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The Kristala Dev Blog - Issue #22

Hello, all you beautiful boos and glorious ghouls! We're heading into spooky season, and there's no better way to celebrate an eerie action-adventure game than diving into the newest issue of the Kristala game dev blog.

If you're just joining us, welcome home! This is the only place where you'll get a monthly, in-depth look at the development process for our inaugural title, Kristala - an enchantingly delightful 3D dark fantasy action RPG developed lovingly with Unreal Engine 4.

As we move into the final quarter of 2020, our (incredibly good-lookin') dev team has been churning out new and exciting updates that we can't wait to share with you.


Kristala Featured at IWOCon 2020

Before we take a look at what's hot and fresh from the game dev oven, we first wanted to present an exciting announcement that we've been bursting at the seams to share with you.

Kristala has been approved as an official selection for the 2020 Indie World Order digital convention, IWOCon! We can't wait to exhibit the game alongside so many other talented independent creators, especially because IWOCon isn't like regular's a cool con.

Why, you ask? While most virtual conventions tend to be....well, conventional....IWOCon cleverly presents its games via a totally unique and interactive exhibition that invites you onto the salty shores and sand-riddled beaches of IWO island.

Anchor the ship and explore your way through various booths as a rogue pirate destined for fun and adventure. Come, sail away with us into the heart of indies...and don't forget yer eye patch an' parrot, matey!

We'll be sharing much more about this exciting con in the coming weeks, but for now, make sure you head on over to the IWOCon Steam page and Wishlist the app now to ensure you don't miss out on the fun.

There will be rum!


3D Asset Design

In our last issue, Nick had rounded out the month of August by getting started on the assets needed for our Nasahara Ruins level. Specifically, Nick was moving forward on the models that will detail the Kotakayan encampment located within the heart of this abandoned city.

Once upon a time, Nasahara was a thriving Anagativan mecca in Nisarga clan territory. The peaceful Nisargans used the village for trade, dining, and entertainment - holding lavish theatrical performances in the great, hulking coliseum that stands watch over the city.

When the Mad Kotakayan King waged war on Nasahara and set its streets ablaze, the Nisargan denizens fled in search of safer ground. Sadly, Nasahara's booming economy never recovered and, decades later, its crumbling, scorched remains have slowly been reclaimed by nature - and now the Kotakaya too.

Here's a look at Nick's progress on the 3D models for this bustling Kota encampment.

Speaking of the great Nasaharan Coliseum, last issue we shared the progress our 3D Environmental Modeler, Cass, had made on the large, detailed model for this important Nisargan structure.

As we alluded to above, the Nisargans used the coliseum primarily for entertainment, where the clan's talented thespians performed dramatic sagas, laugh-inducing comedies, and terribly tragic tales for the amusement of all who gathered near.

As the creatives of Ailur, none could put on a show quite like the Nisargans, which made the burning of Nasahara even more devastating to this peaceful clan.

Though no performance has been held in the coliseum since the Great Kota Rebellion, some say eerie laughter can still be heard emanating from its walls at night, leading many to believe the aging coliseum is some sort of portal for spirits stuck in transition.

Here's a look at Cass's finished model for the coliseum, complete with unwrapped UVs and applied textures.

Now that he's finally finished with the coliseum, Cass moves on to another important modeling task: detailing the cavernous sewer systems that run beneath the charred streets of Nasahara.

Nasahara's sewers play an important role in the gameplay progression for Kristala. And, as you might imagine, they're absolutely crawling with creepy creatures that are hungry for a taste of Anagativan flesh.

Here's a look at Cass's initial model for one of the sewer pipes that will comprise Nasahara's underground system. This particular piece was used to test the general size of the structures, so expect some changes to this model in future dev blog issues.

This month, we welcomed a new 3D Generalist, Karena, to our team. In addition to her impressive modeling skills, Karena is also well-versed in animation and now lends her double-threat talents to the ACS Games dev family.

While you'll get an introduction to Karena's animation work later in this issue, let's first take a look at our newest team member's modeling skills.

Karena began working through a list of assets needed for the Nisarga clan's capital city of Nisar. This impressive city is the largest in Nisargan clan territory and serves as the home for many of this nature-loving clan's most prominent citizens.

First, Karena tackled a few different variants of a simple picture frame that will be used throughout the Nisargan dwellings that pockmark Nisar.

Much like the rest of the objects found in the lush, forested lands of Nisarga, Karena took great care to add elements of the natural world to each of her models - like the raw wood details and green vines used on the frames below.

After finishing up the frame variants, Karena then moved on to creating a few versions of night stands that will be added to the list of furnishings that detail the treehouses of Nisar.

While some of her models resemble more traditional furnishings, others appear much rawer and unfinished - highlighting the organic aesthetic of the Nisarga clan.

Which of the below variants is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.

Did you know that each of the six Anagativa clans of Ailur all have a very unique lifestyle and aesthetic that's based on the topography of their individual clanlands?

Because of the denseness of the Ailuran forests, the Nisargans claimed their territory amongst the sprawling treetops of the massive Jhacanda trees that dominate their lands.

Not only do these sky-high villages allow the Nisargans to connect with the natural world, they also provide a distinct offensive advantage that allows members of the clan to spot dangers and avoid potential conflict well before either arises.

This sprint, we had 3D Generalist Shelly try her hand at creating a base for the trees that will eventually house these massive, airborne treehouse villages.

After nailing down an initial model, Shelly then went back in and refined the tree and its branches, altering her work so models would actually support the addition of a house. These are still a very early work in progress, but check out what Shelly's got thus far:

Shelly also lent her impressive texturing skills this sprint to some of the picture frame models Karena created. Stay tuned for updates on the trees and their houses - plus more of this beautiful texture work - next issue.

Last month, we shared the updates 3D Character Designer, Bianca, made to the Nisargan forest nymph NPCs she's been working on over the past few weeks.

Since then, Bianca made some incredible refinements to the nymph model, including the beautiful work you see below on the character's hair. We can't believe how soft, silky, and lifelike it looks - even in such an eclectic assortment of colors.

Pretty impressive, right?

After nailing the nymph, Bianca shifted her attention over to the base model she's been working on for our Kotakayan soldiers.

You'll be battling all kinds of in