The Kristala Dev Blog - Issue #17

Updated: May 22

Hello, fellow indie gamers and RPG enthusiasts! How's it going? We hope well.


We're a little late dropping this-here new issue of the Kristala dev blog, but we promise we've got a good reason. We're officially in the final development crunch for the vertical slice demo of Kristala!


Wait, wait, wait... Hang on. We really need to properly give that last statement the recognition and celebration it deserves....


*clears throat*


WE ARE OFFICIALLY IN THE FINAL DEV CRUNCH FOR THE KRISTALA VERTICAL SLICE DEMO!


Truthfully, we can't properly express how wonderful it feels to even put that sentence out into the multiverse. It's ridiculously exciting to finally have something tangible and concrete -a living entity! - to showcase with all you fine folks.


We've spent the last two years pouring so much love, passion, creativity, and hard work into this project, and we can't wait to finally share it. After all, our favorite part of the entire creation process - for anything, really - is being able to share it with...well...you!


Until that fateful day when Kristala is figuratively in your hands, you already know we'll be here sharing our dev process with you. So get comfy, grab some snacks, and get ready to dive into our latest round of updates.



Programming


Per usual, Will's been incredibly busy the past few weeks. As our fearless lead programmer, he's got quite a hefty to-do list...pretty much all of the time.


This sprint, he started off by addressing the way our player character interacts with various destructible objects.


After fiddling around and running some tests, Will was able to make it so that the character can effectively roll through various environmental objects - like the barrels shown in the clip below - to destroy them.



Will also readdressed the ability system to accommodate for various weapons’ special abilities, and fixed a bug that prevented mana from being correctly spent before setting up special attacks for both the Impaler Sword and Venom Handscythe weapons.


Will then fixed another bug related to the game's poison system, which you can see illustrated in the log below.



Next, Will wrote up some documentation for creating and implementing destructible items. He also programmed the functionality for throwing consumables in the Kristala demo.


Below are two videos that showcase the throwing functionality; the first is an in-depth peel into the actual programming process within Unreal Engine 4, and the second showcases the throwing in action within the Kristala game build.



Will also created a cure spell for our player character, implemented a special attack for the Rosethorne Sword (which significantly slows enemies), and made a change to the combat system to allow the player character to draw and attack or cast with just one press of a button.


Will finished up this sprint by addressing a few more bugs, including fixing our healing spell’s neverending visual effect. Here's the bug in action.




3D Asset Design


This sprint, Nick has been hard at work in the Kristala greenhouse!


He whipped up all the initial mass-variant flowers for our Dalamase’ level, as well as a few individually sculpted flowers with which players will actually be able to interact.


Keep an eye out for these beautiful buds in the Kristala game.



Next, Nick shifted gears back to one of his specialties - weapons! He created this super cool barnacle staff to match the rest of our Gilsanka enemy's barnacle-encrusted gear.


You can see the rest of Nick's aquatic artillery for the Gilsanka by going back in time to feast your eyes on Issue #15 of the Kristala Dev Blog.



After completing the barnacle club, Nick shifted gears yet again to work on creating some stone walls that will be used throughout the capital city of Nisar - the bustling hub of the nature-loving Nisarga clan.


In the Kristala demo, you'll be playing as Ofelia of Nisarga, but you'll be able to choose from one of six Anagativa clans to play as in the full version of the game, all with their own Capital cities and unique magic and lore.



Lastly, Nick tackled a few unique and important pieces of jewelry that are needed for the Kristala demo. We can't share too much more about these pieces just yet, but we couldn't wait to show them off.


What do you think these might be used for in the game? Let us know in the comments!



Our go-to environmental designer, Cass, continues to create the various structures and dwellings that will be featured in various areas of Kristala, like the Nasahara Ruins and the small villages that pockmark Anagativa clan lands.


Here's a peek at some of the row homes and forest townhomes Cass has been focusing on over the past sprint. Honestly, most of these houses are way cooler than any of our apartments... ;)



We've shown off Bianca's progress on the tree trunk spider enemy in previous issues, and we're super pleased to be showing you the fully textured and painted fiend.


Bianca played around with color schemes for this baddie before finally deciding on the second design below.


Behold...the completed, eight-legged fiend!



Last on our list for Asset Design updates are a couple models brought to you by the newest member of the Astral Clocktower family, Shelly!


Shelly joins us as our Lead Character Designer, and she's certainly talented (and speedy!) enough to have earned her title.


First, Shelly gave a little facelift to the texturing used on our Masarusa enemy. We think he's looking more ghastly and mutated than ever...which is a good thing in this case.



In addition to a major NPC that we're currently keeping under wraps until our gameplay trailer is finished, Shelly also started working on the model for our male playable character.


The model is currently a work in progress, but we figured we'd show off Shelly's work thus far.




Kristala LIVE Dev Streams


Last issue, we shared the designs for the overlays Bianca created for our Kristala Stream Team to utilize during our daily dev streams.


Here's a peek at our galaxy overlay in action! Pretty cool, right?



If you haven't heard, members of our dev team have been streaming their work LIVE every evening at 9 pm EDT (except for Mondays).


Studio owners Allie and Tiff share their tips and tricks on rigging/animation and level design, respectively, and lead programmer Will walks us through the inner workings of Unreal Engine 4.


Here's a peek at some of our favorite moments from the past week's streams.



You can catch moments like these by tuning in at 9pm EDT on Twitch, Facebook Live, and YouTube. Trust us...you don't wanna miss out!






Level Design


Joe continues to power through setting up our Nasahara Ruins level and establishing a cache of assets to use for both scenery and obstacles. Here are some updated shots!


Joe was also able to set up various breakable objects in our Dalamase' swamp demo level for all the Kristalans who just like to muck shit up every now and then while playing.


We got yo' back, friends.



While Joe handled the Nasahara, Tiffany spent some time addressing the overall game environment. Specifically, she addressed the water and fog assets we've used throughout the demo level and altered them in order to reduce the size of our project.



Tiff also got the lantern-fruit trees, crystal flowers, and crystal-encrusted boulders Nick created added to the level and fixed their collision - along with addressing some additional collision issues we were experiencing with mushroom assets placed earlier in the build.



Tiff then made some adjustments to our Kristal Checkpoints in order to make them more accessible for the player character, and implemented the functionality needed to actually activate the Checkpoints in game. Check it out!



Lastly, Tiff beefed up the emissive material on the crystals featured in the main menu of the Kristala demo and added a Load Save button before working on a Copyright menu too.


Here's a look at what the crystals on the main menu looked like before Tiff adjusted them. You'll just have to wait until you play the demo to get a peek at where they're at now. ;)




Animation / Rigging / Production


This sprint, Allie spent a lot of time on the rig for a special NPC (one we're currently keeping under wraps) as well as the rig for our Masarusa mini-boss (one we're not currently keeping under wraps, which means we can totally share it with you. Yay! Lucky you!)



Allie then got some new visual effects added for our healing spell. Shiny!



Speaking of visual effects, Allie was also able to refine the animation sequence and effects for our Rosethorne Sword's special attack. Behold the beauty!



After tackling that, Allie focused on bringing some fun new enemies into the Kristala game build. We're still working on coming up with proper names for these guys, but how freakin' cool are these baddies?


...CAN'T ...WAIT ...TO ...KILL!



Next up, Allie brought in a bunch of our newest 3D assets to the game build, including the sweet barnacle staff Nick created.


Check out this gorgeous glowing effect she added!



To round out this sprint, Allie added some additional swampy sounds to the Dalamase' level. We think their addition seriously amps up the overall ambiance of this environment.


What do you think?




Sound Design


Last issue, we introduced you to one of our newer team members - composer Adeel!


Here's a recent track Adeel put together for our demo, backed by some awesome gameplay clips Allie recorded and pieced together.



Kristala Merch Alert!



Don't forget! We now have a Kristala merch store! Make sure you check it out and stay tuned for even more custom Kristala gear coming to the store soon.




Aaaand that's a wrap on Issue #17 of the Kristala Dev Blog!


We hope you're diggin' what you're seeing. If you are, be sure to register for a site account and leave us some love in the comments section at the end of the post. You can also give us a heart react on the post itself to share your support.


Want more Kristala? You can join our Discord community to chat directly with the members of the ACS Games dev team. We also invite you to share any updates from your own projects or creations - 3D art, drawings, concepts, tracks...we wanna see it!


As always, dear friends, thank you for your continued support...and thanks for stopping by.


-The ACS Games Dev Team



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