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ADNC Dev Blog: Early Playable Level

We’ve been working hard on tons of new mechanics to get our game into a playable state. See the video below for a sneak peak at an early playable level.

New Features

Rough Early Gameplay

We encourage you the check out the above video which demos our new features through the first couple minutes of gameplay. We haven’t had too much time to tune things, but we’re happy with what we have.

Gravity Based Pathfinding

AI is now capable of following basic paths. If you’re interested in the technical side of how we did this, check out this gravity based pathfinding demo we created. Next step will be making companions follow and defend you. We also have some really cool debugging utilities for pathfinding that we might share a video on (if people are interested).

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 10.25.53 AM

Menu System

Because of memory complications for mobile, controller support, and our bizarre UI needs. We’ve rolled a custom menu API from scratch.


Controller Support

Almost any controller you plug into your computer (XBox, PS, ect) will work with a A Dragon Named Coal. Our first two priorities for input are controllers and mouse / keyboard. We’re keeping touch in mind, but that will be implemented later with the mobile version of A Dragon Named Coal.

New Tile Sets

We have a couple new tilesets not seen in the video. House ruins, vanity house pieces (tables, book shelves, ect), a dungeon, and several other tile sheets are done. While not in the game yet, these will be viewable in the initial demo.


Next Steps

We’re approaching the coming month with an ambitious mindset to finish a minimal implementation of all game mechanics. That and have about several minutes of finely tuned gameplay. Here is a quick overview of what we’re hoping for.

  • Additional menus (questing, skills, ect)
  • Dedicated A Dragon Named Coal website
  • Massive rework on Coal’s animations and abilities
  • Improved enemy AI
  • Completion of first map area
  • Experience / skill system
  • New tilesheets and characters

A quick sketch of an early NPC we’ll be adding into the demo soon.



ADNC Progress Update – Dev Blog #1

Here is a quick recap of what we’re working on. For a visual overview please see our video. For a written overview see the text below.

New Features

Graphics Rework

The biggest update we have to share is a completely reworked art style. We were originally building our levels at mixed pixel sizes (1, 4 and 10 increments). We decided to make everything 4px increments for performance reasons primarily.


Coal now supports a basic combo system that we can tweak and customize on the fly. We built out the input detection similar to fighting games like Mortal Kombat. This should give us a flexible combo platform moving forward. As the combat still requires a massive amount of tuning.

Collectible Plants

We finished a simple collection system that allows players to gather plants from the environment. You’ll be able to use these in-game to craft  potions.


All NPCs and enemies now pull from a reusable set of AI commands. We can make them wander, pursue characters, and change behavior on the fly. Our next step for AI is to integrate pathfinding so characters can navigate around the world on their own.

Next Steps

We’re currently finishing up the core game mechanics (shopping and experience), building out our user interface, and working on the first dungeon. When the first dungeon is done we’ll hopefully be far enough along to release info to people on testing.


Creating branching story tools for an indie game

Our game A Dragon Named Coal revolves around branching storyline from player’s decisions. To create such a thing we needed a visual tool that turned story into game programming. AAA game companies like Bioware and Bethesda have many engineers to build such an application. Seeing as we have one developer at Clever Crow, this is too much to handle. We solved the issue using a game CMS known as Articy: Draft.

A simple demo of our chat system and how it branches with dialogue.

A simple demo of our chat system and how it branches with dialogue

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