Day 2 of Dreamhack Stockholm (Saturday) started a little bit earlier. The expo opened to the public at 10 am, so we went up to catch breakfast an hour or so before that.

As expected, there were a lot more people attending the expo this day. There were a lot of different games being played on the main stage and in the expo area at once, and I'm pretty sure people in general were the most excited about attending the SC2 finals later in the evening, so out of the two days, Saturday definitely had more exciting things going on.

Anyway, since there were much more people walking around the expo, it also meant a lot more people came to play Secrets of Grindea! We got to meet some really cool people, both new players and people who played it before. Below is a couple of photos I took of people playing the game (though I caught one just before a loading screen, so it looks all black! :D):

Since we don't like hanging by the booth all three at once (kind of intimidating with 3 people managing a 2-seat booth), we took turns going around the expo and watching the different events. The Street Fighter tournament was being played out right next to our booth, so we had lots of opportunities to watch that, but we also managed to catch a bunch of SC2 matches before they moved on the the main stage.

Street Fighter tournament in action, right next to our booth!
The expo area closed at 20 (8pm), just as the SC2 semi-finals started on the main stage. We quickly packed everything and carried it out to the car in hopes of being done in time to watch the final match. Turns out we managed to catch the last semi-final as well (thank you, delays!), so we got to watch Solar dominate both CJ herO and SK-T soO to end our Dreamhack Stockholm experience!

Solar playing against herO in the last semi-finals!

Solar accepting his prizes after winning against soO
After the prize ceremony there was a Twitch-hosted after party at Clarion Hotel, which we went to after much deliberation (it was really late and we had to get up super early in the morning to catch the bus home). It ended up definitely being worth it, as we got to meet a lot of awesome people, Solar and soO among others. I also got to talk to Rachel and Sue, which totally made my day (or week, or year)! I think they do a totally amazing job, and I'll probably remember this night for the rest of my life with equal shares of joy and embarrassment.

I think I'll spare you the details of the Sunday, in which we spent like 5 hours travelling back home, only 3 hours after coming home from said party... ;)

Anyway, to sum it up: Dreamhack Stockholm was a great experience for us, both professionally with the game but also when it comes to entertainment. I'd definitely do it all over again!
So this weekend we went to Dreamhack Stockholm! Let me tell you a bit about that and how we went about doing things while being there!

Day 0: Thursday

We left for Stockholm on Thursday. Since we live on a silly island off the Swedish coast, it takes us 3 hours by boat to actually get to the mainland, then another hour or so to get to Stockholm from there. First thing we did was go to the expo area to unload the car and start setting things up. It's really cool to see expo areas before everything's in place, cause it's totally amazing how such huge and empty rooms can turn into loads of awesomeness after just a few hours!

Below is a bunch of pictures I took while we set everything up in our area of the booth:

As you can see it kind of starts off like a mess! But in the end, everything tends to come together. What we do this first day is that we put everything where it's supposed to be, test-run the game on all computers and make sure everything is working just fine. Basically, we don't want to do any last-minute additions or changes or anything to the booth in the morning - ideal case is just that we press the on button and everything runs fine.

We got to the expo area around 20 (8pm) in the evening, and probably left around midnight. It's kind of crazy that it takes that long to just set up a few tables and computers, but then again there's a lot of small details like moving things around to fit perfectly, finding the cables in the different boxes (we shared equipment box with another game to make things more confusing as well), and when sharing expo space with other projects, make sure everyone is happy about the layout and things like that.

Once we were done we went to our hotel room and got a short night of sleep; breakfast was served around 9:30 and just a short while after we had to leave for the expo area again!

Day 1: Friday

The Street Fighter area, before they got there!
The expo opened to the public at 12 am and was scheduled to close around 22 (10 pm). Since we were there ahead of everyone else we got to walk around and take a look at everything. Apparently, the pools for the esport games were played in the expo area, and our booth was just next to where they were going to play Street Fighter, so we got to see a lot of real time action while managing our booth!

 Both the Starcraft 2 pools and Hearthstone pools were going strong all day (and way into the night, apparently) in the expo area, but on the main stage there was only CS:GO for today. What that meant for us was that most of the people attending on Friday were people who loved CS:GO, since anyone else would save their money for the SC2, Hearthstone, Street Fighter and WoW finals on Saturday (jeez, that planning)!

In other words, the expo area was kind of slow and with not a lot of people walking around. That, on the other hand, meant that we could take more time to walk around and enjoy the expo before all the other people would arrive the day after.

A very blurry Fred by the Hearthstone tables!
The expo as seen from above, on one of the areas where the SC2 groupstage matches were played out

The main stage being prepared for CS:GO, a couple of hours before the actual event

A couple of people playing Grindea by our booth!

The CS:GO event getting started!
After the expo closed (and let me tell you, it did not really close at 22, the Hearthstone group stage apparently went on to 5 am or so, tho we didn't stay that long), we went back to the hotel room (pretty exhausted from standing all day!) and watched one of the League of Legends world group stage matches that we had missed during the day. What better way to end a day of esports and gaming with more esports and gaming, right?

The early sketch!

Some basics :3

Adding some props (and accidentally hiding the grass-edge layer.. XD)

Finished autumn version (except for the portraits..!)

Finished summer version!

Finished winter version :)
Tomorrow, I'll be going away to represent Secrets of Grindea and Uppsala University at Dreamhack Stockholm, which will take place this Friday-Saturday. Therefore there probably won't be any updates for the remainder of the week as I'll be in the booth all day & evening (come meet us there)!

Once I'm back I hope to upload some pictures from the expo and let you know how that went instead :)
Today we're gonna take a look at a puzzle we've been working on for the last couple of days! It's a new variant of the block moving puzzles, but where you have to build a path for yourself to walk on rather than moving one puzzle block to the correct spot. 

To explain it better, take a look at this 'sketch' made by Teddy: 

As you can see, there's on door to the left, and one in the bottom right corner. In order to get from one door to another, you will need to move a series of wooden blocks in different shapes between the green islands that you can see on the map. The water will be too deep for you to walk in during summer, so you will have to change the season to winter and walk on the ice to push the blocks around.

We've already made a very basic prototype of this puzzle, and put it into the game:

The prototype in game!
Fred's wooden blocks
When prototyping basic puzzles like this, we don't bother doing any fancy graphics to begin with. Sometimes concept that sound fun don't end up being as fun at all, when actually implemented, so that would just result in a bunch of wasted time making props we won't use. Only once we've tried the concept and feel like it's fun enough, we start looking into refining the graphics.

Since we thought this puzzle was, indeed, as fun as we expected, Fred started making a bunch of the wooden blocks, and I moved on to refine the room itself.

Since this room is very basic for now (we'll do a lot of work on the water and add some animated features to the walls), I won't go into detail here. Instead, you can take a look at what the rooms look like for now:

Summer Version

Winter Version

Now you just gotta wait for us to finish the rest of the dungeon before you can start fiddling around with solving the puzzle of the bridges, and move on through the islands :)

Here's another one of those pretty straight forward battle rooms! This one didn't take super long as most of the props were already made and only had to be slightly adjusted to fit this room: 


Basics :3

Adding some of the props and the pool of water!

Adding the trees from our tree editor, and a couple of bushes & vines :)

Adding the details: leaves, grass decorations and fallen leaves!

The summer version :)

The winter version!
The Sketch!

The basics and some color blocking :)

Starting to refine the left tree...

Adding more details...

Refining the right tree

Adding some bushes and the path!

And finally, adding the details!

Not every day is the same in the office. Sometimes, instead of jumping straight into photoshop/visual studio, there are some other tasks to attend to. 

Sound effect time!
A couple of days ago we received a batch of sounds from our main sound designer, Fark. So today, we started the day with going through and listening to each and every sound we received, making sure all the sounds are what we had in mind, and in cases where there's more than one option, we select which ones we want to use. 

Afterwards, we send a list of the sounds we want to use in the game to Fark, as well as some suggestions on how to adjust any sounds we weren't 100% sure about (however, since his sound effects are really awesome, this doesn't happen a lot :D)

Fred listening to the sounds at his desk in our apartment!
 We've also been testing a new type of puzzle today, which is currently in some kind of alpha stage, and will be found within the Temple of Seasons.

Not much to say here, really! Pretty straight forward room, where you'll have the opportunity to battle some enemies :)

As usual, we start with the sketch!

The basics done!

Adding some trees, bushes and other props.. :)

For this room, we need to make another type of tree/bush! Here's the process.

Adding the new trees and a bunch of bushes without leaves.

Finally adding some vines, grass & other details! Autumn version: done!

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