Time to start working on the houses in the upper parts of the first Tai Ming zone! We'll begin with this one, the right house:

What we need to fix here is, first of all, to make the entire think look more worn. But we also need to cut off a big part of the back of the house, as well as make the house impossible to enter. With that in mind, let's begin!

And here's the result (click to view the fullsize version):

Note that the rest of the map, such as the wall behind the house, will be dealt with in another blog post! In the next one, I'll probably deal with the house next to this one... also known as the left house..! XD

Until next time!
Today we're launching one final Frontline patch before we upload all the Mount Bloom things to the Stable beta! This time we're adding a bunch of new items:

... that will be sold by a new shop keeper temporarily appearing at Evergrind Festival (except for the icicle-looking thing (which has since been recolored to purple and is supposed to be the crystal chisel, which previously lacked its own appearance):

You can find the traveling trader sitting outside the entry to the HQ, where he'll sell you these new weapons (and a pair of shoes and a shield)! Don't worry if you already left the Festival though; he left a bunch of his stock at the Blacksmith, so they'll sell his wares after the festival is completed and onwards :)

We continue moving upwards across the first Tai Ming, stopping at this little 'entryway' to the top most part of the area:

Here we need to destroy both statues and the wooden decorations! The right statue needs to turn into a pile of rocks that is movable as well, since you can move the statue in the past as indicated by the ground above.

Well, on to the job!

And here's the result, after everything has been properly demolished:

And with that, I believe we're more than half done with this map! Actually, there isn't too much left now, just the two upper houses and some fixes here and there! :)
This week, we'll begin with a portrait! This guy is a traveling merchant from the Merchant Isles (who would have guessed?), and he'll sell you new gear at the festival, in case you're in need of an upgrade to beat those pesky Black Ferrets!

Line Art

Color Blocking


Highlights & Details

Finished Sprite


Moving upwards across this first Tai Ming zone, it's time to get to work on the garden, which also has fallen into neglect over the years. I won't change things around here too much though, as we need the space for you to actually fight some enemies as well!

I'm thinking of maybe editing the trees a bit more in the future, perhaps having them lose all their leaves or something to make them look more different. We'll see!

It's a new day, but I'm afraid to say that sleep is still elusive here in my den! However, this time I think I managed to record everything, so no mishaps this time (that I know of at least)!!

In this part of my journey to destroy the first Tai Ming map, I'm doing a bunch of different fixes! Adding more grass, for one. A ton of more grass. Heck, I bet almost half this video is me painting grass! But I also destroyed the entrance to the garden (which I expect will be my next task to destroy), as well as ruining those training dummies in the bottom right corner. Oh, and flowers. Flowers everywhere!

Teddy is finally back, so it's time to start patching! Patch should go live sometime today, if it hasn't already, so fresh in Frontline is a bunch of side quests and activities in Mount Bloom..... Can you find them all?

If you want to know how many to look for: there are two new rooms with challenges which aren't triggered by quests - you can do them by simply walking into them and uh... solving what appears before you.

There are also three quests triggered by characters in the cave. As always, we try to be pretty creative with our quests - I think you know by now that there aren't exactly too many simple fetch quests (though one or two of these might have elements similar to that).

Anyway! I hope you like these new additions! Go play them and let us know what you think :D As always, there will be more quests here in the future - but for now, it's back to Tai Ming!
Tomorrow it's time for a new patch, and today as we went through the content adding last-minute patching we added a few things!

First up, an Angler Fish hat, as a reward for getting all the Mount Bloom fishes: 

Remember the "crossroads" room I posted a while back? This is what it looks (looked!) like:

And now, it looks like this:

The reason for this change is that the transition to the next map ended up looking a little weird when the wall was so far to the right! Hopefully it won't be as awkward now :)

Due to the side quests, a bunch of new facial expressions had to be made for some of the characters (what on earth is Belmont doing there, though?!):

We also added another treasure... A lab coat!

And, a mysterious note appears outside the entrance to Mount Bloom:

How strange! Now, time to get back to last minute fixing (after grabbing a little snack). See you tomorrow :D
Our first task after moving on from the barracks is the cute little cottage to the northeast! After many, many years of neglect, I'm afraid this house is nothing but a shell of its former glory... :(

Unfortunately, I somehow failed to record part of creating the upper rocks of the house. Maybe I should actually try to get some more sleep one of these days, before I accidentally do something worse than forgetting to press 'record' XD

Since we're officially done with the Tai Ming barracks for now, I thought I'd throw in something completely different to end the week!

Here's me using the quick and dirty paintover way of turning one portrait into a new one, featuring the second of the priest's apprentices, which we took a look at like.. a couple of months ago? In fact, I made this portrait a couple of months ago as well, but I never got around to posting it as finishing up Mount Bloom and showing that stuff felt more relevant! BUT, now we're back in Tai Ming, so.... :)

In this fourth and final part of demolishing the area surrounding the barracks, I make a bunch of holes in the roof, crush the Grindea statue and add a ton off moss to pretty much everything! After this I think it's finally time to move away from the barracks and onwards across the map!

Today (actually about 2 weeks ago by the time this is posted! I had it delayed a bit to show some more Mount Bloom stuff!) we spent a grand total of 7 hours sketching the second time travel area, as well as deciding where and how everything was gonna happen, including another step of the main quest we hadn't yet decided on when we had the other meeting last week. 

An Early Sketch

Let me tell you, designing this area has been an instant headache! You have to keep track of which places are blocked off in the present and which ones are blocked in the past, plus what happens to place x, y or z when you change thing a, b or c. And, for some reason, we ALL just feel like the ruined place feels more "past"-like, and so we always, ALWAYS say "past" when we mean to say "present", and the other way around... Talk about confusing! :D

Another Early Sketch

Anyway, for this temple, we really want the player to think a bit more. This place is more about exploration and figuring out how to solve the quests than going from point a to point b and doing something mechanically. Instead, the entire map becomes your puzzle, where you have to change certain things in the past to unlock a way forward in the present.

Sketch showing a very early iteration of one of the puzzles

Of course, when in the present we've thrown in a bunch of encounters and places where you'll have regular battles as well. After all, this is still supposed to be somewhat temple-y, and the enemies do drop cards..!

In the end, this is what our little layout ended up like! Below is the Past version, where everyone's still in town, living their everyday life:

And here's the present version, where things are in ruin, overgrown and forgotten:

Of course, this is just an early sketch so things may still change (such as distances, house sizes etc). And obviously the houses and stuff won't look like they do here, I just used whatever graphics I could get my hands on to get the average sizes right until I can make the actual art for 'em! :)
Sleep is wonderful! Sometimes, however, it's also very elusive. One of these nights when I wasn't able to sleep, I figured I might as well get up and record something. So this is what I ended up with: continuing to work on the present transformation of the first Time Travel zone!

In this video I'm mostly focusing on adding a few more colliders to keep you trapped in the middle with your enemy. Despite being unable to sleep I was still super tired so I only made a few, but still - progress is progress, right?

Anyway, today's a new day and time to get back to work! See you in the next post :D

Remember where we left off with this map last week? Well, here's the continuation!

I tried to keep this video a bit shorter than the previous one, to mix things up a bit. I don't know how many of you actually watch the videos, or how many of you have the stamina to sit though a whole 6-minute long one... So I thought I'd make 'em in different lengths in hopes of not boring everyone, hah!

Anyway, in this post I focus on color corrections, adding more plants, a few rocks, and ruining a few of the crates & barrels! I also ruined one of the pillars, and I should probably add some parts of it lying around in one of the next parts :)

Here's the map after this part. Starting to get a little closer, but my list of things to fix is still very, very long :)
Time to start something I've been waiting on doing for several months, actually! 

It's finally time to start demolishing the time travel zone's past lively village and turn it into it's ruined and overgrown state in the present. This will probably take a ton of posts, as I try to paint as much as possible by hand to give it the proper organic feel and I also don't want the videos to turn several hours long even at x30+ speed... :D

Anyway! First, let's take a look at Zone01 in it's past version, as a reminder:

And now, it's time to begin! As I started at the bottom and painted my way up, I'll begin with the bottom part of the map this time too. The first parts will focus around the barracks, abandoned since long like the rest of the town. The area in front of it will have to be cleaned up a little - it's gonna be the site of an encounter, so we don't want too many obstacles for our player there!

This is as far as I got in this video: 

It's starting to come along, but there's a long, long way to go! Here's a list of some of the things I still want to add/change:

* Tone down the colors of the house a bit - paint tend to fade, after all
* Destroy one of more of the pillars
* Add more vines to the building
* Ruin the roof & create a hole from one of the windows
* Add moss to everything!
* Destroy & add moss to the statue
* Bigger bushes & plants here and there
* Add more rocks that have fallen from the walls/cave roof (if there's one?!)
* Make the containers (barrels & crates) overgrown & broken

.....and the list goes on! As you can tell, there's a lot of work ahead of us, but it's gonna be a lot of fun, too! :D
After making the new Grindea statue the other day, I wanted to compare it to the older one, the one you can find here and there across the world of Grindea. And to be honest, I was quite shocked!

I knew I had improved a bit as an artist since I made the old version, but I never realized exactly how different they would end up being! Since I really like the new version a lot better, I thought maybe I could use that as a base for a new statue to use in the present instead of that old meh one!

And here they are, side by side, the sword version and the chest version:

But wait! There's trouble! As I was going to take a fake screenshot of the statue in the first Time Travel zone, I realized it's simply too big. Take a look at this:

The orange area indicates where the user interface will be, and as you can see, it's covering the statue's face! The statue is just way too tall. Time to fix that:

They look slightly different, but in the end I think this will be a lot better. I mean, it's kind of lame to not be able to see their faces, wouldn't you agree?! :)
Last week, as I was working on improving the first zone, I thought about something. In the corner of the map, there's this little statue, where a priest and his apprentices will be praying:

Well, since I made that statue, it has been reused at several other places due to it's neat tiny size, which means it's not really that special anymore, but more of a common decorative piece. And I thought that seemed kind of boring. 

So! I decided to make a new, grander statue for our priests to worship, and I wanted it to look more like Grindea. After all, Grindea is the Goddess even in the past, and this tiny statue doesn't exactly look a lot like her. 

Here's the video of my process:

In the end, here's what the new statue ended up looking like, and I personally think this is much better:

What do you guys think? :D
Time for another mixed bag! In this one, it's time to do some minor fixes to stuff that looked weird! 

First up, the Caveling village:

It's a little bit empty, wouldn't you say? Not a lot of breakables or greenery here compared to the rest of the Mount Bloom maps. So, it's definitely time to add some more:

Second, ever notice something strange with the Caveling portraits? Well, I did...

There's a lot of green dots outside of their ears! Ick! Time to fix that as well:

Another thing that bothered me a bit that was portrait-related, was how the bigger miner portraits overlapped the text:

Taking the portrait into my reference document, I quickly noticed that the portraits were indeed bigger than the max as indicated by this red line:

As such, I cut the portrait to fit within the line, and there's officially no more text overlap:

Okay, remember how I talked about enjoying painting item drops yesterday? Lucky me had to do a few more drop appearances for the side-quest rewards (as well as an item you may or may not get at all, but which will make a different kind of appearance)...

Finally, as we move back to the time travel zone again, I decided to change the color of the grass a bit, to give it a slightly warmer feel. The old grass, shown below, had a slightly more blue-ish hue:

While this one, the new grass, is more yellow and warm, which I hope will increase the impression of this being a cozy village (plus, it hurts the eyes a bit less):

That's all for this mixed bag! See you next time :D
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