Build 4.5.25 featured our combat upgrade and a makeshift testbed using the Rime Rapids assets of the time and here's some choice reactions.

SrBilyon H: Occasional issues with control inputs (triggers) on PS4 controller

Zzzzzx: If you wait out the EP regen timer, and then pause the game, the EP will regen while paused

Razeruk: All of the functioning abilities work well and are easy to understand after playing with them. Attacks land more consistently compared to 3.8.10 and combat feels more responsive and visceral. 

A lot of the issues pointed out by our tester backers have since been addressed or taken into consideration for fixing or improving later on but besides that, everyone had fun playing the builds even if they were older ones and it gave them a clear idea of the leap that Cryamore has made in combat and gameplay as well as visuals that it's getting now.

I've since contacted our project manager/liaison for access to the rest of the FTP and can hopefully retrieve more of the recent builds, specifically of the three dungeons later in the game.

Also thanks to Zzzzzx and Razeruk for their very thorough testing of the builds. With our consent, Razeruk even conducted an extended testing session with a private group. You guys are awesome!


I've been posting the process phases of the animations I do for Cryamore on Discord, Twitter and Facebook but to anyone that hasn't seen them yet, have a look at the process it takes to create animations for the game.

Above are all the directions that had to be done for the fist weapons, the Knuckle Dusters. As you can see, there's multiple phases it has to go through where I start with a sketch dummy animation to get the motion down, followed by cleaning it all up so I can just give them a coat of pixels which starts with applying the linework in pixels, laying out flat colors, shades, highlights, extra parts (like hair or tails) and then any VFX necessary that needs to be baked into the animation (steam jutting out of weapons, dust from stomping, etc.)

With Esmy's sprite size and framecount, she has more than enough to be in a fighting game and that's just for facing sideways. The Knuckle Dusters and some other weapons are just 3 directions (east and west are mirrored to make 4) but other weapons have 5 directions (8 directions, 3 of the 5 are mirrored) and each weapon has secondary attacks, and then you consider some of her abilities require, unique animations as well.

Here's another look at a the process phases of a different animation.

Rob and I try to design smart as much as we can and that's why we can get away with some animations being just a single direction.

Currently, Esmy has the following animations in her library:

Actionfail - 3 directions, 14 frames each
Cast Mid - 5 directions, 7 frames each
Cast Ground - 5 directions, 7 frames each
Cast High - 1 direction, 22 frames
Cast Throw - 5 directions, 
Cast Shield - 1 direction, 12 frames
Knockout - 1 direction, 15 frames
Buff - 1 direction, 19 frames
Fatigued Idle - 3 directions, 6 frames each
Fatigued Walk - 3 directions, 10 frames each
Faint - 1 direction, 15 frames
Hit - 3 directions, 7 frames each
Knockdown - 3 directions, 15 frames each
Idle - 5 directions, 10 frames each
Item Get - 1 direction, 6 frames
Napbag - 1 direction, 19 frames
Run - 5 directions, 8 frames each
Run Cast - 5 directions, 8 frames each
Anemospin - 1 direction, 20 frames
Boulderdash - 5 directions, 17 frames each
Rockfist - 3 directions, 15 frames each
Frozen - 1 direction, 25 frames
Vanish - 5 directions, 17 frames each
Weapon Sword A - 3 directions, 8 frames each
Weapon Sword B - 3 direcitons, 8 frames each
Weapon Axe A - 3 directions, 13 frames each
Weapon Axe B - 3 directions, 23 frames each
Weapon Crossbow - 5 directions, 12 frames each
Weapon Dagger A - 3 directions, 8 frames each
Weapon Dagger B - 3 directions, 9 frames each
Weapon Dagger C - 1 direction, 12 frames

Many thanks to assists from great people and friends like Michael Azzi, Zach Robinson, Ian Brock, Keith Erickson and John Crayton who helped with a few of those animations in the library.

That's about 1,281 frames of animation altogether. That's not even including townsfolk, critters, monsters, bosses (some larger than Esmy) and unique VFX animations. It's tough work but we want to make sure the game looks amazing while also playing as good as it looks. We put our all into the work and we hope it shows.

With that said, here's a look back at some of my favorite animations I've done for Esmy.


Here's the questions we've gotten asked so far from various sources:

bram asked:  

With the release (and overwhelming success) of Nintendo Switch, have you decided or are you considering a release on Switch now?    

We've been asked this many times by a lot of people in various fronts so, I'll answer this first. We've considered releasing on Switch but you have to be aware that before you can release a game on any console, you need to have a devkit first to test your exported build on and make sure it runs correctly because of the different architecture and hardware configurations compared to a PC/Mac which we develop the game on.

We currently still have the Wii-U as our Nintendo platform but we do want to try and get a Switch devkit as it's slowly phasing out the Wii-U and many developers have claimed that porting to the Wii-U is quite difficult compared to the Switch so it'd be a win-win if we do manage to get a devkit. Though keep in mind, you either rent or buy a devkit so it's not free and you also have to apply for it as they don't hand one out to just anyone.

If we manage to get our hands on the Switch devkit, we'll be sure to announce it.

Fredrick R. Davidson asked:  

Discord? How and when does one connect with team members on Discord? :o  

You can find the link to the Discord server in this update:

Just search for the word Discord in the page and you should find the link to the invite. Otherwise feel free to DM and if you're a backer, I'll give you the link.

avarisclari asked: 

I have one request for cryamore if you guys are willing to do it: implement a speedrun timer that uploads it to a db and checks the times. Any% and 100% 

We'll try to implement that if we can, avarisclari. We are curious ourselves after all how quickly one can finish the game.

Given how big the assets and textures are, how large do you think Cryamore will be in terms of install size?

Our SVN folder isn't really that big all things considered. I'd estimate we'd be able to fit into a 4GB DVD if not an 8GB dual layer, tops.

alchemisthero asked: 

Who is writing cryamore? 

Cryamore's overall plot is Rob's brainchild, I help flesh out some lore and we had scenario writing help from our VA director Chris. 

Overall though, the final script has to go through a few back and forths between Rob and the publisher to make sure that everything is up to the standard of EFIGS translation (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish) and ESRB ratings (in case you forgot, we're going with Teen).

sky asked: 

About releases and "PC" Linux is still worked on? 

Yes indeed. We have a Linux port still in our sights and we've got backers that will help us test the Linux ports when ready.

Phosphatide asked: it’s been a while since i’ve caught up on cryadeving and wanted to remind myself: what consoles will the full game be released for? 

We're currently set to Playstation 4, Xbox One, and the Wii-U. 

Once more, Switch is being considered.

lemonrev asked: 

tenpoundpixel hey, can you make bunnies run around esmy while she sleeps ?

I'm animating critters for the overworld but Rob's the one who'll have to rig it all up together in code so that they appear around Esmy while she's sleeping on the field.

Alexander Mills asked:

Release date?

With only two people working on development of the game, we're doing our best to get it done soon, BUT done well. You'll have to forgive the lack of a clear release date but we're making sure it releases.

Stephen Wilson Jr. asked: 

Man, loving how this game is looking. Hope there is a hard difficult mode. I wasn't a backer, but I'm ready to give you guys my money. Keep up the good work.

Thanks! We're giving it our all with development!  

Regarding difficulties, we're including three levels of difficulty for players looking for specific types of challenges while also trying to make sure the challenge is fair and just, and that the player will be aware of what they sign up for when choosing to jump into it.

Ryan Weible asked:

Just a thought, i know her weapon i fist based, but since its the "martial arts" esque weapon, does she have any kicking moves?

We wanted to make the secondary function of the Knuckle Dusters be kick-based moves but felt it wise to just go with a parry for more utility and skill usage, and also to decrease the amount of already heavy animation work.  

Sorry, Ryan. Hopefully you'll still enjoy punching the hell out of all monsters in your path and parrying their attacks for even harder hits.


After seeing the design and animation I did for the Napbag, Rob whipped up a promo illustration to go with it and dubbed it the Berrybunsie. You can clearly see how comfy it is to wear and sleep in, even if you're on a grassy field, a fiery volcano, a frozen tundra or an arid desert. Just don't wear it underwater; while it may protect you from fatigue, you won't manage to avoid drowning. 

Here's another break sketch that Rob did this time with the bubbly Sorbet and the snooty Deseret. Who is best girl among the two?

Rob also did a style switch-up featuring Esmy in the style of FF7 era Tetsuya Nomura. 
She may not be a member of SOLDIER or be infused with Mako but she's got two condensers that act like Master Magic materia.


Finally let's cap things off with another look at creations from our amazing community!

Mellow Marz (@Heartless Hat) Drew Esmy in a Layton-esque proportion and style and we agree, she'd definitely play the role of a bookworm in that universe.

Sarrus (@Malchion) made a heroic looking Esmy with her trusty Butcherknife slung behind her.

Finally here's a low poly 3D model that The Regressor (@the_regressor) created soon after seeing the Napbag animation and illustration

Thanks so much for all your creative works, everyone! Seeing them always brightens our day and keeps us going! ♥

With that said, I hope you all enjoyed the compilation of development so far. Remember that I pepper quick progress updates of WIPs and final products related to Cryamore all over the Discord, Twitter and Facebook!

- CM Alan (@tenpoundpixel)


Posted by tenpoundpixel

We’ve gotten a number of questions from our Discord members in the past month and it’s time to share them with everyone along with our answers. See what a handful of our backers have been asking Rob, Aivi, surasshu, and me

Kishou asks the following questions:  

Can you change Esmy's appearance? Like, with armor sprites?  

Sadly, given how Cryamore’s sprites are designed, it’s too taxing to make armor sprites for Esmy as we’d have to make armor sprites for a lot of unique animations, idle, running, hit, ground cast, mid cast, high cast, Vanish animations, Boulder Dash animations, etc. and then multiply that with 3 or 5 directions each. The most we can offer for visual customization are palette swaps.

 Featured above are palettes for default, Braxton, Bliss, “Dewritos”, and Black & Blue

I just want to see Esmy in something revealing like a swimsuit  

Rob can probably arrange that in another artwork. I could sprite Esmy in a swimsuit but I don’t think we have any scenarios written down that feature her in one. Of course, we could always write one in…  

I’m not sure if this is asked before but is there a love interest in mind for Esmy?  

Esmy’s too focused on her work and studying cryamore to notice anyone that may have feelings for her. Right?

There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to clear the game right? Like, surely some spells solve puzzles but there will be proficiency in not just weapon choices but spells in fighting too? 

We’ve done our best to make sure your offensive/defensive ability and weapon loadouts will always be viable so whether you like playing ranged weapons with hard hitting close combat abilities, using mobility enhancing abilities with melee weapons or whatever playstyle tickles your fancy, we’ve spent a lot of time ensuring we got everything balanced and fun enough so there won’t be an absolute god tier and worst tier loadout. 

Phosphatide asks: 

About story flow: with games now searching for the perfect balance between “linear progression” and “open world freedom” to avoid blatant in-game walls preventing the possibility of sequence-breaking exploration or aimless wandering with no sense of urgency… what was your goal for Cryamore? 

Alan: Honestly, I personally wanted full-on freedom to go explore some of the hardest areas of the game and risk the chance of getting wrecked, but we had to corrall things a bit to ensure you stay within the story bounds. Rob being the lead on this has final say on direction. 

Rob: I wanted to instill a sense of survival in the game and make sure that the abilities are a big focal point for both puzzles and combat so we were able to block off certain areas of the world the way Metroidvanias would; give you a hint at what might be ahead, but you’re blocked by something that needs a new ability  

Alan: There’s still freedom to be had but you can only go so far before you either hit a roadblock which needs an ability or sometimes story progression (you need clearance to explore south of the island). 

So yeah, the goal was to give some freedom but not too much and I’m hoping we managed to achieve it with the world design I’ve done and with enough usage of the puzzle solving abilities we’ve made. 

Tomar asks: 

Curiosity here. Do you guys do art asset sharing through your VC system, or do you use something simpler like dropbox/google drive? 

 We’ve mostly used Dropbox all throughout to share asset files.

Above are the four folders we have set for Cryamore. Backgrounds has Rob and me contributing to it. Illustrations has Rob, me, and JC and Juby’s contributions, Inspiration Music has Aivi and surasshu’s work (a lot of unheard of to the public music WIP files) and Sprite-Animations has my work.  

Once something like music, animation or an environment asset is set, Rob or I transfer it to Unity, apply any settings necessary (import and display settings for 2DToolkit, audio settings for Master Audio, etc.) and then upload it to the SVN so the file and all its settings will exist for anyone on the team with a Unity key and access to the Cryamore SVN.  

Do you use freecamp for like kanban/task management stuff?  

When we had more people in our team, we used OpenOffice and then switched to Freedcamp to keep track of tasks and bugs. Now that it’s just Rob and me, and Aivi and surasshu on sound and music, we mostly just keep a personal to-do list.  

Xaelon asks:  

I have no idea if this is possible with how the game is built, but something you could add to promote replay after the base game is completed would be a “randomizer mode” that shuffles various things into different places.  

We could probably apply that to enemy spawns and some cryam deposits but the environment layouts though aren’t as flexible sadly as we don’t use tilesets and the collision bounds of the environments aren’t generated by object due to a lot of irregular organic shapes.  

We definitely have considered implementing a NG+ option though, maybe with levels and certain abilities intact on the next play but with more mobs and other difficulty boosts.  

shadowreaper5 asks:  

Do skills with timers (like the buff to breathe underwater) have a visual representation of the time left?  

To a certain extent, yes. Esmy’s going to have a breath meter over her head while underwater without the Oxy Barrier ability.  

We initially wanted to just have a blue fill over Esmy’s status portrait (which changes to her holding her breath) while underwater but so it’s easier to keep track of, she’ll have a meter above her head when she isn’t using Oxy Barrier underwater.

While we do have spells with durations, some of them won’t have a meter and rely on visual cues: a timed magma mine will blink when it's about to explode, time paradox clones should blink when they're about to fade, and shadow cloak should fade back to full visibility upon ending.  

As it is though, we will mention the duration of spells in their info box at the menu.

Tarquinn2049 asks:  

Ok. This question is a bit on the other end and might make me sound like a jerk due to timing. But does it support 4k? And if so is it by pixel doubling? I can totally play it at 1080p if hardware scaling will ultimately look better.  

Our native resolution is 720p which we’ll be upscaling to 1080p. We won’t be able to provide 4K support as working primarily in 2D where our target resolution is 720p would require us to rework the assets in a larger size so as not to lose crispness of lines and pixels on a larger resolution.

Rob: The game looks freaking good on a 50-70 inch, though haha! I for one can’t wait to playtest a lot on console (devkit).


Unity editor-wise, Rob has been working on optimizing the code further. The sorting order of the game was archaic and clunky, so Rob decided to squish it down to a simpler and more effective form that relies on Sorting Order that Unity didn’t have early on during our development. We instead relied on Z index which required a lot of fiddling around with when setting objects up.

You can see in that test room video that the “Order in Layer” is changing value. Back then it would be the Z in the Position attributes and we’d have to manually set the value beforehand to make sure things appeared behind or in front of objects right.

Rob also implemented full analog movement instead of just the D-pad, this allows for more control, though it’ll need a bit of tweaking as it currently looks like Esmy’s skating along the ground like she’s about to break it down and provide everyone with boosted shields. There’s been polish going on in multiple fronts on the graphical end as animations and environment assets get fixed.

 Above is the fist weapons, we initially were going to go with brass knuckles but decided that it wouldn’t be that noticeable on the sprite unless we made it large but I wanted to make sure you wouldn’t miss the weapons so I designed these gauntlets that shows a bit of the transition from steamtech to cryamtech and also offers a more interesting silhouette while also making a bit more sense as a viable weapon against dangerous monsters.  

The fists primary function work as a mashable combo. One press of the attack button does a jab, two presses in quick succession performs a jab and punch, three does a jab, punch, uppercut combo. It’s quick but it doesn’t have that much range or width in its melee attack range.  

The second function is the parry which allows you to negate any damage if timed right. Rob’s in charge of securing the timing for all these as he’s the one in Unity and more well-versed with the parrying system this was inspired from (Street Fighter 3) so I trust he’ll make sure it’s balanced. We wanted to make the fists fun to use but even better if you master it and hopefully it’ll show.

The crossbow also underwent an animation rework during its polish phase. The old animation was too focused on being realistic that it didn’t look interesting (i.e. it looked too slow) and the crossbow already has it tough in being interesting when up against the pistols. So far everyone feels it looks much snappier now while still keeping to the timing of the old animation.  

What differentiates the crossbow from the pistol is that Esmy can hold her shot and slowly strafe while doing so, only firing when you let go of the attack button. The crossbow also has different types of bolt quivers that you can equip. Currently we’re playing around with piercing properties and stagger/slowing/knockback properties.

We’re also looking into displaying the ammo/bolt count below Esmy everytime she fires so the player can easily keep track of their shots (we’ve been running on infinite ammo all this time just to get a feel of the weapon first before applying a limit).

The rapier’s animations will still need the pixel pass but its roughs are ready. You’ll notice two phases in the rapier animation. 

The basic thrust and the secondary backdash. These are the primary and secondary functions of the weapon. One allows you to dash forward with a piercing strike and another for quick evasion, making the rapier a weapon all about mobility (which could be handy for speedrunning too).  

The Ghilcrest buildings are undergoing their design polish as well. You’ve all seen the Cryatisium and Esmy’s Home and now the Inventorium and the Cafe are joining them in polished goodness.


The overworld environments have also been undergoing its rework. More unique object assets have been made and its design is now following the Overworld map that I completed.

 Worry not about the above image. Though we do have Brax (and some other characters) following you at some points in the game, it’s not a dangerous escort mission where you’ll have to struggle to keep your companion alive, the Berribuns were added on the map just for this screenshot (they ignore Brax and only go for Esmy).  

I’ve tried to incorporate hints of the past steamtech throughout areas of Noka Island that the settlers covered, some machines like the one on the screenshot above were retrofitted to use cryam instead of steam (I did receive comments on how the smoke blobs look more like rocks so I’ll probably change it to wispy smoke).  

The HUD has also undergone a visual polish to make it look more bronze plated to go with the early post steampunk-ish feel.  

I’ll be continuously working on more animations and environment asset polish all throughout while Rob cleans up code, works on other background assets or lays said assets out in the Unity editor.  


Every now and then, Rob (and sometimes I) take a breather and make some art (which will all eventually end up in the artbook) so here’s some of the choice pieces as of late.

 Rob made something that's wallpaper material once he cleans it up in a higher res, it’s an array of Bliss in a custom outfit.

 Another wallpaper-ish piece from Rob with Deseret, Bliss, and Sorbet looking all tough and showing what I’ll just assume to be Ghilcrest gang signs… despite it being a small community.

 Here's a more realistic pin-up style Bliss that Rob also made. 

 Rob also pays tribute to Atlus’ Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series by rendering Esmy in Shigenori Soejima’s style.

 I did the same and tried making a Shigenori Soejima tribute using his soft paint style commonly present in Stella Deus and some Persona art. I chose to represent Team Bliss.


We’ve also got a few new submissions of fanart from the community that we’re proud to share with everyone. We’re grateful to have all your support and enjoy seeing everyone’s renditions of the Cryamore cast.

 @Cliffist pays tribute to the fab queen, Bliss because clearly, she’s supposed to be the star.

 @boss_ruru also decides to rep Team Bliss with this lovely piece of Ms. Barson in one of her many alternate outfits.

 But it’s not all Bliss as MellowMarz aka @HeartlessHat provides a pistol toting pixel-art Esmy.  

I’ll be working on the pixel art and animation featurette next. I had to hold it off since I needed to prep this first.

 It should give an idea of what the update will cover.  

I hope you enjoyed this update and all the news! Thanks for taking time to read through these.  

- CM Alan  

P.S. I also managed to secure one of the previous builds we made and will be preparing a guide to go with it for the backers on Discord.


MINI UPDATE: Backer-only Discord Server Questions

Posted by tenpoundpixel
Thanks for everyone’s comments and support on the previous update! A good number of people have joined the Cryamore Backer Discord server that I started up.

We’ve got about 132 members on there right now and it may grow a bit more once I send out the invite to the Paypal backers as a means to get them caught up with what’s been going on behind the backer-only posts. I just have to mirror the backer-only posts in somewhere like Dropbox for their prolonged perusal and prepare a short list of Q&A in case they have any queries and I’ll send out this draft I’ve done.

With that said, I wanted to make a short update reiterating questions gathered from the Discord channels and sharing some of the things we feel we can have non-backers see since it won’t spoil the game... too much.

FoolishWolf asked:
I guess my first question is if it is possible to give an ETA on the project at this point?

Rob: We want to be finished this year. We're currently in the "Polish" phase where all the moving and working parts are in, it's just a matter of cleaning up presentation, major bugs, and final art.

Alan: There are going to be gameplay polishes too as we go along. The mechanics we've got are now all adjusted to any suggestions we've taken in from our publisher's testing but we'd like to see if during the backer tests, anyone feels it could be improved further.

That's fair. I guess this is just the marketer in me, but is there gifs and videos that maybe you can release for the community for #Indiedevhour and #screenshotsaturday that we share around. Kinda get the hype train going?

Rob: We want to get back into doing more of that, yeah. Now that we're polishing stuff up.

Alan: We'll be sharing stuff as often as we can on Discord which we'll then pool together for the mini updates.

Clay | Terminally Nerdy asked: 
Once the game is in a “playable” preview state, would you all want someone to stream/talk about it? 

We’re absolutely okay with it as this would help reinforce the fact that the game is legit. We’ll make sure to mark which builds are public ready. 

Can you get Atlus to port the Persona series to PC, and will Jack Frost be in the game? 

We sadly don’t have that kind of pull but I personally would like to see the Persona series on PC too. 

Phosphatide asked: 
How close is it to the proposed "40+ tracks" from the Kickstarter?

We’re pretty much within the forty track count already. I’ll share surasshu’s answer here as it’s better to hear it from one of our composers. 

here's a link to a larger version (just adjust the zoom) in case Kickstarter decides to shrink the whole thing to an unreadable point.

fpwong asked: 
What do ppl usually use for programming AI in Unity? UE4 has inbuilt behaviour trees but idk if unity has anything of the sort. 
Alan: We’re not sure about other people using Unity but for us, we’ve been using a mix of C# and FlowCanvas/NodeCanvas to achieve an easily tweakable AI system. It’s the same thing we used to set up our cutscene/dialogue system too, so it’s multipurpose! 
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Rob: This video is horribly outdated; It’s mostly the dialogue on example there and a few older bugs but that shows how the dialogue tree is set up, how it can control objects to walk away from the scene, change sprites and more. 

Brendan (luigimeistersa) asked: 
Hey dev guys. Does Cryamore have any kind of buffs you can apply to Esmy? 

Alan: We sadly don’t have much in way of buff abilities besides things like Oxy Barrier which provide you with a protective bubble and allow you to breathe underwater or other abilities like Time Paradox and Shadow Cloak. You do get a Well Rested buff though from sleeping at the inn though and the buff comes at various tiers.

Can you bind them (abilities) to the row of number keys on PC?

Alan: We're using Rewired for Unity to support keybinding and a variety of controllers (here's a list) so you should be able to rebind controls to any key you wish on a desktop keyboard. 

Rob: Controllers may be more limited for keybinding in comparison, however.

AreYouSmarterThanACheeseGrater asked: 
So, how are you going to work sleeping? Will time advance a set number of hours or will time progress to the next morning/evening? 

Alan: Here’s an excerpt from our design document to easily explain how sleeping works. 

Take note, costs are subject to change but sleeping in specific beds advances time by a set amount and you get better rest in a shorter amount of time from the more expensive rooms at the inn (to be fully rested and free from fatigue for a day in just two hours would be amazing). You do have the option to be cheap and just sleep in your own bed but you use up more time in a day.

Downing energy drinks is a way to stay awake without having to sleep but you can only carry so much and it won't fully restore your fatigue and you'll eventually find yourself sleeping on the ground, helpless against any threats around you.

shadowreaper5 asked: Are you still looking for help? I can't draw or code, but if you need someone to poke every corner for bugs I'm your man

We'll put out a public call for assistants when there's nothing else left but the art polish push, there's a bit of design polish that Rob and I still have to work on here and there but when the backgrounds and pixel tracing are all that's left, we're hoping we get many applicants that're willing to stick through.

As for poking every corner for bugs, I've currently given 13 members on the Backer Discord @tester status. Having them on Discord will help us all communicate as they run the builds. I expect we're going to have a few questions of why the game won't start when loading a save (recurring bug that happened in old builds regarding data from a previous build being kept in the %appdata% folder on Windows systems and conflicting with the new build)

Does your [insert magic equivalent here] regenerate quicker if you sleep in a bed/inn?

Alan: In our aim to nail down the fun factor without sacrificing too much of the original vision, we decided to make EP regenerate automatically. 

You should see it in action in this older stress test video that Rob shared on the Discord server.

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As you can see, the blue meter to the lower left goes down each time Esmy uses a skill. The meter is actually comprised of a number of cells but displays as a meter, the cell count is shown to the right of the meter as EP <number>. Each ability eats a number of cells, i.e. an ability like Ignite Lv1 costs = 1 cell but Shadow Cloak of any level will use = 4 cells. A channeled ability like Boulder Dash will eat up a cell every second.

Cells can be increased by finding certain collectibles in the game.

Rob: You can also see in the video above that even in-editor, the game runs pretty smoothly (60FPS+) with 8 monsters and numerous adds it summons. 

Alan: I've personally tried it on my own PC with a 1GB video card from 7 years ago and it runs fine in-editor and runs even better on a compiled build.

lemon-rev asked:
With your post regarding the update, I can now fully understand why the game looks at is base level, playtime on each of those levels sounds great, but are they leveling, completing quests, just beating up mobs, I am sure each of those other sections that have to be redone for unity as well as the type of content for each one.

Some context is necessary here for the non-backers reading this. During the previous backer update, I mentioned the listed completion times we got for each dungeon when we had testers run through it, here are those numbers...

  • Northern Caverns v1 Build: 20-30 minutes 
  • Rime Rapids v1 Build: 30-40 minutes 
  • Molten Mountain v1 Build: 30-40 minutes 
  • Terrestrial Woods v1 Build: 40-60 minutes  
  • Vale of Gale v1 Build: 40-60 minutes  
  • Sunken Ship v2 Build: 40-120 minutes 
  • Mekanika v2 Build: 40-120 minutes 
  • Phantom Marshes v2 Build: 40-120 minutes 

The v1 builds were before I ran a level design revamp over the layouts so those numbers can go up. All in all though, that's currently around 4.6 hours worth of dungeon crawling (and there's one dungeon unaccounted for still). 

With that bit of context given, to fully answer lemon-rev's question, take note, these are all approximate numbers as there was a guide provided for the publisher testers to consult and these numbers also DO NOT include boss fights, cutscenes or enemy ambushes. There's also the time required to head out into the overworld and look for and access those dungeons so we estimate that we could hit 12 hours at the very least of regular gameplay without completing any sidequests and hopefully 16-18 hours if you try to 100% the whole game.

sky asked:
Is Linux still planned?

Yes! This is also why we're going to have to reach out to our backers for testing assistance as we've only been able to test on PC and Mac so far and do not have much if any Linux testbeds. 

We've had a number of people on the Discord server that I've tagged as willing testers and we look forward to working with them soon!


Rob has currently been optimizing the code as we've accumulated a lot of bloat over the years from old textures, deprecated code and a horrible folder hierarchy. He's also improving our control scheme as we're both pulling the trigger on making the attack button R2/RT on a controller (Space on keyboards) and with doing so map the abilities to the face buttons on a controller by default for easier setup. The reason we didn't do this from the get-go was concerns about the interact button (usually a face button like O or B) having a dual-role with a combat button which may cause problems in combat if you're facing an enemy while interactive triggers are around you.

The solution we've come up with involves having your face buttons bound to field commands by default (examining, nap bag, etc.) but holding R1/RB (Shift on keyboards) toggles the face buttons to ability hotkeys. This should make for less worries in combat flow. We may change the key assignments depending on how things feel but we at least want to get that adjustment added into how combat works.

Thanks to experiments done in one of the mini-games to be included in Cryamore, Rob has also implemented the limited camera control system we cooked up for the minigame into Cryamore so the player can move the camera around to see ahead. It's helpful if you're using a ranged weapon or if you want to make sure the coast is clear before you bring out the Nap Bag.

Here's a clip of it in action. Sadly you can't see Rob actually press the keys but trust that it controls well.

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The video also shows the in-editor vs. compiled performance. While the in-editor runs fine, the compiled version runs even more smoother as I mentioned awhile back.

Rob's also continuing work on the other character portraits and here's a sketch for one of the children in Ghilcrest, Uni Nauticus.

On my end, I'm wrapping up the last few areas of the Overworld layout. I can't show the whole map like I did in the backer-only update but here's a few of the new additions to it.

We'll look into using the Overworld map I've done as the in-game map as well, with a tweak or so here and there.  

Also here are a couple of monsters that are getting the pixel polish treatment that I never got around to posting here...


Gagak can be found in the Phantom Marshes and Berribun below him can be found around the overworld.

Here's a few of the other development video clips we shared on the Discord server.

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Above was an older VFX test for Esmy's Boulder Dash Lv1 skill. The ground crack texture is nice but it does look odd when done near a ledge as the crack texture extends out into what should be air, it's a downside of not having 3D environments. This will be fixed, however, as the angle of the cracks are currently based on the older, "isometric" perspective. The trails also clash with the dust cloud. It's something we're going to have to work on to achieve a look that works.

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Above is an older recording of one of our backer monsters, Hubbler, in action (along with another backer monster, Nictate, idling in the corner). Hubbler proved to be one of the most deadliest mobs we've had in the game but ONLY if there are aggro monsters nearby (can you figure out what's going on?). Do excuse Esmy's sprite shaking though, I've yet to animate and pixel her sprite for this condition and also excuse the greyboxed environments, they're going to be prettied up.

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Also up above is a test of the emote bubbles that Rob cooked up awhile back up to give NPC sprites an extra bit of expression.

And finally here's an older bug that happened.

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Esmy can't stand still as an invisible Chief Silvershark talks to her and Bagel pretends nothing weird is going on... also the camera focus lost control. Thankfully this has been stamped out already.

And to add to all this stuff that our Paypal backers or non-backers may have missed out on from recent backer-only posts, here's a retread on other stuff that aren't too spoilery...


Character portraits are getting polished up.

Ghilcrest's buildings are undergoing some visual polish too to further reflect the transition of the people from steam tech to cryam-tech.


More of Esmy's weapon attacks are getting the visual polish that they need in the form of pixel art, what you see above is the secondary attack for the Axe and the Daggers.


More enemies have been getting their pixel polish too. Topmost is one of our bosses and below him is one of our backer monsters, Black Claw.


Some of the backers on the Cryamore Discord showed their support for the recent update with some fanart and I wanted to share their awesome works!

Here's an Esmy by Sakurafire, about to channel an ability through her condensers or doing a "we can do it" arm pump, either one works for us!

and here's another awesome looking Esmy looking off into the distance, by doghateburger 

We love seeing fan works and I'll be featuring any more that get sent our way (unless you'd rather we keep it to ourselves)!

Again, the next FEATURE update will be talking about...

Not Bliss per se, but the process of animation and pixel art that goes towards making Cryamore.

Stay tuned!

- CM Alan

P.S. Still in the process of re-acquiring the previous build compiles we've done from the FTP after which I'll gather up the guides for each build so each tester knows the scope of what they're running through. Once it's all set, I'll post it on a Backer-only update and the Discord server.

UPDATE: News, Questions and a Backer-only Discord Server

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Exclusive Inner Look/Status Update: Part 1

Posted by tenpoundpixel

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