Updated: Dec 4, 2019
Hi there! You did it! You made it to our first dev blog. Congratulations!
Since you're here, you're probably already familiar with what it is we're doing here at Astral Clocktower Studios, but in case you haven't had a chance to mosey around yet, we'll fill you in on the important stuff.
ACS Games is an independent game development studio headquartered in Central PA, USA. Our incredible team - comprised of 13 ridiculously talented creators from all walks of life and location - is currently deep into development for our very first title, Kristala.
Kristala is a third-person, fantasy, action RPG developed in Unreal Engine 4. In short, it's our precious, our pride and joy -- our bouncing bundle of badassery and gore.
We've been elbow-deep in Kristala's development for just over a year and a half, and we'll be hittin' you with a kickass demo really soon. It'll be available to you on Steam, so stay tuned to our socials and dev blog for all the sweet release deets.
Now that you're all caught up, let's get into the meat and potatoes of the dev blog. In truth, we've always envisioned Kristala as a collaborative effort - a project for the people, if you will.
Y'see...your voice matters to us, and we formally invite you to get engaged.
Each week, we'll post an update about all aspects of Kristala's development process. After you consume the flavor-packed content, be sure to voice any thoughts, constructive criticism, fresh perspective, or overall feedback in the comments section.
Got it? Good.
Let's dive in!
Our Gameplay Programmer, William, has been hard at work modifying behaviors for a deadly creature we not-so-lovingly call the “Lacodon”.
Not only has Will scripted the beast with the ability to ambush unsuspecting players, he's also begun to adjust its hitboxes in order to mold the Lacodon into an even deadlier threat.
Come to think of it, we might just have to start keeping a better eye on Will. Otherwise, who knows what terrible things he just might end up sneaking in...
Check it out!
Justin is our Story Designer and wordsmith extraordinaire! This week, he wrapped up the core of the demo’s lore and item descriptions for an area called the Dalamese'.
Justin's main focus moving forward is to craft some short stories for our upcoming newsletter launch. The stories will provide subscribers with an in-depth look into the world of Kristala and the story that drives its gameplay.
The newsletters will feature some of the characters and events that lead up to the current turmoil taking place in Kristala's storyline. You can read one of Justin's creations on the Kristala Story page.
If you're pickin' up what Justin's throwin' down, subscribe to the newsletter so you don't miss out on any juicy story morsels and lore!
Kristala’s main protagonists, the cat-like Anagativa, are broken up into six different clans. Nick, one of our ridiculously talented 3D Asset Designers, has been hard at work bringing each clan's male and female main characters to life.
The only characters left to craft are the Sykomanans, a hairless Sphynx beings that require a bit more finessing than a simple re-texture.
With the warp-like speed at which Nick works, the Sykomana characters sure to join ranks with their cousins, ultimately providing players more robust character customization options in the full version of the game.
Cass, our 3D Environmental Designer, is something of a machine when it comes to asset creation. He relentlessly sculpts, modifies, and publishes fresh, complex environments for our other devs to play with.
Cass's latest masterpiece is a series of swamp structures that mimic the look and feel of a bayou environment. The pieces feature the unique structural and aesthetic details of the biome, including expertly mimicking its architectural design and perfectly replicating the soft cling of Spanish moss.
When you think about it, splintered wood isn't typically considered beautiful, yet Cass has a way of crafting it into a literal work of art.
The world of Ailur is slowly coming to life, thanks to the expertise of studio owner and Creative Director Tiffany and Level Designer Joe. They've been steadily placing assets throughout the Dalamese', giving the swamp-like area a sense of a life once abundant, now lost to the destruction of war.
Tiff and Joe intend to continue adding assets and telling the story of Kristala through their careful and precise level design.
Rigging / Animation
While 3D Asset Designer Nick has been busy creating textures for our characters, studio founder and Producer, Alexis, has been hard at work getting them in motion by applying their animations.
The animations for the Nisargan tabby model have officially been implemented and refined, ensuring no hiccups occur during their translation to Unreal.
Once the tabby is fully complete, Alexis will repeat the process on each clan character until they all move seamlessly.
Check out Allie's progress on our lovely, limping heroine!
Marketing / Promotion
Sarah, our Marketing Director and third studio owner, has been laser-focused on creating and deploying the Kristala newsletter to the masses. She continues to manage the studio's social channels and finesse its overall voice too.
Sarah also worked hard to plan and build out this-here website you're currently browsing, and she looks forward to further boosting the entirety of the ACS Games brand.
If you haven't already, follow us on your favorite social platforms to stay up to date on all things Kristala - including a chance to snag some brand-spankin'-new game merch - fo' free!
Our Concept Artist, l_aciel, recently finished up her latest endeavor: creating some bad-ass promo art featuring two of Kristala's main bosses: manic Ayrag and mad Byaslag.
l_aciel is also wrapping up a new promo poster you just might have a chance to win in the coming weeks. ...Stay glued to our socials for more on that.
Here's some reference art for boss Ayrag the Executioner; we can’t wait to see what more's in store for his brother, Byaslag the Assassin.
Welp, that'll do it for our first-ever dev blog entry! What'd you think?
In the next installment, you'll get to meet some of our new team members and call first dibs on some more fresh and tasty game dev updates. Stay tuned.
-ACS Games Dev Team