We’ve been moving and currently only have access to the internet via coffee shops. We will hopefully have internet access at our new place in the next few days. I’ll be sure to post a much fuller update then!
Crazy week! It consisted of more interviewing, hiring two new developers, helping them get setup, attempting to fix bugs, and planning to move to another state. So yeah, two new developers. This is super exciting since with their help we’ll see development pick up quite a bit. I’ll be sure to introduce them once they’ve settled in.
Crea is now rank #47 on Greenlight! I think next week will finally be the week we get greenlit. Amazingly, I am most excited about this so that I’ll finally be free of obsessively looking at the stats page. But, it is cool to see how many more favorites and follows we have than the top 50 average.
This week I’m wanting to get a new version up that fixes some really bad issues people are running into. I already have a build up for omega testers so if you have access or would like to help test it then head over to the forums. Once I get the green flag from a few players I’ll hand it over to humble to make it public.
The last few days have been crazy! As you may have seen, I decided to look for another developer once again. I have gotten a surprising number of responses from this and have spent the last few days just talking to people. I am trying to take it slow and be as certain as possible when/if I decide to bring someone on board. I did manage to get some work done on Crea earlier in the week.
The first change I made is truly a game changer. It will now be possible to see monsters information when mousing over them. This includes the name, level and HP percentage. The big one here is the level. With this you’ll be able to gauge how strong the monster is relative to you. Additionally it will finally explain why monsters have different stats. The support is mostly implemented for displaying this information at different times. Users will be able to choose to display the monster’s HP bar always, during mouseover, only when the monster is damaged, or never. I just need to hook it into the settings but first I think I need to revamp the settings UI to nicely support more options.
Another welcomed change is that now you get item notifications on what you picked up or crafted. I really like how this turned out.
I have also been working on adding support for animals. They are now hooked into the conflict system. When a region has higher hostility less animals will spawn in it. Now it has an interesting good/bad balance. So far I have got the first animal implemented – Speep!
I’m trying to wrap up what I’m currently working on so I can publish a new update with these changes and all of the bug fixes and balance changes I have made this week as well. I am hopeful this update will be available very soon!
For this upcoming week I will be continuing to interview people for the dev position. I will also be working on adding more animals and refining the underground some. I’d like to make it more cavernous and less holey, with more monsters underground as well as some other interesting things. I’d love the underground to be a really intriguing place to explore.
Guess what!?! The new update is finally here! It has been a long time coming but it should prove to be well worth the wait. If you have preoredered Crea you can go download the update from your humble library. If you haven’t preodered then you should do that now over here! Here are some of the larger features that have gone into this update.
- Boss Fight – That’s right, the first boss fight is here and it is an epic one.
- Remna and Imbuing – Once you’ve defeated the boss you’ll unlock the ability to obtain Remna from monsters and using this Remna you can imbue items to craft even stronger equipment.
- Mannequins and NPCs – Mannequins are now available for crafting and are great to place gear onto. Additionally, mannequins can be brought to life as NPCs by placing unique outfits on them.
- Perseverance and Hardcore mode – Survival matters now. Stay alive and you’ll gain the perseverance buff that grants additional experience and talent points gain. If you really want to test your survival skills then hardcore mode is now available which makes death permanent.
- Inventory Space – Your character now only starts with a single inventory bag; however, you can find new ones and upgrade them through crafting. They are a little rare so keep an eye out.
- Treasure Chests – Completely reworked, treasure chests now can have some tasty loot. However, in order to open them you now must find a key. They are always close by and are either found on monsters or in pots.
You may also find changes made that you gave feedback on such as:
- You can now change selected tool with mouse wheel scroll
- Digging is faster and dirt is weaker
- Characters can jump and fit into 3 tile tall holes
- Researching is even better now
- For even more check out the changelog at the bottom of this post
Even with all of these amazing changes, everything is still very much a work in progress. Everything will continue to be iterated on in future updates. Speaking of which, the next few updates are planned to have much shorter release cycles. These updates will focus on refining existing content and adding in some smaller enhancements.
In other news, we are 97% to top 100 on Greenlight (Greenlight Page). That is some amazing progress in 1 week. This major jump is thanks to Humble Store for featuring Crea, Steam greenlighting 50 games and a pirate site hosting Crea. That last one is not exactly the best but it was inevitable and all I can do is hope those that pirate the game eventually decide they want to help support us. Anyways, just need a final push to get us into the top 100 and go from a percentage to being ranked. Thanks again everyone for the continued support!
Lots to update you on this week! Greenlight update, Supershow announcement and Crea update details.
This last week has been a good one. We have moved up to 84% to top 100 on Greenlight (Vote for us on Greenlight) and had a good sale day towards the end of the Humble Winter Sale. If we keep this momentum Crea could be Greenlit soon – maybe even this month! This is really exciting. I’m looking forward to being able to share Crea with a larger audience, but first we have much work ahead of us. I’ve seen several games launch on Early Access that were not prepared for release, so I want to make sure that Crea is at a really solid place when it becomes available on Steam. It’s especially important that Crea’s development is further along so that the differences from Terraria and Starbound are more apparent.
We have been invited to be part of the Indie Showcase livestream. This is a 48 hour livestream where devs are joining streamers as their game is played. Crea is on Saturday morning at 3:30-4:00AM PST. It’d be great to see some of you there. Even if you cant catch the Crea portion you should check out the event – lots of amazing games. Let your friends know about it too! Here is the schedule for the first half: http://greenlitgaming.com/indieshowcase/
Kelley, Aaron and I have been working hard at wrapping up this massive update. Finally after 10~ weeks we will be releasing the update this week. This update is jam-packed with new content: NPCs, a boss fight, revamped treasure, standalone sever, upgrade-able bags, tweaked researching, mannequins, new armor, and the list goes on. I am hoping to push the build out to omega testers today or tomorrow. Once it has cleared testing I’ll publish it onto the Humble store for everyone.
The next few updates will have much shorter turn around times. Once this update it out I plan to turn my focus on polishing some existing content. Underground will be receiving some attention. I may work on the main menu since what is currently there is merely a placeholder. The character creation is in major need of a facelift. We will see though. I’m listening to your feedback so be sure to let me know what you think.
We are back from visiting family and ready to refocus ourselves completely onto Crea. We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a good time with family! Even though this last week was quite eventful, I managed to sneak in some work in on Crea, preparing for the big upcoming update.
First of all, there is a new equipment tier. This new tier includes 4 new swords, 4 new bows, and 3 new equipment sets. As with past equipment, we’ve tried to make each piece unique. There’s the Executioner (sword), which deals more damage the lower HP the user has. There’s the Ricochet Bow, which not only carries over the triple shot of the Winged Bow but also causes the arrows to bounce off walls. There is also the Beast armor set which grants some tasty dash cooldown reduction.
The other noteworthy progress is the introduction of difficulty modes. Right now we only have two modes: Normal and Hardcore. Hardcore has some lovely permadeath, which is going to sting much more than in Terraria because of character progression and you do not drop your items. Over time, I’d love to have Hardcore to be a completely different experience from Normal.
To start with, Aaron and I came up with a “death penalty.” It is not the typical death penalty though. After staying alive for some amount of time you gain a “Perseverance” buff which grants you additional XP and TP. The penalty for death is that you temporarily lose this buff. This has a nice side effect in that Hardcore characters will progress faster than Normal characters. I’m playing around with the idea of the Perseverance buff growing stronger the longer you’re alive. What do you think of that?
This next week we will be implementing three new monsters as well as a new biome. I’m really excited to get these in Crea. They will be great additions!
This was a good week! We’re moving right along for the next update, which will be massive. Over the last week we’ve been focusing on implementing NPCs – finally. Anyone that has been following Crea since our Kickstarter knows that things are constantly evolving and sometimes changing completely. Well, NPCs are no exception to this and we’ve completely redesigned how they work.
In the past, gaining access to new NPCs would involve triggering an event in the world. Once available, managing NPCs would be done through a complex system. After a great deal of redesigning Aaron and I came up with something fresh and simple.
Occasionally players will find a scarce material known as Remna Core. Using this, special NPC outfits can be crafted and once an outfit is placed onto a mannequin, it comes to life.
For this next update we are introducing the four NPCs: Merchant, Scavenger, Researcher and Healer.
Merchant – As you would expect, this NPC buys and sells goods. The merchant has a regular supply of wares that are replenished everyday as well as daily specials.
Scavenger – Don’t leave items laying around for too long! The scavenger will pick up and sell any items left dropped on the ground after a day. Keep in mind though that he must throw out the old to make room for the new.
Researcher – Occasionally players will find recipe scrolls, which hold the secrets to crafting unique items. However, they must be translated by the researcher and he does not work for free!
Healer – Well, she heals you. We’re also considering having her provide a buff or something along those lines.
We have at least a few more NPCs planned: Grafter, Cartographer, and Dungeoneer. We’ll be introducing them over the next several updates.
The NPCs wont move around but you can choose where to place them and if you ever want to move them then just punch them a few times! (Use the collect skill). Do not try this at home, kids.
I’m really happy to have NPCs finally in Crea. We are now moving onto adding new equipment. Fortunately this should be fairly quick and we’ll swiftly move onto adding some new monsters in. Next week is Christmas so we will be busy spending time with family but I’ll try to sneak in as much development as I can!
After a massive amount of work, the first boss for Crea is just about done. I am really happy with how she turned out. I will do my best to keep spoilers to a minimum but this post will contain some boss spoilers.
This boss, is essentially a few monsters and a new biome all in one. Now that she is finished the code weighs in at 700 lines just for her. With everything related to the boss fight, I’d say it is more like 1000-1200 lines. To put this in perspective, the entire game is roughly 50k lines of code. This means that the boss is roughly 1/50th of the game code thus far. Crazy!
The fight plays out more like a Zelda boss fight. It is more than seeing how fast you can deal damage. Also, since the fight is in another realm we were able to make it so you cannot run away once the battle commences and if you die then you have to start over. In other words, we mean business!
Without further adieu, here are some screens!
Now that the boss is done, I am moving onto NPCs! I’m really looking forward to finally getting some in since I know they’ll add much to the game. I’ll go into much more detail about them soon.
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving – Kelley and I did. Got a few things to update you guys on.
First of all, tomorrow Kelley and I will be joining the 12 Days of Indie livestream event that is going on to support Toys for Tots. You can check out the livestream here. We will be on between 3-5PM PST. I’ll be sure to post it on twitter and facebook at that time. Someone will be playing Crea and we’ll also be giving away some copies. If you can help spread the word about the event that’d be amazing!
Next up, another 100 games have been Greenlit. This moves Crea that much closer to being selected. We are now at 73% of the way to the top 100. We have slowed down immensely to 1% every few days but I’m not worried. I know it’ll happen eventually. Just got to keep pushing it and hope we get picked up by some sites or larger youtubers/streamers. In case you have not voted for Crea on Greenlight yet, you should do that now!
Speaking of youtubers. On our forums, beta tester Dragoneer asked about our video policy and we decided to make a dedicated page on the topic. You can find that over here. In summary: Make videos! Do it!
As for game progress, things are moving along. I finally have Realms working smoothly with being able to move between then. I started adding in Realm options (rules). The first realm for the boss has several different rules, such as it does not loop horizontally, it is not saved to disk meaning it is regenerated every time you enter it, it also doesn’t use the conflict system or allow for mining.
With that working I moved onto putting together the boss realm. Thanks to the world generation code it was really easy to get things setup. I have a giant “stamp” that represents the entire realm and lots of rules for the different colors. Each pixel represents a tile or item. Here is what it is looking like so far. Lots of work remaining!
The nice thing about this is that I can very easily edit the image and have it be reflected in the game without any additional work. This will make it very easy for players to put together things such as a battle arena.
Another thing we did was go back and cleanup the Imbuing Chamber some. Now it has a cool animation that represents the progress of the imbuing. Two lines grow inward and once the imbuing is finished the colored area glows. It even changes color based on the type of remna being used!
Lastly, I threw together the mannequin item today. I really like how it turned out. I managed to avoid adding any new UI but still you can do several things with it.
- Interacting with it while holding equipment will place that equipment onto it.
- Using “collect” and clicking on a piece of equipment on the mannequin will make the equipment drop
- Interacting with it can swap the gear from the mannequin onto the player
That last one is awesome because it’ll make switching gear sets very easy. Want to change your gear from warrior to mage? One click!
This next week we are working on the first boss more. Hopefully will get close to finishing that up. We’ll see how it goes. I’m still considering when I want to release this next update. It is going to be big but I’m not sure how big. I’m kind of considering holding out for awhile longer since things have died down and then release with the first big boss, NPCs, new biome and several new monsters. It would mean a longer wait but lots of new stuff to experience for those that have played several times over.
One last thing, how do you feel about spoilers? Are screenshots of the first boss area (and maybe with first boss) too much? I may be posting those in the future unless everyone wants to experience them in game first.
Sorry about missing last week’s recap. I don’t know how but I did something to my neck about 10 days ago and evey since I have had a constant migraine, and did not feel up to writing a post. Fortunately I’m just mostly better now. Anyways, enough about me. Lets talk Crea!
This last week saw some nice additions. The largest is the newly introduced remna and material imbuing. As you progress through the world some events are triggered which unlock remna, which is a mysterious energy source that can be used to enhance items. This process of imbuing materials is quite simple.
Drop remna into one slot, the material into another and you’re off! The two sources move inwards to the center and once they reach it the two items are converted into a higher quality material. For example, lumber embued with remna creates refined lumber.
Any remna element type can be used for item imbuing – elements come into play in another upcoming system, Grafting. However, imbuing does take a minute so if you have a lot of materials to enhance, it might be worthwhile to get a few chambers up and running. Think laundromat! (chambers are not coin-operated)
The other major change I made was limiting the recipes you can research based off of your craft level. After watching some lets plays and listening feedback from other players I realized that this was the final issue with researching. Everyone would get 30 pieces of lumber, sit down at their research desk and research until they’ve exhausted either all their lumber or recipes. They’d be learning parts of recipes they’d not finish for hours.
Now instead you’ll learn what you need to know and what you’ll actually be able to make and save your resources for building and exploring. If there are remaining recipes to discover for an item then the category will have a red ‘!’ over it and the tooltip will mention requiring a higher craft level.
This does mean that your craft level is much more important now. The craft level of items are also much more important now. So I am working on finding the right balance and pace for its progression. I’d prefer to avoid grinding but also keep players learning recipes for items they’ll be needing soon. I’m sure this is something I’ll be fine tuning even after release.
Lastly, what I’ve been working on the last two days and what I’m continuing to work on is more Realms support since this next big update will see the introduction of a new Realm. This means I have to move things from theoretically to actuality. My two big milestones I’ve passed thus far is being able to travel from one realm to another (hacked together) and adding in a modified terraform generator to be able to easily generate realms. There is still lots to do around realms but fortunately this update is a nice halfway point.
One other thing I’ve been thinking about that I’d love some feeback on is my release cycle. I’m having trouble deciding the frequency that I should release updates. I can see merits in both a shorter term release cycle (1-2~ weeks) and longer term (4-6~ weeks).
Shorter term means faster feedback but potential for fatigue where existing players don’t have time to play the game again every week. Longer term means longer turn around time but more time to look forward to the update and many more changes in an update. One thing to mention is that releasing an update is usually about half a day of work for me. Sadly it is not instantaneous.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you think! Until next time.