A Busy Start to Fall

Hello and welcome to any first-time readers! This is Boreal Games' monthly update about Crystal Companies, the tactical CCG set for an early 2018 pre-release and Kickstarter. Skip to the end to find out how you can get involved in the development process! The end of summer brought with it a deluge of improvements as we prepared CrysCo for the Boston Festival of Indie Games--this tweet provides a peek at our behind-the-scenes experience at FIG (minus the last-minute updates to the code and art in our AirBnB the night before...): All set up for @BostonFIG tomorrow! Come see us to play Crystal Companies/grab a pin #indiegame #calmbeforethestorm #bostonfig #fig pic.twitter.com/SQXEaVZKox — Boreal Games (@boreal_games) September 22, 2017 Here are the highlights of our efforts through September. Draft Mode Redesign The demo drafting screens have seen a complete redesign, which included the integration of some additional features, such as: - Complete contract data can be viewed through the contract detail view from the draft scene, either while selecting...
Read More

CrysCo Update Notes – September 25, 2017

9/25/2017 –  September 25th Update Notes User Interface The main menu scene and draft mode have been redone with an entirely new user interface.  Players can now enter multiplayer or singleplayer with either a pre-built deck or draft their own. The in-game user interface has been cleaned up significantly.  Somehow we added more functionality while reducing the UI real estate. New Cards Several new cards have been created to build on current faction synergies. Powerful new legendary cards have been implemented and are ready to be tested! Crystal cards are now available which can be easily added to any faction deck to provide players with more customization within a resource faction. Effects Many visual and audio effects for combat, abilities, conditions, and spells have been created and synced with character animations for a more immersive experience. Bezier curve movement has been added for abilities that leap or move on unusual paths. Hokeys A variety of new hotkeys and tricks have...
Read More
Juice, Juice, and More Juice

Juice, Juice, and More Juice

This month we attempted to inject more juice than ever into the game...and I think we succeeded (depending on your figurative definition of juice, of course). UI We are always working to improve the UI in order to better communicate the themes of Crystal Companies and make it easier to enjoy. This month we: Fixed a number of lingering issues in the unit detail view, as well as fixed display of unit models and lore display. Refined designs for the new Draft mode, which allows players to play with a selection of random cards that they may or may not own. Refined timer system design to make it more obvious that time management is important during playing. Refined conquer point bars / player display design for more space-efficient display and to communicate some of the frontier exploration elements of Crystal Companies. Combined system messages into the new "HUD bar" design. Keep your eyes peeled as these new designs should be rolled out in time...
Read More

CrysCo Update Notes – August 4, 2017

8/4/2017 - August 4th Update Notes Character Detail View A new meta view has been created which gives an in depth description of  a character's abilities, attributes, and backstory. Pressing the back-tick key (`) will bring up the character's detail view. Draft Mode A simple draft mode has been implemented.  In the draft mode a player first selects the Captain that they would like to play with. After the player selects a Captain, he or she is shown thirty rounds of cards--each round a player picks one of three card choices based on the selected Captain card. New Cards A variety of new cards have been added to the game--others removed--to give each resource faction better chemistry and to allow for more interesting strategies. Infrastructure Card collection and management has been updated to be much faster and allow for a wider variety of viewing and management options. Database structure, mapping, and organization has been updated to connect objects in the...
Read More
Mid-Summer Update: New Features, Art, and Opportunities

Mid-Summer Update: New Features, Art, and Opportunities

We at Boreal Games hope that you're enjoying your summer! We continue to transform Crystal Companies into a more polished product. This month has seen various exciting changes that you can see summarized below! Draft Mode Now that most of the cards have found their way into the game, we've put together a nice and simple draft mode where players can jump right into the thick of battle. In the draft, players create their deck over several rounds of selecting one card each round out of a group of three selections. Infrastructure Upgrades This month we invested much of our efforts in laying down the foundation for upcoming infrastructure makeovers. One of the bigger endeavors we have been designing and working towards is the collection viewer and manager scene. We have been meticulously preparing several server and client components that will aid our progress in the management scene. UX/UI For the UX/UI this month, there have been a lot of clerical upgrades, with fewer big feature...
Read More
Indie Days, Dog Days

Indie Days, Dog Days

We hope you all had a swell June and first week of July--we certainly have! (except for Will--#allergies) Here's a rundown of our progress over the past month: Behind-the-scenes updates Developed several tools to aid in back-end automation and efficiency--tasks like iterating on ideas, testing card balance, troubleshooting new card abilities, and updating battlefields have been dramatically streamlined. Continued refining the first set (we're getting closer to having every card in the game in its latest iteration! Spirit is coming up next...) Simplified many of CrysCo's server and client components to help streamline new feature implementation and mitigate future headaches! Icons! Character Detail Screens!   On the Horizon This month we're looking at finalizing many of the cards that remain in limbo, as well as further work on management screens--i.e., the playable game is becoming more playable! As always, catch our streams to see weekly progress! Big updates to the overall look and feel of the website are also on the docket. If you're reading this and asking: "how can I help right...
Read More
A Wild June Appears

A Wild June Appears

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! Server Performance 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...
Read More

CrysCo Update Notes – May 24, 2017

05/24/2017 - May 24th Update Notes Spline Arrows New Bezier spline arrows have been added to better visualize movement, attack, and ability targeting. Tactical Map View Pressing Tab now brings up a tactical view of the map, displaying the entire field in a simpler, concatenated screen. UX Several UI elements have been updated to be more visually compelling and informative. Cards can now be dragged and reordered in hand. 3 cards can now be mulliganed at the beginning of the game. New Loadbalancing Server The CrysCo server has been revamped to be much more efficient with loadbalancing. Bug Fixes Text parsing is cleaner and includes parsing for niche abilities. Ability stacking has been fixed to properly add multiple conditions on one unit. Several issues with AI movement, path-finding, unit refreshing, and repairing towers were fixed. Graphical performance was enhanced while decreasing the size of the client. All techniques were provided the functionality to give multiple conditions or spawn multiple different units. Also, triggered...
Read More
April Progress Brings May Goals

April Progress Brings May Goals

Another busy month is in the books. Here's a snapshot of April 2017 as we experienced it here at Boreal Games. Updated UI Features The UI has seen even further updates, both with new features and making existing ones more obvious. To that end: Contracts can be reordered by dragging and dropping Company status has been rolled into a contextual info bar beneath the contract manager, showing when it is relevant and keeping the UI clean. Mulligan can be performed at the beginning of a skirmish, allowing a player to exchange up for 3 contracts for different draws. Player and Opponent panels have been simplified to display conquer scores and player icons, as the previous company info was moved to a more contextually appropriate location. This opens up space for upcoming social features. To support the mechanic of conquer victory, a conquer panel now displays when the score changes on either side. Technical Improvements Text parsing is cleaner and includes parsing for niche abilities. Ability stacking has...
Read More
Springing forward & marching on

Springing forward & marching on

We made many big changes this month including a new environment, streamlined controls, exciting game changes and optimizations, and integrated analytics.  We also found out this month we are finalists for a pitch competition! Environment Update The play field is just a couple of days away from a graphical overhaul, with some improved lighting and physical effects as well as reworked environments. UX We've been working to streamline giving directions to units and confirming various dialogues; to that end a number of new hotkeys have been added to the game: R - Activate selected unit's move T - Activate selected unit's basic attack Enter - Can confirm active movement, multi-target attacks, resource triggers, forfeiting the game. / - Is now the default command to bring up the chat window. F - Focus the selected unit, causing the camera to automatically pan to center that unit on screen. For a while, abilities that summoned units to the field--such as Arachnid's Egg or the Veteran Commander's "Call Soldier"...
Read More
12