It’s been a month, so it’s time for another Post-Release recap!

Balance and Difficulty Changes

Like mentioned in April’s blog post, we’ve been working on balance and difficulty changes: The first part of this was “Chill Mode” (aka Easy Mode). This mode gives the player damage resistance that increases as their HP gets lower, easier boss patterns and also a lifeline where health orbs can randomly spawn nearby when a player is low on health! We hope this mode will suit players who wants to go on an adventure but not necessarily be under a lot of pressure skill-wise.

Conversely, we’ve realized that the gap between Normal and Hard is very big – especially considering Zhamla’s moves of disabling the Health Potion and Barrier; two tools that a lot of players feel forced into when playing the mode. For some, Normal feels like a cakewalk and Hard like a punishment.

To better serve this crowd, we will adjust the difficulty of Hard Mode, where Zhamla will allow you to use HPot and Barrier, and the mode will generally be made slightly easier across the board. It is basically equivalent to Catalyst 2 in Arcade Mode, with some adjustments.

We will at the same time introduce a fourth difficulty: “Expert”. This mode is slightly harder than current Hard, mostly due to the Health Potion and Barrier being weaker right from the start. Overall, though, the experience will basically be the same as current Hard.

The Hard Mode-achievement will be rebranded as an Expert Mode-achievement, and everyone who has unlocked it will keep it but under the new name!

Shield Training

The shield is overlooked by a lot of players, and its importance isn’t really made clear enough in the game today. To introduce players to the shield in a more formal way, and hopefully instil its many uses, we’ll be adding a short shield-training sequence to the Collector’s Trials in the beginning of the game! This sequence will be hosted by Master Ji of the dojo and one of his pupils, who will demonstrate and have you try your shield out a couple of times before you begin the battle part of the arena.

We’ve wanted to add some sort of shield training to the game since really the beginning of the development, but never found a good spot to squeeze it in during the rather hectic development. Our main focus was always to get as much content out as possible, which – as you know – was occassionally a bit of a struggle due to our perfectionism. However, now that the game is released and we see how difficult it is for some people to remember the shield at all, we feel it’s time to finally add it in.

Here’s a couple of animations made by Fred in preparation for this:

The Production Booklet

The creation of the production booklet, or the behind-the-scenes book that will summarize this 13 year long journey, is well under way. 33 pages have been written and designed so far, though we expect it will be at least two to three times longer before all is said and done. Here’s a few sneak peeks (note that this is a WIP with missing pictures and adjustments, and the text is yet to be edited):

Next Time…

Before the next update on June 1, we hope to have the new difficulty settings properly tested and implemented along with the shield training! Stay tuned for that :)