Things have calmed down after the Steam Early Access launch, and things have gone back to normal here in the Pixel Ferrets office!

Vilya has spent a lot of time doing portraits recently, both for the new area(s) and for new fae that will appear in Santa Fae:

portraits

Some of the old fae (and the new) also needed new expressions, seeing as the life of a fae is filled with both joy and horror currently:
faces

She has also, of course, been doing new backgrounds for the next temple, which means more interiors left in ruin:

LeftHouseF1

Fred, meanwhile, has been creating stuff for a flashback cutscene that will take place once you get back to the HQ in the next part of the story! This whole thing will involve two things primarily: your mother Charlotte, and…. a dragon?!

Now, as for Teddy, he’s been mostly busy implementing a bunch of UI improvements (Sword and Shield style-slots, wohoo!) as well as tweaks and fixing bugs revealed to us by our awesome beta testers! Once these updates roll out and are confirmed stable we’ll start updating Frontline only for a while again, starting with the cutscene/flashback thingy mentioned above.

See you next week! :D

First of all, thank you all for your support and awesome e-mails, helpful forum comments, and everything else related to our Steam Early Access launch last week! You guys have been amazing.

In terms of how the EA launch went, it was well over our expectations. We honestly didn’t think much was gonna happen, seeing as we did literally 0 PR for the launch, but apparently word of mouth (and Steam’s discovery features) are more powerful than we thought. Because of this there were a couple of hectic days where most of our time went into answering e-mails and solving new bugs, but thankfully (?!) most of that seems to have calmed down for now. :)

So, yesterday we patched the game (both Stable and Frontline) and added a bunch of bug fixes!

If you had issues with co-op before, chances are your problems have been solved now – or so we hope! We also added a bunch of new hairstyles that can be tried out at Francisco’s stand in Evergrind City or when you create a new character. We’ll update both builds at least once more before focusing on Frontline again for a while – if you’re a new player and are unsure of what I’m talking about, check out this thread on the forums to see the difference between Stable and Frontline beta, and how to change between them.

Some of you have noticed that the DRM-free version available through the Humble widgets and on the Humble Store is outdated (same goes for the Demo download through our site). We’ll update both of those once we’ve patched the Stable one last time in the coming week(s)! In the meanwhile, if you’re looking to play the Demo, know that a more recent version can be downloaded through Steam (there’s a button which says ‘Download Demo’ right next to the ‘Early Access Game’-box).

Now, we’ll continue to work on the next part of the Story Mode! Vilya is of course already working on backgrounds for the next temple, some which can be seen here:

LeftHouse F2
LeftHouse F2 - Present
Barracks F2

I think we’ll leave it at that for this week, tune in next Monday for more updates on our progress! And again, thank you all for your support :)

Instead of a regular Weekly Recap, here’s an announcement for you:

Secrets of Grindea is officially live on

Steam Early Access!

storepage

For those of you who are looking to buy the game now that it’s properly on Steam, it might be a good idea to look into which beta version you’re the most interested in. Here’s a forum guide showing how to swap between the two (Stable and Frontline) and why you may or may not want to do it.

We’d also like to remind those who already bought the game that it’s now possible to review the game (or at least, what’s available so far) on Steam, so if you want to do that, that’d be awesome!

Whether you’re a new or old player, we welcome you into our community and hope that you enjoy the game so far! As always, feel free to drop by our forums to ask questions, leave bug reports/feedback or simply stay a while and chat :)

The Steam Early Access launch draws closer! Either today or tomorrow we’ll patch the gold charges into the game, and once they’ve been tested and polished (certain visual elements are still missing) I think we’re good to go :D

SO, once the game is patched we ask all Frontline users to help us bug test these babies! Perhaps it’s time to try out a completely new build? :)

In the meanwhile, here’s a few GIFs featuring gold charges that will be available in the patch once it goes live:

Click to view full size!

First up is Frosty Friend! He’s certainly gotten bigger, and as of the next patch, you can give him commands!

He starts out with a defensive stance which increases his DEF and regenerates HP slowly if he’s out of combat, the silver charge unlocks a DPS boosting skill that lasts a few seconds, and the gold charge has an AoE slam attack (pictured above)! :)

Click to view full size!

Here’s the Heroic Slam! The animation has gotten a bit more elaborate, as you can see, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same old skill, but with increased damage output!

Click to view full size!

The Meteor has increased in size, and also leaves behind flames that burn enemies passing through!

Click to view full size!

Finally, the Cloud Strike, aka the summoned cloud! He’s as happy as ever, striking left and right with his fearsome thunder. Other than being bigger and meaner, he also has a chain lightning effect on certain attacks :)

We haven’t stopped working on the next temple either! Here are some new backgrounds and character portraits that Vilya has been working on:

Barracks F0

Barracks F1

05 - Sprites

05 - sprites (1)

05 - sprites (2)

Once the patch goes live we’ll make a post on Facebook, Twitter, and of course, details will be found over at the Patch Notes part of our forums :)

The work on the Gold Charges continues! There are now prototypes available for all skills, but a lot of them still need to have their animations polished so we’ll save showing those off for later. The Whirlslash gold charge has been more or less finished up though, and here you can see a gif of what that looks like in action:


Click to view full size!

You guessed it! Once you unlock the Gold charge, you can now move while using it! Pretty epic, no? The damage might be sliiightly unbalanced in this GIF tho.. ;)

Vilya has returned to working on the next Temple area, which in reality is more of a village. That means the future will hold lots of houses! Here’s the interior of two, with progress videos to go with them:

Finished

Click to view full size!

Uncle Farms Hus

Click to view full size!

Now, no village is complete without people that live there, right? Here’s a couple of portraits of people that you will be able to meet, one an adventurer exploring the depths of Mt:Bloom, the other an inhabitant of the village itself:

05 Sprite

06 - Sprites

Also, as Teddy’s properly adding the skills into the game engine, it’s not very uncommon for the animations to go through some iterations. The gold charge for the Ice Spike ended up needing some extra pazazz, as the old animation looked a bit to funky on it’s own. Below is a (hopefully) more intimidating ice spike, couple with some stray left over animations for the Frosty Friend!

Icespike

Frosty2

As mentioned last week, we’re working full speed on getting the final charges up and running! While we’re not ready to patch them into the game yet, here’s a preview of three of them in action:


Click to view full-size

The Summon Plant gold charge introduces a new type of plant to the bunch. Instead of attacking, it’ll give bonuses to the plants you’ve already summoned (and will be summoned with a number of minion-plants of its own).  

You can only have one of these plants active at the same time, so if you summon it again it’ll move to your new location. However, it’ll bring any plants surrounding it along with it, so it’s perfect for moving plant traps to new strategic places!


Click to view full-size

Piercing Dash, meanwhile, has become both faster and longer, allowing you to dash through enemies and deal damage to them after passing through! For the more advanced players it might also be good to know that this level of Dash is now cancel-able, and canceling mid-dash will allow your next skill to become instantly gold charged.

Time for some epic combos? :)


Click to view full-size

Finally, the Blade Flurry gold charge increases the number of hits and has a 3-hit finisher that deals additional damage!

Now, while the boys have been busy with the skills, Vilya has kept working on improvements for the menu. Here’s the improved Equipment tab:

02 - new (1)

As you can see, we’re finally introducing style slots for weapons and shields! This is something that has been requested a lot, and since we’re reworking this menu anyway we thought we might as well squeeze it in. As we’d like the Steam Early Access release to happen sooner rather than later, though, we’re not 100% sure the style slots will be implemented before the EA release, but it’s definitely coming soon after, at the very least.

We’re also reworking the Character tab:

02 - New

Gone is the boring super brown text-only tab, and instead we have a more colorful and actually ID-looking tab for your collector. The Birthday and Starsign will be randomly generated, as will your Collector ID number. Also, the stats you see here are temporary: we’re replacing a few and removing others. Since this isn’t actually implemented yet, there may be small changes here and there, but the overall look should remain.

Next week, Vilya will finally return to doing stuff for the next temple, while Teddy & Fred soldier on with more gold charges!

Hi guys! Another week has gone past, and it’s finally getting warm in Sweden (yay)!
In the office, we’ve been spendin’ time on a bunch of different things. Teddy & Fred are working on the Gold Charge Skills, so we have a bunch of prototypes up and running! They’re still in need of some edits and huge amounts of polish, but we’re getting there.

Vilya kept working on menu edits, and the left side of the menu will officially look like this once it’s been implemented:

05

A bit less brown, and a bit more graphic heavy, with swirls and decorations added since last week :)

Speaking of graphic heavy, she’s also been repainting the haircuts & polished the various palettes available for them. We had a bunch of issues with the old ones, where skintone pixels were visible through the hair in some styles, and the overall rendering technique wasn’t the best. Also, we found the palettes to be pretty lackluster…

So, that has hopefully been fixed, and should be up and running within the next few patches!


Hairstyle Reworks, Part 1:
New Haircuts F

Hairstyle Reworks, Part 2:

New Haircuts M

New Palettes:

Smakprov01

Smakprov02
(For the palette previews we’ve used different haircuts, so some of the colors might look a bit different than they do when you apply them to the same style!)

Next week (technically, this week) we’ll continue working on the Gold Charges, so hopefully we’ll be able to show you some of that next recap! See you then! :)

Two weeks ago, we showed a bunch of new menu icons. This week, Vilya continues to rework the menu graphics! First up, we have new menu titles, adding a touch of color to the otherwise very brown menu:

header_character

Second, we reworked the skill boxes a bit:

02 - Nya Skillrutor

With this new look, we hope to tie the appearance of the Skill-tabs together with the Talent counterpart. Also, more graphics & colors, yay!

We’ve also begun reworking the character box, again removing some brown (in the current version, it’s floating in a brown box) and having it stand on its own:

01 - Short

We’ll continue working on this left side of the menu later, literally tying things together a bit more visually, so it’s not just three boxes floating next to eachother!

Now, for something that’s actually already in the game… As of the latest update, we now have actual Steam Achiements! And with some of these achievements, we’ve added new rewards for your character.

Below you can see a selection of these rewards (go get ’em now!):

Hats

Lastly, we’re currently thinking of ways to implement the new promo art in our website background. Here’s a mockup of what it could like, though we’re not quite there yet:

05 - Websitemockup

So, this week we had the honor of being judges at GGC, or Gotland Game Conference, a local games conference hosted by our school, where the students at the Game Design program showcase their game projects and compete for a set of prizes! It’s great to get a chance to meet fellow game developers, talk about the business and just take a short break.

The games were amazing, as always. We keep saying that each year only gets better, and this time was no exception! Below is a showcase video featuring the games that were competing this year, and most of them were really fun:

The Grand Prize winner was Frog Climber, which was a first year project, so it’ll be interesting to see what the developers come up with next year!

Since no weekly recap would be complete without any sort of Secrets of Grindea update, this time we’re sharing two of Vilya’s portrait WIP videos from her personal YouTube account:


The videos feature future Santa Fae residents and the finished sprites can be viewed below:

06 - Sprites
05 - Finished Sprites

Hi guys! I’m gonna keep this blog post brief because we’re in the middle of judging Gotland Game Conference 2015, but I really wanted this update to be on time!

So, as you may have noticed if you played the game in the last few days, we’ve added a “quicklevel”-system to Arcade Mode!

Quicklevel_mockup

This allows you to quickly level any skills and talents you’ve recently been leveling, without having to browse through the menu to find them all over again. Here’s a GIF showing the difference (click to watch full-sized version):

Other than that, Vilya has kept working on improving the earlier graphics! This time around, she went over the menu icons (old versions on the top, new versions on the bottom):

Icon Upgrades

She also went back and touched up a bunch of portraits, and created this new one:

06 - Sprite

Fred has kept working on the gold charge animations, focusing on giving the snow buddy some actual animations this week!

 

IdleFrosty2MoveFrosty

Hope you guys have had a great week! We have one more day of judging games, then it’s all back to normal. Perhaps we’ll talk a bit about our experience with this year’s GGC in the next update, if any of you are interested in that sort of thing! Until then, see you! :D