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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 #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

Cryamonday #12: Let's Talk About AI, Baby

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Good day, Cryatists! Rob here with an informational update on Cryamore's AI system!

The AI in the early playtests and demo didn't fully emulate what we were planning to do with the Mob AI in the game; it was purely hacked in. Combat wasn’t really engaging at all and there was no need to even fight enemies other than in the scripted scenes. Now that development time has elapsed, we're in the process of tossing in a refined AI system. Here's how it works:

COMFORT ZONES

Ahhhh, a young Stalagcrab in its natural habitat, comfortably enjoying a peaceful, sunny day.
Ahhhh, a young Stalagcrab in its natural habitat, comfortably enjoying a peaceful, sunny day.

The core principle of combat initiation is all based on basic AI and stealth mechanics: searching, alert, and reaction.

Each mob in Cryamore has a variable radius around them called a Comfort Zone. This acts as the mob's sensory area. This Comfort Zone can also be optionally designated as a Peripheral Cone, allowing some mobs to only be able to detect Esmy when she's in their line of sight.

The Comfort Zone is the base where all detection occurs. The Zone can be ignored if Esmy is using a stealth ability or the enemy is blind.

DETECTING ESMY

It "got real" for both parties involved, here.
It "got real" for both parties involved, here.

Once Esmy steps into a mob's CZ, an exclamation point icon with a light sound effect will pop up over the mob's head, initiating the mob's designated actions. Mob Actions can also be initiated instead of traditional detection via a Cutscene event (for example, lighting a torch may alert a particular mob towards Esmy or the light).

Once detected, an Alert phase will occur. While on Alert, a mob will continue to be aware of Esmy's presence until the Alert phase duration has elapsed. It will then return to its location and to whatever it was doing in its "Comfortable" state, permitted if Esmy is outside of the mob's CZ. A mob could also be aware of Esmy's presence "infinitely" (until she kills it or leaves an area).

With this direction, you could go through a good amount of the game without actually engaging most enemies, as all will follow these rules. Though some are positioned and set up in a way where you will be forced to fight. This is good for speedrunners, but completionists would want to kill every enemy they see, as farming Cryamore from them is vital to learning abilities and running daily errands.

MOB ACTIONS

You’d be smart to not piss off the Magma Hornets, they’ll call their friends. Dishonorable creatures.
You’d be smart to not piss off the Magma Hornets, they’ll call their friends. Dishonorable creatures.

Each mob, will have its own Action Arrangement, which is a list of things a mob will perform based on order, chance, and frequency. In the Action Arrangement, there are two condition checks: 

  • COMFORTABLE: The actions a mob performs when not alerted. 
  • ALERTED: The actions a mob performs when alerted. When a mob has not been "Alerted" and is attacked while in its "Comfortable" state, it can be prone to critical hits/preemptive attacks.

Here is a list of some of the varying Mob Actions that each enemy can be designated to do:

  • CHASE: Enemy will chase Esmy. Once it reaches Esmy or a variable distance away from Esmy, it will perform the next Action in the list. 
  • ATTACK: Enemy's attack and its attack parameters.
  • HEAL: Enemy healing spell and its healing parameters. Can heal other mobs.
  •  DEFEND: Enemy defensive animation and its defense parameters.
  •  STEAL: Enemy animation where it can steal HP, EP, GHIL, or CRYA.
  • SELF-DESTRUCT: Enemy can self-destruct causing an explosion to occur, either by pure attack, elemental attack, or status effect attack. 
  • SUMMON: Summoner mobs can call in other mobs to help them out when under attack.
So just like in real life, these hornets will attack in packs if threatened.
So just like in real life, these hornets will attack in packs if threatened.

(Needless to say, this is all going to be polished further.) There are quite a considerable number of other actions that enemies can perform, but we’ll keep that under wraps until you play the game for yourself come release time.

ELEMENTAL ACCLIMIZATION

Each mob has a specific Element assigned to them, and using an offensive Cryability of the opposing element causes a notable amount of damage. If you use the same element as the one a mob is attuned to, they can get healed or buffed. Other times, they can trigger transformations.

WHAT ABOUT SUMMONS?

Don't worry, Ez. Undina got yo' back.
Don't worry, Ez. Undina got yo' back.

Some of the Eilems, the spiritual protectors of Cryamore Energy, will support Esmy with their own attacks and buffs. With that said, they'll have their own AI, working very similarly to the mobs’. The other Eilems will do scripted summon attacks, but for the AI-controlled ones, they'll have a larger "search range" and search for enemies in the whole area and attack them. We’ll shed a bit more info on this as we get the Eilems into 100% working condition.

Some NPCs will have more involved AI than the town-based ones. For example: in certain scenarios, Braxton will tag along with Esmy, but can be hit by enemies as well. So you'll have to protect him. 

I was going to talk about the Bosses too, but, I think I’ll just end this general talk about AI here. Maybe in a week or so, we’ll give some more bits on this stuff as we will be moving along briskly. In any case, we may have another update or two before the month ends.

We’ll catch you all on the next one!

-NostalgiCO Crew

Cryatuesday #2: Going Back To A Moderate Update Schedule

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Yo' Cryatists! Rob here with a small update:

As I'm sure some may have noticed, we missed last week’s update because the team is getting in the process of jumping back into another heavy wave of work involving the game. So unfortunately, there’s less time to focus on weekly public updates again. With that said however, there are some new goals in place involving Cryamore that I think everyone would be thrilled to hear.

NEW ESTIMATED RELEASE DATE

Things have been moving along rather progressively, and new blocks have fallen and T-Spinned into place (we’ll shed more on that specifically in the coming month or so), and we have a firmer grasp on our estimated release date in comparison to our fledgling forecast at the beginning of this project: 

Our goal is for the game to be fully completed Summer 2016. 

The actual release date (month > month & day) will be zeroed in on in the upcoming months and as development edges on towards completion.

We already got a lot completed with Cryamore, and the game itself is shaping up to be rather large. As far as exactly how large and how lengthy the final game would be, that knowledge is still up for grabs until all the content is completely in and we run full gameplay tests. Everyone on the team (including myself) is very proud of where we’re currently at, and it feels good to see the dim lambency of the end of the tunnel. Still, quite a bit of a way to go!

A PLAYABLE DEMONSTRATION. (No, Really. An Actual Demo Representing 99% Of What The Final Game Will Be.)

We’ve been talking about a "playable demo" for quite a while now, and I’m sure some of you are at the point where you think this "demo" is a fantasy side bit that came up amongst team members during a game of D&D. We don’t blame you. (Judging from most of the screenshots so far, you might even think we're just making a game of only dungeons and dragons, even.) At one point, even we started to believe it was just a fabrication of our minds. But(!) we are on the way to constructing a real playable demo for the world to check out and play for themselves, so we can be judged harshly and critiqued with contempt. Though, we have been working very hard to minimize any impending analyses of doom, so we’re optimistic about that. But there’s always room for being critical about our work.

We are zeroing in on completing the Alpha stage (for those who are unaware, “Alpha” meaning that all the game’s features are in the game and locked in). Out of that Alpha playable will birth this new, (non-fantasy,) playable demo.

In all seriousness, we want everyone to see what 2+ years of dev work do to some parts of our prefrontal cortex, but most importantly, what it does for Cryamore. We'll love the feedback. So, expect this demo to finally come sometime around the end of this summer, and as well as an explanation of the things you'll be able to do in it soon.

NEW KICKSTARTER UPDATE SCHEDULE

We’re going to draw back to updating on the first Monday of each month. We found that we tend to waste more time scurrying around for meaty content to share every week instead of scurrying around making meaty development process on the game. We promise that we won’t go on a Kickstarter-centered hiatus again. So there will be another update this coming first Monday of May, but don’t expect another update until the following first Monday in June. Don’t hold us completely to that however, as there may be awesome things to announce between these newly appointed 1st Cryamondays.

So yeah, things are still in full force, as if there weren’t any indication otherwise! We will keep things moving on our end, and will keep everyone notified of the process.

Also, Rewards and Surveys:

We sent out surveys last week for the CREEPER’S PLEDGE, so we can get these backer-created mobs doing whatever backer-created mobs do… Whatever they do, we’re sure they’ll do fine. And for rewards, remember: rewards are not our current focus at this very moment. Rewards come back into focus when we’re near the game’s completion, so that we maintain 100% effort on the game itself.

With that said, we bid everyone adieu until the next episode! We'll share some in-depth bits on our AI system. 

Take care!

- NostalgiCO Crew

Cryamonday #11: Shifting Gears?

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Happy Cryamonday, everyone!

There's some new concept art again for this update but we'd like to start things off by talking about something that the team has been deciding on.

We're recently been mulling over whether we should shift our production priorities into churning out more rough assets and leaving the polish for later. We feel this would allow us to create more playable builds faster. Most of you who have been following the updates should have a clear idea now how Cryamore should look when everything is finally complete and we're sure more builds to test would be well appreciated by our many backers and having the direction shift to not focus too much on making everything pretty should at least stop us from worrying about whether or not what we've got so far looks good enough to show and be reflective of our final product.

If you've seen the GDC 2013 build, you may remember certain enemies like the Firebats and Stalagcrabs being lineart with white fills. We may resort to just having our other monsters and characters that way for now and leave the pixel art cleanup for later or as we go along.

The same treatment would be applied to environments too, where we just have the lineart with flat colors or even white fills, but all the layering and collisions are set, an example of this can be seen with the short Mechanical Fortress preview in one of our recent videos.

We'd like to have more than half the dungeons in-the game as soon as possible too. There's a few tweaks required in certain maps like Mechanical Fortress and Terrestrial Woods as we had to reorganize our progression flow/walkthrough but besides that, only Chrono Tower, Sunken Ship and a bit of the Southern Overworld require full layouting as the rest of the dungeon maps are already laid out and a number of them are cleaned up already.

With a shift like this, we'd have plenty of usable assets ready for the codebase so we can quickly test out abilities, balancing, AI and pretty much have most of the features the game needs set and we can just save cleanup at a later period when there's a good amount of focus on stomping out bugs.

We wanted to be open about this idea going around the digital boardroom regarding production. We may alter the plan a bit, like having periods of cleanup here and there but we feel overall, a shift like this would be beneficial in speeding things up a bit more as it's pretty clear now how the game should look in the end, now it's time to show how it'll completely play.

Now with all that being said. Let's get on with the other visuals for tonight's update!

The bug on the very top of this update is a Shadow Mite, or at least one of its variants designed by our concept artist, JC.

It's one of the (obviously) Shadow element enemies you'll encounter in the game. These will likely be found within the Phantom Marshes which are in the southern part of Noka Island. Some monsters in our design document monster list have vague descriptions which results in concepts like these were JC ended up making a more insect-looking mite, a mechanical type and one that's more swirling shadow than anything.

Next up is another NPC design by our other concept artist and JC's other half, Judy aka Juby/Jubz/Joodlez.

A couple or so updates ago, we revealed the Nauticus kids, now we introduce their mother, Akami. Judy mentioned before that the kids designs were all inspired by sushi and Akami follows the same principles, points for anyone that guesses what about her design is part of the sushi theme.

We'll be saving the reveal of the father next time, but up next we'll be revealing the visual effect for one of our abilities...

Shown above is Glister Shock, clearly a Lightning/Thunder element ability. It doesn't really stay static like that but instead moves forward slowly for a short distance and deals continuous lightning damage. The higher the level (and the longer you charge the shot), the farther distance it'll travel and you'll also shoot more than one. It'll probably be good for crowd control.

On an ending note, we'll be sending out surveys for the CREEPER'S PLEDGE with this update. Anyone that's part of that pledge reward tier, please fill out the survey so we can have an idea of what the monster you want in-game should be like. Kickstarter only allows sending of surveys once per pledge reward but if anything needs following-up, we'll just get through that by messaging you specifically.

We'll be ending tonight's update with that. We hope you enjoy the rest of your Cryamonday along with the coming week!

- NostalgiCO Crew