It’s time for the Weekly Recap! Wohoo! For those that didn’t know, a new Frontline patch went live last week, which obviously has kept us busy for a while. This one features a bunch of side quests!

02 - Patch02

If you want to know how many to look for: there are two new rooms with challenges which aren’t triggered by quests – you can do them by simply walking into them and uh… solving what appears before you.

There are also three quests triggered by characters in the cave. As always, we try to be pretty creative with our quests – I think you know by now that there aren’t exactly too many simple fetch quests (though one or two of these might have elements similar to that).

01 - Patch01

It’s also possible to get the proper achievement (and reward) for catching all Mount Bloom fishes (a proper Angler Fish hat):

03 - Fishies

And as always, a bunch of new expressions were made for our silly cast (but what is Belmont doing among them?!)
04 - Expressions

But we haven’t only been working on the patch (or on finding and fixing the bugs that you guys helped us discover after the patch went live), we’ve also worked on Tai Ming. Vilya continues to destroy the first map:

04 - Map01 - Small House

05 - Map02 - Lower Fixes

06 - Map03 - Garden

And Fred has spent some time on the annoying monkeys you’ll face up against in the present version of the town (they are still WIP, so beware of stray pixels and missing tails)!

08-Idle

09 - Run

10 - Throw

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

We kicked off last week by doing a sneaky little update of the Frontline beta, containing the final boss fight of the Temple of Seasons. While it isn’t 100% ready in terms of graphics and cut scenes, we really wanted some insight in how people felt the fight played. We are reaching a point in the game where the difficulty is starting to really kick off, which makes the beta testers more important than ever. Making a boss or area hard is easy — making it fair and fun is the tricky part!

Anyway! With some much appreciated help from our loyal beta testers, old and new alike, we got a good dose of feedback and critique. The general vibe was positive, so with some more tinkering we’re hoping we’ll end up with a boss you’ll enjoy getting your asses kicked by!

Vilya took the time to clean up the room of the boss battle, pulling her (presumably) last straw to the second dungeon-stack!

08 - winter finished

While not there just yet, Fred is nearing the finish line on his end as well. With all of the actual battle stuff for the boss out of the way, the cut scene animations took center stage!

Seasonwheel

So while Fred and Teddy have been working on the final touches of the temple, Vilya have kept speeding ahead and started working on the next big area of the game. Still nameless, we’ve settle upon a Desert (with some twists!) that will be the connecting area to the fourth dungeon. Below are some prop and color testing:

props testing


Now we know, desert areas in RPG don’t generally tend to be anyone’s favorite. Heck, even 2/3 of Pixel Ferrets hate deserts in RPGs with a deep and devoted passion. Therefore, we’re more determined then ever to infuse it with as much care and love as humanly possible to make it stand out! With some added Pixel Ferrets magic, we might end up with the first ever enjoyable RPG desert. Fingers crossed!

First off, we’d like to remind everyone that the talent system is now live in the Frontline beta! So jump in there and test them out. Some systems have been slightly reworked or extended to facilitate some of the Talent effects, so the potential for amazing bugs is vast! Upon loading an old character, all skill points will auto-refund and adapt to the new system.

Another new addition in this update is the ability to refund skill points! This is something that has been suggested and discussed for a long time now, and it has never been an extremely prioritized topic (partly because of the /respec cheat already in game). With the advent of Talents, however, we decided to test this feature out.

refund

For a fair bit of gold, you can refund a skill point you might have misplaced or began to regret! The cost scales with level (currently 100 gold per level gained), so it should always be a cost that stings at least a bit.

Oh, and something you might’ve noticed just from looking at the screenshot above: we’re removing a charge level from all active spells. There are three reasons behind this.

For one, finding openings for charging up is hard as it is, and will only get harder as you gain more charge levels. Having three charge upgrades instead of four helps a bit in this regard. This is probably the smallest issue, even.

Another reason is that having five different charges makes for a pretty awkward power curve. Preferably, the Silver, Gold and Ultimate charges would all need to be significant upgrades compared to their previous charge level. This meant the Gold charge would have to be “really cool but not too cool since we must add a fifth power level after it”.

What we’ll do now is that you just skip that step, and will get the best version of the skill at level 10 (which will be acquired at character level 19 with the current system).

Finally, we acknowledge that it would probably technically be possible to get the five step power curve to feel alright, but we always have to keep in mind the development time (including testing and balance revisions).

We doubt very much that the previous Gold charge would have added a ton compared to “just” having four charge levels, but it would mean many hours of brain storming, animating, implementation and tuning.

(Please note that we’ve still not implemented the final charge! This will probably come after the next temple is in the game)

Fred is back in town, which means the animation machine is back up and running! We’re totally going to regret saying this, but we’ve got our aims set on updating the Frontline build before the end of the week.

The update will include a prototype of the Toy Factory mini-dungeon, as well as the Winterland enemies. Since we’ve focused on implemented the story parts, the area is pretty barren when it comes to quests and other stuff to do — that will come later, possibly even as late as with/around the Season Temple!

But this is all future talk. The Toy Factory isn’t quite completed yet, although Fred had dived straight back into making the animations Teddy needs to wrap it all up once they’re done:

 

FrostlingMachineFightcloud

 

Oh, and the Winterland-stuff isn’t the only thing in the update. Apart from some small changes and bug fixes, it’s going to contain a ton of updated portraits! Here are some more of them:

portraits

Lastly, Vilya is starting a work blog where she’ll post more stuff she’s making for the game and write about the production from her point of view. If you want to know more about how we work or simply enjoy following dev/artblogs, you should definitely head over there!

The beta update is up and running! Earlier during the week we sent away a big batch of beta keys to people signed up in our beta thread. If you’ve received a key you will be notified by mail.

We would also like to ask all newly dubbed beta testers to join the beta group and write your first impressions about the game! Your feedback helps us push the game further and keep improving it, so we truly value it. You have received information about how to join the group in the beta invitation mail.

With that said, we are going to focus on going through feedback and maintaining the beta while we take a bit of vacation time while the summer still lingers around here in Sweden. We’re going to recharge out batteries for a short while before we begin our climb towards the next big milestone!

SemesterA mega hamburger dinner is a good step one in the recharging process!

Keep having an awesome summer guys!