This week has been all about cleaning up and finishing some of the different areas and encounters we’ve been working on these last few weeks.

The hydra battle is more or less only missing some final polish and a good dose of balancing and tweaking (something Vilya talks a bit more in depth about here) before we can call it done. We’ve learned over the course of the production though that the saying “The last 10% takes 90% of the time” rings true a lot of the time so we might not be at the finish line just yet, but we’re certainly getting there!

The past week have also been host for the Alumni Days! The Alumni days is a week of lectures and workshops by former students at the University of Gotland, our old school, all of which are working in the game industry in some way.

Teddy was invited to do a lecture and a panel, and all three of us were all invited to a fancy three course dinner as well as a party with both former and present students! We don’t tend to go out that much so we had a blast just talking games and design with other like minded people.

Besides all that, it’s been business as usual. Fred has kept working on animations for the temple while Vilya still is locked up tight in the portrait factory!
DeathElder

FlowerBlogportraits2

amal

This week we have continued working on the various fights that will take place in the Temple of Seasons!

We’ve played around with mixing the different enemy types and started tweaking their combos where we felt they were too powerful or not powerful enough! Here’s a few short GIFs featuring the test sessions in single player, which allows you to see most of the special attacks of the different enemies:


Click any GIF to view a bigger, more crisp version!


We’re currently looking into balancing the autumn combo, which is a bit too OP at the moment: the movespeed of the autumn knight inside one of those whirlwinds makes it impossible to dodge and as you can see, it chases you for quite a long time!

We’re also talking about adding another enemy type that will only serve to change the season of a room during combat. As the enemies become stronger when in a room that matches their season, an obvious strategy would be to eliminate one season first, then change the room into that season – removing all empowered enemies in the process. To counter that, we want the season changing enemy to be difficult to kill – most likely from being fast and hard to hit. You’d have to decide if it’s worth chasing it down and try dodging the other enemies while doing so, or deal with more difficult enemies overall.

Other than that, Fred has been making a bunch of decorative animations, and Vilya has kept working on the portraits (not too many left now)! Here’s a bunch of those, plus another card:

Icespikes

Waterfalls

SplashFront

portraits

06 - Fin

Things haven’t stood still just because there’s been Dreamhack Winter! We’ve been showing you a ton of in-progress gifs of the Season Hydra boss, but no boss is quite complete without a boss portrait, and so Vilya has come to the rescue:

Boss Portrait Hydra

The Temple of Seasons will feature no less than three boss battles, of which we’ve only really talked about one. Here’s the boss splash for another, which has already been mostly implemented:

Boss Portrait Fae

We don’t want the regular enemies to be left hanging, though! As always, they get cards for the player to collect. Here’s the one for the Season Magicians:

Season Mage Card

While Vilya’s been at it creating these things, Fred has represented us over at Dreamhack Winter! Here we see a couple of innocent youths being corrupted by the grind:

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And finally, here’s a shot of Fred secretly mind transferring a certain powerful¬†Overpass boost to the members of Fnatic, which they would later be compelled to use in their match against LDLC:

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Once again, the amazing staff over at Gotland University have invited us to showcase Secrets of Grindea together with a few other student projects. This time we’re heading to Dreamhack Winter 2014, the biggest LAN festival in the entire world and our excitement levels are shooting through the roof.

The doors to Dreamhack will kick open 08.00 this Thursday and close around the same time on Sunday. We’ll be there hanging out more or less the entire time so if you’re in the neighborhood, feel free to come by the ¬†DreamExpo area in Hall B and hang out!

In more game related news, the Hydra mini-boss is getting dangerously close to being finished in terms of programming and graphical assets. Below is a GIF of the third and final Breath Attack, performed by the Fall Hydra.

!!mushroomsClick for animation! Once again, the gif is a little slower than how it looks in-game

As can be seen, the Fall Hydras attack differs a chunk or two from its two siblings. Instead of the typical channeling breath attack, the Fall version fires a spore cloud that will stalk players. After a short period of time or if the projectile hits a target the spore cloud will explode and deal damage.

The big curve ball though is the mushrooms spawning on the ground after the cloud bursts. Stepping on the mushroom will cause temporarily blindness which, as you can guess, is not optimal when fighting a three headed hydra! Just as the other floor hazards cause by the Summer and Winter heads, the mushrooms can be removed by changing seasons.

Vilya has been locked up in the furniture workshop, slaving away day and night to give you future interior designers as many options as possible to play around with. Here’s a couple more batches:

Batch #5

Batch-#6

See you next week, or this weekend at Dreamhack! :)

The post last week seemed to confuse some of you: have we scrapped the blue and red mini-boss heads and decided to stick the green summer one on top of all three necks?!

Well, of course not! The reason all heads were green in last week’s post was because that head was the one closest to being finished animation-wise, so it has been used as placeholder while we work on the others. We were only joking when we said we’d keep it like that :)

This week, all three heads have their proper graphics, so here’s a new GIF, where the boss looks a bit closer to what it will look like in its finished form (also including the proper background instead of the sketch version):

!!!season breath destructionClick for animation! Again, the gif is a little slower than how it looks in-game

While Fred and Teddy have been working on getting the mini-boss to work as it should, Vilya has continued creating furniture that will be available in the housing part of SoG:

Batch #4

Batch#3

If you wanna see more furniture batches like these, or simply want more updates on the development, you can always head over to her work blog, where she posts Grindea-stuff five days a week :)

This week Vilya has been bringing Teddy’s housing prototype to life, with both a GUI and proper graphics!

Housing

Our hopes for the housing system is to provide a little break, create a potential money sink, and give players some multiplayer bragging rights with their rare furniture!

(Boss spoiler alert) Fred has been churning out some graphics for the hydra faces as well. Here’s a gif from the currently very crude prototype, giving a little glimpse of how it’s going to work!

!!hydraprototype(Note: the gif is animated a bit slower than the real game for some reason)

As you can see from the gif, we’ve decided that all hydras should have the summer head, and also to use cleaner, more stylized backgrounds in white and gray!

All breath attacks will cause some lingering effect on the floor, making the battle more difficult. The winter head, as seen in the gif, will freeze the ground causing players to slip around. The summer head will leave a trail of fire, damaging anyone who walks through it (although unlike the ice blast, players can actually affect where the fire breath will land).

We haven’t decided how autumn will affect the playfield yet, but we’re thinking along the lines of mushrooms, which will pop and release blinding spores if you touch them.

With the core enemies of the dungeon reaching a pretty complete state, we’re moving on to the juicy stuff. Bosses!

The game up to this point has been relatively boss heavy, which is a trend we are aiming to keep going. Designing and creating all the different bosses has definitely been one of the highlights of the production. Hopefully you guys feel the same way about playing them!

The Temple of Season will feature two mini-bosses on top of the “real” Dungeon boss. As with prior bosses, keeping every fight different (but still fun and challenging) has been our main goal when designing them.

Fred spent parts of last week working on the sprites for one of the two mini-bosses, the Season Hydra.

Hydras

The premise of the fight is that each head will grow stronger whenever it’s matched up with its season. Players will have the ability to change the seasons during the battle and will have to do so on a regular basis to avoid making one of the heads too powerful.

Vilya, on the other hand, has kept making portraits! Here’s a bunch of WIP’s, as well as their finished sprites:

01

02

03

04

Finished

Picking up from last week, the three different types of Wizards are now in the game and working properly. The Wizard is a ranged support type of enemy, with each variation having its own unique special ability. Just like their melee counter-parts, the Wizard can only use their special abilities if the current season matches its color.

!!summercomboClick to see the animated GIF!

We have tried our best to make each Knight/Wizard pair have a set of abilities that work in symbiosis with each other. As seen above the Summer Wizard can imprison players, making it harder to avoid the Knights heavy hitting special attack.

The winter Wizard can summon a Ice Shield around a target monster that will slow and damage players within close range. The shield can be destroyed by shielding, attacking or taking damage from it. Paired together with the agility of the winter Knight, it could turn into a deadly threat!

Last but not least the fall Wizard can summon a bunch of tornados that move around at a seemingly random pattern. Players getting too close will be sent flying into any nearby enemy. The tornados can also fuse with fall Knights performing their Spinning Attack, making them super charged in terms of speed and damage.

Tornado

Vilya has kept on making portraits! Here’s some of her WIP’s from this week:

02 - WIP

02-06 - WIP

03---WIP

And here are the finished sprites:

finished sprites

Fred has been soldiering on with the temple’s basic enemies, finishing up the knights! As we’ve mentioned previously, they would share many similarities, but all have different special attacks they can use if the current season match their color.

FallThe Autumn Knight spins his sword and chases after players
much like Giga Slime’s saw spin!

WinterThe Winter Knight dashes through the playfield
akin to the player’s own Piercing Dash-ability

SummerThe Summer Knight unleashes a powerful, uninterruptable smash,
breaking shields and dealing tons of damage

Next week we’ll be focusing on the different Season Wizard’s special abilities!

Since Vilya’s now reached a roadblock on the temple rooms (since the few left must be discussed in detail before she can make them), she’s returned to the portrait factory, remaking and revamping!

One of these portraits are the plushie collector in the city. We decided to make her a bit younger when we updated the portrait, as well!

Here’s how she used to look:

And here’s the step-by-step for the new portrait:

Talking about portraits, don’t forget that you can get more in-depth information of Vilya’s work over at her personal blog!

We keep working on the Temple, which is coming alone nicely! Vilya has finished almost all rooms, except for a few which will house special challenges or (mini-) bosses that we need to design a bit more before creating their rooms.

Here’s the last few rooms she made before returning to portrait painting:

Room01

Room02

Room03

Some of these rooms will have animated obstacles and details added by Fred at a later stage, so stay tuned for that!

Teddy, in the meanwhile, has been working on prototyping some of the enemies that you’ll encounter in the temple. Here’s a screen of one such battle in action:

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