This week we’ve continued on work on the first Tai Ming zone!


Remember this old ruin? In our first iteration, we wanted this place to be blocked off and unable to enter. Well… We changed our minds. Instead, we want something ‘useful’ to the story to be in here, as we, well, found it to be the best place for it. So! Time to add another interior, although this one does not exactly come with a lot of decorations:


After implementing this version to the game build, we felt like it was a bit too empty compared to the pretty crowded past version…


SO we thought we’d try adding some of the furniture, but old and broken due to the long time that’s passed, of course:



On a similar note, we wanted to change some things around in this room as well:


Instead of having the four chests intact in the present, we thought it would be cooler if one of them had fallen apart, and another was opened. Just to mix things up a bit and create more of a disordered feeling:


Next up! The old collector’s guild will be very much up and running in Tai Ming, and as such, what better way of showing their prowess than having collectors do all kinds of quests in and around the town? Of course, there aren’t exactly many fun quests for a random collector to do here, so some just have to do the boring things. Like painting fences:


Of course, even these lower ranking collectors need portraits as well:


…and a bored expression for good measure:


Also, Teddy made another time warp effect:


While we liked the older one, it almost felt too ‘fluid’ and unepic. With this new one, you really get the sense of zoning between two different maps. We also like how the world kind of melts away, although it was pretty cool how the old one kind of merged the worlds together as well. For now, we’re gonna stick with this new one, but we’ll see what we end up with in the end!

Speaking of Teddy, he has also started implementing multiplayer for this zone, so that’s getting us one step closer to releasing the first map on Frontline (though we still have some work to do)!

Finally, have some yummy animations from Fred:




And that’s all for this week! See you next time :)

This week we’ve continued developing and implementing the enemy lineup! After some extensive testing where we played around with many different combinations of the enemies, we realized something was missing from our lineup: a big threat which you’d have to deal with asap, who could also tank enough damage to stay around for a while.

Basically, everytime we added a Yeti for fun, things got more interesting!


Pretty much all of the enemies here have either AOE attacks or movement/attack patterns that need you to mind your position, and they’re not exactly super easy to hit – the worms are untargetable when they’re burrowing, the statues can’t get hit when they’re mid-air, and the plant thingies deal damage from kind of far away. So, for fun (and science) we tried adding heavier enemy types that could soak up the damage, and found the encounters became a lot more fun – especially with a super tank like the Yeti involved!

Since we didn’t wanna add the Yeti for real, we thought we’d come up with another enemy to serve a similar role. This is what we came up with:


We call this guy Echo of Madness, and he serves as an echo of Tai Ming’s violent past, where some really hardcore stuff went down! So, not only does he make our enemy encounters way more fun, he also helps establish the theme and feel of the dungeon overall.


The above GIF shows a super early WIP of his attack pattern – right now he only has one attack, which is a kind of dash. Our goal is for him to do a ton of damage if he actually hits you, and that he’ll follow you around more than the other enemies so you’ll kind of have to deal with him.

Here are a couple of more encounters where we used him:



Look how he’s chasing me away from the other enemies, and distracting me so I get hit by the burrowing worm! These fights definitely work a lot better with this guy around :)

In other news, there’s a lot of small fixes going on across the board. We’re finishing up the first Tai Ming zone for a frontline release, so these coming weeks will be all about polishing the little things, adding portraits and expressions to the remaining NPCs, adjusting the writing and fixing small stuff. Here’s a mix of what we’ve been up to!

First up, a new character that will be selling swords:



The left version of this portrait will feature the character in his slightly younger days, and the right one is for when you’ve progressed the story a bit, meaning a bunch of years have gone by in the past:


This guy got a little nose job:


We also we wanted to make the chest a bit different in the past than they are in the present. And we thought, wouldn’t it be cool if the chests used to be painted, and they’re brown nowadays because the colors faded over time and now everyone believes chests should be brown cause that’s how they’re used seeing them? Kind of like the ancient statues of our time: today we’re used to seeing white ancient statues with cut-off limbs, when in fact they used to be intact and actually fully painted in the old days!

Anyways, I made a bunch of suggestions, with the corresponding Collector Emblem to go with them (the far left one is the original chest):



We’re probably gonna go for the purple one, since we liked that one the best! We really liked the black and red ones as well, but we think it’s best to stick with one :)

Next up, adding a gate to the garden area…:


…and giving the old lady a watering can for her flowers:



And that’s all for the recap this week!

If you wanna see more random detail work, you can always check out my personal workblog at where I post new Grindea stuff every Sunday-Thursday (cause regular weeks are not as cool). See you next time! :)

It’s officially a new week and time for a new recap! This one, I (Vilya) will do a bunch of portraits – there were a few that still needed to be made for the first Tai Ming zone, including a boss portrait which I recently finished:






Moving on from that, I’m getting back into finishing Tai Ming’s second zone!

Since the past version of the outdoors has been finished now, I thought it’s be fun to move on to creating interiors for a while! This one is for an old lady’s house, who happens to like flowers – which might have to do with how you’ll progress through this map in some way… :)

Granny House

Last week we also finally began testing things in Zone01 for real! To begin with, here’s our current time-swap effect:


We’re still not 100% happy with this, and will try a few other things out as well. But for now it gives you an idea of how the area will transform from past to present, and the other way around!

We’ve also started prototyping the enemies in proper fights! Below is a makeshift encounter featuring each of our enemies except the monkey:



Still early days, and a lot of polish needed, but it’s definitely a start! Hopefully we’ll be able to come up with some cool combinations of enemy in different encounters as we continue to try things out.. :)

At last it’s time to finish up the last outdoor part of Tai Ming’s zone02 – the gravesite! This place will be located in the top left corner of the map, and contains the entrance to a cave where you’ll have to complete a quest before you can exit through the proper gate:



As for Zone01, after adding all our props into the editor and starting to put them into their correct places, we can finally show you the completed look of Tai Ming’s first zone, in it’s past and present state:


One thing that’s annoying when trying to show the Present version to you guys though, is that some of the things that we add to the background will change when you travel back in time. For instance, the cherry blossom trees will wither and lose their leaves, but since that’s an effect that only happens in the game engine and not with the editor, we can’t really create the proper look of the present state areas through Photoshop.

For now, you’ll have to imagine that the cherry blossom trees will look more dead, and that the other plants have grown larger, as they will in the actual game:


Since the theme for this dungeon is time travel, it’s a given that you’ll be travelling back and forth in time. However, we also want there to be “flashbacks” here and there, which are segments of the storyline from the past that is shown to you in the present. For these “flashbacks”, you don’t travel back in time per se, but get to view something in the past as it unfolds.

So, we’ve been playing around with a couple different effects for these flashback windows, if you will. We’re currently focusing on the color setting – we want the flashback to feel kind of old-looking, so we’re looking into faded colors or sepia filters.

Here are some of our tests:






Okay, so these tests aren’t 100% accurate color-wise since they were turned into GIFs, but you get a pretty decent idea of what they would look like! As you can see, there’s a cool effect to the characters as well, which we’re pretty excited about (but as with everything, it’s subject to change). What do you guys think? Got any favorite? :)

Finally, the obligatory animation by Fred, which just so happens to take place in one of those flashback-thingies:


This week we’ve started getting back into the groove after being away for so long.

After checking things out again after such a long while, we noticed a few things that needed changing or improvement, so as I (Vilya) went back to work I dove straight into that.

First up, one of the NPCs that will play a kind-of important role in the dungeon. We felt she looked too young in the first version, and needed another, even older version for a later map where some time have passed:



For the first rework I just grayed out her hair and added a hint of wrinkle at her mouth, while the second, older version has lighter gray hair and wrinkles both near her mouth and around her eyes.

Next up, we wanted the ape house to look a bit stranger than the rest of the houses, so as a first step I added a bunch of different-looking chimneys, indicating this house is a little more advanced than the rest. We also have plans for Fred to add some cool stuff to the house, such as a water wheel or something similar (plus he might animate the chimneys as well), so I think it’ll look pretty cool in the end:


I also made another prop to decorate Tai Ming’s second zone, a stack of barrels:



Since me and Teddy went to Stockholm unexpectedly and left Fred to his own devices for a bit more than a week, it was high time to get together at our favorite fast food place and make a new plan for some upcoming Tai Ming things, including the next upcoming BOSS fight!


This boss is based on the enemy seen above, a cave worm of sorts. Only it’ll be a loooot bigger!

The worm will have 3 main attacks, which are detailed in Swedish (and masterfully illustrated) in the image below:


Attack #1: The worm dives underground, leaving part of his body visible while he digs his way ahead. He’ll then surface and dive again, kind of like a dolphin, only every time he surfaces more of his body will be visible. You’ll take damage both from the worm diving onto you, but also from his spiked body if you touch it. However, you can still hit him while he does this, so if you’re careful you can get some nice damage in during this attack!

Attack #2: The worm surfaces head first, and spits a bunch of the regular enemy worms at you. These will damage you on impact, and will bounce once on the floor before they resume the regular enemy worm-pattern and become an additional obstacle on the playfield.

Attack #3: The worm uses his tail to whip you, dealing damage if you get hit!

Special: We’re not 100% sure about this yet, but hopefully it’ll be cool! So, after you’ve dealt enough damage, the worm will summon another worm to the playfield, making the challenge twice as hard! Double the boss, double the fun, right…? :)

Some people have suggested instead of adding another worm to the mix, we should split the current worm into two. I definitely like the idea myself, but we haven’t discussed the suggestion as a team yet. Would be cool to make it happen, though! :)


Now, these recaps aren’t the same without ending with a bunch of Fred’s stuff, so here’s the guard(s) that will patrol Tai Ming, as well as an old man doing a fancy jump:



Hey guys! It’s me, Vilya, again! I’m the one who usually writes these blog posts, but as I’ve been gone for a little more than a week taking care of a critically sick cat, Fred took care of the last two recaps.

Since we all used to live together (me, Teddy, Fred and the two cats), and we still get together in the same apartment for work every day, the cats are very dear to all of us, meaning it’s been a tough couple of weeks. BUT, good news, Link the cat seems to have stabilized for now after a super serious and seemingly random bout of severe anemia, which had him hospitalized for over 5 days at one of Sweden’s biggest animal hospitals. He’s still eating a ton of medicine but he seems to get more and more energetic every day, so let’s hope he makes a full recovery!!

We’re officially back in the office and have been working as usual for a couple of days, so things should hopefully be back to normal unless something else happens! For this post, let’s take a look at some of the things we did before going away, which didn’t make it to a recap yet!

First up, continuing on Zone02 we have been adding the ancient version of the collector’s HQ:


Here you’ll get a quest or two that need to be finished before you can continue your adventured deeper into this mountain village! There will be a bunch of ancient collectors sparring here as well, which should help making the area feel alive :)

Oh yeah, and those shops below the HQ?


We decided to make them actual shops so you don’t have to travel all the way back to Evergrind in case you missed buying something there! Here’s their interface graphics:


I also went ahead and connected the road leading from the HQ and the building to the left with the exit to the third and final Tai Ming map, meaning the only major thing left to finish on this map is a gravesite in the northwest:



We also decided we wanted the bamboo decorations to be destructible, and in a pretty fun way at that! Instead of destroying the whole thing at once, you’ll have to whack ’em down, piece by piece. As such, they are now made of several parts:


And when you decide to destroy them, this is what it’ll look like:


Although we might add some additional effects, such as shaking of the sprite!

Finally, to mix things up, a portrait:


It was such a long time since I made portraits, but I have to get used to it quickly again! There will be a lot of NPCs in this village, after all :)

OK, that’s all for now, time to get back to work with full speed!!! Please stay healthy little cat, we have a game to finish! :D

Hey guys!

This week has been all over the place. Vilya and Teddy have been out of commission the entire week due to one of their cats becoming sick. They had to leave Gotland and travel to an animal hospital in Stockholm. Vilya’s written a lengthy post about it over at her personal blog, be sure to send her some love.

Because of this we don’t have that much to showcase this week. Fred has been staying behind, acting cat sitter to Vilya and Teddys other cat, while continuing to work on NPCs for Tai Ming.

Besides interacting with the NPCs through out the dungeon, Tai Ming features a pretty hefty amount of cutscenes as well. Below are some animations from one of the scenes we are working on at the moment!





This week, things have been moving along smoothly in the boss department. Teddy has pushed the prototype to a more or less finished state, adding a bunch of new attacks and patterns both for normal and hard mode. There’s still some fine tuning to be done, but the battle is fully playable at this stage. All that is left now is some graphical polish and of course, player feedback!

Below are some of the new attacks Teddy have been messing around with. We can’t wait to see all the “Let’s plays” of people getting wrecked by this one!


A hard mode/low HP version of an attack we showed the other week. Every attack, even in normal mode, will have a harder version that the boss will use when she reaches a certain amount of HP.


Even with the place holder ice graphics, this one is pretty self explanatory. On its own it’s rather simple to avoid, but once the boss herself starts moving around it becomes another story!


This attack was suggested by Own over at the forums (thanks buddy!). Once again, this is the normal version. Don’t let the soothing motion fool you, things will get nastier as time progresses!

Besides boss stuff, Vilya has kept working on the second zone of the dungeon. Below is the “Government building”, where a lot of the administrative tasks of Tai Ming gets handled.



Fred has been busy with NPC and cutscene stuff, which will be a common commodity in Tai Ming through out the dungeon!

Granny Practice Statuee

A new week and – you guessed it – more Tai Ming!

Among the things added to the village last week was an Inn (which pretty much would be Grindea’s first real Inn – at least in Story Mode)!

TaiMing01 - Inn

The beginning of a dam (it will also have a “mouth” that will open or close depending on how you use it, but Fred will add that later cause it needs to be animated):

TaiMing03 - Dam

TaiMing03 - Dam

And an… ape house(?!) with its surrounding area, which includes some market stands that will sell familiar items:

TaiMing04 - Market

TaiMing04 - Market

Fred has also been busy adding NPCs to the village, so here’s a few more:




Lookie! A dog! It’s the very first dog in Grindea!! How exciting as that?

As for Teddy, as you can guess, he has continued working on the boss and added the first area’s background & it’s props to the game! Phew!

Now, on to even more Tai Ming things! See you next week :D

It’s Monday again guys! Did you have a nice week? We sure did! You see, last Wednesday was Fred’s birthday. You didn’t forget to say congrats to him did you? …did you?! ;)

Anyway! When not celebrating Fred’s birthday we spent our time continuing working on Tai Ming. Vilya has now moved on to the second Tai Ming map (wohoo, finally), and also made a few new trees to decorate the areas:




Also, as we promised last time, here’s a sneak peek of the boss prototype Teddy has been working on:


First up (above), a move where she pulls you close to herself, then starts pulling circles of fans closer to herself until you’re forced to take damage unless you find your way out of the circle. Touch the fans and you take damage, so you better watch where you move!


Next up is a variation of the above, but instead of pulling fans closer to her, she keeps a smaller circle surrounding the two of you and moves back and forth. Move with her in order to avoid taking damage!


In this third move, she sends a bunch of homing fans after you in a pattern! You better keep moving or you’re gonna get hurt.


Here’s another version of the move where she pulls you next to her, surrounding the both of you with fans. In this version you have to run around her to avoid the damage (kind of similar to the Power Flower move earlier)!


And of course, what better addition to any Grindea boss than some kind of bullet hell move, right?! We’re still playing around with different patterns, so if you have any other ideas, go ahead and let us know what you’d like to see!

Now, to end this post is another couple of NPCs made by Fred:


What in the world is going on?! Stay tuned to find out :)