This week Fred has been battling a cold, but that didn't stop him from making three salespeople for the market area of the desert town!

Here we have a shield maker polishing a shield, a potion salesman tempting you with one of those health pots (possibly?) and a weapon smith applying some final polish on her latest sword:

With the roof and stand decorations covering a little of their appearance, here's a version showing what they look like without it (for science... or something):

There's also a jar merchant, doing some final adjustments to his/her latest piece:

The desert town becomes more and more of a bustling town with these additions! We hope it'll be able to rival Tai Ming in how alive it feels with NPCs and animations here and there. Don't worry though, we won't make it into a full "temple/dungeon" kind of deal. It's just a chill place where you can grab some quests and upgrade your gear before heading on to the next real challenge :)

My turn to take a quick break from the Desert Town to fix somethings for Arcadia! First up there's a new NPC, who will appear as you develop the farm. Her character sprite was actually made a long time ago for story mode, where she'd play a mechanic part that was since scrapped:

Meanwhile, since Chika will be responsible for the eggs and hatching mechanics, we thought it was time to upgrade her from being permanently sad to actually enjoying her job a little (who doesn't like chickens and/or eggs, right?):

Speaking of eggs, those things need drop appearances since you will be able to walk around with them in your inventory:

And as part of the farm experience, there will be a new perk as well! This one will make capturing eggs easier. Since my first attempt at this perk icon (the left) looked a bit like it had more to do with apples than pet capturing, I made a second version (on the right) which will more likely be the ones we'll use:

And finally.. A strange little box:

What it will be used for? Announcing that you've captured a new fish, that will become available in your Aquarium in town, of course!

With so many new characters appearing in and around the desert town, I can only keep making portraits hoping to one day catch up with the number of sprites Fred makes for the area! Today it'd time to introduce the bartender who cleans glasses (and serves drinks) in the Saloon.

First, a reminder of his sprite from a while ago:

And then the WIP and finished version version:

We continue to work on the details of the desert town, this time zooming into the harbor area. Crates, ropes and carpets are on the menu as we give this place a little more personality:

And here's what the town looks like so far:

Time to start tying things together in the desert town (maybe we should come up with a name for it soon)! To start off this week I'm gonna focus on getting the groundwork (haha, get it) done, putting in some sand details and paths around the town, as well as making a few pieces of greenery to decorate the area.

First though, let's deal with the walls surrounding the town! First I put in a quick something based on the piece of wall I made in the map outside of this one:

But I quickly felt this texture is way too busy, so instead I'm toning it down by a lot, so it doesn't bother the eye quite as much:

Now, time to start working on that greenery! First up, a palm tree in three different sizes, and then, a little bush with berries:

Along the way I also adjusted the height of the wall, and made a few green versions of the cacti to go inside town:

Now it's time to work on that sand beginning with the edges towards the water:

And then some sand surrounding the beach and the harbor:

And some decorative grass on said sand:

Applying the grass on the rest of the map:

.... and finally some of those roads, so you know where you're  going:

Fred continues to take requests on animations given by Teddy as he fleshes out the revamped Arcade Mode. Most recently, we needed a receptionist for the Aquarium which will house your collected fishes. Since we have but one master of the fishing rod, we decided to put him on duty here as well, and in doing so give him an animation from the side:

Next, a little something to help enhance Master Ji's shield training! This shield will appear whole or break, depending on whether you win or lose his current challenge:

Here's a little sneak peak from what it currently looks like, though we'll likely change a few details:

As for the pet business, we thought there should be a slightly bigger fanfare to capturing the pets now that they very clearly get sent down to Arcadia rather than go with you (perhaps we should add this effect to story mode as pets get sent to the farm as well):

Finally, another inhabitant of the desert town, a guy who might just have spent a little too long in the sun (or perhaps should have removed his sunglasses first):

We're not completely done with Arcadia yet, and with our new ideas for the farm, it's time for me to put together some basic interfaces for the new features. 

First, an interface for deciding how many animals of each kind you want roaming around the pasture/full map:

The numbers are placeholder for now but are supposed to be how many animals are currently outside vs how many you have in total. The % will be a / in the final version, I just quickly used the % here to make sure there was enough room for everything:

Next, an interface for equipping taming items. We've decided that you'll only be able to carry one taming item with you on your arcade run, to avoid cheese strats where you carry an infinite amount and tame all the difficult enemies rather than battle them. On the flip side of this we also decided that you'll be able to use the same taming item until you've successfully tamed an enemy, rather than having to buy a new one every time.

In the interface, you'll see the taming item on the left, and what enemy it tames to the right:

Of course, in order to get to this portion of the menu, a button is needed. We considered using the regular Buy button, but since this doesn't work the same way the regular shop interface does, we made a new one for buying Taming Items:

Meanwhile, the eggs Chika sells will be available in a regular shop, which means it needs a shop title box, as seen below:

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