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 :)

We’re back guys! Seriously, having a couple weeks off has been great and we’re now super excited to get back to work and finish this game up! Thank you for being so understanding and supporting us throughout these years – what a journey it’s been, and still is. Now as we’re drawing closer and closer to the end, it’s time to start taking a look at one of the final battles – the one with your own dad. We’ve been working on a bunch of attacks for him, so let’s have a peek:

No Grindea boss is ever really complete without having to dodge a bunch of stuff, am I right? So to start off, he’ll have one attack featuring Amalet and his annoying energy orbs, while you also have to dodge that annoying sword you just found out about.

Speaking of said sword, it’s sure out to get you, and has a bunch of attacks of it’s own – here with the aid of a Gaantlet teleport:

Some more dodging action:

And Gaantlet creating ice fields to make this battle even more difficult, oof:

The attack above looks a little wonky as it’s been recorded in 30 fps – don’t worry, it’s gonna look a lot better in the actual game with the actual graphics.

And here’s a little sequence featuring the attacks we have so far in various patterns, giving you a little preview of what parts of this fight might look like:

All WIP still, of course! In Fred’s department, he’s been busy making the proper animations for the attacks we’ve come up with this far, so here we have a couple of them:

Next up, I’ll be working on the final backgrounds, the last few puzzles and the last couple boss portraits! So close now :)

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

Another week and more stuff keeps happening in the tower! Last week, we took a look at the boss summonings, which looked something like this:

However, after some discussions we decided to change the timings around a bit and add the elevator parts after the Mirror’s lines as opposed to before it, making it a bit more of a surprise which boss will appear next – so here’s the updated version:

To start with, we weren’t in agreement of which one was better, but in the end I think all of us have been convinced to go with this second version. Which one do you guys prefer?

Next up, we’ve been working on a bit of a mix sequence, where you’ll basically have to survive a barrage of attacks from various bosses throughout the game, making sure even more of them show up in this final part of the game. Let’s have a look at some of what we have so far:

Of course, the graphics are will a work in progress, the proper elevators, particularly for the Black Ferrets, will be added soon.

Speaking of new graphics though, there’s still a couple backgrounds left to make, so let’s have a look for the one that will feature in the Mimic battle:

Brings back old memories of Tai Ming, hopefully!

Fred’s busy making the proper glass-like graphics for each of the bosses and characters, so here’s a little sneak peek of two more:

And meanwhile, Teddy’s been busy with some programming that’s not exactly related to the game per se. As we may have mentioned ages ago, the game will not only release on Steam but will feature on GOG as well – so as we’re drawing ever close to completion, it’s time to start looking into implementing their stuff, making highscores and the like work on their platform as well. So, not much game progress – but still progress towards the release!

This week I thought we’d take a look at a bunch of the cutscenes we’ve been working on! Cutscenes are probably one of the most time consuming things for us to make, as it takes a lot of coordination between especially the programming and animation side of things, and there’s tons of small things that need to fit together to make them work.

In the final dungeon, there will be some minor cutscenes between each of the bosses, and here’s some of our WIPs this far!

We’ll start with taking a look at the intro of the boss himself, the mirror:

After that it’s time to summon the first boss, a shadow version of Giga Slime! Here we can take a proper look at the finished summoning animation as well:

Much the same happens for the next boss summoning, although here we’re thinking we want the grass to change rather than the elevators being replaced, so some changes might be in order:

Another fitting rhyme before your fight against two Phasemen:

Followed by a bit more epic appearance of the GUN-D4M!

In other exciting news, the sound effects have started to get added, courtesy of our lovely sound designer Fark! Here’s a little sneak peek of what things will sound like very soon:

And of course, a couple updates from Fred’s department. Here we have some shiny mirror versions of a bunch of enemies, and another animation featuring Zhamla:

Next week, it’s time for some new backgrounds and more final dungeon stuff! Stay tuned :)

We’re not only focusing on the bosses, even if it might seem like that from the last couple week’s updates! Today, let’s have a look at some of the other things we’ve been working on :)

First up, we’ve been thinking about and sketching the final rooms, where you’ll face your final battle(s) of this game. Originally, we wanted the elevator to end up in the actual boss room, so I made a couple of sketches suggesting that (very basic, as these early designs often are):

Then we changed our mind, as an outdoor area would not only be infinitely cooler, but would also allow us to streamline some things in an upcoming cutscene. Hence, I changed the designs around and made on for the top floor and one for the outdoors where the actual battles will take place:

…and then we changed our minds again, thinking staying in the tower might not be so bad after all, but adding big windows to give a glimpse of the outdoors:

When this sketch was made, we still thought about having another room proir to the battle room, but then after making some changes to the cutscene idea, we thought the elevator going all the way up and the leaving might be a cooler idea, giving us a sketch looking like this:

Finally, merging this new idea with the orignal sketch gave us something like this:

We’re still having a ton of discussions surrounding this, so these ideas may still change ten times over. Good thing we have a lot of other things to focus on in the meanwhile! Another thing we recently added are backgrounds for the journal and character background when you’re in the tower:

We’ve also been working on the Mirror, giving him another portrait and some flavour animations:

A lot of details has been made into making things look pretty in glass, for the mirror theme of the dungeon:

And Marino has been getting another animation too!

How peculiar… Whatever could he have to do with the final dungeon? ;)

A lot of work as been put into new cutscenes as well, a job which often demands a lot of time. Here’s a little sneak peek:

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 has been patch week, meaning we’ve spent a ton of time doing bug testing/fixing, AND that the Frontline version of the beta finally has an update! This patch adds the final two floors, new event rooms and some adjustments to Arcade Mode. We still got some things to add, such as sound effects and some minor additions (some updates to the high score interface, among other things), but once that’s done it’s finally back to Story Mode and the final updates of that mode.

The Desert and Lost Ship floors are now added, as well as a load of new Event Rooms, revamped challenge-rooms, more perks, and more stuff that can happen during runs! Arcade Mode now also has its very own map, instead of using Story Mode’s, which.. really didn’t do anything.

Finishing a run awards players with Golden Essence which can be used to purchase rewards, both power-ups and cosmetic. After the run has “finished”, the player can also fight a final battle against two different bosses – the one waiting after a finished Three Catalyst run is an entirely new boss that’s unique to the mode.

Full patch notes as follows:

Additions

  • The two final floors have been added to Arcade Mode
  • Beating all Arcade Mode floors now provides many extra rewards, as well as a final battle for the Catalyst
  • A unique final-final Arcade Mode boss can be encountered if beating the mode with three Catalysts activated
  • Nine new types of ?-rooms has been added to Arcade Mode
  • The Arcade Mode challenge-room pool has been revamped
  • Arcade Mode now has its own map
  • Experimental change to new network API for Steam

Changes

  • The Arcade Mode shop and most event rooms now has unique looks
  • Vastly improved load times when travelling between zones, especially ones already visited during session
  • In regular challenge rooms, damage taken no longer reduce health or score
  • The player can no longer attempt to brute-force themselves into Pine’s office
  • Taking a photo in a Arena Boss Rematch now shows a bag tip explaining the failure
  • Salmon can now be caught in the Pillar Mountain ponds in Arcade Mode!
  • Arcade Mode Shrine Buffs now last the entire floor, and have more powerful effects
  • Enemies in the Temple of Season Gauntlets in Arcade Mode no longer counts as true elites, reducing their item drop rates
  • The Crabby’s ‘charge up’-sound is now louder

Bug Fixes

  • The game no longer crashes when trying to read the dragon puzzle inscription after solving it without the translation tome
  • When a client drops an item, that item no longer uses the host as its spawn-position
  • A poorly timed skip of the Desert Rose cutscene no longer puts the main character in a locked animation
  • The Butterflown quest can now be skipped if the character has completed it in multiplayer
  • Fixed a bug where spinning autumn knights would occasionally leave behind hurtboxes after being killed mid-spin
  • The Throw-skill’s damage should now be properly modified by Pins
  • It should no longer be possible to get two pins of the same type, even on the run pins are unlocked
  • Plant Summons now follow their owner in and out of Twilight, attacking ghosts correctly
  • In the rare event that two pins are collected simultaneously, they are now equipped separately
  • The ‘Blink casts Ice Nova’-pin now works properly on clients
  • When entering a cutscene, the Frosty Friend UI will disappear if up
  • Clients should now see the game over screen after dying on floor 1 with a timeshift crystal active

This means we’ve also been spending some time working on the proper achievements for reaching the final two floors, meaning some graphics for that and a nice Solem Hat as a reward:

The Trophies that will serve as awards for finishing each challenge in a floor needed their own drop appearances, so that’s something we’ve been working on as well:

And of course, the wings are now available as rewards! Here’s what they look like, including Fred’s neat animations:

 

So, what are you waiting for – go ahead and try things out, and let us know what you think! As always, we value all of your feedback and would love to hear back from you guys! :)