Greetings to all you would-be cryatists out there! It is time for yet another progress report on how Cryamore is coming along.
DUNGEONS AND STUFF
It’s been tricky to find much to show lately as a lot of the work done recently has been put towards laying out more of the maps for the Overworld and the “dungeon” areas.
As we may have mentioned in the previous updates, we’re making sure everything is clear and concise with the maps, so that the cleanup process is as smooth as possible once everything is laid out. In retrospect, it took quite a while, but we noticeably figured that usually there are whole teams devoted to map planning & puzzle design in a comparable game. But we're definitely making it work! Every now and then, we have to go back to some of the maps we’ve completed to make sure everything looks right and sometimes add or take away from them, tweaking things until we feel it’s solid.
We did just that recently in a Cryamore team meeting where we decided to run through some of the map layouts we’ve made so far. We’re happy to say it’s really going to be a lot to explore as it took us about 15-20 minutes to explain all the rooms and puzzles of just one of the maps. Translated into game-time with the player not knowing the puzzle solutions, exploring each area, running around and fighting mobs, each dungeon could take quite some time to finish. And as we've stated with previous updates, the way to explore will not be strict at all. This will be a rather lengthy game. With the speedy and adaptive abilities we've designed (like the ability above which has not been revealed yet), we're also making sure levels and areas are tweaked as well for speed-running too, at the best we can.
While we ran through the areas, we made sure each puzzle wasn’t too hard or too easy, as well as scaling the difficulty appropriately. We tried to make some of the obstacles the player face accept multiple solutions so just like Esmy, you’ll have to use your head a little and experiment between different abilities or gameplay methods.
Before we got started on fleshing out the backgrounds though, we were working on designs and animations for some of the baddies that Esmy will encounter throughout her adventures. Here are few work-in-progress silhouettes of a few:
We’re going to be reworking how the Butcherknife (sword) attacks work. Its swings were inconsistent since North & South are a sweeping slash while East & West has Esmy slashing downward instead.
The guide above should help provide a better idea of how the swings will work. The green arcs give an estimate of how wide the sword’s hitbox should be. We really want Cryamore’s combat to be as enjoyable as the other aspects of the game so we feel reworking the current sword attacks is important.
We’ve also decided to make the weapon you choose visible at all times. Shown above are the first batch of weapons, the Butcherknife (sword), Pizzaxe (axe), Javelink (spear) and Megadart (crossbow). This should help you feel a bit more of an attachment to your weapon of choice as you go through your adventure with it.
Another tweak to gameplay we’re working to implement is being able to cast certain abilities while running. Not all of your abilities will work with this as some require channeling like Rock Drill and Cubic Ice but other abilities like Spitfyre should now be more useful as you can run and gun to your hearts content (or until your EP runs out…) While running, with some abilities, you sacrifice precision even though casting is instantaneous, compared to neutral/idle casting, which takes about 3 frames to initiate.
No, we're not having a breakdown! It's just a breakdown of where we're currently at! Overall, Cryamore is still far from finished but we’re constantly making progress in all the fields.
Most of the programming for the game’s core has been set a long while back by Ryan and Brandon. We can easily add new things as we see fit, monster sprites, assign a behavior to them, their drops & attacks, event-threading, and cutscene creation. What remains of the programming is working on some core combat tweaking, special AI for bosses, shops, map checking, and playtesting (a LOT of playtesting, which will lead to fishing for bugs… but we're sure you all will help us out in that regard when that time comes).
MUSIC & SOUND
Music and sound are worked on as we go along. Aivi bases the music she makes on what the environments look like so as to make sure everything fits the feel of the area nicely, the same goes with sound as Surasshu bases the SFX on what the character looks like and how they’re animated, as well as how each ability effect is designed and animated.
Rob, Alan, Judy and JC have the designs halfway done as all the major characters are fleshed out already. The other half consists of certain NPCs designs ranging from people, critters and bosses along with gathering all the backer NPC designs and making sure they’re all set with what they want before we make concepts of them as denizens of Noka Island and then Rob and Alan can convert them to pixel sprites.
BACKGROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENTS
Rob and Alan have the backgrounds nearing about 75% completion also as the laying out of the various dungeons and Overworld are coming to a close. There are still interiors of buildings in Ghilcrest and the Settlements but the only concern with those are making them pretty. After that it’s all cleanup, color and slicing of elements to layer them in the game, which is a rather brisk process in itself. For example, a whole area/dungeon can take about a little over a week to draw, color, and add into the game itself.
The animations may not look like they’ve had much progress yet but once the backgrounds are ready for cleaning, Rob, Alan and Chris will get back to animating the many creatures and effects in the game.
While the story and plot of Cryamore is set already, the script still needs a lot of work. If you’ve played an RPG before, you should know the amount of dialogue present in them. Rob and Chris head the script with the rest of the team around to help brainstorm when needed. As we add the character sprites into the game we can further work on the extra bits of the supporting dialogue (which includes backer NPCs).
There may not be much dialogue recorded yet for the game but the progress shown indicates the voice talents that have been set already. As the script is finalized, we can begin voice acting (which will be directed by Chris) and then apply the recordings into the game easily.
We've been feeling a bit down on ourselves while working that we have not been able to reach our original goal, but we've come to admit to ourselves that our original goal was quite optimistic with a game of this caliber and depth. With that said, we have to change the original March release date to TBD, but we're still making substantial progress to the game each day. Apologies are in order, but we will continue to do our best to keep you all updated as usual!
Also, we're finalizing the revamped site with the new preorder system/widget from Humble Store, and we will definitely have an update when that goes live!
Also, you know we can't let you read an update without leaving you with a bit of musical love! Here's the groovy and moody theme to the Phantom Marshes at night, when all the big baddies come out and jam to beating poor Esmy up! Enjoy! (Don't worry about us spoiling you too much with music, we have so much more where this is coming from.)
Until next time!