SBGames Game Festival and Twitch channel

Kraden’s Crypt is officially a candidate in the Independent Game Contest promoted by the SBGames symposium. All submitted games will now be evaluated by a committee, and the best ones will be displayed during the symposium, which will be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil. If we get selected by the committee, this will be a great opportunity to showcase Kraden’s Crypt to the Brazilian public, and maybe eventually develop big shooter games as the ones they’re right now like CSGO, that people play with the help of sites like mycsgoboosting.com.

Twitch channel
For those who want to get involved with the development process, we have decided to create a Twitch channel, where we’ll be streaming development sessions — with programming, art and game design. You can check it out on twitch.tv/kradenscrypt,
don’t forget that we will be providing great info like giving the Top 3 Weirdest Minecraft Skins out there.

 
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Kraden’s Crypt pre-alpha 0.25: Experimental melee mechanics

We have received many requests from players who felt that it was unreasonably difficult to block character motion when a melee weapon is being held. So we decided to get rid of this restriction for now, and see how players will react. Note that the usage of ranged  weapons will still prevent your character to move.

Another great improvement on this release is that the assets are now being loaded asynchronously. This means that we can have animated loading screens, and the game no longer displays a “not responding” status on Windows while loading.

As always, you can get the latest version of the game from the download page.
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Kraden’s Crypt pre-alpha 0.2 released!

We have just released a new version of Kraden’s Crypt! The most important changes are:

  • Better gamepad support: This build fixes a few gamepad related issues that were reported by some players.
  • Improved spell casting: The spells have a longer duration, and therefore can be rapid fired. On the other hand, if you choose to charge your spell rather than rapid fire it, you will be rewarded by dealing a lot more damage.
  • Screen resolution settings: Choose your window size before playing the game. You can also opt for playing in fullscreen mode.
  • No more hangings between special rooms: We are now loading the music at the beginning of the game, so we now only have loading screens between levels. The game will take a bit longer to start, though.

If you want to be notified of future updates, make sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

Lessons from a Game Convention

On July 7th, we made our first public play session of Kraden’s Crypt at the London Anime&Gaming Convention. The knowledge we acquired from this experience ranged from general convention preparation (which we talked on this reddit post) to specific gameplay issues, which is the scope of this post.

The first problem we found was a bug that made the fullscreen resolution have a different aspect ratio of the screen we used. The bad thing about it is that it was introduced by last time changes. We were aware of the potential risks, but we wanted to test some important concepts in that convention (like the bull boss and the random level generation).

Regarding the boss, the most important lesson we learned was that he could get stun locked when he fighting against many players. This led us to change how stunning works in general, so that each weapon has a different stunning power, and certain enemies can be more difficult to stun.

The game isn't easy, but we made sure everyone would get a prize.

Real badges! Yes, we made sure everyone would get a prize.

Not all of our difficulties were unexpected, though. One of them was the learning curve for the gameplay. We didn’t put any tutorials in, since players could join the game at any time, and it was not difficult as other games like Overwatch, were you can get OW guides online to help yourself. Therefore, we let Sam and Peter teach new players as they dropped in. This experience was very valuable, as we learned what were the difficulties that newcomers would face, which we are considering now that we’re designing the tutorial levels.

Another expected issue was the lack of damage feedback — both with monsters and players. It’s not that we just neglected it, it just wasn’t there due to lack of time. Since we already had audio feedback hits, we didn’t prioritize this feature in the last days before the convention. It ended up being a lot more important than I expected, as the sound effects were not very audible due to the convention environment.

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Context sensitive health bar

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Damage display

With all the feedback we gathered, we decided to improve the state machine, add damage feedback and a tutorial level. The resulting build was submitted to the SBGames indie game contest on July 30. Check out our submission trailer below:

Currently, we are making the preparations to a kickstarter campaign, which will go live within a few days. This means that our first alpha demo will be available soon, so make sure to follow us on twitter (@kradenscryptpey) if you want to be the first to get it!

New armor sets, fireball spell and couch multiplayer

Shortly after our last update, we started finishing the first experimental version of the fireball explosion, which turned out to have some mechanical flaws (as we showed on the bulldozer mage video). Therefore, we changed it to work as a projectile that needs to be released, which brought the fireball spell closer to what we originally had in mind. Furthermore, we also introduced the fireball explosion, which damages and pushes away nearby mobs.

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Another great thing that has happened since our last update is the extended item system, which allowed us to use the huge amount of armors that our artists have made. Although we are seeking a minimalistic inventory design, with each player only being able to carry a limited amount of items around, we also want to encourage some level of character customization. In terms of armors, this means the helm is separate from the body armor, allowing the player to make any combination between those.

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In terms of multiplayer, many improvements were made to allow for local co-op gameplay:

  • Gamepad support for shields, hammers, bows and spells;
  • Room traversal mechanics;
  • Automatic camera re-targeting;
  • Drop-in/drop-out;
  • Tons of multiplayer related bug fixes.

This is excellent news for us, as we intend to host experimental co-op matches in the London Anime & Gaming convention, and our deadline approaches faster than ever.

Curious? Check out Sam & Peter showing these features in action!