The boss prototyping continues, and we've made more patterns!

First up, a more advanced version of the bullet hell we showed last time! This version would replace the previous version we showed, being more difficult as the fans come from two different directions. The version you see below would probably be the hard version, though, as it's incredibly hard to dodge all of them:

Next, a pattern based on a suggestion from the forums, where the fans create a pendulum of sorts, where you have to find the gap between the fans in order not to get hurt and find your way up to the boss. In this initial prototype, where the gap appears is random, and when I recorded this a lot of the openings were at the top. Once it's implemented it should be more varied, with more openings appearing further down:

Here's another pattern, kind of similar to the previous one in a way, where you have to dodge horizontal fans with small gaps in between. This was so hard for me, I took damage almost every time! It's likely this will become the hard version and the normal version will have bigger gaps:

Next up, another variation of a bullet hell move, where she puts you in the circle and launches fans at you that you have to dodge:

And finally, a move where you can see where the fans will move ahead of time - don't stand on the indicator on the floor or you'll get hit by them for sure!

The idea is that the boss will choose a move randomly from these and the previous ones, and depending on how hurt she is will launch an easier or harder version of the move. In hard mode, the harder version of the move will be the default, with an even more difficult version launched if she has taken a lot of damage!
Now, time for something we haven't seen in a little while: a portrait! This girl is working on the first Tai Ming zone and her sprite was added by Fred the other day:

Because it was such a long time since I made the last portrait, I had a lot of fun with this one, and put in way too many details. If it's one thing I've learned after making 100+ portraits for this game, it's that adding tiny details in the hi-res version of the portrait is a total waste of time - it'll all get mushed together in the tiny version anyway, and it'll actually take a long time to fix that mush afterwards as well! Oh well - fun was had regardless, so I'm happy ;)
GIF of the creation


Line Art

Color Blocking



Line recolor & Details

Finished sprite!

From containers to the next part of Tai Ming's second zone - the HQ! So this is pretty much the ancient version of the Collector's HQ in Evergrind City - a place where collectors gather, train and get new quests (but since you're not a collector in ancient times, the same rules might not apply to you). 

It's also a place where a special kind of fight will take place, a fight which needs the ground to be sand (how intriguing). That's the reason the entire outdoor part of the HQ is kind of empty and full sand... It doesn't look super good, but it'll serve a purpose - just wait and see!

As we've been working on these Tai Ming maps, we always end up at a point where we ask ourselves how many things should be breakable containers. Ideally, it would be super cool if everything was breakable, but that would take a ton of work and I think most of you know this game takes forever to make anyway! Plus, some things need to be non-breakable in order to serve as blockades - sometimes we don't want you to reach certain areas yet, after all. 

Anyway! One of the new breakable things here will be the bamboo thingies. We didn't plan on these to be breakable from the beginning, but we thought it's be kinda cool. Plus, what better opportunity to have a breakable that you can cut down piece by piece?! 

In order to make them varied and less static, we decided to split these decorations into multiple parts (see below):

First, we have the base, that will always be there (you won't be able to crush that part of the bamboo, sorry!), and a body which contains of a number of the right piece of the body sprites shown below, and ends with the left part, which is the top. Then there's a number of decorations which can be combined in different ways, added randomly. This way we can create bamboo in many different heights and with different decorations, and having the body made of multiple parts means you can remove one of them at a time, making for a pretty cool way of destroying this plant.

Above is the animations sheets Fred made for the bamboo, and below you can see it in action. Basically, you cut one piece of the bamboo off at a time, making it smaller as you go:

Another thing we weren't planning on using as breakables in the present, ruined version of this town was, ironically, the crates and barrels. The thought was that they had become overgrown and static, serving a new use as blockades instead: 

However, we ended up changing our minds - I mean, you've always been able to destroy barrels and crates before, would be kind of weird to change that around now, right? So, we ended up adding animations for that as well. And for the ones with greenery, there's an added little grass-effect as well:

Of course, on top of these there are pots as well, which means I believe Tai Ming is the most breakable container-heavy map in the game right now - and we've only barely finished the first map! Let's see if we can keep this up.. :)
In today's post we're moving further upwards from the dam and the ape-lab! It's time to add a bunch of carpets where salesmen sell their wares, kind of like the travelling merchant at the Evergrind Festival (with the exception of these being, I assume, a bit more permanent)! 

This is kind of quick, since I spent most of this day doing all kinds of small things here and there, but I thought it'd be nice to have another update on how the map is coming along before I start working on the next big thing on this area, the HQ! 

Anyway, here goes: 

The original sketch

What it looked like before I started to work on the map

Adding the path

Three carpets for three merchants!

Some items for them to sell...!

And the finished thing! Next stop: the HQ!

Mixing things up a bit this time by adding a GIF instead of the timelapse video! It's nice to take a break from recording sometimes, as it's one more thing on the back of your mind (keeping the recording on while working and pausing it when leaving for the restroom for instance, and as you know I've failed with restarting the recording more than once)!

So in this post we're taking a look at the dam to the right of the lab from yesterday! This dam will help you control the water levels of the second Tai Ming map, a feature which is crucial when it comes to solving certain quests. 

Here's the super early sketch:

Adding some lines:

Filling in the base colors:

Adding some details, grass and shadows:

A machine appears:

Adding some shades and details to the machine:

And some stuff to power it, true to the Flying Fortress style energy they use in this part of the world and, uh, time:

And then we add some more details! Editor props, floor decor, flowers & rocks:

And here's a GIF of the whole thing + a few more steps:

I've left the wall blank for now, so Fred can make whatever kind of opening he like and animate it in any way he wishes without having to think about how the wall is decorated. I'll add the decorations there once the opening is in place (unless Fred wants to decorate the wall himself)!
As we're moving upwards across the second Tai Ming map, we've reached a funny little house we call "The Lab". Outside the lab is two salesmen, but the important building here is the lab. 

This is a research station where they currently focus on monkeys, hence the monkey sign outside! I actually don't know if we'll use the monkey sign in the final version, but I thought it would be funny so I threw it in :)

Anyway, more on this building later on, when we move on to getting the interior ready!

We continue working on the second Tai Ming map, and this time we move on to an island which houses an inn (and a second regular house)! 

The beginning, an empty island next to the entrance: 

We begin with adding the Inn, complete with a sign that let's you know this is the place to rest and eat:

Next up, gotta connect the island to the other parts of the map:

And then, the second, regular house is added:

Gotta have proper paths to the buildings, since the grass can get pretty moist in the early mornings or when it's freezing:

With the help of the editor, some props and greenery is added to the island:

And finally, grass decor & flowers to complete the picture!

And here's the map so far, with the entrance and Inn island added:

So, last week on Wednesday was Fred's birthday! As true Pixel Ferrets comrades the three of us spent the day together, eating fast-food, having a drink and watching CS:GO over at Fred's place.

I'm really happy to able to work with these guys, and I really wouldn't trade them for anyone else! Like all jobs, sometimes things may feel heavy or like you're getting nowhere, but because of the awesomeness of these guys such bad feelings go away quickly. We're working on our dream game, and we get to do so with good friends. I don't think it can get much better!

Anyway, this post doesn't really have much to do with actual work, but it's Pixel Ferrets behind the scenes - just taking a day off to enjoy each other's company. Cause that's important too! :)
Today it's Sunday! ...And you were probably expecting this post to become visible on Friday. Well, I forgot to schedule it again, and because this happens all the times on Fridays I've decided I'll start posting the blog posts on my actual work days: that is, Sunday-Thursday instead!

So, from now on, Friday and Saturday will be the blog-free days and there will be a post on Sunday instead. Makes it easier for me to remember since posting the blogs are easier to remember at the end of a workday.

Why we start our work week on Sundays? I think I've mentioned it before, but it's nice to have Fridays off since it's a non-weekend day (which means shops are open for longer and commutes to town are better) :)

Anyway, now that that's settled, on to the actual blog post! This one will be focused on the first Tai Ming boss, the fan focused lady I talked about in an earlier post.

Teddy has been busy prototyping a bunch of different patterns for her. Nothing is set in stone yet, but we have a lot of things to choose from (and perhaps you guys have even better ideas)!

First up (above), a move where she pulls you close to herself, then starts pulling circles of fans closer to herself until you're forced to take damage unless you find your way out of the circle. Touch the fans and you take damage, so you better watch where you move!

Next up is a variation of the above, but instead of pulling fans closer to her, she keeps a smaller circle surrounding the two of you and moves back and forth. Move with her in order to avoid taking damage!

In this third  move, she sends a bunch of homing fans after you in a pattern! You better keep moving or you're gonna get hurt.

Here's another version of the move where she pulls you next to her, surrounding the both of you with fans. In this version you have to run around her to avoid the damage (kind of similar to the Power Flower move earlier)!

And of course, what better addition to any Grindea boss than some kind of bullet hell move, right?!

We're still playing around with different patterns, so if you have any other ideas, go ahead and let us know what you'd like to see!
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