Finally, it’s time to take a look at the final puzzle room, which marks one of the last couple of backgrounds for me. This time it’s a mixture of Puzzle World-inspired graphics along with a healthy dose of season change! So let’s begin:

Of course, this background will appear in three different seasons as well – autumn, winter and summer – so time to add a bit more detail:

Teddy and Fred are working on more cutscenes and the final bits and pieces here and there, and the production booklet is coming along nicely as well! Since I’m working on the final bits on the game now, I’ll soon begin the little Grindea related side-project we mentioned a while back as well, but I’ll give you more info on that once things are a bit more planned out. Stay tuned!

The main focus this week continous to be endgame stuff, boss polish and cutscenes, but since the progress on those is a bit more abstract to show, let’s take a look at another one of the puzzle backgrounds instead:

This puzzle room features a whole lot of phase shifting mixed with twilight! You saw a prototype of this puzzle a few weeks ago, but now it finally has a proper background as well :)

Fred has also spent some time on the puzzles, creating a “mirror core” you need to crush in each of the puzzle rooms in order to progress further! Here’s the progress of that project, from early sketches to finished version:

 

Next week it’s time to reveal the background for the third and final puzzle! Stay tuned! :)

Another week and more ending related progress! This time, let’s have a look at one of the puzzle backgrounds, inspired by the early arena:

In this room you’ll deal with three classical block puzzles, one of which is the older, more difficult version of the one that appears in the arena! Those of you who have played the game way back may remember it – it was later replaced by an easier version that better fit those early parts of the game.

The main focus for Teddy and Fred is the cutscenes, so let’s have a little preview of one of the last cutscenes of Arcade Mode! First, an early prototype:

Then, adding some more details:

We weren’t entirely happy with how the hand looked, and felt the whole composition looked a little lame, so we played around with another setup:

Leading, finally, to this version:

This week we’ll continue working on the final backgrounds, the production booklet and the remaining cutscenes! Almost there :)

Another week and more stuff to do and talk about! This week I went back to some art stuff in between writing on the book, finishing up one of the final battle rooms! This here is where you get to battle Dad, and we’ll transform the room a bit for your fight against Zhamla – but that’s for later! :)

We’ve also started something that really makes it feel like we’re at the home strech – one final playthrought. For one hour every day we’re currently doing a multiplayer playthrough of the entire game together, from start to finish. This is to see if we’ve missed any inconsistencies or bugs before release – don’t worry, we’re not adding long lists of polish to add, this is solely for storyline consistency and bug purposes, and to iron out anything that feels off. In other words, the finishing touches, if you will. When we’re not doing the playthrough we’re focusing on the final parts of the game. For me and Teddy, that’s Story Mode – for Fred, it’s finishing up some last remaining graphics for the Arcade Mode ending. Here’s a little sneak peek:

Two different versions – one longer, one shorter. Which one do you prefer? :)

This week I’ve been going through all the blog posts we made throughout 2013 and 2014 to refresh my memory and save some of the stuff posted there. The word count for the production book is now 22,548 with 9 more years to account for! Quite the tome already – but as I said last week, we’ll make a lot of cuts before we have the finished product.

I must say it’s quite the journey to read about all the stuff we did, all of our early plans for the game and small tidbits about we were doing with our lives. Though a lot has changed throughout the years, our work on Secrets of Grindea has been the one thing that’s always been there. Looking back at certain graphics I made I can pinpoint exactly where I was in my life when I made it and how it felt sitting there right in that moment. And though I’m looking at things that are more than 10 years old it somehow feels just like yesterday.

Looking at the crazy amount of ideas we had for the game back then also makes me very inspired for the future. A lot of great ideas didn’t make it into Secrets of Grindea, but perhaps they can be used for the next project? Of course, we haven’t decided on what that next game might be yet, but we have a lot of suggestions and reading up on our old ideas really make me excited.

A bit unexpectedly, there’s a whole bunch of things we made that still haven’t made it into the game as well! Anyone remember these little guys?

They were supposed to appear in Seasonne as decorations and first appeared on the blog way back in 2013, right about the time when we also somehow forgot about them forever. Going through the old archives sure is full of unexpected treasures!

Teddy is mainly focused on prototyping the final puzzles, so here’s a sneak peek of part of one such puzzle (featuring some twilight shift action), as well as some graphic details for what happens when you’ve solved a puzzle and return to the elevator room:

Fred meanwhile continues to make animations for the battle against Dad! Here’s one of his attack animations:

This week I’ve partly spent finishing up my part of the fight against the mirror, which means a new couple portraits as well as the boss portrait has been made:

I also started work on the balcony, which will lead you to the building where Zhamla lies waiting:

Mainly, though, I’ve started proper work on the production booklet which will be a part of the Snowbacca support tier! More on that next week… :)

Teddy and Fred continues on with the fight against Dad – so here’s a couple more animations from that department:

Work on the tower continues with a bunch more backgrounds. First, some new elevators for that barrage attack where enemies from various areas will appear at once!

These elevators will feature a Collector’s HQ setting as they’ll show the Black Ferrets, who you last fought over there:

Next, the top of the tower, allowing you to finally exit all of it:

Teddy’s been working on some more puzzle ideas, so here’s a little sneak peek of one we’re fairly certain will make it into the game as one of the three challenges:

I won’t go into the details of how it works as you’ll have to solve it for yourself… But we think it’s gonna be nice, involving time rifts and season swapping!

Speaking of season swapping, as work on the cutscenes continue we’ve utilized the season change effect to transform the Shadow Slime elevators into its Pumpkin Woods themed counterpart:

This is just one of the many small details we’ve been adding and working on in the cutscene department – those things take a lot of time. But hopefully, it’ll all be worth it and look super cool in the end!

Next week and the one after we’ll be taking a little bit of a summer break in order to spend some time with friends and family. Therefore, the next blog post will be available on July 18th, when we’re back in the office! Stay tuned until then :)

The next thing on our to-do list for the final dungeon is a little puzzle section. Yes, originally we said it’ll just be a boss rush, but for pacing’s sake and because a lot of your wanted some variation, we’ve decided to add just a little something – basically, you’ll end up on a floor where the mirror spawns three different rooms which you’ll have to complete in order for the elevator to continue moving. Of course, this means we’ve thought a lot about various puzzle ideas recently, and while none are completely set in stone yet we think we have a couple nice ingredients to make interesting puzzles.

One involves a clock of sorts that automatically changes what season is in a room in fixed intervals, so after being winter for a set time, it’ll change automatically to spring, and so on. This means you’ll need to time what you do before the season is changed again.

This could for instance work with a phase shift puzzle with obstacles that change depending on the season – for instance, a waterfall you can bounce off of when it’s frozen in winter or mirror blocks with large plants growing on top of them that wither and fall down to block the mirrors in autumn and winter.

Another idea, this one by Fred, involving winds and water:

We’d also like to have another puzzle like the one in Puzzle World back in Tai Ming, with statues in the past that you can move and that break and fall in different direction in the present.

Yet another idea is a puzzle with a Lost Ship type mask that flies in a circle with season orbs, and in order to solve the puzzle you need the mask to hit the season orbs in the right order by going back and forth into the spirit world.

And here’s another Phase shift idea, illustrated by Fred:

The puzzles are still in the idea stage, as you can see – so don’t hesitate to share any ideas you have for what you’d like to see in this final puzzle section of the game!

Now, these puzzles need proper backgrounds as well, and to start things off I’ll be making the “hub room” from which you’ll reach the three different puzzles:

In the version above, doors have been added by the Mirror through his magic! But in order for them to appear, we needed a version of the hub without them added as well, so here’s what the floor will look like before the mirror transforms it with his magic:

Steadily moving towards the top of the tower! Almost there now :D

This week it’s all about our old favourite Luke. As part of the Mirror’s boss summoning game, he’ll of course need properly themed elevators:

Fred’s been busy making a ton of animations for him as well, so here’s a look at them:

And here’s the summoning sequence:

Luke will be the final boss summoned by the mirror, so drawing ever closer to the end of this dungeon. Phew!

A new week, and new design decisions! After more discussions surrounding the final part of the final dungeon, we’ve decided to give the final boss(es) a proper area of their own, away from the tower. This is for a number of reasons, one of the key ones being that it’ll be a lot more epic. As such, the layout of things will look like this going forward:

You’ll start off by getting to the “top floor” of the tower, were a door leads out to a “balcony” of sorts:

In this balcony, a path will appear before you, leading you to the building where you’ll face the final boss(es) once and for all. We’d like this path to build a bit like the elevators in the tower, with bits and pieces molding together as you walk across, but we’ll have to do some testing to see how it’ll work out:

Next, you’ll reach Zhamla’s resting grounds, which in this sketch would remind the player of both Tai Ming and the Flying Fortress:

Inside, there will be giant windows that will shatter once the real battle begins, revealing the sky outside:

Meanwhile in Fred’s department, there’s a lot of different things going on. For instance, there’s a giant Grindea hand being animated for a special sequence:


Luke is getting some new animations:

And all of the mirror bosses are getting some more graphics as well:

Speaking of the mirror bosses, one of the other things we’ve been working on recently has been the way they’ll shatter as you defeat them. Here’s a bunch of our latest tests – what do you guys think? :)