Summer’s End Update 2019

We’ve been hard at work on Expeditions this summer, and we have a lot to share. In case you missed it, Expeditions is a new single-player mode of Crystal Companies that emphasizes procedurally generated adventures. (We shared details about Expeditions in our previous update.) We have some finishing touches to complete before a new playable demo is ready. But, as you will see below, things are falling into place nicely with the game.

Unit Ability Effects and Animations

Two types of decks will initially be available in Expeditions (each of which will start randomized rather than pre-constructed). Both come equipped with a series of revamped abilities with animations to match.

Imperial deck moveset and FX.
Alomian deck moveset and FX.

UI/UX: Item Management & Tactical View

As items play an enlarged role in Expeditions, the entire system for collecting and using items had to be overhauled. Similarly, we improved the way players can review the environment and actions in a more streamlined way. Below, you can see how looting items and the action viewer have been consolidated into the HUD bar at the top of the screen. Along those same lines, the tactical view has been reinvigorated with a cleaner layout.

Loot, Item Menu, Actions

New item pickup, use, and inventory system.
Looting items from another point of view, which also includes the adjacent actions stream on the left-hand side of the HUD.

Tactical View

An especially optimal time to use the tactical view: when the world is on fire!

Environmental Improvements

Environment generation has received some love recently as well. Both the blending of textures and weather effects were updated.

On the Horizon

As was said in the intro, a new playable demo is on the radar! Hopefully in the next update we will have firmer details to share. But for the time being, you can join our Discord server, which is where we plan to make Steam keys available again!

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.

Snapshot of draft mode user interface
As you can see, card art is still in the works!

  • 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.

    Snapshot of new player heads-up display
    This HUD design is still a work-in-progress, but is far and away a big improvement over what we had previously!

Keep your eyes peeled as these new designs should be rolled out in time for Crystal Companies exhibition at Boston FIG.

JUICE

We’ve been hard at work this month fine-tuning CrysCo’s look and feel with updated special effects, models, and controls. Here’s a quick run down of ALL THAT JUICE:

  • Character movement now feels more natural and with less jerky teleportation.
  • Most spell cards have visual and sound effects, and representative characters that are shown in the character detail view.
  • Most conditions and boons now have sound and visual effects.
  • Special effects triggered by abilities are much smoother and more synchronized.
  • Targeting with spells and placing units is more straightforward and intuitive.
  • Error messages are now more informative and describe problems in a less technical fashion.
  • Character models are more organized and better represent their associated resource faction.

Here’s a quick video showing just one of the many new effects in action (a lot of times, but sadly without its particle effect…)!

On the Horizon

Be prepared for EVEN MORE JUICE in the following updates! By the end of the summer, we hope to have our “productized” version of CrysCo available to our followers! For now, here’s how anyone can get involved:

  • Join our Discord server here: https://discord.gg/fy7yBrk
  • You can hop on our stream every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5:30-7PM EST here.
  • Come see us at the Boston Festival of Indie Games (FIG) in September! Check out https://www.bostonfig.com/ for more details and to get your tickets.
  • As always, feel free to share CrysCo with your friends, and let us know what you think!

Once again, thanks for reading. And remember: next month juice will be in even greater abundance.