Post news RSS Something's Brewing in the Abbey #30

Time for Ale Abbey's weekly dev review: more animations, changes in the Quality attribute and its UI, and some extra field research!

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Already October and we are steadily working closer to our internal Milestone that will hit at the end of next month. So far we are making excellent time and the results themselves are exceeding expectations. Overall, we have been able to keep our progress balanced in both the technical and the aesthetic, and - thankfully - working on both seems to complement each other amazingly well!

But that's the bigger picture. For the time being, let us share some of the developments that transpired over this past week...

-- New Animations

With the completion of the Refectory, Raimo, our pixel artists, started animating and creating assets that would better fit the vibe and actions taking place in the room. After we showcased some general-purpose animations for it last week, we focused on giving some extra personality to the inhabitants of the Abbey. In our minds, nothing is mundane about their lives and we definitely want to show you as much!

In addition to those, we are also working on a few more general ones, like the Monks/Nuns "resting their eyes" on the floor. Whether it's lack of beds or inability to resist a foamy tankard of ale... is yet to be revealed!

-- Material Quality and UI

After feedback and a few tests this week, we have decided to make some changes in how brewing materials and their qualities are depicted (in the Storage/Purchasing UI).

In the beginning, all materials had 3 different qualities that affected their price and their chances to generate special traits in the resulting brews.

Now all materials will come in Standard only quality, except of the Malts which can come in both Standard and Premium qualities; Premium will still affect special trait chances. This has alleviated both technical complexity and aesthetic clutter, as you will immediately notice in the definitely more readable UI.

-- Field Tri... ahem, Research!

Before the team even started developing Ale Abbey, Lead Dev and Homebrewer of Hammer & Ravens, Emiliano, found himself on many small trips across a number of Brewery Monasteries that ended up fueling most of the aesthetics in our game. True to his traditions, Emiliano visited Kloster Eberbach, a former monastery in the south-eastern outskirts of Hesse, in Germany.

Although Kloster Eberbach is a destination more fitting for wine-making aficionados, the photos from the trip still work great as reference material for Ale Abbey!

-- Beer Pairing

You can't say you didn't expect that from a team that loves beer as much as they love food, now, did you?

Although not talked about as much as its cousin, wine pairing, beer pairing is an equally complex subject. There are still some basic suggestions that can get anyone started. Allow us to suggest a few pointers!

  • match beer intensity with food's intensity (complex dish/complex beer, delicate dish/delicate beer)
  • use known flavor profile combinations (nutty brown ale? try with some cheese!)
  • complement or contrast (i.e. a roasted flavor stout with chocolate truffles, or a high carbonation brew to balance out a fatty dish!)
  • don't try to match based on all the aspects of either the brew or the dish, sometimes one or two are more than enough
  • do not be afraid to pair beer with dessert (i.e. lambic with creamy desserts, or porter/bock with chocolate heavy ones)

Remember to experiment and have fun. If you have combinations that you trust, let us know!

Thank you for your time and enjoy your weekend responsibly!

-- Hammer & Ravens

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