Updated: Feb 28
As the release date for Kristala's demo draws nearer (soon, loyal Kristalans...soon!), we're doubling down on ensuring all mechanics and aesthetics are in tip-top shape within our game build. We can't wait to share it with you!
We've been hard at work the past two weeks brainstorming and programming and animating and designing in order to package an initial build of Kristala for our game testers to...well...test!
Here's a look at what we've accomplished this sprint. If you're interested in becoming a tester for us, be sure to check out our closing statement for more information.
One of the features of Kristala that makes it unique is its fast, ferocious combat.
This sprint, Will performed a bunch of combat customization in order to ensure it's working seamlessly, like allowing players to cast spells without sheathing their weapons. This effectively kills "combat types" in favor of just...combat.
Will also worked on a bunch of functionality tasks for things like UI, gamepad support, equipment, and inventory stuff. Plus, he fixed several bugs that appeared as our systems came together, reworking collision on attacking to allow for better overall combat.
Lastly, Will tackled a few "quality of life" fixes that make for an improved game experience, like dpad item switching, disabling jump mechanics when pickups are acquired, and removing health bars and targeting capabilities from hidden enemies.
There's still lots to be done in terms of gameplay programming, so we're certainly looking forward to more of Will's updates as we head into our next sprint.
3D Asset Design
Nick continues to work on modeling and texturing a bunch of assets needed to add to the aesthetic of the game's scenery and overall ambiance, including street lamps to help light the path of progression for players in the game.
Nick's second focus this sprint was crafting a Kotakayan sword and matching shield based on a few concepts from concept artist Michael. We're really digging the contrast of the rigid, mechanical feel of the Kotakaya with the more organic, natural vibe of the Anagativa.
Moving forward, Nick will work on creating some classy, Victorian-esque street signs for use in our clan capitals and Kotakayan cities...as well as a blacksmith setup for the clan smithies.
This sprint, Kieran began creating a revised model for one of our bosses, Hiratrola. While we already had an existing model for Hira, we felt that it didn't properly match the energy of the rest of our game and characters.
We're really excited about where this model is heading, especially after Kieran adds more details, such as pores, teeth, scratches, scars, and clothing.
What do you think of Hira's changes?
While Bianca continues to work on our menu and UI design (which you can read all about in the next section), she also revisited some of the custom spider enemies she'd been working on a couple weeks ago.
Since Bianca ran into some issues while baking the last version of her spider, she decided to start over with a completely new model. Check it out so far!
...We think this custom eight-legged enemy will fit in great with the other spider fiends Producer Allie brought into the game build this sprint.
Now that Cass has completed the stone buildings he was working on over the past couple sprints, he can return to a subject matter that's near and dear to his heart - weapons!
Here's a look the unique scythe knife Cass recently whipped up for us.
Though the stone abodes are officially a thing of the past for Cass he couldn't quite escape this sprint without focusing on a different type a structure...an Anagativan outhouse!
...Hey, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go. ;)
Menu / UI Design
Icons on icons on icons.
We're pretty sure that's how Bianca must feel after kicking ass on creating all the icons we'll need for our consumables, equippables, weapons, armor, and additional pickups items in the game's various menu systems.
This sprint, Bianca finally finished all the remaining icons we needed for the demo, like these journal entries and random springs and sprockets - the purpose of which you'll just have to wait and see for yourself as you play.
Bianca also filled a need we hadn't previously considered, but one that's super important for any game...the screens that represent victory and defeat during gameplay.
Here they are, Kristala style...
Due to the current dev crunch we're currently in, many of our multi-talented team members are branching out from their regular roles to help fill in gaps where needed. Typically focused solely on level design, Tiffany shifted focus this week to help us with some menu styling.
With her programming skills, Tiff worked behind the scenes on creating a temporary main menu to test its functionality. She also fixed some existing menus and stylized some others, like the Inventory, Stats, and Equipment menus, among others.
This sprint, Joe continued to work on pickup placement, replacing the placeholders that were currently in the game build with the actual pickup items and setting them accordingly.
Joe also worked on placing Kris Blessings and Kris Bounties (the game's XP) around the demo level and creating internal maps and documents that denote where each pickup and XP item is located.
In addition to that, Joe intentionally placed the street lamps that 3D Asset Designer Nick created throughout the entirety of the demo level.
Joe worked strategically with placement in order to best illuminate pathways, intersections, and points of interest to help guide players through the desired path of progression in the demo without explicitly telling them where to go.
Animation / Rigging / Production
As is the case with most sprints, Allie's attention was pulled in several different directions the past two weeks as she continued to oversee and manage the entire development process for Kristala.
First, Allie worked on bringing some outstanding items into the game build, like our beautiful Jhacanda Shield. When she did, however, we ran into a quiiiiite an interesting issue.
The shield was literally massive once brought into Unreal, but luckily, it was an easy fix and Allie had the shield back to normal in no time...but not before snagging this hilarious blooper video and accompanying screenshots.
Ah, there we go...back to normal.
Allie also worked on a bunch of new animations, including various special attack combos for several of our weapons. Here's a look at some of her work.
Testing Particle Effects:
Clan Longsword Special Attack:
Catsfang Dagger Special Attack:
Angler Dagger Special Attack:
Venom Handscythe Special Attack:
Eminence Mana Potion:
Last week, we showed you the beginning stages of a new concept l_aciel was working on for Atreus Stone, the wise leader of the revered Raksaka warriors. Since then, Atreus has fully come to life thanks to l_aciel's incredible talent.
l_aciel also revisited her concept for our steampunk Kotakaya warrior to put some finishing details and touches on the piece. Her next task will be planning out and creating the rest of the six Anagativa clan crests.
Michael's world has continued to be filled with Kotakayan aesthetics, including a few concepts of heavy armor pieces, plus a badass shield, pistol, and super rad trick twin daggers.
We really love the way Michael's able to capture the Victorian and steampunk vibe of our rodent-like race. What do you think?
Introducing...Kristala on TikTok!
We're excited to announce that we're officially taking on TikTok! Be sure to search for and follow @acs_games on the app to take a deeper step into the world of Kristala.
Are you enjoying the content you're seeing in our biweekly dev blogs? Tell us about it!
You can like and comment on this post if you dig what you see. We also encourage you to join our Discord community so you can talk shop with members of the ACS Games dev team. Plus, you'll get exclusive insight into some of the work detailed in each dev blog.
You can also get in touch with us about becoming a game tester for Kristala by joining the Discord community. Simply click the link above, choose your clan, and find us in our game testers channel.
Also, be sure to follow our socials to stay in-the-know about all the exciting updates coming down the line. As always, thank you for your continued support...and thanks for stopping by.
-The ACS Games Dev Team