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:

Going back to story mode for a bit, we’ve talked about the second quest for the Mansion and come up with a rather simple quest for the player to deal with the first time they’re allowed into the Mansion (which will be by the time you defeat Marino after Flying Fortress). Basically one of the maids want some help solving a small infestation of slime in the basement. Oh but what an infestation it is – not quite what you’d expect I think… :)

We’re also finally starting to fiddle around with the things you’ll access when you get the plant fertilizers and will access the areas currently unavailable (remember the small squiggly plants?). So far we know of three places these plants will be: the one in pillar mountains which will lead to a small reward, a little cave system leading back to the cave where you find the sandals (I believe) further down in pillar mountains, and upwards to an old an abandoned Grindea shrine which may or may not play a part in the later stages of the game…

Here are some sketches I made as we were talking about this place during the meeting, more to come later:

The one in Flying Fortress will simply lead you to a treasure, while the third will lead you to the mysterious tree stump house in Seasonne, where it seems you will get a reward and find a housing shop! We haven’t made any sketches for this yet, but I’ll likely start working on that once we finish up the mansion :)

First though, some more Pin stuff for Arcade Mode! There will be a part of the menu where you can see what Pins you currently have equipped, and so I made a little modified version of the Pin equip UI where you can see such things:

One suggestion on where to put this menu was to replace the crafting tab with it, seeing as crafting doesn’t serve a purpose in Arcade Mode, the other was to keep it under equipment. The latter suggestion was mainly because we wanted it to be in the same spot in both modes in a world where we were to include them in Story Mode in some form. For now though, that seems unlikely – so the Crafting tab will be replaced for now :)

Next step on the same topic is that we want there to be a place where you can see all of the pins that are available, as well as those you haven’t seen yet. This will be viewed through the Pin Collector who will hang out in town after you’ve unlocked him!

Here’s the progress:

Obviously each of the icons will be replaced with the corresponding Pin. The questionmark icons will signify a pin you haven’t seen yet but that you could find any run, while the lock means it’s a Pin you’ve yet to unlock. We haven’t yet decided if we will have pins you will unlock, but we’ve talked about having a new batch of pins unlock as a reward for certain quests or certain progression milestones; how do you guys feel about that?

Next up, another portrait for the mansion! This is the goblet, Marino’s dads trusted artefact! Finally some more sentient artefact for you guys to hang out with ;)

In Fred’s department we’re working on some cubes and other types of indicators for all of those pins that allows you to trigger an effect after x hits!

The cubes will grow in size the closer you are to unleashing the effect:

But he hasn’t forgotten about Story Mode! Here’s the shield to match the weapons seen last week:

So, we’ve been focusing quite a bit on Pins and Arcade these couple weeks, and you might wonder what our next step is from here. Our idea is that Teddy will finish up and add a ton of pins and get them polished and ready for a Frontline Patch along with the floor shortening and all of that sometime in the beginning of June – that’s about how long it’ll take for us to iron out all potential bugs and make it all work in multiplayer as well.

The remaining work is pretty heavily focused on the programming bits, so me and Fred will star working on something else, or rather, get back to where we left off before these Pins caught our attention: the Mansion! Once the mansion has been completed we’ll also add one or two quests involving its characters, and possibly some other bits and pieces for Story Mode before that turns into a Frontline Patch as well. In the near future, we’ll likely do an Arcade update here and a Story Mode update there as we work our way through these things we have left on our long list of things we want to add before the game is completed.

First up though, an expected Frontline Update around the first week on June, featuring the shortening of Arcade and around 100 pins for you to explore throughout your journeys in Arcade Mode! Hopefully you’ll like the variation they give as much as we have trying them out so far :)

The thing me and Fred will focus on next is the Mansion. I’ve already shown some sketches of the interior as well as some characters that will live inside its walls, but what’s the actual point of the building? Why, to house quests of course! Over the last couple days our daily meetings have mainly revolved around the quest(s) that will happen around the building, and have gone through a ton of suggestions. In the end though, we’ve settled for a specific questline, featuring Marino’s dad’s business idea.

As some of you may know, while you’re off in Mount Bloom and Tai Ming, Marino and his dad has been in the Merchant Isles for some kind of business trip. Now that they’re back, we’re deciding to bring in that business trip as part of a quest, where you’re tasked with doing marketing for a new set of gear they’ve imported and want to start selling.

The gear looks real fancy, but unfortunately its stats are horrible – it’s basically fashion items only. But to market the set, Marino’s dad wants you to do a publicity stunt in the arena – fighting a bunch of enemies using only the fashionable set from the Merchant Isle! Why you? Well, because the one who was actually going to do the fashion stunt, a famous and popular Collector, has unfortunately taken ill…

The idea here is that around the time you finish Tai Ming, there will be posters and such in Evergrind City featuring the famous collector (whom we’ll add as a side character that you can interact with and who will have been mentioned previously in the game), announcing the event in the arena. Shortly after the quest will become available in the mansion, where Marino’s dad will explain that the famed collector can’t do it but that you have enough popularity to do it instead. After this additional posters will be added to Evergrind, taped over the original ones, this time featuring your face!

The event itself will basically be an arena challenge where it’s your job to defeat a bunch of enemies using only the fashionable set (which will be force equipped and you won’t be able to change during the challenge). Succeed and you’ll get the reward, mess up and well… die… Oops :)

There will also be an additional quest earlier on in the game, which will be available around the time you first gain access to the mansion. We’re not entirely sure what that quest will be yet though, but probably something a bit more simple. Our idea with this bigger quest is to involve not only the mansion, but to give Evergrind City some additional sense of life, kind of like what we did surrounding the festival. We don’t want Evergrind to feel too static, but like a place where things happen and change :)

Now, time to dive back into that Mansion hallway!

Here’s part two, featuring a Solem statue and a little area to sit and have tea in the lobby, while waiting to meet whoever you’re here to see. Also, new and upgraded fountains (although we’ve talked about changing these around again and saving these particular ones for a different place – we’ll see):

Next up it’s time to make the portrait for the famous James Fawke, the popular collector guy that so far hasn’t existed but whom will appear here and there throughout the game (though not as part of the main story)!

Meanwhile, Fred has been working on those fashionable items that look good but are of low quality and don’t do too much damage! Here’s the preview of two of them:

I will be working on making the rest of the set, adding some headgear and face gear as well :)

Fred has also been working on the possibly cutest thing in the game yet, a baby cloud that will be an effect of one of the Pins you can find in Arcade Mode:

Who else wants to go find that pin right now?!

More pin work this week! Here we have the progress of two more pins, as well as two more icons and a bunch of colour variations:

For some of you these aren’t exactly new; the last couple of days we’ve uploaded what we have done with the pins right now as a hidden command for our most devoted testers to try out. So far, we’re pretty happy with the feedback, and the feeling we have right now is that pins is definitely a positive thing for Arcade Mode! So far so good; though obviously we have a lot more to come up with and add before we are satisfied – we want some epic variation, after all :)

Speaking of variation in Arcade Mode, another thing we’ve been discussing a lot lately is the addition of more types of rooms, to make each run feel even more unique. Some of these ideas include:

Cursed Item Shop
A shop that sells items that are really good but you can’t unequip them or swap them out (this room type would mainly appear on the early floors, so in later floors the equipment might fall off and not be as good anymore). Possibly other curses as well.

Zombie J
A ghastly version of the bow salesman who sells a cursed quiver that is smaller (so you’ll have fewer arrows in total), but you can fire extra arrows at the expense of your own health. Could appear alongside the Cursed Item Shop, to mirror the regular shop.

Archie
The guy who appears here and there around the world to open up shortcuts or sell you items you’ve missed and can’t reach again, only in arcade he’ll offer you access to a bonus room he’s found. Pay up the money and he’ll let you through to a path he’s cut up leading to either a random guaranteed ‘good’ room (a shop, healing, etc), OR…

…A Lood Fountain
A room with a bunch of Loods floating around a fountain! We haven’t decided if this is only gonna be the reward for paying Archie or if it’ll be a room of its own. In the end we might end up having this be Archies only reward instead of random rooms as well. We’ll see!

A Mischievous Sprite
Think we might have mentioned this before ages ago, but it was brought up again. A sprite that appears in multiplayer only, secretly offering one of the players an advantage of some sort at the expense of his friends (like them getting less atk, def, aspd or something like that). Just something a bit silly to mess with your friends!

It’s not a certainty we’ll add all of these, but they are some suggestions at the very least. Which one is your favourite? And what sort of additional rooms would you like to see?

Now, some more stuff for the pins! Starting with a trash can icon for when you’re about to throw away one of your pins:

And two more pin types, using a special colour scheme:

These pins are what we call “sticky” pins, meaning they’ll permanently take up a slot and there’s no way to get rid of them. Better think twice before you equip these!

There’s also another shape for pins, as well as a specific icon for potion related pins:

And finally, one more palette to mix things up a bit:

After a few discussions as well as checking in with the community about the subject, we’ve decided that rather than have pins appear from the get-go, it will be another thing that will be introduced after you’ve played arcade mode for a little bit, complete with its own NPC who will tell you how it all works. As such, I was tasked with making his portrait:

Do you recognize from where we have gotten the inspiration for this guy? :)

Meanwhile in Freds department he’s been working on some effects that will spawn around the player for some specific pins where you collect charges as you battle, as well as doing some work on the Pin collector himself:

Now, back to Arcade Mode for a bit. As you know there are a bunch of changes we’ve been wanting to make to Arcade Mode, among them a rebalancing and removal of the dual floors per area. We’ve decided to take some time to focus on Arcade things for now, and so today as part of our meeting we spend a couple hours playtesting the changes that have been made so far.

To start off with, there’s now just one floor per area instead of the usual two. Some floors are slightly longer to make up for it (such as the first, where you battle Pillar Mountains enemies). The earlier floors have had their difficulty slightly adjusted as well, since we want it to be possible for players to get further – at least in terms of areas, compared to before.

Some gauntlet style rooms have been added, meaning new enemies will spawn as you defeat the ones already in the room when you enter. We’ve tried it out both with an indicator for such rooms (meaning you will know before hand that the room you enter will spawn more enemies), and without. Which one we will go for in the end depends on how common and normalized we want these rooms to be: either they will be rare, special occurrences, meaning an indicator might be fitting, or they will be so common that it makes no sense to indicate them as anything special.

For now, to make it easier to see what is happening, we have a special spawn indicator for which enemy will spawn right before it does, to avoid any unpleasant surprises for the player. Whether this will still be the case or whether the new enemy will simply appear in a puff or smoke is still something we will need to test further.

Right now it feels somewhat odd to have cut down the floors this much, but we do feel like the overall length of a run will be a lot better compared to having to battle through twice the amount of floors to get to the end. We don’t want the player to have to fight his or her way through floor after floor for hours to finish a run! More testing will need to be done, though.

Another thing we’ve been playing around with is ideas for how to make each run a bit more unique compared to your previous runs, challenging you to change your play style or at least experience things more differently. We feel that right now each run is very similar to the last one, and a player is rarely encouraged to try new skills. Last week we talked about a feature we wanted to add to help out with that (Badges – which we have now renamed to Pins) and this week we have tried out some of those as well.

As a reminder, a Pin is something that will affect your run in some way, giving you certain bonuses while sometimes coming with a negative on the side (though mostly you will just get something nice). For now, we’ve divided the pins into seven categories depending on what they affect, such as: Arrows, Skills, Basic Attacks, Room changes, Passives, Potions and Shield.

Some examples we’ve been testing this week include:

* Casting a spell fires an arrow.
* Hitting an enemy with an arrow casts a meteor
* Three arrows drop after each regular battle room
* The first spell in each room is a guaranteed crit
* Every 5th spell deal triple damage
* A fae follows the player and casts a fire ball every few seconds
* Each basic attack increases the damage of your next skill
* One enemy in each room receives an automatic death mark when you enter the room
* Perfect Guarding an enemy causes them to be death marked

So far, we’ve quite pleased with how these serve to make each run a bit more different compared to the last, especially ones that encourage you to use other skills or abilities than what you’d normally use. We also have a ton of ideas for more pins we want to test and play around with; the current pool isn’t too big so repeats tend to happen quite often during our test runs. We also feel the lack of a proper interface; right now there’s simply a message in the chat letting you know what badge you’ve gotten and what it does.

In order to properly test this and how it feels, we’ll therefore start working on a basic interface for distributing your pins, as well as some basic proper graphics for them to see how it all feels with some more visual cues.

Right now you will receive a pin for defeating a boss, but we’ve also played around with awarding them in chests or for challenges. The exact amount and what you’ll receive pins for are yet to be decided, but for now we feel like it feels the most rewarding to get it post boss fight. As of now, you’ll be able to have four pins, and if you receive any more past that you will need to replace one of the ones you currently have.

Part of our daily tasks right now is coming up with more pins to add, so there will be enough that each run feels new and fresh. Do you have any pins you’d like to see? Let us know and we might end up adding it :)

So in order to get a true feel for the whole Pin system I’ve been tasked with making an interface for it where you select whether to equip, replace of throw away a new bag that you get.

We started of with this super basic sketch:

And translated it into something slightly more visually pleasing:

And here’s the interface the way it looks currently:

“Attack DMG” in white represents the name of each pin. Green “DMG” above the first info box is supposed to say “New”, while the blue “Attack” above the second info box is supposed to say “Current”. The numbers represent the descriptions. However, these designs might change slightly as certain translations need a bigger font size than the rest of the game, and we try to design everything so that it will work out in any translation. In other words: we’ll see!

Next up, making some actual pins to try this whole thing out with:

Pins will come in many shapes and colours, but for now I’m starting off with this color, making it in a variety of different shapes with icons to match. They all use the same palette so colour swapping will then hopefully be easy enough!

In Fred’s department, he’s been working on giving the pins proper representation as sprites! Like most other things, this involves a lot of iterating and trying out different ideas and designs:

With the final result looking something like this:

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!