Another week has gone past and more plans have been made for the final dungeon! As homework over the week we decided that each of us had to come up with two ideas for things that could happen in the various floors of the dungeons. When we met up again it became clear that each of us was quite divided between two various ways of dealing with the dungeon: either as a pure gameplay mechanical experience, or one where old friends from the rest of the game return in various ways, allowing for more story focused floors.
One such thing we’d like to include is the ghost of Tessen, whom you met in Tai Ming, as well as Naniva helping you out with the Temple of Seasons floor. A couple weeks ago I mentioned a beast of some kind that will resummon bosses for you to fight – in one such idea we’d like a resummoned winter that wreacks havoc on the Seasonne floor, adding icy winds or spikes for you to deal with aside from fighting the regular enemies.
For Pillar Mountains, we have ideas of adding your mother in some way, and in the Ghost Ship floor reintroduce some other old ghosts from Tai Ming, namely those of Sizou and Mana. However, all of these are just in the idea stage at the moment – so we’ll see how many of them (if any) end up in the final design of the dungeon.
Gameplay wise we’re trying to spice up each of the floors a bit by adding elements or enemies from other areas of the game. One example of such an idea is to have a Phase Shift puzzle in the Flying Fortress floor, where you have to change the layout of the course by using season orbs that will change the various blocks; causing roots to overgrow some, while others are revealed.
We’ve also finally played through the Ghost Ship up to the very last portion of it (the creepy Startington and the last boss battle of the dungeon). This portion of the game takes us about 1 and a half hour to complete, and even though it’s taken us a very long time, we’re really happy with how the dungeon looks and feels at this point. It also has some of our top favourite boss fights, so we hope you’ll enjoy those as well!
Next up for us will be to complete the creepy Startington portion and boss fight, which are both now well under way before we can finally upload it all to Frontline. Hang in there guys! :)
Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the creation of one of the final rooms in the Ghost Ship – the Phase Puzzle room! Here’s where Kailan, the Flying Fortress engineer from ancient times, has set up a Phase Puzzle course for you that you need to pass to get to the eye boss!
We’re starting with the basics, following a sketched designed made by Teddy after he prototyped the puzzle:
Next we’re adding all of the Flying Fortress details, to give the room a more high tech feel to fit the Phase Puzzle course:
And after that, it’s time to make some Ghost Ship special phase shift blocks:
These blocks will only be visible in the ghost world, so better keep your wits about you when you try to phase through this challenge!
And, finally… Making the ghost world version of the room!
This Monday we’ve started discussing the last boss of this dungeon, which is one of the final things we need to add. As many of you have already guessed, and which might be quite obvious at this point, the opponent you’ll be facing is none other than your dear old friend Luke, and today we sat down to discuss what sort of feeling we want this battle to have.
For starters, we want the battle to take place on the ship, outside, and in the rain! This far we haven’t had any rain in Grindea, and it’s about time the weather changes. We also believe this will help set the tone for the fight. As for the actual fighting bit, we want Luke to use heavy attacks which will cause smoke and wood chips to spray from the surroundings.
Some of his attacks will be inspired by the two hand skill tree that is open to the player character, and he’ll combo others by mixing and matching them in different ways; meaning he might start with one attack which may have two different endings to keep you on your toes. He’ll also be starting some of this attacks by running towards the player, and we want the overall fight to be high paced with little rest; he won’t be idling around as much as Marino, for instance. Finally, towards the end, he’ll start using berserk mode to make things even harder for the player!
We’ve also discussed the last room we’ve yet to make for the Ghost Ship; a phase shift puzzle with ghastly features! Once this is made and implemented it’s only the boss and the final creepy Startington stuff remaining before the dungeon is completed – finally we can see the light at the end of the tunnel :)
The phase shift puzzle room will not only feature a phase shift puzzle featuring the ghost skill, but also another old friend from the past: Kailan, whom you last met in Tai Ming where he was showcasing the phase shift technology to the town’s inhabitants. Do you remember who he is? If not, you’ll get a reminder when I get around to making the ghost version of his portrait :)
Now it’s time for something slightly different; namely, creating a ghostlike thing that will block players paths here and there in the ghost ship! First up, a few different suggestions:
In the end, we decided to go for the ghastly substance, but were unsure about which color to use, so I made a couple different options (ending up with the original one after all):
And finally, making versions of the substance for the other door directions as well:
In its final form, this substance will be animated as well, giving it a bit more character and creepfactor!
The Startington interiors have long been outdated (they were, after all, among the first things I made), and what better opportunity is there to upgrade them than now that we’re looking into making a creepy version of Startington?
We’ll still keep the old versions of the graphics, but only use them for the ghost versions of these houses – we believe that their slightly shrunken, gnarly appearance will only help make the difference between the regular houses and the creepy houses more prominent.
Second house, same principle: touching everything up to the standard of graphics we use today:
And finally, the third and final revamped Startington interior:
Posted byVilya at 2019/09/16.
In this week’s Monday Meeting we spent a great deal of time discussing the final challenge in the creepy version of Startington (among other things)! As you might remember from a previous meeting post ages ago, there will be three challenges in this surrealistic and spooky version of Startington: one where you fight a ton of slimes which gives you a card called Obsession, and one where you do some tough shield training and gain a wooden shield called Expectations.
In our latest iterations of the third challenge, we’ve been working around the theme of Deceit. In this latest iteration of the challenge, there will be a block puzzle in which you move blocks with each of the artifacts to designated squares (rather than a key block puzzle).
Mechanically we have a couple of ideas for how to make this more fitting the strange world; one is that instead of moving the blocks, the room will move, the other that as you attempt to move on block, another of the blocks will move instead. We’re not entirely sure which of these we’ll go for, or if we’ll do something else entirely, but we’ll start off with making prototypes of these two ideas first and see whichever one feels the most cool.
Next up, it’s time for us to “creepify” the interiors of the Startington houses! Our idea is that the player will enter each house in its original form and complete a challenge in there, after which the building will deteriorate and become dark and gloomy:
The second house creepified:
And same thing for the third house:
And we’ll end this week with a bunch of gifs from the second boss fight of the dungeon: the Evil Eye or the Twilight Beholder, that has finally been finished! This boss uses a lot of lasers and creepy eyes to try to eliminate you, so you better keep your wits about you :)
Another week and more boss progress! There are so many things we could do with this boss that it’s difficult to choose which attacks and patterns we want to keep. One of the things we’ve done recently is working on tweaking one of the eye boss new attacks, featuring a barrage of eyes that will eventually explode! There are a bunch of sliders we can use to tweak this attack, and one of them is number of eyes:
..and also the shape of the explosion circles, below with a more circular shape:
The one above is probably closest to what we’re aiming for for now, but as with everything else this might be changed with more testing!
The latest iteration of the laser attack now also has proper lasers, and more eyes:
As you can see here, the trick is figuring out which eye colors are not present in the big eye, which will let you know which eyes won’t be firing the laser. To make this a little easier we’re also adding symbols to the eyes, making them easier to tell apart:
We haven’t decided exactly which of these symbols we’ll use yet, as we want to pick the ones that are the most clear from the side as well. Fred has already started playing around with what the eyes would look like from the side, but we’re not quite there just yet:
We know this boss (and the map in general) is taking ages to finish, but we’re determined to not let it go until each of us is fully satisfied with the fight, and we believe that once we’ve gotten to that point, it will all be worth it! Hopefully the third floor will be complete enough to run through and test very soon… :)
Meanwhile my work outside of the Ghost Ship continues with more improvements, and we’re slowly working out way down to Evergrind East; here’s a couple more of my sketches for more places we’ll improve upon:
And so we’ll start with the first two sketches, adding some more decorations first to the second Pillar Mountains map:
…and then we move to the area right before Evergrind City to spice up Evergrind East a little bit:
Next up, Evergrind City’s entrance itself, a slightly bigger job adding some decorations and making the wall more prominent:
New week and a new cabin redesign! This cabin belongs to a fashion designer from Tai Ming, who fled their home to start a new life in the Merchant Isles after the great cataclysm started by Zhamla:
After that, it’s time for a quick break from the Ghost Ship to make another one of the Pillar Mountains improvements! Because this cave will have some significance later on, we wanted its entrance to look a bit more fancy:
What you’ll find inside? Well… You’ll see!
For now it’s time for some more ghost like portraits, starting with the headless chef:
Quite an.. eh.. Interesting portrait, no? First time drawing a portrait without an actual head!
And next up, the bartender, who will have an important part to play in the players quest to get through this dungeon:
With the ghost ship ghost quest inclusion, it’s time to do something we haven’t done in a long time – add another interface!
In your quest to help the ghosts, you will need to bring items to them that will remind them of who they are. To do this, you’ll have to first speak with a confused ghost, bringing up an interface featuring all items you’re able to present to the ghosts (mainly misc and key items). Upon selecting an item, the ghost will then let you know if it’s what they’re looking for (which will clear up their confusion), or if it’s not.
We wanted this interface to be quite straight forward with lots of space for items so you don’t have to scroll too far looking for the item you want to give each ghost. We also wanted a box where you can view the item’s name before giving it.
This week it’s time for some more trap prototyping! This time we’ve been working on those eyes we’re using in the ‘ghost bridge’ room, but here they serve as a ‘trap’ of sort in an ordinary fighting room.
In our first iteration, we used the eye in the same way we use it in the ghost bridge room; basically moving back and forth in a set speed. If you’re in the regular world, the beam from its eye will be slightly transparent and won’t deal damage, while in the ghost world it’s darker and will damage you quite a bit if you get hit by it.
For the second iteration, we wanted the eye to feel more ‘alive’, so we’ve given it a couple patterns. Either it will slowly open its eye and cast a beam straight forward, or it’ll look to the sides as in the example above for a little bit before closing up again. These patterns are then randomized so you never know which one it will do next; you’ll have to keep track of it to know how to dodge it.
We do prefer the second version so far, as it makes the eye feel more like a living thing rather than something that just ‘blindly’ (ha) looks back and forth forever. It also keeps the players on their toes a bit since they need to keep track of what it will do next, rather than just dodge the eye beam over and over.
And now, time for something much less exciting but still very needed… Some background masking! This is a technique we use when we want certain effects and such to only be visible on the floor and nowhere else. Basically, each part of the floor is painted with a color (in this case a pretty pink), which will be used as a guide in the game for where the effect can appear.
Starting out by applying this to the first floor rooms, since we want to finish up the first floor and get it all sorted out before we move on to the other floors:
Next up, the captain’s portrait! To make sure I’m getting his features right, I’m going to trace the boss sprite for this one, using it as a base for the portrait:
And here’s the finished thing:
As I mentioned before, we’re currently working on finishing up the first floor. That means going over each room and adding the remaining details that have been missing. For the very first room, that entails adding a ton of boxes and crates to give the room a bit more ‘storage room’-y feeling:
Quite a few boxes! We thought of blocking the path leading straight to the door, but ended up keeping it open as we felt like forcing the player to take the long way around might feel a bit overdesigned.
Meanwhile in the animation department, the enemies are finally being polished into their final forms, their animations cleaned up with further details added. Just look at this:
We’re drawing closer to the stable patch, and in doing so we’re in need of a few more items! Here we have the creation of a vest, a pair of shoes, a full card album (could it be real?!), a pair of earrings and a new hat: the fez!
Since we decided that the shield salesman will be dealing with armor as well, I figured I’d put a random armor among his many shields to illustrate that fact as well:
And here’s a bunch of items that weren’t recorded, featuring a shoulder strap, a battery, a camera lens, a …seven.. three drop appearances for cutouts that will become available as housing items and a ton of weapon sprites for all the weapons Fred has been working on. Phew!
Next up, the background for the professor Pine and Tannie cutscene needed a bunch of new (and old) stuff, and for some reason I decided to make a short video of that process:
We’re also introducing a pair of friendly faces in the town of Port Monnaie. Remember where these guys are from?
Perhaps this cutout will serve as an additional reminder:
The girl has been animated by Fred as well:
Next, the shop titles for all of the shop! We’ve been so busy making things for them to sell that we actually managed to forget they need graphics for the shop’s interfaces…. Oh well, that’s an easy fix:
All of the shops in Port Monnaie will carry new unique items, though some will also sell things available earlier in the game. The Potion shop will work just like Remedi’s Alchemy and will allow you to change your potions; which, by the way, will be an added function to the potion shop in Tai Ming as well (though if you’ve played so far as to reach the desert, I’m afraid you won’t be able to access the Tai Ming shop anymore).
The Jar, Souvenir and Carpet shops will all be focused on housing items, while the others will carry new gear; Helmut & Headgear carries hats, Topaz’ accessories, Shield + Guard armors and shields, and Blade and Arms sell, unsurprisingly, weapons.
Another thing that remained was making these expressions for Professor Pine and Tannie in the flashback orb showing their work on stopping Zhamla:
And now, finally, with the addition of this final piece..:
..(which is the graphic for the desert fishing achievement), I think (for like the 5th time) I’m officially done with everything needed for the stable patch. Let’s hope I’m right this time :D
Now, there’s a lot more Ghost Ship backgrounds to do, so let’s jump straight back into it! First up is a bunk room of sorts, where the sailors used to sleep when they were still working on the ship and they weren’t ghosts:
Here you will battle enemies, and once a prototype for the kitchen is ready, I will add the kitchen on the right side, one platform up but on the same screen (I will add a jumpdown back into this bunkroom from there). One idea we have for decorations here when toggling into the ghost world is that you’ll see skeletons of the sailors in their beds… But I’m not sure if this will be too macabre or not. What do you guys think?
Next, we have a set of rooms one next to the other, both of the smaller kind. There will be a corridor above these two rooms, where the path is blocked, so you have to pass through these two rooms to get to the other side. And here’s the first one:
Like with the bunk room, we have a few ideas for ghost world-only decorations here too. In this case, we want to make a spooky version of the painting on the right and possibly some spooky shine around the candles and lanterns on the tables.
Last week I made the entrance cave and the reward cave for the optional math puzzle sequence. This time around it’s the actual math puzzle’s turn to be made! In the GIF below you can see the basic process for the creation of each of these rooms:
And now we can take the same graphics and apply them for each of the difficulty settings (yes, the last one gives me nightmares too – in fact, most of these give me nightmares):
On top of these, there will be a set of wall- and floor variations so it won’t look like you go through the exact same room every time. For the endless math puzzle version there’s also this counter on the wall as seen below, which allows you to keep track of how many puzzles you’ve completed so far (we’ve capped it at 999 since we don’t think anyone has the stamina to do any more of those… but maybe one of you will prove us wrong?):
There’s still some random fixes I want to get done before the stable patch hits, so here’s a bunch of those again!
First up, closing up the tree so it doesn’t look like you can walk into it (I know this is a common enough problem in the game already!):
The optional Math Caves need its own entrance as well, which fits its aesthetics better than the current; hence the removal of the wood in favor of this more metal-y entrance:
Of course, in the final thing, there will be a few of those flaming goblets as well.
There’s one of two more quests to add for the stable patch, one of them involving this drinking fellow at the Saloon. As such, it’s fair to give him a bunch of new expressions:
And since you can’t have a quest without a reward, here are two mysterious sprites involved in this quest:
It was a while since we had a meeting, but now it’s time to start getting serious about the Ghost Ship and design the 2nd and 3rd floors! So we sat down and discussed what kind of things we’d like to see, brainstorming various design ideas for how the floors could look.
We already had some basics down: we wanted there to be a kitchen and dining area for the ship’s crew on the 2nd floor, and a grand ballroom, a set of cabins as well as the captain’s bedroom on the 3rd. With this information in mind we made a bunch of sketches, quickly discarding a few of them.
Here’s one of our ideas for floor 2:
A quick sketch for one of the “puzzle” rooms:
The 3rd floor:
And one of the versions we scratched:
As before, we’re not quite sure about how some of the puzzles will look in the end, so I’ll probably stay away from making backgrounds for those rooms until we have some kind of prototype, focusing instead of the more static rooms such as the basic battle rooms! And one such room I can make is this cleaning room:
Using the base from a previous room idea, I make a bunch of cleaning sprites and water on the floor. The idea is that the mops will be animated and that this room will be used as a battle room, the first of the 2nd floor!
Meanwhile, Fred has been a busy necromancer, animating a bunch of skeletons (haaaaha – get it?):
The above are, as you might realize from the sword, the melee version! The magic user version looks slightly different and has another color scarf as well:
As Fred made these sprites, he came up with a rather interesting idea: to be able to cut off the head of the skeletons and have it turn into a stand-alone, different enemy (which would work much like a Jumpkin). The idea was born as he made the head on a separate layer and removed the layer from the animation:
Pretty neat, huh? I think these enemies will be a lot of fun! What do you guys think?
Let’s start this new week with some friendly faces! As memory orb progress is coming along, it’s time for a whole bunch of expressions for the main trio featured in one or a few of them, who so far only have one portrait expression.
First up, Charlotte, aka ‘mom’, who has expressions in three different skin tones depending on how you designed your character (her hair color will be changed by putting another sprite with just the hair on top of this one):
Next, we have Dad, for whom I made a couple of expressions I’m not even sure will be used, but it’s kind of hard to stop once you’re in the flow of making weird faces:
And finally, Ivy, who is somewhat more reserved and doesn’t have as many expressions as the others:
Now, out of nowhere, a new NPC for the desert appears! A long time ago, Fred secretly made an animation for a Merchant Isle NPC working in the docks, and now that I found it it’s of course time to make a portrait for him!
Since this NPC already has a sprite, he will likely appear in the stable patch when it goes live; I’m uncertain whether the priest and acolyte will make it since they haven’t gotten any Fred-made sprites yet. I guess we’ll see! :)
Next, the second to last card! This time a Solem, making a little sand castle in the dunes. Such a peaceful sight! Maybe he’s just angry you’re stepping all over the sand he uses for his castles?
And now, time for some combined bug testing with story developing and writing! Today I’ve taken some time to play through the entirety of the desert as well as Port Monnaie, finding areas to add flavor text through the magnifying glass-mechanic used here and there throughout the game.
As I’ve mentioned before, we’re keen on making the world of Grindea seem a vast and lively place, and one part of doing so is adding optional things to examine that might give you a tiny bit of flavor in terms of added information or simple commentary on what you see in the world.
In order to do this, I’ve played through each of the areas as we’ve finished them, writing down snippets here and there for things you can examine. Because it’s such a low priority thing, it hasn’t really been added to the game yet, though – at first it was something we neglected, and then as things progressed we thought it would be weird to suddenly start adding a ton of ‘inspectable’ (is that a word? haha!) things in the middle of the game without having added the previous ones, but adding all of the previous ones would take so long it simply isn’t a high enough priority at the moment (we want to finish the game, after all).
For now, it seems unlikely we’ll add these until the game is more or less done, when they will be one of the final things we add before the proper release (along with the bonus side quests and stuff we want to add in a true polish stage). Even so, it’s a nice opportunity to play through an area after completion and look at the world in a different light, where you try to imagine yourself in the role of someone exploring the game for the first time, trying to see what items might be interesting enough for closer examination.
Speaking of the future polish stage, I thought it’s time to take a look at what’s ahead of us. We’re actually very close to the end, believe it or not (though “very close” in this case likely means dev time for quite a while yet).
In terms of what we have left story wise, we’re talking one more regular dungeon (the ghost ship, which you’ve already seen a bit of), and then a special dungeon to tie it all together: a dungeon that will be a combination of all the previous dungeons made into one.
Our ideas for the final dungeon are varied, but one of the key parts is that we will be reusing previous enemies, but add a twist: they will be improved versions, not only stronger but likely also having one or more new attacks. There will also be mixed enemies from various parts of the game.
Our goal with this final dungeon is to bring all the parts of the game together, so there will be a little bit of everything, both in terms of enemies and areas, but also characters you’ve met and interacted with throughout the game. Because we’ll in part reuse enemies and area graphics, we hope it won’t take as crazily long to make compared to the other dungeons – but on the other hand a final dungeon needs a certain level of epicness, so, well…
But what about after this final dungeon, what then? As you know if you’ve been following this blog, we’ve talked a lot about adding things to each part of the game before we actually call it a day and release it as 1.0. That of course entrails more sidequests and the added story scenes I’ve been talking about before, but our “wishlist” for what we’d love to add is huge and it will probably be impossible to add everything – but one can hope.
Here’s a few things from our list (note that these are some things we wish to add; it doesn’t necessarily mean we will add them – it kind of depends on how long we think it’ll take and how we feel about these things at the end – and there are plenty more, as well):
We’d like to have more dialogues and other such things about the ‘gaming’ aspect of the world. In certain areas there’s already parts where scientists have investigated things such as card drops and the science behind some things in the game, but we’d like to add even more. We’re talking things such as people talking about them having leveled up or unlocked new skills, someone talking about a rare drop they found, people commenting on how OP some combos are, and so on.
Some random UI improvements:
* An indicator for when someone is typing in the chat (such as a speech bubble with a pen or something, simply to show people why you’re standing still but aren’t in the menu)
* Add an indicator on players with low health (such as a red circle beneath a character beneath a certain hp %)
* A progress bar for Trophies
We’d like to add Collector NPCs out in the fields as well – it can feel kind of empty right now, and it’d be cool to see Collectors out there doing what they do best: collecting things!
Lots of more arena challenges , including PVP.
More mini-games and other optional content, such as a quiz-like thing in the library (which also needs to get implemented, of course), a tower of block puzzles near Mount Bloom (you’ve probably already seen the exterior of the building).
Some kind of mechanic that gives you a Collector rank based on how many items you have, or something similar – basically give collecting some meaning! Right now the whole Collector thing isn’t really used much mechanics wise (or even story wise), and we’d like to improve on that.
Are there any such things you’d like to see in the game before the 1.0 release? Let us know and who knows what might make it into the game! :)
After months of hard work, this update includes the desert Dragonbone Dunes and desert town Port Monnaie in all its glory, with a ton of new NPCs (the most NPC heavy area yet!), the continuation of the main quest, a bunch of side quests and a couple of boss battles!
As you might guess, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong when adding this amount of stuff at once, so even though the patch has been out for a while already and a lot of bugs have been fixed, you should be prepared to do some bug hunting and let us hear about all the wonky and broken things! As always, all feedback is highly encouraged and much appreciated, so let us hear what you think when you’ve finished this installment. You can leave a comment here, on our forums, or make a topic over at the Steam forums!
If you haven’t checked it out already, go ahead and take a look :D
Now we set our eyes on the next target: getting it all ready for stable! Aside from the bug fixes and some of your suggested improvements (as always, we’re very thankful for the feedback), there are a few things we’d like to add before feeling completely satisfied with the desert for now. There are two reasons for this, one being the obvious ‘of course the area will be better with more quests’, but the other is that it gives Fred (and to some extent, me) some time to get ahead with the Ghost Ship before we start prototyping that place for real.
You see, in order to get an idea of what the Ghost Ship will entail design wise, we need to get some enemy prototypes up and running, and the best way of doing that is to have Fred make a bunch of animated sketches we can use against my placeholder backgrounds. This will help us get a feel for the dungeon and to make sure our enemy combinations work as intended.
Therefore, the things we’ll add to the desert for stable mainly involves Teddy programming stuff, and me throwing together some minor graphics such as more item sprites for rewards and such. Once we’re done with that, Fred should have made enough enemy sketches that Teddy can begin prototyping their behavior, and I can continue making backgrounds while he does that.
So, before the desert is released on stable, we intend to add the following:
* Another (optional) challenge in the math cave.
* A side quest involving a cat of Port Monnaie…
* A side quest solving the troubles of the depressed drunkard in the Saloon (which also involves elite versions of the desert enemies, which haven’t been added thus far)!
* A questline with the photographer Cammy, who is working in Port Monnaie, using the mechanics from Arcadia where you take photographs of various places or things in the game.
* Each shop in the marketplace, with new items to buy (lots of housing items)!
* A bunch of memory orbs to show a few past events
* More treasure maps, which will be given to you by Finder the Archaeologist, who wants your help in retrieving some ancient treasures.
Like the other areas, more stuff will be added before release, but we think this is a good way to start. It’s also possible we’ll add a bunch of those season orbs across the world, which will help you reach a few of those chests that have been taunting you… We’ll see!
First though, there are still some cards to make, so here we have the Cacute card! Quite simple in its design, it features a Cacute relaxing in the sun with a drink. Remember to drink a lot when it’s hot outside (I recommend water, though)!
There’s also this portrait of another character that will appear in Port Monnaie but may not make it into the stable patch (we’ll see): an boy, who will help the priest out in the church! His outfit, like the priest’s, is inspired by real life priest robes.
Now, back to those flashback crystals/memory orbs where you’ll get to see certain events from the past… A few of these will include Charlotte, the player character’s mother, and because these events happen quite a few years ago, I got to make a younger version of her, which was super fun!
As with the grown up portrait in the game, this one will also change hair- and skin color based on how you designed your own character :)
Since the first version had quite a long neck, I decided to shorten it slightly in the finished version: the old one is shown first below, with the final version shown last: