After getting back from some days off, it’s only natural that you (or your team) have thought about a bunch of small improvements that could be made! So, after getting back last week, Vilya got straight back into fixing a bunch of things in Tai Ming’s second zone!

First, as we implemented more and more of the Tai Ming 2nd zone backgrounds, we came to realize we wanted to change some things around. One of those things were the placement of the cave entrance seen below:


Since this cave will be a puzzle cave, we thought it’d be a little bit funny if it was next to the graveyard, in order to illustrate how poor the owner’s business choices are. But we found it got a little bit too crowded, so we decided to move the entrance further to the right, and add a small fence to illustrate the end of the graveyard.

In the present, the puzzle cave has closed since many years, and instead the path to it has been filled with new tombstones:


Another thing we wanted to change was the windows of the monkey lab. Since this building is where a lot of scientific experiments take place, we want to highlight that this building is different from the rest, and in a way, more modern. We already have the more industrialized chimneys, but we also decided to add glass windows rather than the hollow ones from before:


And in the present, as time has passed and worn things down, the glass windows have broken and fallen apart:


Next up is of course finishing the remaining backgrounds needed for the area, including the ancient Collector’s HQ! When designing this place, we wanted it to resemble the Collector’s HQ in Evergrind City, only smaller since it doesn’t make sense for it to be as big as that one gameplay wise (you won’t really do anything in here except fetch a quest or two). So let’s take a look at what the Evergrind City HQ looks like:


And now, the ancient HQ:



We’re considering editing the doors a bit so they’ll fit in better with the Tai Ming theme. Also, there will be guards placed outside the doors like in Evergrind City, so you won’t be able to enter (though I guess it’s kind of rare to be able to walk through closed doors in this game anyway). The doors are only there to make the place seem bigger than it is, really!

As for characters in this area, there’s just a tiny amount of portraits left now! Of course, they will all need a bunch of expressions, but there won’t be too many all-new characters! This guy is the engineer that helped design the phase shift puzzle elements that are used in the course in Mt: Bloom:


We know gave a lot of people a headache (at least the more difficult, optional stage), so perhaps this is the guy you should blame? :)

Next, this fellow here is the key to a very old mystery: why do the guards in Tai Ming all look alike? The answer is simple – they’re all brothers! And their father is non other than this scientist, who currently works in the monkey lab:


When making this portrait we used the guard portrait as a base and recolored and repainted where needed, to make them look similar enough to be related.

Now, whether there’s a similar explanation to why the guards in Evergrind City look the same as well remains to be seen… :)

Finally, a little sneak peek of our next prototyping business: another ‘puzzle’ in the puzzle cave. Only it’s not a puzzle: instead you’re in the present, and the key you need keeps getting snatched away by monkeys:


How annoying, right?! Well, don’t worry! You’ll get the key eventually. At least, once we’ve finished the puzzle cave and all it’s background, which will be what we’ll jump into once we’ve finished up the second zone properly. See you next week! :)

One of the things we believe make a game more interesting is mini-games. And no game is complete without some good old target practice games! Therefore we have spent some time making such a game for the newly reintroduced bow. This mini-game can be found at the same location you find your bow, in this archer’s cottage just south of Evergrind City:

A Game of BowsThe archer also works part-time doing wall paintings…

The game is pretty straight forward as of now: You get a limited number of arrows which you can use to hit the various slime boards that pass you by.

You score more points depending on which color slime you hit, with the blue slimes in the back giving the most points. Of course, they’re also the hardest to hit – not only do they get covered by the two rows closer to you, they also move a lot faster.

If you’re skilled enough and hit several slimes in a row within a short time frame, you’ll score additional combo points.

We look forward to seeing your high scores in the beta forums once the patch is up and running ;)

Other than that, here are some new hats which might make it to the patch:

The past week has been very busy! Apart from fixing bugs and adding requested features, we’ve also implemented a prototype of the pet system, which will be the topic of today’s post!

First off, let’s clarify the difference between summons and pets!

Chilling in Evergrind with both a Cloud summon and a Rabby pet!

summon is a friendly combatant which is usually created through the use of a skill. Summons will not only cost mana to create, but that mana will remain blocked for as long as the summon stays alive. The popular Cloud is an example of this.

A pet is a companion you can bring with you, which follows you around. It does not join in combat, apart from giving you small stat boosts depending on its level. It costs no mana to keep around. Pets are not acquired through skills, but are caught with baits (or perhaps gained as rewards). An example of a caught pet is the Rabby.

To catch a pet, you’ll first need to find something to lure it with. The bait for attracting Rabbys, for example, is a golden carrot! When you use such an item close to an enemy that’s interested in it, that enemy will engage you and a minigame will ensue!

The minigame is DDR-inspired (how else would you impress someone?), where you must press the corresponding buttons at the right time! If you miss four times, you fail to catch the pet and it will attack you. You won’t lose your lure item, however, so you can try again if you want! By timing the button presses very well (Great or Perfect), the progress bar will gain a small boost and you’ll catch the pet quicker.

If you succeed in the minigame, you’ll catch the pet. If you don’t currently have a pet, it will join you right away. If you’ve already got another pet with you, you’ll get the option to bring the new pet, or keep your old one. The other will be sent to the farm!

The farm is where you keep all of your caught pets. Currently, we haven’t built the farm in-game yet, so we keep the pets inside the Evergrind City Café! The farm is the only place where you can interact with your pets through the action button (otherwise you’d keep talking to your pets all the time when fighting), and it’s also here where you can switch pets if you want to mix it up.

The default pet menu consists of five options:

Feed is how you level up your pet, making it grant better stat boosts (more on this below).

Change Name is just what it sounds like.

Pet Style will change the appearance of your pet into a different variant! For example, Rabbys can have white fur as well.

Bring will make the selected pet your active one, and it will follow you out of the farm (aka Café). Stay will have the opposite effect.

Now, let’s showcase the feed menu!

A good way to spend a lot of the edible stuff you find during your adventure, is to feed it to your pets! Depending on what kind of food you give it, a progress bar corresponding to that attribute will increase. When a progress bar has been completely filled, your pet will level up, and from then on give you a slight bonus in the chosen attribute!

The maximum level a pet can reach is level 10, so the bonuses can’t get infinitely high, but a max leveled pet still has a noticeable effect on the strength of your character.

We’ll also include an option to hide your pet, much like you can hide your headgear. Maybe you want it out of your way when fighting difficult enemies, or perhaps you’re too cool to bring a pet with you but still want the juicy stat bonuses!

That pretty much explains the pet system, so here’s some brief beta info as usual!

The patch containing the pet system, a load of bug fixes and some other changes will hopefully be done in a few days. When it has been approved by Desura and gone live, we’ll proceed with sending out the 3rd batch of invites!

What would a parody on the RPG genre be without some good ol’ fishing?
Not much, if you ask us!

As such, the past week we’ve been adding a little fishing mini game (among other things)!

Checking for a good spot!

You’ll be able to fish from most bodies of water in the game. When you stand on a spot where you can fish, a little emote will pop up above your head, and pressing the action button will make your character enter the mini game. For as long as you’re fishing, monsters won’t try to harm you, so you don’t have to worry about some ninja respawn ruining your day!


Click image to view animated gif!

After you’ve thrown your fishing float out, you’ll just have to patiently wait for a bit for a fish to bite. Fish in Grindea is always hungry though, so you’ll probably not have to wait for long!

When a fish does bite, you’ll enter a little mini game that’s inspired by the one in Suikoden II, and sort of reminiscent of the arm wrestling game in The Witcher 2. You’ll control a little bar, that’s attached to a larger bar, and your goal is to keep a randomly moving fish inside it. If the icon leaves your bar, the fish will escape! If you want to see it in action, click on the image above for an animated version!

Yes! A fishie!

You win the battle when the fish reaches the shore. For your hard work, you’re awarded the fish itself! Of course, fishing is also a reliable way to acquiring some solid boots…

The fishing game is part of an effort to give players a reason to stay a while and enjoy the scenery, while also adding even more mileage for the hardcore fans and the completionists. Players won’t have to stay and fish, but for those looking to just chill out a bit after a long day of adventuring, it’s good to know there are other things to do!