It’s a new week, with new possibilities! So let’s go back to that bonus cave system in Pillar Mountains, and take the second door, leading down through the mountain:

And now, back to the mansion! Here’s a room filled with plants, cause who wouldn’t want that? Also, it might just be needed for one of the quests we’re working on…

Another house some people have been asking about is the one you pass by on the field just right of Evergrind City, which you haven’t been able to reach just yet. Soon though, you’ll be able to get there through a path in the Pumpkin Woods, so let’s take a look at what’s inside:

Obviously the people living in Marino’s Mansion need somewhere to sleep, so here’s one of the two bedrooms I’ll be making:

Now, time to take a look at a portrait of sorts; a boss portrait made for the fight you’ll have against Remedi in his troll form!

Time for the second map of the cave system in Pillar Mountains, accessible by climbing the sapling you’ve all been walking past for years now, wondering when you’ll be able to do something about it…. Well, soon it’ll all be happening ;)

And then another version of the previous map, as you climb higher up the pillar:

Finally, we go outdoors, reaching an old abandoned Grindea statue! How curious….

For now though, let’s change the subject to something completely different. Trees! A specific tree, actually. The NPC from Seasonne who you’ll meet in the giant tree stump:

Meanwhile in Fred’s department, it’s all about James Fawke, his fan and of course, the troll fight! Here’s some more sneak peeks:

This week we’ll start off with a couple portraits! For starters, a new version of Remedi, this time in a female form (we just really can’t get that potion right, can we?)

And then we have the face of Spierre, the spear wielded by James Fawke, the guy you replaced for the arena challenge… :)

Next we have a bunch of expressions for James and his fanclub, which will be playing a pretty big role in the upcoming arena quest:

And then, the long awaited cave system you’ll reach by climbing up the little sapling in Pillar Mountains! This is the first of a whole set of rooms, more of which will be posted later on:

Now, time for a sneak peek of what Teddy and Fred has been up to: flying trolls! This here is a prototype of the battle against Remedi in his troll form. Looks pretty cool, right?!



More to come soon! :)

New week and new maps! Another piece of map needed is this one, featuring the barn next to the farm, where some strange shenanigans have been taking place:

Now, after starting to implement some of the mansion rooms, we decided on mixing up the layout at bit to make sure the rooms didn’t looks quite as similar. As such, there’s first a quick redesign of Marino’s dad’s “throne room”:

…As well as the hallway leading up to it, which now houses four different rooms instead of the original two:

Next we have a mixed bag with various fixes and additions, starting with a couple new banners for the arena, to replace the collector ones while you do the new quest:

A familiar face reappears in the desert, it’s the travelling merchant that visited Evergrind City during the festival, now selling fertilizers in the desert:

Marino’s mansion is getting a proper zone title, and… well, you guessed it, it’s called…

The posters are getting another version of themselves where they’re more like signs so we can place them all around town:

Next up we’re making a smashed up version of the alchemist’s house so you can battle the troll version of Remedi that you’ve been seeing parts of on the blog in the recent couple of week:

Meanwhile, Fred has been working on the troll, and here’s another sneak peek of a rather strange move:

Soon in a boss battle near you ;)

Time for another room in Marino’s mansion, and this time it’s his father’s throne room— errr the second corridor. The doors will lead to the master bedroom and Marino’s room respectively:

Next, another face from the Mansion, the private chef responsible for the fancy dinners hosted at the estate:

Now, for the actual quest challenge where you’ll be battling it out in the arena using some pretty trash but fancy looking gear! First up will be a couple of regular waves of enemies, featuring the various types you might have come across here and there across the game thus far. After that, there’s the grand finale, a mini boss battle/challenge featuring one or two elder boars!

In the first iteration, we had one elder boar and a bunch of red slime falling down from the sky:

As you can see, there’s puffs of smoke coming from the boar as he charges around, and stepping into these dust clouds will make you temporarily blinded!

As you can see, we have added a bunch of obstacles in the arena which you can lure the boar into, making it get temporarily dazed. These obstacles respawn in new positions after the boar has destroyed all of them, and as always with early prototype videos like these they graphics are placeholder:

As shown in the above video, we follow the ‘rage’ theme of the elder enemies with these boars as well!

In the next iteration we removed the red slime but added another boar! This is our favourite iteration so far, a bit more action packed and without the annoying slowing slimes:

Next thing I’ve been working on is some sweet PR for that event in the arena that we’re all so excited for! At first, James was the supposed hero of the show, so to start off with these posters will appear in Evergrind City around the time when you can accept the quest:

However, as James can’t attend and you’ve had to take his place, there will be slight adjustments once you’ve accepted the quest, meaning your face will be all over the posters instead! Of course, the PR team doesn’t have all the time in the world so there will have to be a quick solution instead of reprinting:

The actual face of your character will be rendered into those blank pages so you’ll be able to recognize your own character as the hero of this event! Hopefully you won’t let the PR team down with your performance in the show ;)

In Fred’s department, the animation madness continues with more sprites for the upcoming next bit in the journey to transform Remedi back to his former self! As such, a ‘death’ animation for the troll was needed, as well as a potion pitching move by Remedi’s quick nephew:

We’re back! After a bunch of refreshing days in the sun, it’s time to get back to work, and personally I feel more excited about it than I have in a long time.

To kickstart the week, we decided to start off with a meeting, discussing what we’d like to do with the HQ and the whole Collector business in general. Our initial idea, way back when we first started designing the game, was that collecting items and doing quests for the Collectors would be a major part of the game. As the game progressed along we somehow skipped those elements, leaving the HQ feeling a little bit lackluster these days.

Now, we have two different points of view on this. On one hand, nobody seems to really mind the fact that being a Collector doesn’t mean much outside of the main story, and it would be really nice to finally finish up the game – meaning any unnecessary additions shouldn’t be seriously considered at this point. On the other hand, we sort of feel like the Collectors are a bit flat at the moment, and that the HQ and the organization doesn’t really have a life of its own. That, along with the additional sense of progression a player would feel with the addition of a Collector rank system makes it a more interesting addition than many of the other things we’ve planned to add.

As you can tell, both of these POVs are completely valid and have have their own merits, so while we’re not just sure whether this system will make it into the game, we did take some time to discuss what we’d like it to be like, and what it would entail adding it.

In a previous iteration made quite a while ago, we wanted the progression of you collector rank to simply be Quinton rating the amount of item’s you’ve collected. Now, we’d like to do something a bit more interesting. Our idea is that every time you talk to Quinton, he’ll check up on your progress, giving you points for completing quests, discovering new items, defeating new enemies and whatnot. These points will fill up a bar, showing you how much you have left before the next level as well as whenever you level up. He will also offer you basic quests, such as hunting enemies or collecting certain items, which will award you additional points.

At certain levels, you’ll unlock new parts of the HQ, starting with the lab, which will at the latest be unlocked as part of completing the Flying Fortress main story quest. After that, you’ll be able to unlock an armory where you’ll get new items every once in a while, the memory room where you can rebattle bosses you’ve already defeated, and an advanced level briefing room, where experienced collectors will give you end game difficulty quests with their own rewards.

As you might be able to tell, this does involve quite a bit of work, but I think it might be a really good addition as well, so it is a difficult thing to decide. How do you guys feel?

Now, time for a bunch of random drop appearances for the upcoming quests we’re working on atm. Was a while since I made one of these videos again, so let’s go:

Next up, another ghost comes along, this time of an old warrior from ancient times! Will you take on his challenge?

And now, a boss portrait featuring the Furious Giga Slime, the red and more dangerous version of the regular Giga Slime, which may or may not a play a part in one of the quests we’re currently working on.. :)

Fred, meanwhile, has been busy working on a bunch of animations for one of the bonus bosses you’ll battle as part of these quest lines we’re adding. Here’s a sneak peek of a couple more animations for the troll:

Hello everyone! Have you enjoyed your weekend? It’s time for another week and another meeting, this time discussing the next quest we’ll implement for Story Mode.

As you’ve seen before, Fred has been working on a bug net animation for a quest where you’ll capture butterflies. The person who will give you this quest is Luigi, and one of the rewards will be one of those fertilizers that will help the squiggly plants you’ve seen across the world grow. Today we ironed out some more of those details.

To start off with, the point of the quest is that you’ll get a bug net from Luigi, and use it to capture some rare butterflies found across the world. Turn in three (or four – we haven’t decided the exact number yet) and you’ll get a fertilizer, turn in all of them and you’ll get a special trinket.

At first we weren’t sure whether this quest should be given immediately or if it’ll be unlocked later on in the game. Each of these options come with their own pro’s and cons. The positives of having it unlocked immediately (well, after you finish the trial) is that you’ll be able to capture butterflies as you go on your adventures, giving you something extra to do. On the other hand, unlocking it later on will give you a chance to go back to some places you’ve seen before, especially if you’ve taken notice of the butterflies before and wondered what you could do with them.

In the end we settled for having it unlocked immediately, since the first reward you’ll get for the quest is a fertilizer, and that in its own is a sort of backtracking deal, making both the quest and reward a bit too similar if we went for the second option.

As for the final reward, we decided to go for a trinket that will get you a butterfly follower, sort of like the trinket that gives you a fae follower, but with a butterfly instead. We’re also considering allowing you to pick between a set of different appearances for the butterfly, so that you’ll always be able to pick one that you like best and/or matches your look!

We still don’t know exactly how many butterflies you’ll be able to capture across the world, but we’ll try to spread them out evenly throughout the game. The main thing is that they will all be outdoors (and Luigi will tell you as much), to avoid having you look around in every nook and cranny of every cave and building when you’re about to go looking for that final one!

Next, work on the mansion continues, this time with a dining room, where we can only assume Marino and his family have their supper with esteemed guests to entertain:

Next, another face you’ll find in the Mansion: another maid, polishing some statues in the main hallway!

Next in line in the mansion room creation is the second hallway, which connects the kitchen, dining room and first hallway:

And with that, the mansion is more than halfway done! What remains now is the grand corridor where Marino’s dad hangs out, Marino’s room, the master bedroom and Marino’s mother exotic plant room!

Meanwhile, Fred has been working on a bunch of smaller things, including a couple of the new NPCs, and some secret easter egg stuff I won’t show here, but will leave for you to find out during your adventures in the game!

Now, as is customary after a bigger patch, it’s time for us to take a couple days off to recharge the batteries. We’ll be back at the office on August 3rd, meaning the next blog post will be available here on August 10th, a week after we’ve returned to the office and produced new stuff to show!

Hope you guys are enjoying the summer, I’ll see you then :3

It’s finally time for those of you who play on stable to take part of the new Arcade Mode update!! With this new patch, you will get the full rebalance/rework of Arcade, including fewer floors, Traveller and his Pins, the difficulty changing Catalysts and various rebalances. Are you ready?

As always, feedback is much appreciated, and you can leave it here, on the forums, or in our discord! We all look forward to hearing from you soon :)

Now, this week continues with more Marino’s Mansion! To start off, the kitchen:

Next up in the mansion is a room where Marino’s mom takes care of the estate business; her office, if you will:

Next up, the portrait of a woman you’ll meet as part of one of the mansion quests we’re working on; a PR woman hired by Marino’s dad to handle marketing for the arena event:

Now, as part of one of the Marino’s mansion quests, namely the one with an arena challenge, we wanted to introduce some sort of more difficult fight, so we thought it was high time to make a proper boar boss! In our pursuit of this we wanted to make a more dangerous looking boar without having to redo exactly all of its animations completely, so Fred went to experiment on a bunch of different design ideas:

In the end, we went for the one in the top right, giving him massive tusks and some sweet hair (also, eyebrows, because why not?). Next came the question of what colour it would be, and though we were all fond of the red ones and might use one of those for something else (Boar fire train arena challenge anyone?) we decided on going for the ‘elder’ gray-ish look, having it match, in some ways, the Elder Rabby mini-boss:

Excited yet? We sure are! It’s gonna be nice to add some more side quests into the game to make the world feel more populated and alive, with events that happen here and there throughout your journey.

Hey guys! In case you missed it, the Frontline Beta has been updated since a few days back! Among the things that have been added you’ll find the Arcade rebalance, catalysts that will make your runs more difficult as you beat them, Pins and a whole bunch of smaller enemy changes. The full patch notes can be found here or on the steam community hub, as always! Please let us know what you think, and send us any feedback on what you like, dislike, or would like to see changed :)

Time to make that tree stump! I’ll be using the tree stump in Santa Fae as a base for the background and make it it fit the theme by adding moss, leaves and some seed things:

Next up, a cellar room used for a quest in the mansion where you need to clear out some pesky enemies that have invaded! Using the Giga Slime Arcade Mode boss room as a base for the size here:

We’ve also been working on an user interface for adding those catalyst you get that will make your runs more difficult! Here we’re playing around with various font sizes and colours:

To show a bit more emphasis on the statue and the catalysts added, we decided to fade the rest of the background into darkness as you play around with this:

Added ‘headlines’ with the name of the catalyst you’re adding:

Same as above but with more colours:

Then we tried it out with smaller text, making the readability better.

And the end result, big headline, small descriptive text all together in one line and in one colour, which we felt gave the best readability:

Next, work on Marino’s Mansion continues! This time it’s the library’s turn to be made…

Fred’s been busy animating those cute trees from last week:

And another NPC that will be involved in one of the quests in Marino’s Mansion:

Among other things! More next week :)

With Fred finishing up the mirror sprite, I thought it fitting to throw together his portrait as well, while we wait to discuss exactly what will take place in the update coming after this recent Arcade rework:

We also decided to start having a bunch of smaller meetings again, as our work on the backlog of things to discuss has slowed down quite a bit. After the patch we’re currently working on (entailing the loop function for arcade mode as well as the pin mechanic), we’re going back to Story Mode with an update involving a bunch of side quests.

We’ve already mentioned that there will be two side quests relating to Marino’s mansion, but as you may know we’re also looking into sorting out the fertilizer mechanic, allowing you to grow those squiggly plants found around the world.

As part of that, one of the things we discussed and decided to add is another such plant in Seasonne, which will lead you to the giant tree stump which you couldn’t access as of yet! This will lead to a reward of its own, as well as a shop where you will be able to purchase trees for your house – but it will also serve as a help to end the last part of Remedi the Alchemist’s quest.

You will need to access the treestump, finish Fahrmamerahs quest in the desert and go into the mansion to find the ingredients to attempt another try at turning Remedi back into himself. It may or may not also include a fight against Remedi in his troll form, something we’ve all been excited for ever since Fred made the first couple animations for it way back, when it was supposed to be an enemy type in Mt: Bloom.

Next me and Fred will move on from what we’re currently working on and start focusing on those things, starting off with the tree stump and its inhabitants!

So to start off with, Fred has been making a bunch of design ideas for one of the tree stump’s inhabitant, the strange tree creature who sells decorative trees for your house:

In the end, we settled for this design, aiming to keep it a bit cute looking:

And then we have their child, a very small tree, who we first thought would be just a smaller version of the big one:

But then we thought about making it a sapling instead, so Fred made a couple variations for that as well:

Finally, a couple colour variations:

Currently our favourite is the one in the bottom left, which we thought had the cuter face. Next up, its portrait! It’s such a cute little thing that I can only hope the portrait will make it some semblance of justice :3

As mentioned before we’ve been looking into getting new desks for the office, specifically ones you can adjust the height of so you can change whether you sit or stand while working. A little while ago, they finally arrived, and now it’s been time to set them up!

First though, quick reminder of what it used to look like. All black desks that looked completely different:

We had to do a bunch of the assembly ourselves, including drilling our own holes into a table top, which was quite nerve wracking for a bunch of people who spend most of their time by their computers and barely know how to operate a drill!

It all went by more or less smoothly though, and in the end the tables work quite well:

But to be honest, the biggest upgrade IMO is the fact that the office now looks a lot more light and open, with all of us having the same desk as well:

Now it’s finally time to get back to work! See you next week :)