May brought a graduation (congrats Brad), transformative changes to the game, and of course, another busy month! We’re very excited for what’s to come, but first: the month’s highlights in review.
Generalized Map Creation
Much of CrysCo’s battlefield is now stored in a database which makes for easy updating and more mobile map creation. Now we can simply edit attributes within the database instead of changing an entire map file. Additionally, all battlefield related code has been generalized to work on an arbitrary map. This allows us to add new maps of different sizes, landscapes, AI, build sites, and gameplay mechanics. Keep an eye out for a new map soon!
Loadbalancing capability has been integrated into the server codebase. Essentially what this means is that we are now better able to scale the number of games being played at once by automatically spreading out server load over several servers instead of just one. As more players skirmish on the Crystal Frontier the stronger our servers must be. Now we have the ability to deploy new game servers to combat bottle-necking and provide a seamless experience to all players.
- The demo battlefield (Riven Outskirts) has been given a graphical redesign to be more graphically consistent and visually intuitive for players.
- Some graphical settings were refined, which has provided a more vibrant and clean graphical experience.
- The fog of war system is getting a visual and technical overhaul (you can see how it looks so far below) that is more dynamic, smooth and performs better than the existing version.
Abilities, attacks, and moving now have arrows that indicate more precisely what target(s) have been selected.
Get a quick overview of the battlefield using the new tactical view by pressing TAB. The tactical view allows players to quickly determine if units can attack, move, or use abilities. Hovering over a hex in this view displays what unit(s), if any, are currently occupying that hex. Clicking on an occupied hex will dismiss the tactical overlay and focus the unit in the world. The tactical view is helpful to avoid forgetting units as the sizes of the active armies grow.
Isa is almost ready! Here’s our latest update–which is from one of the incredible artists we’re working with, Milly Parkes.
On the Horizon
We are currently finishing-up our market research grant, with our last play-testing focus group occurring the first weekend in June. As we continue to transition away from conducting market research to implementing these findings, Crystal Companies is slated to see continuing major changes. Among the things we’ll tackle this month: lingering UI/UX issues, implementing new models–a few of which will (fingers-crossed) be custom–and further implementing the many new and different gameplay elements that have been backlogged over the past few months (this will include card, environmental, and balancing changes). Lucky for you, dear reader, next month will probably bring many unforeseen developments–some good, some bad, but all guaranteed to be utterly fascinating (we can only hope).
P.S. We will be in Portland, Maine on Wednesday, June 21, exhibiting at the MTI TechWalk, which is a part of Maine Startup and Create Week–if you’re in attendance, come say hi!