We're almost getting there! Just one more background to go after this one (I think/hope)! 

Today we're gonna take a look at the second to last Mount Bloom background, featuring the "spark puzzle", which I guess should be renamed to the 'electricity puzzle' once we add the correct graphics!

Prototype BG



Moss + Tiny Mushrooms + Flowers

Editor stuff!

I took a sliiightly different approach this time, adding flowers/tiny mushrooms directly along with the moss and putting the editor stuff on top rather than placing the flowers around them! I wouldn't typically do this as it can cause flowers or mushrooms to peek out behind the bigger props in unnatural ways, but it's a nice time saver when there aren't a lot of platforms that need massive decorations like on this map :)
Ooops! I forgot to schedule this post, and yesterday was so busy I totally forgot about it until I was in bed trying to sleep, haha!

Whew! While waiting for the other puzzle room to be greenlit by our small in-house testing group I thought I'd do something else for a change! There's just been so many Mount Bloom backgrounds for a while... :D

So, after such a long detour focusing on getting Mount Bloom ready, it's gonna be nice to return to the future - and the past - again... I'm talking of the temple, of course!

When I left off, I still had some improvements to do to the upper part of the map, so I think it's high time to fix that!

The Entrance/Exit

The Left House, Surrounding Area

The Right House, Surrounding Area

The Middle Part

The Path through the Statues

Upper Map, Before the Edits

Upper Map, After the Edits
Of course, some things are still missing such as NPCs (and the like)! But that's for later, when Fred gets his hand on this :)
Alright! The first map, which contains the regular puzzles, have been approved for the second stage where we actually implement it properly! 

That means I gotta create a background for it, and so we're back to background step-by-step duty! ;3

Original Prototype



Some railing to spice things up a bit


Editor Props~

And finally, flowers!
Same old, same old, I know! But don't worry, once we've completed these last Mount Bloom background (I estimate there will be one or two more), it's finally back to the time travel temple! And there I'll be doing a lot of fancy stuff, more Zone01 improvements, sketches of Zone02, a new statue...! It'll be great!

...Or at the very least, a lot different from Mount Bloom background #435290 :D
Ready for an extremely GIF heavy post?! You better be, cause we've been prototyping the optional phase puzzles you will (or won't, if you decide not to) encounter in Mount Bloom!

For these puzzles we came up with a new mechanic: dangerous "sparks" that throw you out of the barrel if you're inside of it. In the end, we'll probably change the look of them, perhaps turning them into electricity instead. We might also swap the dotted lines that the barrels travel along into something else as well... But we'll see! All those things are for the next stage, and this is still a prototype!

On to the actual GIFs.... Here's the first prototypes of the spark puzzle in action:

The early stage serves as an introduction, as usual. While we want these puzzles to be a lot harder, we still gotta introduce people to new mechanics, right?!

It gets progressively harder, until you reach the stage(s) where both the barrels and the sparks move, which means you gotta be spamming that phase key or you'll get thrown back to the beginning:

Here's the second prototype, where we made the paths longer, but the actual challenges are more or less the same (just a little bit harder): 

But don't worry! There won't only be spark puzzles here. In fact, there are several regular puzzles with multiple chests as rewards depending on which path you take! Can you get them all?! Or will you end up like me, spending half an hour failing before I could even get past the first part?

After some struggles, I finally managed to reach all the chests, but I dare say I was pretty frustrated in the beginning! Fred seemed to think it was a lot easier than I did, but he had problems with the spark puzzles instead (mwahahaha)... So, it'll be interesting to hear what you think once they are uploaded to Frontline! Stay tuned~ :)
Now that we're almost done with Mount Bloom, we felt it was high time to get some planning done for the temple we'll be working on next.

As you probably know, I already started working on the first area a while back. That place will serve as an introduction of the time jumping mechanic, so it's pretty straight forward and we could easily find the time for such a basic area way back while working on other things.

Now, in the end, we plan to have 3 different areas (each containing a set of houses, challenges and such), so last week we had a meeting where we decided on the major obstacles in the second and third zone!

Teddy and Fred taking notes and discussing the temple
while I play photographer!
While the first zone is a basic area with some introductory houses and barracks, the second zone will be an actual village. As you know, this will not be a regular temple, but a series of challenges taking place in the past and present version of a (currently abandoned) town. The third zone, meanwhile, will be a shrine you'll pass through on your way to your goal: the hidden artifact!

In the second zone, you'll face a series of challenges where you have to use time jumping to change things in the past in order to advance forward or solve quests. Since this is a village filled with people, many of the quests will involve helping the inhabitants of this place. However, we're also trying to keep the cutscenes down as much as we can, in order for it to still feel kind of temple like. I guess this balance will be one of our top struggles in creating this temple - we'll need a lot of dialogue to bring the quests (and story!) forward, but we don't want to overwhelm our players who up until now are used to a game that is somewhat light on text.

Coming up with cool puzzles will also be interesting! Since it's time jumping, you can only really change things in the past that affects the future and not the other way around. We have a bunch of ideas lined up for the next zones after our meeting, but if you have any suggestions, feel free to comment :D

In the meanwhile, here's a few of the things you'll most likely happen upon in the second Zone:

* The Inn (with an ancient wine cellar, oh my)
* Ancient Collector's HQ!
* A Strange Lab~
* The Trick Phasing Community showing off their stuff!
* Buried Treasure...........
* Some pretty important background story!

Excited?! Well, we are for sure! It's gonna be super fun to finally start working on this. And with that.... should probably go finish up stuff in the silly Mount Bloom.. :)
If any of you have gotten the Toxic Tulip card from the latest patch, you've probably realized the artwork for it is missing. Well.... Time to fix that! 

A little GIF as well, cause why not: 

As with the portraits, the cards are something I want to go back to and revisit once the rest of the game is done. There's a ton of stuff I want to fix with this card (and the rest), but as I'll continue to improve before the game is ready for release, it's probably better to wait as long as possible before reworking them. For now, this should be better than the big question mark placeholder at least!
You know what guys?! It's time to make another room! What room, you ask? I'm not gonna tell you that! Not yet, anyway!

Again, let's begin with walls. Walls & some floor texture. It's a nice base for any room, right?

 Then.... More walls(!?):

Oh... It's starting to make sense now:

And there's a door too?! This is starting to look like the trick phasing area again? Don't worry... It's not (not really, anyway):

Some statues and monitors, really? Alright then:

It's Mount Bloom, so there has to be greenery:

 And a bunch of random props from the editor:

And did I mention flowers?

Oh.... Forgot a detail: the door is closed:

Yep: closed shut. Will you be able to open it? Yes. Will I tell you how? No way! Gotta stay tuned for the next patch! ;)
Remember this guy? He's from the latest patch, so if you played it you should: 

Well, as it turns out, this battle felt a little underwhelming without the proper boss portrait to go with it. After all, this badass power flower literally blocks your way forward, like a freaking pro! He... She.... It... totally deserves the proper boss treatment!

So, let's start by using one of Fred animation frames as a base for our little boss intro:

Then, let's add it to the Boss Portrait template! ....Oh, it's a little bit too small...


Since the sprite is awfully long in every direction, I decide to change the proportions a little to better match the boss intro screen:

And then... Time to render the portrait properly!
Importing it back into the boss screen.... Looks a little better now!

But it sure aint complete without a fancy title text and sub-title:

So, allow me to introduce, The Flower with the Power: POWER FLOWER! Now with a proper boss intro screen, as soon as the next patch airs... :)
Okay, so we're done with the Mt Bloom challenges, but we're not entirely done with the Mt Bloom area as a whole. There's still a few side quests we'd like to add before moving on to the next temple: whenever we upload a new patch to the stable beta we'd like for it to be a complete experience, even if it's short. And an area doesn't feel complete until you can do a few side quests, right?

Of course, once the core of the game is completed, we plan to go back and add more side quests to each of the areas in a final update. Should give our old players a reason to play through the game the way it was intended as well!

So, today I'm gonna make another room to add to the cave system of Mount Bloom. And what kind of room could that be?

Well, to begin with, it definitely needs walls & floor. It's just not a proper room without those aspects, is it?

Second, you need more than one way out of the room, or it's just gonna be plain boring - a dead end. This room is far from a dead end, it has 3 different exits! Where they lead? Why ask that before the room is even completed?!

Next up, some greenery. And a lot of figurines. Those ancient cave dwellers sure left them everywhere!

Ooops! The cave is too big. Time to shrink it a little - but just a little. Even though it's a cave there's no need to stress out people with claustrophobia!

Now: more greenery. And more figurines. Cause why not?

I launch the background into our editor tool, and fill the place with mushrooms, bushes and other decorative stuff!

And finally, I spend about 15 minutes just copy-pasting flowers all over the place, before it's done! :D

Okay, now, where does this lead? This map will actually be the before you reach the first Poison Challenge map! One of the entries will lead you to the poison challenge map, and the other will lead you to another cave, with an optional side quest/challenge! What that is, you'll have to wait and find out... :)
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