As you know by now, we’ve been starting to have daily meetings discussing the upcoming final pieces of the game, and today I thought I’d give you a rundown of some of the Arcade things we’ve been talking about!

We’ve mentioned before that it is our goal to shorten to length of Arcade Mode now that all of the floors are being added, as two floors per area is a lot and takes a very long time to play through. Our current idea is that there will be one floor per area, and that we’ll rebalance it slightly so you’ll have come a bit further in the areas before it gets terrifyingly difficult; right now most people die way before even getting halfway through, which is a bit too soon for our liking.

Since we’ll effectively only use half of the floors we have, it means there will be a lot of spare bosses floating around. In order to make each run balanced in difficult, you’ll always meet a set number or the more difficult bosses, while the remaining bosses will be one of those we deem slightly easier. We’ve also discussed the option to have optional bosses out of the remaining pool spawn in their own (clearly marked out) rooms, but we’ve yet to decide exactly how about to go this or if it’s something we wanna do at all.

We’ll also add some gauntlet style rooms, so there will be some rooms where enemies respawn in a couple waves or so, just to mix things up a bit more and make each room feel a bit more unique.

Another Bishop bet we’ll add is one where you have to perfect guard certain enemies before you can deal damage to them, and we’ll make a new interface to indicate when you’re in a bishop bet room; more details on this as I start making it.

There will also be a proper Arcade Mode version of the map, which will give you some indication of how far you’ve come and how far you’ve got left to go. Again, more on this once I start actually designing it.

Finally, we’ve discussed the addition of a special item we currently call a ‘badge’ which is something you can get as a reward or possibly purchase in the shop. A badge will change or your character in some way, such as increasing card drop rate, give new effects for a perfect guard, increase the damage of your next spell based on how many normal attacks you’ve hit, and so on. We might also add ‘mixed’ bags which will give you a stronger bonus in exchange for limiting something else. Such as your spells doing a lot more damage but you’re unable to use the same spell twice in a row.

Our goal with these badges are to make each Arcade run a bit more unique, giving you various options for how you play rather than it always being the exact same playstyle. If it works, we’ll see! We’re gonna play around with it for now and see how it feels :)

As work continues all across the game there are a bunch of smaller things added here and there. One such thing is the ability to now “turn off” the fireplace in your house, which used to be burning all the time! As such, a version of it without the fire needed to be made:

And as mentioned a little while ago, we’re introducing a new interface indicating when you’re in bet room. Here’s the initial sketch:

And the progress/final thing:

We don’t want this to be too much in your face, but a low key reminder of what’s happening. If you fail the challenge, Bishop will teleport away from the interface into the map and perform his punishment as usual :)

And here we have the second maid portrait for the mansion! A dark haired young lady dusting the extensive collections :)

Next, the portrait of Marino’s mom! She’s the lovely lady of the mansion, making lists of all the charities they’re gonna contribute to:

And finally, a look at what’s happening in Fred’s department! With us deciding to finish up a bunch of random things, it’s time for start looking at some of the many loose ends and one of the most asked such things is when you’ll be able to grow those pesky little plants into something you can climb to reach certain places. Well, the answer is soon! And here’s the first step on that way, namely Fred making some graphics for it:

There are also more mansion inhabitant to make, among them a chef to make a fancy dinner for Marino’s family:

We’re back from our little Easter holiday (spent at home)! Did you guys have a nice holiday? We hope you did try to find some peace even in the midst of this crisis the world is facing!

We’ve recharged our batteries and were very excited to get back to working properly. We started off the week with a long meeting discussing the mails we’ve received from a lot of the people who are to design items for the game! As I mentioned before we went on holiday, we would start sending out requests for the designs, and have since received quite a few replies which we’ve discussed and answered accordingly.

If you bought one of the tiers which allow you to design an item, please check your mail and get back to us whenever you can! :)

In order to make it easier for us to read and remember what needs to be made for each item and where to put it in the game, I was then tasked with sorting out a document that includes all of the most recent and relevant information given for each design. As this involves around 30 unique designs made by 30 different people, it’ll be a lot of info to make easily accessible!

We also managed to discuss some more end game things that have been on our mind for a bit; mainly regarding the Bishop’s role in the later parts of the game. I believe we will end up having several more conversations around this topic, and I think the specifics will be better saved for later on… But stay tuned!

Finally, we talked about the fact that a lot of people seem to misunderstand how best to farm in the game, with people often thinking you need to reset an area to farm most efficiently. The way it actually works is that the more you clear out an area, the quicker the respawn gets, so after clearing an area completely and killing the newly spawned enemies for a bit, the respawn rate will accelerate and get quicker and quicker (up to a point). To make this easier to know we’ll add a loading screen tip hinting at it, as well as some info about it in the school (that once it’s properly up and running will feature a lot of random mechanical information about the game).

And now, onwards to continue work on that mansion! :)

Taking the mansion on its first step to completion, starting with the hallway:

We’ll still improve on some things. To start off with, I’ll be making new decorations for the fountains, making them look a bit more luxurious and unique to the mansion. We’re also gonna replace the bottom pools and put some sort of statues and plants around them, and maybe add some paintings on the wall. But that’s for next time!

First, a portrait of one of the inhabitants of the mansion, namely one of the maids! There will be more of these later on, but here’s a start:

And here’s Fred’s work on the maids so far!

In order to get a finalized and proper view of everything left to do for the game and to check in with each other a bit more frequently, we’ve recently decided we’re gonna have (more or less) daily meetings over voice!

During these meetings we’re going to discuss at least one of the things we’ve yet to properly establish until we know exactly all that is left to do and what we need to do to finish it up. This time, our main subject was that of books, how to present them, what books we’d like to add to the game, and so on.

In a previous post I made a new interface for books which is in the shape of an actual book, complete with the ability to turn pages. However, due to space limitations, Teddy is worried that there might not be a way to make such a book while still allowing a good amount of space for the text that needs to be in it. After today’s meeting we’ve decided we’ll at least give it a go, since we feel like an interface like that would look so much better than just a box (even if our fallback plan would be to at least make it look like a piece of paper, rather than the regular brown box). I’ll keep you updated with how our testing around works out.

In terms of books to include, we want to keep a decent balance between informative things that might make the player understand the world and how it works better with more flavourful things like tales of collectors from days gone past.

We want there to be a “quest” (not yet sure if it’ll be an official quest with it’s own quest tracker and everything) where you can find books around the world and hand it in it to the library to read it. And of course, once you’ve found all of the hidden books, you’d get an additional reward as well.

We’d also like there to be a series of book by Grindea’s top author Penn Wryte, so that you can find Part 1 early on in the game, and then continue to find parts throughout your journey, until you have the complete story.

Outside of all this book talk, we’ve also started to send out mails to all of you that supported us in the early days and bought one of the tiers where you get to design items or quests for the game! We expect it will take some time to settle some of the designs, and it’ll be easier to find spots for these additional items to be found before everything else has been finished up; hence it’s about time to get going :)

Now, a look at some of those new faces from the cutscenes, including a few that were only included once the Stable patch went life (if you haven’t played table in a while, now might be a good time to check it out!):

Now, for a much longed for update from Fred’s department! Because of the spoilery nature of nearly every animation he’s made for a long time there hasn’t been many updates from him, but you can view all of his progress in the update which should also be on stable in one of the coming days if it isn’t up already!

Now, however, as we move on to less spoiler-y things, such as the mansion in Evergrind South, we can start showing more stuff again! Here we have a few of the inhabitants of the mansion, starting with the butler (as well as a few options for how he’s gonna look in the end):

Our current favorite is the second one from the left! Which one do you prefer?

There’s also the long awaited(?) appearance of Marino’s father, sitting in his solitude on the throne upstairs:

On to the portraits! Marino’s dad is a character we’ve definitely all longed to meet (no? just me?), and for reasons unknown we’ve decided to be inspired by a famous video game character when designing him, with hints being both in the portrait and the sprite itself. Can you guess who?

And a look at the second portrait, that of the Butler:

With Easter now being upon us next week, and the Stable update released and ready, it’s time for us to take a week off to rest and gather energy for the next stretch of work: finishing up all the loose threads in Story Mode and adding some more quests! Final stretch soon, can’t believe it :)

As usual, the blog will be on pause during our holiday, but it’ll be back up and running on Monday the 20th! Happy Easter everyone, and stay safe out there!

Hello everyone! We hope you all keep safe out there! To brighten your Monday, I can now announce that the final cutscene of the patch has finally been added to Frontline! It’s taken a bunch of work down to the last minute, but everything should be up and running fine now. Please enjoy these new twists and turns and let us know what you think! :D

Normally this is where I’d post a bunch of stuff from the update itself, but because there’s a heavy amount of spoilers I think we’ll try to stick with the non-spoilery stuff:

First up, we remade the sword portrait a bit, making it look a bit less ‘silly’:

We’re also adding the tower to the world map:

And making sure it can be correctly placed in the map where it’s found:

We did play around with some more options for Ivy’s face:

…however, in the end we decided to not have it revealed after all!

As we mentioned some time ago, we wanted to add an archaeologist who investigates the Ancient Ruins even before the tower appears. Because we feel like it might add to the coolness of it all, we’d like a bunch of people to have gathered around the tower after it appears, so what better time to create her character than ahead of this patch?

Without further ado:

Marino also got a new set of portraits that will be shown as he gets your report on what exactly went down over at the Ghost ship:

Also breaking up the rocks around where the tower will appear, making smaller pieces that can be thrown about as the tower bursts forth:

Which will look something like this in the end:

And of course, a zone title befitting the old thing:

And now, with my part of the final cutscene done it’s time to start looking ahead at the future! There are a ton of things we want to add before the final version of the game (and as such, before we start work on the elusive tower!)

One such thing is Marino’s mansion, which you so far haven’t been able to enter, and one of the things I’ve been working on today has been making a sketch for the interior of it. Because it’s really the only mansion in the game, we want it to feel big and expensive, and as such I’ll be making a ton of rooms for it!

On the first floor, you’ll be greeted by a grand hallway leading to an expensive looking study on the left, and a library on the right. Above the library you’ll find the kitchen, which in turn leads back out into another part of the hallway featuring a grand staircase. On the opposite end will be a grand dining room.

On the second floor we’ll have a massive corridor with the family’s bedrooms on either side, and a nice little throne for the head of the family on top. Cause why wouldn’t he have a throne if he can get one? ;)

In the coming days, I’ll start work on the actual backgrounds and props for this place, while also discussing what else will be made before we start working on the tower – I know we have a lot of points left to discuss properly, such as the improved pet system and so on!

Let’s start off this week with some more maps! These ones belong to the desert, and again, there’s two of each kind:

“East of the broken pillar, amidst the desert dunes”

“Well, well, well! It’s been a long (and hot!) day, but good luck ever figuring out where I hid this treasure!”

Next up is the portrait of a character you might have seen a bunch of times throughout the game, but who has never had an opportunity to speak… until now! Excited? Let me present to you yet another talking artefact:

Some more fixes for the stable release! An improvement of the sword portrait, some new battle indicators and a broken window in Ivy’s office! Oh my…

Now it’s time to add some additional expressions to some by now well known faces! Dad, Quinton and Ivy are some that are getting a whole new range of emotion for the final cutscene of this stable patch! What do you think is gonna happen? :)

I know it’s been a long time now since you got any updates from the animation side of things, and let’s just say it’s because this final cutscene, animation heavy as it is, is also quite spoilery. Things will be revealed, and some things might never be the same again. So we’re keeping away as much of it as possible for now. We’ve made quite a bit of progress though, so at least it’s progressing as it should.

Here’s a little sneak peek of some of the non spoiler-y animations:

What do you think is gonna happen? :)

So as a lot of you may have noticed, our world is currently facing a new kind of illness that is spreading rapidly as we speak. This illness, Covid-19, is now found in every part of Sweden, including the island where we live. The government is keeping us updated daily with the changes they’re making and how they rally the fight against it, with big changes is happening fast.

In order to help slow down and limit the spread, a lot of companies are suggesting their employees work from home if they’re able. This isn’t a recommendation from our government as of yet, though it’s been implemented in other countries and a lot of companies make their own recommendations. Now we’re making that same move ourselves.

We’re only a small studio with three people, but because our office is part of an office hotel where a lot of other companies work as well, we’ve decided to move our work stations home for the time being. While we love our office and the opportunities it gives us to see other people (or just the exercise of walking or cycling to it), we’ve decided that if through working from home for a bit we can help slow down the spread, it’s what we’ll do. For the company, this means little change except out discussions will be held over voice or video chats instead of in person. Technically, it’s possible for us to work from anywhere with little hassle.

In other words, hopefully we’ll be able to continue on as normal. We hope that all of you are staying safe and remember to wash your hands! Let’s not panic but do what we can to protect those around us who are in risk of being seriously affected by this virus :)

Now, we’re starting off this week with a random surprise addition to the stable update, the ability to view Trick & Treat (the strange twins in Pumpkin Woods) true form if you talk to them in the spirit world! We do still have plans for these twins, but now it’s likely they will have to wait until post release. However, this little secret will do no harm in the game in the meanwhile :)

As part of the final cutscene before stable ends, Ivy will be briefly unveiled, so a new portrait had to be made! There will be a bunch of expressions going on here as well, but we’ll get to that once the cutscene is closer to completion.

Without further ado:

Next, when I was looking to add more maps to the desert, I quickly realized there’s a big lack of treasure maps featured in Mount Bloom and Tai Ming as well! In order to solve this, I went straight ahead and made a bunch, starting with Mount Bloom:

“[…] that cave long forgotten, beneath the dragon’s jaw.”

I buried my treasure
So none be aware
And took great measure
That none could compare
To guard these great riches
I asked Mother fair
And that little one
Whose teeth you beware
Between them my precious
Now has its lair

And another batch, for Tai Ming this time:

“Buried with these pink daisies
I leave with you my [item]”

—-

“By the entrance to our holy shrine
Beneath the bell forever silenced
Cracked with time and dust
I lie my hope and dreams to rest”

Can you guess where they all are?

Hello everyone! We’ve been talking a lot about the last remaining things and in what order to do them. We have a very long (about 30 pages!) document featuring ideas we’d like to implement at some point, and last week we decided to go through a bunch of those things and sort them into categories being: Included in 1.0, Added Post-Release, Unsure, and Scrapped.

The things that go into the “Included in 1.0” list are things we’ll start making as soon as possible, at least before we start work on the final dungeon. At first we were thinking of making the dungeon first, but thinking about it we’d rather get all the other bits and pieces done first, so that once the final dungeon, and with it, the finale to Story Mode gets added to the game people can start (re)playing the game from start to finish without worrying about missing out on content that will be added afterwards.

Some of the things currently set to be added before the final dungeon:

* Progress bar for trophies – to give you an idea of how much you’ve got left to do before unlocking them!

* In the card album, make the enemy icons grayed out for enemies you’ve encountered but haven’t gotten the card of yet – just a minor graphic upgrade to make things look more clean and gives you a better idea of what cards you’re missing.

* Adding more collectors, a lot of whom will appear out in the fields and areas. We don’t want the player to feel like all of the collectors are just being lazy at home in Evergrind City! A lot of them are out there adventuring, just like you.

* More treasure maps; a lot have already been made but haven’t yet been implemented. Make new ones for the desert.

* Add some basic PVPing to the arena.

* Add some basic shield training to the Dojo in Evergrind City

* Decide what to do about the cut off house in Evergrind; either add a bridge from the beginning or a quest in which it gets added/fixed.

* Finish up loose quest lines (such as Remedi’s and Grandpa Joe & Miss Pidgy)

* An archaeologist that will be investigating the ancient ruins to the north of the farm

* The fertilizers that will make the sprouts grow and allow you to climb them. These will be found here and there throughout the game, with the last one being given to you after you beat the boss for the first time.

* A system where Quinton will rate your collection and give you a proper Collector rank depending on how much you’ve managed to collect this far.

* The Mansion in Evergrind South! About time you get to see what it’s like in there and who lives there, isn’t it?

* Reveal Trick & Treat’s true forms if you talk to them in the spirit world…

* A quest to resolve the mysterious scarecrow’s plight.

* The spring room in the Temple of Season’s lobby

* A satisfying ending to Steve’s journey to escape mushrooms

* Some sort of quest relating to the giant tree in the desert (not yet decided upon)

We also have a list of quests that we may or may not implement before 1.0 depending on how it all ends up feeling once the above things have been added. If we don’t add them now, they’ll likely be added later on, in a post release update. We’ve already started thinking about a couple such updates, among them two seasonal ones adding stuff for Halloween and Christmas in their respective areas (Pumpkin Woods & Seasonne).

We’ve also decided that Griddle’s card game (which is yet to be designed), the Puzzle Tower outside of Mount Bloom, the mandatory chicken boss you only get to meet after beating the chickens a bazillion times, and a New Game+ mode will be added after 1.0.

There’s still a lot of details to iron out, and a lot of meetings to have regarding some of the remaining systems we need to fix (such as a new and improved pet system), but for now we’ve actually gone through most of the list for Story Mode, although there’s a bunch of suggestions left to pick for Arcade Mode.

And with us having decided to add a bunch of random collectors, I’ll waste no time getting to those portraits as they’re needed for Fred to make the sprites! I also don’t want there to get to a point where I have to make only portraits for a long while to catch up, so let’s get to it; the first collector of a whole bunch:

…and her brother:

It’s a new week, and if you’ve opted into the Frontline Beta, a new update! It’s finally time for you to try out a bunch of the additional content surrounding the ghost ship and good old Tai Ming! If you haven’t done so yet, go try it all out and let us know what you think :)

In the coming month we hope to have added the last bits needed as well as all of the sound effect and getting it all up and running on stable as well.

In the meanwhile, have a look at some of the stuff you now get to see in this update:

As you may have guessed from the new Flying Fortress building and what I wrote before, there is another phase shift challenge coming up! This one can give you a total of three different rewards, each one more challenging to get than the next. And naturally, it needs a background as well:

In this next step we’re adding a bit of detail to the phase shift course, creating a new block for it, and a shop title for the creepy ghost ship shop!

Next up, another ghost! This painter has been painting for a thousand years. Poor guy!

Drawing ever closer to finishing up the patch, there are still a bunch of expressions needed for our new ghost friends! Here’s another batch of them:

And finally, a bunch of animations from the animation department, featuring ghosts and new weapons available in the patch right now:

This week we’ll start with a bonus building added to the flying fortress! This building will replace the island on the right part of the fortress and will, though a quest unlocked after the ghost ship, give you an opportunity to do some more phase shifting (yay)!

Later on I’ll show you what the progress of creating the insides looks like… :)

But first, something about a long awaited addition! We know a lot of you have been asking for an easy way to change the controls, whether you use a keyboard or a controller. We’ve already implemented the mechanics for changing the controls on a keyboard, and while we want to add the feature for the controller as well, for now it’ll remain a WIP.

However, if you do have a controller plugged in, you’ll soon be able to see what each of the buttons do, with the help of this new graphic:

Without further ado:

To make it a bit more readable, we decided to move the second set of buttons behind the first ones, since that’s how it looks on most controllers – even if this makes the design of the controller graphics itself look a bit less nice. Also added the spaces where the function of each of the buttons will be described:

Next up, another character that will return in a ghostly form! Remember this collector from Tai Ming? She’ll return and feature a little side quest/secret of her own:

This old priest makes an appearance as well, drawn back to the haunting village of Tai Ming after his death:

Brandy will play a pretty big part in a quest/secret as well, are you looking forward to seeing him again?

Now it’s time to start building what will be the final dungeon of the game! Wohoo! Starting us off, let’s begin with some exterior (gotta enter the dungeon somehow, right?).

In this first part, I’ll get the basics down, and some of the decoration; to be fixed and expanded upon in the next:

And here in the second part we’ll improve on the perspective a little bit, add some more details, and a top for the tower! Each floor can be seamlessly put on top of another, so when the tower appears (it’ll come up out of the ground) we’ll stack the floors on top of each other to make the tower seem super tall!

Can’t forget those furniture pieces! With you reaching the ghost ship it’s time to unlock a bunch of furniture stuff for the housing system, so here’s the first batch of basic stuff (more to come!):

In part two we move on from the basic stuff such as beds and wallpapers to more random, specific stuff and decorations! How about having a cannon in your house? Who wouldn’t want that! All of these items appear somewhere in the ghost ship and have been modified in size and/or color to fit the housing system:

Still some portraits to make though, and here we have one featuring a ‘doctor’.. Of a sort! As you can tell from his ghastly shape, he’s one of the poor restless souls and can found in the Ghost Ship: