Like we promised last week, it’s time for a new update for the beta! We introduce the bow, the boar enemy, a few small new areas and a lot of small fixes and minor polish.

For you guys who haven’t received a invite yet, this week we are inviting a whooping 70 new testers to join the others in the  quest of ironing out bugs and giving us valuable feedback. Check your inboxes over at Desura to see if you have received an invite.

Besides juicy beta news, production is moving forward. We’ve added the last layer of polish to the Evergrind South area, with flowing water and doses of wild life. Below is a before and after picture of the area.

Before (Click to enlarge)

After (Click to enlarge)

Vilya has begun creating art assets for yet another new area that’s coming up after we finish up the dungeon. With Swedish viking blood running through our veins, we wouldn’t feel at home without a proper winter landscape to collect away in.

Click to Enlarge

Since we finished school we have all spread out all around the place, Vilya even opted to leave Sweden in favor for the Netherlands.

We haven’t had any proper “office time” since we left, which has made a few things harder to design, the dungeon layouts being one of them.
Luckily, this week Fred will be heading out on a little business trip and stay at Teddy’s place to rap up as much “face to face”-needed design as possible. Day 1 is already coming to an end with a good amount of office hours and unhealthy amounts of caffeine. We’ll keep you guys posted on this grand adventure of ours!

Modeling is always an option if the whole “game development”-thing doesn’t work out. 

One of the things we believe make a game more interesting is mini-games. And no game is complete without some good old target practice games! Therefore we have spent some time making such a game for the newly reintroduced bow. This mini-game can be found at the same location you find your bow, in this archer’s cottage just south of Evergrind City:

A Game of BowsThe archer also works part-time doing wall paintings…

The game is pretty straight forward as of now: You get a limited number of arrows which you can use to hit the various slime boards that pass you by.

You score more points depending on which color slime you hit, with the blue slimes in the back giving the most points. Of course, they’re also the hardest to hit – not only do they get covered by the two rows closer to you, they also move a lot faster.

If you’re skilled enough and hit several slimes in a row within a short time frame, you’ll score additional combo points.

We look forward to seeing your high scores in the beta forums once the patch is up and running ;)

Other than that, here are some new hats which might make it to the patch:

Gamex was a total blast! Watching people play was great as always (and a sober reminder that not everyone is as good at video games as our beta testers), and we were even lucky enough to meet some fans (and gain some new ones)! Thanks to everyone who showed up :)

This past week, we’ve been a bit all over the place, fixing some details we noticed people having trouble with at Gamex, sketching up some of the final charge skills, and so forth. The coming couple of weeks, we’re going to focus on getting everything done on the two new areas so we can finally patch that in and let our beta testers sink their teeth in it!

One of the major things we’ve worked on is updating the gamepad support to how the game has evolved. The game actually started out with proper gamepad support, but after some major changes to the gameplay it fell behind and needed an overhaul to catch up.

When playing with a keyboard, you assign hotkeys for your spells and use those. There are not quite as many buttons on a gamepad as there is on a keyboard though, so we needed a different solution than just mapping the skills to one button each. Instead, we use the left and right triggers to switch between skill sets. This way, the four buttons (A, B, X and Y on an Xbox-controller) effectively become twelve!

The screen above depicts the equipment screen when using a gamepad. Instead of two rows, the quickslots are now separated into three groups: no trigger, left trigger and right trigger. In the example, we’ve separated the potions to use its own group, accessed with the right trigger.

When holding down a trigger in game, the HUD changes accordingly. Below is a depiction on how it changes, based on the setup we had in the screenshot above. The order is Default (no trigger), Left Trigger, and Right Trigger.

The game will automatically detect what input method you’re currently using, and switch the GUI and help texts to match it. You can swap between gamepad and keyboard as you please!

To round things off, here’s a sneeze animation for the cowboy from last week (working bare chested has its drawbacks) as well as a few cards dropped from enemies in the Pumpkin Woods! From left to right: Jumpkin, Ghosty and Lantern Jack!

After a few hectic days at Gamex, we would like to thank everybody who played the game, gave us feedback or just stopped by to talk to us. It was a blast as always seeing people play the game for the first time. Hopefully, we’ll be back again next year with a version near completion.

Even though we’ve had a pretty busy week, production never stops!

Vilya has begun working on graphical assets for our very first dungeon in the game, which is kind of super exciting! There’s still some other things we must rap up before we can start actually designing the dungeon it self, but we’ll get there soon enough.

In short (and without spoiling too much, but still spoiling) the first dungeon is a ancient military base, driven by magic technology. It is inhabited by strange military machines designed purely for combat. Since Grindea has been at peace for a long time, what the Ancients needed a military base for is somewhat of a mystery. A mystery for you to solve!

We did some experimenting with the colors and lighting before settling on somewhat of a darker tone.

The first version, above, which we discarded shortly after.

Second version, which we liked better! With enemy sketches and character added for effect.

We felt the second both fit the theme better, as well as helping the enemies stand out from the background. Of course, we still wanted it to feel like both the enemies and the environment belong together. Therefore we chose to use magical energy details in both the backdrop as well as the enemies themselves, to connect the two. Once again, we did some minor variations of the color of the energy, to help separate the two even further.

Besides the temple, Fred has done some NPC animations, as well as wrapping up the level 5 version of the Fireball spell.