This week Fred has been focusing on making the Fae Village come alive in form of tons of flavor animations for the tiny inhabitants. Below are a couple of the happy villagers doing their everyday Fae-chores!




Introducing some new weapons in the game has been long due, so we felt it was time to supply the players with some new slime obliteration tools. Below is a mighty twohanded axe, with much more to come!

Attack1Down Vilya, on the other hand, has continued working with the cards:



She has also been making background and new GUI elements for the new rogue-like game mode, which is progressing nicely. We’re planning on having every major area featured in the mode, and right now we’re working on the floors representing Pillar Mountains, which is the first area of the story mode:

Roguelike - Pillar MountainsClick to view in full size!

We’ve mentioned before that we are putting a lot of effort into making our quests and side quests stand out from the regular “Collect X and return here”-formula. While Collect Quests will be present (you are playing as a Collector after all!) they will not appear as frequently as in your average RPG.

The Winterland will be no different, with a bunch of different tasks for the players to handle. One of those tasks involves cleaning up the old Toy Factory and shutting down the Christmas Gift Machine within that has gone berserk!


Staying within the Winterland, Vilya has been hard at work putting together some proper cards for some of the beloved monsters roaming around in the snow!



Finally, we’re also keeping up the effort to gradually bring old stuff up to par. For example, we’ve  reworked how the Teleport Plates gets activated and we’ve given the fireball spell a trail effect, making it feel a bit more fancy:





FireAfterClick to view as animated gifs

Since the Dad character got an all new look last week, Fred took the time to put together a brand new sprite to go with it!



Besides reworking some other older animations in need of touch ups, Fred also went ahead and made graphics for some trap-like hazards we’re adding to the game.





The roots will act as a blockade that players either have to destroy or move around. The spiked version will deal damage if walked into, and the beehive will rapidly spawn Bees until the hive itself is destroyed.

Since your reaction to the rogue-like mode/endless dungeon was so positive, we’ve also put together a little prototype of such a mode to measure the potential. Here’s a screenshot of how it currently looks:

roguescreenClick to view in full size!

We’ve decided to make it a room-to-room affair, much how it works in The Binding of Isaac, partly for productivity reasons. Basically, each room presents the player with a challenge (usually battling a group of monsters). The drop rates have been adjusted so that interesting items drop more often, and every enemy also have a small chance to drop a random piece of equipment suited to the floor.

In the screenshot, you can also see the thorns showcased earlier in the post. Traps and obstacles are used to avoid having most rooms looking exactly the same.

Another source of variation visible in the screenshot is elite mobs, based on a suggestion by JayneM over at the beta forums. It’s a more streamlined version of the microbosses we talked about a few weeks back. Every monster has a small chance of spawning as an elite enemy, giving them changes to their stats and behavior. The bee (pink aura) in the screenshot moves faster, has more HP and a much shorter wind-up time for its dive attack. The elite version of the Green Slime will leave trails of extremely slowing goo behind when it moves, making the encounter more challenging the longer you leave it alive.

Apart from being significantly stronger, elite mobs have really high drop rates on all their items and gold, while also granting more exp if killed.

Other stuff we’re also considering adding are different types of shops, semi-random puzzles with time limits, challenge rooms, performance based scoring, etc.

If you have any more suggestions for us, don’t hesitate to drop a comment!

This week, the yeti marks the end of enemy design with a slam, and we’ve also made a quick redesign of the main character’s dad:




Apart from asset creation, we’ve also brainstormed quite a bit regarding replayability. The endgame content of Grindea has always been an important part for us, and we want players to have a ton of stuff to strive for after the main story has been completed. One of our endgame features has been something we call Endless Tower, in which players will fight through an seemingly endless amount of rooms filled with different enemy composition. The difficulty increases by each passing room, as does the rewards for completing them.

While discussing this feature, we realized in how many ways this was similar to a classic rogue-like, and began exploring how the idea might be turned into a separate game mode. Players would need to fight through floors consisting of a number of different rooms, each room being filled with enemies, traps, puzzles or other tasks for the players to complete. The floor layouts would be randomly generated each play through, making every session unique.

This mode would also feature permadeath, meaning if you die once your character will be gone forever. You will start every play through with a new level 1 character, so you won’t have to worry about killing of your regular, uber-farmed characters. Since this mode is meant to be played during short sessions we will adjust a lot of the droprates to better fit the fast paced action. Gear and cards will drop a lot more frequently, while the health orbs might be more rare!

There are many good reasons to add this mode. Since we already have the Endless Tower planned and we’ll use the same enemies and environments as the fully hand crafted story mode, adding it will require very little development time while providing a huge boost to the replayability. If we ever decide to open the game up for pre order early-access, it would also be a good way to give early adopters something to entertain themselves with between patches.

If any of you rogue-like fans out there have any additional ideas, feel free to let us know through the comments! We’re always interested in hearing your feedback :)