Good afternoon, beings of Ailur!
We're so happy you're here, because we've got a super juicy, jam-packed issue for you this week. We've been charging forward on programming, revising and finessing our animations, and modeling detailed concepts like it's nobody's business.
...Lucky for you, we're making it your business, and we want to hear your thoughts on all the tasty new dev updates we're servin' up. To do so, you can like or comment on this post, check out what's going on in our Discord channel, or join the conversation across social media.
On a serious note, we know there's some pretty scary and uncertain things happening in the world right now, so we invite you to transport yourself to another place for a few minutes, and get lost in the wonderful, magical world of Kristala.
Will was super busy this sprint as he worked to fix bugs and add additional functionality to the Kristala game build.
First, he got a new spell added to combat enemies. After modifying AI behavior, our enemies can now detect the player character much more readily at range, and there aren't any dead spots that allow the AI to "change its mind" too.
Will also created the necessary functionality to allow players to respawn after defeat, including dropping Kris (XP) upon death.
Additionally, Will worked on making various items destructible, and made a few new items that will allow the player to warp throughout the Kristala demo level.
For our upcoming sprint, he'll continue finessing these changes and then lay the groundwork for projectiles and saving/loading.
3D Asset Design
The one good thing about quarantine is the extra time some of our team members have to beast it out...which is exactly what Nick's been doing.
With his help, we've slowly been amassing a super impressive arsenal of weapons that will be featured in the Kristala demo - like this hand musket, greatsword, greatshield, and throwing spear for our Kotakayan enemies.
Nick also crafted some beautiful, barnacle-encrusted pieces for our aquatic Gilsanka enemies, like the spiked club, cutlass, and shield pictured below.
For the next sprint, Nick plans to finish up the remaining weapons on his list (we can't wait to check out his Kotakayan hand axe), and whip up some items that will allow players to instantly warp to various checkpoints in the Kristala game.
On Cass's to-do list for this sprint was creating a few "demolished" row homes that'll be featured in our Nasahara Ruins area.
Since Cass is so speedy, he's already worked his way through modeling and texturing two of the dilapidated structures, and will continue creating a third for the upcoming sprint.
Kieran's world continues to consist of finessing and perfecting the 3D model for Hiratrola, the gigantic swamp boss that will be featured in the Kristala demo.
Specifically, Kieran worked on asymmetry in Hira's face and chest, added some muscle definition, and focused on creating some additional details to give him more character, including skin pores, teeth, and gums.
In addition to creating some new icons needed for our menu system (which you can check out in that particular section below), Bianca started modeling the third and final spider enemy needed for our demo.
This buggy baddie is based on the real-life tree spider, which has an abdomen that resembles a tree branch and allows it to easily blend in with its surroundings. We can't wait to see how this NPC progresses.
Menu / UI Design
With the creation of so many new weapons (thanks again, Nick!), we needed some additional menu icons whipped up to represent each new weapon. As our resident icon extraordinaire, Bianca was all over it.
As far as the menus themselves go, studio owners Allie and Tiffany worked together to revamp and rework a bunch of our menu assets and aesthetics.
First, Allie whipped up a few new design options for our menu buttons.
Once our team members selected the button options they liked best, Tiffany applied some of the new aesthetics to our existing menu systems. We really love how these babies are lookin'!
In addition to visual revisions for the menu, Tiff also completed some outstanding programming-related tasks for the menus, including updating focus settings, allowing icons to change when players are using a controller vs. a keyboard and mouse, ensuring the pickup menu closes once the pause or checkpoint menus are opened, and anchoring the pause menu to the left side of the screen.
WHEW! Now that's what we call doin' WERK.
In addition to helping spruce up our menus, Tiffany also worked on improving the visual look of our Dalamase level's mucky, swamp-like ground by playing around with new materials.
Once satisfied, Tiff applied the realistic-looking revisions to our game build. Check it out!
While Tiff focused on materials and textures, Joe focused on the rest of the level, placing various colliders throughout the Dalamase swamp.
In the water villages, Joe set up colliders around the water's edge (about knee-deep in) so that players don't die when running into bodies of water. He also placed colliders below the water that will be programmed to kill players if they fall off the level's boardwalks.
Additionally, Joe placed various mushroom models throughout the level to give it a more realistic swamp look.
Next, Joe will shift back to designing our Nasahara Ruins level. Stay tuned for updates!
Animation / Rigging / Production
As our metaphorical game dev chameleon, Allie is incredibly skilled at multitasking and lending a hand to several aspects of development at once. This sprint was certainly no different.
First, Allie placed some additional Kristal Checkpoints throughout our demo level so Will could work on the programming functionality for warping between checkpoints.
Allie also fixed some bugs we were experiencing with our Nisargan magic staff in order to ensure it not only equips to our player character's back when not in use, but that it also holds properly in the character's hand when wielded.
Next, Allie got our Gilsanka enemy fully set up in the Kristala game build and worked on ensuring this fish-like enemy can properly equip the barnacle weapons and shield that asset designer Nick created.
Shifting gears, Allie also spent some time revising how pickups appear in-game. She played around with a few different materials before finally landing on the one pictured below and featured in our second video clip.
On the animation front, Allie tested out some new effects for when our player character consumes the healing potion. We may end up ultimately selecting a different animation, but we thought we'd show off this cool effect.
Another animation Allie is working on is the sequence for our Rosethorne Impaler.
...Kitty got mooooves, y'all.
Next, Allie captured some super cool shots while working on a few programming-related tasks and testing out some of our magic functionality - like this super cool Mistletoe Dart spell.
Check it out!
Last issue, we shared some initial concept sketches Michael created for our wood-nymph NPCs. This sprint, Michael was able to fully detail and finesse three wood nymphs for our 3D asset designers to use as a guide when creating their models.
Next, Michael will work on concepting out three NPCs that are integral to our Hermitage area's storyline. We can't wait to see what he comes up with.
Don't forget - we now have merch! Head on over to our Store page and check out the awesome posters we currently have up for grabs. There's 11 variants of each one, and they come in all different sizes.
We'll be adding a bunch more products to the store soon, so be sure to bookmark our site so you can be first in line for new Kristala swag.
Listen, we know things have been stressful for you lately, so before you go and get back to reality, check out this silly blooper video we created and take your smile with you when you go.
Wanna interact directly with the ACS Games dev team? OF COURSE YOU DO.
Be sure to join our Discord community to talk Kristala with us. You'll get exclusive insight into demo deets and exciting announcements too.
As always...thank you for your continued support, and thanks for stopping by.
-The ACS Games Dev Team