As you may have noticed a little while ago, it’s patch time! This new patch ties a bunch of loose strings together, and is the first of a few such updates. If you haven’t done so yet, go ahead and go try out the new content and new quests!

A short summary from the patch notes:

* There’s now a quest to bring (back) butterflies to Evergrind City!

* Marino’s Mansion is now accessible, with a couple of quests inside

* Red Slimes can now be found in Story Mode, and have been given a card

* Added a new Two Handed Weapon obtainable after Flying Fortress: Red Slime Hammer

* Two more wobbly sprouts have been added, and all four can now be grown using Super Fertilizer, unlocking new locations

* Some minor quests/secrets have been added to give the player said fertilizer

* The Alchemist storyline can now be concluded with a final quest

This week, it’s been all about making new faces for new people! Starting off with a balloon seller that will make an appearance during the Evergrind City festival:

Next up, the portrait of a waitress! There used to be an older version of this portrait, but because of some decisions we made regarding an old character, we’re remaking the backstory behind this person, and as such, decided to change her portrait up a bit:

Remember Lin Mei the ninja? Well, as it happens, she’s one of those characters whose backstory we decided to change up a bit and give a proper ending, since she’s a pretty random character otherwise to show up during the trials! As such, one of her new roles will be as a waitress, but she’ll also still show up as a ninja:

Now, as is our custom after a bigger patch, it’s time for some time off to recharge our batteries for the next stretch! The next blog post will be available on November 9th, after we’ve been back at work for a full week! Stay tuned for that :)

This week it’s back to doing some background stuff, starting with a cave in Seasonne which has been long forgotten! This is the home of a guy obsessed with math and specifically the number 3. Let’s have a peek at his old home:

Following the northern exit from the previous cave, you reach a small math puzzle, and, if you manage to solve it (good luck!) it’ll lead you to yet another cave containing a small reward:

Now, there’s some more collectors that need faces, so let’s take a look at one such guy:

But also, of course, the math genius obsessed with the number 3 himself. Unfortunately, he’s no longer of this world, but what does that matter when you can have a peek into the spirit world and talk to him there?

Continuing work on the patch, these are the last bunch of additions before it goes live (as I type this out, it might even have gone live already!)

Some more stuff we’ve been talking about recently is tying up a couple of the “semi-started” quests we’ve been foreshadowing around the world. One such thing is the Scarecrow quest – remember the scarecrow that talks about the purple garland in Pumpkin Woods? While we’re going to rewrite her(!) line a little bit, we will end up with a quest dealing with the curse of the pumpkin, while also solving another question mark of the world – the house on the little island in Evergrind City. We’ve decided to let there be a bridge there from the beginning, rather than you having to fix one, and inside will be a worried father talking about his missing daughter, who is a collector. At some point in the story, once you’ve progressed far enough or you’re strong enough, he will appear in the Collectors’ HQ asking for your assistance in finding his daughter; who, it turns out, has been cursed into a scarecrow!

Another thing you might have forgotten about (but we surely haven’t) is the grave up in Seasonne! The grave will be reached through a cave which we’re about to make as well, and which will give clues about the owner of the grave – a math genius who is depressed about his attempts at math caves not being as popular as his rival in Port Monnaie. There will be a different kind of math puzzle here as well, but the quest itself will be given after speaking to the ghost inhabiting the grave outside the little cave system.

We’re also going to (finally!) add the option to turn a couple rooms in the Temple of Seasons into spring, revealing a hidden room in one such room where you’ll get a trinket that has been in the game since pretty much forever, but which you haven’t been able to get yet because we never actually got around to making it possible to turn the room in question into its spring version… Oops!

More to come as well, but there isn’t that much left on our list for Story Mode now! :)

Now, before we dive into more upcoming stuff here’s one more thing that’ll go into the patch we’ll release soon(tm)! This guy could be seen in a blog post last week in the shape of a spooky sprite made by Fred, a strange creature found in the bonus Pumpkin Woods map!

The girl cursed into a scarecrow is a collector as well, so here’s her portrait since we’re doing collectors now anyway:

And here we have her beloved father, who at some point in the near future will seek your help in saving his daughter:

Meanwhile, Fred keeps polishing up the last remaining effects and things happening for this patch, as well as sending off a video with instructions to our sound designer! Here’s another sneak peek of that upcoming strange demon creature in the bonus Pumpkin Woods map:

So, we’re drawing ever closer to releasing these bunch of quests, and so last week we had a meeting where we discussed where to head now. There are still some things we’d like to add to story mode to make it feel a bit more fleshed out before we start working on the final dungeon, in fact there’s a massive list of things that we tend to go through every once in a while and decide on what to keep and what to skip. Ideally we would have loved to do everything, but as we’ve been developing this game for a really long time now and there are some things that really don’t need as much improvement as we initially thought, we’ve ended up skipping more things recently. Hopefully we’ll soon be done with the list and will be able to actually finish up the game!

Anyway, during the meeting last week we decided we’re going to add a respawn area for Bloomos to make them a bit easier to farm. This will be either in Evergrind South or in Evergrind West (not yet decided). This is a minor thing which will just make it a bit easier to get those items.

Next, we’re going to add more books to various book cases around the world. Previously we wanted to include rare books that one could read only once you handed it in to the librarian, but we’ve decided against this and will now focus on putting more books in book cases around the world instead, to make the world feel a bit more alive and give it more depth, something we feel is better done if you can read the books at any time as you find them rather than having to hand them in first.

Next, the arena. We will add a bunch of mini games in there that you can challenge your friends in. We’ve discussed PvP, and unfortunately we’ve decided against adding it, as it would take a lot of time to get right, and even longer to make it balanced. We think there’s a bigger risk people end up disliking it if it’s there rather than feel it’s missing from the game if it’s not.

We’ll also add the tutorial shield training to Master Ji’s Dojo in Story Mode, however the challenges will remain Arcade Mode only, to give you a bit more value for unlocking it in Arcadia.

We’ll also add a quest in which you’ll clean up Evergrind City from all the trash that was left around the place after the festival. Once you trigger the quest, each trash item lying around will turn into a regular item that will automatically be added to your loot like enemy drops, so you’re able to run around and collect them all.

We’ll also add seed drops to each of the plant enemies, and special housing jars in the Tree shop in Seasonne in which you can plant them, so you can have your own collection of home grown enemy plants!

Finally for this week’s update, we decided to add a talking anvil, since we feel we need one more sentient artefact around town. As you may have guessed, it’ll be the anvil Smith uses to make his sword, so prepare to say hello to this new friend soon :)

And now that we’ve decided on the next bunch of things to add to the game, here’s the first of them; the talking anvil:

A little mixed bag featuring some last minute fixes for the patch, namely some new expressions/portrait edits, some background details for the barn, a hat for the Guard’s mother and some new drops:

Another cameo we’ve wanted to add for quite some time now is that of our brilliant sounddesigner Hallvard or Fark as he’s better known! He’ll be jamming it out with Riley on the stage in Port Monnaie :3

Meanwhile Fred has been busy making NPCs that will inhabit the bonus Pumpkin Woods area north of the first map. Here you’ll be able to meet Mama Guard (we’re aware her portrait doesn’t match the sprite at the moment but haven’t decided on which one to keep), her dog, and a very strange shadow creature:

And now, the red slime card! Since a side effect of one of the quests is that red slimes will spawn across the evergrind fields, it’s only fair they get a card of their own, wouldn’t you say?

And now a bunch of mixed stuff, including some sprites for a bunch of drops and bonus items you’ll get to see and use in these new quests:

As well as some smaller additions and improvements to Marino’s Mansion:

Next up, the boss portrait for another of the bosses you’ll be dealing with! This is one giant shrub, so what better name for it than Shruboss? :D

Now that everything on my part is done for the upcoming patch, I’m celebrating by making a portrait of another random Collector that you will find out and about in the fields:

Today we had a meeting discussing what we’ll do once this update is done, but we’ll dive into that next week once everything has been properly finished up for the update. Instead, let’s take a look at one of the final bits we’ll add before this update is ready to go live!

This is a sprite haunting a tree in the short additional Pumpkin Woods map we’ll be adding. It’s kind of getting sick of its surroundings and would like your help to find a new home. Because we haven’t decided on its colours yet I made three different versions of its portrait:

Another week starting with a portrait! This time it’s the mother of a whole lot of guards, chilling in her cottage north of Pumpkin Woods:

Next up, the final room of the mansion, and the room you’ve all been waiting for… Marino’s own! Here it is:

As we may have mentioned before, the tree guy in the tree stump in Seasonne will sell you furniture items for you house, and to be specific, he’ll be selling… Yeah, you guessed it. Trees! So, here’s a bunch of the trees from around the game, converted into housing items:

Now for something completely different, the portrait of a toaster! This was one of our backer items, which we decided to make into a talking toaster. Soon in a treasure chest near you ;)

Finally, Fred’s been finishing up the animations for the two boss battles you’ll be dealing with! You’ve seen a bit of the troll before, but here’s also a new face, that of a strange giant plant creature:

It’s a new week, with new possibilities! So let’s go back to that bonus cave system in Pillar Mountains, and take the second door, leading down through the mountain:

And now, back to the mansion! Here’s a room filled with plants, cause who wouldn’t want that? Also, it might just be needed for one of the quests we’re working on…

Another house some people have been asking about is the one you pass by on the field just right of Evergrind City, which you haven’t been able to reach just yet. Soon though, you’ll be able to get there through a path in the Pumpkin Woods, so let’s take a look at what’s inside:

Obviously the people living in Marino’s Mansion need somewhere to sleep, so here’s one of the two bedrooms I’ll be making:

Now, time to take a look at a portrait of sorts; a boss portrait made for the fight you’ll have against Remedi in his troll form!

This week we’ll start off with a couple portraits! For starters, a new version of Remedi, this time in a female form (we just really can’t get that potion right, can we?)

And then we have the face of Spierre, the spear wielded by James Fawke, the guy you replaced for the arena challenge… :)

Next we have a bunch of expressions for James and his fanclub, which will be playing a pretty big role in the upcoming arena quest:

And then, the long awaited cave system you’ll reach by climbing up the little sapling in Pillar Mountains! This is the first of a whole set of rooms, more of which will be posted later on:

Now, time for a sneak peek of what Teddy and Fred has been up to: flying trolls! This here is a prototype of the battle against Remedi in his troll form. Looks pretty cool, right?!



More to come soon! :)

New week and new maps! Another piece of map needed is this one, featuring the barn next to the farm, where some strange shenanigans have been taking place:

Now, after starting to implement some of the mansion rooms, we decided on mixing up the layout at bit to make sure the rooms didn’t looks quite as similar. As such, there’s first a quick redesign of Marino’s dad’s “throne room”:

…As well as the hallway leading up to it, which now houses four different rooms instead of the original two:

Next we have a mixed bag with various fixes and additions, starting with a couple new banners for the arena, to replace the collector ones while you do the new quest:

A familiar face reappears in the desert, it’s the travelling merchant that visited Evergrind City during the festival, now selling fertilizers in the desert:

Marino’s mansion is getting a proper zone title, and… well, you guessed it, it’s called…

The posters are getting another version of themselves where they’re more like signs so we can place them all around town:

Next up we’re making a smashed up version of the alchemist’s house so you can battle the troll version of Remedi that you’ve been seeing parts of on the blog in the recent couple of week:

Meanwhile, Fred has been working on the troll, and here’s another sneak peek of a rather strange move:

Soon in a boss battle near you ;)

Time for another room in Marino’s mansion, and this time it’s his father’s throne room— errr the second corridor. The doors will lead to the master bedroom and Marino’s room respectively:

Next, another face from the Mansion, the private chef responsible for the fancy dinners hosted at the estate:

Now, for the actual quest challenge where you’ll be battling it out in the arena using some pretty trash but fancy looking gear! First up will be a couple of regular waves of enemies, featuring the various types you might have come across here and there across the game thus far. After that, there’s the grand finale, a mini boss battle/challenge featuring one or two elder boars!

In the first iteration, we had one elder boar and a bunch of red slime falling down from the sky:

As you can see, there’s puffs of smoke coming from the boar as he charges around, and stepping into these dust clouds will make you temporarily blinded!

As you can see, we have added a bunch of obstacles in the arena which you can lure the boar into, making it get temporarily dazed. These obstacles respawn in new positions after the boar has destroyed all of them, and as always with early prototype videos like these they graphics are placeholder:

As shown in the above video, we follow the ‘rage’ theme of the elder enemies with these boars as well!

In the next iteration we removed the red slime but added another boar! This is our favourite iteration so far, a bit more action packed and without the annoying slowing slimes:

Next thing I’ve been working on is some sweet PR for that event in the arena that we’re all so excited for! At first, James was the supposed hero of the show, so to start off with these posters will appear in Evergrind City around the time when you can accept the quest:

However, as James can’t attend and you’ve had to take his place, there will be slight adjustments once you’ve accepted the quest, meaning your face will be all over the posters instead! Of course, the PR team doesn’t have all the time in the world so there will have to be a quick solution instead of reprinting:

The actual face of your character will be rendered into those blank pages so you’ll be able to recognize your own character as the hero of this event! Hopefully you won’t let the PR team down with your performance in the show ;)

In Fred’s department, the animation madness continues with more sprites for the upcoming next bit in the journey to transform Remedi back to his former self! As such, a ‘death’ animation for the troll was needed, as well as a potion pitching move by Remedi’s quick nephew: