Our polishing continues with some new gameplay changes, this time featuring the enemies in the Temple of Seasons! To start off with, the tornadoes now spawn around the mage and player, and their movement speed is a lot slower:

The season knight’s spin can now be perfect guarded to push him away and make him stop:

And if you aim it well enough, he’ll deal damage to his friends as he’s pushed away:

It’s also time for another Collector! We’ll add a bunch of these to appear randomly during your adventures so it’s high time we make a couple more:

Another thing we’ve decided to add is discounted items at Shadier Merchant, the guy who sells you items in exchange for part of your max HP. There will now be a chance that one of the items is a particularly good deal; a stronger item for the level you’re on, or it’s priced lower. As such, I was tasked with making an indicator for discounted items:

Time for some more minor additions and changes! First up, a button for when you talk to Bishop and decide to change the difficulty settings by adding or removing those loop orbs; which we’ve decided to call ‘Catalysts’. The icon is supposed to indicate how you through this option can increase difficulty by adding another catalyst or decreasing the difficulty by removing one:

One of the oldest graphics in the game is that of the achievement trophy, so I decided to give it a quick makeover:

And finally, we decided to keep the Grindea-decorated fountains in Marino’s mansion for another part of the game, so instead I’ve been making some bee decorations for them:

So what Fred has started moving on to working with now is an entity you’ll find in the final dungeon. While I said we’ll focus on things not relating to the final dungeon for now, Fred has a lot of big animations to make for the last part of the game, so in order to avoid having a massive bottle neck where we’ll have to wait for his animations, we’ve decided that he should start working on some end game stuff after all.

And first up in that regard is this strange mirror artefact, which will appear throughout the tower and throw challenges your way. Here’s his progress on testing out various designs, as well as the one we picked in the end:

We continue to work on the various pin menus, and as a logical next step we need to make all sorts of graphics for the various places you’ll be able to look at your pins or see how many you’ve seen so far. First up, the title for where you can look at what pins you currently have equipped in the menu:

And next, the “shop title” of the Pin Collector where you can see all of the pins you’ve found so far; we decided against giving it a proper name, and went with the route of only showing a variety of pins:

And of course, the button which allows you to get to said list:

A little bit of news regarding the upcoming patch: unfortunately the cinema functions are quite broken and since we don’t feel like it’s vital for it to work before the patch (it will take quite a while to sort it out), we’ve decided to close the cinema for a little bit. People who haven’t bought it yet will receive a warning that it currently doesn’t work, while people who unlocked it already will get a slightly different interior:

Of course it’s our goal that it won’t remain like this for too long, and we hope it won’t be too much of an inconvenience, but right now we’d really like to get the patch up and running sooner rather than later, so fixing the cinema will have to come second to that! :)

Next up, some more gear for that set that will be used as part of a quest in the arena! These items aren’t too good stat wise but they look sort of cool?! Will you be able to survive an arena challenge wearing only these things?

As part of the new patch, we’re adding and improving on a bunch of things both for Arcade and Story Mode. A few of those things involve new projectiles and ‘tails’ for projectiles to make them easier to read:



And as for a thing that won’t make it’s way into this patch but will be available soon is this nice butterfly net, which will be used as part of a quest given by Luigi in Evergrind City, granting you one of those fertilizer you’ll use on the small plants you can find here and there across the game to make them grow:


In Freds department, he continues to make effects, both in general and for the loop orbs specifically. Here’s a collection of his work this far:

As we continue toying with that loop idea mentioned last week, I’ve been fiddling around with some various ways to illustrate the difficulty increase. Our current idea is to showcase it as a type of orb or crystal you insert into the statue by Bishop, but this might change as we explore other ideas. For now though, here’s a few of the experiments in action:

Next, a bunch of expressions for the Pin collector so the cutscene in which he appears can be completed. As always, a lot of these expressions will probably not be used but I like to mix and match a couple extras just in case :)

With the loops progressing, we’re redesigning the Grindea statue a bit so make her sword bigger and more badass looking! We still haven’t decided yet which type of crystal thingies we’re going for but here goes:

The new improved sword with a variety of the crystals:

We’re also considering mixing them so there will be one of each, or at the very least different colors for each one you unlock:

This last one is our favourite currently, but we’ll see! More discussions to be had :)

Our experiments with the Pin Collector’s first appearance continues as well and we’re now playing around with how the pins that scatter around him will look.

The difference between the above two are mainly the sizing of the pins. In the first video, the pins are all of the same size, while in the second one we’ve resized some to be smaller. Between the two of those, we prefer the one where the sizes aren’t all exactly the same, but we weren’t totally happy with the way they faded away, so we decided to try something else:

In this third version, the pins disappear with a bit more of a bang. We prefer this a lot as it gives the feel that the pins disappear into the world rather than simply fade away. However, we weren’t completely happy with the timing, so we decided to change that a bit as well:

So in this version the timing is adjusted and the Pin Collector turns around. Of course, most of the graphics displayed here are placeholder graphics, his turn as well, so each of them will be improved in due time. But so far so good! :)

Meanwhile, Fred has been playing around with a ton of effects for the Pin collector’s appearance, as well as trying out some animations for the “loop orbs”, seen below:

Aand giving the pin collector a bunch of animations as well, as can be seen here:

This week we’ve been busy turning the guest house into an office; which turns out involved two full days of carrying stuff back and forth as well as disassembling and reassembling a whole bunch of furniture… Phew!

Even after these two days we’re not completely done; we’ve been looking into getting new desks (of the kind you can also use to stand up and work), and new, better chairs, seeing as we’ve had these for an incredibly long time and they’re pretty much just the most basic type of IKEA chairs. I spent most of the evening Monday doing some research on that topic, so hopefully we’ll have a better and prettier looking office soon :)

For now though, it’s good to be able to work together again! And being this close to home, it’s a lot easier with lunch breaks and the like as well. Feels great so far!

Now, time for the last of James fans! We felt like two were a bit too few to give a sense of him having a following, so we decided to make one more:

One thing we’ve been talking about a lot recently is the difficulty setting for Arcade Mode and how to adjust it to make it the best possible experience for the most people. Our recent idea is to introduce something we call loops, that I think is a quite popular theme in roguelike style games: the game starts out fairly easy (well, not easy – but easier compared to the current default difficulty setting!), and once you’ve finished all floors once, you’ll unlock a more difficult version.

This will be done through accessing an item you can activate through Bishop, and there will be more than one difficult increase; for instance, our current idea is that Arcade will begin on what could be equivalent to Story Mode’s normal difficulty setting, then once you complete it once you’ll access Arcade Mode’s current difficulty setting through activating the item at Bishop. Complete that difficulty and you’ll unlock another item that will trigger your next runs to be as difficult as the current difficulty setting plus Candy’s Hard Mode curse.

The true ending for Arcade and the final battle would only be accessible if you manage to complete the whole game with all difficulty increasing items activated. You’ll also be able to deactivate them if you find the difficulty has become too much for you to handle.

How do you feel about this “loop” idea? Is it something you think you’d enjoy or do you prefer it the way things are now?

Meanwhile, Fred works on making all sorts of effects for the Pins and their various functions! Our goal is that every pin will have some sort of visual indicator for what they’re doing, so there’s a lot of random small effects to be made:

And then we have this one, an effect showing up as the Pin collector himself literally stumbles into the world of Arcadia! Soon it’ll all be in place.. :)

With the world around us slowly calming down a bit and more and more restrictions being lifted, we have been talking about whether or not to get back into some sort of office. The office hotel we previously used has closed down, but we do have a spare room where we live where we’ve previously housed guests so we’re thinking about turning it into a proper office for the time being.

As such, we made plans to move our desks and computers there as soon as it became available last weekend (Teddy’s mom has been staying over for the last couple months due to the corona virus, but these last couple weeks she’s been intent on moving back to her apartment, which she did on friday).

It’s possible we’ll look into a more permanent office in the future, but before we make any such move we want to see a more permanent decrease in the corona virus havoc that’s been going on. For now, it won’t make much of a difference for the three of us to meet in the office seeing as we don’t really see anyone else anyway, and I think after a couple months working from home it would be good for our motivation to get back to some proper routines and get a proper change of scenery.

Another one of the main topics on our minds lately has been the Pin Collector. Who is he, how will the pins be unlocked and at what part of the game? We’ve decided that he will appear randomly in a room after the player has played a certain amount: not too long, but at least a few runs so that they’re familiar with the way the game works without pins added.

He will appear through a dimension rift which will happen in the midst of a room. Here’s our first prototype of the scene:

Obvious use of placeholders including Marino, of course… haha!

Next, we’ve been playing around with adding some effects to give the impression of the pins scattering away:

This is also still a work in progress! We’re not completely happy with the way the pins literally seem to “scatter like a wind” if you want. We might look into having them scatter from him more like coins from a defeated enemy; or we might keep the effect separate from his appearance altogether. In any case, the testing continues! :)

Two new characters we’re gonna introduce in story mode are part of the fanclub surrounding James Fawkes! Starting off with the fangirl:

And second, that of the fanboy:

These characters will follow James along wherever he appears, cheering him on! Oh my..

And here’s Fred’s renditions of both James and his two fans! We’ve actually decided to add yet another fan to his bunch of followers, but that one will be added next week: