Happy new week everyone! Here’s our recap of what happened in Grindea development since last:

Teddy has been working on multiplayer across the final dungeon. There’s been a lot of bug fixes needed, but as of now everything including the final boss should work pretty well when playing with friends!

Vilya has continued working on the final bunch of backgrounds as well as playing through the game to catch all of those last minute fixes and bugs we may need to take a look at. Here’s some progress of one of the puzzle backgrounds, where we’ve added more and more details in several iterations:

She also made a version of the third puzzle background, which will probably be iterated with more details as well:

As for Fred, he’s made a bunch of different animations – the attack and spawn animations of Zhamla’s plant summon and a spawn animation of his version of the cloud, a walk animation for the guards walking downwards and an animation for bag flying out of the player.

Here’s a little sneak peek:

A new week has gone by and more backgrounds have been produced! :)

This time, let’s start off with the various variations of the final Arcade Mode background we showed a first version of last week:

Our favourites here are the bottom right one and bottom mid one – we haven’t quite decided which one to pick yet!

Work on the backgrounds for when you finish the puzzles continue as well. Though we showed a bunch of suggestions last week, we ended up picking a version we didn’t even feature in the post! Here it is:

I also started working on a background for the next puzzle. Here’s my first experiment, as well as a video showing it in action:

We’re going to add some more details to this as well, so it’s not quite final yet. This type of workflow, creating a basic version of something first and adding more details once the first concept has been approved is a very common strategy in game development, one we use a lot as well (as you can tell)! This way we don’t end up wasting too much time on something that will be scrapped anyway, and everyone gets to have a part in suggesting details and improvements.

Another background I’ve been working on is the backdrop for the final battle against Zhamla. For this, we currently have three suggestions:

Our favourite among these is the middle one, though we may end up with a merge between the middle and right ones!

Now, as for Teddy and Fred: Teddy continues working on adding multiplayer to the dungeon. Right now, it should work for the whole elevator trip / boss rush and the puzzle floor, and he’s currently working on making it work in the battle against Dad. There were some issues fitting all of the summons on the elevator in some of the cutscenes if you were a party of four with many summoners, but we’ve managed to find a solution that works alright (essentially hiding the summons during these cutscenes).

Fred’s focus has been making animations for Zhamla and his attacks. The bigger the subject, the more difficult the animations are to get right:

Something that’s just a little bit smaller are these lovely flying beasts that will serve as Zhamlas insect swarm! Here’s a bunch of design iterations, as well as an animation of the finished thing:

Enjoy your week, and let’s keep working! :D

Last week was really busy! Teddy is and will continue to focus full time on getting multiplayer working for the tower and Fred is pumping out new Zhamla animations to get that final battle finished. And as for me – I’ve finally gotten to do some new backgrounds :D

First up, a background for the final scene after you complete Arcade Mode:

We’re going to work out some additional details here though – more on that next week.

One of the final backgrounds for Story Mode has gotten some more details this week as well! This too is a work in progress with more iterations coming, but it’s already a lot better than it was before:

We’ve also been working on some backgrounds for after you complete the puzzles in the tower. Our idea was that once a puzzle is complete, the mirror magic that conjured it up shatters and you’ll be left in either a colorless version of the world, where pieces of it has literally fallen away or a smaller room in the style of the dungeon, suggesting you were in a small closet like space all along rather than the bigger puzzle room. As such, I made a bunch of different suggestions:

We’ll decide which of them to go for this week and let you know in next week’s update! :)

Finally, I’ve started working as Fred’s animation assistant, helping him clean up some unfinished animations he’s been working on. Here’s a little preview of what sort of work that entails:

In the before column, you see there’s a bunch of holes and pixels missing. My job is basically to clean that up and make sure everything looks as it should. With me helping in this way, Fred can focus on getting the key frames right and leave the boring cleanup to me. I’ll continue doing more of this cleanup work this week, which hopefully means we’ll be finished quicker now that we can be two people working on the animations instead of just one :)

After two weeks of recharging our batteries and some strange weeks before that where I had to very suddenly move across the country, it’s me – Vilya – back to bring you new updates! I’m sure you’ll all miss Fred’s amazing summaries, but unfortunately he’s been banished to animation duty for now… :)

This week, let’s discuss what we’ve got left to do and what we’ll be focusing on in the near future:

Though 90% of the final update is done by now, as always it’s the last 10% that take the most time. Polishing cutscene and animation timings, editing sprites and backgrounds, finishing up placeholder animations… We firmly believe that the difference between an average game and a great one is your attention to details, so obviously we wante everything to be perfect (or as perfect as we can possibly make it).

Fred has a very long list of animations to do, so to help avoid too much of a bottleneck situation I’ll be helping him clean up some animations. I’m also going to make a proper background for one of the final scenes in Arcade Mode, play around with some background alternatives for the final battles in Story Mode, and edit a background for one of the later scenes in that mode as well. After that, my main focus will be playing through the final dungeon and the game as a whole to catch any last minute edits we need to make. In particular, there’s one phase of the Zhamla battle we’re not entirely satisfied with yet, but I think we’re close to getting it right.

Fred will start off this week with recording a video of the scenes and animations we need sound effects for in the battle against Dad and send them to our wonderful sound designer Fark. After that he’ll be focusing on the last bunch of Zhamla animations – some that need to be made from scratch and others simply cleaned up. Once we’re 100% done with that we’ll prepare another sound request video for that battle, after which we would have most of the sound effects needed to realease the game.

Teddy will focus on getting the final dungeon multiplayer ready. While most of it is playable in single player, making sure the network side of things work out is a different matter. He’s also been working on some post-end dialogues for various NPCs you can talk to when you start the game after defeating the final boss.

When it comes to post-end content in general, at the moment we’ve decided to add one “easter egg” scene you can come across if you explore the world a bit after finishing the story, though we might end up adding more before all is said and done.

After taking some time to clear our heads, we’re definitely pumped to begin this very last stretch of development for real. Let’s go! :D