We’re drawing closer to the second patch of the Temple of Seasons testing. So close, in fact, we’re going to unleash it tomorrow, together with some fixes for bugs you guys hunted down in the past couple of weeks!

The patch will feature more progression (everything except the boss), drops for all the enemies, ability to get the actual cards, and also the proper music for the temple. Below are some of the drops you’ll going to find (the hats not included):

Drops

After this patch has been uploaded, we’ll turn all our attention towards finishing up the boss of the temple! Fred has already done a good chunk of animation work on him, and we think he’ll turn out great, but we’ll keep him out of this blog so that not everything is revealed!

Vilya, being done for now with everything she can do on the temple, has worked on things both from before and after Seasonne and the Temple of Seasons! For example, she made this Crystal Bug card (an enemy from Mt. Bloom), and also some slight style changes on a few characters in the very beginning of the game:

Card

Portraits

So for anyone that missed it, we kept our promise from two weeks ago and updated the Frontline version of the beta! This updates includes the first part of the Temple of Seasons, including two of the three planned bosses. If you have no idea of who or what the Frontline beta is, head over here for more information.

We are really interested to hear what you guys think about the dungeon so far, in terms of difficulty and just pure entertainment value. It’s easy for us to stare ourselves blind while working on the game each and everyday so your thoughts are highly valued!

So with the first part of the dungeon out of the picture for now, we’ve naturally focused last weeks attention on the second part.
We’ve added graphics and animation to one of the brain teasers you’ll stumble upon which we fittingly dubbed “the water puzzle”. Below is an animated GIF that hopefully covers the basics of how it works.




We also began prototyping a room we’ve elected to call “the obstacle course” (we have a way with names, what can we say!). Like the name implies, the room is supposed to put players through a series of challenges before they can reach the exit.
We’ve tried to mix some combat together with some short but sweet obstacle navigation that players will have to complete in succession.


What sets this room apart from all other rooms in the temple is that all seasons will be active at the same time. This makes the combat encounter especially interesting since all enemies will have access to their special abilities, paving way for some enjoyable chaos!

While the prototype is still in need of some tweeking and adjustment, Vilya went ahead and created the base graphics for the room in all its mixed up glory.

F3 - Hinderbanans hämndClick to view!

This week we’ve been working on two things: the main boss of the Temple of Seasons, as well as getting the first half of the temple ready for beta testing.

We want to keep the boss stuff hidden for now, but if you want a sneak-peek of what you’ll be facing, be sure to check Vilya’s blog in the coming days, as she’ll be uploading his boss portrait there.

In the meanwhile, here’s a bunch of expressions that Vilya has been making for the Temple of Seasons cutscenes:

expressions01

expressions02

expressions04

expressions03

She also finally got around to updating the library back in Evergrind City, which means you might eventually be able to go there as well:

Library

One of the quirks that sets the Temple of Seasons apart from the rest of our dungeons is of course the Season Change ability we showcased a while back. While combat kind of takes a lead role, navigating through out the temple using the seasons will hopefully be a strong co-star!

Fred has been creating a bunch of different obstacles that block and open up different areas of the temple depending on the active season within the room.
Snow

Leaf

Block

The past couple of weeks have been spent with friends and family, but as of yesterday we are all gathered back on the island again! Today we had a customary work meeting at a local hamburger joint, where we discussed the last stretch of the temple, including the main boss.

frassepåfrasses

Another thing we talked about was the state of the beta update cycles, where we feel we’ve fallen into a pattern of using Frontline as a Stable and Stable as some kind of Super Stable. Thus, we’re going to attempt increasing the update frequency of the Frontline beta, as well as the Stable beta.

The point of the Frontline beta was, after all, to allow users to test things as they were implemented. As a first step towards going back to this, we’re going to patch in the first and second part of the Season Temple sometime during the coming couple of weeks, including the Season Hydra miniboss.

We’ll get back to the proper Weekly Recap format next Monday, when we’ve gotten proper new material to show!

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:

IMG_0600

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:

carn

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.