Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Working to enter demo into 2013 IGF

Screenshot of demo so far
The title's pretty self-explanatory--I'm working on the Cyka demo to enter it in the upcoming 2013 Indie Games Festival.  That's actually why I've been kinda silent lately--I've haven't had time to update my blog like I should.  I've got a lot of work ahead to do in just a comparatively short time to meet the IGF deadline, but I've got a lot of work done, too.  I don't have time to make snapshots or comfortable enough producing a half-working demo just yet.  I still plan to release one as soon as I can, though.  My plans keep changing (well, life keeps changing them for me), but hey, life goes on.  Later.

- Brian

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Technical difficulties @_@

Please excuse me' technical difficulties
Not an actual picture of my situation...yet.
It's been a crazy past month, but I've finally got my computer back to seemingly functional order.  It got infected by some kind of malware that even Malwarebytes couldn't even detect. It took me about a month of trying to search through all my files to detect the problem, and eventually, I just had to save what I could to an external hard drive, start my computer all over again, and re-install all my programs and settings.   And yes, it takes a month to do that!  One frustrating month.

Anyways, even though my computer's crashed twice since I've done this complete re-install of everything (and I'm not quite sure as to the exact nature of those crashes yet--whether they're related to my previous problem or something else completely coincidental), I think it's working well enough to resume my work here again.  Right off the back, I can show you some of the assets I've been creating, and in a very cool way.  (I've been waiting a while to finally use this--just click on the cube icons to start the interactive viewers.)

Here's another one (one I've had for a while now).

Expect more of these.  Play around with them.  Have a blast.  (Also expect some web browser applications posted here soon enough.)

Onward to other news:
  • My new website for my game assets and custom assets division for PolyKhrome, Powerhouse Game Assets, is now open to previewing, though it's still in development and being updated.  This will help PolyKhrome generate revenue to go towards the game development, and, well, until the Kickstarter is started.
  • I'm still building my team, and it's just a matter of finding time to organize that time.
  • I'm organizing my Cyka assets to throw together a demo, to whet some appetites out there.  That's still going well, and pretty soon (for the millionth time, I know), I'm drawing closer to my goal of a Cyka Kickstarter.
  • I'm working on a side game project designed to be a casual game--again, for revenue.  But it's still fun.  And it'll be some reduced in scope and size and of a different style of gameplay than Cyka.  A little refresher to cleanse my palette of Cyka from time to time.
Anyways, thanks for hanging with me, and for the 1,000+ views thus far (and think--I haven't even promoted this site very much yet!).

- Brian

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Update: Good progress (with one setback), Linux and OUYA

A screenshot of the Powerhouse website at near-completion
Powerhouse is almost finished!

Hey, folks.  It's been a while, but it's been quite a busy while for PolyKhrome.  I've got a lot of assets created for the Cyka demo, some development video of me making these assets almost ready to share, and I've got some of the basic framework for the gameplay up and going, and I will show them...as soon as I can remove the vicious malware that's plaguing my computer.  -__-" {Of course!}

Yep, my PC's sick.  I'm writing this post with my netbook, which thankfully I still have, and all of my files seems to be okay on my infected computer (that is, when I can log in long enough to see them before the computer totally freezes up).  I'm running every reliable malware scanner I can find.  As I've got over 800 GB worth of occupied hard drive to deep-scan through, and my computer begins to freeze up after about 30 minutes or so, it's taking a while to do this via a series of smaller custom scans.  Anyways, when this minor setback is over, I'll compile my work done so far and post up a preview demo of, well, my demo.  Demo of a demo.  Funny.

But that's not all I've been doing all month of July--I've also been working on the Powerhouse Game Assets website, which is relocating and almost ready for business.  The picture above is from my tiny netbook, so it's truncated a bit there.  Selling game assets will greatly help with Cyka development (some people make up to $100K a year selling assets!), so it's been a top priority for me, as well as this demo.

Some other good news is that since Steam will be supporting Linux pretty soon, expect Cyka: Steamed Edition for Linux as well as Windows and Mac.  Also, I'm involved in a couple other side projects, including a Community Game project being lead by Peripheral Games (my iOS game idea won the contest they were holding), working on the development of a game clothes creator program, as well as producing a fan-created animation for my previous engagement of Operation Moogle--all of which I'm using to bring more attention to Cyka.

Cyka will be available on OUYA next year
Cyka will come to OUYA.

And finally, I thought about it for a while, and I finally decided that PolyKhrome will put Cyka on the Android-based OUYA when the game is finished by next year, even with some exclusive content.  It's a risky console to support, but it's something I think might be worth the chance (and for $99, the price of that chance isn't too bad at all).  I still have some questions about OUYA, like how are they going to promote creative quality games away from an inevitable sea of mediocre unambitious games and shovelware.  But, in any case, Linux fans are really growing in buying indie games right now, over 43,000 OUYA owners will be looking for games next year, and PolyKhrome really can't afford to miss this sweet opportunity, as risky as it might be.  In fact, I am confident Cyka can be a big hit on OUYA--if it lives up to its potential.

Anyways, just wanted to check back here, just to let you all know that the game's development is still alive and well.  So stay with me, folks--we're progressing.  ;-)  (And I do mean a "we" pretty soon--I've got some prospect developers for Team PolyKhrome.)

- Brian

Friday, June 29, 2012

Update: What I'm doing right now?

Right now, I'm working on a larger demo that will feature three distinct terrain maps, with each one to specifically-tailored to showcase three of the most distinct and important aspects of the game.

Just for this demo, they run like different stages to select, though in the game, they'll be traversable seamlessly across one continuous world of terrains.  Each map in the final game will represent only a single region on a single continent.  For the demo, one map will specifically showcase the battle engine aspect, one will showcase the environment exploration aspect, and the last will show the resource-collecting/stronghold building aspect of the game.

Each of these will be important aspects that are stressed about this game, as this game will not only be a preview to those interested in seeing the biggest aspects of this game in action, but also as my biggest accompaniment to our Kickstarter (I feel that a mere video for this game is simply not enough--you need a good demo).

So far, I'd say it's about the demo is about 40% done, and I'm looking to get about 60 to 70% done by this time next week. Most of everything is not textured yet (I leave texturing last). Production will pick up in the next two weeks, as I work hard towards a checkpoint and as I'll be recruiting helpers pretty soon.

I'll confess that, though I have good experience in making games, everyday I grow from this process. This is indeed a learning process, as well as time to explore. Some things are second nature to me, while some other things are a whole new experience for me. Some things I'm finding I need to invent, as they're simply not out there, such as developing my blue grid in the game to conform to the form of the uneven terrain--that takes some problem-solving to think out.

I'm also preparing to employ my other service Powerhouse Game Assets next week. This is good, as I really want to get that rolling, too. If assets are sold, they'll be that much more help towards the production of Cyka.

It's not easy to be the director, the designer, the artist, the developer, the producer, all while striving to be the financier, being my own teacher about new things and being the promoter all at the same time, but it sure is one interesting experience, though one I'd be glad to share with other future PolyKhrome developers.

I have more to share later, but that's it for now.

- Brian

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I just fixed my Wacom!

Dexter, boy genius
Don't know how or why it worked, but I fooled around with my Wacom tablet some more and tried someone's "whodathunk" suggestion for getting it to work again and I got it working again.  I don't know if the fix will last or not, but I don't really care--it's working for now, and now I can paint my textures easier again!  This fix saves about $200-$300 for a new one.  Anyways, back to full speed with production!

Update: Some new screenshots and concept art

Untextured Cyka model on terrain
Yeah, this terrain is huge.
Hey, a brief update: Check out the Screenshots and Concept Art pages to see some new pics.  Their textures are not yet finished, so I just left them untextured for their showing just for now.  And please don't mind the funky placeholder textures of the green montane terrain and basic color of the canyon terrain--I'm still painting their textures and I don't want to show them just yet (hey, textures take time!), so I used the simple and crude in-game-engine texturing just to make it easier to see the Commander Cyka model.  More pics are on the way, and video showing my production of this is being compiled..

- Brian

Unity 4 is bringing changes to Unity and Cyka development

An image of the Unity 4 logo
This is epic...

Unity 4 is coming out soon, and it's looking to be a real game-changer for Unity-developed games (such as Cyka).  Basically, thanks to Unity 4, not only will have characters in Cyka move a lot better in the game thanks to a new Mecanim feature, but now PolyKhrome can offer Linux gamers a standalone desktop version of Cyka (though, a platform-independent web browser version of the game is still planned), we can offer some optional DirectX 11 features for the PC version of Cyka, and we can provide some better shadow effects to the mobile versions of the game.

Photo of Jake Kaufman
Jake "virt"Kaufman
I can even complete this game by myself now, if need be, thanks to the time-saving Mecanim feature and the further-improved updates to Unity, which is already the most streamlined workflow of any game engine around.  Though, I'd still love and plan to hire at least an animator, an environment artist, a character/prop artist, and another programmer, not to mention hopefully manage to gain Jake Kaufman for the music and assistance with sounds.

(By the way, if you've never heard of Jake Kaufman's work and don't know why I'm excited that I'll be inquiring him later on his soundtrack services, check his demo reel out and then please check this work out.  I'm a huge fan of his work, and I know that if I can get him (and he does seems to be pretty accessible), he'd definitely help bring out this game's awesomeness.  No guarantees, but we'll have to wait and see, and first get the game more together.)

Even though UDK is still technically more powerful than the Unity Engine, this next Unity release is going to be huge, and make Unity Engine even more a strong contender for indie game developers.  They own the Mecanim technology (they bought the small company who developed it for them) and it comes standard with Unity 4, which is something unlike anything other game engines really have right now (not even UDK, even with its robust animation system, has something quite like this).

Mecanim in Unity 4
Unity's parkour dude, running with Mecanim
Mecanim is a feature that allows you to use one animation you create for one model to be adjusted to other sorts of animated models, and have that animation adjust to the model and adjust smoothly between other animations.  It's just a fantastic feature and it's one that I've been watching them develop for a while.

It not only makes the characters look incredibly fluid with more natural motions in action, but it runs incredibly well on platforms without a heavy memory and processing cost (it runs even with mobile devices!), and most of time, it saves developers time.  Go here to watch a video to see Mecanim in effect.

There are so many goodies that Unity 4 now brings to the table that I will postpone the Cyka: Steamed Edition demo for Steam (developed with UDK) just to focus on fully utilizing Unity 4 for the standard non-Steam DRM-free cross-platform edition of Cyka (which would also save me from giving a whopping 25% of my Kickstarter funds just to Epic Games alone, just to use UDK at first).  I'm still making Cyka: Steamed Edition, because I still want a Steam-powered version for both PC and Mac.  But right now, Unity 4 really came at a great time, and I really want to give the main cross-platform desktop and mobile versions of Cyka my full attention with Unity 4.

- Brian

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sorry about the absence, folks!

Me Wacom gots broked.
My past two weeks in a nutshell...

Sorry for the long pause there (it's been almost two full weeks since I've last posted something here), but I've had to deal with some stuff.  Yeah, just stuff.  I've had to work with major Internet issues lately (like my Internet being off for almost a whole week and experiencing absolutely frustrating dropped signals when it's on), my Wacom graphics tablet is damaged and out of commission (I'll need to get a new one), and my computer's been strangely freezing and crashing a few times lately for no reason I can find (all to my greatest frustration).

But there's also been some good things that have caused a delay lately, chiefly with the news of Unity 4 coming soon, promising some features I've been waiting a long time for and that causes me to readjust plans (again).  Also, I'm finishing up the game design document (which was supposed to be finished like two months ago, I'll admit, but got pushed aside to production work), which will be provided to those who would be interested in joining Team PolyKhrome when I start recruiting.  And finally, besides just some more character models I'm working on, the demo itself really just needs some character animations, some more textures to complete the terrain, and enough game logic to present the basic gameplay mechanics, and it'll be done enough to display on Indie DB and polished enough provide for our Kickstarter (if all goes well with no more delays) sometime next month.

I'm preparing to upload some shots of stuff I've been working on for the time throughout the past two weeks.  And even though my graphics tablet is out of commission, I'm taking advantage of some other techniques to get as much of the job done as I can until I get another tablet as soon as possible.  But hopefully, aside from texturing, hopefully I won't need it too much for the completion of the demo.  I still want to get my Kickstarter going next month.  I never meant to be late with starting the Kickstarter for Cyka, but so unexpected delays have come my way, all I can do is adapt to them.  But some things have made the delays worth the wait, such as the news of the upcoming Unity 4, which I'll be talking about more in a separate post.

Anyways, that's all for this post.  I've got several more posts to do today, so I'll keep this one brief.  Thanks for checking back over the last two weeks, and sorry to keep you waiting.  But hopefully, from what I've got to show soon, you'll think it was well worth the wait.

- Brian

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A new Games page added!

Check out our new Games page.  It shows the lineup of games we have coming from PolyKhrome (though, not in chronological order).  These games are why PolyKhrome was born.  These are titles we think will make PolyKhrome truly one of the best indie game developers around.  And a number of them, we'd like to have featured on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, in addition to the currently-supported platforms that we are developing towards (PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and OnLive).  See any games that interest you?  After the completion of Cyka, the first episode of Deuces Wild! called Deuces Wild!: Jacks Are Better is our next game.  As PolyKhrome grows, so does our games.  We've got some nice games coming, if I do say so myself.  Of course, though, one game at a time!

- Brian

Update: Cyka model development screenshots

Developmental shot of Commander Cyka
Commander Cyka in development

Check the Concept Art page for some first-look shots of the Commander Cyka model in development.  I'm just fooling around with head designs at the moment, and I'll post up more designs later.  The final design will eventually be textured, rigged, posed, and animated for the demo (which are the easier parts).  What you see here is far from finished.  So far, I plan to revise the bevor (the mouth area), I'm adjusting the eyes' shape and glow, sculpt finer details on the head, create some steam effects, baked the maps (normal, specular, glow, etc.), produce a low-poly model, and the upper torso is being finishing up.  No problem, though.

- Brian

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

For Developers: PolyKhrome introduces Powerhouse

If you're not an indie or hobbyist game developer, then you're not going to care about this one too much.  But if you are, then this might be of some interest to you.

We're opening a new page devoted to our game assets for sale.  It's going to be through a division called Powerhouse Game Assets (or simply Powerhouse).  This is just so we can focus our attention on our games here at PolyKhrome, and on our coming assets at Powerhouse.

The assets from Powerhouse will be developed with the indie game developer in mind, and as indie game developer, PolyKhrome knows a lot of those needs personally.  We make what we need (such as the clothes-modeling program I've been organizing, for instance) and we know that others will appreciate what we are and will be producing.

The assets will range from everything such as 3D models, environments, music, textures, scripts, detailed content packages and even full basic game starter packs.  And we're providing assets for many kinds of game engines, including Unity, UDK, CryEngine 3 SDK, and Spring RTS Engine.  2D game engines will be later supported.  The assets will be variously available in a number of asset marketplaces, such as the Unity Asset Store, Envato, TurboSquid, and 3DExport.

The majority of the content will be game-ready, and the prices for our assets will be priced with the indie developer in mind.  We'll even offer a royalty-based plan option that will be available when we begin with showcasing assets, because we know that sometimes you've got to start with nothing to make something.

The money we make from assets will go towards our own game development, and even some of the game assets from our own games will be made available as assets to use, typically provided with alternative textures in addition to the original textures.

As for the name, I like the name Powerhouse because it describes our we're going to be with our assets production.  I already have the kind of logo in mind for it.  And I think I just have a thing for ten-letter words that begin with P, has an H in the middle, and ends with E.

We're looking to have our first assets put up this week.  If you visit the site, please excuse the mess--we're building something here.

- Brian

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thanks for 600 views (and without even trying!)

We've reached over 600 views so far, and whether you're a repeating visitor or a new visitor, thank you!  This is a rather nice number of views considering that PolyKhrome hasn't even began to broadcast our game Cyka yet.  We plan to put the Cyka game and register PolyKhrome on Indie DB as soon as the playable demos are almost finished, and we suspect there will be a significant jump in attention from that.

But just the fact that you all who contributed to the 600+ views thus far, just on word-of-mouth or curiosity alone, it still pretty cool.  Having 600 views is not a lot in terms visitors of most bigger blogs, but for an upstarting indie game developer working on their currently unheard-of game, it does mean that at least 600 times, we've piqued someone's interest to come here.  We'll take it.

- Brian

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Update: Some development concept designs up

A Knight Faction unit's helmet falteplate
Next time you see me, I'mma be finished and awesome!

This will be a brief one here.  There's some development concept shots on the Concept Art page.  It's just few pieces, and again, they're in developmental stage.  They're undergoing design refinement, sculpting, retopo (making it a low-poly mesh), and texturing, and incorporated with other designs.  There are several designs being finished at one time.  I meant to post something earlier today, but I simply lost track of time (I'm one busy guy).  But there are more shots on the way, concept art, finished shots, and in-game demo shots.  Meanwhile, terrains still need more texturing, and so they are next.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Update: Podcast is available and concept art is next

Podcast on Blogger
Our first podcast!

The first PolyKhrome podcast is now available in the Behind The Scenes page.  This is the first one from me as the chief developer, and here I talk about things such as a overview description of the game, the plot and theme of the story in the game, a little on the visual design aspects of the game, and some development in plan for the game, as well as some brief mentioning about the upcoming Cyka Kickstarter soon (which awaits my demos).  You can expect more podcasts in the future and from more developers, and you can expect them to come maybe once or twice a month.

This podcast is about 1 hour and 53 minutes, as in this one in particular I'm explaining a lot for the first time, so I recommend that you listen to it when you have some time and are doing something menial, like surfing the web or something.  I am considering breaking up this particular podcast into 3 or 4 parts, but for now, this podcast is available as is on two links (just in case one of them should ever stop working for some reason).  The format of the audio file is MPEG-4, and the folder is zipped.

I think I did alright and I think I got a lot said how I wanted, though, I'll work on my flow a bit in speaking (better pace, less stuttering).  The audio is pretty good quality, though I must apologize about the few instances of audio compression artifacts (little glitches) present in this podcast's audio occurring every now and then.  I'll choose better recording settings next time.  If you have any questions concerning something mentioned in the podcast, I'll take them here in the comments or you can e-mail me at polykhrome@gmail.com.

Also, today you should see some new concept art posted today.  If for some reason it's not today, then surely expect them Sunday (Saturdays are my only days off).  But I'm personally rather picky of what concept art I reveal and when, and I try to release a load of pictures at one time, but that's just me.  I don't expect this of my expected team members soon.  And speaking of that, I'm writing the post calling for collaborators at this page right now.  I'll post an update when the page is up, and if you're a game developer (currently and specifically, a game artist), you can check it out then.

If I'm not able to return here today, have a good weekend, folks!

- Brian

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Update: Podcast is recorded and a few other updates

The first PolyKhrome podcast has been recorded and will be a podcast available sometime tomorrow.  The chief developer (um, me) talks about the details of the game, including descriptions of the gameplay, the plot of the story in Story mode, some of the visual style of the game, as well as some as a little details about some development planned for the game.  The podcast is being edited and will be available by noon tomorrow.

There will also be some new concept art posted tomorrow, some as 2D illustrations and some as 3D.  There's a whole lot of concept art and screenshots coming pretty soon, as PolyKhrome goes into overdrive in development of these two demos.  More development screenshots will be posted as well.

Starting tomorrow, PolyKhrome will be posting up available two positions on Unity forums for developers.  For the time being, the positions will be for an additional game artist for 3D assets, as well as concept designer for 2D designs.  An additional programmer will be sought later.

Finally, our first video is currently in production and will be available on our YouTube Channel very soon (which will be getting a face lift as well).  This video will be showing the development of one of our models for the demos.  This marks the start of an exciting time for PolyKhrome, as we will be using YouTube extensively in following the development of this game.

- Brian

Monday, June 4, 2012

Update: Some production screenshots and delight for the UDK version of Cyka

Screenshot 01
Can't show you the textures just yet...

More development screenshots are available on the Screenshots page, down under the "Cyka Kickstarter demo (Unity version)" section.  These some screenshots are just something to give you to look at just for now.  They are just showing the wireframe models of the Unity-developed Cyka demo and using a placeholder sky texture, as the terrain model textures and sky textures are not yet finished.

But what's cool about these pictures is that they're showing one-fourth of the total map size for the playable region for the Unity-developed Cyka demo.  To give you a sense of scale, click on screenshot 03 below, look at one of the triangle faces, and place your mouse cursor within one--that's just about the size that one character will be on the terrain.  Now imagine about 50 of similarly-sized units engaged in confrontation with 50 other similarly-sized units, and you can begin to imagine the elbow room your playing field will be in this demo.

Screenshot 03
Screenshot 03

Some of this terrain map will be what actually gets left untextured and released for free use on the Unity Asset Store.  This entire map when finished textured and animated will be in the pack of three game-ready terrain maps made available for purchase for $10, provided with many prop assets to allow people to make it look like their own terrain.  We're not afraid of selling the terrain because the terrain in the final game will look better defined than the more general-purpose terrain pack and there will be so many terrains in the official game that will pale even this large terrain size in comparison.

Also in development right now for this demo:
  • models of several types of trees, rocks and plants are being made
  • high-resolution sky texture being created and rendered from scratch in a separate 3D program
  • initial character models are being modeled (animations come next)
  • concept buildings are being conceptualized in both 2D and 3D
  • creature designs are being done in 2D at the moment
  • textures for the terrains are being done carefully (but not yet shown here)
  • game logic for both demos are being plotted out
Again, more reveals of the Unity-developed Cyka demo are coming this week.

~ ~

Progress is coming along quite well for the UDK-developed Cyka demo as well.  So far, we've tried some tests of terrain as both generated using the heightmap terrain editor and as imported modeled terrain meshes, to weight out their advantages and disadvantages for us (some as memory usage, environment destructibility, ease of assembly, etc.), and we're definitely going with the terrain editor option.

UDK makes it pretty easy to create an impressive terrain quite quickly, so the test to be sure about our approach was worth the time.  Though, UDK is such a robust engine with tons of amazing features at your disposal, some obvious and some not-so-obvious, and personally, it's still quite the learning experience for me as the chief developer (currently the sole developer, at the moment).  I am proficient in using Unity, which I've been using for years, but UDK I'm rather new at--I've only adopted it this year--and so I want to be totally up to speed with UDK when I finally hire my team of developers.  Though, it's time-consuming learning while you utilize.

It's been worth taking the extra time to learn how to best utilize the engine--and thanks to a wealth of learning resources, that's been happening with no problem.  I'm mastering this engine quickly, and I can see how even more amazing this version of Cyka is going to be.  The original Unity-developed version will already be loads of fun (cross-platform-style), but this UDK-developed version of Cyka will be very amazing to experience on Steam.  The contrast between them will be one I think gamers will thoroughly enjoy.  (Of course, Kickstarter supporters who pledge at the $50 level will get both the Unity-developed standard Cyka (four copies of this version, in fact) and the UDK-developed Cyka: Steamed Edition.)

I can't wait to show you the work I've been working on so far!  Since I'm working on more than one thing at a time, I'm working non-linearly, going between different aspects and working on them a bit at a time, so that's why I don't want to show them off just yet.  But I'm sharing the untextured examples of my Unity work just to whet your appetite a bit.

- Brian

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Update: Screenshots coming, building our team, Cyka details, and E3 excitement

The two demos are coming along well, and we'll post some development screenshots up as soon as we reach a good point we're comfortable with sharing them.  Also on the way are some more concept art, our first video for the PolyKhrome YouTube channel, a podcast, and those terrain maps for the Unity Asset Store that we're working on.  Expect most of that coming this week.

~ ~

Next on our announcements here, PolyKhrome be looking to expand our team soon.  The development team of PolyKhrome will be kept deliberately small, where we can be a tight-knit powerhouse.  We will have four positions available pretty soon.

  • 3D assets artist
  • 2D assets artist
  • Game/network programmer
  • Sound designer
After the release of our demos and the start of our Kickstarter, we'll be looking to fill those positions.  We also plan to seek dedicated music production from one of my personal favorite game music composer, Jake Kaufman, if we reach our goal with the Kickstarter.  This will put Cyka development into overdrive, but for right now, we're focusing on establishing Cyka with a solid foundation these demos currently in development will provide.

~ ~

As for some more details about the game, because some have been curious of how Cyka plays in terms of perspective, the game's battle aspects play out in a third-person overhead (isometric) view similarly used in games like Starcraft II and Torchlight II, but we aim to improve on the usage than most games, as Cyka allows for a range of rotation with the camera, as well as allow players to experience the battlefield in third-person ground-level view, and first-person perspective for certain units with scoping available with their range projectiles.

You can quickly switch between overhead view and ground-level third-person view.  The overhead view is particularly useful for turn-based actioning, while the ground-level view is useful for real-time fighter action.  Though, you can use the ground-level view during turn-based actioning when you're taking cover and you want to snipe at an dead-as-a-duck open target who might have retaliating sniper units covering them.

The game's exploration aspects play out in third-person ground-level view, but players will have the option to traverse the lands in overhead view and to survey the land in first-person view.  You'll have a sense of freedom of exploring the fully-explorable continents of Rhye, as you traverse by foot, by mountable beasts (if which you'll have to catch and tame for your army), and by other means of transportation we don't want to give away just yet (but we'll hint this much: the sky's the limit).  Again, we're making the kind of game we wish would exist.

~ ~

As we develop the demos, we're going to post Cyka up in the IndieDB database of games, and I think our game will get quite the coverage in news there.  We expect this game will get the attention of a lot of folks, so if you want to be among the first 100 to receive a free desktop copy of the game (PC or Mac), visit our Facebook page, Like us if you do, and let us know how Cyka sounds to you so far, and we'll send keep you listed as one of the 100 people to send the game to upon completion.  We say this because we expect quite a lot of attention to flood in when the playable demos are complete and word gets out in indie game news sites.

~ ~

Finally, I just can't leave this update without talking about E3 2012!  I'm personally excited about this year's E3, in particularly due to the Wii U from Nintendo.  I'm looking forward to seeing more about the Wii U, though I'll be posting up some thoughts of the E3 presentations of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.  I've been following the Wii U's development from day one along with multiple sources (like Wii U Blog, Nintendo Everything, and Wii U Go), and as both a gamer (esp. a Nintendo fan) and a game developer, I'm ecstatic about the possibilities the Wii U's sweet controller and better online features provides.  I can say that PolyKhrome definitely has aims for developing for the Wii U, and I would definitely make sure we take full advantage of the features of the Wii U.  But one step at a time--become established developers first!

Anyways, that's all for now.  Though, I'd like to say thanks to visitors for our 500+ views of this blog so far--PolyKhrome really appreciates your checking us out.  A lot of hard work is going into this game, and I'm sure in saying that these demos will not disappoint you.

- Brian

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Introducing the Leap (and perhaps the start of a beautiful friendship)

PolyKhrome is interested in this technology!  The developers of the Leap are providing free software developer kits to registered and qualified developers, to have more software utilize this revolutionary device (which, by the way, is planned to be priced at a mere $70).  This strongly interests me as a developer, and immediately brings to mind some great uses for our next games.

For instance, Deuces Wild! is a secret agent game where you'll get to play around with all sorts of gadgets at your disposal developed by A>C<E, where gamers will be able to use Wacom Bamboo tablets, touchscreen tablets and microphones as input devices--the Leap goes right down the alley of a game like that!  I think this is just the tip of the iceberg, though.  In our upcoming game Dis_connected, players will be controlling their mech units from within at times, switching to the perspective of operating the machine as a mech pilot in the real-time battle encounters.  You can start to see the sheer potential this technology has for gaming.  Even indie games.  At the Leap's planned price and availability of the SDK, I'd say this is something every indie game developer should seriously consider.

Not to mention, you can just imagine how useful the Leap would be in the actual game development process itself--the technology was born out of a need to make working with 3D modeling programs work easier.  The Leap is more intuitive than the keyboard, more accurate than a mouse, and more sensitive than a touchscreen.  (You can see it more in action here.)  This is easily the most revolutionary step in user interface for computer technology to come along since the invention of the mouse.  And while I personally don't think it'll completely replace the keyboard and mouse, I think it'll certainly be an addition we simply won't live without (it's certainly a small enough device to accompany the keyboard and mouse)!

I can personally say that this company will be strongly considering becoming a developer for the Leap down the line, especially since this company will be developing its own game engine and other game development-related software soon.  We like using game engines, but we'd like to use a customized solution.  But in any case, expect to hear more about this technology in the media--and our concept usages of it for games on this blog--later down the road.  For now, you can visit their website for more information and to pre-order the Leap.

- Brian

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Free terrain maps heading going to the Unity Asset Store today

We're releasing several terrain maps freely available at the Unity Asset Store a little later today.  Few of them we created to use in our game demos.  They'll be untextured and without additional props but free for any use, even commercial (just as long as you don't reproduce exactly our landscapes from the game!).  We can spare to freely share a few maps, since there'll be over 100 more in the game!

PolyKhrome will periodically release free assets from our game Cyka available at the Unity Asset Store and  TurboSquid, and BlendSwap.  We like to share some of our work with others, and encourage people to use them in whatever creative ways they can imagine.  You can expect more releases periodically in the future.  And hey, we'd love to hear from you about how you used them!  Post them on our Facebook page!  Enjoy!

- PolyKhrome Team

[5/25/2012] Update: Bare with us, folks--we've decided to provide some detail assets to the free untextured terrain maps, such as rocks and trees.  We're also uploading a package of 3 large maps for purchase at $10 that are fully-textured, loaded with animated and static props assets, low-poly and ready for any game production.  We'll post them up on the Unity Asset Store at the same time and post up a link to them both when we're done.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New PolyKhrome logo in development

The current temporary PolyKhrome Blog logo
The current temporary PolyKhrome Blog logo

The PolyKhrome logo is undergoing a redesign.  The current ones we've been using for this blog and our Facebook page are just placeholders we quickly created because at the time, we really didn't have an official logo yet.  But now ideas have been brewing, and soon we'll be replacing those temporary logos.  Our next one will be much more pleasant to behold, easier to create into an icon, and more readily identifiable.  Now only will our current blog's banner see this new logo, but when we've finally finished one, the new logo will be the one featured on the Cyka demos and eventually the finished Cyka game.

An early look at the Kickstarter pledge offerings

Kickstarter logo
Soon.  Very soon...

Here's just an early look at just what supporters of this game can expect to get in return for supporting development of Cyka.  We're also using this article as the main reference to the Kickstarter offerings to use with our Kickstarter page (because this list is too long to put on the Kickstarter page, so we'll refer readers to this list).  Please keep in mind that many of these are still works in progress and that their expected delivery dates will be announced on our Kickstarter page (which is being finished up):
  • At the $1 level, supporters will get a Cyka wallpaper, with or without the logo, for their computer desktop and mobile device, as our thanks.  Also, they'll receive their name placed on the interactive Hall of Legends on the official Cyka website (which is an explorable museum-like tribute correlating to the game).  (All pledge level supporters will receive this.)
  • At the $10 level, supporters will get the desktop version and the mobile version of the Cyka (digital DRM-free copy directly from PolyKhrome).  I'll even give them them my personal gamer tag, just so they can play against me, the creator of Cyka, online--and this goes for all levels supported above this one.
  • At the $15 level, supporters will get the desktop and mobile versions of Cyka: Cloud Quest Edition, which is the special edition of Cyka that features Cloud Quest mode, allowing exploration of the mysterious floating continent in the game (digital DRM-free copy directly from PolyKhrome).
  • At the $25 level, supporters will get the aforementioned desktop and mobile versions of Cyka: Cloud Quest Edition, plus a Kickstarter-exclusive gold-edition Commander Cyka option in each game (you can switch between a gold-color Cyka and the standard bronze-color Cyka), along with the official Cyka soundtrack.
  • At the $50 level, supporters will get everything mentioned before, plus the Cyka: Steamed Edition to enjoy on Steam, plus a signed poster print of a scene of the almighty blue grid falling on the battling units on the field (a picture will be provided).  We'll also send three of the supporter's friends a copy of Cyka: Cloud Quest Edition (non-Steam PC or Mac desktop version), to enjoy Cyka with each other online.
  • At the $100 level, supporters will get everything mentioned before, plus we'll customize the commander unit in the supporter's copy of the game after their request (to use with any faction).  They'll be the only one in the world with that model.  They'll also receive all purchasable downloadable content that ever comes for Cyka of any version, including Steamed Edition (more info on the DLC will be later provided).  They'll also receive the Cyka: Steamed Edition 4-Pack package for Steam, with one copy for themselves and three copies give to away and to enjoy with three friends on Steam.
  • At the $500 level, supporters will get everything mentioned before, plus we'll customize any one already-existing faction in the game of their choice completely tailored to their request.  These supporters will be the only one in the world with their specialized army.  We'll also send them a limited-edition highly-detailed stainless steel miniature figurine of Commander Cyka (their choice of 1 of 3 designs), with a glossy antique bronze finish to truly make the commander shine in true steampunk fashion.
  • At the $1000 level, well, we'll need to really step it up here.  Supporters will get everything mentioned before, plus we'll create an entire new downloadable continent in their honor (which they'll receive).  They can name it whatever they want, tell us what geographical features they want with it, and tell us what style of music they want for it.  And in addition to already creating their one-of-a-kind customized army from the previous pledge level, we'll create an entirely new faction of units after their request to go along with their new continent.  We'll help them design it well, because we'll create a small website and webstore just for them to sell their faction and continent as purchasable downloadable content and they'll keep 100% of those profits.  They can play with pride as other gamers explore the world and use the brand-new faction in Cyka they designed.  Supporters will also receive an exclusive collection of stainless steel miniature figurines of Commander Cyka (their choice of 1 of 3 designs) and four other figurines of the 4 types of units in Cyka's Knight faction: archer, brawler, swordsman, and heavy artillery.  They can let their miniature figurines shine in their glorious glossy gold-plated finish, presented on a beautiful plaque (beautifully-etched copper surface on a glass board) of our appreciation.
  • At the $5000 level (a limited reward - 10 available), supporters will get everything mentioned before, plus they'll get 50 copies of Cyka: Cloud Quest Edition bundles that each include 5 downloadable content packages and a royal outfit for Commander Cyka exclusive to those copies (valued at about $25 each bundle) to do whatever you want with them--sell them, give them away, or keep them (if you want).  They'll receive a copy of everything PolyKhrome ever produces (all our games, our purchasable downloadable content, our game soundtracks, and even our non-game stuff such as our animated feature of Cyka--everything!).  If they're another indie company/small business, we'll place their company logo and website in the end credits of the game, and give a special shout-out to their company website in the interactive Hall of Legends on the official Cyka website.  We'll give each of these supporters a special character cameo as special agents in our next game Deuces Wild!, with the character made after their image and their name listed in the ending credits.
  • At the $10,000 level (an exclusive reward - 1 available) the supporter at this point can almost have one of my kidneys.  They'll get everything mentioned before, plus access to the full assets to the entire Cyka game (their choice of the Unity assets or the UDK assets) in order to develop their own company's edition of downloadable content for Cyka to release commercially (royalty-free) to contribute to the franchise.  We'll also include their company logo with a special thanks in the opening credits of the official Cyka game from PolyKhrome.  They'll also receive a giant memorial in the Hall of Legends on the Cyka website, with their logo created in the form of a crest and their contribution told in the form of an ancient historical account of how they helped found the land of King Cyka's people centuries ago.  Also, as many members of the PolyKhrome as possible will plan with the supporter a day to visit them and we'll have lunch, chat about future projects of PolyKhrome, and, of course, play a few some rounds of Cyka together.
As you can see, we have quite a lot lined up for supporters who will help make this game reach its fullest potential.  We're not ready to disclose our fund goal just yet, because we wish to first show our work before we ask for anything.  PolyKhrome is working to create a good example showing just what supporters will get and providing some foresight as to just where their support will take this game.  I personally want this game to play myself, and so PolyKhrome is expecting nothing less than the best for this game.  Stay tuned for more frequent updates about the upcoming playable demos and the Kickstarter campaign pretty soon.

- Brian

[5/26/2012] Update: About the customization at the $100 level, supporters will have many available choices for customization for their commander units shown for them.  The commander units will be truly unique, nonetheless.  We have to point that out here because there's simply no way we could completely customized from the ground up for hundreds of people, which is most likely to get far more support than the higher levels.  The customization the of models at the levels higher than the $100 level, however, are completely customization to their models, as they are expected to have fewer supporters.

I also wish to make clear here that these customized models are just aesthetic customizations only--they will by no means operate differently than other models in the games and for the sake of the game, we will not make any units more powerful than the others.  The only exception somewhat, though, will be for any supporters at the $1000 level, where we'll help them define the attacks and movement styles of their newly-created faction for their newly-created continent in the game.  But again, there will be no major advantages given to these models over other units in the game, for the fairness of the game.

Update: EVERYONE will be able to play Cyka

Cutting straight to the chase, we're making two versions of Cyka so that anyone on any preferred platform can enjoy the game.  Excuse me.  [Writer does a little dance.]

One game, two experiences

One version of Cyka will allow gamers on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android to play together online cross-platform, and now, we've already began creating a version of Cyka that will be exclusive to Steam called Cyka: Steamed Edition.

We've said earlier today that we're working on two different playable demos for Cyka.  Well, this is why we're doing such--to provide a playable example of each version of Cyka, to show our supporters a good taste of what they'll be supporting soon.  And really, this came to us just as a great solution.

Cyka: Steamed Edition

As we've mentioned beforeCyka: Steamed Edition will be a special version of the game built just for Steam to best take advantage of Steam's features.  One problem we were having in making Cyka available for Steam was that it wouldn't be able to play cross-platform with other non-Steam versions of the game, namely the mobile versions, and so we wanted to make a special version for Cyka that would justify being available only just for Steam.

But what's new about the development of this Steam version of the game is that now it will be a very different experience from the original non-Steam version.  While the two versions of the game will play the exact same way in terms of gameplay, the major noticeable difference about Cyka: Steamed Edition will be that it is created using the Unreal Development Kit, and so it will have visuals in a league of its own compared to the standard Cyka game for non-Steam versions built with the Unity Engine (which will still be one beautiful game).  The environments will be noticeably more destructible and interactive as well.  It will feel like its own game because basically it is--it's a version of Cyka built uniquely with UDK from the ground up.

In addition to the visual upgrade, Cyka: Steamed Edition will be able to utilize Steam's matchmaking service, Steam Achievements, Steam Leaderboards, Steam Cloud save service, co-op multiplayer and in-game chat (though some of these features will be on the non-Steam versions, too).  As the Steam version of Cyka will only be able to use Steam's platform Steamworks, the game will cost lower than the non-Steam desktop version of Cyka, it will include the Cloud Quest mode, and there will be free exclusive content for this version as well.

Unity-developed Cyka
Pick your store soon...
UDK-developed Cyka
...now soon including Steam!


So, let's recap just a bit at what we're looking at here:
  • Cyka (standard desktop version) (PC or Mac standalone; Linux supported via web browser version)
  • Cyka (standard mobile version) (iOS or Android)
  • Cyka: Cloud Quest Edition (PC or Mac standalone; Linux supported via web browser version)
  • Cyka: Cloud Quest Edition (iOS or Android)
  • Cyka: Steamed Edition (exclusive Steam edition for PC and Mac)
Phew!  And then you can also include the free browser-based game, Cyka Free (a scaled-down single-player single-mode version of Cyka with four playable maps and is totally free to play), but that's merely to a scaled version to whet gamers' appetite for the one of the richer multiplayer version of Cyka.

But how?!

But you might be wondering, "How are you now able to do this now?  Weren't you having problems with using the Unity game engine before?"

Well, we're able to do this now because after many hours of searching, we finally found a solution to the problem we were facing before in dealing with Unity's terrain system (two simple little scripts that solved our problem were sitting in the back of a Unity forum, waiting).  But now with Unity back as an option, while we sure didn't want to abandon using Unity (in order to keep Cyka truly cross-platform), we also didn't want to abandon this new version of Cyka we started developing on UDK--which before our solution we were looking at being the only version of Cyka to develop then.

But then we remembered that we were looking for a way to justify having our game on Steam, which wouldn't have allowed cross-platform gaming to non-Steam games (such as a mobile version of Cyka).  We had already had this idea of a "Steamed Edition" on the backburner of our ideas for quite a while now, but we recently just put the two situations together here.  We wanted to do this version of Cyka using the UDK that we started making and we always wanted to have the Cyka experience available on Steam.  So, in light of just recently finding a way around our problem with Unity Engine, we asked ourselves, "Why not make make this UDK-developed Cyka be our Steam-exclusive version of the game?"

So these two ideas just came together so beautifully and just in time for our Kickstarter crowd-funding effort!  Cyka: Steamed Edition finally gives us a way to justify both building a UDK-developed version of Cyka and providing an exclusive version of the game for Steam as well.   It fits in well with our development planning, and though it's taking a little readjustment to our Kickstarter plans (again), we think it'll be well worth it.  (Plus, we also really didn't want to give up that rather clever title--I mean, "Steamed Edition," for a special edition of a steampunk-themed game that'll be exclusive on Steam?  There's no way we're letting that one go!)

Supporters can get them all!

Many of our Kickstarter supporters can receive both the non-Steam and the Steam version of Cyka.  But we're making this so that any supporter both during and after our Kickstarter campaign receiving any version of the game can fully enjoy the rich experience that is Cyka--and you'll get to taste that experience very soon.  No matter which version you pick up, you'll enjoy the game, and no matter which version you'll have, you will have thousands of gamers to play with.  We will explain just what offerings we have in mind for our Kickstarter supporters on the next upcoming article.  Stay tuned!

- Brian

We're working on two demos to present with our Kickstarter

The title says it all.  We're working on two different playable demos to present as the example of Cyka that we'll be seeking some support with through Kickstarter.  This is something we've been planning for almost four long months now, and really, we want to kick our Kickstarter into final production pretty soon.  More details about the Kickstarter while be revealed soon (some later today, in fact), and we've got some great offerings in store for supporters (we're talking just plain awesome stuff), but we just have to say that the demos comes first.  Without these demos, we feel there's no selling the game with support through Kickstarter, so we've been taking our time and extra care on developing these demos.

- Brian

Friday, May 11, 2012

Update: Change of plans (and what it means)

I've tried.  I've really tried.  But for this game Cyka, the Unity Engine's just not working out.  Simply said, PolyKhrome just needs a better game engine for this game.  We need a better toolset with more options like better texturing options, tessellation and advanced lighting features and a far more memory-efficient terrain system.  We like the Unity Engine and really would like to use it, but PolyKhrome would rather have a successful game than an abandoned project due to us wasting time trying to find ways past Unity's technical limitations.  So now Cyka is being developed with the Unreal Development Kit, and really, we probably should've gone with this from the beginning.
Ah, the relief!
Now, with this change does come some changes in our plans as well.  The immediate change is that the targeted platform is reduced, because UDK currently only supports development for PC, Mac, and iOS.  So Cyka development will focus on those platforms.  The iOS version will still play cross-platform with the PC and Mac version.  We're losing a couple platforms here, but we're going with what's going to help make this project successful with completion, and that's UDK.

Another change with this switch, though for the better, is that Cyka is going to get a major graphical boost now--something closer to the original vision for Cyka, in fact.  In fact, thanks to UDK's memory-efficient terrain system, we can make the world of Rhye in the game feel bigger and livelier than ever.  In fact, that's largely part of why we're switching.

The biggest reason why we're switching is simple: Unity currently makes it quite difficult to create a game of Cyka's scale for both desktop and mobile platforms.  While we could just make the 100+ explorable regions in Cyka as meshes, the process would take just way too long to do, and we want to get something playable pretty soon.  Trying to work around the technical limitations of Unity's terrain system would cost us too much time and effort, and we've got a goal to meet.

As usual, this effects our plans with our upcoming Kickstarter soon, as well (which has been in planning for about three months now).  It takes time to set up a Kickstarter, because you have to do a lot of planning (and re-planning).  Believe it or not, we'd only see about 50% of any Kickstarter funds going towards the actual game development, due to various costs.  Kickstarter wants 5% and Amazon would take 3-5% for credit card processing fees, and then there's applicable taxes, pledge offering production costs, shipping costs, 5% going towards KickItForward, and now a 20% royalty to give to Epic Games to figure into the costs (they consider such efforts as Kickstarter as applicable for royalties).  But we'll get to that pretty soon.  In fact, we really need to get our Kickstarter started by this month.

Before we can start talking about Kickstarter and go through with raising financial support, we have to show them something with promise, and UDK's definitely going to help us there.  I want people to totally love this game as much as I love it.  We have to sell this game just right.  We want to make sure that perfect is what folks will get.  UDK will help PolyKhrome do this.

- Brian

By the way, this effectively ends our platform poll.  Thanks to those who participated.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

New Follow Us! page (as well as a couple others)

If you've visited this site before, maybe you've noticed that we've been gradually adding some pages to it, notably the Demos page and the Behind The Scenes page (which will be used really soon).  Well, now we've added another page--the Follow Us! page.

From this page, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and, soon, YouTube.  And you'll want to check out each, and consider following us one (or maybe even all--if you can handle it) of these ways.

We plan not just to use these social networking venues as a means to broadcast updates on game development, but as time goes on with our game development, as our official PolyKhrome website undergoes construction, and as we near our Kickstarter campaign (which should be arriving sometime in the fourth week of this month of May--about two weeks away), we're going to be using each of these social networking sites big time, and each one has its own advantage:
  • During Cyka development, we'll be posting updates on Facebook and Twitter often times before we post them here on the blog.
  • During our Cyka Kickstarter campaign, you can help Cyka become the game of our dreams by sharing news of our Kickstarter with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
  • You can help PolyKhrome get put on the map by giving a "+1" to our blog site with your Google account (which shows up on your Google + accounts as well).
  • After Cyka is finished, we'll be using the Facebook page extensively for everything from announcing official online Cyka tournaments to giving news about newly available downloadable content.
  • And, of course, you'll be able to easily share any of this directly with your friends!
At any of these sites, you'll be able to chat with us directly, and with other fans of this and our other series (and we just know our series will draw fans).  We love to hear from gamers and we want to keep an awesome community about our games.  After all, we want to play our own games, too!

Also, on YouTube, you'll be able to watch trailers, development diaries, brief showings of test matches (when our game goes into the testing phase), and even a full-length animated feature of Cyka planned.  PolyKhrome plans to release full tutorials of not just how we do some of our game development, but also how to use some of our game-development-related software coming soon from a sister company (which we'll leave unnamed just for now, but you'll hear much more about later down the road).

We're currently a small indie company (and I mean really small), but we have the intention to grow as a company, the ambition to create truly awesome content, and the determination to deliver it all in style.  Please considering following us along the way!

Oops!: A simple correction about the map's size!

Two days ago, I wrote that the terrain map for the development demo was 10 square miles (16 sq. km.) in size, and after reading through my article again (and never thinking those numbers were right to begin with), it just didn't seem right.  It rested unsettled on my mind like an endless itch on the brain, an unending quivering in my soul, and even made me question the meaning of life (well, okay, it just bugged me, that's all...).

Well, just in case you thought that sounded funny or weren't really impressed with those numbers, that's because I was measuring the terrain in accordance to the units of the other program I used to build the terrain instead of the accurate units of measure of the game engine itself.  :P

Indeed, Captain Picard...
The correct size of the terrain is actually about 98 square miles (or 256 square kilometers).  The terrain itself in the game engine measures to 16,000 meters (or 16 kilometers) long and wide, which is close to 10 miles (9.94 miles, to be more exact) long and wide, and when you do the math there (you know, the right math which I failed to properly arrive to), it's about 100 square miles (98.8 square miles, to be more exact).

The units of the other program I was using to get the base of the terrain was set to using its own non-standard measure of units (though, I could've set them as meters, which I thought were already done) and that's where I got that funky number from.  And it's funny, too, because I did the calculation several times because it just didn't seem right, wondering what I was missing, if I was missing something.  But, silly me, I was calculating using the numbers of the non-standard unit of measure from the other program, not the metric units of the game engine.

And when you do the math (again--and right this time), that means you'll have about 800 to 1,000 square miles (or about 2,072 to 2,590 sq. km.) of fully-traversable in-game terrain with the game, plus the additional continents that will be available for Cyka as downloadable content!  (Phew!  That's better!)  Again, for an indie game, that's an amazing amount of world to explore.  We want this game to easily compare to the size of maps in games like World of Warcraft (even though this game itself bears very little resemblance to that game).

I thought I'd clear that up, because the size is rather hard to determine at this stage of the current demo.  Between the faster rate of travel you're going in the demo, and the lack of references that give you an idea of just how big the mountains are in the terrain, it would've been near impossible to get a sense of just how big the terrain actually is (and furthermore, a sense of just how big this game will be).

In the real world, 300 square miles really isn't very big, after all, but it's tricky capturing that sense of actual distance in a game and kinda taking account of that I just figured that the numbers must've been right.  But nope--ignore that!  The game's not that small!  If anything, 100 square miles is the size of one map in the game, not the sum of all the map in the game!  Though, the size of the maps will manifest better once you've seen actual models and animated characters on the terrain.

Too many numbers, too many programs, too little sleep!  Sorry about that!

- Brian

Friday, May 4, 2012

Update: A first demo and an early look at Cyka himself!

Hey, folks!  You can download our first demo released this week here (available for Windows and Mac)!  It's just a simple development demo built to show just how big one region in Cyka is.  Keep in mind that this is a development demo, and it's kept rather barren here to showcase the terrain size itself.  This is demo "1a" because we're releasing updates to this demo soon (you can expect two more, demo 1b and demo 1c, within the next week).

Screenshot from demo
You're exploring this map in first-person view, which is unlike in the game, where characters will roam around in third-person view (by default, though they can roam in first-person view as well).  There is a "README" file that provides a few more details about this demo, but basically, this map is about 10 square miles (16 sq. km.) and it's just one of about 100 persistent-world regions you can explore in Cyka.  As a note, in this demo, you're traveling across it at a much faster rate than the actual characters will walk and run (though, even in the game, faster means of transportation will be available in the game).

This demo is a big deal because it helps convey the sheer size of one region, and gives you an idea of the scope of this game.  Each of the ten main continents in the game will each feature around 8 to 10 different regions similar to this map's size in the demo.  When you do the math, that means you'll have about 80 to 100 square miles (or about 128 to 160 sq. km.) of fully-traversable in-game terrain with the game, plus the additional continents that will be available for Cyka as downloadable content!  Yeah, for an indie game, this game is straight-up huge!  And for the kind of persistent-world gameplay Cyka will have, it has to be.

Also making news today, we have a first look at Cyka...we mean the actual character Cyka!  You've been waiting for some kind of concept of our lead character Commander Cyka for a while now, and there are several designs in development for Commander Cyka, but we thought we'd share this early concept of Cyka, to give you a basic idea of where we're going with his design.  Here you go:

A basic working concept of Commander Cyka
Commander Cyka, in the metal!
This concept design feels cooler when you listen to it with Foo Fighter's "Bridge Burning" playing (well, maybe I'm just saying that because it's in my personal soundtrack while I work...).  Anyways, this rough concept design merely reflects the general idea of Cyka's design--by no means will the final form look exactly like this.  In fact, it's missing his royal helmet, emblem, body (obviously), and quite a lot of other details you'll see in the final design, and this design will look rather naked.  You'll see in the future released concept designs of all our characters retain a feeling of both medieval classiness with hard rock/heavy metal attitude.  There are a number of designs we're not ready to share just yet (yeah, we know--we say that a lot), but we work better not sharing our latest designs immediately.  We want good first impressions of our work.  We're putting a lot of care into designing our cybernetic steampunk alien robotic world-exploring royal commander.  Holding ourselves to a high standard, it's a quality thing with us and we're working to make sure it's worth the wait!

On to other news, if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, then you already got this update before this blog did, and generally, those places are where we'll give our latest updates first.  If you haven't already, consider following us on Facebook or Twitter.  The first 100 people to Like our PolyKhrome Facebook page and leave the comment "I want Cyka!" (or something of that nature) will get a free copy of the game (Windows or Mac version) when its completed.  And an official Cyka Facebook fan page is also in the works.

By the way, in case you didn't know, we have a poll (right below the "Search This Blog" search box to the right of this blog), titled "What platform(s) would you play Cyka on?" and with choices and everything.  If you'd be so kind, you can help PolyKhrome out by simply choosing all the answers that apply to you (you can choose more than one answer).  Your input would help us out--a lot, in fact.

You see, we're currently experimenting with game engines, and while Unity seems to be the first choice, if Android and Linux demand just aren't high enough, we might just go with the Unreal Development Kit for Cyka instead.  And if mobile versions aren't significant enough in the poll, we might postpone the mobile version of Cyka to focus on working on the desktop version, doing the mobile only after finishing the desktop version.  But if Android and Linux versions are of noticeable demand, and/or if mobile versions are of noticeable demand, we'll carry on with the Unity Engine as we have been, to best provide the game for as many platforms as possible (something not easily done with UDK or CryEngine SDK).

And finally, you can view more new screenshots like the one pictured above here by visiting the Screenshots page.  They are screenshots of what you'll find on the simple development demo, showing a concept design of a map in Cyka to reveal just how expansive a single region is in the game.  There's also a screenshot showing you where a secret little path is on one area of the mountain (there's two subtle paths in the mountains--find them!).  Expect future screenshots of this map to blow these developmental screenshots away.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hey, we got a poll.

Yep, it's right there on the right side under the "Search This Blog" search box.  Multiple choice, too.  It's small, but it'll help the development of Cyka.  And I know you're waiting on more content--we're working on a little demo now.  Patience, my children...

Also, check out our Twitter updates like two blocks down below the poll.  (And maybe even consider Following us at Twitter, if you feel particularly daring today...)

- Brian

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A brief look at upcoming titles from PolyKhrome

Here's a quick look at the next titles that PolyKhrome currently has lined up behind our development for Cyka (please note that these games are not listed in order of development):

Deuces Wild!™

Join Jack Deuce, former secret agent and present head of the rogue agent team A>C<E (which stands for "Agency of Criminal Encroachment"), as he engages in the business of "criminal encroachment," which is where they stop secret world threats and take their piece of the criminals' share while they're at it.  Along the way, he searches for his traitor older brother and former A>C<E partner, Magnus Deuce.  This is an espionage/secret agent-style action game with a style that's Maverick-meets-Lupin the 3rd-meets-Mission: Impossible, with an emphasized jazzy soundtrack that'll give Cowboy Bebop a run for its money.  (The first episode of this series is the next PolyKhrome title in line for development.)


Play as a runaway rebel in a mech, seeking freedom from a desert post-apocalyptic science-fantasy world where everything is connected online by a constant stream of neurologically-addicting signal waves--a form of mind Internet through powerful neurologically-altering signal waves.  Citizens are hooked on the signal wave like a drug, done by major companies contracted to keep the people under their residual tyrannical governments' thumbs, and though many try to escape, few people ever succeed.

While you're struggling to escape from controlled task forces and hired bounty hunters chasing after you, your character struggles as you attempt to break them away from the highly-addictive mental signal, which your runaway mech pilot must overcome.  Meet up with other successful runaways, and help each other reach the rumored haven that all runaways risk their lives hoping exists.  The characters face the dangers of escaping into a wild dangerous fantasy world together while fighting cold-turkey against their lifelong addictions.  This science-fantasy mech RPG feels like Final Fantasy-meets-Front Mission-meets-Zone of the Enders.

Dis_connected II: Salvation Age™

For now, that's all we're going to tell about this one--the title.  ...Well, and that the game also involves interplanetary space travel, a secret space colony, and effort to finally free humanity from the brain-drug signal waves.  But that's all we're telling right now.

Mega Bits™

The virtual gaming world needs saving from a looming threat, and it's up to three (moronic) 8-bit characters to transcend through the many gaming dimensions to save the day.  They'll meet other video game legends along the way, as well as get use to new things as they experience life in other graphical worlds (like having shadows and actual voices for once).  This game is a parody genre-hopping nostalgia-overload adventure-role-playing game that shouts out to classic gaming culture.

Jewel Huntress Mai™

In a nutshell: Deep adventure, shallow girl.  Mai is a jewel huntress, someone who makes a living hunting for special and rare jewels besought by high-paying employers who want them for whatever reason, and she's brash and action-hungry.  When she is commissioned by her best friend Kimiko to help her find a rare yellow stone, she is unaware just how important the stone truly is, and furthermore, that some very powerful people are also seeking after the stone at any cost.  This game has a rich Japanese animé illustrative style reminiscent of Dragon Ball, with funny characters, a wild plot that leaves Mai confused, deep exploration, a dynamic third-person battle engine, and nice real-time cinematic touches to the game that makes it feel more like watching a show than playing a game.

Cyka II™ (working name)

     In Cyka, the threat came from the planet Rhye and the world divided over it.  In Cyka II, the threat comes to the planet Rhye and the world will unite over it.

There's a lot of work ahead for this company, but it all depends on our success with Cyka, and so Cyka is getting PolyKhrome's full and undivided attention.  We won't rest until Cyka is complete and running perfectly.