December flew by, what with the holidays and constantly adding new content to CrysCo’s alpha version. January is already off to a great start, and we’re just now getting around to posting a recap of our progress during the end of 2017 into 2018. If you haven’t already, join our Discord channel to begin playing Crystal Companies’ alpha debut today!
Here is a quick demo of what the game is looking like these days:
The Nature faction received a much-needed overhaul over the past month. The characteristic features of nature cards–environmental primacy, growth over time, and synergies between plants, spells, and creatures–have been emphasized and retooled for a much more defined play-feel. Plants in particular play a much bigger role with this update.
The newly added population rule effectively creates another resource for players to manage during a skirmish. Instead of being able to indiscriminately play creature cards, a player must now balance their “pop cap” along with the cost of deploying a creature contract. Population does not impact structures or traps, but it does impact spells that produce creatures #makessense.
Last month, we revealed the investments feature. Further revisions now enable players to craft a more nuanced strategy over the course of a skirmish with better-defined investment lines and tiers:
- The Infrastructure line offers investments upgrading population capacity, hand capacity, and health and armor of your structures and support operations.
- The Military line offers investments upgrading a variety of attributes for your creatures such as attack, armor, and movement speed.
- The Economy line offers investments upgrading resource generation and card acquisition.
- Each investment costs purely crystal resource and only one investment of each line can be purchased each turn.
UX changes this past month included a skirmish preview (which highlights you and your opponent’s captains and provides a random preview of cards from each player’s deck before the skirmish begins), toggle options in player settings for both the hex grid overlay and for health bars, as well as a sidebar that displays battle notes (in case you are ever wondering why a creature gets defeated or a spell doesn’t produce the result you expected).
New hotkeys were also added, and are as follows (by default):
- Q: go to previous ally.
- E: go to next ally.
- R: go to next movable ally.
- T: go to next attack-ready ally.
- V: go to next visible enemy.
- Escape: open game menu/settings.
- Spacebar: confirm action.
New Map – Taru Quarry
Set in an old and overrun crystal mining quarry, Taru Quarry is a new map that is easy to wall and defend. Anima and thieves stalk the two outer lanes and there is a build-site in the center that is not easily accessible without Native or Flying. Rock rubble will impede movement in the early game but are breakable barriers, which makes traversing a bit easier in the late game. Before the encampment was overrun, crystal was exposed but not yet mined. You’ll find a giant crystal face on the right side of the map that fragments crystal every time your units hit it.
Many quality of life tweaks have been made over the past month and a half. Do check out our December and January update notes for all the gritty details! Or just grab a steam key from our Discord channel and experience them for yourself!
On the Horizon
The biggest focus for us in the near-term (which we hope will culminate in a successful Kickstarter campaign in the long-term) is community development. We have made much headway in ensuring Crystal Companies is not only fun, but also consistently smooth and exciting over many plays.
Without players’ feedback about the recent major changes, however, it becomes increasingly hard to improve the alpha version. We just can’t be sure what people want until we give it to them. So, if you or someone you know loves the idea of playing a turn-based 3D card game in an alpha-state, please grab a steam key from our Discord channel! Just type !key when you get there.
In addition to spreading the word about CrysCo’s alpha being available, we at Boreal Games will be working on re-integrating all-important features like deck construction, card acquisition, and collection management over the coming months.
We are more excited than ever to hear what you have to say about Crystal Companies and for what lies ahead for us and the community!