Next up, we’re playing around with some other types of icons for the Talent & Skill menu, with a magic orb as the magic indicator and a star for the utility icon. We’re also considering a third option for the magic icon, with an old diagonal wizard staff. What do you guys think?

Now, time to give some more of those icons a colour wash! Here they are in their before and after states:

And now, time for the next menu to be redesigned: the quest info pages! Let’s have a look:

With the text menu being replaced by icons, we wanted to make a more easily read headline available on the left side for each category, so it’ll be quicker to learn which one does what. Currently, we’ve only had a headline for the main category, such as ‘Journal’, with the character box beneath it and another info box below that – however we feel like it’s very rare for people to even pay attention to what’s beneath the character box, and so moving things around might make the menu a bit more easier to understand. Hence:

I wouldn’t say it looks quite as nice graphically, but I do agree that this way it’ll definitely be easier to see and understand what category you’re on. What do you guys think?

Meanwhile, in Fred & Teddy’s corner, Fred’s been continuing on with Grindea animations! Here’s another sneak peek of that, featuring a running animation:

Teddy has also been hard at work, and besides more Arcade Mode stuff, he’s been spending some time optimizing the loading times of the game! Take a look at this before and after:





With these optimizations, we hope a lot of loading times will be removed, giving you a much more smooth experience while playing the game :)

Taking a little break from the menu reworks and looking towards the future, it’s time to start playing around with sketches and designs for the final dungeon!

Here we have a very basic sketch of the first floor, where you’ll fish and solve a puzzle before battling a ton of Teddy & Fred’s on a really long bridge (it doesn’t look long here, but it’s just placeholder – the actual version will be a lot longer and porbably loopable!) and ending with an encounter in a rather arena looking place:

Very excited to finally take the first steps to getting this final dungeon up and running! :)

Next, let’s make some icons for the skills & talent menu categories I was playing around with last week! I started off pretty basic here, giving melee a sword, magic a wand and utility a shield – however, we’re not completely satisfied with these, so I’ll play around with them a bit more and make a couple more options!

First though, let’s have a look at the Journal icons! For this part of the menu, I decided to go with a single column version, as it’d look better to fit five icons on top of each other rather then going for a 2-2-1 layout in my opinion! If we decide to go for this, it means we get a bit more space in the journal entries as well, which will need to be adjusted later on:

And now, some icons for the options section! As with the journal part of the menu, these needed 5 icons as well. Let’s have a look:

Alright, so what next update will be all about is Arcade Mode, and one key part of that is adding some new challenges for you! If you remember, I made some background stuff for an archery challenge a while back – now it’s finally been implemented, so let’s have a look!

Teddy has also been playing around with a little quiz mini game, which you can see the prototypes of here (there are two types of questions currently):

Of course, I’ll make some background details for the teacher so she’s not just standing in the middle of nowhere, but it’s nice to see some more challenges be up and running, making the coming Arcade Mode runs more interesting!

Now, one thing we’ve decided to do for our translators is to provide each of the shop title backgrounds without the text, so any translator can make their own names for the shops. As such, I spend some time removing said texts and making a bunch of PSD files for them:

(Ignore the Egg Shop one in the middle, accidentally added the text version of that!)

I’ve seen some of you have already started playing around with these backgrounds and I gotta say it’s really fun to see! :) If any of you are working on translations, this feature should be up and running right now. If you decide to use it, please feel free to share your work on any of our communities (such as our Discord server) so we can see! :D

Now, time to get back to those interface upgrades! Next up, we have the card album, which we’ll streamline a bit and upgrade the graphics of as well:

Like the new maps, we’re also playing around with having the cards displayed as a popup rather than on a page of their own too:

One thing we’ve talked about a lot recently is whether or not to remove more of the menu text and replace it with icons. As you know, and can see again below, we’ve already started work on replacing the menu text with icons in regards to the inventory categories:

In many ways we do prefer this, as it’s a bit more visually pleasing and makes things easier when it comes to translating the game. But for some categories, it can be a bit tricky to come up with a satisfying layout and icons that represent their category well: with text you always know what category you’re on, while it might a bit less clear with icons. We still haven’t really decided what we’re gonna do, but I’m gonna play around with some alternatives for the remaining parts of the menu in the coming days.

What do you guys prefer generally? Icons or text?

Either case, it’s time to start experimenting! I’ll begin with playing around with the Skill & Talents part of the menu, and here we have two different alternatives for the layout, as well as the progress:

No icons yet, as you can see, but we’ll get there! To start with I just wanted to get a better grasp of how the icon categories could look. What do you guys think?

Over on the very small super early betas, the next update is already up and running now, featuring the new books! One thing we decided to add is proper book fronts, which look something like this:

Sample of the actual text in the game:

And here we have some of the text with some of the color variations:

We’ll be adding more book covers as well! By the time the game is finished, I would like to have more variations, but for now the main difference will be the color:

Next, we’ll be upgrading the look of the map interface, seeing as we’ve been adding a bunch of new maps recently! Let’s take a look:

This is a bit more streamlined, and allows you to see more maps on each page!

We’re also adding a different way of showing the maps, namely a pop out function which shows you the map on a piece of paper! This is what it’ll look like:

Give it more of a map-y feel, doesn’t it? :)

Now it’s time to upgrade another interface! Let’s take a look at the good old quest part of the journal and see how we can improve it:

With this new setup, active and completed quests only need one menu, and whether a quest is active or finished will depend on whether they’re gold or silver colored, just like in the Trophy section! I also upgraded each of the quest indicator images while I was at it. What do you guys think? :)

In Fred’s (and Teddy’s) department, we’re playing around with some light effects for that Grindea sprite! Below you can see some tests, as well as a palette swap – it won’t be used the way it looks there, but it shows how we pretty easily can swap her colours around if we need to during the fight, for effect purposes :)

First up this week, editing that enemy info page a bit, allowing for larger numbers in each of the categories:

Another seed is on the way, through which you can grow a very strange plant indeed… Let’s take a look:

After some consideration of the previous version, we decided to swap it around:

And now, for the seed:

And all of the usual interface bits needed for you to grow this thing:

And now, something that’s been a long time coming: new haircuts! Remember the locked ones? Well they won’t be locked much longer, as we intend to fill up the remaining haircut slots – or at least add a bunch more of them. Here’s the first batch:

Remember how started improving the inventory menu a while back, preparing for the categories to be icons rather than text? Well, it’s finally time to start making those icons!

In this first test, I went for a monochrome look, but we’re not sure whether it’s the best way to go – perhaps it’s better to bring in a bit more colour to the menu, giving each icon a colour of its own. What do you guys think?

And here we have another option, the icons in colour! Which one do you prefer?

I personally feel a bit torn, since the monochrome one looks a bit less messy and more stylish, but it’s also nice to bring in more colour to the menu! It’s possible we’ll keep on iterating these options, or go for a mix of some sort, perhaps having the category you’re currently on show in colour. We’ll see!

Meanwhile, Fred has been doing some more work on Grindea! Here’s some of his WIP sketches:

…And Teddy’s been adding my personal favourite feature in a long time! Lizards in your house!! How cute isn’t this?

Moving on with the codex work, we’ve actually started second guessing that fancy new design, as it limits us in some ways. True, you could show more enemies on one page, but on the other hand there was no easy or obvious way to browse which items each enemy drops. As such, I’m making another iteration, this one based on the original, only with fancier graphics and cleaning it up a bit:

Work on a very different part on the game is progressing as well, namely that story written by Penn Wrythe!

The idea is that you’ll find parts of this story across the game, each one progressing the story slightly, until you meet Penn Wrythe herself and help her come up with the ending to her novel. The idea is that that Penn Wrythe will ask you what you value the most; power, love or fame (or some such), and depending on your answer the final part of the story will turn out in different ways.

There will be 5-8 parts of this story scattered across the game, so it’s quite the long tale.

With the various books being added to the game, I thought it’s high time to make a better background than the typical classic brown one for such works. As you might remember, we designed a book interface ages ago, but due to limits in sizing and making it easier for us overall, we decided to scrap that some time back (for the time being, anyway). However, a more simple paper would still be feasible to add, so I threw something together:

Next up, a quick redesign of the enemy info pages! Just some slight graphic updates and the removal of some unnecessary text in favour of icons!

And here’s a quick little reminder of what it currently looks like in the game, which will be replaced with the above version:

Meanwhile in Fred’s department, work on Grindea is in full swing! Take a look at these sketches:

As you may have noticed in previous images of the seed system, the Jumpkin was missing from most of it! Therefore, let’s start off this week by making all of the Jumpkin stuff, including a new drop for the Jumpkin, replacing the pumpkin seeds it dropped previously (it’ll now drop a singular seed, which looks a bit different, which will let you plant it, but it’ll also drop a jumpkin stem)!

There’s also a menu button for the seed system store, which can be seen below as well:

Time for the final veteran portrait, this one featuring the lady with the giant hammer! Let’s have a look:

Now it’s time to make a little redesign of the enemy codex! As mentioned, we’re going to redesign most of the menu, but the enemy codex is the one we’re aiming to actually get into this patch as opposed to a future one, as it will show information on which enemies drop seeds!

Here’s what it used to look like:

And here’s the process of the redesign:

As you can see, we can now fit twice as many enemies on every single page, giving a better overview of each enemy and what it drops:

We’re not 100% this is the iteration that will make it into the game yet, but at the very least, it’s a start! What do you guys think? Better or no?

Continuing with a couple more iterations of the codex, these ones have fewer details for more readability, and some bigger spacing:

Which one is your favourite this far?

Meanwhile, Fred’s been working on some fun stuff, including a little cloud that will water those growing plats for you, and Grindeas idle animation! How cool is that?

On to the next mission, making drop appearances for each of the potted plants! First batch here:


And here’s the second batch:


And now it’s time to take a look at the new interface where you’ll be able to choose which of your seeds to plant! Going for a pretty minimalistic and streamlined design here, this interface will only show the seed, how much it costs to pot it, what sort of pot and plant it’ll result in and how much money you have!

I made two versions of this interface, one with static colours which you can see above, and one where the colours are different for each seed, seen here below:

And here’s the rest of the colours, in case we decide to go for the second version:

Which one do you prefer?

Next we have another portrait, of another of the veteran collectors we’re adding:



As for Fred, he’s been busy potting a lot of plants! Here you can see a whole bunch of them in their housing forms, including a jumpkin for which I haven’t made a proper pot yet:

Now, time to get back to work and what better way to start off a new work week after a week’s holiday than to make the first pieces of a whole new system? These seeds (appropriately enough, since it’s spring time over here and I just spent pretty much the entire vacation outside managing the garden) will drop from all the greenery inspired enemies in the game, letting you plant them in your own home! Let’s take a look:

I’ve also made all the preparations for the first such plant, namely the Power Flower, whose seed you can already get after defeating it in Story Mode:

Of course, we also needed some drop appearance, both for the potted and the ..unpotted versions:

Next up, time to make some more potted plants! Without further ado:

And here we have the full lineup, both with and without the actual plants:

We’ll also add some kind of sprout to these for when you’ve planted a seed and it’s starting to grow, at which point examining it will give you an estimate of how far off it is from turning into an actual plant!

And now, back to doing something I haven’t done in a little while, which is a new portrait! This is for one of the new older generation collectors you’ll find in the HQ at some point:

Meanwhile in Fred’s department, we see a sneak peek of a couple new things for the stable update: a couple shields, a sprout, and an idle animation for one of the veteran collectors:

Now that we’ve been back a while and gotten back into the groove of working, we thought it was high time to have a meeting about what we’re gonna do the next bunch of weeks! As you know, the frontline patch has been released and we’re currently working on stuff for the stable version of the same. As such we went over what things will be added, and had a few unexpected ones added to the list as well!

First up, as mentioned before, we’ll add a book series by Penn Wrythe, that you’ll find parts of throughout the game. The final part will only be written after you’ve answered a couple questions asked by the writer herself, meaning you’ll determine the ending. We haven’t yet started working on this, but it’ll be done in one of the coming weeks.

We’re also finally adding the final bunch of haircuts, giving you a bunch of new selections! We’ll also make it possible to choose from the opposite gender’s haircut pool.

A redesign of the enemy codex is gonna happen – to be honest, we’ll probably redesign most of the menu, parts of which you’ve already seen, but for now the enemy codex redesign is the only one we’re certain will make it into the stable update. Our aim here is making it look a bit more pleasing visually as well as adding a few more things, such as the plant enemy seeds! We haven’t yet decided if the seeds are gonna function like a normal drop in the codex, or if there will be a plant icon somewhere indicating that this is an enemy type that drops seeds. Both these options come with their own pros and cons, and as of yet we haven’t really made any final decision on how to handle it – but it’ll get ironed out in a meeting at a later date.

Other than these things we still have the other things mentioned previously such as the seed system and the basement beneath the church in Port Monnaie, most of which has already been finished!

Now, on to more work, got a lot left to do this week :D

Now that the month has drawn to a close, it’s time to do a quick recap of what’s left for this patch, especially what we want to add to frontline (which is out already, by the way!!) and what we’ll save for stable – so it was high time for another meeting!

One of the things we’ve been talking about has been the boss drops. Right now only a few early bosses have boss drops, which aren’t even dropped 100% of the time, which is a bit weird even now that we’ve added boss rebattles in the arena. We had two options for this – either remove the boss drops altogether or let the boss drops be at 100% and add some more to other bosses across the game. In this case, we decided to go with the later, adding a bunch of new boss drops, including a seed allowing you to grow a Power Flower inside your house, an evil eye mask dropped from the evil eye in the ghost ship, a thorn worm cap allowing you to wear thorns on your head, and a cog shield dropped from the toy machine in Seasonne!

The Power Flower Seed brings us to the next topic, which is a plant system where you can plant seeds and have them grow in your home! How this will work is that you’ll find a seed, dropped from various plant enemies, and if you take the seed to the tree in Seasonne he’ll put it in a pot for you, which you can then place in your house. After some time, the seed will turn into a full grown potted version of the enemy you got the seed from. While this completed system won’t make it into this frontline update, we’ll start it up at the very least.

For the stable update, we’ll be adding Penn Wrythe’s novels, which will appear throughout the game in parts. After meeting her in Port Monnaie you’ll get to influence the way the final part of the story turns out, so think about your answers carefully! We’ll also be adding the cellar beneath the church in Port Monnaie, as well as a bunch of old books here and there across the game.

We discussed whether to add the player scaling feature yet or not, but we’ve decided to save that for another update – possibly the one after this one, where we go back to focusing more on Arcade Mode again.

Now, time for some last minute additions, starting with the final arena award, the arena hat:

Adding some backgrounds for Bishop in the journal, as well as a background for your character when they’re in Bishop’s own little realm:

Here’s something that won’t appear in this next patch, but is important to start working on anyway, namely our continued rework of the menu! In this step you’ll see me making a new layout where we’re removing the text titles of each inventory category and replacing them with icons (although the actual icons haven’t been made yet):

And as an additional bonus, a sneak peek of what Maracus Skill-to-Talent transmute looks like, complete with the awesome song made by our amazing music creator Andrew Riley of Lucky Lion Studios! Look at the old man go :3

Since we decided to make a bunch of new boss drops as well, I better get to work making those! Here’s a Power Flower seed, an Evil Eye Mask, and a Thorn Worm cap:

I also went ahead and made the drop appearance of the power flower seed all grown up for its place in the housing system, although you won’t be able to use it just yet (next update, maybe!)

Finally I was a bit cheeky and made my own suggestion for what the Toy Factory’s shield drop could look like, although it’ll most likely be edited and adjusted a bit by Fred:

And finally, here’s a little early sneak peek of three new collectors that will appear in the collector’s HQ or around the world, featuring a few more veterans, since we felt like the collectors all seemed awfully young:

Now go forth dear friends and try out the new patch over on the frontline beta! Among the new stuff is:

* Three big but optional side “quests”/objectives has been added, you can find them in the lost ship, Pillar Mountains and Mt Bloom respectively

* You can now refight all bosses in the arena, which has been improved in terms of UI and has a few more challenges as well

* A new load screen and splash screen for everyone who has been working on the game; the game should also load more quickly

* More bosses have drops (if you’ve killed them already you have been awarded the drops retroactively as all boss drops are now at 100%)

* Talent orbs can now be transformed into silver skill points and the other way around in the HQ

You can read the full patch notes over at the forums! And as always, all feedback is appreciated, please continue to help us make this game the best it can be, we value each and every one of your comments <3

Now, with this patch out and about, we’ll be taking a little belated easter holiday, since we haven’t had any off time for a while! The blog will be back as usual on April 26th, after we’ve had a full week back at the office with new content to recap for you guys :)