As I said, here's a more full update for everyone with the Backer NPCs and monster designs, a round up of Q and A from the last update and Twitter, plus a community spotlight!
Let's get started~
BACKER NPC DESIGNS
As I previously mentioned, I've been making my rounds with all the backers who got to design NPCs and monsters, and gotten their feedback on the designs I've made...
With that, I present to you: Esmy with our current lineup of backer NPCs.
There's still two people missing from the roster as I've yet to gather their input on designs but so far we've got.
Charlotte, an adventurer from outside Noka Island who managed to get a Cryatist license and wields a prototype revolver-type condenser. She'll be hanging out in the Ghilcrest Tavern during her downtime.
Professor Lupin with his pet owl, Professor Socrates (credit to one of our concept artists, Juby @CutTimeComic for including the owl). They'll be located within the Council Building/Town Hall of Ghilcrest. He'll be working with one of Esmy's friends, Bagel Ameli to decipher the Piraxan Tablets that Esmy brings back, to further learn about the history of Noka Island.
Rei-Lin, a crimson hared woman whose origins are unknown. With her long elf-like ears, she's surely not native to Noka Island. Perhaps she comes from a faraway land? She's found herself in the town of Ghilcrest though and will be helping out the elementalists in the Cryatisium who are tasked with researching the strange crystalline minerals... or cryamore. You can talk to her whenever you want to upgrade your abilities or you want to trade your cryamore for ghil, Ghilcrest's own currency.
Parker Hazelworth, a man from a long family line of steamsmiths who carries on the family legacy despite the world seemingly shifting towards the use of Cryamore. His parents were among the early human settlers within Noka Island. Misfortune has hit his family through the years though but Parker still chooses to carry on with his academic studies and further research on steam tech in hopes of restoring the renown that his family once had. When he's not studying, you can find him helping out as a shopkeep in the Inventorium, taking over after the shift of the other shopkeep, Yoyo.
Omahdon, a strange armadillo in a penguin suit. It suddenly made its way to Ghilcrest and has become a mascot for the Ghilcrest Arcade. Also responds to the name "Dan McNeely" and is often waving about a wooden signboard with the word "MOO" painted on it...
Junkboy, a tiny luchadore that hangs around in the Ghilcrest Arcade. Nobody dares to take off his mask, nobody knows his real name, all everyone knows is... he must lucha.
Rosalind Spike, claiming to be a mageknight from a faraway land called Alabanth. A bit wary about the powers that the cryatists of Ghilcrest wield due to her homeland shunning technology, yet before her are people that wield both a combination of technology and what appears to be magic. She'll often be found in the Ghilcrest Tavern with other adventurers, exchanging stories and gathering information.
Sarah, a mechanic that helps fix the remaining steam-powered contraptions around Ghilcrest but is learning a thing or two about Crya-tech maintenance. She'll be found around town, wherever there's something broken.
Setto Seishi, a man bearing a lot of scars who seems to enjoy a good fight and relying on his fists to get the job done. They say each scar has a tale so he must have some really good stories for each one he has. Whenever he's not busy, he'll be enjoying some drinks at the tavern.
Sultan a.k.a. The Sultan, the town's loud, lively and very animated Cafe chef. Passionate about his food and further honing his craft. You can often find him singing in the kitchen. He may be prone to using hyperbole but he definitely backs it up when it comes to the food he makes and if Esmy brings him the right ingredients, he can whip up a marvelous dish that'll surely whet the appetite of the townsfolk.
Mr. Clark, the town's shady Information Broker, found in the Tavern during his business hours. While it's believed he came in from outside Noka Island, he seems to have eyes and ears everywhere and will give you information for a price. Whether it's helpful or not is part of the surprise. You wouldn't want to get on his bad side though, he's very proficient with his throwing knives.
We've got two characters missing still, and some of the NPCs shown may receive tweaks to their design or info depending on their backers but there you have our current roster of backer NPCs to add to the bustling town of Ghilcrest!
BACKER MONSTER DESIGNS
Now you'll all have to excuse the roughs for these monster designs as we're saving our art polish phase for the tail end of development so as not to waste any more time or resources on cleaning and pixeling animations only to scrap them.
That being said though, I present to you our crop of Backer Monster Designs...
Going from left to right after Esmy, we have...
Hubbler, a space element infused automaton that was used as a remote eye. Meeting its gaze stuns you temporarily. Avoid gazing into the iris and being left dumbfounded by the wonders of the voidspace stored inside its bubble.
Kurononeko, a small upright walking kitten that managed to get a vest with a time controlling mechanism. You're going to want to be careful on this little furball as it can stop time around itself and wail at you, and also escape when it feels too threatened.
Black Claw, an eerie humanoid shadow element monster. It has quite a reach with its arms that can turn into very damaging claws. While it moves slowly, it can retreat into the shadows and become difficult to hit.
Nictate, insectoid monster with a space element alignment. It lays in wait and turns invisible before attacking with its blade-like protrusions.
And here's a little look at their roughs in motion...
Hubbler may not look like it does much but it's deadly when it spots you and you're surrounded by dangerous enemies (I've died multiple times in our internal tests because of it).
Kurononeko seems like a playful cat as long as you don't provoke it. You wouldn't want Esmy getting cat-scratch fever.
I tried to make Black Claw look as eerie as I could based on what the backer described and within the limits of our design (I personally wish I could go all out). This attack should show its long reach with a pretty big hitbox.
Nictate is always just sleeping until you come close, then it wakes up turns invisible before rushing at you with its blades out.
I'll showcase an in-game preview of how some of these guys currently perform later on in a backer-only update.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Will there be a DRM-free option for Cryamore?
Absolutely. We've already been contacted by Humble Games awhile back and they wanted to be one of the online distributors for Cryamore, offering a DRM-free version. We're also going to be submitting Cryamore into GOG for people who prefer their store.
As one of the desktop oriented gamers in the team, I'm well aware of the importance of a DRM-free option so I've long since advocated for this so worry not. If you prefer not to use Steam or want to be able to play Cryamore on the plane, train, a mountain, or anywhere you won't be online? There's going to be an option for you.
How does the project stand financially?
NostalgiCO outright made it a rule not to use what remains of the Kickstarter funds after Kickstarter's cut and several taxes. There's a good chunk of money left so far and it's only ever used purchasing things that directly affect the development of the game such as Unity licenses, Unity asset store tools, payment for our music and sound composers, and payment for part-time assistance of pixel artists/animators and level designers/consultants.
For the most part, we've been working on the game out of pocket as a labor of love and to prove to ourselves if not the world that we can make a game and (hopefully) an enjoyable one.
Majority of the money is put aside for production of physical backer rewards such as printing artbooks, audio CDs and their inlays, the instruction manual and box/case for the Physical Edition, mass production of the figures and shipping fees.
A few backers have asked for refunds due to the long bouts of silence before and I regret to say that we can't offer any just yet, for one thing, issuing a refund would still leave a backer with access to backer-only posts and beta tests, but most of all, we want to save the money for the game's development and production of backer rewards. Upon the game's completion, anyone that still wishes to get a refund can message us and we'll gladly offer you your money back.
Do you have a new projected release date?
Atlus has pushed for us to aim for 2017's first quarter or the second quarter at the latest. We could have rushed the release for this year and just focused on art polish and bug squashing but would have had to cut content and we'd rather ensure we have as much of everything that we wanted in the game. So with this new projected release date, it allows us to further create the content we need and ensure that all features are working as intended.
There's also the marketing standpoint of releasing the game with proper timing, Atlus (and NostalgiCO) want to avoid launching Cryamore when a highly anticipated game is coming out, such as Final Fantasy XV and Atlus' very own Persona 5 (I know I'm waiting for that).
As Shigeru Miyamoto said, "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."
As the CM, I'll keep you all updated on how things go as best I can from now on so thank you for all your patience and understanding.
Will we get a playable build at all?
I've asked our project lead, Rob (@RobaatoX) about this and he'll be working on setting up a backer-only build that'll allow everyone to test some of the more bug-free features of the game, the new weapons with their new attacks, abilities with varying levels, and of course monsters and maybe some puzzle objects to test those abilities on.
The initial build we wanted to give out that featured some of Rime Rapids was chosen to be put aside as we had to rework a number of areas in the dungeon along with the overworld leading to it since it was found to be too convoluted. We sincerely apologize for not being able to give that build out but we still aim to give everyone a taste of things and come beta testing, we'll surely need all the manpower to help find bugs to squash.
That's it for this round of questions and answers. I'll be sure to answer more in future updates!
ANNOUNCEMENT: OFFICIAL CRYAMORE WIKI
I've also been in contact with Ben R. from Curse who reached out to us to have Curse host the official Cryamore wiki. They've already made one awhile back but this time we've acknowledged that the go-to wiki for Cryamore will be within the Curse/Gamepedia family.
I look forward to the community filling it up with information once the game is done or even during our beta testing period. Monsters, collectibles, NPC locations at certain times, dialog, boss strategies, recommended ability loadouts, there's a lot of info to note down.
I asked our composer Aivi (@waltzforluma) if she had any other music she wanted to feature for the update but she said wanted to keep the rest of the soundtrack a surprise, which I'm sure there'll be plenty of since with all the overworld themes, dungeon themes, boss themes and character themes plus the day and night versions of some of these tracks? There's about 45 tracks since her and our sound designer Surasshu (@surasshu) checked.
Still, there's often someone musically inclined enough to make a cover of one of Aivi's compositions for Cryamore and I'd like to feature David Russell's cover of Divergence, the evening theme for Rime Rapids.
This was made for the Multiplayer III: WAVE videogame charity album,
I'd also like to get back to featuring fanart and for this update, is artwork by Layeyes featuring our trio of Bliss, Braxton and Esmy.
I'll be including community spotlight features with each public update and featuring fanart, music and other stuff made, new and old... and SFW.
Stay tuned for the next backer-only update where I answer the Twitter survey response from one of our voice actresses, Kimlinh Tran, (who voices our dear Bliss Barson along with many other videogame and cartoon characters).
Next topic (which is backer-only) will be: What is it like working alongside a publisher? Pros/cons? I'll be going into a bit more detail regarding why you haven't seen any official word from Atlus yet too.
- CM Alan