In the last post I mentioned recording a bunch of videos showcasing some of the stuff we’ve done so far with the final battle. Without further ado:

First above, the sequence where Zhamla breaks the room to reveal the sky outside! In this prototype, we still use the red sky, but in the final version we might change it around so a night sky with stars will be revealed instead.

Next up, a little updated sequence with Zhamla’s summons! Here you can see the swap between the red sky and the night sky, as it happens when Frosty Fiend appears:

We’ve also made an updated heal for the sequence where you need to damage Braazlet. We’re still missing the proper HP-bar graphics (which I made last week) in the prototype below, but it should be added soon:

Finally, an assortment of new attacks and patterns:

Keep in mind that all of these are still in the prototyping phase and will get polished quite a bit more :)

One of the very final scenes in the game will take place above the blue skies, in space, where Grindea herself has one of her dwellings. We thought a lot about how to do the transition between blue sky and starlit night, and after having tried out a bunch of gradient options, we decided to simply go for an easier (and prettier) solution: clouds!

Once you get high enough, there will be a thick blanket of clouds, and as you emerge above them, there will be different colour clouds and a starlit sky behind them.

Here’s an early sketch, the the corresponding new clouds needed:

And now it’s time to render the background:

After painting a ton of floating stones, it’s now done! Well, at least my part of the work – time for Fred to animate some cards/stars :)

Hey guys! Sorry for this extremely late post, I’ve been in the midst of moving and with things still being pretty chaotic around here, I simply forgot to schedule the draft – oops!

Right now our full focus is on the very final boss battle, against Zhamla. While the prototype for the battle is nearing completion, we still feel like something is lacking. Nothing big, just a lil something extra. Our current focus is playing around with tweaking and/or adding bunch of new attacks, patterns and phases to see what feels good and what doesn’t. Overall though, I think it looks absolutely amazing, and can’t wait to show you guys!

We’ll try to record a bunch of videos over the weekend so you can see some of the juicy stuff in action, but for now, here’s a bunch of Fred’s animations:

As for me, I’ve made a new kind of HP-bar as part of the boss battle against Zhamla! This bar is for Braazlet, who you’ll have to defeat before you’re able to do any real damage to Zhamla himself. In the videos we’ve shown before, we’re using placeholder graphics, so it was definitely time for me to add some proper graphics!


I’ve also made a proper background for the Frosty Fiend portion of Zhamla’s boss battle! As with Braazlet’s HP-bar, we previously used placeholder graphics for this, but now it has its very own proper background:

First up this week, let’s take a look at the healing phase of Zhamla’s boss battle!

Here, you need to defeat the bracelet first, so it can’t keep on healing Zhamla indefinitely. Bag and Braazlet will also have some lines mid-battle in speech bubble form, and in order to make this look its best I made some new graphics to go with the bubbles. I also took the opportunity to update the speech bubbles used by other artefacts earlier in the game (= Shiidu and Trunk).

Here’s the result, with a sample bubble and a prototype video showcasing them:

The summoning of Zhamla’s version of Frosty Friend (Frosty.. Foe? Fiend?) is also coming together more and more. Here’s a prototype of the summoning of this summon:

Fred has also been working on various sketches of another of Zhamla’s summons, a bigger and scarier version of Summon Plant! Let’s take a look at that:

Which one is your favourite? Ours is in the green circle with the checkbox!

This week Teddy and Fred made a plan about doing a May crunch, in which they aim to make the Zhamla battle fully playable except for some final polish.

Teddy has since prototyped the transition from Dad’s battle Arena to Zhamla’s (exploded!) battle arena, inserted a healing sequence where the player needs to defeat the bracelet before doing damage to Zhamla himself, and also developed prototypes for the summon phase start and summon phase end.

We’ve also received some of the very last songs that will be added to the game, which definitely feels bittersweet.

Here’s a little sneak peek on some more Zhamla boss animations courtesy of Fred this week:

This week I’ve been working on some new art for Secrets of Grindea once more!

First up, two new expressions for Zhamla:

I also edited to floor, removing the golden bars to make the battle area look more clean – before and after below:

This week our main focus has been the final cutscenes for the true ending! It’s pretty incredible to finally see the first iterations of the very very very last scenes of the game. There’s still a bunch of polish and animations needed for them to be complete, but the base is all there.

Here’s an early sketch of one of the final scene designs I’ll be making a proper background for as well:

Pretty exciting, huh? Stay tuned! :)

Before I write the rest of the post I want to take a moment to thank all of you who commented on or reached out about last week’s recap. I can’t even begin to describe how much it means to hear (well… read!) your words of encouragement! I know I speak for all three of us when I say it truly, truly warms our hearts, and we’ll continue doing our best to finish up this journey in a way that will hopefully satisfy you all <3

So, on to the actual update! This week we’ve more or less finished two of the most important cutscenes: the transition scene where the game either goes to “bad”/default ending or continues on the the final boss fight for the true ending, as well as the epilogue cutscene that’s part of the default end.

Fred has also started working on a little easter egg in relation to the final boss fight against Zhamla. It will be very interesting to see how many of you figure out how to “unlock” it! Don’t worry – it’s nothing big that will take forever to make, just a little something for those who have paid attention to certain storylines… ;)

For obvious reasons we’re not going to show any of the actual footage from the cutscenes, but here’s a sneak peek of some related animations:

As for the production book, I’ve finished every written section now except one (the music and sound effect part – still a bit unsure of how to approach that). There will be a bunch of shorter texts & info drops to go along with the images and sketches I’ll add for each area as well, which is something I’ll work on this week.

Fred & Teddy continues work on the cutscenes for the endings. The cutscenes inbetween the two major battles involved in the true ending are more or less done. For the bad ending, everything is done up to the “second part”, which is sort of an epilogue where you see what happened after the big battle.

Here’s a little sneak peek WIP from one of the scenes you’ll get to see. What do you think is happening here? :D

Spoiler Video, Beware

Otherwise, here’s a couple animations by Fred from his batch last week:

As for me, I’ve written the first proper draft for about one third of the pages for the production book!

It’s a fine line to make sure the written parts are short and succint while including enough detail to actually keep them interesting. Once all the pages are done, I’ll send it out to the rest of Pixel Ferrets as well as some other trusted readers and we’ll discuss if they should be longer – or even shorter (who knows!). In this draft I’ve leaned into keeping things very short, so I think the main question will be if the information that’s actually in there is interesting enough or not.

Work on the cutscenes continue on this week! Cutscenes are one of those things that take the longest to make, both in terms of programming and animation, and there’s sometimes not a lot to show for all the hours put into making them work – especially when they’re filled with so many end-game spoilers as these are (we are, after all, working on the very last bunch of cutscenes for the game). It’s difficult deciding where to draw the line for how much to show you guys on the blog. On one hand we really value your feedback and want to show you what we’re working on, on the other hand it kind of (literally) spoils certain surprises. Since these are the last bunch of cutscenes and show pretty much how the game ends, we’ve decided to not show much progress from these. Because of this, the blog posts have been pretty short as of late, and I hope you can forgive the lack of juicy art and progress videos. At least this journey is soon coming to an end, and you’ll be able to see all of the cutscenes in their full glory as you actually finish the game! :)

For now, here’s a couple of effects that won’t tell you too much about what’s going on story-wise:

Meanwhile, I can recap what’s been going on with the Visual Novel we started working on ages ago!

I’ve actually finished writing the outline and have let it rest for a while to make sure I catch any problems I didn’t see when first putting it together. The working title for the project is Tales of Grindea and as of now it’s a pretty short visual novel companion piece to Secrets of Grindea which explores the world through the eyes of a collector and a newly created sentient artefact. It’ll have six chapters, of which the first serves as an introduction to the world and characters and the last is the conclusion where your decisions throughout the story decide which ending you get. As I write this, I’m in the progress of writing the actual chapters, so wish me luck on that! :)

This week I’ve continued to focus on the visual aspects of the production book! Even with the general style decided upon there’s still a ton of smaller details to take care of, such as picking fonts and proper colour schemes. While it might seem trivial, it’s in fact extremely important since it determines if the book is comfortably readable and whether it’s visually pleasing at all.

Below you can find a few mockups with some of the fonts we’ve gone through:

Our current favourite is the third. Which one do you prefer? :)

As I’ve been going through more art and game books I’ve also come to the realization that I need to cut more of the original text than I initially thought. I don’t want the production book to drag on with boring details, instead I want the focus to be on the process as a whole with as many pictures as possible and short and succint comments rather than whole chapters. Perhaps I will change my mind again, but for now it seems like an overall better approach for a project like this.

As a result I’m currently going over the text once more with the scissors, trying to polish it down as much as possible!

Fred, meanwhile, has continuined his work on the Frosty Fiend, which now has a proper spawn animation, death animation, roll and soon (!) an alternative attack animation:

Teddy has shifted focus from the boss battle to work on some cutscenes between the two major battles, as well as the cutscenes surrounding one of the endings. This week the both of them will likely team up to finish up those cutscenes, with Teddy requesting animations for the cutscenes whenever he feels he needs one.