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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.

MINI UPDATE: Backer-only Discord Server Questions

Posted by tenpoundpixel
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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!

FURTHER DEVELOPMENT NEWS

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.

FAN SPOTLIGHT

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

Posted by tenpoundpixel
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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Exclusive Inner Look/Status Update: Part 1

Posted by tenpoundpixel
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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Exclusive Featurette: Working With A Publisher

Posted by tenpoundpixel
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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Backer Designs Revealed, Q&A, Official Cryamore Wiki, and more!

Posted by tenpoundpixel
27 likes

Greetings Cryatists!

As I said, here's a more full update for everyone with the Backer NPCs and monster designs, a round up of Q and A from the last update and Twitter, plus a community spotlight!

Let's get started~

BACKER NPC DESIGNS

As I previously mentioned, I've been making my rounds with all the backers who got to design NPCs and monsters, and gotten their feedback on the designs I've made...

With that, I present to you: Esmy with our current lineup of backer NPCs.

 

There's still two people missing from the roster as I've yet to gather their input on designs but so far we've got.

Charlotte, an adventurer from outside Noka Island who managed to get a Cryatist license and wields a prototype revolver-type condenser. She'll be hanging out in the Ghilcrest Tavern during her downtime.

Professor Lupin with his pet owl, Professor Socrates (credit to one of our concept artists, Juby @CutTimeComic for including the owl). They'll be located within the Council Building/Town Hall of Ghilcrest. He'll be working with one of Esmy's friends, Bagel Ameli to decipher the Piraxan Tablets that Esmy brings back, to further learn about the history of Noka Island.

Rei-Lin, a crimson hared woman whose origins are unknown. With her long elf-like ears, she's surely not native to Noka Island. Perhaps she comes from a faraway land? She's found herself in the town of Ghilcrest though and will be helping out the elementalists in the Cryatisium who are tasked with researching the strange crystalline minerals... or cryamore. You can talk to her whenever you want to upgrade your abilities or you want to trade your cryamore for ghil, Ghilcrest's own currency.

Parker Hazelworth, a man from a long family line of steamsmiths who carries on the family legacy despite the world seemingly shifting towards the use of Cryamore. His parents were among the early human settlers within Noka Island. Misfortune has hit his family through the years though but Parker still chooses to carry on with his academic studies and further research on steam tech in hopes of restoring the renown that his family once had. When he's not studying, you can find him helping out as a shopkeep in the Inventorium, taking over after the shift of the other shopkeep, Yoyo.

Omahdon, a strange armadillo in a penguin suit. It suddenly made its way to Ghilcrest and has become a mascot for the Ghilcrest Arcade. Also responds to the name "Dan McNeely" and is often waving about a wooden signboard with the word "MOO" painted on it...

Junkboy, a tiny luchadore that hangs around in the Ghilcrest Arcade. Nobody dares to take off his mask, nobody knows his real name, all everyone knows is... he must lucha.

Rosalind Spike, claiming to be a mageknight from a faraway land called Alabanth. A bit wary about the powers that the cryatists of Ghilcrest wield due to her homeland shunning technology, yet before her are people that wield both a combination of technology and what appears to be magic. She'll often be found in the Ghilcrest Tavern with other adventurers, exchanging stories and gathering information.

Sarah, a mechanic that helps fix the remaining steam-powered contraptions around Ghilcrest but is learning a thing or two about Crya-tech maintenance. She'll be found around town, wherever there's something broken.

Setto Seishi, a man bearing a lot of scars who seems to enjoy a good fight and relying on his fists to get the job done. They say each scar has a tale so he must have some really good stories for each one he has. Whenever he's not busy, he'll be enjoying some drinks at the tavern.

Sultan a.k.a. The Sultan, the town's loud, lively and very animated Cafe chef. Passionate about his food and further honing his craft. You can often find him singing in the kitchen. He may be prone to using hyperbole but he definitely backs it up when it comes to the food he makes and if Esmy brings him the right ingredients, he can whip up a marvelous dish that'll surely whet the appetite of the townsfolk.

Mr. Clark, the town's shady Information Broker, found in the Tavern during his business hours. While it's believed he came in from outside Noka Island, he seems to have eyes and ears everywhere and will give you information for a price. Whether it's helpful or not is part of the surprise. You wouldn't want to get on his bad side though, he's very proficient with his throwing knives.

We've got two characters missing still, and some of the NPCs shown may receive tweaks to their design or info depending on their backers but there you have our current roster of backer NPCs to add to the bustling town of Ghilcrest!

 


BACKER MONSTER DESIGNS

Now you'll all have to excuse the roughs for these monster designs as we're saving our art polish phase for the tail end of development so as not to waste any more time or resources on cleaning and pixeling animations only to scrap them.

That being said though, I present to you our crop of Backer Monster Designs...

Going from left to right after Esmy, we have...

Hubbler, a space element infused automaton that was used as a remote eye. Meeting its gaze stuns you temporarily. Avoid gazing into the iris and being left dumbfounded by the wonders of the voidspace stored inside its bubble.

Kurononeko, a small upright walking kitten that managed to get a vest with a time controlling mechanism. You're going to want to be careful on this little furball as it can stop time around itself and wail at you, and also escape when it feels too threatened.

Black Claw, an eerie humanoid shadow element monster. It has quite a reach with its arms that can turn into very damaging claws. While it moves slowly, it can retreat into the shadows and become difficult to hit.

Nictate, insectoid monster with a space element alignment. It lays in wait and turns invisible before attacking with its blade-like protrusions.

And here's a little look at their roughs in motion...

Hubbler may not look like it does much but it's deadly when it spots you and you're surrounded by dangerous enemies (I've died multiple times in our internal tests because of it). 

Kurononeko seems like a playful cat as long as you don't provoke it. You wouldn't want Esmy getting cat-scratch fever.

I tried to make Black Claw look as eerie as I could based on what the backer described and within the limits of our design (I personally wish I could go all out). This attack should show its long reach with a pretty big hitbox.

Nictate is always just sleeping until you come close, then it wakes up turns invisible before rushing at you with its blades out.

I'll showcase an in-game preview of how some of these guys currently perform later on in a backer-only update.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Will there be a DRM-free option for Cryamore?

Absolutely. We've already been contacted by Humble Games awhile back and they wanted to be one of the online distributors for Cryamore, offering a DRM-free version. We're also going to be submitting Cryamore into GOG for people who prefer their store.

As one of the desktop oriented gamers in the team, I'm well aware of the importance of a DRM-free option so I've long since advocated for this so worry not. If you prefer not to use Steam or want to be able to play Cryamore on the plane, train, a mountain, or anywhere you won't be online? There's going to be an option for you.

How does the project stand financially?

NostalgiCO outright made it a rule not to use what remains of the Kickstarter funds after Kickstarter's cut and several taxes. There's a good chunk of money left so far and it's only ever used purchasing things that directly affect the development of the game such as Unity licenses, Unity asset store tools, payment for our music and sound composers, and payment for part-time assistance of pixel artists/animators and level designers/consultants.

For the most part, we've been working on the game out of pocket as a labor of love and to prove to ourselves if not the world that we can make a game and (hopefully) an enjoyable one.

Majority of the money is put aside for production of physical backer rewards such as printing artbooks, audio CDs and their inlays, the instruction manual and box/case for the Physical Edition, mass production of the figures and shipping fees.

A few backers have asked for refunds due to the long bouts of silence before and I regret to say that we can't offer any just yet, for one thing, issuing a refund would still leave a backer with access to backer-only posts and beta tests, but most of all, we want to save the money for the game's development and production of backer rewards. Upon the game's completion, anyone that still wishes to get a refund can message us and we'll gladly offer you your money back.

Do you have a new projected release date?

Atlus has pushed for us to aim for 2017's first quarter or the second quarter at the latest. We could have rushed the release for this year and just focused on art polish and bug squashing but would have had to cut content and we'd rather ensure we have as much of everything that we wanted in the game. So with this new projected release date, it allows us to further create the content we need and ensure that all features are working as intended.

There's also the marketing standpoint of releasing the game with proper timing, Atlus (and NostalgiCO) want to avoid launching Cryamore when a highly anticipated game is coming out, such as Final Fantasy XV and Atlus' very own Persona 5 (I know I'm waiting for that).

As Shigeru Miyamoto said, "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."

As the CM, I'll keep you all updated on how things go as best I can from now on so thank you for all your patience and understanding.

Will we get a playable build at all?

I've asked our project lead, Rob (@RobaatoX) about this and he'll be working on setting up a backer-only build that'll allow everyone to test some of the more bug-free features of the game, the new weapons with their new attacks, abilities with varying levels, and of course monsters and maybe some puzzle objects to test those abilities on.

The initial build we wanted to give out that featured some of Rime Rapids was chosen to be put aside as we had to rework a number of areas in the dungeon along with the overworld leading to it since it was found to be too convoluted. We sincerely apologize for not being able to give that build out but we still aim to give everyone a taste of things and come beta testing, we'll surely need all the manpower to help find bugs to squash.

That's it for this round of questions and answers. I'll be sure to answer more in future updates!

ANNOUNCEMENT: OFFICIAL CRYAMORE WIKI

I've also been in contact with Ben R. from Curse who reached out to us to have Curse host the official Cryamore wiki. They've already made one awhile back but this time we've acknowledged that the go-to wiki for Cryamore will be within the Curse/Gamepedia family.

I look forward to the community filling it up with information once the game is done or even during our beta testing period. Monsters, collectibles, NPC locations at certain times, dialog, boss strategies, recommended ability loadouts, there's a lot of info to note down.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT

I asked our composer Aivi (@waltzforluma) if she had any other music she wanted to feature for the update but she said wanted to keep the rest of the soundtrack a surprise, which I'm sure there'll be plenty of since with all the overworld themes, dungeon themes, boss themes and character themes plus the day and night versions of some of these tracks? There's about 45 tracks since her and our sound designer Surasshu (@surasshu) checked.

Still, there's often someone musically inclined enough to make a cover of one of Aivi's compositions for Cryamore and I'd like to feature David Russell's cover of Divergence, the evening theme for Rime Rapids.

This was made for the Multiplayer III: WAVE videogame charity album

I'd also like to get back to featuring fanart and for this update, is artwork by Layeyes featuring our trio of Bliss, Braxton and Esmy.

I'll be including community spotlight features with each public update and featuring fanart, music and other stuff made, new and old... and SFW.

Stay tuned for the next backer-only update where I answer the Twitter survey response from one of our voice actresses, Kimlinh Tran, (who voices our dear Bliss Barson along with many other videogame and cartoon characters).

Next topic (which is backer-only) will be: What is it like working alongside a publisher? Pros/cons? I'll be going into a bit more detail regarding why you haven't seen any official word from Atlus yet too.

- CM Alan