I don't have time for a proper introduction this time. There is so much content we added this week because of a certain deadline that is coming up! We created a map-layout for the autumn area and already implemented 3 maps from it. A new tileset has been created for the puzzle area. GIFs incoming!
Alright, let get this started!
Menu Updates and Skills
GFlügel and I worked a bit on the menu the past two weeks. GFlügel started adding the names and descriptions of each passive skill as well as a placeholder icon graphics for them. Here's a little GIF that shows the neutral skill tree with the icons and descriptions.
You probably noticed the zeros in the square brackets, huh? These will be replaced with the actual raise in your stats of passive abilities very soon. As you might guess this is a major balancing topic and the numbers will change a lot as we go.
While GFlügel made sure that every skill has a proper description, I was tasked with adding new icons for the quick buttons on the top of the menu screen and writing help texts for all available menus. Take a look:
We plan to make the menu as self-explanatory as possible so these help texts are kept very minimal. But we will probably come back to change them help texts by adding multiple pages. So if you ever feel stuck you can get a small help menu.
Oh! I almost forgot. We also made some small changes to the title screen.
This new title screen contains the 3 parts of the next demo. While the Story Mode takes you to the usual start of the game on the cargo ship, the Gameplay Mode takes you right to the autumn area for some awesome grinding. In this mode you can also use the menu and activate some skills! Cool! The Puzzle Mode will get you into our new environment for some nifty riddles including our newest puzzle elements.
While we talked about the layout of the area we came up with a handy way to easily sketch areas very fast. So I sat down, took my graphic tablet and spent the remaining day to create the first few maps of the autumn area. Wanna see how it looks? Sure you want to! Here you go:
You start at the bottom right and make your way over to the left side. We aim to make every map a little unique in its path and structure to make it feel more natural. You can also see that there are branching paths that will get you to different places. And who knows, maybe there is even treasure. ;)
Of course this only shows the layout. Here are some pictures for you to see how it looks in game:
To throw a ball, or not to throw, that is the question.
These maps really take a long time. Normally one day is enough to get everything together. But we wont stop there. There are still some details missing (like proper milestones). So we'll get back to these maps later for some polish. However, for now we want to focus on getting content done.
New Areas and Content Updates
Felix created new graphics for the puzzle area and adapted our existing puzzles graphics for the new environment.
In the second picture you also see the new changes for push-pull blocks. If you drag them over surfaces they now respond with dust effects and a small jitter while moving it around. It feels pretty neat and gives the large block that "heavy" kinda feel.
All in all the content pipeline is running hot. In fact, we already have our concept artist Frece sketch out new areas. Being the speedster he is, he comes up with really cool designs. Here's is a little teaser on two new areas:
What do you think?
And lets not forget about Tina, TQ, T-Free, Teflo and Intero (Lots of "T"s there).
Tina continues to work on graphics for the area we teased in the last update.
TQ or The_question makes some new props for the outer area of the cargo ship area (Yes we still feel like there is something missing on the details side of the area :D) as well some more elements for the autumn area.
T-Free works on new enemies for the autumn area.
Teflo is currently pact with college work and finals. But soon he will be back to create sound effects. For now we added placeholders sounds for different effects and most importantly background sounds. Roaming the outer area of the cargo ship is now accompanied by the sound of the ocean while you hear the sound of an engine inside the ship. It really gives the places much more depth.
And Intero works hard to create new music for the game and even finished a new one already! But you have to wait a little longer to get a peak at this one. ;)
So you see, (nearly) everyone is busy creating content for CrossCode. All this new content feels like the game is making a huge step forward and we can't wait to show it all to you in the next demo!
Alright, that's it! Hope you liked this update.
See you next time!
P.S. The next update will be postponed for a week. Felix will be at Siggraph (if you're there too, try to find him!) while I'm on vacation.