This week, we’ll continue with some portraits, starting with a strange mandarine you’ll find in the Pumpkin Woods!

Next up, some improvements to the ship that I made previously! Adding a bunch of details and redesigning its look somewhat so make it look even more different from the other ship in the harbour:

As we’ve continued to discuss where to go from here, we’ve made some changes in our priorities for the remaining tasks. One such thing that we’ve discussed back and forth since almost the start of our process of making this game is the Memory Room, where you battle bosses you’ve previously defeated in Story Mode. We’ve never really decided on whether to keep the room around or not, but now in this hopefully ‘final’ discussion, we’ve decided on some changes that will affect it, and more specifically, the arena.

Right now, there are two categories in the arena, regular challenges and VS, though we haven’t added any modes for the later. In the future, there will still be two categories in the arena, but we’re changing it around so there will be regular challenges and boss battles instead. As such, if you go to the boss battle section, you’ll get a list of all the previous bosses you’ve defeated, and will have the option to battle them again, as you would in the memory room. The regular challenges section will remain largely unchanged, though we’re playing around with the idea of having the challenges scale to your character’s strength.

Because of this move, there will be an empty room to the left in the HQ, where the previous memory room used to be. This room will instead be changed into a sort of planning/conference room, where a few older collectors will hang around with a blackboard, planning the future quests for the collectors!

What will end up happening with the rest of the HQ will be decided in the near future, as we continue arranging these final tasks in order of importance! Stay tuned :)

Now, some additional expressions and portraits for the crew involved in the harbor quest in Port Monnaie, as well as some final fixes of the ship!

Now, in Fred’s department, he’s been busy making all sorts of characters and details, some of which include Trunk (which you’ll stumble upon as a cameo character in Story Mode):

Some sails for the ship in the harbour, as it heads off as part of the quest we’re working on:

The sprite for Fark, who will be creating a variety of sounds:

And the balloon seller, which will appear in Evergrind City during the festival:

When we came back from our week off, we quickly decided it’s time to make some more fixed plans on how to proceed with the game in the near future! As you know, we’re currently working on finishing up Story Mode and we have a long list of things we’d like to add, but we don’t want it to go on forever so our next mission will be to prioritize among the list and see what it’s possible to cut and what we definitely want to add to the game.

One such super important thing we’ve been talking about it the true ending. We’ve known for a very long time that you’ll be able to do the final battle in two different ways, one which leads to a less ideal ending and one that is the true ending, which can only be unlocked after achieving certain things within the game. We haven’t been too sure what these parameters would be before, but after our discussions today we feel fairly certain that you’ll need to do these three things:

* Read a letter from your mother, that will help flesh out the ending a bit.

* Do a Boss battle against Bishop (a fight we’ve been brainstorming on and off for quite a while, which we’re quite excited about! We actually already have the background music for this fight as well..)

* Collect all Cards!

Previously, we wanted the true ending to be quite easy to get, but with the addition of the card requirement, it’ll obviously be a lot more difficult, however, we feel that with all things considered, this will be better suited to the game (I mean, we make jokes about it all the time, but it’s still called Secrets of Grindea, right? ;))

Hopefully by next week we’ll have a more updated list of what exactly we’ll add and what things are in the risk zone of being cut in an effort to finally finish things up properly!

Now, time for a bag of mixed stuff! Some portraits, some item sprites, and a remake of the grave outside the caves in Seasonne!

Next up, a new boat appears in the desert town! Using the previous one as a base, I made some changes to its shape and colours! This ship will be in Port Monnaie temporarily, until you solve a little quest :)

Next, the portrait of one of the guys working in the docks, which will hand you a quest relating to that final quest of Steve’s:

There’s no way we could finish Steve’s story arc without yet another encounter with mushrooms, right? Well, here we go… :)

We’re back in action, and with our batteries fully recharged! To celebrate, I decided to remake the portrait of the old math genius fascinated with the number 3, making him slightly older and with his signature 3 on his clothing:

Another portrait we decided to remake is that of the ninja (again), since we decided to change the quest/secret to getting her ninja outfit! Quite interesting getting back to a bunch of remakes, but that’s because we’ve been having a bunch of talks about the future of the game and moving things around a bit (more on that later on). For now though, here’s the ninja remake in her “regular” clothes:

And of course, she also needs a version with the ninja outfit in question, the portrait which will replace the current old one. Thanks to these minor changes we’ll be able to keep the sprite itself looking as is, so less rework for Fred!

Now, since we’re on the topic of new portraits, it’s also time to introduce this little fae, who will have the very important job of polishing the ice of the frozen fae in Santa Fae!

Finally, some of the things Fred has made for the areas we’ve been working on currently, including the obstacle in Temple of Seasons that can only be removed by turning the room into spring, the ninja in her sad version after failing the trials, and the ghost haunting Seasonne!

As you may have noticed a little while ago, it’s patch time! This new patch ties a bunch of loose strings together, and is the first of a few such updates. If you haven’t done so yet, go ahead and go try out the new content and new quests!

A short summary from the patch notes:

* There’s now a quest to bring (back) butterflies to Evergrind City!

* Marino’s Mansion is now accessible, with a couple of quests inside

* Red Slimes can now be found in Story Mode, and have been given a card

* Added a new Two Handed Weapon obtainable after Flying Fortress: Red Slime Hammer

* Two more wobbly sprouts have been added, and all four can now be grown using Super Fertilizer, unlocking new locations

* Some minor quests/secrets have been added to give the player said fertilizer

* The Alchemist storyline can now be concluded with a final quest

This week, it’s been all about making new faces for new people! Starting off with a balloon seller that will make an appearance during the Evergrind City festival:

Next up, the portrait of a waitress! There used to be an older version of this portrait, but because of some decisions we made regarding an old character, we’re remaking the backstory behind this person, and as such, decided to change her portrait up a bit:

Remember Lin Mei the ninja? Well, as it happens, she’s one of those characters whose backstory we decided to change up a bit and give a proper ending, since she’s a pretty random character otherwise to show up during the trials! As such, one of her new roles will be as a waitress, but she’ll also still show up as a ninja:

Now, as is our custom after a bigger patch, it’s time for some time off to recharge our batteries for the next stretch! The next blog post will be available on November 9th, after we’ve been back at work for a full week! Stay tuned for that :)

Some more stuff we’ve been talking about recently is tying up a couple of the “semi-started” quests we’ve been foreshadowing around the world. One such thing is the Scarecrow quest – remember the scarecrow that talks about the purple garland in Pumpkin Woods? While we’re going to rewrite her(!) line a little bit, we will end up with a quest dealing with the curse of the pumpkin, while also solving another question mark of the world – the house on the little island in Evergrind City. We’ve decided to let there be a bridge there from the beginning, rather than you having to fix one, and inside will be a worried father talking about his missing daughter, who is a collector. At some point in the story, once you’ve progressed far enough or you’re strong enough, he will appear in the Collectors’ HQ asking for your assistance in finding his daughter; who, it turns out, has been cursed into a scarecrow!

Another thing you might have forgotten about (but we surely haven’t) is the grave up in Seasonne! The grave will be reached through a cave which we’re about to make as well, and which will give clues about the owner of the grave – a math genius who is depressed about his attempts at math caves not being as popular as his rival in Port Monnaie. There will be a different kind of math puzzle here as well, but the quest itself will be given after speaking to the ghost inhabiting the grave outside the little cave system.

We’re also going to (finally!) add the option to turn a couple rooms in the Temple of Seasons into spring, revealing a hidden room in one such room where you’ll get a trinket that has been in the game since pretty much forever, but which you haven’t been able to get yet because we never actually got around to making it possible to turn the room in question into its spring version… Oops!

More to come as well, but there isn’t that much left on our list for Story Mode now! :)

Now, before we dive into more upcoming stuff here’s one more thing that’ll go into the patch we’ll release soon(tm)! This guy could be seen in a blog post last week in the shape of a spooky sprite made by Fred, a strange creature found in the bonus Pumpkin Woods map!

The girl cursed into a scarecrow is a collector as well, so here’s her portrait since we’re doing collectors now anyway:

And here we have her beloved father, who at some point in the near future will seek your help in saving his daughter:

Meanwhile, Fred keeps polishing up the last remaining effects and things happening for this patch, as well as sending off a video with instructions to our sound designer! Here’s another sneak peek of that upcoming strange demon creature in the bonus Pumpkin Woods map:

So, we’re drawing ever closer to releasing these bunch of quests, and so last week we had a meeting where we discussed where to head now. There are still some things we’d like to add to story mode to make it feel a bit more fleshed out before we start working on the final dungeon, in fact there’s a massive list of things that we tend to go through every once in a while and decide on what to keep and what to skip. Ideally we would have loved to do everything, but as we’ve been developing this game for a really long time now and there are some things that really don’t need as much improvement as we initially thought, we’ve ended up skipping more things recently. Hopefully we’ll soon be done with the list and will be able to actually finish up the game!

Anyway, during the meeting last week we decided we’re going to add a respawn area for Bloomos to make them a bit easier to farm. This will be either in Evergrind South or in Evergrind West (not yet decided). This is a minor thing which will just make it a bit easier to get those items.

Next, we’re going to add more books to various book cases around the world. Previously we wanted to include rare books that one could read only once you handed it in to the librarian, but we’ve decided against this and will now focus on putting more books in book cases around the world instead, to make the world feel a bit more alive and give it more depth, something we feel is better done if you can read the books at any time as you find them rather than having to hand them in first.

Next, the arena. We will add a bunch of mini games in there that you can challenge your friends in. We’ve discussed PvP, and unfortunately we’ve decided against adding it, as it would take a lot of time to get right, and even longer to make it balanced. We think there’s a bigger risk people end up disliking it if it’s there rather than feel it’s missing from the game if it’s not.

We’ll also add the tutorial shield training to Master Ji’s Dojo in Story Mode, however the challenges will remain Arcade Mode only, to give you a bit more value for unlocking it in Arcadia.

We’ll also add a quest in which you’ll clean up Evergrind City from all the trash that was left around the place after the festival. Once you trigger the quest, each trash item lying around will turn into a regular item that will automatically be added to your loot like enemy drops, so you’re able to run around and collect them all.

We’ll also add seed drops to each of the plant enemies, and special housing jars in the Tree shop in Seasonne in which you can plant them, so you can have your own collection of home grown enemy plants!

Finally for this week’s update, we decided to add a talking anvil, since we feel we need one more sentient artefact around town. As you may have guessed, it’ll be the anvil Smith uses to make his sword, so prepare to say hello to this new friend soon :)

And now that we’ve decided on the next bunch of things to add to the game, here’s the first of them; the talking anvil:

A little mixed bag featuring some last minute fixes for the patch, namely some new expressions/portrait edits, some background details for the barn, a hat for the Guard’s mother and some new drops:

Another cameo we’ve wanted to add for quite some time now is that of our brilliant sounddesigner Hallvard or Fark as he’s better known! He’ll be jamming it out with Riley on the stage in Port Monnaie :3

Meanwhile Fred has been busy making NPCs that will inhabit the bonus Pumpkin Woods area north of the first map. Here you’ll be able to meet Mama Guard (we’re aware her portrait doesn’t match the sprite at the moment but haven’t decided on which one to keep), her dog, and a very strange shadow creature:

And now, the red slime card! Since a side effect of one of the quests is that red slimes will spawn across the evergrind fields, it’s only fair they get a card of their own, wouldn’t you say?

And now a bunch of mixed stuff, including some sprites for a bunch of drops and bonus items you’ll get to see and use in these new quests:

As well as some smaller additions and improvements to Marino’s Mansion:

Next up, the boss portrait for another of the bosses you’ll be dealing with! This is one giant shrub, so what better name for it than Shruboss? :D

Now that everything on my part is done for the upcoming patch, I’m celebrating by making a portrait of another random Collector that you will find out and about in the fields:

Today we had a meeting discussing what we’ll do once this update is done, but we’ll dive into that next week once everything has been properly finished up for the update. Instead, let’s take a look at one of the final bits we’ll add before this update is ready to go live!

This is a sprite haunting a tree in the short additional Pumpkin Woods map we’ll be adding. It’s kind of getting sick of its surroundings and would like your help to find a new home. Because we haven’t decided on its colours yet I made three different versions of its portrait:

Another week starting with a portrait! This time it’s the mother of a whole lot of guards, chilling in her cottage north of Pumpkin Woods:

Next up, the final room of the mansion, and the room you’ve all been waiting for… Marino’s own! Here it is:

As we may have mentioned before, the tree guy in the tree stump in Seasonne will sell you furniture items for you house, and to be specific, he’ll be selling… Yeah, you guessed it. Trees! So, here’s a bunch of the trees from around the game, converted into housing items:

Now for something completely different, the portrait of a toaster! This was one of our backer items, which we decided to make into a talking toaster. Soon in a treasure chest near you ;)

Finally, Fred’s been finishing up the animations for the two boss battles you’ll be dealing with! You’ve seen a bit of the troll before, but here’s also a new face, that of a strange giant plant creature:

It’s a new week, with new possibilities! So let’s go back to that bonus cave system in Pillar Mountains, and take the second door, leading down through the mountain:

And now, back to the mansion! Here’s a room filled with plants, cause who wouldn’t want that? Also, it might just be needed for one of the quests we’re working on…

Another house some people have been asking about is the one you pass by on the field just right of Evergrind City, which you haven’t been able to reach just yet. Soon though, you’ll be able to get there through a path in the Pumpkin Woods, so let’s take a look at what’s inside:

Obviously the people living in Marino’s Mansion need somewhere to sleep, so here’s one of the two bedrooms I’ll be making:

Now, time to take a look at a portrait of sorts; a boss portrait made for the fight you’ll have against Remedi in his troll form!

Time for the second map of the cave system in Pillar Mountains, accessible by climbing the sapling you’ve all been walking past for years now, wondering when you’ll be able to do something about it…. Well, soon it’ll all be happening ;)

And then another version of the previous map, as you climb higher up the pillar:

Finally, we go outdoors, reaching an old abandoned Grindea statue! How curious….

For now though, let’s change the subject to something completely different. Trees! A specific tree, actually. The NPC from Seasonne who you’ll meet in the giant tree stump:

Meanwhile in Fred’s department, it’s all about James Fawke, his fan and of course, the troll fight! Here’s some more sneak peeks: