## April 2024 – Developer Update

Welcome back to another Valko Dev Blog! In this update, we will be talking about what’s upcoming for Labyrinthine as well as some progress updates on CRYO.

## Labyrinthine Easter

As we’re sure you’re aware, the Easter event didn’t happen on Easter. This is partly our fault and partly the fault of the Romans. Let us explain.

Easter is one of the “Moveable Feasts” in the Roman calendars (the calendars that most of the world now uses) which means that it’s date isn’t preset and is determined by the lunar cycle, similar to the Chinese calendar. Most years, Easter falls in April and our current dates (6th-23rd) should encompass that, however every few years, Easter lands in March. This is the reason our event hasn’t kicked in yet, despite it being Easter.

We’re at fault here for not updating it sooner and we apologise for the delay. Easter is a strange one as the varying dates also mean we need to calculate both start and end times each year. There are several complex calculations online to determine an approximate date, which we feel is both unncessary and also difficult to verify whether it is correct. There are also some third party APIs that can retrieve the dates, however, we’ve not implemented them because we want to make sure Labyrinthine has no calls beyond the steam API, so that it is playable forever.

It’s hard to verify what the below is doing!

``````private static DateTime Easter(int year) {
int a = year%19;
int b = year/100;
int c = (b - (b/4) - ((8*b + 13)/25) + (19*a) + 15)%30;
int d = c - (c/28)*(1 - (c/28)*(29/(c + 1))*((21 - a)/11));
int e = d - ((year + (year/4) + d + 2 - b + (b/4))%7);
int month = 3 + ((e + 40)/44);
int day = e + 28 - (31*(month/4));
return new DateTime(year, month , day);
}``````

So our workaround is to implement the dates for Easter for the next 10-15 years manually. This isn’t ideal but it’s simple and it will work. In the meantime, we’re going to push an update shortly that will enable the easter event, rather than waiting for the 6th. This will continue until the 23rd, giving players plenty of time to collect cosmetics.

## Labyrinthine's Next Event

As many on the discord are aware (you should really join us if you haven’t!), we’ve got another event coming up in between Easter and Halloween. We’ve wanted to include an extra seasonal event for a while now as there’s a good 5 month gap between Easter and Halloween.

This time however, we’re wanting to create a longer lasting event where people are able to take their time to collect cosmetics rather than rushing it all out over a week or two…

#### Introducing the "Labyrinthine Summer Event"

The new Labyrinthine Summer event will run from June until August, a full 3 months. During this time, you will be able to collect 45+ new summer cosmetics! Check out a sample of them below:

We hope people are excited to hunt some new cosmetics. We’ve added new cosmetics from every category so there should be plenty for people to find!

## Seasonal Event Changes

A while back we made a change to help players find seasonal cosmetics. This change was to greatly increase the chance that a seasonal cosmetic would spawn. Since then, we’ve made a separate change to the mercy system so that it holds more cosmetics in it’s “memory”. This has created an issue that has not gone unnoticed by both ourselves and many members of the discord/greater community.

The past two events have suffered massively from people finding all of the seasonal cosmetics in the span of a couple hours or less. We even had one prominent member of the community find all four of the St Patrick’s day items in 4 back to back cases. This has taken away the “hunt” for many people and has resulted in far less community interaction, which often opens the way for new players to join in on the fun. To rectify that, we’re going to be lowering the chance that a seasonal cosmetic spawns to 25% for regular seasonal events and tentatively around 10% for the summer event.

This has a dual effect:

1. First off, with less seasonal cosmetics dropping, you’re way less likely to collect a large amount in your mercy system memory, this means the rarer cosmetics will remain rare and the hunt will be kept alive for players. This also prevents players from getting duplicate seasonal cosmetics every few cases but still allows them to find duplicates which can be shared with others in their group.
2. Secondly, players who have all the season cosmetics can instead enjoy the increased rare case rate without having to back out of nearly every other case file. We understand that a lot of players are hunting for map exclusives during events by running rare cases to collect stamps for use after the event has ended. This should help players collect stamps and hunt at the same time.

With these new changes, we hope players will be able to return to sharing cases and enjoying the hunt without the frustrations of not being able to collect all seasonal cosmetics.

## WARNING: Some minor spoilers for CRYO ahead

Also, be aware that these are development screenshots, not final.

## Progress on CRYO

Since so many have been asking in discord for news on CRYO, we thought we’d share a little more in this dev blog. So far, progress is going great. For those not aware, CRYO is our second game and is currently midway through development. It won’t be anywhere near as large as Labyrinthine is in terms of content but it will be an affordable horror title you can jump into with some friends and have some fun!

#### Why is this a smaller project?

We’re sure a lot of people will be curious as to why we went for a smaller scale project straight after Labyrinthine. Labyrinthine was one giant learning curve; coming from a group of volunteer devs and ending with an award winning game was a long and arduous journey. There were plenty of mistakes, plenty of hindsight moments and plenty of things we could have done better.

With the current team, we’re aware of the mistakes made with Labyrinthine, especially in the early stages. We’re confident that our new workflow will improve both the quality and the flexibility of our projects going forward. CRYO is our first title to use what we deem is the best way to work and it’s there to test the waters with new ideas that just weren’t available in Labyrinthine without massive modifications.

We have a bigger project planned after CRYO but we still want to create a small but effective product that can be enjoyed by a large audience of players.

#### If it's a smaller project, that means things will be really fast?

Yes. And no.

It’s progressing really well, in fact, things in the past month have really started to take shape and we’re super excited to get a testable version ready. That said, we’re using CRYO to improve our workflows and that also means improvements to our asset production. These new requirements slow asset production down slightly, however result in a much higher quality output.

#### I want to volunteer to test, where do I sign up?

We’re getting asked this quite a bit and we’re thrilled people are excited for the game. One of the things we want to do this time round with CRYO is have a much more focused testing group. At one stage, private testing on Labyrinthine was a group of nearly 500 players. It got so bad that we had to create a bot to trim people from the group (I’m sure some people will remember the amusement of the bot purging people!).

The way we’re going to do it this time is that we’re going to approach people that are active. This means people who regularly join in conversations on discord, create suggestions and generally just make an effort to engage with the community at whole will be the priority.

#### How long before I can play?

We’ve got an internal release date for before the end of this year and if things continue as they have been, we should be on track to complete the two maps we have planned for release rather than one map. Of course things can change and for those who have been around a while, you will know we don’t give out exact dates for this very reason.

We have one of our 3 monsters in game already and we’re currently implementing sounds (which will be MUCH more immersive than they were in Labyrinthine) as well as finishing up a few areas of the first map’s art. There is then set up for various ways to randomise gameplay elements (for example, you may have a door that wasn’t locked in a previous game that is now locked).

We’re hoping the next time we do a dev blog, we will have a teaser trailer ready to go for players to get a more visually stimulating look at the game!

#### Randomised gameplay... Will it be procedural?

We’ve been toying with the idea of introducing procedural generation for the game. While we have the skills to implement it, it brings challenges that could result in a longer development time and an inconsistent gameplay experience.

As it stands right now, these will be fixed maps that include randomised elements (object locations, certain elements to prevent access to areas like fire or locked doors etc). For many people, this will be preferred as it means you can learn the maps and the best strategies while still being thrown curveballs to keep you on your toes.

Don’t fret if you love procedurally generated games, we’re not abandoning the concept, the project planned after CRYO will be procedural!

#### And finally, will there be glowsticks?

There will!

But it won’t be like Labyrinthine… They will be findable and can be used as a light source. You can still throw them though!

### This Post Has 8 Comments

1. I LOVE IT, I WILL BUY THE NEW GAME FOR SURE!!!!!!!!!!!
If you need some players to test the game, contact me😎 Viva el laby

2. Frostybone

Happy to see an update on things! I’m excited to see what is in store for the future!!

3. Featherquack

I can’t wait for the new game and I don’t mind the easter event being late. Something to look forward to. Romans, they have a lot to answer for , Lol.

4. Riderofkarma

Will there be VR in Cryo?

1. Valko Studios

We’re going to look into VR for sure but we can’t guarantee it at this point.

5. MeowWolfRocks

I will be buying CRYO without hesitation and without seeing videos beforehand this time.

You keep saying it’s a smaller project, but I can already see the improvements. The map and lighting in these photos look INCREDIBLY polished.

I’ll be open for testing if necessary. Thanks for the update, was not expecting another one this early.

6. StarkofArk

Looking forward to CRYO, my bro and I love these kinds of games. Literally some of the best quality time we spend together

7. Misty_Wilds

So excited and ready to lose my money lol! But honestly so happy with all you guys do this is some amazing work and I cannot wait!