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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.

Cryamonday #15! Act 1: Scripts and Stuff (Repost)

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(We apologize if you saw this already. Kickstarter was giving us trouble when uploading this.)

Hey Cryatists! My name is Jim and the crew has entrusted me to handle our latest update. Unfortunately, I don’t have a cool pixel avatar like everyone else yet so let’s just pretend this gazer is me.

Since I’ve been pretty incognito all this time, I figure a quick introduction is in order. My role on the Cryamore team is mostly writing and script development. As well, I also lend a hand to the others whenever they need help getting a public-related task done. Some of you might also know me as “Beatrush” on the backer forums.

I think that should be sufficient for an introduction so let’s get on with this update.

SCRIPTING AND STORYTELLING

Let’s take a look at how we are handling storytelling and dialogue in Cryamore. Like most RPGs nowadays, we have mix of both voice acting and text dialogue scenes throughout the game.

In order to make things more streamlined and easier to manage, we have created our own custom script in Unity to allow us to easily manage dialogue strings within the game.

This looks complicating, but it's really not.
This looks complicating, but it's really not.

Say hello to our updated Cutscene Manager. We made several upgrades to our original one from early development. We now create cutscenes with a node-based framework, allowing us to order and move events, dialogue, and actions around like a flowchart. When we feel something extra needs to be added to the cutscene at any time during the building process, it’s as easy as right-clicking, adding a node, and wedging it between a chain and reconnect them together. We can branch different conditions and view it all in the same air space, like some of the best Visual Scripters around today. This however adds a lot of useful functionality in addition to working in Unity's environment.

Bliss is currently running Ghilcrest's Inn... down to the ground.
Bliss is currently running Ghilcrest's Inn... down to the ground.

This makes building complex scenes a cinch to do, and also very fun. As we map out different actions and events out on paper, it’s just as easy to translate that map right into our editor. Once it's all plotted out in the Cutscene Manager, it plays out rather smoothly. Here's the first screenshot played out in real time. It’s a piece of a scene from one of the earlier parts of the game:

DEVELOPING DIALOGUE

In most RPGs, NPCs typically say the same 2… maybe 3... lines over and over again, no matter what point of the story you are in. Cryamore on the other hand, we are implementing something more dynamic. NPC dialogue will change depending on various factors such as:

  • Time 
  •  Day 
  •  Storyline progression 

We stated before that depending on the time of day, some NPCs might be found in a completely different location in Ghilcrest or the World Map. Some will also be unavailable during specific times of day. We want to deliver this kind of experience because having one central hub town pretty much requires it.

Here is an example of a script draft for one NPC during the first chapter of the story. This script set is for Mondo, one third of Ghilcrest’s guards:

We want each NPC in Ghilcrest to have a distinct personality, so it has been a challenge to create unique scripts for each one of them. Since we will be seeing these NPCs throughout the entirety of the game repeatedly, we want to encourage players to interact with them frequently. As well, speaking to NPCs at specific points of the game will also give you gameplay hints, items and initiate side quests.

New Concept Art!

Here is some new concept artwork from JC, by the way. Last time, you've met Mélé, the femme fatale of the Piraxan Rogues. Next, we have Sabo, another of Fité’s henchmen:

And here are some early concept sketches for a mid-boss called Nightmare:

And with that, we have come to the conclusion of Act 1 of this update. We will update again with Act 2 later this month!

That’s right, there’s another update coming this month! Wonder what it’s gonna be...

~NostalgiCO Crew

Cryamonday #15! Act 1: Scripts and Stuff

Hey Cryatists! My name is Jim and the crew has entrusted me to handle our latest update. Unfortunately, I don’t have a cool pixel avatar like everyone else yet so let’s just pretend this gazer is me.

Since I’ve been pretty incognito all this time, I figure a quick introduction is in order. My role on the Cryamore team is mostly writing and script development. As well, I also lend a hand to the others whenever they need help getting a public-related task done. Some of you might also know me as “Beatrush” on the backer forums.

I think that should be sufficient for an introduction so let’s get on with this update.

SCRIPTING AND STORYTELLING

Let’s take a look at how we are handling storytelling and dialogue in Cryamore. Like most RPGs nowadays, we have mix of both voice acting and text dialogue scenes throughout the game.

In order to make things more streamlined and easier to manage, we have created our own custom script in Unity to allow us to easily manage dialogue strings within the game.

This looks complicating, but it's really not.
This looks complicating, but it's really not.

Say hello to our updated Cutscene Manager. We made several upgrades to our original one from early development. We now create cutscenes with a node-based framework, allowing us to order and move events, dialogue, and actions around like a flowchart. When we feel something extra needs to be added to the cutscene at any time during the building process, it’s as easy as right-clicking, adding a node, and wedging it between a chain and reconnect them together. We can branch different conditions and view it all in the same air space, like some of the best Visual Scripters around today. This however adds a lot of useful functionality in addition to working in Unity's environment.

Bliss is currently running Ghilcrest's Inn... down to the ground.
Bliss is currently running Ghilcrest's Inn... down to the ground.

This makes building complex scenes a cinch to do, and also very fun. As we map out different actions and events out on paper, it’s just as easy to translate that map right into our editor. Once it's all plotted out in the Cutscene Manager, it plays out rather smoothly. Here's the first screenshot played out in real time. It’s a piece of a scene from one of the earlier parts of the game:

Yup, nothing special.

Developing dialogue

In most RPGs, NPCs typically say the same 2… maybe 3... lines over and over again, no matter what point of the story you are in. Cryamore on the other hand, we are implementing something more dynamic. NPC dialogue will change depending on various factors such as:

  • Time 
  • Day 
  • Storyline progression

We stated before that depending on the time of day, some NPCs might be found in a completely different location in Ghilcrest or the World Map. Some will also be unavailable during specific times of day. We want to deliver this kind of experience because having one central hub town pretty much requires it. 

Here is an example of a script draft for one NPC during the first chapter of the story. This script set is for Mondo, one third of Ghilcrest’s guards:

We want each NPC in Ghilcrest to have a distinct personality, so it has been a challenge to create unique scripts for each one of them. Since we will be seeing these NPCs throughout the entirety of the game repeatedly, we want to encourage players to interact with them frequently. As well, speaking to NPCs at specific points of the game will also give you gameplay hints, items and initiate side quests.

New Concept Art!

Here is some new concept artwork from JC, by the way. Last time, you've met Mélé, the femme fatale of the Piraxan Rogues. Next, we have Sabo, another of Fité’s henchmen:

And here are some early concept sketches for a mid-boss called Nightmare.

And with that, we have come to the conclusion of Act 1 of this update. We will update again with Act 2 later this month!

That’s right, there’s another update coming this month! Wonder what it’s gonna be...

~NostalgiCO Crew

Cryatuesday #3: New Demo On The Horizon, Release Up-Date, Breakdown On Extra Development Stuff

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Hey everyone! We have a simple & sweet update for this month! (We’re sorry that we’re a day late on the update again, we’ve been extremely focused on hitting a development milestone.)

No, this isn't a dance number; Esmy just loves reloading.
No, this isn't a dance number; Esmy just loves reloading.

New Playable Demo Coming Next Month

As stated a few months ago on Update #53, we were working on splitting the game up into a new playable demo to be released this summer. We’re wrapping that up and you’ll be able to play it in August! It will feature 3 gameplay-specific sections, 3 of the 8 weapons to play around with, and much of the content that you will see in it will be brand new. It’s going to be miles ahead of the initial demo we released sometime back. We look forward to everyone checking it out and the pending feedback.

Release and Schedule Update

We’re getting quite a few amount of people asking about the release date, and since that last update speaking on that, the release date estimate hasn’t changed. We’re still gunning for a summer 2016 release! For now, we can only say that the game will be feature complete (beta) by February of 2016, and release will occur sometime in July 2016. Of course, don’t take that too absolute as things are always slightly subject to change, but that is our current resolute release milestone for the rest of Cryamore’s development.

It’s been quite the adventure, and we still have much to do for the remainder of the year on to the next, but we really can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on with everyone (and we still have more development info that we’ve been keeping super-secret to be later revealed. Wonder what it could be…?)

Our "Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword" Campaign

Tackling the script has been such a great collective experience for everyone on the writing team thus far, and we’ve been fleshing out all the major plot points, dialogue, and events for the game, and it is going rather smoothly. Our goal is to be done with writing Cryamore completely some time around October later this year, and voiceover recording for the script will start at that time as well. 

We can’t really say much about this stuff other than that, unfortunately! We’d hate to ruin it by exposing plot points, but trust that we are cooking up a great adventure and not ruining the plot with plot holes.

Bosses

The first few bosses are being worked on this very moment! At least one of the bosses will be in the upcoming playable demo, so we’ll save that fight reveal for when you try it out for yourself.

Music Update

Aivi is currently mastering the music for the game, and a lot of what everyone has already heard isn’t even the final version. They sound absolutely amazing, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear the ones you have yet to hear in-game.

---

And on that note, we should end it here. We’re also going through all the Bliss Fashion contest entries and will have the results for that next month as well! Everyone who entered submitted such great ideas, that it’s proving a challenge to pick!

Lots of exciting things are coming up, and we're doing our best to bring this all on home. We want to continue to express our gratitude and appreciation for everyone's overall patience on making this game, as well as your continued support. That helps us quite a lot!

Until next time,

- NostalgiCO Crew

Cryamonday #14: Trying Not To Spoil Too Much!

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Hey Cryatists! It’s time for this month’s mandatory update! Let’s see if we can keep it relatively short and sweet and, as the title states, not spoil too much. We're a few minutes late, but we'll still count it as Monday. Our sleeping patterns are all messed up. Bear with us. 

Let’s talk a little about Ghilcrest again, shall we?

Last week, we posted the 99% finished state of the main town, Ghilcrest on our dev blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. (There are a few things to add here, like a fence around the cliff so no person ends up falling to their doom, and other objects of a similar nature.) At a certain point in the game, the town will look like what you see above, but at the start of the game, some of the buildings will be in a broken down state due to a cryamore-related accident that went wrong a few months before the game’s direct storyline begins:

Thankfully, no one was hurt in this accident.
Thankfully, no one was hurt in this accident.

In addition, other things in the town may need repair as a sidequest. You’ll have to find out what exactly when you play.

We’ve also been working on finishing up the interiors. Again, we don’t want to spoil too much, but we can show you a few sketches of one of the interior places in Ghilcrest, first the Inn:

It’s a smaller establishment, but it serves a purpose. Some of the townspeople whose place of work was destroyed in the accident must stay there, and you can find and speak with them in the various rooms. A couple of the rooms will also be vacant for other guests’ use, but Esmy can reserve one of those rooms as well, even though she has a bed herself (her bed isn’t the best bed so she can’t really get a great night’s rest in it). Therefore, the Inn will provide various sleeping buffs based on the kind of room you reserve. As to what those sleeping buffs are specifically will be discovered for yourself. 

There’s also one public bathroom in the Inn that all the guests must share... (We know, it's weak, but then again, it’s not claiming to be a 5-star hotel…)

And here is a layout of Esmy’s humble abode. There you can find the Item Box as soon as you walk in the door, where you can place all items that Esmy can’t hold herself. Item management plays a key role in Cryamore, so you’ll be visiting this spot often. In the next room, there will be an area that will appear later on where Esmy can look at the things she collected. Upstairs is where Esmy’s room is located. As much as it's implied in this sketch, you can tell how much of a slob Esmy is when it comes to tending to matters like cleaning up her room. But she has bigger issues on her mind, so we’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. At her desk in the corner is where you’ll be able to view the game’s stats, like the Creature Compendium and other completion stuff.

Okay, we think we spoiled enough today.

Speaking of spoiling too much...

We know from your feedback that doing updates on a game like Cryamore is well-appreciated, and the NostalgiCO team loves sharing tidbits about the game’s features. It’s owed to everyone as backers. However, trying to strike a fine balance with finding things to talk about without ruining the final experience for everyone is a rather difficult affair. We don’t want anyone to play the game when it finally releases and say “hey, I’ve seen all this already” and the experience is somewhat tainted because nothing is new. That’s why we try to keep any feature-specific content that we talk about in our updates here to a bare minimum. It’s not that we have a lot to show, we really do… It’s just that we want to do all we can to keep the “wow” factor from diminishing. Sharing a bunch of content works for other genres, like fighting, racers, etc., but for a story-driven experience, we have to try harder to not spoil anything for the audience.

With that said, we’re going to try something out. We’ve always been very transparent to the public, even those who have not backed the game by having every one of our updates here on Kickstarter be available for everyone to read and view. That may have diminished the backer incentive for those who supported the game here. So we’re going to keep all our heavily content-related stuff to backers only, and our general update stuff for the public. That’s not to say that we’re going to spoil things for our backers, and that's also not to say that we're putting up a huge wall towards the public; we’ll still be working hard to keep from doing that in our updates and we'll still share content-related stuff publicly from time to time. But for anyone on the outside who may be looking forward to the game, it’ll alleviate a lot of the worry we have going on regarding this topic.

Bliss' Fashion Contest

We’ve already received quite a few submissions from the Bliss Fashion Contest we started last month! Keep them coming! Remember, the deadline for the contest is June 20th!

Also...

We also want to highlight a current project that could use your support!

Combat Core is a 3D arena fighting game that borrows elements from classic games like Power Stone, Custom Robo, and other fighters. The fighting mechanics focus on fast-paced combat, strategic use of your environment, and weapons in the arena. 

The project is at 12 days remaining, and haven’t hit it’s first goal yet! Cryamore’s Co-Creator and Lead Artist, Rob, assisted with character designs on it, and as well, there are other features that the developer would like to hit as well. It has a playable demo available and is well along the way, so check it out and show some support if you can!

Conclusion

There’s also some exciting news that we wish to share but we just can’t… yet. You’ll hear about it eventually. We still have a clear goal to release in 2016, and we're going full-steam ahead! (We're sure Esmy is shaking her head at us for using that phrase...)

In any case, we will bid you all farewell until the next one!

-NostalgiCO Crew

Cryamonday #13: Fashion Design Contest!

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Happy Cryamonday, everyone! We have a special extra update for this month featuring a contest about fashion! Artists, fashion buffs, and character designers would probably like to pay keen attention to this one!

Everyone knows darling Bliss, Esmy's younger but more prim and proper sister. But you may or may not know that she's a huge fashion geek. Well, since there are 7 days in a week in Cryamore, she can't stand to wear the same outfit every day like our star attraction can. So we figured we'd like to get some extra input for her choice of attire!

Let's get the nit-grit out of the way first! Here are the simple rules:

THE SIMPLE RULES

  • Anyone age 17 and over can join! You don't have to be able to draw well at all! If you can draw a dress in a box, you have a chance at winning just as much as a professional fashion designer. We are judging the outfit itself, not how well you can draw it on Bliss (or not).
  • We know that Bliss is a flirtatious and attractive young woman, but she's also a very classy one. With that said, we will not accept adult-themed or questionable designs. She won't wear 'em.
  • You can enter as many outfit designs as you like! 

Now that that's out the way, here's a little inspiration for you, courtesy of our creative director, Rob:

Bliss loves pinstripes, headgear, & bows!
Bliss loves pinstripes, headgear, & bows!
These are Bliss' favorite colors! If you choose to color your outfit design, it's a good idea to use these as they will please her most.
These are Bliss' favorite colors! If you choose to color your outfit design, it's a good idea to use these as they will please her most.

...and below is the downloadable PSD (Photoshop Document) to use as you submit your outfit design! If you want to get really creative with your design and see how it would look on her, draw the outfit over Bliss. You can even print her out and make your own outfit-cutout-paper doll thingie if you like!

(You do not have to draw your outfit design over Bliss if you don't like to, but it will grant you brownie points from her if you do!)

Click above and download this PSD file and use to submit your entry!
Click above and download this PSD file and use to submit your entry!

 RESULTS

  • There will be only 5 Winners, one outfit for each weekday (the weekend outfits are reserved for the devs). The team will narrow results down to 10 different designs, and then afterwards, we will leave the decision up to fans to decide via voting.
  • Your design will be transferred to her sprite form and be presented in her dialogue portraits!
  • You will be credited in the game as a costume designer, as well as have your outfit design featured & credited in the upcoming Cryamore artbook!
  • There are no cash prizes involved. This is purely for inclusion as part of the more fan-based development.

Entries are due June 20th!

This is one of the two contests that we will be showcasing with the game. For anyone thinking of entering into this one, we wish you luck! Bliss can be a tough gal to please!

-NostalgiCO Crew