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Whaddaya get when you blend obsolete Steampunk with The Legend of Zelda, Secret of Mana, & Megaman?
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NostalgiCO

5,909 backers pledged $242,309 to help bring this project to life.

Cryatuesday #2: Going Back To A Moderate Update Schedule

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Yo' Cryatists! Rob here with a small update:

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

NEW ESTIMATED RELEASE DATE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEW KICKSTARTER UPDATE SCHEDULE

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

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

Also, Rewards and Surveys:

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

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

Take care!

- NostalgiCO Crew

Cryamonday #11: Shifting Gears?

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Happy Cryamonday, everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- NostalgiCO Crew

Cryamonday #10: More Development Tools

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Happy Cryamonday folks! We have another look under the hood today and it'll feature something that Brandon's been working on which we've mentioned a few updates back. We'll hand it over to him to explain his work.

Hey there Cryafolks! Brandon here with another riveting insight into the code department's crazy antics.

So one of the elephants in the room that we've been working with for a while now is the AI of our various critters on Noka Island.

Initially, we went with a component-based design (which is kind of standard for Unity projects) where we designed all the different AI types as separate components, and then decorated our mobs with the appropriate combinations of AI behaviours that fit the particular mob types. The downside, as we discovered, was that we didn't build any kind of priority system into the different modules, so we weren't in direct control of which components tried to control the critters first. For example: on one critter, if we gave it the "Aggro" component (which tells our mobs to attack Esmy if she gets into a tune-able range), and then the "Homesick" component (which says "if you get too far away from where we first spawned you, give up and go home") you wouldn't be sure which would win if the conditions for chasing Esmy and the conditions for "giving up" on the chase were both true at the same time.

This has resulted in some very twitchy and misbehaving enemies.

Now, as an aside, we've also been working heavily on a better scripting system for our collections of cutscenes, dialogues with NPCs, and other "we took control away from the player to do some storytelling" situations. These all live under the Cutscene object we've written. The initial editing tools we built for Cutscenes were very basic and tedious to work with on any kind of lengthy cutscene.

With the AI rework needed, and the cutscene scripting tools found lacking through extended use, we've been working on a new visual scripting system that could be used for cutscene editing AND AI definition design. Hence, the new Visual Scripter tool:

This is a shot of the scripter being used to create a dialogue between Esmy and Bliss, but the same underlying tools are also being leveraged to define new Finite-State-Machine AI controllers for our creatures. AND our NPCs. AND our boss fights. And probably a plant, a few streetlights, a door or two...

This is designed to let all the folks on staff who might be involved with building out cutscenes and creatures (and streetlights) do their design work without requiring any (err, much) new code to be written or tweaked. As it should also have a "while game is playing" mode that highlights current states/scenes, it'll be indispensable for debugging as we move forward, too. The win behind switching to deterministic FSM's is that we'll have total control over how the AI switches between states and what criteria it uses to determine which state to switch towards.

(Also, for those savvy enough to be aware, yes there are a few current visual scripter Unity Asset Store packages, but we weighed the cost of learning an existing system and wrapping it around our current Cutscene objects vs writing a specific tool to just script the things we needed the way we needed it, and went with the latter. Great learning experience overall, and it only required writing systems specifically targeted to Cryamore, so no bloat).

SO, that's what's been cooking in the code ovens down here. If you're still awake, I'll hand things back to Alan. Thanks for staying tuned, all, and we guarantee more exciting stuff to come!

Thanks for the look at the new cutscene manager/AI tool, Brandon! Over on my end, I'm revealing two more new sprite bases that've been completed.

You may have already seen the concept art of Melita Swanson a few updates ago along with the Council Chief of Ghilcrest, Geophilius Silvershark.

Melita is a pretty short woman which is why Esmy is shown to give a better idea of her height. Chief Silvershark may look small too but he's but a bit taller than Esmy. I guess it's Esmy's hair that really makes her seem quite taller.

Melita had to go through quite a number of tweaks to come close to her concept art but thanks to Juby, JC and Rob's suggestions, we've managed to finalize her sprite base.

You'll find both Melita and Chief Silvershark within the Council Building, north of Ghilcrest. We've still got a number of other NPC's to show (both concept art and sprites) so you'll be sure to find the town very lively.

That wraps up tonight's Cryamonday update. We'll see you again next week with more news!

- NostalgiCO crew

Cryamonday #9: The Population Grows Even More!

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Happy Cryamonday again, folks!

As stated last week, we're introducing a few more NPCs you'll encounter in the game and this time, they won't be friendlies!

Some of you may be familiar with Fité zo Rala, the exiled Piraxan. Today we'll be introducing the rest of his crew along with a look into their designs by one of our other concept artists, John Crayton aka JC.

Fité, having disagreed with his tribe's stance towards cryamore was exiled and thus reached out to humans instead as they have slowly been adopting them into their daily lives but he was shunned away from their growing settlement as well. Having nowhere to turn to, Fité instead chose to start a tribe of his own, one that isn't afraid to use cryamore for the powers they bestow. Along with Fité and his slowly growing number of rogue Piraxans, he has his right hand man and lightning wielder, Riot and his two lieutenants, the wind user, Melé (which you may have seen a few updates back) and the brute, Sabo who utilizes water cryamore.

While Rob designed Fité, it was up to JC to design the other three main members of his crew. So without further ado, here's JC with a look into his design process and some concept and promotional art done by him!

Yo! What's up Cryatists! I'm JC, One of the lead concept artists for the game, and I'm here to drop a few bits of info about some of the characters I designed for you to meet up with during the course of the game!

I'm an artist that enjoys creating dynamic looks and I'm never afraid to play with color.

I was excited for this particular task because I was asked to design the rest of Fite's crew. Right away I already had ideas for how each member of the team would look. My goal was to keep a few unified themes running with each design, while also giving them their own quirk and unique flair. Design goes toward helping define character traits and personality details so I wanted to give us a lot to work with. Let's start off with Riot!

Riot, introduced in a previous update, was the first member of the crew I designed. My initial concept went off the name "Riot". That combined with his elemental affinities, I gave him some colors and design elements that remind me of things that are "wild". Because I also see him as one of the speedier members of the team, I thought of something like a sporty look. I also wanted him to be one of the characters to have more a narrow eye shape. To finish him off, I gave him some gnarly hair and a tiger like body pattern. I'm quite pleased with the way he came out. He looks as though he fits his name and the rest of the cryamore team was excited to see him done!

 Next we have the mantis-like Ninja of the group, Mele.

(This one is one of my favorites :'D ) With her design, I really took hints from her elemental affinity and I went in. I had a clear vision with Melé, and I got her main design done in one pass. My ideas for her were elements of a ninja, mixed in with a praying mantis, and to finish her off, I included ideas about nature. More specifically, leaves and grass came to mind when I made her. Her hair reminds me of the leaves with seeds that fall off and spin like propellers (I also thought of blades of grass) With her high waist belt pieces, I had thoughts of "tall grass". LOL it's a little bit of a stretch but generally you see the praying mantis chillin' on a tall blade of grass or plant stems. I knew I wanted her to have a green color scheme so her design would "pop" just like the rest. Working with green was difficult but I think in the end, I came up with something solid. With her weapons, I thought about the cutting arms of the Mantis, and something that would reap grain/grass. Twin scythes are the perfect thing for a warrior that quickly cuts through the wind.

Also as a bonus bit, even though her mask may not come into play, I designed her as a character that would be adept with poisons, and as such she has quite a few poison immunities, and for the ones she's not immune against her mask would completely block and neutralize them.

Lastly we have "Brute", the quiet-calm giant of the crew! (cause c'mon, ever crew has to have a giant)

Brute's design came about by thinking of a tall frozen warrior mixed in with a martial artist LOL. We tend to have group brainstorming sessions, and when the idea of weapons came up, we could not miss this chance to add in the martial artist theme. One part I particularly like is his shoulder pads. With added cryamore tech his shoulders are able to produce solid Ice to both shield him and provide additional offensive options. He has a very focused stare and immense strength.

When it came to "Brute", I actually had multiple designs, but we decided that the taller "wall-o-muscle" was the right way to go. From there we came together as a group to decide on colors. I'm pleased with them as they feel "cold", but they still have a unique flair of their own.

All in all, I really enjoyed designing Fite's homies, and I had a great time working on them. Be on the look out for more of my design work within the game! Thanks for listening to my rambling.

I hope my work really adds something to the game, and creates characters that are visually interesting to look at and interact with!

I'll now turn it back over to the narrator you know and love. Till next time Cryatists.

Thanks for the look into your design process, JC! Now here's Alan's pixel art sprite bases for Fité and his crew. There's also alternate versions of some of them (Fité without his coat, and also with his sword and Melé with her cloak and also with her twin-sickles) but for now we're only revealing these.

We hope you enjoyed another visually-packed Cryamonday update and another special feature involving one of our crew members. We'll see you again next Monday with another update! Also as a bonus, have a promo image of Melé by JC.

 - NostalgiCO crew

Cryamonday #8: The Population Grows

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Happy Cryamonday, Cryatists! We're going to be introducing some more of the NPCs you'll encounter through the game today with introductions and design details provided by one of our concept artists, Judy!

Quite some time back, one of our concept artists, Judy (a.k.a. Joodlez, Juby or Jubz) went and made a number of NPC designs for the town of Ghilcrest and these included a handful of children for one of the families in town. You may have seen a preview of them a few updates ago.

Here's Judy's with the character introductions and design process details...

Hello!! I'm Juby, one of the concept artists for Cryamore. I help my team visually flesh out existing characters and create some of the other characters from scratch. I get to introduce some of my children to you all (does that sound too literal?)!

I don't know if people noticed, but our creative director, Rob has a penchant for naming everyone after food, even when he doesn't mean to. So I ran with that and decided I wanted some sushi. So the first thing I did was pick different types of sushi, which became my visual prompt to design these characters. For example, Maki is supposed to look like those dainty little maki rolls. Simple, streamlined, and clean.

Tobiko is based on fish eggs, which come in a variety of colours, even green. I focused on the red and yellow kind, and used a lot of circular motifs as a part of his design.

and can you guess which visual cues I used on the rest of the little tykes? 

I think the only direction I was given was the number of kids in this family, which gave me a lot of freedom to play with their personalities as well. I thought about how they would play off each other as a group of troublemakers as I designed them.

We want to make the characters of Cryamore just as diverse, unique, and colourful as the main cast, and I'm really happy to be a part of that. I also take up the VERY IMPORTANT TASK of tweaking some completed character assets, such as the VERY NOTICEABLE DETAIL of Esmy's freckles.

I know, where would our team be without me.

Thanks for the character introductions and design talk, Judy! Also the freckles thing is actually a true story. None of us realized that the portrait above (which is used for her in-game status HUD portrait) initially had Esmy's freckles be the same color as her lineart until Judy pointed it out a few weeks ago, it's a minor detail but it HAD to be fixed so now Esmy actually has proper freckles and not a bunch of blackheads scattered all over her nose and cheeks.

With that said, here's our pixel artist Alan with the sprites of Judy's designs.

Hey again, fellow Cryatists! It was fun working on translating Jubz's character designs into pixel form as a lot of the sprites I've done so far are either Esmy's height like Bliss and her Blisettes, Bagel and Kaiser or the monsters you've seen so far. The only other kids we've had so far are either Braxton, Nara or another Piraxan child that may have been shown before.

Juby's designs are always so adorbs and colorful and these kids also offer a nicer variety of height to all the other NPCs so far (I even had to create a height chart just to see how tall or short everyone was compared to each other).

The kids had to go through a few tweaks though. I initially had their heads a few pixels too small, so after suggestions by Jubz to increase their head size (by about 2-3 pixels) as kids tend to have bigger heads in proportion to their bodies. some suggestions at tweaking facial features here and there (thanks to Rob, JC and Jubz) to look cuter and more closer to their concept art and adjusting their heights, especially Uni's to be more in line with their age and height against Braxton and Esmy, we now have the five Nauticus kids you see above.

You'll all see them around Ghilcrest, provided it isn't class hours as they'll also be attending the classes during the weekdays, held by Melita Swanson within the Capital Building. Kids gotta have their education!

Just so you all know, Uni (the one with the yellow cap) is about as tall as Braxton without his hat.

We hope you liked today's more visually packed update and the characters introduced. Stay tuned for next week as there'll be even more NPCs and sprites to be revealed.