General Dev Update - Refining Combat - First Look at Bliss' Prototype - New Music!
It's been a couple of months since the last update, so we want to say a few things to get you caught up on things!
Development has slowed down a tad bit over the past month or so as a few team members had to take on some work on the side, move, etc., but now we're back at it full force! During that time, we ended up taking a step back and looking at how we can improve the game and a few of its main elements... most specifically, combat. We have gotten quite a lot of feedback from the community regarding it, and combat continues to be the number one concern.
So this was our dilemma: How can we make what we already have more punchier and immersive while keeping the same mechanics (Seiken Densetsu 2/Secret of Evermore-style) into the base system? This is what we've done:
Esmy's Movement and Overall Feel: Esmy is a lot more snappier than what you've witnessed beforehand. She strikes a bit faster, and covers a bit more ground on her run. It's a fine balance, she's not too fast in that some mobs can still gain the upper hand, but she's not too slow in that you'd get bored trudging through environments. Some mobs will still require buffs through abilities or items to gain the upper hand on, even with this new movement fluidity.
This obviously makes the game more fun to control and move around. It's much more fast paced, beginning to feel like its own game instead of mimicking another fully.
But we didn't stop there.
Meet the Drive Gauge.
A lot of you requested some kinda combo system, and we really were considering it, but just didn't know how to execute it. We wanted to keep things strategic enough, but not make the game mash-friendly. But we figured it out and we're proud to announce that Cryamore will have a gauge to make combat a bit more interesting than what you've expected before! Here's how it works:
To initiate the Drive Gauge (which isn't always visible onscreen), a couple of requirements must be met. First, you have to have 100% of Stamina ready (which if you can remember, is the gauge right below Esmy's status picture), meaning a full gauge. You also can't be fatigued (for instance, Esmy needs to get regular sleep. If she gets tired throughout a day, she becomes fatigued, limiting how much damage her attacks can take and stamina to fill up). Also, the Drive Gauge isn't available in the beginning of the game. It's unlocked after you initialize your chosen weapon to Lvl. 1.
When you hold the Drive button down, you initiate a charge up sequence on your stamina bar. You are able to move while charging, albeit slower. Once you ready your position and release the button and connect the first hit, up comes the gauge.
Afterwards, the meter will begin to fill and you will have to time each hit right where the "MAX" symbol is in order to keep the combo going. With each successful hit, the meter's refill speed increases, making it increasingly difficult to keep the combo going. The actual moves for each hit will look something akin to this:
...and we have all kinda attacks in store. Higher levels will allow you to be able to attack enemies around you instead of the ones directly in front of you on certain hits. And the attacks will be different based on the weapon you use. For instance, we can make Brass Knuckles do more hits per timing, or the Axe go alternate directions and hit enemies coming up from behind you, etc., all having different timing patterns on the Drive Gauge.
A few things to note about this mechanic:
- Again, combos are not available right at the beginning of the game, and the amount of hits that are able to be done will be limited and be progressively unlocked as the game moves along. When you activate levels on your weapon, (Weapon on Lvl. 1), then combos will be available. For instance, a Lvl. 1 sword will only be able to do up to 4 hits, and that ends the combo. Sword Lvl. 2 can do up to 10 hits, Lvl. 3 up to 20 hits, 4, 30; and Max Lvl, an infinite number of hits. But having your weapon on a higher level does not at all make it easier to do combos, it makes it tougher. Why?
- Each Lvl. will add a 25% "margin" to the meter. For instance, initiating the combo meter with a Lvl. 2 Weapon will start the meter at the 25 mark each refill on hit. Lvl. 3, 50 mark, etc. Essentially making it harder to keep the combo going because you'll have to time better. Of course, a Maxed-out weapon will allow you to do combos more easily, getting right into it. But it won't be a cakewalk to Max out your weapon anyway. A nice reward for those who do stick with it.
- Esmy will not have any invincible frames during a combo, so she can get knocked out of it easily. You also can't cancel a combo swing out by moving or doing an ability. The specific strike animation must finish.
- Combos act out either East or West (left-to-right or right-to-left), meaning you have to position yourself properly to have a good effect. As stated earlier, some hits can hit in other directions depending on the level/weapon.
- If you get the mark on the red area before the "MAX" line (OK!), your hit will still connect, but with very little damage, allowing you to keep the string going. If hitting the red area after the "MAX" line (MEH!), you will completely whiff the attack, but you will still have a chance at keeping the combo going. If you stop the mark in the black before that area or the dark red after the area, you will "Bail" the attack (OOPS!), leaving Esmy vulnerable for about 2 seconds. Obviously, hitting the nail right on the head will land you a "PERFECT!" with top damage.
- If you see an enemy coming and need to exit out the Drive Sequence, just miss the timing completely. That will safely get you back to moving.
- The Total Damage count specifies how much DPH (damage per hit) you're doing on each connect, and that includes multiple enemies. Mob count will get progressively higher as the game moves along, but you're not locked into doing a combo on only one enemy. You can hit multiple enemies in a combo (though it doesn't affect your actual hit count).
We're pretty excited for this mechanic, and we're sure you all will love it. And the beauty of it is that it's not mandatory, letting you choose to play the game how you want to play it.
Here, have a look at them! These are not finals, and some tweaks still need to be made, but the world of Cryamore has gotten a bit more colorful already since their inclusion!
Yes, her Prototype's complete and... well, just check her out for yourself:
These are not 3D images, these are actual photos. Esmy's being finished up currently and is right around the corner!
And for those who missed out before but wanted to jump in on the figure bandwagon, please, don't worry! We will make an update when they're ready for preordering.
That's about it!
Our next update will consist of some new abilities to showcase that you haven't yet seen, as well a few other things! We want to get back to having regular updates with our community, and we will! Also, all the surveys that we need now for production have already been sent out, and most of you have filled them out! Thanks so much for being quick on that! As for the rest of ya, get to it! We need that info! >:O
We leave tonight's update with a few pieces of music to ease the mood! Until next update! <3