Hey guys! In order to keep things clear about where we’re heading, plus better keeping track of our design ideas, we’ve decided to have shorter meetings but keep them more often. So this week it was time to get together and discuss the future of Grindea once more! There are some pretty big design decisions going on here… Let’s dive into ’em:
Making magic weapons semi-ranged
So, magic weapons don’t give as much attack, and it kind of sucks that magic users face a clear disadvantage when they’ve run out of mana. So we decided that we want to add a tiny magic orb (or something like that) that shoots out from the magic weapons as you hit with them, making the range of your weapon slightly longer. Of course, this won’t be long range by any means, but it should make it possible to do some damage while running around waiting for that energy to recharge.
Easy Mode or no Easy Mode?
We had a quite long discussion about whether or not to implement Easy Mode. On the surface it seems like such an easy decision: why not add Easy Mode? Well, our worry is that by adding Easy Mode, a lot of people who would succeeded in Normal Mode after trying a little longer, would just give up on harder challenges and swap to Easy Mode. And, in doing so, they would probably end up thinking ‘man that’s annoying’ rather than ‘OMG I FINALLY MADE IT’ upon victory.
We’ve had a lot of forum threads or feedback that begins with someone claiming something is impossible, only for them to come back a while later saying ‘okay I totally get it now, this is amazing’. Would those people persist and end up feeling amazing after beating that difficult challenge if there was an Easy Mode? Or would they end up thinking Normal Mode is too hard and the game is poorly balanced since they felt forced into swapping to an easier setting?
In the beginning of our time in Early Access there were quite a few of threads with people claiming the overall game was too hard, but as time has progressed, those threads don’t seem to appear any longer and those who do have problems end up farming for levels and better items before giving the challenge a go again.
So, perhaps Easy Mode is not as needed as we first thought? Because of this we probably won’t implement Easy Mode anytime soon, anyway (but we’ll definitely reconsider if there’s renewed complains about the game’s difficulty).
Making Fishing more challenging
Fishing is… well, fishing, so it’s very straight forward and there’s only so many steps in difficulty. Unfortunately that also makes fishing kind of repetitive after a while, so we’re considering adding another mechanic after a couple of maps. The mechanic we’re thinking about is that the fish can move up or down as well, which means that at some point the fish will dive/swim upwards and you’ll have to press up or down accordingly within the time limit. Of course, this isn’t a high priority addition, so it probably won’t happen for a while. But in the long run it might help make fishing a little bit more interesting.
Potion Rework / Bottle Addition
Potions are great, but we don’t like how they work right now, where you can stack endless numbers and basically get a permanent increase in whichever stat so long as you have enough potions. To counter this, we’re strongly considering an introduction of Bottles which are a very limited commodity of which you’ll only be able to find 3 in total. These bottles can then be filled with the potion of your choice.
You’d get your first bottle from Remedi after clearing the Collector’s Trials, and after you’ve decided what to put in it and use it for the first time, it will slowly refill itself over time and as you do damage on regular enemies (yes, it’s a magic bottle). If you have more than one bottle, you can choose whether to fill the bottles with the same potion or use different potions. You can use two different potions at once, but you won’t be able to drink another potion of the same kind until the first one’s effect has run out.
With this change, it’d also be possible to reintroduce health potions, for all of you guys constantly asking about various healing features ;) Of course, we’ll likely balance them so it’s more efficient to use the other potions, but maybe it’d still help ease the minds of those who really want to be able to heal their character.
There are more cards this week, as well, as we finish up the Tai Ming card album! First up: the Ancient Statue card :)
For this card, my notes said the statue got some bird poop on it. It quickly became a fine line between painting the statue big enough for the poop to show up in the final image, while also not only being about the statue. In the end I think I went slightly too small with the statue, but whatever!
For this card I kept the colors soft and didn’t go too crazy with the highlights. Some variation and all that.. :)
For the second card, let’s take a look at the Monkey Card! My notes for the monkey card said: the monkey holding a plate of fruits. Alright then:
After painting the base and resizing, I added a couple cherry blossom trees (used the game sprites for this), to give the pic a bit more Tai Ming feeling:
Now! Time for the final Tai Ming Card (unless I’ve forgotten something and lost the notes?!): Echo of Madness!!
I used a slightly different approach when making this card, because I knew I wanted to use the backgrounds from the game for this one. So, I began by making the Echo and a mirror against a transparent background, keeping the center of the mirror transparent as well (my notes were: the Echo is standing in front of a mirror, but he has no mirror image):
Next, I added the game background, and another part of it slightly tilted for the mirror, as well as a speech bubble. Cause why not:
…Aaand the finished card:
Alright! Before posting some fresh non-spoilery (well, kinda) animations made by Fred, let’s take a look at some more housing items!
The theme for this batch is Flying Fortress, (tho I added some other stuff to give you an idea of what it can look like combined with items from other areas). Most of the items are based on sprites found throughout the game, only resized (or completely remade) to fit the grid.
It is my hopes that both the sentry and the broom will be animated to at least move up and down in the air, though it would be pretty cool if the sentry could move around the house on its own. I guess that’s up to Teddy, though, who would have to implement those features :)
And finally!!! A sneak peek of what the final Tai Ming boss will look like: