Well, we asked for early access to Castle Story... and we got it. And it functions about as well as anyone with development experience would expect -- the prototype is glitchy, frustrating for some, and just downright confusing. After having struggled to learn the basics for several hours, we've gone through and compiled all of the most common questions about Castle Story.
Think of this as sort of an FAQ. If you're new to Castle Story, we'd highly encourage you to at least read the "Known Glitches & Warnings" section toward the bottom. It could prevent losing progress.
Below we'll address the general confusion and getting started questions for Castle Story.
This section is accompanied by a video tutorial that we created earlier, which should help you rapidly pick-up the basics. Believe me, it's much faster than learning entirely alone:
This is about as basic as it gets, but why start at the top? I'll keep this short as the tooltips explain things fairly well: Movement is largely dominated by the spacebar; hold it down and use WASD to pan, hold right click + space to rotate, scroll to zoom, and that's about it. More advanced functionality can be found in the icons in the top right of the UI, to include X-Ray vision and better vertical camera positioning (also done with 'alt').
Quick Tip: Holding right-click on an area will open a quick menu with common building options. Similarly, if you've had trouble exiting 'build mode' (the blueprint is "stuck" to the end of the cursor), it's because you need to hold right-click and select "back" to exit build mode and get rid of the blueprint. Do this while the construction group/zone is selected. As an aside, hitting 'delete' will remove rubble blocks from the ground, along with any fallen logs.
Castle Story's resource collection functionality is based entirely off of the collection of wood, stone, and crystals - these feed into its freeform construction. The common questions I've run into primarily revolve around zone deletion, expansion, and assignment.
On Placement: This bit's simple. Click the icon, click the target region, then right-click on the icon with some selected Bricktrons to assign them to that group. For forested areas, you'll simply drop an icon and that's it - no dragging involved. Mining shafts can be placed horizontally (tunnels) or vertically, in which case you'll click and drag to place the spread, then move the cursor to the chosen depth and click again. At this stage, you can right-click to move the stairs around. View the blue/yellow exit pathing for the stairs, as it could impact your Bricktrons' ability to exit cleanly. Don't let the exit collide with anything or exit into empty space (i.e. off a cliff).
On Expansion: In the group UI block, you'll notice three icons -- one is defaulted, another is a sword icon, the final is inaccessible in the prototype. Selecting the sword icon gives options to delete, pause/play, and increase/decrease the zone's radius. Using the pause button will halt all action being taken by the group.
On Deletion: This should seem obvious, but just in case -- click the zone icon, go to the sword tab, and select the red "x." Confirm the deletion. Some bugs result in the UI indicator(s) remaining on the screen. I have not found a way to resolve this, and often will just reload the game if it bothers me enough.
Building is, on the surface, quite straight-forward. Click the build icon, click the item you want to build, and send a Bricktron to work. There are a lot of strange issues with block placement that you may run into, though.
Trouble lining up blocks: For example, in our below bridge-building video, you'll see that I ran into trouble when lining-up planks and horizontally-oriented logs. At times, the game may red-zone a building block and tell you that it's not possible to build there, but in reality, it just need to be rotated a few times to take effect. Right-click to rotate the object you're trying to place - that should help.
I also ran into issues when lining up blocks perfectly. Sometimes you think it's just right, but then rotate the screen and notice that the block's been placed just beyond where you wanted it. This sounds silly, but it helped me a lot: Instead of trying to line the blueprint up with where you want it, focus on the cursor's location. Point to the center of the surface you wish to attach to, that should help a lot. This is especially true for planks when building elevated floors (below): Click on the sides of the planks to properly line them up.
Deleting Phantom (Unbuilt) Blocks: Another functionality that eluded me for some time was the simple deletion of blocks. To delete unbuilt blueprint blocks ("Phantom Blocks," for our purposes), hold down left shift and then left+click on the undesirable block. Make sure you have a block of the same width/type selected to make things easier. You must be in the build group to perform this action.
Deleting Built Blocks: To command your Bricktrons to destroy existing blocks, again hold left shift and click on the block (with a block of the same type selected in the build group). This is great for creating windows, arrow-slits, and other holes.
Quick Tip: Remember, the arch block is your best friend for better designs.
This section will cover some of the basic gameplay elements, like expanding your Bricktron army (legitimately), building elevated floors, tunnels vs. mines (and the expansion thereof), bridge building, and barrel movement.
This one's easy, thankfully. You'll eventually mine crystals while tunneling through the earth -- those are the blue things -- and your Bricktrons won't drop them off at the stockpile. Crystals can only be placed in barrels, which can be taken to the central crystal and redeemed for more Bricktrons. I'd suggest building the barrels next to the center crystal, that way you don't have to walk the barrels around.
If you built your barrels too far away from the central crystal and need to move them closer, it's pretty easy to move them: Select a Bricktron and right-click on the barrel (you may need to do this twice). Once he's picked up the barrel, probably with his mouth, knowing Bricktrons, shift+right-click on the target drop-off location.
This one was answered with one of our video tutorials:
The problem with vertical mineshafts, as with many things in the prototype, is that they tend to be the cause of many a stuck Bricktron. Luckily, we have tunnels. To first place a tunnel, use the second icon in the mining list -- once it's placed, you can click on the yellow indicators at the base of the tunnel to expand it. Tunnels tend to be more out-of-the-way and cause fewer issues, so they are (personally) preferable when digging.
This section covers more basic questions that are not necessarily related to gameplay. Minimizing, soundtrack downloads, silencing those damn crickets, and advanced features (like the map editor) are all covered here.
Because Castle Story will automatically pause when it is not the active window, there is currently no native support for this functionality. You would need to find third-party software that is capable of keeping multiple windows active.
Enabling the editor in-game and unlocking doors is quite easy, here's a video I made that will walk you through the steps (it only takes ~2 minutes):
If you prefer text, here's that portion:
To get doors and other prefab objects:
Yes, we all hate the crickets. They never stop. This is actually handled within Windows and is quite simple. To mute any individual application, once it's opened, go to your volume options in the system tray, click mixer, and then mute Castle Story individually.
Unfortunately, because the game is exhibiting audio playback issues (see above about crickets), you won't hear all the music when you should. The composers of the music still want your feedback, though, and have posted a thread here that links to their soundtrack. Play it while you play the game!
There's no question that there have been many server login and registration issues over the past few days, as the Castle Story devs have mentioned. Here are the common questions:
Per the devs' FAQ, this error code is indicative of high server load and means the ping couldn't be processed. Trying in a few minutes should resolve this issue.
You can't currently download beta. Only those who purchased the Prototype fundraising option will have access to the prototype.
You can check your user account type on this page.
The Humble Key Resender is responsible for dispatching your gift account links. See this page.
Before getting too deep into the game, it's important to know what glitches can cause catastrophic failures/faults so that you can attempt to avoid them. Encountering one of these errors can result in lost progress and inability to save, so do check this section out.
When the menu breaks, you'll have no ability to save your game (and in some cases, even open it). The menu typically breaks from clicking the "return to game" button on the menu, so to close the menu without this error, use the escape key to open and close it. Do not click the "return to game" button!
Minimizing or de-activating the window will also cause the menu to break.
It is advisable to close the game completely before loading a different game, just to make sure the games sort of run independently of each other. This will refresh the client.
Update: It seems that including a space within the filename will make saving more consistent.
The world may disappear if you load it, as funny as that sounds. A few times upon loading, I noticed everything had vanished and it was just trees and bricktrons floating in space -- try re-loading, that should fix it. Shou.d
This happens a lot. Unfortunately, there's no easy and universal fix that will un-stuckify them. You can work to prevent it, though:
Stockpiles: When placing stockpiles, do not place them in neat rows/boxes. Space your stockpiles apart by a square or two. This is necessary as Bricktrons will place blocks on top of themselves if they aren't careful - which they never are - and cause them to get stuck.
Mines & Stairs: Bricktrons will also get stuck in mines. Luckily, you can usually 'mine them out' by digging more mine shafts near their stuck location. To prevent this from happening to begin with, it is advisable to dig tunnels instead.
Won't Put Items Down: If your Bricktrons have become attached to their barrels or trees, while I've found no underlying root cause that will recreate this issue 100% of the time, it does seem that spam-clicking the item will cause this issue more frequently. When telling a Bricktron to pick-up a barrel or log, do so once.
There are plenty more glitches and errors, but these are the most common ones and most destructive ones. If you've encountered something else that you think is equally important, please post it below so I can add it as a warning to other users!
That's it for this guide. Again, inform us of anything else you think deserves being added. I'll see to it that it is.
- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.