Hello guys! It’s another weekly recap, hopefully the last before we add the first Tai Ming map to frontline! Here’s what we’ve been focusing on this week (perhaps more than usual, remember that this blog is full of spoilers about what’s coming up next):


First up, expressions! Due to all the cutscenes in Tai Ming (it’s very character- and story heavy!), it’s only natural that a lot of expressions need to be made for the important characters. Above is the first boss, who ends up being the reason for your time travels in the first place. She’s a priestess from the old days, still guarding the old site of Tai Ming, the ancient town of the collectors after all these years…

Next is Zhamla Meer – a young, bright kid who just wants to have fun, but who may not get quite what he wants:


…because of his very stern adoptive father, Sizou! This old man has taken care of Zhamla since he was a baby, and has very high hopes for his ward:


Zhamla can take solace in the fact that he has a true friend in this girl though, who is Tessen, Sizou’s biological granddaughter! Zhamla and Tessen are growing up together and are the best of friends. So, there’s still some fun to be had even with a stern mentor/grandpa looking over your shoulder:


And then, we have the guards! No town is complete without guards, right? These guys look very similar to one another, and there’s a very good reason for it hidden inside the village!


And lastly, Zhamlas teacher in sword fighting, Faita:


There’s also a couple more character portraits, one which belongs to this shield, who also happens to be a sentient artifact (though not the one you’re looking for):



And of course, we can’t have an area with enemies and no drops! So, here’s a bunch of drop appearances as well:


We’ve also played around with adding memories/ghosts here and there and Tai Ming’s present version. These eerie figures will appear here and there across the maps and fade away if you get too close:


Aaaand, since there can never be too much polish, we added a few more rifts to the ground, so the big one blocking the path doesn’t feel to lonely:




Now then! We aim to have the new Frontline patch up and running sometime during the weekend (Friday if we’re lucky), so wish us luck on that! Hopefully there are no nasty bugs blocking the way :)

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 http://vilyaroo.blogspot.se/ 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.. :)