April 2020 Dev Update
Welcome to our second monthly development update! There’s quite a lot to share, so we’ll get right to it.
Meet Some Islanders
Characters are truly at the heart of Coral Island, and we’re thrilled to have David Lojaya work with us as Lead Character Designer to bring them all to life. Meet Yuri, Noah, Millie and our Mayor Connor (left to right). Here is a little bit about each of them:
Yuri is an eligible marriage character. When she is not busy keeping the islanders healthy, she can be spotted hanging out or playing chess at the beach shack; She also likes tattoos, pastel hair, and playing pool.
Noah is an eligible marriage character. An obvious fan of consistency, Noah was born, raised and settled in Coral Island-- with a brief departure to Pokyo for university years;
Now back in town, he spends his days keeping the local tavern running, in flat colored khakis.
Millie owns the house in Garden Lane and rents one of the rooms out to Yuri. She works at the Library and likes to spend her free time bird watching.
Mayor Connor used to run his own general store before deciding to run for office many moons ago. He loves Coral Island and knows all the islanders.
To get a more in-depth look and find out more, follow us on Twitter, or join our Discord server (for exclusive info). Expressions and in-game models abound. Content will be dropped on a weekly basis!
Farm House Interior
It might not be much, but this house provides a solid foundation for your new life in Coral Island. Customize the interior with unique decorations, change the colors and styles of the floor and wall -- everything you need to find the perfect combination.
First Look at Crops
What’s a farming game without crops to plant! Coral Island features a ton of plantable’s to keep you busy throughout the seasons. You’ll also come across unique fruits and vegetables that can only be found and grown on a tropical island. Here are some staple crops to checkout:
[Strawberry & Potato]
[Carrot & Starfruit] (yes, that is what a starfruit really looks like!)
[Concept art phase]
Farm Animals Sneak Peek
Ranching and nurturing animals is a big part of the Coral Island experience. Today we would like to show you an early work in progress look at what the chicken and pig might look like. We’d appreciate feedback if you have them!
[Concept art phase]
Lighting System, The Day & Night Cycle
Coral island features a day and night cycle. Your day start at 6:00AM, and though inadvisable, you may pass out at 3:00AM if you stay up that late. Lighting is dynamic and real-time in Coral Island. This allows for some interesting and soothing scenes:
We want to thank BlackSquid Production for helping us with the custom lighting development!
Smart Tile System
We use the term smart because each tilled soil you make on your farmland is contextually aware of their surroundings. This creates some fun visual feedback as you work on your farm. Bonus: it is also an opportunity to create cool designs!
[did you know, there are 16 different textures we use to make this happen]
Farm Layout Improvements
We’ve also worked on improving the farm layout. Now, the farm area kind of resembles our studio logo -- and it happens to function really well for gameplay to boot -- imagine that! Can you spot it?
[lots of new things to spot... and secrets?]
Grid & Tile Editor Overlay (Technical)
Grids and tiles govern many gameplay elements in Coral Island, but the game is not created in a tile-like manner because of our loose 3D art. To avoid limiting our artist’s creativity, yet be mindful and stay aware of where tiles live and intersect, we created an in-house grid overlay system that is directly accessible in the game engine.
The 2D grid itself and all the tiles are drawn in the world space with projecting Z coordinate to the surface. Each selected tile is then saved as 2D index in a data table, from where they can be used by the gameplay systems.
Bug Of The Month We are starting a new tradition here at SWAG. We’ll be sure to include our favorite game bug in each future update for your viewing pleasure:
[we call this one ‘home run’]
Because we missed the farming deep dive, that will now happen next month -- we appreciate your patience! Expect to see more crops and perhaps a glimpse of areas outside the farm. Hopefully there are a few surprises as well! Lastly, here is a tease of next months character reveals:
Developer Interviews We've started conducting developer interviews to share a little bit more about each member and how they work. Learn more at the links below:
Thanks for reading, Stairway Team
Stay up to date by subscribing below. If you prefer something more intimate, you can connect with us directly on Twitter (Stairway Games // Coral Island), or join our Discord server.