Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
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.

Recent updates

Photos

D868b3399a6167d8f7f8029d41ef9bcc original.gif?ixlib=rb 1.1
98e7c74829c598e1408cf20102b5c115 original.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Baf2a4cb17d1ae97c440ada0fae2a8e4 original.png?ixlib=rb 1.1
0f12e92b3af97eb339b971ccbe9f13a4 original.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
F4bfaa2f250c5083352cc26dde2341e5 original.gif?ixlib=rb 1.1
27725229443da2a5e17c4a8720d19f59 original.gif?ixlib=rb 1.1
Ff159fe86fc8fbc6ebf072850edf69b6 original.gif?ixlib=rb 1.1
9693ab79f317b7089736a1dfbf3f6b69 original.gif?ixlib=rb 1.1
781a9ad21702dfeb0feae6974f7428a1 original.gif?ixlib=rb 1.1
B49293ab576dc04880c5dd0df7bce227 original.gif?ixlib=rb 1.1
2848d551e7e6f711ac818020bee101b4 original.gif?ixlib=rb 1.1
E42c48ea605d622c28a2daefc18fdd61 original.gif?ixlib=rb 1.1

Let's Clear the Air About Cryamore.

Posted by NostalgiCO (Creator)
166 likes

Greetings, everyone! 

Rob here with a belated new year update; going to discuss something very frank with everyone about Cryamore's development.

TL;DR: There's nothing bad going on and development is picking up again. For the detailed long read, please continue:

There's a lot about this project that personally I, and my partner Alan, feel we are ashamed of. We started an ambitious project together that is considered "crazy" for the typical first commercial indie game project. A rather large world, tons of characters, tons of enemies, a fully-written narrative, a detailed art and animation style, a robust ability system, 50+ track soundtrack; the list goes on. We've admitted that we made a mistake on our projection of when we'd be done with it in 2014.

However, we still feel guilty of that despite making a wealth of progress throughout development. We've been actively reading the comments here on the page, and though we're fatigued by the content of some of them, the positive ones spur us on to keep going. But that's not why I'm writing this update. I wanted to be as transparent as I could and give everyone a detailed explanation as to why there's been a developmental lull in contrast to earlier years.

A Personal Recap

Around 2015, I started having huge issues in my personal life. Without getting too personal, up until the end of 2016 I lost a support system from lifelong friends and family. I was thrown into a huge case dealing with my now ex-wife (I made the decision to divorce her in 2017, close to 12 years of a relationship), and I haven't been quite the same since in that regard. I lost a lot of myself there. Simultaneously, I also dealt with a situation that forced me to dissociate myself with friends and family.

While I did have the support of my core teammates during this time (Alan, Mike, Aivi, Surasshu, JC, and Judy; and I can't thank them enough for building me up and sticking with me. I personally consider them my new extended family at this point), in mid-2018, Alan unexpectedly lost his father in death. That threw him for a loop and he had to travel out of the country to deal with that tragedy. I had to take up the mantle on keeping everyone updated in that time again, but during that time, I've been working to relocate and start my life fresh across the country by moving to the west coast. 

So, needless to say further, we've been through a lot in the past 3-4 years. It's weird to associate the development of Cryamore with so much that went on in our lives personally, but that's simply the nature of working on a project for a good chunk of your life. With that said, these negative experiences, albeit slowing us down, did not make us want to give up by any means. It did the opposite. We've already invested so much time, money, sweat, and tears at this point, it would be foolish to. So let's talk about where the game is currently at, because that's the most important thing.

Cryamore's State: The Honest Truth

It's a big world out there.
It's a big world out there.

As aforementioned, Cryamore is a big game by indie standards. Let me give a rough recap of everything we've made so far:

  • Programmed the full game and most of its tools and systems essentially from scratch
  • Close to 4,000 sprite animation frames of characters and enemies (Esmy alone has close to 1,200 frames of animation)
  • A wealth of in-game art and dialogue portraits
  • Designed and implemented 8 dungeons, as well as an overarching Overworld environment
  • Wrote the main story, side quests, and chapter-specific dialogue from start to finish
  • Composed, arranged, and recorded close to 50 pieces of individual music

So yeah, we've done quite a bit here over the course of our development time. If you were to ask me for a rough, approximate number, the game is at about 50-60% complete, because art asset production and polish takes the most time. But with this knowledge brings another whole ordeal that we recently dealt with, and we made a rather significant developmental shift. Let's talk about that.

Cryamore ver. 2.0?

An Overworld screenshot, circa early 2017.
An Overworld screenshot, circa early 2017.

Starting a game in early 2013 and continuing development to today has presented quite a few interesting, albeit not unique, problems: 

First off, our engine Unity 4 was becoming too outdated to work with. The editor would constantly crash because of dealing with large texture files that it couldn't smoothly handle and such. Secondly, we couldn't even port to current generation consoles with it, requiring us to port the existing game entirely to Unity 2018 in order to be up-to-date with the rest of the world. We want the game to be on the Nintendo Switch, for example, and that was a base requirement.

As we made this decision, we started thinking about the entirety of our game's development process. All the trial and error, hacked-together scripts that we settled with because everything "just worked", tons of content and features that we cut that were still lingering in our project and builds, etc. At that time, the game was fully playable from start to finish in the most roughest state imaginable-- every dungeon was in but looked like a horrible batch of boxes and bosses were implemented but were supremely buggy.

When we noticed this, it became evident that we were, essentially, working on a prototype of the full game all this time while producing final assets. Upon the porting process, we started looking at the game rationally. By that time, we intentionally settled on just myself and Alan to build the rest of the game because of low funding at the time, but also because we grew a lot in our skills. I’m a programmer now, compared to when we first started off, for instance. There’s just so much we’ve learned throughout the course of this game’s development. We didn't want to touch the remainder of our bank with our Atlus partnership, and we already spent the development portion of Kickstarter funds towards, well, development. So we took the route of pulling in side work to keep us fed while hacking away at the game after our "work shifts". However, making this change made us realize how much our direction of the game was problematic, particularly in our environment process...

A More... Lush... Environment 

Our 2D method was rough on us the entire length of development. In so many words, we were making a rather big top-down 2D world with insanely large texture files sometimes that faked 3D in a 3D engine. Preposterous, to say the least, but a valiant effort nonetheless. In a smaller game, this wouldn’t be an issue, but for what we want Cryamore to be in the end (something akin to the scope of a 90s Playstation action RPG), we were making things unnecessarily more difficult for us. 

That pond on the right was just an expensive large animated 2D texture for no reason. All in-game water had to be like this.
That pond on the right was just an expensive large animated 2D texture for no reason. All in-game water had to be like this.

For example, water depth in dungeons. A design element for action RPGs that’s been a staple since The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past that we initially wanted in our game had to be cut simply because our unorthodox 2D environment/background direction didn’t play nice with it. Previously, we tried so many avenues of reinventing that wheel that just resulted in lost time and effort, when we could’ve been done with it in an hour by incorporating 3D into the toolset. 

So last year, while porting, that’s uh... what we started doing…
So last year, while porting, that’s uh... what we started doing…


Cryamore Has Gone 2.5D 

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

We are beyond excited about this shift! 

Although this appears like a step back, it’s in fact the opposite. A lot of the game’s environments on "version 1.0" weren’t fully finished, and what was finished wasn’t exactly our favorite work, critically. Environments in full 2D has plagued us the entire project, so it made no sense to continue that trend with our new development outlook when we began porting the existing game on over. Instead, it brought us so much more room to play with! 

  •  Level design & creation is the greatest factor. Building scenes in 3D space is way more intuitive and efficient than the previous workflow using large 2D textures, painstakingly applying boundary edges on each element, and cutting up pieces of areas just to make Esmy and character objects appear as if they’re behind them. This is all intrinsically automatic with 3D. Also, 3D assets are infinitely more usable than 2D ones simply for being able to rotate and scale while dressing the levels. And the best aspect is that we still retain our artistic, hand-painted aesthetic, with readable depth. Lighting is a key part of the game now instead of faked effects that were just moderately okay previously. 
  •  Gameplay. A chunk of our existing abilities were pretty stale and it was rather difficult to make it all convincing using faked physics. Esmy will be able to actually JUMP now (with the Anemojump ability); proper elevation is an integral part of the levels and now becomes a key gameplay element. You should look at our old code for our old 2D elevation floor system; it was the most ridiculous thing imaginable just to get enemies on different “floors”. Physics and obstacles make a wealth of sense now. And a lot of designs we've abandoned because of the previous limitations, we can actually integrate now.
  •  Asynchronous level loading. We were tired of the small, contained rooms. Previously, when traversing the overworld, the constant black-screened scene loading that took you out of the game is just outdated. Because everything's in 3D, the player can stay out in the world/locales longer without hitting a black screen every 45 seconds. Even though it’s not that much larger, along with the new depth, it makes the overworld (and dungeons) appear much larger than they actually are, which is a satisfying feeling when playing through.

In short, this change has made the largest part of our development more efficient and faster to continue to work on. Who’da thunk it? (Don’t answer this question, it’s rhetorical.)

I would like to end this update on a good note. We’re alive. We’re well. I'm in a new location, and feeling good, and secured a great side gig the beginning of this year that will help Cryamore pick up steam again considerably, so we can hire more assistance and push the remainder of this game on through the finish line. So, there’s a lot to look forward to! I purposefully only showed the initial prototype work that we’ve done last year because once you see the new reveal in its entirety, we’re sure you’ll appreciate the result.

Our primary goal right now is giving everyone that playable demo you’ve all been asking for. And we’re making it the best playable demo you could ever want to play to our ability. We will keep everyone apprised on the details of our transition and development further from this point forward up until that time.

We want to thank everyone for continuing to be patient with us. We know it’s been a long wait and a lot of mistakes have been made, but we have not backed off on our initial promise. All we ask is that you remain to be patient with us!

-Rob

PROGRESS UPDATE: Pixel Polish - Weapons PART 1

Posted by tenpoundpixel (Collaborator)
37 likes

It's time for a quick update regarding weapon polish, which is both about converting the rough animations into pixels and also making the weapons nice and shiny.

So far we've got the sword, axe, and fist attacks complete with their pixel coat. Let's take a look at each one and I'll explain how each weapon should function.

SWORD: BUTCHERKNIFE

PRIMARY ATTACK

Just the standard sword swing that Esmy starts out with, it's quick and covers a decent arc making it a standard weapon. Balanced in both speed, damage and knockback. Fun fact, the timing of this attack was inspired by the dagger attack from Alundra.

SECONDARY ATTACK: SWORD LUNGE

The sword's secondary attack is a short lunge with an upward swing. It's about as quick as the sword swing as well with added mobility but the hitbox is narrower and the added mobility can end up putting you in hot water if used at a bad time. You could bridge the gap between you and an enemy or end up jumping straight into a projectile or attack with higher priority than yours.

AXE: PIZZAXE

PRIMARY ATTACK

Named the Pizzaxe due to its design being inspired by a pizza cutter but with a gear as the axe-head, this is the power weapon if you want something that can send an enemy flying back while also making them feel the pain. The axe has a more noticeable delay before it's wide swing (wider than the sword with a 180° arc). The size of its hitbox should make it great for clearing crowds of enemies if ever you find yourself in need of some physical based crowd control.

SECONDARY ATTACK: ROLLING CUTTER

While the primary attack is a wide swing, the secondary attack is a narrow downward smash which we're currently setting to break through enemy blocking and follow up with a continuous hit. Once you hit the attack button, the axe comes down and holding the attack button causes the axe head to spin rapidly dealing continuous damage to any enemy caught within while slowly pushing them back. If you choose not to hold the button then Esmy withdraws the axe, cancelling the spin animation.

FISTS: KNUCKLE DUSTERS

PRIMARY ATTACK

The fists are one of the shortest ranged weapons you can use but they make up for it in combo potential and a slight bit of mobility. Each punch brings you forward a little and there's barely much recovery through each attack, what really makes the Knuckle Dusters different from the other weapons though is its secondary attack function.

SECONDARY ATTACK: PARRY

The parry function of the fists are what make the weapon one of the more skill-based choices as timing the secondary attack button press can allow you to parry attacks coming your way. Rob chose to give the fists this function as tribute to fighting games like Street Fighter III or Devil May Cry's 'Royal Guard' style, allowing the player (if they get the hang of it) to become nigh untouchable.

I'm currently polishing up the spear weapon's secondary attack right now but here's a look into what's polished of the spear animations.

SPEAR: JAVELINK

PRIMARY ATTACK

Thanks to Michafrar for contributing his skills to the pixeling of this animation a while back. 

The spear is pretty clear cut as a weapon. It's long, it's narrow and pokey and from that animation you can see it's pretty fast as well. Granted we'll be tweaking the speed through code as the previous tests we had with the spear before made it quite overpowered since you could chain 3-4 attacks in one second by mashing the attack button. There's a decent bit of knockback to this weapon but the hitbox is really narrow so be warned.

SECONDARY ATTACK: STINGER

Almost similar to the sword's secondary attack but with way more travel speed and being able to pierce through anything in your way (unless it turns out to be too overpowered in further tests). There is a slight bit of recovery after your dash so you can't chain this that seamlessly but it's a great way to get around while being on the offense.

Name and attack inspired by Dante's 'Stinger' attack from Devil May Cry.

It's been a struggle trying to figure out how to make each weapon stand out from one another while not overshadowing the abilities Esmy has. As much as possible, your condenser should be your bread and butter and the weapons are your back-up while your EP recharges but hey, in the end it's up to you how you'd want to play and there really won't be anything wrong with going a "weapons-only" playthrough for the most part (you'll still need to use abilities for puzzles).

If you're wondering how you'd go about switching weapons, we've decided during our streamlining and fun-factor honing awhile back that Esmy's going to have that traditional gaming "magic backpack" that can hold all the weapons. You're going to start off with the sword first but as you go through the game, you'll be able to unlock more weapons through the town blacksmith and once unlocked will be with you forever and can just be switched around within the quick menu.

I look forward to finishing up the spear animations so I can consider the first four weapons complete with their pixel polish, after that it'll be straight into the build which I still need to add some paints to on a few environments and optimizing the first boss fight so it'll be sure that it's the best foot forward at first go of the game.

That'll be it for this quick update, I'll be putting another one up soon with the next set of progress (likely environment polish and the remaining spear animations) along with another round of Fan Spotlights and Q&A.

- CM Alan @tenpoundpixel

PROGRESS UPDATE ROUNDUP

Posted by tenpoundpixel (Collaborator)
28 likes

I hope everyone's 2018 is going well so far. I do apologize for the delay in an update, I meant to have one out by January but got hit by quite a bit of an infection that riddled me a coughing mess with quite some chest pains, along with juggling some other things in life, family member being confined to a hospital among other things. Rob himself has been dealing with stuff but things have gotten better as of late at least.

Still, Rob and I have been busy working on Cryamore despite all that's happened so here's a roundup of all the progress the two of us have made.

ENVIRONMENT PROGRESS

We're wrapping up the cleanup of the Northern Caverns dungeon since this will serve as the first hour or so of the game and as we were told, the first few minutes/hours of the game is where you need to put your best foot forward. I've been painstakingly painting each area, creating new environment assets for the dungeon that can be reused elsewhere as per our production pipeline since the team was reduced to Rob and I.

Here's a look at some of the areas for the new Northern Caverns.

It may be called a cavern but that doesn't mean it's just a cave, this may have been a temple of some sort back in the day.

This area will you have you running away from something. Could it be a large boulder? Maybe a flood of water?

 A little greenery to break up the dark interiors.!

 A long expanse of actual caverns within (approx. 8 screens long).

You'll see in the area above that there are some huts and little cubby holes, this is something I added that works hand in hand with a newly polished mob that I've been working on.

These three are the attack force for tribes of Mifufu found all around Noka Island. One issue Rob and I found with our enemies is that a lot of them seem to only fit certain areas (automatons mostly being around Mekanika, shadow based enemies only around the marsh areas, etc.), I thought if we had monsters with a bit more "intelligence" we could get more mileage out of them, having them set up in not just one area but spread out through multiple places of the island and be a recurring mob that isn't questionable to see everywhere.

As you can see, the three fill the traditional trifecta found in RPGs, attack, defense and support. Alone, each of these should be easy enough to dispose of but if you find yourself faced with two or more, it could prove challenging. The dagger Mifufu is your no-brainer attacker, moves fast, attacks fast. The spear and shield is the tank, its shield can take a few hits before breaking but it can attack from range as well, and to top it off, the support can provide healing to its fellow Mifufu or even cast offensive spells that can increase in variety and power as you encounter these critters the further in the game you get.

With regards to environments, another little addition I’ve made provisions for is ledge reaction and slope sliding.

Whenever Esmy is next to a ledge, she’ll show it by flailing around as she teeters on the edge, no worries though, she won’t fall unless you keep holding the appropriate direction. The animation is also used whenever Esmy slides down a slope that requires Boulder Dash to get through. This helps add a little more character to Esmy along with giving the players another visual cue if they’re next to a ledge that they can jump off of.

GAMEPLAY CHANGES

CRYAM

Rob and I decided to streamline the way cryam works a bit further by getting rid of the eight types of cryam (one for each element) and just making it one type of drop as it helps lessen the numbers to process and keep track of, and also simplifies things with the cryam allocation for stat building.

I also suggested removing the denominations of cryam (piece, shard, chunk) and just keeping the drops as uniform crystals with values of maybe 5 or 10 each, I always felt that compared to one piece being dropped that's worth 100 upon defeating a monster, it's a bit more satisfying to see an explosion of crystals that total to 100. Don't worry though, we're well aware that an explosion of drops can cause worry that maybe the drops might disappear if you don't collect them fast enough or that collecting them will become a chore as you have to run around to get every single one that flew out, we've long set it so that cryam drops will stay in place for a moment (enough for any steal type enemies to nab a few) before they shoot towards you fast.

BOSS ATTACKS

During our build tests with backers and our publisher, we’ve gathered that Gazer Prime is either too easy or too difficult depending on its attack set. Backers have fought it with a weak ground pound and a bodyslam that causes smaller Gazers to drop from the ceiling, and that’s about it. It was a pretty weak moveset which was due to its deadliest attack, the eye beam not being included as it was in the midst of toning down since it was deemed too difficult to avoid.

(Sadly Rob couldn't find the video he recorded of the eye beam, though upon writing this I realized I could download the build we sent our publisher that had the eye beam...)

By changing the boss arena a bit and adding this new attack

I feel we could make the boss a bit more challenging but fair and a more intense fight while keeping the certain puzzle element we want to put in play.

UNDER THE HOOD

DOCUMENTATION: ENEMIES

With the removal of the different cryam element drops, I figured I’d take one more pass at refining the mob list and making sure each monster has their skills laid out along with effects plus where they can appear and whether it’s all day or only at night.

Previously a lot of our monsters were strictly kept within certain dungeons according to their element. While these monsters still have elemental alignments, their dropping cryam with no specific element now at least allows us to reuse mobs in other areas so that an Earth element Trunket can also appear in the Overworld and not just Terrestrial Woods.

DOCUMENTATION: RECIPES & UNLOCKABLES

With optimization of certain gameplay systems, Rob and I had to rework the list of unlockables upgrades as some rewards weren’t applicable anymore. Each townsperson now has a reward to give you which also allows a bit of time to interact with everyone and get to know them more.

The upgrades aren’t necessary to completing the game and we’ve been making it so that you can complete it without any upgrades if you’re skilled enough but getting these does make for an easier time as you get to hold more items, more cryam for stat boosts, ability unlocks or buying things, condenser upgrades so you get to use your abilities more, or even get discounts from shops.

There will be 31 unlockable upgrades all in all.

ENGINE: SHADOW HANDLING

Rob optimized things within the engine ranging from small details to large important chunks. The ground shadow generation per character used to just be uniform and based on Esmy’s shadow size which was odd when you have a large enemy that’s three times Esmy’s size but casts a shadow the same size as her. It’s a tiny detail but it’s important for immersion.

Now with just a single click, Rob can set the shadow to be according to the size the character would be.

Along with that, the shadow now blends with environment shadows too, it used to be the case that Esmy’s and other shadows will still appear over other shadows but that’s not the case anymore.

ANIMATION HANDLING

Rob has also finished converting all pre-existing animations into FSMs and thus cleaning up a lot of old junk. This makes it easier for anyone to rig up a character and its animations to certain functions.

When IDLE ANIMATION is playing, if state changes from IDLE to IN MOTION, switch to MOVE ANIMATION. If IN MOTION state changes to IDLE, return to IDLE ANIMATION.

I'm not even going to explain all these nodes.

Much less these... but you get the idea I hope.

It’s a tool that can be used in anything else down the line and helps non-coders (like me because I can’t find the time to study up on C# and I’m only familiar with a bit of Java and Python) get somewhere with Unity.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Here’s a roundup of the questions and answers from the previous update along with other recent ones from various sources like our Twitter, Discord, and Facebook.

Hiroshi Mishima asked: 

Do I have some guarantee that people who wanna play on Easy or Normal aren't gonna miss out on anything? Is Hard (assuming that's how these will work) gonna just be for people who want a challenge or are you hiding things strictly for Hard players?

Our difficulties won't lock you out of content and only serve to provide varying levels of challenge to the player. I myself find I can only go with Easy or Normal mode these days if ever I even get to play a game since I don't have time to dedicate to master a game; Rob on the other hand prefers the best challenge possible so we made sure we have all game content available for both our types.

Besides, I’ve played some games as a kid where you get halfway through at easy or normal mode and then suddenly your game gets cut short because you were supposed to be playing at a harder difficulty to see the rest of the game. That’s just annoying to anyone that spent time getting to that point.

I've probably missed it amongst the various updates but what, exactly, is the actual game screen going to look like? By that, I mean we've seen the backgrounds and the sprites, but the sprites are often shown in big close ups without the game itself being visible. Are these awesome looking animations going to be hard to make out in the actual game?

Regarding game screens, one of the images I posted above where Esmy is examing the mural in the wall of Molten Mountains is how the viewpoint of the game is by default. We can zoom in/out the camera but that's the default zoom it's at (at least for now).

So far from tests Rob and I have tried along with the backers in the tester group, and our publishers testing team, we haven't gotten any complaints about the viewpoint and whether animations, enemy positions and such are hard to see, but if ever we do, we've made provisions for easy adjustment.

Gabriel asked: 

WHERE ARE THE LOOT BOXES? I hear that all good games these days must have gambling in them or they ain't worth crap. C'mon guys, get with the times, it's 2017. You can't have a video game without micro-transactions anymore! /s

Rob and I decided we wouldn't be able to pull off loot boxes as we aren't cool enough to roll with the trend. Sorry about that but we can't bless the game with the wonder that is real money microtransaction RNG.

Now an in-game currency gashapon? That’s always been something I want to put in the game just because I personally like throwing spare gil/zeny/gald/credits at a virtual box that’ll spew out a random little figure of no actual purpose but eye candy.

Just gives me more reason to pixel in cute little objects later on for players to collect.

shadowreaper5 asked: 

I'm not sure if this has been asked before but what is the time compression ratio between the game and the computer it's played on ....if you have a day-night cycle

Good question shadow! We had to simplify the day-night cycle to just phases of dawn, day, dusk, night. So far we've set each phase to be 15 real world minutes each.

Subject to change though depending on how long or short it feels

Zzzzzx asked: 

will there be any pushing blocks puzzles with possible snark included?

We do have the push/pull mechanic in still so we may work that in as extra puzzles if needed. Personally though, I'd rather Esmy just break stuff than mess with pushing and pulling, haha.

We always want puzzles to be solved with cryamore abilities and there’s an ability to blow stuff around (Propel) so that’s often made the manual push/pull mechanic seem a bit redundant to me but we'll see if we can still put those animations and code to use. Otherwise, part of game dev is also knowing when you have to scrap a bit of code and assets already made.

@TheDragonsEye asked: 

hey, i am a kickstarter, just wondering where the project was :)

We're still in the process of giving the environments that handpainted finish and pixeling in the animations. Gameplay is also being fine tuned. All in all, we're in the tail end (a lengthy tail end given our current number of workers) of production before the huge wave of playtesting.

@Gemlit asked: 

Does Esmy have a Halloween costume or will it be DLC? PS: I do not like post-DLC in any of my games.

No DLC for us either. As much as we'd like to have costumes though, that would require pixeling it into every single one of her animations which is no small feat.

@RillardSwe asked: 

What will happen to the PS3/WiiU releases of this game? Will you make it for the PS4 instead or is that gonna cost too much?

PS3 has been changed to PS4.

We only have devkits for the PS4, Xbox One, and Wii-U so those are our targets for consoles.

@Nova1DukeArt asked: 

So when is this getting done?

With a team of two people working on the project, we're doing all we can to get it done, and done right. We'll give a clear date when we’re near gold.

IIYoYoII asked: 

Could you do another Kickstarter or something else to get the funds for the [Switch] devkit? And have any new games coming up or did come up inspired you come up with new ideas for the game?

We'd rather not do another fundraiser for it, YoYo, as we feel it may look bad on us since we’ve already overshot our expected completion time due to the number of unforeseen mishaps along the way. Still if our publisher is interested, they'll help us figure something out.

ART SPOTLIGHT

Here’s a timelapse of the ledge detection wobble animation of Esmy’s that was recorded from when I tried to do a livestream of applying the pixel coat on Cryamore animations.

If it wasn't obvious, this was sped up by quite a lot as the process of pixeling this animation took a few hours. Thankfully this animation only requires one direction.

Along with that, here’s a selection of Rob’s Cryamore break sketches

Sorbet, Bliss, and Deseret strutting some fashion of a more modern era than what their world is used to.

And the trio once more in 60s/Happy Days inspired outfits

Esmy with a load of cryam.

The dynamic duo of Braxton and Esmy!

FAN SPOTLIGHT

Here’s a fanart that @TukeArt quickly whipped up after watching me pixel Esmy’s wobble animation and joke around about how she could be on a snowboard and make like Cloud in the snowboarding minigame of Final Fantasy VII.

UPDATE SCHEME

I'm treating this as the last bulk update before I begin with a new updating scheme that has me posting updates as they come along just like how I handle updates in Discord and Twitter. It may be a bit more sporadic but this should at least assure our backers that rely on the Kickstarter updates that we're alive and working on the game still. I hope everyone will be okay with this change.

Rob and I may do Cryamore-oriented livestreams too from time to time (with our sound team Aivi and surasshu, and our art and design contributors, Joodlez and OverlordJC if and when they’re available). During a couple of my livestreams around November and December last year, viewers that attended were able to hear a number of the game’s music that was since not previewed to the public (Aivi gave us her blessing to preview it). If we plan to have one scheduled I’ll make sure to post a notice on here if people would like to join.

With that said, I’m ending this update here but I do have some stuff in the works for the next update which as per this new update scheme I’m trying out, I’ll be posting as soon as it’s done.

Stay tuned and thanks for everyone’s continued support and faith in our efforts!

- CM Alan (@tenpoundpixel)

SUMMER DEVELOPMENT UPDATE ROUNDUP

Posted by tenpoundpixel (Collaborator)
35 likes

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.

DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

Environments

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?

CRYAM

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.

ABILITY DISCOVERY

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.

CRYATISIUM

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.

STATUS AILMENTS

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.

ENVIRONMENT HAZARDS

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.

SLEEP (IS FOR THE WEAK)

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!

SPECIAL FEATURETTE: ANIMATIONS

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.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

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: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/robaato/cryamore-a-true-first-class-take-on-the-action-rpg/posts/1845630

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.

ART SPOTLIGHT

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.

FAN SPOTLIGHT

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)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS & DEVELOPMENT UPDATE ROUNDUP

Posted by tenpoundpixel (Collaborator)
30 likes

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).

DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

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.  

ART SPOTLIGHT  

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.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT  

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.