CrossCode Update #46
Post CrossWeek – Much to tell!

Hi again!

CrossWeek is over! And what a week it was. Needless to say: we made a lot of progress! We have a first version of the circuit menu, an almost completed tutorial battle, our first real boss enemy and more!

There is much to tell, so take a seat and get ready!

Circuit Menu Progress

R.D. was busy implementing the detailed view of the circuit menu and managed to finish a large portion of the work!

And what better way to show this progress than with a time laps?

wip-small

When navigating the menu with the mouse, we can click and drag to change the point of view.
At the same time, when hovering a node you get a tooltip with more detailed informations about the skill.
Of course, you can have tooltips and dragging at the same time. And we can’t have tooltips simply popping in and out, now can we?
So this is what we got:

circuit-detail

It was challenging to implement, but navigation the skill menu this way feels really nice indeed.

The final steps for the circuit menu are proper node descriptions, the actual node (de)activation and gamepad support.

The Tutorial Battle

In recent updates we have shown excerpts of the tutorial as well as the large turret enemy that will be part of that tutorial.
During CrossWeek and the week after that, I continued working on this end, completing the large turret enemy and implementing most of the tutorial itself!
So here have some screenshots of the current state of the tutorial:

tutorial-1

We start the tutorial by testing the players throwing skill.

tutorial-3

After that, it’s time to dodge! Ever tried to dodge in CrossCode without losing your aim? That’s what we want you to do here.

tutorial-4

Captain Jet explaining the guarding skill that you just acquired.

tutorial-5

And to round everything up: a battle to test your skills.

As this tutorial is interactive it took a bit of time to get all the sequences right. However, we hope that it will help many players to better understand the battle system of our game. After all, it is kind of unique, in some ways at least.

The first Boss

And now, the big thing that everyone (or maybe just some?) have been waiting for!

Introducing the Cargo Crab:

introduction

That monster was quite a piece of work.
It helped a lot that all of us have been at the same place during CrossWeek as it was quite some collaboration!
T-Free created sprites and poses for all the individual parts, while I was assembling all the animations in our new editor, which I had to fix and extend quite a lot in the process.

This is how the Cargo Crab looks like in the animation editor:

cargoCrabInEditor

Overall, this enemy is made out of 17 separate entities, with 1-3 sprites each. All of these are moved in sync for each animation. That way, all graphics of this boss enemy fit into an image of 512×512 pixel size (36kb), while the animations are described in a separate JSON file (238kb, 17kb when compressed). So in short: We save huge amounts of memory!

Anyway, here is one of the many animations:

crab-moving-transparent

So what about the battle itself?
Well, we don’t want to reveal everything at this point.
Of course, the crab will be able to attack quite severally. For example like this:

cargo-crab-attack-small

And of course, as with any giant enemy crab, there will be a weak point:

cargo-crab-weak-point-small

What you don’t hear in these animations are the great sounds that Teflo created for this boss fight. Rising steam? Hydraulics? Metal impact? We got all that covered!

And that’s all for the boss fight. Is it done? Well, almost. We still need a proper energy bar for this enemy and lots of fine tuning to balance the attack pattern. But apart from that, our first boss enemy is almost complete! That’s a huge milestone for us!

MORE STUFF

There is more! Teflo created new sounds for the menu (much more pleasant to listen to) as well as a large variety of hit sounds. At the end, we had file names such as hit-6-3-1-4.ogg… that’s the number of revisions we went through until we found something good.

GFluegel continued planning the circuit graphs and draw several new icons for the nodes.

T-Free, who already created all the boss sprites and effects, didn’t stop there and continued with more graphics for an entirely new enemy (more on that another time).

Intero finished a new BGM for the outside of the cargo ship.

And most recently, I extended our effect system to support things like this:

lea-sparkle

And finally, if you got the impression that something seemed different in the screens of the tutorial battle, that’s because we increased the contrast of many graphics throughout the game.
Here a small comparison:

contrastChanges

Looks better, right? … Right?

Wrapping up the milestone

With all this work done, we finally conclude our current milestone.
What was the goal? Implement the boss fight and the circuit menu.
Did we make it? Well, almost. But since there was a lot of technical challenges on the way to achieve all this, I think we did pretty well this time.

And one thing is certain: This was not our last CrossWeek! Because not only was this week extremely productive, it was also a lot of fun!

That’s all for this update.
As always, thanks for reading and following our blog.

Until next time!

3 Comments

  • Would love to see a live video walkthrough of the animation editor. Our team for A Dragon Named Coal has been thinking of rolling a similar tool.

  • Hi Ash!
    You seem very interested in the editor. So of course I can create a video of the editor, show how it works and all. Just be aware, that we probably won’t publish this editor any time soon. It’s very much bound to our engine, as it makes heavy use of sprites placed in 3D space and so on. So it is not really compatible with the regular impact engine.

    However, if you just want to see how it works e.g. to get some ideas/inspiration for your own editor, I guess a video makes a lot of sense. :D

    Maybe sometime the next two weeks.

    • Mainly just curious on the workflow and the granular process of using it. Currently living at my desk writing all of our CMS tools for A Dragon Named Coal and curious as to whether something like that would benefit our workflow.

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