Alright, time to decorate the final desert map (or what has been made of it yet, anyways)! Since I'm sure you all (me included) are pretty tired of these desert maps by now, I'll just finish this up in one post this time. After all, it's not even that big of a map, so whatever!

Here's the map where we left it yesterday, with all walls in place:

As you can see, I've already gone over the area with a black paintbrush, making rough sketches on top of the original sketch, showing where I want certain decorations to be and approximately what I want them to look like.

I start off by adding the Grindea statue (each big area will have one of these), and some water in which you'll be able to fish:

In the left part of the map you have to solve a season-change phase-shift puzzle which we haven't finished creating yet, so for now I simply add the water you can't cross over and the season orb:

In the top right, there's a temple, some tents and a couple of archaeologists (which haven't been created yet)! And here's the WIP of that piece:

And in the end, with a bunch of more details and the rest of the decorations added, this is what the third and final desert map looks like for now:

Time to leap back to the desert for a bit, and a third map to add walls to! Getting tired of that yet? Let me tell you, it's kind of incredible how tired I get after painting rocks all day, hence the small break from the desert areas... :)

This time around, since we haven't added a whole lot of the map yet (still unsure what exactly the left part of the map will look like), I won't be doing too much rock painting, I hope! 

Like with the previous maps, I start off by copying rocks I already completed to places where I think they would fit. Since this is the third map, it means a lot more of the map is covered with pre-made rocks, and I'll spend more time stitching together these pieces rather than creating huge chunks of the rock walls.

Below you can see my progress doing exactly that, with before- and after version of each part of the walls:

In the end, this is what it looks like for now:

It might not look like much, but just wait until we fill these maps with decorations! Which, actually, I'll be working on next, so here goes! :D
Alright, I'm taking a break from item- and hat-making (which essentially is pretty much the same thing for me),  and instead I've been creating a new portrait!

This character won't appear for quite some time, and when she does, she might not even get cast as the character I intended her to be when I made this portrait... But she also may, and in that case, let's just say she'll be a quite important character you'll encounter when you explore the depths of Mt:Bloom!

Let's start with some basic line art:

My inspiration for this character, both when it comes to style of dress and her haircut is ancient asia. Let's just say it might be a theme for an upcoming area found within Mt:Bloom:

Fleshing out some basic colors:

Adding some shadows and highlights:

Adding details, editing the line art color:

And finally, the finished sprite:

Other than items & equipment, there's one more thing you can't have too many of: hats! So today I've spend some time creating a lot of new hats for your character to wear. 

Here's a bunch of them, starting with a classic beret: 

Ever dreamt of being Gandalf, a mighty viking or simply a frail old man? With this large beard, your dreams might come true!

What game is complete without a jester? Well, since there ain't one in the game so far, you might as well take the job into your own hands with this jester hat!

This hat was a bit too wide to fit side-by side on the mannequin without overlapping, so in this preview you'll only see the hat from two angles:

Another classic, a flower in your hair, for those sweet summer days that are sure to come soon (alright, I know it's only February, but a girl can dream, right?):

Playboy girls, Battle Bunny Riven and plenty of furry friends all love the wear this hat, which has become a popular sight in many different games. I speak of course of the rabbit ears:

While the haircolor of the mannequin is unfortunate for this hat (man, they really melt together bad T_T), it's quite wondrous how you can make new hats just from taking a hairband and adding a bunch of Pecko feathers:

Oh yeah, speaking of Gandalf, this might be a bit too modern for his taste, but perhaps it's still able to suit your wizard needs:

And then, there's this... Which I really have no idea about. It just... Well it just got drawn, really. Enjoy: 
Today I've been working on a bunch of items for you to find in the game! We can't ever have too many items, after all - there are plenty of chests that still don't have proper loot, not to mention we need a wider selection of equipment to suit many different character builds.

Here's a random bunch of the drops I've made: 

Most of these are equips of different kinds. Some might be easy to guess what they are, some might be more mysterious. As to where you'll find or how you'll craft these items, nothing has been decided just yet, for now they're just available where we feel we need them the most. 

While on the subject, I don't know whether I talked about these yet or not, but I thought it might be nice to remind people of these little gems (hehe) which we may or may not have teased over at the official devblog somtime: 

The gemstones above aren't in the game yet, but once they have been added, they will serve as means to give the player some extra money (or perhaps be used to craft things that need to be enhanced by stones, such as rings or certain rods).

Each gemstone will be sold at a different price, though we haven't decided exactly how much yet. Economy in Grindea is a quite complex subject - we don't want there to be too much money floating around, with nothing to use it for, but we also don't want there to be items nobody even considers buying because money is simply too scarce. 

I feel this money problem is something that a lot of games struggle with, so it'll be a challenge for us to try to get it right. In the last game I played (Dragon Age: Inquisition) I felt like everything was so dang expensive (at least any equipment that was actually good), that I couldn't possibly afford it, and once I finished the game I had found way better equips anyway, so when I finally could afford the 'great things', they simply weren't good enough anymore, haha! 

Anyway! Lastly (for this post at least), I've been making a set of 10 books:

I really like "collection-quests" where you aim to find x sets of items all across a game world in order to finish a quest, so of course a Collector-based game such as SoG needs at least a couple of those types of quests as well. These rare books will be scattered all over Grindea, and finding them all and bringing them back to the Evergrind Library will certainly grand you great rewards. ;)

We might even write some stories, or have a part 1-10 series of a single story for these tomes, that unlock as you find them. We do want to incorporate more of the Grindea lore to the game, and reading books might be one good way to do so :)
Finally it's time to complete this second desert map! I'll mainly focus on adding tiny decorations in this step, but there's one thing that hasn't been properly added yet: a giant tree that will be in the top left corner of the map!

But first, here's what the map looks like now that we finished part 2 yesterday: 

And here's some progress on that tree:

We want your character to be able to restore this tree to life more and more by doing a series of quests, so I made a bunch of secondary versions of this area, which will replace the first version once you complete each step in the questline:

Once that's done, all that's left if to decorate the rest of the area, add more roads, and make sure there's enough room to fight.

Here's what it looks like now:

Part two of decorating the second desert map! When we left this place yesterday, this is what it looked like: 

Today I'm gonna show the work on the lower left part of the map, which leads into a second, smaller town of sorts :)

To begin with, we need some water and a bridge that we can pass over to get to the town:

The bridge is actually broken from the beginning, and needs to be fixed
through doing a mini-quest in order for you to pass over it :)

Then it's time to add the town wall! Since this town won't be a true desert town (more of a harbor town actually), we decided to add some greenery around the town wall to foreshadow the fact that there won't be anymore sand where you're going :)

Then it's all about decorations! I add more cacti, trees, pottery, you name it... There's also a bunch of wood on a blanked where the guy who will fix the bridge will be standing!

Tomorrow I'll post the third and final part of decorating this desert map, where it'll all come together!
Time for another series of "Decorating the Desert!" ;) 

This time it's, of course, Map02 that will have the spotlight. Yesterday we added some walls to the area, today it's time to begin decorating! 

A sketch showing approx. what decorations are needed!
For this map, I begin working on the lower right corner, starting with the house. This house is a bit different compared to the other houses in Grindea, as we wanted it to fit in better in the desert rather than being your regular wooden cottage:

Next to the house is a well. We weren't entirely sure what color we wanted it to be - should it be the same as the rocks, or the same as the house? In the end, I began by making it the same color as the rocks, but once I was done I changed the colors around and made a second version matching the house.

We all agreed the second one was better and fit better with its surroundings, so for now it's gonna be white as well :)

Next thing I began working on was a bridge! There's gonna be a bunch of bridges around this area, but I started with the on in the top-right part of the map.

As usual when I work with pixel art, I begin with a sketch which I turn into line art, then start filling in basic colors before finally changing the line art color to match the colors of the item:

There's gonna be a bridge next to the house as well, though it may not look like it in the sketch!
Instead of going up a set of stairs, like in Map01, you'll actually pass over some of that tainted-looking water on a bridge. So, after adding some more walls (yay..) and water, I used the bridge I already made as a base and made a vertical version of it:

After adding some decorations, the lower right part of the map finally looks a bit more interesting, and I'll move on to the rest of the map shortly:

Last week I showed how I've added walls to Map01 of the new desert area! This post is about adding walls to Map02... Yes, pretty much the same stuff! In this post, however, I will focus more on before-and-afters of each segment I work on. Have a look: 

Above is the map with each premade piece added. I've painted red arrows wherever I need to fill in rocks.

Above is the first major section I worked on! The above screen shows what it looks like before I start editing, the lower one shows the "finished" version. Part of the wall will be above a little stream of water, which is why I made it longer than the rest in the lower part.

As for the rest, they're really just a bunch of before and after pics, showing you where I've had to build new rocks to connect the pieces that were already made. Enjoy!

Finished version, showing all the walls of Map02!

In an upcoming patch, there will be a few changes to the mini-boss room! 

We have mentioned on the forums that we want some way of quick-traveling to the boss in the cases where you should leave the dungeon, so our solution was to add a vine that can be climbed from the mini-boss room directly to the boss room. 

In order to do this, we had to add a few things. First of all, there needed to be a patch from where the vines could grow, which was to be added to the winter- and summer- versions of the room:

Secondly we needed a third version of the room: an autumn version. Right now, Elder Summer turns the room into its summer version once you beat the mini-boss. However, with the added vines, that would mean you could climb directly to the boss without going through the dungeon.

So, in the upcoming patch, Elder Autumn will turn the room into its autumn version instead, and you'll unlock the quick travel by hitting a summer orb once you reach the boss door :)

Here it is:

Lastly, as you might have noticed in the above screenshots, we changed the door leading to the boss fight a little. Now it is a bit bigger, more decorated and has a few statues outside it, to imply further that there is something special behind this door, rather than your regular dungeon room :)
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