This week a lot of our focus has gone into prototyping more of the challenges you’ll be facing in Mt Bloom! Here are a few gifs from our prototype of the poisonous flower challenge (keep in mind that a lot of the art is still WIP):

Flower Growth

Open Sesame

Kill it plz

Basically, the small flowers will increase in size over time, releasing their poison once they reach their final form. If you hit the flowers, they’ll shrink, until they die and disappear from the map.

The big one works a bit differently. Instead of releasing poison in its final form, it heals the other flowers and shields them, meaning you can’t damage them until you’ve dealt with the bigger one. Also, while hitting it causes it to shrink, there’s a limit to how small it can get, at least until you’ve worked through its HP bar!

After a little while, it’ll launch a special attack which clears any enemies on the map. Instead, a new type of flower will spawn, while the big one launches a beam spinning around the room. You now have to dodge a bunch of projectiles shooting out from the exploding smaller flowers (again, artwork will differ in it’s final form):

Variation #2

We also started doing some tests for the gas effect in the third and final challenge, where you’ll run through a room filled with poison gas:

Gas Experiment

More on that next week, hopefully!

Other than this mayhem of prototyping & testing, we’ve been doing some more work on Mt Bloom in general. Here’s a background that Vilya has been working on, which happens to be the entrance to the next temple:

BG

Close-up of the statue:

06 - Moss & Ground

GIF of the statue WIP:

GIF

She also made a bunch of variations of the Caveling portrait from last week:
Sprites

Phew!

Finally, look at how cool our office door looks now, thanks to some signs printed and given to us by one of Fred’s friends:

DSCN1639

DSCN1638

Pretty neat, huh? Gonna help motivate us as we step into the office every morning! :D

Wow! I can’t believe we’re on our 200th weekly recap already! Time flies so fast…

Last week we launched a tiny frontline patch with some use experience upgrades. Among other things, we added a temporary aid to those who have experienced one of the bugs where either their character or their world progress gets deleted as the result of a crash. We’re still not sure what exactly causes these bugs (and we’re doing our best to figure it out!), but we’ve now implemented a system that notices if your savefile has been corrupted and automatically reverts to your last backup (which are added by the games every now and then):

recoveri

As you can see, it also lets you know how much progress you’ve lost, and tells you where to find the corrupted file, which gets saved in a different location. Sending it to us could help us find out what causes these corruption bugs, so please do if you see this message pop up!

Another thing we’ve been working on is to improve certain on-death bag tips for the game over screen. Currently most of them are random insults that do little to help your efforts, but sometimes (and after this patch, more often) Bag actually gives some useful advice on how to beat the challenge you’re facing:

ListenUp!_Tip

Unfortunately, it’s quite easy to miss which ones are actual tips, so we’re also adding a bit of clarity to that. Basically, a bold “Listen up!!” (as seen below) will appear, accompanied by some shaking to catch the players attention. Hopefully that makes it stand out a bit more than regular bag commentary!

ListenUp!

Meanwhile, Vilya has been working on a bunch of different things. For one, she’s been adding some details to the first map of Mt Bloom, in the shape of a ruined bridge with some statues that will set the theme of what’s to come later on. Here’s the GIF of her progress:

GIF

And here’s the final piece of the GIF wip, as well as some additional details added afterwards:

statueupgrade

She’s also been playing around with adding stone tablets next to the doorways, in order to make it more clear that they lead somewhere:

Sign02

Sign01

We’re still thinking about other ways to add more clarity to which parts of the walls contain a door, such as light effects and the like, but we’ll see where that all ends!

To end this post, there’s also some drops, the portrait of a cave dweller related to the Frostlings of Seasonne, and a couple of animations:

Drops
05 - Finished Sprite
Flowerpower

See you next week! :D

As we’re moving on to implementing Mt. Bloom, it’s about time we added a way into the actual cave system, right? That’s one of the tasks Vilya was working on last week:

SnowBridge

SnowBridgeGIF

As you might have guessed, you’ll be using a Season Orb to turn part of the area into a frozen winter state! There will also be an ice bridge, animated by Fred, that will appear and take you across :)

On the inside of Mt. Bloom, we’re still in the process of adding greenery, making it properly bloom-y:

01

02

04

We also started implementing and prototyping the enemies that will appear in the cave! Here are a few GIFs of that in action:

Enemies #1

Enemies #2

Enemies #3

As you can see, there’s a lot of placeholder art here: the tiny mushrooms and acid will be recolored, and the enemy mushrooms won’t turn into Jumpkins when you hit them… ;) Overall, these GIFs should give you an idea of how the enemies work, though!

Basically, the Spinsects spin around the room, bouncing off the walls. They’ll speed up if you hit them, so be careful where you stand! The mushrooms are a typical Jumpkin enemy, chasing you across the map. Once¬†they die, they’ll leave a bunch of tiny mushrooms on the ground that blind you if you step on them. The larva ignores you, but leaves a trail of acid that deals damage over time if you step in it. Like the Spinsects, it will go faster if you hit it, but will stop to catch it’s breath after a little while :)

Larva

In order to unlock the way into the next temple, you’ll be doing a set of challenges inside the mountain. Last week we started prototyping one of them, where you’ll direct Spinsects into a large boulder in order to break it.

Here’s a suuuper early sneak peak, using only placeholder art that will be replaced in the near future:

Spinsect Challenge #1

Spinsect Challenge #2

Stay tuned for next week and more Mt. Bloom stuff! :D

Another week has gone by, in which a new fronline update was released! In this update you will battle a mini-boss and investigate a suspicious character… For full patch notes, check the game client or this thread!

screen

The patch leaves Evergrind HQ in a mess…

We’d love to hear your feedback on this new encounter and the surrounding story elements, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment here or on the forums!

Moving on, though, Vilya has been doing some improvements to the Mt. Bloom maps now that they’re finally about to be added to the game:

mtbloom01

mtbloom04

mtbloom03

mtbloom02

Basically, tons of new greenery and details!

Meanwhile, Fred was busy creating the mess that is the Collector’s HQ now that the patch is up, including a cleaning Wedge which will be added in a later update!

Break2

Wedge

Next up, adding colliders & enemies to Mt. Bloom, as well as prototyping a bunch of challenges you’ll be doing there! :)

This week, we’ve been finishing things up for another frontline update coming later this week! This means Teddy has been busy dealing with balancing, bug fixing and multiplayer support for said portion of the game, and Fred has made some final animations for the upcoming battle:

Dooor

StealingFreddy

StealingTeddy

Vilya also needed to finish something for this update, and unfortunately for Master Ivy, her task was to create a ruined version of Master Ivy’s office:

02 - After

Once she had completed that task, she went on to improve one of the old Mt:Bloom outskirts maps, adding some greenery and vines to it:

Outskirts01

And speaking of Mt:Bloom Outskirts, we kind of need a map from where you can enter the actual mountain, right? So that was made as well:

Outskirts02

Since creating WIP GIFs was pretty fun to do, here’s one featuring the creation of the above map as well:

GIF2

This week we hope to finish things up with the boss battle so that we can update frontline, and Vilya will start getting the Mt:Bloom backgrounds ready for implementation! Soon, it’s time to explore it’s hidden cave systems.. :)