The Kristala Dev Blog - Issue #19


Hey there, sweet beans!


Welcome back to the Kristala dev blog! We're happy you're here.


The last time we met, we shared some pretty exciting updates from the world of Kristala, and this issue will be no different. But before we dive into today's super thicc, super juicy issue, we have to get something off our chest...


We know we've promised you bi-weekly dev blogs, but in truth, there's been a lot happening lately here at ACS headquarters.


In addition to our regular jobs and personal lives, we've really been amping up development for Kristala over the past couple weeks (hey, just look at this dev blog issue for proof). Plus, we've also been prepping for an upcoming virtual convention (WOOHOO!), so things have been a liiitle hectic around here.


With that said, we'll try our hardest to stick to our bi-weekly schedule moving forward, but just in case we can't, we wanted to let you know that we'll have a new issue comin' to you hot and fresh out of the dev oven at least once a month.


We promise. ;)


 

Programming


To kick things off this sprint, Will worked on refining the functionality for our (obnoxiously gigantic and shiver-inducing) spider enemies and (ridiculously stubborn and annoying) Gilsanka enemies.


After tweaking and testing both enemies' AI behavior, we're now confident these baddies will properly engage and attack during gameplay. Take a peek!



Next, Will worked on modifying the death systems for our main character (and some of the game's enemies) to allow them to utilize the new death animations Producer Allie recently created (make sure you check out the Game Production section to see them in action).


In addition to implementing death animations, Will also modified our new backstab mechanics to be more in line with the results we were looking for, then worked on ensuring our Stat system properly displays in the crystal menu and properly performs clamps.


After that, Will created a new smoke instance and modified (then applied) it to work for various destructibles. We're really diggin' these changes. Take a look!



Will also worked on setting up several of the original musical tracks that will be featured both in the Kristala demo and in the full version of the game.


These recent programming changes now allow the various tracks to fade in and out depending on where the player character is located in-game, or which level she's currently journeying through.


All tracks for Kristala are composed by our incredibly talented Sound Designer, Adeel (who professionally goes by the name AdLibPiano). You can hear more about the new and improved soundtrack for Kristala in our Sound Design section below.



After pinpointing some issues we discovered with a few of the initial audio transitions, Will fixed the combat and non-combat music for the Dalamase swamp level, then fixed the fast-travel Kristal Checkpoint track so that it too now functions properly.



To round out this sprint, Will addressed Quitting and Loading functionalities and then further modified both Save and Load functionality to include proper HUD information.


He set the HUD to disappear at appropriate times (such as Loading and Menu screens), and disabled player input to prevent players from - for lack of a better phrase - getting into mischief.


...As they say, curiosity killed the cat, no?


 

3D Asset Design


We hope you're ready for the fat stack of modeling updates we have for you this sprint!


To kick things off, Nick continued working through his list of custom assets needed for our various level areas, including the swamp villages of the Dalamase, the singed streets and charred abodes of the Nasahara, plus some additional trinkets and items meant for a few of our special NPCs.


First, Nick worked on modeling a couple of old, moss- and dust-caked beds that will be featured in the various homes, huts, and burrows found in Ailur.



Nick then moved on to creating several variants of random, burnt items that will ultimately help represent the carnage of war that still lingers within Nasahara city limits.



Next up for Nick were a couple items that seem rather ambiguous without explanation, but we'd like to save a few surprises for you to encounter in-game, so we'll just leave the purpose of these to your imagination for now.



In addition to indoor items, Nasahara was also in need of a few structural pieces to help further build out the eerie, abandoned nature of this once-great, sprawling city.


Here's a look at some of the pieces Nick created for this purpose, including a cool homage to our studio itself. Can you spot it? Let us know in the comments!



Lastly, Nick revisited the 3D model for his previously created Anagativa skeleton to improve its shape and textures before handing it off to Allie for rigging and animation.


We can't wait to see what Nick has in store for us next sprint.


If you've been following our game dev journey over the past couple sprints, you know that Cass has been our go-to modeler for creating custom houses and structures to populate our various in-game villages, cities, and towns.


To start off this sprint, Cass finished the five forest townhouses that will be used throughout our Nisargan clan levels. As the peace-keeping, nature-loving clan, the Nisargans' homes are all constructed from natural elements found throughout the surrounding environment.


You can read more about each clan's general vibe and aesthetic by snacking on some of the Lore from our Sagas of Kristala newsletter series.



After finishing up the forest townhome models, Cass then started in on texturing each of the structures. We're pumped to get this into the game build once all five are completely finished.