Remember this sketch? I posted it last week as part of the prototype post, and today it's time to transform it into something actually readable!

I had to make quite a few new props and variations for this, so it's gonna be one of those long videos again! Here it is:

And here's the result (without the puzzle blocks):

As always, chances are I'll go back and add more details to this later on, once the other backgrounds have been made! Perhaps it would be cool to have a screen on the wall next to the door, some vines climbing on the mountain walls from the deep, etc. On the other hand, we don't want to distract too much from the puzzle at hand - so we'll see how it feels in the end :)
Still two miner portraits to go! This time around, it's a girl working the mines :)

Line Art

Color Blocking



Line Art Recolor

Finished Sprite

Today we're expanding one of the Mt. Bloom maps! As we're about to add the challenges to the mountain, we realized we needed another entrance (or two), for the new challenge caves. 

So, it's time to increase the size of one of the maps, the one we inofficially call 'zone 03':

Extremely detailed sketch

Walls & floor

Growing some plants...

Adding stuff with the editor! More plants & Mushrooms :D

And lastly: FLOWERS :3

Mt. Bloom's "Zone03" with its newly added cave!

And a GIF of the whole thingy~

In today's post we're gonna create a portrait for this little guy: 

...who is another one of the miners who hang around Mt Bloom, mining crystals and the like! Since all the miners will wear a similar-looking uniform, I'm gonna use one of the previous portraits as a base for this one.

Here's the video, showing the process:

And here's the finished sprite:

Ok, let's take a small break from the Phase Puzzle stuff in this blog for today and take a look at another portrait instead! This little guy is one of the apprentices I mentioned the priest of the first time travel zone would have! The other one will look quite similar (apprentice robes!), so for the next portrait I'll go ahead and transform this one into his friend :)

Line Art

Color Blocking


Highlights & Details

Finished Sprite

Today I'm gonna work on the puzzle blocks Fred created! Since there will be quite a few of them, we wanted to make a bunch of decorative variations. Also, since this place has been abandoned for a long time, we thought it would suit them to be properly worn and overgrown! So, that's what we're gonna take a look at today! 

I'll divide this post in two and save the other one for later, since I don't like it when the videos get too long, and a 4 minute video for this task seemed a bit silly!

As you might notice, I'm focusing on the basics in this step. Ironically, it takes a while and doesn't really transform the blocks that much - I've just added some cracks and moss, really. However, this step is necessary for the second part, where I'll be adding more fancy decorations such as mushrooms and greenery! That part will, also ironically, be much easier and mostly feature a bunch of copying and pasting - but the results will look more extreme. Kind of silly, huh?
The top two blocks are the original ones that Fred made, the rest are my edits. Now: 10 more blocks to go~
After many iterations, we've finally decided on a bunch of puzzles we think will be really cool to work with! There are more of them than I thought, and some are quite long - I personally like this kind of puzzle so I don't mind, but I suppose we'll have to test this a lot in frontline before we throw it out to the stable beta.

It's definitely something that some people might find annoying compared to the 'regular' gameplay, so we don't want to test their patience too much!

The first puzzle will be a variation of the early prototypes I showed you guys last week, but in another version. You'll be introduced to the floating platforms and mirror blocks in 3 easy challenge in the same room:

After that, you get transported to a room with a second, similar series of challenges that also keep the puzzle mechanics very basic. Then: Poison challenge! Pretty similar to what we had before. You walk through poison gas, and battle some enemies. Onwards to the second Phase challenge instead:

It's an introduction to the blocks that suck you in! At a later stage, you also have to aim at a series of mirror blocks from one of those moving "donkey-blocks" (we call them that inhouse since they remind us a bit of our early days playing Donkey Kong, hah)!

Next room will take the donkey-block challenge a bit further, with donkey blocks passing eachother in circles:

As well as the pink donkey block, which has an arrow that spins around:

Aand I'm not gonna spoil the last one, but it'll basically be a combination of what you've done before, after going through another poisonous corridor battling stuff, that is :)

Now all that's needed is some actual backgrounds so these puzzles don't look too surreal, haha! I've actually already started sketching on one of the puzzle backgrounds, going for a Flying Fortress-meets-Mt Bloom merge, with flying platform and mountain walls mixed together. Hopefully it'll look cool in the end!

Super, super early BG sketch :D

Before jumping back into doing Phase Puzzle stuff, I'll throw in this post from the first Time Travel Zone, this time showing some improvements I made to the little garden area! Before I started working on improving this piece of the zone, here's what it looked like:

Now, in this video I'll be replacing the path with stepping stones, kind of like what I did outside of the house in the bottom corner of the above picture, back in a post from a week ago, creating a new tree, adding more zen-inspired garden stuff, plus moving some things around a bit!

And here's the finished, improved version:

I'm not 100% sure of the sand decorations yet, I might go ahead and rework those a bit again - it's fast and easy, anyway. We'll see! Otherwise I think this garden feels a lot more alive now. It's less strict and has a lot more greenery.
Time to finish up that background from last Friday! As a reminder, here's where we left off:

As this is the lobby, or first room of the complex designed to house a set of phase puzzles, I wanted to incorporate parts of the puzzle blocks in the design. Good thing that Fred finished them while I was taking a little break from the background: 

So, as I start to decorate and add a bit of detail to this area, I simply break apart and edit these sprites, and turn them into new things, more suited to lie around in an abandoned place such as this: 

I thought that the machines looked a bit weird being all in the same color, especially given how colorful these new items are, so I went ahead and edited the colors of two of them and threw in some more decorative junk lying around:

And as this place is inside of Mt. Bloom, it wouldn't be complete without some greenery, right? Sketching it here:

And here's the more detailed vines, after spending quite a while on fleshing each of them out (phew, my hand):

Finally, I add moss & flowers, and make some tiny color edits here and there:

And here's the GIF of the whole process, featuring another bunch of steps which felt too boring to write about here (which order I made the objects, changing where they lie, etc):

Let's end this week with a new background (or the beginning of one, anyway)! This is the first room, or lobby, of the Phase Puzzle challenge part of Mount Bloom! We're taking our inspiration from Flying Fortress for this one, the story being that some group from that old civilization was practicing different ways to use the new Phasing mechanic, creating these trials or puzzles as a result. 

One of these days I'll be making the actual entrance to this map as well, which will be connected to one of the poison-challenge maps.


Walls & Floors stripped from Flying Fortress

Some kind of path!

Adding some machines & decor...

A bunch of crystals under glass, how odd!

Editing the size & placement of the objects - then we're done!
In the next post I'll be adding a bunch of details to this map from the sketch - vines breaking through, parts of the phase puzzle blocks, and so on, basically giving the map it's finishing touches :) For now though, this works as a base!

Remember I've been talking about those phase puzzle prototypes? Well, here's a little sneak peek! 

First up, a super easy first challenge, which is a variation of the first prototype I showed in the Back from the Holidays post last week, but with the new movement. As I said in that post, we'd be removing the ropes and have to rocks hover from left to right rather than swing. Also, they won't be rocks in the end, but something more flying fortress-inspired, but that's something that we'll take care of later:

Next up is one of the new mechanics we'll be introducing: mirrors! Technically we've had mirror blocks in block puzzles using the phase shift mechanic before, but these blocks float to the left and right (or up and down) as well! Other than that difference, they work the same way as the regular mirror blocks - when you phase onto them, you'll bounce off them in another direction:

Finally, here's a GIF showcasing the above mechanics, as well as a third "twist" on this puzzle idea - a block which sucks you in, and lets you travel with it:

Note how the character gets sucked into the block with an arrow? If you press the phase/attack button once more, you'll launch from the block in the direction the arrow points. In the future we might have similar blocks where the arrow spins, so you have to manage both the block's position, as well as the arrow! Oh dear!

As always, ALL the graphics here are super work in progress, so it'll look completely different once we're done :) Stay tuned for more!!
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