Okay, so it’s not “the date”, but it’s one of them! Namely, the date we’ll open up for pre-orders!

Ready? Ok, here it is:

Wednesday, April 16th

And there you have it! This Wednesday, on April 16th, we’ll open up for pre-orders! More specifically, we’ll open them up sometime in the Swedish afternoon of April 16th, which means in the morning for Americans, and night for Aussies.

In preparation for that, we’ll share some specific information regarding the pre-orders.

First, let’s talk about updates! We’ve decided to split the beta into two branches: Stable and Frontline. You’ll automatically have access to both with your Steam key.

The Stable Beta will be updated episodically. Updates can take everything between 1-3 months. The Stable Beta is for people who want an absolute minimum of bugs. It’s mostly recommended for streamers and YouTubers, or if you don’t really care about update frequency.

The Frontline Beta is, essentially, a beta of the beta. This will be updated whenever we damn well please, which probably means around every 1-2 weeks, like the Steam beta up until this point. People who play this version will help us out a lot by testing and giving feedback on new features and balance.

When enough content and features have been amassed in the Frontline version, we will feature freeze and bug fix for a week or so, and then do a new Stable build. So, in short, if stability is more important to you than update frequency and helping us with bugs and feedback, keep it at Stable.

Second, we’d like to remind everyone that this is in fact only a beta, and that you should think twice before purchasing. If you want to support us, then it’s an easy choice, but if you only want to pre-order to play the game, please be aware of the state of the game: it’s not finished!

And finally, we’ve gotten a lot of requests regarding the purchase tiers! We’ll have something for poor students and rich philanthropists both. Below is a full list of all the tiers we’ll have available:

$15 – Slime Tier
* Full game on release (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Instant beta access (Steam key + DRM-free version).
Also available as 4-pack for $45.

$20 – Rabby Tier
* Full game on release (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Instant beta access (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Unique hat only available through pre-orders (Picture | GIF).
Also available as 4-pack for $60.

$30 – Jumpkin Tier
* Full game on release (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Instant beta access (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Unique hat only available through pre-orders (Picture | GIF).
* Full Soundtrack by Andrew Riley of Lucky Lion Studios on release.

$50 – Snowbacca Tier
* Full game on release (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Instant beta access (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Unique hat only available through pre-orders (Picture | GIF).
* Full Soundtrack by Andrew Riley of Lucky Lion Studios on release.
* Digital Production Booklet (.pdf) with behind the scenes design decisions, step-by-step art, early concepts and much more! Available on release.

$100 – Bottomless Bag Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Design an equipable item (not visible) that can be found in the game!

$200 – Carpenter Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Design a furniture item for the housing part of the game!

$300 – Fabulous Hatter Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Design a hat or facegear that can be equipped in the game!

$500 – Master Sculptor Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* A statue in the game will be made to your likeness (or the likeness of whoever you chose)!

$750 – Legendary Blacksmith Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Design a weapon that can be equipped in the game!

$1000 – Collector Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Become or design an NPC found in the game!

$2000 – Master Collector Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Become or design an NPC found in the game!
* Design a sidequest for the game!

That’s all for now! See you on Wednesday~

This week, as you can probably imagine, we’ve been pretty busy with preparing for the upcoming pre-order! We just updated the beta with what we hope will turn out to be a stable build we can use for the pre-order launch.

Besides all the administrative work (setting humble widgets up, making the pre-order site, etc), we’ve still hammered away quite a bit on the game! For one, we’ve added a new little main quest to the Pumpkin Woods, to make players experience the atmosphere a bit more before moving on to the temple. If you’re in the beta and have som spare time, please try the quest out and share your thoughts on the forums! It’s supposed to be played between the exams and the first temple, story wise.

We’ve also worked a bit on removing some player confusion. First off, pets now have a small aura so they can be distinguished from their bloodthirsty, farmable counterparts:

petauraWe tried to keep it subtle yet noticable, so you’ll
know what cute things to murder!

Another thing that wasn’t all that clear to player is that you can jump down certain ledges! To help with this, we’ve added small arrows that appear when you get close to a ledge from which you can jump down. If this doesn’t work, we’ll probably have to implement escalators instead.

JumpdownarrowWait, how did he get up there without turning off the bullets?!

Apart from this, Vilya has kept on updating portraits to the new style! Here are a couple of them, step by step:

ninja schoolkid

As for Fred, he’s been working on some juicy animations for the new quest as well as the enemies of the Season Change Temple, who are slowly but surely being brought to life! The knight has taken its first steps while the Wizard is doing his best not using feet at all.
KnightRun WizardIdle

This week we have so many announcements to make that there’s not even room for game progress to be shown! So let’s dive right into it.

First off, after over two years of development we’ve finally opened up an official forum. Yes, it’s true! We’re using the XenForo forum software, and so far everything is working really well!

Forumscreen

The forum is all-compassing and have sections for both general discussion and feedback from all our followers, beta testers or not! Get over there, register and hang out!

Even more exciting – and who thought something could be more exciting than a forum – is that our plans for Early Access have finally taken enough form to be shared!

We’ll be taking pre-orders through the Humble Widget, which means everyone who pre-orders the game will get both a DRM-free copy and a Steam key.

There won’t be a separate beta tier. Instead we include instant beta access in the base price of $15 (about €11/£9). In traditional crowd funding fashion, we’ll also have several reward tiers if anyone feels more money needs to be thrown around!

preorderpreview2No, you’re not dreaming. We have a hat as a reward!

Our hopes with this funding drive is to get enough income to replace our student loans, letting us entirely focus on the game 100 % without having to (barely) pass courses! There’s also been a huge community demand to open up the gates to the beta. There are over 3500 posts in the beta application thread, and it’s still growing faster than we require new testers!

Now, people will be able to try out a demo to get a feel if this is a game for them, and then decide whether they want to support the development to get beta access or not!

The exact date for the opening of this pre-order is not set in stone, but it will happen in the next 2-3 weeks!

And so the last piece of news is that we’ll invite 40 new testers later this week! There are some adjustments to the story mode we want some fresh insights on before the Early Access goes live.

The testers will be, like always, selected at random form the IndieDB thread. You’ll receive a message asking if you’re still interested in beta access, and if you are, we’ll send you a Steam beta key!

Hopefully, you’re as excited about all this as we are!

PS: Check out the forum!

With the beta now up and running on Steam, feedback and bug reports have been flowing in like never before, to Teddy’s combined delight and despair! In times like these, the ability to quickly roll out patches on Steam really shines. In fact, it’s so easy to update that a better way of delivering patch notes was in order. As such, one of the week’s additions to the game is an in-game patch note viewer!

patchnotes

Whenever the game has updated and there’s new patch notes, a notice will appear on the start menu informing you about this. By pressing Tab, you can access all recorded patch notes.

The game records when you played it last, and if you have missed more than one update, you’ll have an option to aggregate the patches. This will create a combined patch note showing every addition, change and bug fix in all patch notes since the last time you played, allowing you to catch up easily!

Fred has stepped away from the flavor and NPC-crafting (for now) and started working on some new enemies. Below are some of the enemies that will pop up in the upcoming Season Change Temple (working title).

Knights

Like the name implies, changing seasons will be the main focus of the Season Change Temple. Player will be able to change season between Fall, Winter and Summer (spring is excluded for a reason!) with each season affecting the dungeon both visually and gameplay wise.

The season change-ability will be the main ingredient of the puzzles of the dungeon, but it will also effect the enemies within it. As seen above, every enemy comes in 3 different versions that each represents a different season. For example, changing the season to Summer will boost the stats of all summer enemies as well as allow them to use certain skills. The same goes for the other seasons!

To round things up, here’s the idle animation for the Summer Knight!

IdleSummer

 

Just like last week, this week’s post will be pretty short and to the point! To start things off Fred has kept hammering away at flavor and environment animations for the HQ as well as the rest of Evergrind City.
Machine
Globe Chemist-setMap2
Vilya kept working on the portraits, so here’s another of those ‘step-by-step’ thingies, this time featuring Plott the commentator:

3
 

Steam Beta Update:

Teddy has been spending most of his time in the workshop fixing bugs in pursuit of a reasonably stable Steam Release, and as a result, it’s finally ready to be rolled out to all current beta users who’ve left feedback! We’ve already sent messages on IndieDB to everyone who’ve posted  a “first impression” over at the IndieDB-forum.

If you have posted bug reports, videos or feedback elsewhere, please contact us through Desura or IndieDB and we’ll give you your Steam key!

This week we felt like it was time for a good old-fashioned art dump!

While Teddy has been implementing treasure hunting, Steam integration and new skills, Fred and Vilya has just kept on drawing. Here’s some of the things they’ve done:

NotePad
Bottle
Scientist

These fellows are for the science department in the Collectors’ HQ, a place where you’ll probably return to a couple of times during the main quest… :)

challenge
chickenherder

New achievement icons for the challenges in Arcade Mode!

sally

A step-by-step of sorts for one of the new portraits.

TreeWalk

Wow, err… What’s going on here? I don’t even…

Vilya_Portrait

And finally, a new boss portrait for Vilya, leader of the Black Ferrets!

This week we’ve mostly done stuff under the hood (Steam, testing and tweaking), but we also mashed in a new system that’s long overdue. Since it’s a system that’s easy to implement and maintain (although mostly because Simon has been slacking off for long enough), we’ve “finally” added the Treasure Map system!

treasuremenu

When you buy or find a treasure map (currently, they are all bought from Simon) they will appear under “maps” in your journal. Here you’ll get a hint about the reward. Generic treasure maps are simply numbered, while more important maps can have names! Inspecting a treasure map will take you to a screen that looks something like this:

treasuremapexampleDisregard the text to the left – it’s drunk!

There are three types of maps. Firstly, there are screenshots of some location in the game that you’ll have to find. These are probably the easiest!

The second kind is what you see above: some kind of sketch hinting a location. These could be pretty straightforward, like the one above, drawn from a different angle than the game itself, or even something completely different.

The third and final version are treasure “maps” written in text! These are small stories or riddles telling you how to find a treasure.

xmarksthespot

When you stand on the spot where the treasure is buried (take or give 10 pixels), a pulsating X will appear beneath your character! Simply press the action button to dig up your well deserved reward!

One of the best thing about treasure maps is that they are probably the only thing in the entire game which actually takes longer for the player to finish than it takes for us to create… :P

Last week in the comments, there were some confusion regarding the Steam beta transfer, so here are some clarifications:

Who? If you’re in the Desura beta and you have posted a first impression, reported a bug or in some other way provided feedback* when we start inviting people over to Steam, you will get an invite. Also, we’ll invite some more people from the IndieDB registration thread. In both these cases we will send a message on IndieDB asking you if you want a Steam key! You should automatically receive an e-mail when we send that message. You can still post feedback (preferably on the IndieDB private forums if you have access) if you forgot to do it when you got into the beta.

* Making a video where we can watch you play is also a form of feedback

When? We have  a small checklist of stuff to fix, but fingers crossed we might invite some of you by the end of the week to test the waters, and the rest next week if the transfer goes smoothly. At that point we might send out a bunch of new invites as well.

With all the offensive skills in the game, we’re taking a break from skills before looking into how to spice up the supportive ones. Instead we’ve done a bunch of quality of life-improvements to existing systems. One of the more visually interesting of these changes are the new critical strike indication!

crit

Before, critical strikes were displayed as regular damage numbers that blinked white at the beginning, which was difficult to see if you didn’t know what to look for. These fancy new animated numbers, however, should be hard to miss!

Another thing we’ve been working on is Steam integration. Don’t read too much into this; this is not in preparation for an imminent release, but we want to start migrating the beta over from Desura.

steamlol

While Desura has been great, there are certain limitations with the platform that makes it sub-optimal for running a beta. The biggest disadvantage compared to Steam is that all uploads to Desura must be approved, which is a process that can take several days.

The Desura staff has been really cool about pushing our updates quicker than that in emergencies, but it’s still not as good as the instant deployment available on Steam. Steam also saves all revisions, making it possible to rollback to an earlier version should we accidentally upload a way too broken build.

Another advantage is how easy it is to have a primary and secondary branch for the game. This means that we can have one stable release, and one “in house” build with very new features. Right now we only have one branch, and thus the updates are few and far between since we don’t want to break the game. With an opt-in superbeta we can have dedicated players testing the brand new features and not just ourselves and our close friends.

steambeta

Now some of you might be wondering what happens to the existing testers and, of course, what about the thread on IndieDB?

Of course, existing testers will get access to the new version! However, this only applies to users that have posted feedback in the forums or have been making videos of the game (you are safe, IHeartPie)! In other words, people invited to the beta that hasn’t given anything in return will no longer be receiving updates.

Regarding new beta invites, we will still be sampling from the IndieDB thread, only we’ll send a message and ask for your Steam account name.

As you might have noticed if you’ve been following the blog, we’ve been focusing pretty hard on finishing up all the offensive skills, and we’re happy to say this week features the very last one: Berserker Style!

BerserkactivationClick!

The Berserker Style might be our most game-changing skill. It’s a two handed skill which will change the rules of how energy works, forcing you into a offensive play style. When you activate the skill, you will get a varied range of effects depending on the charge level. All charges increases your damage by 15 %, and damage taken is increased by 15-45 % depending on level.

Every time you strike an enemy, you’ll get a stacking attack speed buff which stacks up to 10 times for 30 % bonus on level 1, and 40 % bonus on level 3. Also, on level 3, you will also get a big crit chance buff along with the attack speed.

The biggest change, however, is that energy decays constantly, but you will also gain energy by striking enemies. What this means is that the tactics surrounding energy restoration is completely reversed. Instead of playing defensively while your energy recovers, you must now play offensively in order to use other skills!

Since there are both pros and cons to having the skill active, it has a pretty high skill requirement to use efficiently. It can be really strong if you can manage to play to its strengths (offensive bonuses, energy control) while mitigating the weaknesses (defensive debuff, energy penalty on defensive play).

Vilya has been inside the portrait factory the entire week converting to the new style, and here are some of the latest ones, featuring the priest and nurse from Arcade Mode, as well as Nysbruden, one of the very first NPCs you run into:

hood1 hood2nysbruden

Are you tired of watching gifs and reading about new skills? Hopefully not, because here’s a skill super post about what we’ve cooked together over the past week!

First out of the gates is the revamped Spirit Slash, which has gone from a pure AoE spell to distributed targeting, and at the same time gone through a big visual makeover.

SpiritSlash_v2Click to view animated gif!

As you release the Spirit Slash, it will start picking targets around you, striking at enemies one after the other until the max number of slashes has been reached. If there’s only one target around, each consecutive strike will deal slightly less damage.

Due to its random and non-instant nature, it’s a bit trickier to use than regular AoE-attacks (like the Whirlslash or Ice Nova), but also fits into more situations. At close range, it can be used as a simple damage amplifier both to single and multiple targets, and when battling slow enemies it can even be used for kiting.

Then we have the new earth based skill Insect Swarm, which shockingly isn’t a type of lettuce, but a swarm of insects!

InsectsVsPillarMountainsClick on it, we dare you!

The Insect Swarm spell is a soft-summon, meaning they behave like a pet but for a limited time only, and they only consume energy rather than block it out completely. The other soft-summon in the game is the Plant spell, which we added way back!

When cast, an insect swarm will spawn from the tip of your hands, traveling straight forward. If it hits an enemy, it will swarm around it, dealing damage over time until the swarm dies off, or the enemy is defeated. If the swarm gets the last hit on a monster, it will revive a portion of its lost members, increasing its duration. When the targeted enemy dies, regardless who killed it, the swarm will move on to another target and continue dealing damage until the last insect has died off.

While the spell is easy to use and deals consistent damage (unless you miss completely), getting optimal results is a bit more tricky. Due to its self-healing mechanic on kills, you’ll get more damage out of targeting monsters with low health, making it suitable as a follow up after softening enemies up with something else.

Last off, we’ve implemented the Flame Thrower silver charge!

FlamethrowerLv3

Unlike the regular version, which required you to stay put in order to complete the channel, silver charge lets you strafe around while casting, opening up for new and more efficient ways to use it.

If you just can’t get enough, here’s a VOD of a massive 8 hour stream Fred did, featuring mostly animation work but also some Arcade Mode gameplay.