Weekly Update #26 Milestones!

We’re back!

We had an awesome vacation but we still worked a lot on CrossCode. And with a lot, we mean a lot. First we want to pin down all the things we achieved for the mid-year milestone. And for the first time ever we reveal the names of the first 3 characters you meet in the game (Yes, this includes the name of the protagonist!). We also want to show you our agenda for the next milestone! Finally we welcome a new social website to help us spread the word.
So… Let’s start with revealing the names!

The first 3 Names

Of course we start right off with our protagonist!

Lea

lea_face

Known as: Protagonist
You already know (and maybe love) her. Lea will be the character you will control in the game.

Carla Salvatore

face_carla

Known as: Assistant
Carla is an engineer who works on the cargo ship. She is also the one who built the training course you walk through in the TechDemo.

Sergey Asimov

face_sergey

Known as: Programmer
Sergey will be your guide throughout the game. He is a professional programmer and a security expert. He plays an important role in the plot.

These are all characters for now. Of course the game will have more characters and the next demo will feature more then these 3 too. We are also looking forward to revealing more characters while developing CrossCode.

 

Mid-Year Milestone

In the last weekly, we mentioned our intern mid-year milestone. By now the deadline for this milestone is over and today we want to share a list of things we achieved with this milestone:

  • Finalize Battle Mechanics
    • Element mode
    • Close combat
  • Level-Up System
  • Drop Money
  • Clickable NPC
  • Web Audio API (only for sound effects)
  • Dialog System
  • Game Saving
  • Started implementing actual plot
  • Lots of small changes

As you can see we added lots of new features compared too the TechDemo. We also fixed a lot of small things including bugs/features mentioned by fans. Our general goal was to make the game feel more like a game and not like a minigame. We pretty much achieved this and are happy with the results. We also want to share a new screenshot directly from the game:
midyear-screen-0

As you might notice, the screen is much wider than normal. This is because we now support an “HD”-mode with a 16/9 resolution. With this playing in fullscreen feels just like playing a normal desktop game!

Autumn Milestone

botchan-autumn
Despite the hot weather we currently have in Germany, we look forward to our next milestone in Autumn, which is set for end of October! Just like with the last milestone we have a list of features we want to add/update to share with you:

  • Implement Techs/Skills
  • Web Audio API for Music
  • Defense Ability
  • Better effects for Element Modes
  • More sounds for element mode and robots
  • Planning and development of menu
  • More plot
  • First (Mini)Boss
  • More Gameplay elements

The milestone might change over time based on how fast we can develop some of the features. But it’s a raw guideline for us. Again the goal is to make the game feel like a real Action-RPG.

Final Words

The new social website we want to use is Tumblr! With this we hope to reach out to more people that will (hopefully) like our game. You might noticed that there are some new social links at the bottom of the blog and the crosscode page, too. We updated these so people can quickly find us!

Here is the Link to our Tumblr-Page: Click on Me!

We are also happy to announce that due to recent changes in Opera, the browser now supports the gamepad! Since Opera now uses the Blink-Layout-Engine, the performance increased a lot, too. The only downside is that you need to disable the mouse gestures feature used in Opera to avoid conflicts with the game controls.

And that is all we have! We hope you enjoyed this special weekly with lots of stuff to read!

7 Comments

  • I am curious as to what reasoning led to the decision to implement a level-system. The gameplay so far hinted more at the action and puzzle-solving direction, rather than classical leveling. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to place skill-upgrades at designated locations in the game and/or as rewards of completing certain story elements? Just in the same way as in Metroid/Zelda games. To me, this would capture more the spirit of the game outlined in the tech-demo.

    But besides that: Excellent job! ;-)

    • It’s the same reason many games use a level-system. We want to give the player a feel of growth and getting better. We do not plan to make a simple puzzle-hack-and-slay game, but a full Action-RPG. The player can decide on his own if he wants to gets stronger or facing a greater challenge by ignoring opportunities to level. In Zelda you’re kinda forced into upgrades and you can’t decide what you want to do with them. We plan to give the player a bit diversity here. So our goal is a RPG and not an adventure game like Zelda or Metroid (We still use ideas from those games ;))

      • OK, that seems to be a plausible explanation in general, but it implies that you heavily upgrade the diversity of the combat and the enemies, as compared to the current state.

        To game is presented to feature simple controls (“throwing energy balls at everything”), while still squeezing a lot out of contextual elements like the environment and the type and behavior of the objects/enemies like hiding mice, reflecting mirrors, semi-permeable walls etc. The game seems to live directly from the level design and the many possibilities of a few skills.

        Because of this, I am still a bit sceptical about the mentioned RPG elements, since to me, the fun lies in mastering the puzzles and being skilled enough to handle large amounts of enemies or particularly smart boss opponents (I think they will be smart ;-)), and not in upgrading basic attributes like HP or power.

        Disclaimer: This is just my opinion, because I think Action-RPGs don’t really work at all. At least I have never played a good one. The closest thing to an excellent action-oriented RPG I know is the recently released 3DS game “Mario & Luigi Dream Team Bros.”, but this builds on traditional round-based battles.

        • Well, you can have a very simple concept and yet add features to extend that basic concept. The core aspects stay the same. You can’t simply bash every enemy with close-combat. You have to use the balls, and balls a one of the key elements of the game (and they will always be).
          Nearly all puzzle elements will rely on throwing balls. Each element will come with a “puzzle skill” to add diverty. It is important for us that the player will meet new elements and not only the same elements in different shapes. We do not plan a mini game but a normal game. Think of Kingdom Hearts II (One of my personal favorites when it comes to Action-RPGs). The core gameplay is very simple. But with some extensions and some mini-game-like features, the gameplay feels much more “juciy” (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/178938/Video_Is_your_game_juicy_enough.php).
          Alundra/Zelda in general are good examples too. What we want, is a mix. We want the player to fight in fun combats that look good and feel good. But we also want fun puzzles and good level design. Imagine a 10 hour game with only the current features (10-15 Hours are what we aim for).
          Leveling will give the player a feel of growth. Becoming stronger and beating enemies more efficiently. At first you’re rather week, but over time together with the progression of the Story you’ll become stronger. So we also use the RPG aspects in the story in some extend.

          So you see both gameplay and story are important factors for us and we think that this will work very well (Of course we had some endless discussions about how everything should work to make sure player can enjoy the game :D). For our followers it is of course hard to see since you only have the TechDemo, which is more a mini game then an actual game.

          You will still need skill to defeat the enemies without taking damage or just to ‘style’ a bit. Boss enemies will be smart, you can be sure about that! Our inspiration here comes from Zelda where enemies always had some puzzle elements in them (and a weak point).

          Oh, and it is good to be skeptical. As said, you can’t see the current changes and it is good to hear the people want this game to be great :D Action-RPGs and RPGs in general are the games we really like and this is the reason we want to make a such a game (but with our own ideas on gameplay). Mario & Luigi isn’t actual what we see as an Action-RPG because, as you said, the combat is turn-based and part of the fun in the game is to beat the little mini games to evade the enemies or hit them with “EXCELLENT” stomps :D What we think of are games like Kingdom Hearts or any game that features a real time battle system where skill ‘can’ be part of the fun.

          • I have never played Kingdom Hearts, so I won’t judge on this. ;-)
            Well, story is queen (besides gameplay being king), that’s for sure! No objections here.
            I’m glad to hear that you focus on all aspects I personally care about.

            So, then, I may assume that you will include areas that are more opened and less linear? And also less dense in terms of puzzles the player has to solve (as compared to the demo). Like that, a level system based around some RPG typical attributes might play out much better. And it should also help to fill 10+ hours of gameplay, which really is A LOT!

            Thanks for the “juicy”-talk, I enjoyed watching it. Your techdemo already is very juicy, as lots of efforts were put into small details that all sum up to a very pleasing feeling when running and jumping and shooting around.

            I’m looking forward to see more!

  • Names! Saving! Plot! Slight plot! This is awesome; now can you update the demo with all that so we can see it?

    Is the saving going to be just in localStorage, or will you be able to save to a file?
    Does it keep track of which room you’re in, or just what level you’re in (and at)?
    Does it give you TONS OF EXPERIENCE MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • We’re unsure if we want to update the current TechDemo before releasing the actual demo. As far as it looks now it wouldn’t make sense, since our progress is fairly fast.
      The TechDemo is also just a ‘TechDemo’. it only shows the Tech. So even if we release the updates we would remove all story content because we want the real demo to be awesome in both gameplay and story.

      Saving will be done over localstorage for quick saves. Saving to a file will not be possible via JavaScript without using workarounds, so we plan to use a Server where a registered user can save his game.
      The save state itself will work like in any game. It contains your current progress in the game.

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