Update, July 15th 2015

GenCon 2015

We’ll be at GenCon soon! We’re promoting GalaCollider during the Con, 7/30-8/2. If you want to meet us there, make sure you reach out to us on twitter: https://twitter.com/neocruxgaming.

Yesterday we sent off for biz cards and postcards, here is what they look like:

BizCard_FRONT
Postcard_FRONT

MicroCards

New smaller cards are coming to the game. There will be two sizes for cards now. When you are not seeing the larger card size you will instead see it in the “Micro Format”. Which is 50% of the large card size. We’ve redesigned the cards to look sharp and crisp at this scale. Below are some design templates, the card text on these templates should be ignored. They are just meant to illustrate the new look of the cards when small:

mico_core mico_dev mico_ops  mico_ship

New Artists

This last week we added several new artists to our family, here are some of them:

base_of_operations_by_aisxos-d6j2g9y

http://aisxos.deviantart.com/

 

Space+elevator+dry+dock+2

http://mjparker.blogspot.co.uk/

 

annihilation_voyage_by_lorddoomhammer-d674no1

http://lorddoomhammer.deviantart.com

 

4222d02bf9002c8591f7705ec30d91b5-d8bjpwv

http://kotnonekot.deviantart.com

 

Pre-release tournaments

Our team is scheduling pre-release tournaments right now with various press and avid gamers from other circles. If you have a group of people from a league or community of some kind, and you would also like to play our game in its pre-release state, let us know and we might be able to hook you up.

Logo Intro 99% done

Our intro logo animation is basically done and looking mega sweet as it gets a final few touch-ups. Here is a frame from our video:

Gala_Intro_040_00239

Thanks again for continuing to follow our weekly updates! KickStarter is getting closer and closer and we can’t wait to unveil it all to you.

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Header image by http://aisxos.deviantart.com/

Update July 8th, 2015

BETA2 Progress

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.58.54 AM

This week we got our testers migrated from Beta1 to Beta2. Code has also been written to allow players to select the preset map they want to duel on, and which deck they want to play. We’ve also enhanced the HUD text sizes for many items and begun a great big UI enhancement on the entire cards-in-hand UI and card targeting system. Things are currently on track to have Beta2 ready for bug-testing by July 20th.

3D modeling progress

Here is a little video showing the modular parts from last week, but all laid out in a row with player-colors:

Our Sylith Cruiser is now also done and the Coalition Dreadnaught is getting very close to complete. We are just working now on the texturing of its modular parts. Work is now beginning on new 3D models for the game of which the humble Colony ship is next.

ingame_2 update_4

New homepage

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.51.33 AMOur new homepage is up! This is the direction the entire site will go in, and keep improving over time. This isn’t our final look but I hope you will agree it is already much better. Our newsletter is more prominent on the front page, since email signups are a really important way for us to ensure that we have a successful Kickstarter (KS). If you don’t sign up, how will you know when our campaign begins? Will you forget about us? We hope not. To sweeten the deal, those people who sign up before the KS will also get bonus content and more in-game money for doing so. So, what are you waiting for? 🙂 signup here.

Artists

This week we added 5 new contributing artists to our community. We also got some final artwork from Alex Drummond (you can see one of his images in the title of this post). Another image of his is this concept art piece for a Sylith Dreadnaught below. Inside the dome is a revered ancient Tree:

By Alex Drummond.
By Alex Drummond.

Facebook

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.54.21 AMOur facebook page is on fire, we are getting about 100 likes a week right now and rapidly approaching 1,000! Thank you to everyone who is sharing and promoting our game! If you haven’t joined the party, sign up on our facebook page. There, we post great videos, team profiles and eventually we’ll also post exclusive or limited time offers.

Modules and Battles

Today we are going to combine a blog post and a video together. We’ve hinted at ship modules but haven’t really gone too deeply into them yet.

Modules

Syl_Ship_Stinger_miniEach ship can have up to 3 modules, though most will only start with 2 or less already installed. Over the course of a game you will be able to modify the modules on your ships, or to increase their values.

If you add or change a ship’s module set, then all copies of that ship on the board, but also still in your deck and hand adapt and reflect the Mods you apply to them, they are not lost when the ship is destroyed.

We have a zillion modules planned for the game, but you have to start somewhere, below is our current list of modules that are being playtested:

Module list

module-cheat-sheet

There is a wide variety of module types from invasion, colonization and bombardment to mess up planets. To weaponry armaments that give you bonus damage vs. certain sized enemy ships, multi-shots, the ability to pin-down enemy ships to prevent them from escaping, planetary economic harassment, efficient energy consumption and counter-attack batteries.

Free build is a module that will let you build the ship on any friendly sector, even when there isn’t a shipyard. These could be small scout-type vessels, meant to bluff as threats or to explore the deeper territories of the map, or they could be fully capable battleships, whose price tag is inflated by their flexible nature to be built anywhere.

Each faction will have a propensity for some modules more than others, and some modules may even be unique to one faction all together.

Battle in action

Here is a sample battle turn, the Sylith move in two raiders to try and disrupt the opponent’s resource production and slip their faster moving ship past enemy lines.

The Coalition player sits pretty in a well defended position and blasts the raiding ships with their dreadnaught and ground-based laser cannons:

The end result is a lot of dead Sylith but one of the Sylith raiding ships survives and will block all resource production on the enemy planet next turn.

That’s all we have time for this week, stay tuned next week to yet more sneak peak information!

Update July 1st, 2015

Beta2 progress

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 9.14.12 AMWe’ve begun working on beta2 in earnest now. Some of the accomplishments from this week include setting ourselves up on a free Amazon account and increasing our connection-capacity from 20 to 100 users. This will allow us to run demos and competitions pre-Kickstarter on Beta2 in the weeks before our campaign begins.

Beta2 modules and new cards have progressed smoothly, as well as UI improvements to both the hand, targeting system and GUI for increased legibility.

3D modeling progress

shipmodular3 modularpieces2The Coalition Frigate is very close to complete, we are now working on various modular components for the 3D model. These modular parts will let us create new 3D models rapidly and will also let the 3D models’ appearance directly reflect the upgrades and modules added to the ship over the course of a game.

Coalition_Dreadnaught_ScreenCap_004The Coalition Dreadnaught (above in green-blue) is also nearing completion, including the in-game texturing. The Dreadnaught will also get modular treatment, similar to the Frigate.

Finally we also worked on our nebulae, with various colors and lightning storm effects, depending on the type of nebula you occupy. This video just shows some quick config changes. We are using different quality levels, which you see in the LOD0 and LOd1 and LOd2 groupings. Each LOD is for a different zoom level. So LOD0 is the largest the 3D element can be, and will be shown when you are inside of the anomaly (performing tactical battles). Nebulae generally obscure your ships and interrupt ship systems, but some are combustible, deadly places to fight, while others have sources of harvestable energy.

Because each sector on the map is driven by a card and we can continuously create new maps and new cards, the features of each nebula can be as varied as the stars in the sky.

Oh and this 3D model is based on this artwork, which you can see featured on this example sector-card template, artwork by Stuart Ballinger:

Sector_ShardCloud
Artwork by Stuart Ballinger

Video / Logo intro

Our motion graphics for the logo and Kickstarter intro is getting very close to final. the first few seconds of it are looking really sweet. Here are some still-frames from the animation thus far:

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 9.56.27 AM

New home page

We plan on making iterative improvements to our website over the next weeks. The next big step is going to be a new homepage that should be a lot more engaging than our current home page. If all goes well, by this time next week it should already be up!

Concept Art

Concept artwork slowed down lately, but we do have one new piece of concept art to show you that was recently finished:

SylithElderThis is a Sylith Elder. We started with some ideas about feathers or increased tentacles on the head and then decided that the warriors should have feathers instead of hair and that the elders should instead have no feathers but a ton more sensory tentacles. Below is a sketch of the head variations that Amanda made:

SylithVariations

Hiring needs

Our team is now about 25 people strong! But we still are looking for a few more people to add to the family, we are looking for:

  • QA testers with 10+ hours a week to dedicate to testing and finding bugs in our early-Beta
  • A Graphic design intern who has a style that matches ours (elegant, minimal, refined)
  • Two more people to add to our PR / Marketing team to help with research, writing and PR

Contact us if you think you can help!

Building Star Ships

This week in our regular video-replay reveal we go into building Space Ships. You’ll need to decide strategically where to best place them on the map. Take out or contest enemy star docks in order to block your opponent’s ability to build their own ships.

Visit our channel to subscribe. Join us next week as we dive deeper into tactical ship-to-ship battles!

Update June 24th, 2015

Beta progress

beta1_22Beta1 is now done and off to be play-tested. Beta2 is being worked on next. We are aiming for Beta2 to be ready before end of July. Beta2 will be the version we will then use to demo the game to press, potential endorsers, youtubers, twitchers and future designers we want to hire and bring into our team. It is also the version we will be using to record our Kickstarter video.

Beta2 features:

The main features we are adding in Beta2 include:

  • Preset balanced 1v1 maps with various terrain and planets for 3 different sizes
  • Improved hand-UI and targeting system, to make playing and targeting cards even more intuitive
  • Improved tech-pool (sideboard) graphics and UI
  • Larger demo decks with about one to two dozen new cards to play with

Beyond Beta2

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.01.21 PMAfter Beta2 we will still have one more revision to make before the Kickstarter, which will be Beta3. The main goal of Beta3 will be to add some additional tool tips / help screens to help people play without someone coaching them. Beta3 will be the version we use at gaming conventions and should be the final one before we go off to get funded!

Hiring needs

Our loving NeoCrux Ltd. family has now grown to 25 people on the core team, and another two to three dozen contributing artists, musicians and play-testers.

But we still need a few more people to help us… Our biggest need right now is for a couple additional QA TESTERS. Do you want to get an early view of the game? Do you have experience doing QA testing with bug tracking tools? And do you have at least 10 hours a week to help us with testing?

If so, please contact us today.

Kickstarter Planning

We still don’t have a final date for Kickstarter, but we are tentatively aiming now for mid to end of August to start our campaign. If we need more time however we could make this be September instead. We will know a lot more by mid to end July!

Music progress

Sam Watson, who is in charge of our audio production and sound design, has been collecting a long list of prospect music for the game, by the end of this week we should be contacting musicians to ask if they want to be a part of our project. The end result will be a sound track we hope to have compiled together that will play with our game. If the stars align we also plan on having the game’s audio track available on our kickstarter!

viking-header

For now I can already tell you we are working with Erik Peabody from Viking Guitar. He has been kind enough to work on some custom ambient tracks for us in the vibe of Asteroid fields and Nebula clouds.

3D modeling progress

The ships in our game continued to make good progress, below are some of the renders for the Sylith Cruiser, Coalition Dreadnaught and the Coalition Frigate in our battle-scene. The last image is the draft version of the Sylith Dreadnaught. A floating mega city with a giant tree in a glass dome:

update-3.2 Coalition_Dreadnaught_Views_003 Coalition_Frigate_lowpolytests1

Map_Blank1

Kickstarter Video

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 10.09.54 AMEditing on the Kickstarter video continued this week. Lorcan has been busy working on our galaxy collisions. We’ve also pulled together further material for use in the video, you can see some stills of the animations below:

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 10.31.19 AM

Update, June 17th 2015

Video production

Our Kickstarter video recording went super well in LA. It was great to have a good number of our crew all together for the shoot! We can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Beta1 Playtest ready

Beta1 officially became playtest ready and our playtest team is busy going at it. Meanwhile Chris and Omari started to tackle items on our Beta2 branch. At the moment it looks like Beta2 will be our Press preview version and Beta3 or 4 will be our summer-convention demo-ready version.

Beta2 will contain more cards, more modules, a redesign hand UI interface, improved graphics for the space sectors and pre-set maps that are competitively balanced.

Beta3 and 4 will contain further enhancements that allow players to learn the game and get tool tip help so that we can let people “teach themselves” the game by playing.

Audio tracks

We’ve been compiling a lot of prospect music over the last weeks. Our goal is to have an excellent sound track for the game ready by August. If all goes well we will also be offering the music as part of pledge goals on our Kickstarter as a digital downloadable album.

3D ship modeling continues

Coalition_Dreadnaught_ScreenCap_002 Coalition_Dreadnaught_Views_002

Ship-no-retaliateAbove you can see some models and videos showing off the process on our 3D ships for the game. We have the coalition Dreadnaught above, still untextured and shaded and below a video pan of a Coalition Frigate! Sylith ships are still underway. Once we have the small and larger version of all models in place the final step will be to make the modular components on them and to also composite them onto our Ship cards (see image right).

GalaCollider Logo

Our logo is now done, it is really simple but that is the point. The game is all about deep strategy and gameplay, with a great UI, presented in refined elegant minimalism… certainly a challenge! You can see the logo below, let us know what you think!

New homepage

We are also working on a new homepage design, which will eventually become the entire website’s new look. Here is a sneak peak into what the homepage will look like:

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 3.59.58 PM

Otherwise a ton of planning and networking is going on right now behind the scenes with our rapidly growing PR team (about 9 people all together!) — sadly though PR teams don’t make beautiful artwork, so there isn’t much I can share other than to let you know we will be at GenCon and PAX Prime this year in July/August. We are just waiting to find out about booths and space to confirm our presence there “officially”.

Thanks for reading! If you want to know more about when we are going to Kickstarter, plus get exclusive offers, don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter.

Update, June 10th 2015

Reflective Riot interview

10414607_1586362111579759_8245868529155554108_nWe had a team interview about our game this weekend and it just went up today with Reflective Riot. On the interview you will hear creative writer Amy Ballinger, lead programmer Chris Kirby, and creative director Sebastian Chedal.

 

Intro animation progress

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 1.44.42 PMLorcan continued to work on our intro animation this week. You can see here some stills from our story board and the first animatic.

3D Sector assets

We now have a vast array of planetoids and asteroids for our game which will hold us up nicely until our Kickstarter campaign. Here is an image showing some of them.

3D ships

Work on the 3D ships by our 3-musketeer team continued. Here are some images of the different ships in progress.

wire1blueprint_idea

update-1CoalitionDreadnaught001_persp

Beta progress

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 2.43.13 PMOur Beta1 build is nearly stable and ready for playtesting, which means work on Beta2 will begin shortly within a week or so. Beta2 will nearly double the deck size and add many more options to the techpool for people to play with.

We will also be re-doing our hand-UI interface to be more intuitive in Beta2. If you are watching our YouTube videos on Friday, you will see each week more of our game in a series of interlinking short videos. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to not miss them!