Time to start working on that Spinsect Challenge background! Now that we're happy with the prototype for that one, there's nothing stopping me from making some art for it. So here we go:

The original prototype BG

Some basic walls

Adding some wall decor & moss

Vines on the floor & walls

More greenery added with our editor

And finally, some decorative flowers!

Now all that remains is that giant boulder or crystal that blocks your way. That is for Fred to create, though! 

To end the post, here's a GIF with the steps above + some:

So, as we mentioned a couple of days ago, we wanted the big flower in the flower challenge to have some kind of special attack to change up the flow of battle, and we came up with 2 different ideas:

#1 - A beam spinning around the room a few times while you still have to manage enemies & poisonous flowers spawning. In this version, the battle continues like always, but you have to move around with the beam or take damage from it:

#2 - The same beam as above, but the normal enemies are removed and a bunch of other flowers spawn that explode and cause projectiles to fly all across the room. Basically, more bullet hell (though not as extreme as say, GUN-D4M or Phaseman):

We were quite divided on which one we preferred, but after trying them both on a few friends, I think we all agree that the second version is better. It gives you a nice break from managing the poison flowers, which can get pretty stressful when you have to do it for a long time.

Of course, the graphics are still very much WIP, the bullet hell flowers will have a different look (or color, at the very least) and we're currently working on having the projectiles be a bunch of seeds instead! :)

We also started working on the gas effect for the third challenge, where you'll have to battle your way through a poisonous room:

There will probably be some kind of poison effect added around the borders when you're in the gas, to put emphasis on the danger of the area, but I definitely like the look so far! 

Gonna be interesting to try these three challenges in their finished forms :3
Time to finish up the room from yesterday with the statue I was talking about! The statue will be one of two monuments which will give a portion of important backstory, left behind by the people in the past....


Line Art

Color Blocking



More Details + Moss
GIF of the progress, with a few more steps ^^

The "hidden room", with the statue in place!

A "hidden" room (which you'll find your way to eventually), and the entrance to the next temple! That's what I've been working on today:

Boy, was this a massive undertaking! It was quite a while since I worked on bigger backgrounds, and a lot of new things had to be made for this area specifically, so it took some time. Was a lot of fun, though!

It's not 100% complete yet; there's gonna be a massive statue which you can see the faded outline of in the sand, but I'll save that part for another day.

Another prototype! This time it's of the "Flower Challenge". A month ago, when we first talked about the challenges, I described it like this: 

"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."

Well, we've made a bunch of changes! To begin with, we're not really talking waves of enemies anymore. Instead, there's a big flower in the middle, which serves as a mini-boss: it has a big HP bar and dictates when the battle ends (once its HP reaches 0). 

There are still smaller flowers & regular enemies spawning around the room, but at regular intervals rather than in proper waves. 

We also changed the debuffs around. Instead of multiple flowers with multiple debuffs, we're simply settling for one type of the smaller ones, which release poison clouds. Standing in a poison cloud for too long means you'll start losing a percentage of your HP, so take care!

The flowers will increase in size over time, releasing their poison once their reach their final form. If you hit the flowers, they'll shrink, until they die and disappear from the map. 

The big one works a bit differently. Instead of releasing poison in its final form, it heals the other flowers and shields them, meaning you can't damage them until you've dealt with the bigger one. Also, while hitting it causes it to shrink, there's a limit to how small it can get, at least until you've worked through its HP bar!

One thing to keep in mind is that if you simply hit any flower in its final form, it'll revert back to the second highest form. Which means that if you don't continuously hit it, it'll soon grow into its final form again, spewing even more poison (or healing the other enemies once again)!

We kind of like the "dilemma" the big vs small flowers cause: if you stay near the big one too long, the room will fill with poison from the smaller ones, but if you focus the small ones too hard, you'll soon be forced back to the big one or you won't be able to deal damage to them anymore!

However, we'd like something more to spice things up, so we're currently thinking of ways to make the fight more interesting. Perhaps the big flower will have a special attack that temporarily removes the other flowers & enemies in order for you to dodge something or deal with some other kind of threat (vines, thorns or some kind of beam, perhaps)? Still deciding on that!

Got any ideas? Feel free to share :D
It's a new Monday everyone! Here's to hoping the news reports around the world will be a little more positive this week :) 

I'm sure none of you missed all the terrible reports on terrorism and stuff the last few weeks. Even though I spend 99% of my time in front of the computer in my home in (hopefully pretty safe) Sweden, it's terrible to imagine the horrors that happen all around the world. I hope things will settle down soon, and that all of you are safe!

Anyway. Over the weekend I made a bunch of variations for the Caveling portrait I posted last week: 

Click to view the bigger portraits
Sprite versions :3

There will probably be more of these guys in the end, but for now there are two basic ones, one "elder" and a guard of some sort. The later two will play a part in getting you into the next temple... :3

Oh, yeah! Look at how cool and fancy our office door looks now:

Fred had a friend over last week, who gave us these signs as a gift. Guess we should keep adding more game signs for every new one we make?

...Just gotta finish this one first! :)
Tomorrow (or in the next couple of days, anyways), we'll be launching another patch on Frontline! This one will contain a bunch of smaller things. No Mt Bloom yet, I'm afraid, but rather a bunch of updates that help run the game more smoothly and improve user experience!

To start off, a bunch of people have unfortunately been having issues with save files being corrupted, especially after a crash, resulting in loss of characters and/or world progress :( We're still not sure what exactly causes these bugs (and we're doing our best to figure it out!), but with this patch we're implementing a system that notices if your savefile has been corrupted and automatically reverts to your last backup (which are added by the games every now and then):

As you can see, it also lets you know how much progress you've lost, and tells you where to find the corrupted file. Sending it to us could help us find out what causes these corruption bugs, so please do if you see this message pop up! 

Here's a link to the bug reports forum where it can be done :) 

Now, one of the things we added is an indicator for health orbs in Arcade Mode! This means that if you forget to use the health orb when you first get to a new floor, or strategically save it for later, you'll have a reminder on the mini map:

Another thing we've been working on is to improve certain on-death bag tips for the game over screen. Currently most of them are random insults that do little to help your efforts, but sometimes (and after this patch, more often) Bag actually gives some useful advice on how to beat the challenge you're facing:

Unfortunately, it's quite easy to miss which ones are actual tips, so we're also adding a bit of clarity to that. Basically, a bold "Listen up!!" (as seen below) will appear, accompanied by some shaking to catch the players attention. Hopefully that makes it stand out a bit more than regular bag commentary!

Finally, there will be a bunch of new sounds added to the game in the next patch, mainly in and around the festival & the Black Ferrets fight, so go try that out and have a listen! In another upcoming patch we'll add the rest of the sounds we've received as well, which should finally bring life to the gold charge skills. Yay!

Okay, that's all for this post!! Time to get back to doing more backgrounds & cave dweller portraits. Cya next week! :3
More portraits for Mt Bloom! This is one of a few "cave dwellers" that will live inside the cave. They are related, in a way, to the Frostlings of Seasonne, so we're trying to come up with a name that fits better in with them. Caveling, perhaps? I dunno! What do you think?

Line Art

Color Blocking


Highlights + Details

Finished Sprite

Now that all the greenery is in place in Mt. Bloom, it's time to make sure the sprites are sorted correctly. For those of you unfamiliar with that stuff, it means that we need to place the sprites in a way so that if your character, for instance, is standing in front of a mushroom, he or she will also appear in front of it rather than have it floating on top of him/her, which can happen if they're sorted the wrong way. 

This is done by putting each of the sprites onto the map with our editor tool! Sometimes I use this tool from the beginning, leaving areas where trees and other decorative things would normally be blank, only to add them with the editor once everything else is done. This time, however, the sprites needed hadn't been added to the editor yet, so instead I added them temporarily with Photoshop.

So, what I need to do now is to lower the transparency of the layer with all the decorative things, and add the correct sprites on top of them with the editor instead:

It takes a bit of time, and in hindsight I probably should have just waited for the sprites to be added to the editor rather than putting them there with Photoshop first. Oh well!

Next up, we're playing around with adding stone tablets with arrows pointing to nearby doorways, to make it a bit more clear that there's a door there and not just another wall. We're also considering adding a light effect around the doors, at least those facing left, right, and down, as they are the ones that are easily mistaken for walls. Obviously this doesn't make logical sense for doors that don't lead outside, as there wouldn't be any light source causing it, but if it helps make it clear where the doorways are, it could probably be worth is despite that lack of logic.

Anyway, here are the stone tablets:

And here's what one of them could look like next to a door:

Next up, I decided to add some more details to the bridge from the other day: 

I made the actual bridge a bit longer on one side, added more details to the rocks, and a little bit of greenery on and around the statues!

Lastly, as some of you noticed, the stone cutter finished her work with the Rabby statue outside the HQ during the festival, only she started working on it again once the festival ended?! This of course needs to be fixed, she can't be allowed to work on an already finished project! 

Instead, she'll be resting in town, expressing her disappointment with the pricing in Belmont's café, which explains her less happy new expression:

Next up, I have both a ton of backgrounds, but also quite a few portraits to make! Gonna be hard to decide what to do first :D
Today, a video! Been a while now, hasn't it? 

This time I'll be making a bunch of items that the Spinsect and green larva (which doesn't have a proper name yet) will drop!

Can you guess what they all are supposed to be, and the function they'll have in the game?
In this post I'm going back to add something that's been missing from the first Mt. Bloom map, the ruined bridge that used to lead into the village you'll be exploring with time travel! Since it's fallen apart over the years, you'll have to find a different way through the mountain :)

Here's the part of the map where the bridge will appear:

As usual, I start off with some line art sketching! I basically just played around until I got something I thought looked cool:

Then it's on to the statues! I forgot to take screens of my work with them, but it's pretty straight forward like everything else. Going from flat colors, to adding shadows, to adding highlights:

Then I do the same with the actual bridge! Starting our with flat colors. On the screen below I've also started adding a few shadows & highlights around each rock:

Then it's on to adding more shades and the crystals on the edges:

Finally, some color adjustments, adding moss & other small details! I also changed the position of the whole thing a bit:

And here's a GIF of the whole thing:

Tomorrow I'll post a bunch of item drops for the enemies of this cave! Stay tuned :D
This week, our favorite fast food chain (where we typically hold our meetings) introduced a new version of their french fries, one drenched in cheese, bacon and onions(?)! Of course, we always have a lot of things to talk about, so we went there to try them out and make some more plans for the game.

Fred & Teddy waiting for their food
As you may have guessed, the focus for our discussions this time was Mt. Bloom, or more specifically: the items you'll find there, whether they will be found, rewarded or crafted, what enemy will drop them or their ingredients and how they will work. We also brainstormed a bunch of side quests and mini-bosses!

A bunch of notes about our side quest ideas in my 100% neat & elegant handwriting

First up though, we thought about the possibility of upgrading potions! The idea is that you'll get a quest where you have to do something special or collect a set of items for each potion, which allows Remedi to create more powerful versions of that particular one. 

We also thought about whether we'd add more odd variants of the potions, like acid coating for your sword and the like. Nothing set in stone yet in regards to that, but I think it would be fun!

For the items, aside from the usual random loot we came up with a couple of new hats & headgear that I'll be making in the coming days - a mushroom hat, larva face and multiple crystals to wear on your head, made from a bunch of the single crystal hat I posted earlier. We also thought about a few new weapons (a mushroom weapon and pick axe), and a mushroom shield that has a ton of HP but will spawn blinding mushrooms around you when it takes damage!

Of course, all of these are subject to change depending on how they look or feel in the context of the game :)

Random sketches created during the meeting
In terms of side quests, we want to make some sort of quest where you'll protect either one or a bunch of miners from some kind of thread while they dig out one or multiple crystals. Kind of like the quest with Remedi, only your subject are static and need to finish a task before you make it, rather than moving around the map. Perhaps you'll protect them from flowers that threaten to spawn around them, or you'll have to direct Spinsects away from them..

We've also planned a semi-hidden mini-boss, kind of like the Elder Rabby, that spawns when you do something I probably shouldn't spoil (though I suppose this blog is already filled with spoilers)!

Another quest idea we have is one where you're asked to collect a set of lost mining gear, so you'll have to explore the cave systems and find them in various places and through various means.

We also have yet another version of everyone's favorite side quest: chicken herding, odd as it might seem in an overgrown cave!

Now, as for the most important question - what I though about the new fries? ....I'm sad to say that I'm not exactly impressed. Better luck next time!
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