This week we’ll take a closer look at the next boss in the boss rush, the Season Hydra! As you may remember, I made a part of the background for it a while ago, but today it’s time to take a look at what the elevator will look like with each of the different seasons. First though, we decided to add grass to the remaining two platforms as well, so let’s have a peek at that first:

With that in order, let’s continue transforming this background into each of the four seasons! Starting with Summer:

Next, Autumn:

In the cold days of winter:

And finally, pleasant spring:

Of course, the Hydras will need some kind of wall for them to bang their heads into, otherwise how are you gonna be able to best them?! At first, we considered using the spears you’ve seen from across the game:

A basic WIP, of course, but we thought we might come up with something slightly cooler. Enter the force field:

A little bit more hitech perhaps, but also a lot visually cooler. Especially with Fred’s startup animation of it! Let’s have a look:

And before we go, have a GIF of what the spawn sequence looks like right now (without the proper summer background added yet):

With the Hydra fight well under way, this dungeon is coming together more and more :) We hope you’ll enjoy it!

Another week, and this one’s main focus will be all about GUN-D4M, or rather the upgraded more epic version you’ll face in the dungeon! First up, a slight redesign was in order, to properly differentiate him from the previous version! For this, we made a couple sketches to determine which one we liked the best:

We felt like the one with the lights were the cooler version, so we ended up going with that:

Some colour variations to get it all just right:

And after that, time to start animating that badass! Let’s have a look at one of his animations:

His fingers will feature a new weapon as well… Ooof!

And here’s a bunch of videos from our prototyping of this part of the battle, starting with the two Phasemen, going into the GUN-D4M portion of the game, and then finally a bit of how the boss fight itself will play out:





What do you think so far? We’re all very excited for where this is heading anyway, hope you are too :D

This week we’ll start off with another Boss Rush floor, this time the GUN-D4M floor, which will pretty much be the Phasemen floor – but destroyed by the sheer force of the GUN-D4M starting the battle! Let’s have a look:

One of the other things we’ve spent a lot of time on lately is what it’s gonna look like actually summoning these bosses! Each boss will be summoned by the Mirror artefact who ‘governs’ the Tower, and so our idea has been that we want some kind of mirror or glass effect as they appear. The videos below will give a pretty good idea of how our iteration process works – starting off with something small and building on it and editing it here along with more details, until we have something we’re happy with.

So, first up, here’s a couple of our very early iterations:



Then, we added a glass/mirror-like colouring for the next couple iterations:



Here we begin to play around with a glass shattering effect, which in these early prototypes is still very crude, as you can see:



Here Fred has gotten his hands on the prototype and started making some graphics! The shattering effect is still pretty basic, though:

With more proper graphics it’s starting to look more and more like something that would actually appear in the game! Here the “summoning-shards” have better graphics, and we’re playing around with various sizes for the mirror shards as they shatter:



We’ve also been working on the elevator itself, adding some darkness to give a better sense of dept to the dungeon:

Pretty cool huh? It’s really exciting to see this all coming together :) Now, next week is easter here, and with the restrictions finally being out of the way for the most part, it’s time to spend some time with family!

Therefore, there won’t be an update next week, but the blog will be back as usual on Monday the 25th! See you then :)

It’s high time we return our attentions to Story Mode, and so let’s have a look at the interior of the tower this week! Here’s where that boss rush will take place, on an elevator taking you to the top. Here’s the process of the basic background:

The various colored squares in the beginning of the GIF above shows you the various sizes of the boss rooms in Story Mode, which will serve as a guide for when I start making the elevators for each boss. Next, it’s time to add some more details:

And finally, a bunch of moss and small rocks to add further detail to this first floor:

Feels great to have finally started working on this, but there’s a lot more to come in terms of elevators and the like, so stay tuned for more :)

Before ending this post though, here’s a look at some stuff Fred’s been working on as well:

Oh yes, he’s back!! Excited for the final battles to take place? We sure are! :)

This week, we’re starting off by adding a new currency!

This is golden essence, which like normal essence can be traded for rewards at Bishop’s in Arcadia. We’re also thinking you’ll be able to trade a (big) amount of regular essence for one of these. The reason we came up with this currency is because we thought it’d be a better reward to get in that final floor chest, rather than getting the rewards themselves. This way you can pick and choose whatever rewards you want in any order (except for some that you will need to unlock by completing Arcade Mode in all difficulties), and it seems a bit clearer that you always get a reward of golden essence rather than an arbitrary number of rewards only to suddenly not get any more.

This way adding new rewards is more streamlined as well – if we decide to add more rewards, Bishop will simply update his shop rather than you having to complete arcade mode once again to see what sort of item(s) we’ve added!

Next, we wanted to add something fancy for when you manage to finish off one of those new and spicy floor-wide bets, so I threw together a little background for a room in Bishop’s realm where you get sent once you’ve cleared the floor:

Next up, we wanted a wagon for the potion salesman that sells you Super Potions, so I made some tweaks to Remedi’s old thing in Arcadia to better fit the salesman we have in mind:

And here we go, the second attempt at that bad-ass fae, Badasu! This one looks a little more badass, no?

Meanwhile in Fred’s department, it’s all about hands! Grindea’s hands, to be precise! Have a look:

It’s another Monday starting with another meeting, and in this one we discussed more stuff to add to the final update of Arcade Mode. Here’s a bunch of our new suggestions in terms of events and event rooms you may come across during a run:

* First up, an event room that’s a spa where you can pick up a couple health orbs, just a nice little treat that may show up once in a while

* A potion salesman that sells “bootleg” potions that last longer than the ones you have equipped normally. These potions are usable items you can use whenever you like but will last longer and possibly be a bit stronger.

* A version of the fortune teller room in which you can change the boss of the floor, but for the next event room! In this room Astrid the fortune teller will let you know what event room is the next to spawn, and you’ll be able to let her swap it out for another one, for a fee.

* A “Boss Assistance Fae”, a fae adventurer that may show up randomly in a room and help you clear it out, only to suggest you employ his assistance in battling the boss. Of course, having his assistance will cost you! This fae may also show up occasionally in Astrid’s Fortune telling room where she predicts which boss you’ll face off against next.

* We’re also discussing having floor wide bets, where Bishop will appear at the start of a floor and give you a bet across the whole floor, such as clearing the floor within a limited time!

* Maraccas, who will show up in later floors, letting you exchange silver points for talent orbs, just like in Story Mode

* Trick & Treat buff service which will give you quite a powerful buff – but will also include quite a massive debuff. For example, in an early floor you might get a skill leveled to max, but you’re not allowed to use any other skills or your shield.

* A Trade Up Guy who will take three of your items of the same kind and exchange them for a better version of them

* A Lood room, which is an event room with a lot of loods and one big master lood who is a NPC of sorts

* The Ice Cream parlor, where you can make your own ice cream that gives you different boosts depending on which flavours you pick

* A person who shows up at the beginning of the last floor you died, or possibly after you’ve died at the same floor a number of times, selling buffs that will last until the end of the floor

If you have any other ideas for event rooms or fun things to happen throughout a run, be sure to make a comment! :)

Finally when it comes to Arcade Mode event room entrances, we have the Ghost Ship, the Desert, Tai Ming and Mount Bloom:




Another couple upgrades we’ve been working on is a proper preview window for Shadier Merchant, which compared your items to the ones on display as you approach:

As well as a nice blue warning for the main menu when your save is incompatible (previously it was brown, as can be seen below):


Next, it’s time for another one of those Grindea battle updates! Here, let’s take a look at two more of her moves, still a bit WIP but it’s looking better and better for sure:

Time to start this week with another meeting! As you know, we’ve been going through each of our old floor designs for the final dungeon and deciding whether we want to keep them as is or improve them in any way. This week we talked about the Mount Bloom and Tai Ming focused floors!

On the Mount Bloom floor, you’ll find a Mount Bloom combined with the festival themed area where you’ll compete against Cavelings in each of the festival challenges, with a twist. We were still quite happy with this floor, but we had some notes on a cutscene towards the end that we fleshed out a bit, making it a lot better.

The Tai Ming floor, meanwhile, seemed incredibly long now that we decided to shorten a lot of the previous floors. Before, the idea was that you needed to help three different ghosts with a challenge each (either battles or puzzle related), before being able to collect the three Tai Ming emblems from them, which in turn would trigger an advanced version of the Priestess battle. Now we’ve decided to simply let the player talk to the ghosts and get the emblems that way, making the floor a lot shorter and more to the point. We now feel a lot happier with this floor as well!

Next week, we’ll take some time to discuss the final floor we need to decide: the Dragonbone Dunes floor. Yes, I know there’s still the Ghost Ship floor, but as it happens, we’ve always been sure of what’s gonna happen on that one, so no need to redesign that one. The desert floor however isn’t exactly the way we like it yet, so as “homework” for next week’s meeting we’ll each take some time to think about what different options we have for the floor :)

But for now, onwards with more art stuff! Starting with a quick return to Arcade Mode! There’s a couple transer screens needed for when your character runs towards the next area, showing your score as you go. First up, the transfer between Tai Ming and Dragonbone Dunes:

And next, the transfer between Dragonbone Dunes and the Ghost Ship:

In Teddy’s department, it’s all about the battle against Grindea, a battle we’re getting more and more excited about!

The idea is that she’ll have two forms: one “regular sized” form, where she’ll be pretty much player sized and have a bunch of different moves. Here’s a couple ideas we’ve thrown together – big warning that we’re using a LOT of placeholder graphics in these, just to get a feel for the mechanics:

 

And as a bonus, here’s our very first test, before any mechanics at all were added, just a very basic Grindea running around in a circle (square?). Pretty cool how iterations work, and how we’ll soon go from the placeholder graphic versions above to stuff with finalized art. This is probably one of my personal favourite parts of game design, seeing how things go from something basic and crude to more fleshed out and detailed designs!

 

The second form she’ll have is this giant, “proper” goddess form, where she’ll have a different set of attacks:

 

More to come! Super excited for this battle, which should be one of the most difficult and epic fights in the game :)

New week, new improvements! We wanted to make the Bishop boss portrait look a bit more creepy, so I did a bit of an paintover to adjust just that:

We’ve also made some additions around the card room, adding frames for each card to the wall, as well a a proper entrance (bye bye dragon floor and puzzle stuff):

With us finally deciding the visuals for the floating isle that will be the final Arcade Mode room, it was high time to add that and Arcadia itself to the world map (proper layout of the isles yet to be decided):

And speaking of the floating isle in question, I’ve started working on that as well! Here’s as far as I’ve gotten as of yet, more work to come:

Finally, Fred makes some progress with cleaning up the Bishop’s animations (have a little sneak peek), as well as adding some light effects to the cards in the card cave, which will illustrate how many cards you’ve collected thus far:

A new week comes along with a new room in the HQ! This room is where the Silver Point to Talent Orb transmuter will hang out with his apprentice Bokus:

Next, it’s time to start working on Bishop’s boss portrait, here divided into two parts, starting off with the first Bishop:

After that, we swap him around and add a different weapon, after which we add the third Bishop, the scary guy with the scythe:

Back to the new HQ room, we had some talks about it and decided to make it smaller and a bit more messy, adding a pile of books for Bokus to sit on as well:

Fred, meanwhile, has continued work on Bishop, and so here we have him giving you a catalyst in a rather interesting new way:

For the sixth final dungeon floor, we’re doing a mashup of the festival and Mount Bloom, which means you’ll be going to a festival in the mountains! And who better to host such an event than a score of Cavelings…. :)

Our idea is that you’ll be in a rather open cave system where you’ll trick phase between various stations, each having a little mini game challenge of its own. We haven’t yet decided whether you’ll need to do them in a specific order or if you can trick phase your way around the area freely.

Either way, our current idea is that it’ll be the same mini games as you had in the Evergrind festival after you finished the Temple of Seasons, only with a caveling twist for each event. So for instance, you might not win the fishing contest based on the best or most fishes, and the cavelings might use some other cheating tactics to make sure they win themselves in the running challenge, and so on. I won’t go into too much detail here but you get the idea – basically you’ll most likely end up getting swindled one way or another – what else to expect from the cavelings, huh?

This week we’ll be discussing the Tai Ming floor, and after that there’s only two more floors to go! Drawing ever closer to the end :)

So, another thing we’ve been working on recently has been a bunch of new gauntlets for the arena! Now there’s a total of four of them, each a bit more difficult than the last.

First we have the good old classic one featuring Pillar Mountains, Evergrind City and Pumpkin Wood enemies. The second one has enemies from Flying Fortress and Seasonne, as well as a guest appearanec from Phase Man and a couple puzzle block enemies. The third has enemies from the Temple of Seasons and Mount Bloom, and also features the Summer and Autumn Elder Fae and Black Ferrets! Finally there’s the final Gauntlet, which has enemies from across the entire world, as well as some giant thorn worms, Vilya AND Marino! Quite intense.

After having made these, we’ve of course spent a bunch of time testing them. I also decided to remake the icon for the original gauntlet (which was a single slime against a yellow background) now that I had to make icons for the new challenges anyway:

Meanwhile, the Bishop battle is turning more and more from a prototype into an actual badass battle!

We’ve added a bunch of attacks and cleaned up the graphics on some. After some initial testing of this version of the battle, I’d like to be bold enough to say it’s one of my favourite boss battles in the game this far:

Hopefully you guys will like it as well! It’s pretty intense, let me tell you that much! :D

Next up we have a new NPC we’ve been talking about adding for a long time! This guy will be ‘unlocked’ by finishing a quest in the Collector’s HQ, and will grant you the ability to turn your silver skillpoints into talent orbs (and the other way around!)

Of course, as such he needed a portrait:

Meanwhile, Fred’s been continuing on with refining the Bishop animations, making sure the battle against him looks as good as possible! Here’s some more of his animations: