....and later being now, as it happens! The continuation of the Bishop battle background, this time focusing on a bunch of spikes to make the area a bit more menacing: 



 Next up, it's time for me to start working on the background for the Bishop's battle, seeing as we're about to finish it up! In this first part, I'm working on the basics of the map, saving the spikes for later: 



For the eight floor, we wanted to pull back a bit from too much intense fighting, and instead focusing on some other aspects of Dragonbone Dunes! 


So far, we've come up with two rooms here: first, you'll begin in a desert area with an exit to the north, blocked by a locked door. Next to it you'll find an archaeologist who will give you a map to find the key: only it turns out there are a ton of similar looking scenes around the area! Your goal is to find the small detail pointing you to the right bush (or whatever) by which the key has been hidden. 


Second, we wanted to make use of the math puzzle mechanic where you also summon enemies! For this puzzle, we're skipping the math bits and adding enemy tiles from across the entire world of Grindea for a real build-your-own-encounter path :) 


We'd like a third room as well, either before or after the puzzle room, but we haven't been able to agree on what exactly is to happen in it. One idea was to make a similar "story oriented" block puzzle as in the ruins of Dragonbone Dunes, only this one featuring characters from the game, or the artefacts, or something along those lines, but neither of us were completely sold on the idea. 


What sort of third room would you guys like to see? Feel free to share in the comments! :) 

 Meanwhile, Fred's been working on a bunch of Bishop animations, but what we're going to show today is something a bit more exciting(?), the sprite for Maracas, the guy who will transform your silver point into talent orbs, or the other way around! Behold: 


We've also been discussing the final tower interior and what it should look like, and as such I've been playing around with a bunch more sketches, where the amount of mirror material varies from barely any to full on "everything's-a-mirror" mode.





Right now we're kind of leaning more towards the 'emptier' version, meaning little to no mirror decorations. What do you guys think? One of the reasons we prefer that is because we won't be able to use a proper reflection for the character on mirrors that aren't on the floor, which means the mirror effect won't be too clear to begin with. Also, having a more 'boring' look means that once you break the tower's spell and it reverts back to it's normal version it should be a bigger difference compared to the magically transformed room you were just in.  

Next up, we've continued to work on sketches for what we'd like that final Arcade Mode room to look like. We've moved away from the idea of the church like structure, as that would imply you'll be able to go inside it - which you won't - but settled for having the final room set among the heavens, since you've, after all, climbed the way up there :) 


Here's a bunch of new designs for the portal that will take you back to Arcadia or on to more adventures, depending on your power level: 




Our favourite thus far is the first one (although technically, it was the last one I made) :) Our idea is that the gate will either be dark like in the sketch, or empty (as in, you'll see the background on the other end), until you've opened the chest, after which a portal will appear within the gate, looking slightly different depending on whether it's leading back to Arcadia or onwards :) 

Remember the skill point to talent orb transmuter from last week? Here's his apprentice, a young boy called Bokus! He'll hand around with his master in the HQ once they've been added to the game properly:  



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