Hello, fellow guildmasters!
It’s been a while since we got in touch with you. We’ve been very busy working on our next update, and that will fix the short playtime issues some of you reported. We know we’re a little late, but as explained on social media we’d rather give you a polished game with an unstressed team rather than a buggy one with exhausted team members.
Let’s get to the point of this article: show you where we’re at right now. We got lots of new content and we can showcase some of it now. We’ll start with the interface improvements, led by our UI designer / artist Martti Kandelin.
Look at our “Blacksmith” new interface! Martti designed new icons for Physical power and defense, Magical stats, Aggro, speed, and activation charge. He also gave a more organic touch to the interface, using paper, wood and leathery colors and textures which actually suit well with the atmosphere of the game. Also notice the golden contour around our guild members pictures that make them standing out like knights portraits in a dusty book.
The quest board has also been renewed! Notice all stats for your characters are now displayed in a handy, more graphic way for you to evaluate easily your needs regarding the quest. The map is still here and the circle on the bottom right corner will have your guildmaster skill in it. Navigation between the different menus of the game will be made through the three top icons. The background is interactive, and it helps you navigate between menu screens. Backgrounds here and in the blacksmith UI have been designed by Katariina Haukka, one of our environment artists. Aren’t they gorgeous? They will be even more in the final version!
Another work from Katariina are these concept arts of Kilta’s steppes both at daylight and dawn. They feel peaceful, just as if no-one ever set a foot there. Savage lands where nature rules everything, from the bottom of the plain to the top of the mountains.
And here is how it looks in the game! Viljami Heikkilä transformed Katariina’s concepts to in-game backgrounds thanks to his technical artist skills. He also included some pixel art assets from Katariina. Viljami told us that he was not satisfied with the clouds in his first attempts, but now you can witness they are ready to be played. In the last background, the depth is amazing, as if the hills and mountains never stop expanding into the fog covering the horizon.
Now let’s show you new enemies! Introducing the Shark Ogre (or “Shogre” as someone suggested in our discord server). It’s a shark with feet and a huge icy bludgeon that will probably give you brain freeze, if not worse. Janne Kantola (which is also our main composer) made the pixel art based on a concept art made by Pauliina Linjama. Do you have an idea on where our chapter 3 will take place?
Speaking of Janne... You’re probably a fan of his music made for the first chapters of Kilta already. He did amazing work making new themes and songs for this new chapter. Here’s a quick audio snack to get a bite of what awaits you sound-wise in the next update.
Joonas Hamilas, our sound designer, has also worked hard on new sound effects for Kilta. He has a lot on his plate: damage effects (light, medium and heavy damage for melee and ranged attacks), your favorite heroes attacks (physical and magical damage having their own kind of sounds for both melee and ranged), and other sounds for abilities, enemies etc. He started working on all of these sound effects (that’s more than 50 of them!) but he’s not ready to showcase them yet. Instead, we show you a glimpse of what a sound designer interface looks like above.
And what would be Kilta without its funny and sometimes witty dialogues? Jani Nevarranta is in charge of those and here is a screenshot of one of his main tools, Nimble Writer.
You’ll find there one of the first ever dialogues designed between Palexia, our new character, and the player. Although she seems obnoxious, she knows how to give credit to someone when they do something good. It’s not often (okay, barely sometimes) but when she does and you know her, you know you’ve earned it for real.
Although he has not a technical background, Jani also made himself a program to “translate” these files into Kilta readable files! And that’s a perfect transition from our artistic assets to our technical improvements. Here it goes!
After showing the fancy new artistic elements, let’s dive into the sexy technical details. This screenshot taken by Axel Lindberg, one of our programmers, might be mysterious to most of you, but maybe the programmers and vfx artists among you might have a clue on what it is. Although he explained it to us, we thought it would be better if he told you directly what it is. Here’s how he would describe it:
“The crux of the matter is to make it easier and faster for us to manually edit (and create) modular visual effects in the Unity editor. Modularity is the keyword here. Since Kilta has a variable number of characters, both heroes and enemies, and all of them require a variable number of visual (and sound) effects in battles, the VFX Alterer (as I call it), was developed to easily make quick modifications to all visual effects and help bring consistency to them, such as improve overall color management. I'm mostly talking about visual effects related to Kilta's automated combat, but it can, and will be used to edit other visual effects as well.
Axel continues explaining:
“Kilta's visual effects are called prefabs or prefab objects that remain in the project assets, and, in this case, contain particle system components able of emitting particles in the virtual environment. One of the main functions of a prefab is that you can instantiate a copy/clone of it as a separate object, and treat it however you want without affecting the original object still residing in the assets. E.g. we use this function to spawn visual effects in battles. In other words, we have a collection of visual effects sitting in a folder somewhere inside the project, and other in-game systems are free to instantiate them whenever they need them. With the VFX Alterer, we can easily create and edit more visual effects by duplicating existing prefabs and editing them. For instance, we can duplicate a specific visual effect, make a prefab of it, quickly edit certain settings and values in it using the VFX Alterer, and voilà, we have another visual effect ready to use. But I want to point out that the VFX Alterer itself is not working together with any part of Kilta's battle system and does nothing when the game is running. It is just a tool used inside the Unity editor to edit new and existing visual effects according to our needs.”
We hope this technical description will help you get a grasp on how it helps us design visual effects!
Now, here is one document only his creator and a few chosen ones can understand. Arsi Liimatainen, our freshly recruited game designer, made it. Nicknamed “The monstrous balancing sheet” by his creator, it helps him and Marko balance the growing amount of content, especially the powerful new foes coming ahead. Yes, there will be new enemies in the next update and yes, they may be far more dangerous than the previous ones. Our game designers will blow you away with a perfectly balanced adventure! Actually, if you are interested in the balance algorithm developed for Kilta, stay tuned to read the Thesis of Marko Pakanen on that aspect. It should be ready in a couple of weeks (months? ha ha ha).
Let’s not forget our back-end men Joonas Muukkonen (lead programmer) and Marko Pakanen (programmer). There’s also Lauri, looking for business opportunities and giving the team fresh ideas. David handles administrative tasks, hiring new people and supervising overall development and marketing activities. Finally, Valentin is in charge of all marketing and community management duties, including writing this article.
Remember all this work showcased here is in progress, hence it is probably going to be improved in the near future. You can meet all the team, find out more about the game and meet fellow guildmasters on our discord server! We will soon post here another article presenting the team for you to know our core members better. Until then, keep exploring Kilta’s world and see you soon!