Welcome back, beings of Ailur!
We know there's a lot happening in the world right now, but we're not letting that stop us from crankin' up the dev dial. We've got a bunch of awesome updates to share with you, and we think you'll be pretty stoked about a lot of them.
For now though...on to the theater!
This sprint, Will worked on our dual-wielding functionalities so that enemies and players can both wield two weapons at a time. He also completed a few little bug fixes such as enemy respawning and pathfinding once they respawn.
He was also able to amend the menu-hover issues we were experiencing last week, ensuring the logic for highlighting and navigating buttons worked properly before handing it over to Tiffany for incorporation into the Kristala game build.
Additionally, Will attempted to rework the AI to be more aggressive in general in order to fix issues we had with enemy behavior defaulting to strafing around the player repeatedly.
Enemy behavior has improved significantly, but still needs some work to get these baddies where we want them to be. For now, Will created the logic for a poison-buildup system that will replace our current one, and started work on our crystal checkpoints too.
Lastly, Will was able to make sure all pickups get automatically added to the inventory when encountered.
For the next Sprint, Will will finalize the poison-buildup functionality and then shift focus back to AI again to see if we can make the enemies even more dynamic and less likely to "square dance" around us.
As mentioned above, Tiffany assisted Will with a few programming-related tasks, focusing on the inventory menu and ensuring it works properly by playing with a few widgets for prompts and gauges.
Tiff was also able to implement a hover/focus effect on the Pause & Checkpoint menus, and moving forward, she'll apply the same effect to the rest of the menus too.
We've changed some of the font selections up since this video was recorded, but here's a little sneak peek at some of the updates Tiff made this sprint.
3D Asset Design
For this sprint, Nick continued his work on the blacksmith stall and all its various tools and treasures. Here's a look at his model for the weapon and tool rack.
Looks pretty sweet all textured and detailed, right?
Nick also started modeling a bunch of the steampunk-inspired weapons our Kotakayan enemies will be wielding in the Kristala demo, like the awesome dagger and rifle below.
Want a bit of Kristala lore? We deliberately decided to make some interesting differences between our Anagativan and Kotakayan characters. Whereas the Anagativa use the organic magic of Ailur as a defense (such as spells and illusions), the Kotakaya utilize a more mechanical approach to defense...with guns, gears, and steel.
Keep an eye out for that same juxtaposition between the two groups as you play!
At this point, Cass is pretty much an expert in architecture as he continues to be our go-to modeler for various structures and buildings.
Per schedule, Cass spent this past sprint modeling, texturing, and unwrapping UVs for the third row home on his list.
Now that those are completed, he'll be moving on to a more demolished type of structure as he models out a few "damaged" buildings for use throughout our Nasahara Ruins level.
On Kieran's menu this sprint was refining the model for Hiratrola, the colossal swamp boss that will be featured in the Kristala demo.
Hira is still in the anatomy phase, but Kiean has added more muscle definition to the model's arms and fixed Hira's head shape, leg muscles, and navel.
Next, Kieran will perfect the anatomy and then move on to breaking symmetry, doing fine detailing (like adding pores, veins, wrinkles), adding some clothing, and finessing the corruption elements.
This sprint, Bianca finished up the beautiful "galaxy" spider enemy we shared with you last week. Here's a peek at her entire modeling process.
Over the past two weeks, Bianca was also able to shift her focus from the galaxy spider to another eight-legged fiend. We've officially dubbed this enemy as the "portal spider" due to his rather...captivating back side.
Now, Bianca will work on the third and final spider enemy you'll be able to find in the Kristala game. Stay tuned for updates!
Menu / UI Design
A few issues ago, we shared some menu mockup graphics Bianca designed for our Programmers to use as inspo when building out our various menu systems and screens.
Our Programming team finally got some first looks completed that definitely pay homage to Bianca's initial designs. These will be refined further moving forward, but we figured we'd give you a sneak peek in the meantime.
Joe's been working tirelessly as he brushes up on all of Unreal Engine 4's functionality in preparation to tackle the next area of Kristala entirely on his own.
He'll be building and detailing out our Nasahara Ruins based on the comprehensive "floor plan" our Level Design team conceptualized, along with the direction and oversight of Producer Allie.
We can't wait to see what Joe whips up!
Animation / Rigging / Production
As usual, Allie was a multitasking queen this sprint as she lent a hand to all aspects of development.
First, she brought some of our new Kotakayan enemy variants into the game build and equipped them with the awesome gear sword, gear shield, and steampunk dagger Nick created in order to ensure they work properly within the game build.
In addition to some of the new rodent variants, Allie also brought our aquatic Gilsanka enemy into the game build and set it up for testing.
I don’t know about you, but we think there’s just something a little fishy about these guys… Heed our warning...the Gilsanka can't be trusted!
Allie also got the Gilsanka swamp fish in motion as she worked on these NPCs' various attack sequences. Check it out!
Gilsanka Alert Scream
Gilsanka Heavy Attack
Gilsanka Special Attack
Gilsanka Special Club Attack
Shifting focus back over to the world of the Anagativa, Allie applied a bunch of new visual effects to our player character when she consumes various potions.
Feast your eyes on some of these new, juicy animations.
Eminence Mana Potion
Malediction Mana Potion
Lastly, Allie shared a sneak peek of our dynamic main menu after setting up the scene within our game build (along with Tiffany's help).
This might not be our final version, but we're really loving how this looks so far...
As you may recall, Michael’s been in a world of Victorian, steampunk, rodent creation since he joined the ACS Games Team.
This sprint, we decided to shift things up completely and have Michael dream up some enchanting wood-nymph NPCs that will be used throughout the game.
Judging by these sketches, we can adequately say that Michael is an artist of many talents. We can't wait to see how these beautiful babies progress.
Are you digging the artwork you've been seeing from our team? If so, we've got some super freaking AWESOME news...
Our new merch store is OFFICIALLY LIVE!
Head on over to our Store page and check out the awesome ACS Games and Kristala posters we currently have up for grabs. There's 11 variants of each one, and they come in all different sizes. You better believe we've got the perfect piece to complement your space.
And don't worry...we'll be adding a bunch more products to the store soon - including t-shirts, mugs, stickers, and backpacks - so stay tuned and get ready to rep some badass Kristala swag.
We’ve been pretty mum on any story-design updates as of late, but that’s because we’ve got some suuuper cool lore in the works for an area of the game we’re currently referring to as the “Hermitage”. Sounds pretty exotic, right?
You’ll be hearing a lot more about that in the coming weeks, but for now, make sure you register for our biweekly Sagas of Kristala newsletter so you can get an inside look at the enchanting characters and events that drive Kristala's ferocious gameplay.
If you wanna catch up on some of the Sagas you’ve already missed, you can also head over to our Lore page to discover more about the magical world of Kristala - including who important characters are and what you can expect in our dark fantasy action RPG.
Oh, hey...before you go, don't forget you can follow our dev journey on TikTok too!
Search for and follow @acs_games on the app to take an even deeper dive into the fantastical, magical world of Kristala.
What did you think of this issue of the Kristala dev blog? Tell us about it!
Throw us a like or a comment on this post if you're feelin' froggy...and be sure to join our Discord community to talk shop with everyone in the ACS Games family. You'll get exclusive insight into demo deets and what's coming up next too.
You can also always follow our socials to stay in-the-know about any exciting updates and announcements we've got coming your way soon.
As always...thank you for your continued support, and thanks for stopping by.
-The ACS Games Dev Team