As mentioned last week, we’re working full speed on getting the final charges up and running! While we’re not ready to patch them into the game yet, here’s a preview of three of them in action:

Click to view full-size

The Summon Plant gold charge introduces a new type of plant to the bunch. Instead of attacking, it’ll give bonuses to the plants you’ve already summoned (and will be summoned with a number of minion-plants of its own).  

You can only have one of these plants active at the same time, so if you summon it again it’ll move to your new location. However, it’ll bring any plants surrounding it along with it, so it’s perfect for moving plant traps to new strategic places!

Click to view full-size

Piercing Dash, meanwhile, has become both faster and longer, allowing you to dash through enemies and deal damage to them after passing through! For the more advanced players it might also be good to know that this level of Dash is now cancel-able, and canceling mid-dash will allow your next skill to become instantly gold charged.

Time for some epic combos? :)

Click to view full-size

Finally, the Blade Flurry gold charge increases the number of hits and has a 3-hit finisher that deals additional damage!

Now, while the boys have been busy with the skills, Vilya has kept working on improvements for the menu. Here’s the improved Equipment tab:

02 - new (1)

As you can see, we’re finally introducing style slots for weapons and shields! This is something that has been requested a lot, and since we’re reworking this menu anyway we thought we might as well squeeze it in. As we’d like the Steam Early Access release to happen sooner rather than later, though, we’re not 100% sure the style slots will be implemented before the EA release, but it’s definitely coming soon after, at the very least.

We’re also reworking the Character tab:

02 - New

Gone is the boring super brown text-only tab, and instead we have a more colorful and actually ID-looking tab for your collector. The Birthday and Starsign will be randomly generated, as will your Collector ID number. Also, the stats you see here are temporary: we’re replacing a few and removing others. Since this isn’t actually implemented yet, there may be small changes here and there, but the overall look should remain.

Next week, Vilya will finally return to doing stuff for the next temple, while Teddy & Fred soldier on with more gold charges!

The Seasonne patch hit the Frontline beta on Steam on Saturday, and received a patch of hotfixes today! As we’ve talked about in previous blog posts, the patch adds a bunch of content to the Winterland, making it feel more alive. If you haven’t played it yet, you should check it out and tell us what you think!

If you’ve forgotten how to change to the Frontline version, check out this thread.

santascreenSanta needs halp!

All the new content gave Vilya a ton of portrait work, so that’s where a good chunk of her efforts have been directed the past week! Here are some of the massive amount of portraits she made:






06 - Sprites 06 - sprites (1)

Meanwhile, Fred has jumped back into creating the animations we’re going to need for all the gold skill charges! Below are all the different casting effects of the Berserker Mode!



Soon, the day will come when Teddy shall put all these new skill charges into the game… (but first, he must add Steam achievements and Arcade Mode online leaderboards!)

Last week we talked briefly about our decision to make our move towards Steam Early Access. This brings a lot of positive things with it, and one of the shiniest additions is the Steam Networking.

One of our main features for Secrets of Grindea has always been the online co-op possibilites. Sadly, evil routers all around the world have made this difficult to setup for a lot of players. With access to to Steam’s own network systems, the days of failed port forwarding and stubborn Hamachi clients will soon be over!

Teddy has spent the entire week working on said networking features and have got it up and running smoothly. Now you’ll be able to simply invite players from your Steam Friends and get a multiplayer game up and running in no time!


The Steam Networking features might do a pit stop in the Frontline beta for some good old bug hunting, before we shuffle it into the Stable beta. We’ll give a heads up before it happens!

Besides multiplayer, the skills have stayed in the spotlight for this week. Besides adding the Gold Charges, we are also reworking some of the skills that have been considered over powered/under powered/just lame overall by ourselves and our player base.

The summons of the game have been in need of buff to amp up their usability. Both the Summon Plant and Frosty Friend skills (Not the Cloud. We all love the Cloud <3) have been reworked to some extent, to hopefully juice them up a bit!

The Summon Plant skill still has the same base mechanics as before (Time based, invulnerable summon that dish out damage) but we’ve done some changes to the charge levels.


The Silver Charge (previously just a beefier version of the basic plant) now has a ranged attack. This small but still significant change hopefully will make the plants more useful later in the game.
The Gold Charge (as of now, things always change) works as a Commander, buffing the rest of the plants in an area around it while being able to dish out good damage on its own.

Unlike the Plant, the Frosty Friend has received some actual changes to its base mechanics. There was not much you could do to avoid losing it during bosses and crowded Arcade Mode rooms, which deterred most players from wanting to spend any skill points on it. In an attempt to help with this, we’ve introduced a Command Menu, giving players some more control over their summon!

snowman skills

Once the Frosty Friend have been summoned, pressing the same button again will no longer desummon it, but instead bring up the Command Menu. From the menu you can give your summon simple commands, with more unlocking as you reach new Charge Levels. Activating the commands will not cost any EP, instead we’ve chosen to go with a Cooldown system. Using a command will render it unusable for a short while.

In the mockup above, the commands visible are Defensive, Aggressive, and Desummon.

Desummon does exactly what you think it does. The Aggressive command puts the Frosty Friend in a aggressive stance, boosting attack damage but lowering defense. Usable for when you find an opening to attack during a boss encounter!

The Defensive command gives Frosty a huuuge defense boost and makes him immobile for a while. You could use this when your summon is in i tricky spot and needs to soak up a lot of damage (an annoying boss attack for example). We’ve talked briefly about giving it Perfect Guard mechanics (maybe it could reset cooldowns!?) but we’re still on the fence about it. What do you guys think?



This week we’ve got some news!

First of all, we’ll very soon (first thing when we wake up tomorrow, actually) update the game with the new floors for Arcade Mode, for you guys to test! With this update we’re also adding a slight change to how Arcade Mode works, where you’ll receive a health potion instead of a health orb should you reach a new floor with full health! The health orbs will also remain after leaving the first room, so you can go back and collect it later :)

Secondly, a lot of you have been asking when the game will be available on Steam Early Access, and the answer to that is (hopefully) soon-ish! We have decided that it’s time we start getting that ball rolling, so we’re gonna focus on polishing the current content for an update of the Stable beta and create some fancy art for the various banners that appear on Steam. As soon as we’re done with that, the game should finally(!) be ready for early access over on Steam as well!

Now, for the actual ‘recap’ part of this blog, here’s some skill animations that Fred has been working on:

CloudMax NovaMax

Vilya has kept working on the Time Travel Town in Mount Bloom, and this time around there’s a bunch of portraits of people you’ll meet there:

06 - Finished sprite

06 - sprites

05 - Sprites

Videos of her working on these, as well as other parts of the area, can be viewed over on her personal Secrets of Grindea-themed YouTube account!

Now, back to work! See you next week :)

The past couple of weeks, Teddy have been working on bringing the new areas into Arcade Mode, and is finally closing in on finishing up (our hopes are to patch in the four new floors before the end of the week)!

We’re doing our best to find that sweet spot of being infuriatingly difficult, yet fair, and also creating interesting traps and compositions for the different areas. Beta testing these new floors is a bit of a challenge, seeing as only a handful of our glorious beta testers have reached the end of the current content, but eventually we’ll nail it down!

Meanwhile, Fred has been hard at work in the skill factory, creating new charges for all the spells! Below are new animations for the Summon Plant and Blade Flurry spells.



Vilya’s off doing her own thing, creating the environments for the next “temple”, a village with a twist on time! For those interested in her work (who isn’t?!), you should check out her blog, where she’s begun posting some sweet time lapses of her workflow!

Here’s her latest one for example, where she’s pimping out one of the early village maps:

A feature that has been missing since we first introduced charge levels to the skills have been the Gold Charge. Since most players wouldn’t reach high enough levels to unlock those we’ve been prioritizing pretty much everything else over them up until now.

However, we are reaching a point in the game where the Gold Charges are becoming relevant during the average playthrough. Introducing a new charge level will bring with it a lot of balancing and tweaking, so we decided the timing felt just right to start the rather massive task of finally implementing them properly into the game.

Because of the fast paced nature of the combat in Secrets of Grindea, we can’t go full “Knights of the Round” in terms of extravagant effects (even though we want to, deep down). We want to amp up the graphics of course, but still keep the fluidity of casting the skills. It will be an interesting balancing act going forward, but we’re confident we’ll be able to combine the best of both worlds!

Below are some “soon to appear in the game, coupled with some dope particle effects and other stuff to make them feel even cooler”-animations made by Fred during the past week. Namely for the Ice Spike, Heroic Slam and Insect Swarm.


BTW, if you’ve always had this cool idea of what your favorite spell’s Gold Charge would look like, or how it’d work, feel free to leave any suggestions in this thread on the forums, and we’ll check it out! :)

Meanwhile, Vilya has started sketching what will eventually become the next temple – which isn’t much of a temple at all, but rather a hidden village! Here are some of her early sketches, featuring a set of houses:


The village will be hidden inside a mountain and will be somewhat inspired by ancient Asia visually. More artwork from this village will be available next week! :)

As you might have noticed if you’ve been following the blog, we’ve been focusing pretty hard on finishing up all the offensive skills, and we’re happy to say this week features the very last one: Berserker Style!


The Berserker Style might be our most game-changing skill. It’s a two handed skill which will change the rules of how energy works, forcing you into a offensive play style. When you activate the skill, you will get a varied range of effects depending on the charge level. All charges increases your damage by 15 %, and damage taken is increased by 15-45 % depending on level.

Every time you strike an enemy, you’ll get a stacking attack speed buff which stacks up to 10 times for 30 % bonus on level 1, and 40 % bonus on level 3. Also, on level 3, you will also get a big crit chance buff along with the attack speed.

The biggest change, however, is that energy decays constantly, but you will also gain energy by striking enemies. What this means is that the tactics surrounding energy restoration is completely reversed. Instead of playing defensively while your energy recovers, you must now play offensively in order to use other skills!

Since there are both pros and cons to having the skill active, it has a pretty high skill requirement to use efficiently. It can be really strong if you can manage to play to its strengths (offensive bonuses, energy control) while mitigating the weaknesses (defensive debuff, energy penalty on defensive play).

Vilya has been inside the portrait factory the entire week converting to the new style, and here are some of the latest ones, featuring the priest and nurse from Arcade Mode, as well as Nysbruden, one of the very first NPCs you run into:

hood1 hood2nysbruden

Are you tired of watching gifs and reading about new skills? Hopefully not, because here’s a skill super post about what we’ve cooked together over the past week!

First out of the gates is the revamped Spirit Slash, which has gone from a pure AoE spell to distributed targeting, and at the same time gone through a big visual makeover.

SpiritSlash_v2Click to view animated gif!

As you release the Spirit Slash, it will start picking targets around you, striking at enemies one after the other until the max number of slashes has been reached. If there’s only one target around, each consecutive strike will deal slightly less damage.

Due to its random and non-instant nature, it’s a bit trickier to use than regular AoE-attacks (like the Whirlslash or Ice Nova), but also fits into more situations. At close range, it can be used as a simple damage amplifier both to single and multiple targets, and when battling slow enemies it can even be used for kiting.

Then we have the new earth based skill Insect Swarm, which shockingly isn’t a type of lettuce, but a swarm of insects!

InsectsVsPillarMountainsClick on it, we dare you!

The Insect Swarm spell is a soft-summon, meaning they behave like a pet but for a limited time only, and they only consume energy rather than block it out completely. The other soft-summon in the game is the Plant spell, which we added way back!

When cast, an insect swarm will spawn from the tip of your hands, traveling straight forward. If it hits an enemy, it will swarm around it, dealing damage over time until the swarm dies off, or the enemy is defeated. If the swarm gets the last hit on a monster, it will revive a portion of its lost members, increasing its duration. When the targeted enemy dies, regardless who killed it, the swarm will move on to another target and continue dealing damage until the last insect has died off.

While the spell is easy to use and deals consistent damage (unless you miss completely), getting optimal results is a bit more tricky. Due to its self-healing mechanic on kills, you’ll get more damage out of targeting monsters with low health, making it suitable as a follow up after softening enemies up with something else.

Last off, we’ve implemented the Flame Thrower silver charge!


Unlike the regular version, which required you to stay put in order to complete the channel, silver charge lets you strafe around while casting, opening up for new and more efficient ways to use it.

If you just can’t get enough, here’s a VOD of a massive 8 hour stream Fred did, featuring mostly animation work but also some Arcade Mode gameplay.

Once again, Teddy have been hard at work in the Skills Workshop. This week we present the third and final skill of the Air-tree, the Wind Slash.

WindSlashClick to view animated gif!

The Wind Slash is another projectile based skill. What makes it  stand out from the rest of our skills is the way you fire the projectiles.

The moment you start charging the Wind Slash, a spinning, double edged arrow appears under your character. Once the charge is released, two Wind Blades will shoot out from the character in the directions that the arrow is pointing, damaging all enemies they pass through.

At higher charge levels, a second arrow will appear spinning in the opposite direction, firing an extra pair of Wind Blades. This makes it possible to land double hits if the arrows are aligned during the charge release.
The Wind Blade is deviously hard to control, demanding good positioning and timing. If used correctly however, it has the ability to deal tons of damage to multiple enemies at once!

Other than skills, we’ve spent a good amount of time focusing on balancing Arcade Mode. Besides changing a ton of small things such as damage numbers, item costs and skill nerfs, we’re also investigating changes regarding health recovery.

The health recovery is a major element that really ramps up the difficulty in Arcade Mode compared to Story Mode. In Story Mode, every enemy has a chance of dropping a Health Orb which restores some of your lost health. The chance of enemies dropping orbs is also increased the lower your characters HP gets. To top it all off, your death only means having to replay a small portion of the game!

In Arcade Mode, Health Orbs can only be obtained by either clearing a floor or receiving them as a reward for clearing a Challenge or Bet. While this makes things a lot more unforgiving and challenging (which is what we want Arcade Mode to be!) it also makes it incredibly difficult to mount a come back if you’ve taken some heavy hits in a room, and if you die, that’s the end of your run.

To mitigate this, we’ve messed around with adding a small health regain every time you managed to clear a room quickly enough to get the S-grade. What (we hope) this will do is promote more aggressive and risky play when your characters HP is low in hopes of receiving the S-grade and added health regain.

One drawback to this is the creation of an artificial “skill bump”; a player will get better and better at a relatively steady pace, but when he starts getting S-ranks with some consistency the game suddenly becomes easier, possibly causing an unintended spike in the player’s progress. We’re still experimenting with this to achieve the best balance!


In addition, or as an alternative, we’re also adding a nurse, which will appear at semi-random intervals and offer you healing for cold, hard cash. The more health you’ve obtained this way, the steeper the price! Our hope is that this will make gold management more interesting than it is now, since buying a better weapon in a shop might mean less healing if you run into a nurse, and the other way around. This solution also opens up healing to every player, regardless if they have the skill to clear a room with S-rank!

The balancing act of both Arcade and Story Mode is a task that we’ll keep wrestling with up until release, but hey, that eternal struggle is one of the twisted appeals of our trade :)

The past week we’ve continued our quest to get all the skills into the game. This time, the third and final fire spell joins the fray! Its working name is Flamethrower, and it’s a close ranged, channeled spell which does massive damage to anything in front of you.

FlamethrowerClick on the image to view an animated gif!

To use this skill effectively, positioning and timing are very important. You’ll want to be able to hit your enemies with the full channel without getting caught by flanking enemies, or hit by a counterattack in case the enemy is too tough to stunlock!

The skill channel is both shield- and movecancelable, meaning you won’t be stuck if things get dangerous. The uncharged version will cancel if you move, but if you get the Silver Charge at level 5, you can move while channeling, enabling you to easier land the full damage.

Vilya has also been getting back into portrait duty. Here are some of the new remakes, featuring the rival Marino, bandit leader Vilya and her minion Teddy:

The Arena has felt a bit emtpy and dead for a while, so Fred have spiced things up with a live audience! The audience is a single 100×100 animated tile that can be looped seemlesly.

AudienceClick on the image to view an animated gif!

Besides animation work, Fred put in a Arcade Mode session on his livestream this Saturday. For anyone intrested in seeing one of the devs getting stomped by Arcade Mode, you can check out the VOD by clicking here!