This week, Vilya has spent a lot of her time working on a piece of promotional artwork that we’ll use on Steam (among other places):

Capsule Mockup

Still a bit unsure whether the pillar will look like this in the end – we’ve been playing around with various enemies & player character combinations so that might still change. We also might add additional pillars in the distance of the background.. We’ll see!

We also started doing some work on Steam Achievements! All achievements in the game will be available as achievements on Steam as well, so we had to edit the icons to fit those dimensions:

Steam Achievements

Fred, in the meanwhile, has kept working on the skills. The Frosty Friend has gone from rowdy teenager to a fully grown snow… Thing.

FrostyIdle

Other than that, we’re working on finishing up the cutscenes before and after the Temple of Seasons boss, so that’s mostly what Teddy has kept himself busy with. Currently, the game ends rather abruptly after finishing the boss – we want the player to return to the collector’s HQ and get a proper message about not being able to continue the main story to avoid confusion.

Oh, and in the next patch, we’ll add proper screenshots to each of the skills that were missing one in their “more info” tab! Yay for no more “no picture (yet)” messages! :)

skillpics

In case you missed our tweet about it, and doesn’t frequent the forum, the Steam network update is now live on the Frontline beta!

invite med luft

You can either use the interfaces available in-game (as shown above), or use your friend list in the Steam overlay to invite or join friends playing a multiplayer game!

Now that the Steam stuff is all in place (and seems to be running surprisingly smoothly so far), Teddy is finally free to work on other things! The next patch is going to feature a more fleshed out Seasonne, as well as a proper ending for the Temple of Seasons.

Apart from some new interfaces for the new Steam functionality, Vilya has been continuing her work on future portions of the game! Below is the portrait of a young kid who’s going to play a rather important role in events to come (and has come to pass):

05 - Sprites

Here’s also one of the rooms she’s been working on for the area(s) where said boy will appear:

Barracks F1

She also started working on a new piece of promotional artwork, which will serve as our banner(s) on Steam, as well as replace the current character art on the from page of this website! Stay tuned for the finished version of that in next week’s recap :D

Last week we talked briefly about our decision to make our move towards Steam Early Access. This brings a lot of positive things with it, and one of the shiniest additions is the Steam Networking.

One of our main features for Secrets of Grindea has always been the online co-op possibilites. Sadly, evil routers all around the world have made this difficult to setup for a lot of players. With access to to Steam’s own network systems, the days of failed port forwarding and stubborn Hamachi clients will soon be over!

Teddy has spent the entire week working on said networking features and have got it up and running smoothly. Now you’ll be able to simply invite players from your Steam Friends and get a multiplayer game up and running in no time!

Steam

The Steam Networking features might do a pit stop in the Frontline beta for some good old bug hunting, before we shuffle it into the Stable beta. We’ll give a heads up before it happens!

Besides multiplayer, the skills have stayed in the spotlight for this week. Besides adding the Gold Charges, we are also reworking some of the skills that have been considered over powered/under powered/just lame overall by ourselves and our player base.

The summons of the game have been in need of buff to amp up their usability. Both the Summon Plant and Frosty Friend skills (Not the Cloud. We all love the Cloud <3) have been reworked to some extent, to hopefully juice them up a bit!

The Summon Plant skill still has the same base mechanics as before (Time based, invulnerable summon that dish out damage) but we’ve done some changes to the charge levels.

PlantLineup2

The Silver Charge (previously just a beefier version of the basic plant) now has a ranged attack. This small but still significant change hopefully will make the plants more useful later in the game.
The Gold Charge (as of now, things always change) works as a Commander, buffing the rest of the plants in an area around it while being able to dish out good damage on its own.

Unlike the Plant, the Frosty Friend has received some actual changes to its base mechanics. There was not much you could do to avoid losing it during bosses and crowded Arcade Mode rooms, which deterred most players from wanting to spend any skill points on it. In an attempt to help with this, we’ve introduced a Command Menu, giving players some more control over their summon!

snowman skills

Once the Frosty Friend have been summoned, pressing the same button again will no longer desummon it, but instead bring up the Command Menu. From the menu you can give your summon simple commands, with more unlocking as you reach new Charge Levels. Activating the commands will not cost any EP, instead we’ve chosen to go with a Cooldown system. Using a command will render it unusable for a short while.

In the mockup above, the commands visible are Defensive, Aggressive, and Desummon.

Desummon does exactly what you think it does. The Aggressive command puts the Frosty Friend in a aggressive stance, boosting attack damage but lowering defense. Usable for when you find an opening to attack during a boss encounter!

The Defensive command gives Frosty a huuuge defense boost and makes him immobile for a while. You could use this when your summon is in i tricky spot and needs to soak up a lot of damage (an annoying boss attack for example). We’ve talked briefly about giving it Perfect Guard mechanics (maybe it could reset cooldowns!?) but we’re still on the fence about it. What do you guys think?

ProtectSide2

 

This week we’ve got some news!

First of all, we’ll very soon (first thing when we wake up tomorrow, actually) update the game with the new floors for Arcade Mode, for you guys to test! With this update we’re also adding a slight change to how Arcade Mode works, where you’ll receive a health potion instead of a health orb should you reach a new floor with full health! The health orbs will also remain after leaving the first room, so you can go back and collect it later :)

Secondly, a lot of you have been asking when the game will be available on Steam Early Access, and the answer to that is (hopefully) soon-ish! We have decided that it’s time we start getting that ball rolling, so we’re gonna focus on polishing the current content for an update of the Stable beta and create some fancy art for the various banners that appear on Steam. As soon as we’re done with that, the game should finally(!) be ready for early access over on Steam as well!

Now, for the actual ‘recap’ part of this blog, here’s some skill animations that Fred has been working on:

CloudMax NovaMax

Vilya has kept working on the Time Travel Town in Mount Bloom, and this time around there’s a bunch of portraits of people you’ll meet there:

06 - Finished sprite

06 - sprites

05 - Sprites

Videos of her working on these, as well as other parts of the area, can be viewed over on her personal Secrets of Grindea-themed YouTube account!

Now, back to work! See you next week :)

The past couple of weeks, Teddy have been working on bringing the new areas into Arcade Mode, and is finally closing in on finishing up (our hopes are to patch in the four new floors before the end of the week)!

We’re doing our best to find that sweet spot of being infuriatingly difficult, yet fair, and also creating interesting traps and compositions for the different areas. Beta testing these new floors is a bit of a challenge, seeing as only a handful of our glorious beta testers have reached the end of the current content, but eventually we’ll nail it down!

Meanwhile, Fred has been hard at work in the skill factory, creating new charges for all the spells! Below are new animations for the Summon Plant and Blade Flurry spells.

Plant2

Flurry3

Vilya’s off doing her own thing, creating the environments for the next “temple”, a village with a twist on time! For those interested in her work (who isn’t?!), you should check out her blog, where she’s begun posting some sweet time lapses of her workflow!

Here’s her latest one for example, where she’s pimping out one of the early village maps:

A feature that has been missing since we first introduced charge levels to the skills have been the Gold Charge. Since most players wouldn’t reach high enough levels to unlock those we’ve been prioritizing pretty much everything else over them up until now.

However, we are reaching a point in the game where the Gold Charges are becoming relevant during the average playthrough. Introducing a new charge level will bring with it a lot of balancing and tweaking, so we decided the timing felt just right to start the rather massive task of finally implementing them properly into the game.

Because of the fast paced nature of the combat in Secrets of Grindea, we can’t go full “Knights of the Round” in terms of extravagant effects (even though we want to, deep down). We want to amp up the graphics of course, but still keep the fluidity of casting the skills. It will be an interesting balancing act going forward, but we’re confident we’ll be able to combine the best of both worlds!

Below are some “soon to appear in the game, coupled with some dope particle effects and other stuff to make them feel even cooler”-animations made by Fred during the past week. Namely for the Ice Spike, Heroic Slam and Insect Swarm.
IceSpikeMaxSlamMax

InsectSwarmMax

BTW, if you’ve always had this cool idea of what your favorite spell’s Gold Charge would look like, or how it’d work, feel free to leave any suggestions in this thread on the forums, and we’ll check it out! :)

Meanwhile, Vilya has started sketching what will eventually become the next temple – which isn’t much of a temple at all, but rather a hidden village! Here are some of her early sketches, featuring a set of houses:

02-House-sketches

The village will be hidden inside a mountain and will be somewhat inspired by ancient Asia visually. More artwork from this village will be available next week! :)

For quite a while we’ve been going full steam ahead on the main story, focusing all of our effort on the Temple of Seasons. With the temple being more or less completed, we are taking a short vacation from Story Mode to focus on its beloved sibling: Arcade Mode!

Vilya has been busy puzzling together an array of graphical assets for Teddy to use for the upcoming Temple of Season-floors. The Season Change orbs will make the perfect Arcade Mode hazards, setting the stage for some beautiful chaos! 
03 - Items

03 - Stuff

04 - Rooms 2

04 - Rooms

While Vilya have had her hands full with the temple-floors, Teddy have been making sure that the Winterland-floors are up to par with the previous ones. Below are a somewhat graphical WIP of a Toy Factor puzzle turned Arcade Mode challenge!

While it’s not exclusively Arcade Mode, Fred (who’s finally back after his trip to Berlin, wooho!) have been in the animation workshop, crafting a bunch of new weapons for you Collectors to farm your hearts out with!

 

SummmerHammerFrostSpear StaffIcicleVine

I know a lot of you will be disappointed that the spear isn’t being handled like an actual spear. Since introducing a whole new weapons class would be too much work at this point in time, swinging spears like an uneducated fool will have to do for now.

We’ve tried to compensate this by creating the first Twohanded Staff (2H-weapons that boost MATK), something that have been requested for a while!

This week has been fraught with biological interference! Teddy had begun bringing the Seasonne floors into the Arcade Mode properly, including making elite versions of all enemies, “traps” and some floor specific challenges. Sadly, his work got rather ham stringed by a seasonal thing known as the “winter vomiting bug”. We’ll leave the details of that to your imagination!

Incidentally, Vilya got hit with some severe toothache towards the end of the week, but still managed to put out some good stuff before getting incapacitated by lack of sleep. She’s been getting a bit too much sand in her eyes over the past weeks, so she decided to take a break from desert building by becoming a mad hatter!

Those of you who’ve played through the latest content has probably noticed a certain aspect of it that’s fairly lackluster, namely the sound effects!

While it’s pretty cool that everything in the entire dungeon either sounds like a slime getting hit or have no sound at all, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. To rectify this, Fred has been working on making video guides for our dear sound designers, which means we should have the assets we need to make the aural experience complete Soon™!

Lastly, we’d like to do a little shout out for the people over at Radical Fish Games, not only for their radical studio name, but also because they’ve set up a crowd funding campaign for their super cool ARPG project Cross Code! Check out their IndieGoGo-page, where you can find a free demo (playable in the web browser with help of black magic), and see if it’s something for you!

hej

Alright guys, Vilya here! Sorry for being a day late, it was my turn to write the blog post yesterday but honestly it was a really long day, and it totally slipped my mind. But hey! The good news is I spent the time working on Temple of Seasons rooms for Arcade Mode instead..! :D

In case you missed it, we’ve updated the frontline beta with multiplayer support for the Temple of Seasons! That means it’s time to dive into the dungeon with all your friends and hunt those bugs down!

Anyways, Fred has gone to Germany this week, where he’s busy making video reels with animations to show our beloved sound designers. So, instead of his fancy work you’ll have to make do with some of my desert WIPs:


02 - House
A mysterious desert house!

04 - Bro01
WIP of a bridge.. :)

03 - Bro
A couple more versions of the bridge!

02 - Tree WIP
Making a huge tree that’s been dead for quite some time!

03 - TreeVersions
…But now it’s coming back alive, thanks to you… If you complete a certain quest, that is ;)

04 - Walls
WIP of the entry to the next area

06 - HouseCorner Complete
The part with the house, all decorated and done!

05 - Town Entrance
The part with the town wall, all decorated and done. Beyond this point you’ll find a small town… But it’s kinda hard to get there with that bridge all broken, isn’t it? Guess you’ll have to fix it somehow, or find another way to get there..

I know a lot of you have been curious for stuff Teddy does as well, but this week, I wouldn’t ask for it if I were you! You see, it’s that time of the year where companies need to start handing in tax reports and annual records of what their company has been up to, so it’s all paper work and no fun! :(

However, he’s also getting started on implementing more floors for Arcade Mode, so we’ll get into that soon enough…!

Thanks for looking, and for the comments you leave every week! Hope you enjoy <3

Hello Collectors!

This week, Teddy has been focusing on the multiplayer aspect of the Temple of Seasons! We’ll patch the Frontline beta to include this in the next few days.

Bug hunters can rejoice in that multiplayer is, as always, the most error prone part, although from basic testing it seems stable. Which means in reality, when you guys get your hands on it, it probably won’t be stable at all! :D

templeofseasonswithhomiesIt all works if you stand perfectly still!

Meanwhile, Fred has been whipping together the final animations required for the cutscenes at the end of the temple, and Vilya is making the desert area interesting with tons of props and details!

01 - Skeleton

03 - Arc

As you can see, we’re going for a rocky type of desert, with lots of ridges and set pieces! Apparently, people absolutely love deserts as it is, so hopefully ours won’t be an exception.

…but wait, what is this? Looks like Evergrind City but something’s different

05 - CityFair Details