Time to make the second Mt:Bloom Outskirts map, the entrance to the actual cave! This map will be found to the right of Evergrind East, and you're gonna need the Season Change skill to pass through to the mountain. 


Basic Ground

Color adjustments, water & stairs

Trees & Mushrooms added with our editor tool

Grass, Bushes & Tiny Mushrooms

Grass & Flower Details

Finished map with some water decorations & vines

GIF of the work in progress :D
As with the previous outskirts map, this too will have more water details made by Fred (animations, yay), as well as a Season Change orb which will create some ice that lets you pass to the other side. I'll either make a tiny path down to the water where you can cross when the ice appears, or we'll do something more fancy, like a bridge or something, we'll see!
In yesterday's post, which ended with this:

..I forgot something important: water decorations! While there still needs to be fancy animated edges, there was something more I could do with this map before Fred takes over and touches stuff up with animations.

A GIF of the process:

And here it is, the finished version of this Mt:Bloom outdoors map (before animations, at least):

Now that we're finally starting to move towards exploring Mt:Bloom, it's time to revisit and improve the maps around that place!

A long time ago I made a map for one of the exits, which can be seen below:

Looking at it now, all I see is a very boring and uninspired map, which is in dire need of improvements. And so, into photoshop we go:

After adding a bunch of greenery, more mushrooms and vines around the map, it definitely feels like a much cooler area with more personality. It also fits better with the name of the mountain!

There's one more map like this that I need to make before you venture into the mountain, the actual entrance to it which hasn't been made yet. After that I'll return to the inside of the mountain, adding more greenery and flowers there as well. Stay tuned! :)

Some of you have been asking what happened to Morgan, who from the beginning seemed to be quite a follower of Marino, and now has kind of disappeared into the background. The answer is that we had some grand plans for Morgan in the beginning, but during the development of the game we made some changes that rendered him quite useless in that respect. And as such, we're officially removing his role as Marino's sidekick, and we'll (at some point) change his and Marino's early dialogues to fit with these changes. 

This is one of the problems with the way we're doing Early Access - things in the plot may change after you've already lived it, meaning people who play the same character update by update will get a slightly different story (most likely with more plot holes) compared to people who play it for the first time once the whole thing is complete. 

There are already a few things we wish to add to the beginning of the story, such as an additional cutscene & shield training after you first become a collector. However, right now our main focus is to continue the main story and get more content into the game, which means we have no idea when those things will be added. We've considered adding a bunch of such things - side quests, additional smaller main story elements and a whole lot of stuff to examine in the final update before we launch the game, hopefully motivating the players to replay Story Mode and live it the way we intended.

Ideally we'd of course get every story element right from the beginning, and so far we haven't really changed that much, but as the story gets more complex especially in and after the next temple, chances are pretty high we'll have to make tweaks here and there! 

I can only hope that people playing the game in Early Access will forgive changes like this that happens after they experienced something already, and give the story another go once everything is in place.

Anyway, in order for Marino and Luke to stand out a bit more, we're recoloring Morgan and Sally (who also complete the Collector's exam with you in the beginning), giving them their blue collector's outfits once they've taken their place as true Collectors in the HQ. This means that all collectors are dressed in blue hues, except for yourself, Marino and Luke, signalling that you're a bit different from the rest. 

We'll probably throw in a line or two to hang a lantern on this, such as Marino refusing to wear anything other than his own luxurious brand clothing! ;)

Morgan in his Collector's outfit

Regular Morgan's Sprite

Collector Morgan's Sprite

Regular Sally's Portraits

Collector Sally's Portraits

Regular Sally's Sprite

Collector Sally's Sprite

Oh dear! Something terrible has happened in Ivy's Office, and now the whole place is a mess! Who is responsible for this outrage?! I guess you'll soon find out, once the next patch is live!


Doing battle with those dang Pixel Ferr- I mean, Black Ferrets! This boss battle is actually coming around quite smoothly, and we only have a few minor tweaks (and multiplayer support) left before it's done! :)

Here's a bunch of gifs showing the battle in action:

As you can see, they've been upgraded with a few new attacks! The one where Teddy and Freddy throws their swords at one another is probably the most important one, and it comes in many different shapes, growing more difficult the closer you are to beating them.

The third one, where they disappear in a cloud of smoke, also have them change places. The main danger with this one is Vilyas attack, which is super large and hard to avoid. In other words, you need to quickly get away from wherever she appears!

Excited yet? So are we! :D
Today we had another one of those planning days! We're heading closer and closer to actually getting into Mt: Bloom, so we had a talk about how to progress there.

As you might have noticed, we've added some kind of quest in each new area before you can progress to the temple. In Pumpkin Woods, it's the curse of the haunted forest and in Seasonne you have to explore the Toy Factory before you continue on. Mt:Bloom is no different, and so a lot of our discussions were focused on what kind of stuff we'd throw at the player in this mountain.

We ended up deciding on three different challenges, found in different parts of the map.

Challenge #1: Gauntlet With Debuffing Flowers
In this challenge you'll battle waves of enemies while managing a heap of flower buds which grow and (if you don't hit them) will create a debuff in the surrounding area once they burst into their full flower form. The debuffs we've considered so far are poison and blind, but we're also discussing other ways they might inconvenience the player, should they forget to manage the buds.

Challenge #2: Crystal Bug Madness
In this challenge your goal is to direct a bunch of spinning crystal bugs onto a huge boulder blocking your way. For every bug you direct onto the boulder, it breaks a bit more, causing more bugs to appear. There will also be a set of blinding mushrooms spawning across the map, and when you hit the boulder, rocks will fall from the sky. Basically, a lot of dodging while trying to hit en crystal bugs in the right direction!

Challenge #3: Poison Gas Room
This is a room filled with poisonous gas, which hurts you continuously! How in the world will you get through here alive? We kind of want to make it impossible to simply run though the room, instead we want the player to break things and/or battle enemies in order to get health orbs to sustain their journey through. Balancing this to make it challenging enough without it being too difficult for our more casual players will be interesting!

The order of these challenges might of course change, as might the challenges themselves - we haven't gotten around to prototyping them yet, after all.

We also got to talk a bit about side quests in the area, and we have a few exciting ones lined up! As usual, we're not entirely sure how many we'll add at this point - we plan one adding quite a bunch for each area once we've finished the game, but for now we want to keep our focus on the main story, so we'll probably settle for just a few!

Since it's a cave filled with crystals, mining will definitely be a theme. As will monsters defending their precious rocks from outsiders... :)

More on that later!
Another portrait! And this time with a WIP gif as well~

This young lady is a collector from the Merchant Isles, a place far away, who has come to Evergrind City as a collector :) She'll be added to the HQ or appear around town, we haven't decided exactly yet. 

Line Art

Color Blocking



Adjustments & Details

Finished Sprite

From one type of portrait to another - time for the slime card rework! This is something that has been on my to-do list since forever, but never felt important enough to actually get around to until now. 

The Slime Card is the first card you get as a collector, and it's also the first one I ever made, way back when we hadn't established what style to use for the cards and portraits in general. As such it stands out quite a bit from the rest, and we felt that if there's one card that should be improved upon, it's definitely this one as it's 100% guaranteed that you'll get it!

Here's the old one: 

And as an experiment, I made a step-by-step GIF of the process:

What do you think about that? I've always thought step-by-step GIFs are pretty cool, but I never thought of making one myself. Maybe I should continue doing some more?

Anyway, here are the step by step stills: 

And finally, the finished, reworked and improved card:

It's a new week, and we'll start if off with the Boss portrait I showed you a preview of last Friday! I'm not super 100% happy about how this turned out, but I have a feeling that if I'm to remake anything at the end of the project, it's gonna be the boss portraits. 

So I'll leave it at this for now, and might check back later when I've improved my skills further!


Line Art

Color Blocking


Highlights & Details

Boss Portrait in Action!

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