Like me and Teddy, Fred too has been busy doing potion stuff this week! 

As Remedi got a new, older self, his first mission was to make the old man version of the sprite, to go with the new portrait. As usual, when deciding on a look for a new sprite, he made a whole bunch of iterations until we selected our favorite: 

Which one do you like best?

Since we needed Remedi's nephew to do some pretty advanced stuff in the upcoming new quest, Fred got tasked with making a few new animations for him as well:

Excited for the new quest yet? :D

Finally, some finishing touches before I'm done with my parts for this patch! First up, the Speed and Loot potions mentioned before:

...which of course also were in need of proper interface icons:

I also made small versions of each of the icons, to serve as buff icons / timers for the potions that work over time (and whatever else we might need them for)!

Then, there's another portrait for poor Remedi, who will go through quite a number of shapes in his quest to return to his original form. Here's the pumpkin version:

Aaand a bunch of expressions for his Nephew, as well as an icon for refilling potions in Remedi's workshop:

Now, what in the world is this?! A portrait of a cave troll? What is it doing here? What part will it have in our story? For now, all I'll say is that it's related to the potion quests, and will appear in the next patch!

Unfortunately I had to cut all of its back or it wouldn't fit the text box without covering the letters! Oh well... :D

So as we're drawing ever closer to finishing up the whole potion business, it's time to pump out a bunch of new portraits to fit in with Remedi's new questline which will grant you the empty bottles you need to use this new mechanic!

First up is his old man version, which will be the original form in which you meet him, rather than the kid-self you're probably used to right now:

He won't stay this way for long though, as that pesky accident with a stray potion has him transformed back to his 'regular' form. Unfortunately, with our tweaks to this storyline it seems he won't stay very long in that shape either... ;)

So one of these days we had a really long discussion about how to get the new potion bottles (specifically bottle number three), which resulted in us doing an overhaul of Remedi the Alchemist's character and planned questline.

A perhaps little known fact about Remedi is that he is in fact a rather old man trapped in the body of a youth after an accident in the lab. He mentions this briefly if you talk to him when he's not involved in a quest, but it hasn't been very clear this far. In order to amplify this, we've decided that he should start off as an old man, and be transformed into his young version when he has the Pumpkin Woods quest for you.

We believe that this will make his predicament more clear, and will play an important part in the next questlines, where he will transform into various things in his goal to regain his original form. One such quest is the one where you'll get the second bottle. After deciding we wanted the quest to take place in Mount Bloom, we came up with a ton of ideas for what it should entail, ranging from:

* Going into Mount Bloom with a drone that harvests mushrooms dropped by Shroomies
* Remedi transforming his nephew into a boar which will dig around for mushrooms
* Battling a ton of shroomies in a very small room
* Battle the cave troll Fred made a sprite for ages ago, but which hasn't made it into the game yet
* Look for special drops by smashing container mushrooms in a different (new) color
* Find and kill a bunch of special elite Shroomies

... and so on! At this point we wanted to quest to be quite straight forward, so finally we settled for the last one in that list: battling some special, elite shroomies as well as getting a bunch of other drops from the mountain.

We also discussed when exactly you'd be able to get the quest, and while we said from the beginning that it would be available after Temple of Seasons, we decided to have it activate once you've started Lurifix quest inside Mount Bloom instead. The reason for this is so that people who haven't been in Mount Bloom yet will be able to pass through the area without any special elites appearing in their first playthrough, possibly confusing the quest mobs for regular mobs!
Time for Fred's Friday! This week Fred has been busy finishing up the Solem...

.., and starting work on his part of the whole potion business! This includes a sprite and animation for Remedi's nephew, who will stand outside the potion shop with a signpost. This way we hope people will easily come across him and learn how to get a bottle on their way to the Pumpkin Woods and Flying Fortress:

Next up will be more potion stuff, as we've decided to change some things around with Remedi's quest, and add another one where you'll get the second bottle. A sneak peek of what's going to happen:

Excited? We sure are! Stay tuned for next week as we finish up the potion stuff and get things ready for the patch!

Alright, time to get some more interface done. This time we'll take a look at what the player will see more often, i.e. the interface that will appear as you drink your potions. Using the arrows from before, here's what they will look like in action:

And now, it's time for an indicator showing how long you have left before your potion(s) have been refilled:

These bottles will appear filled when ready to use, or will refill in real time as you battle enemies or just wait around. In the finished version we'll try making the top row of pixels a little darker to make it more clear how much recharge time is left:

Now, as for the potions, I will remake all of them in a fresh new style, using our talent icon as base, but making it smaller so it better fits inside the UI arrows:

Each potion will have their own color, and as they appear in the arrow another icon will indicate their effect, making it easier to distinguish between the different potions even when they are of similar color:

Next up, a new character! This is the nephew of Remedi the Alchemist, who will appear in Evergrind City carrying a signpost directing you to his uncle's shop. He's also the one to give you your first bottle for free! What a nice kid, huh?

Finished sprite:

Okay, time for the first step in our potion-centric week! Starting with the basic UI where you assign which potions you want to carry with you on your journey. To my help with this I had a little sketch we made over at our meeting where we discussed these things:

Using the buff- and Frosty Friend interface arrows as a base, I made a version that will feature the potions. These arrows will not only appear in the Assign Potion interface, but will also appear around the character in the same way as when you command Frosty Friend or buff a friend with your utility skills: 

After selecting which of your potion slots you want to change, you're brought down to a shop-like list where all the potions will be displayed. Right now there are prices beneath the potions, but in the version we're aiming for, swapping potions will be free of charge and can be done anytime (all of the potions will be unlocked from the beginning). 

Also the menu may not look exactly like this when it's done, but it's close to what we're aiming for: 

This week will be all about potions, as we finally start polishing the rework! In fact, the very reason for us having a meeting this week was that Teddy already made a prototype of the system and wanted to discuss it with us.

To refresh your memory, the potion rework is about giving you three bottles that you can fill with one potion each. After you drink a potion, the bottle will refill slowly as you battle enemies. This was the basic prototype added by Teddy, but unfortunately he did not feel it was very fun, and after trying it out as well, me and Fred agreed - to an extent.

In fact, for a while we talked about scrapping the potion rework altogether!

However, after playing around with the system (Teddy also included settings which allowed us the change the speed of which a potion recharges, their duration, as well how big of an effect they have), we found that we'd been looking at it the wrong way, making it too difficult to recharge the potions.

Basically, in our first iteration, you got quite a large effect but refilling the bottles (done only by battling enemies) took forever, and felt more like a chore. So instead, we decided to reduce the effect quite significantly, but have the recharge process be much faster. We also decided to add a passive refill that slowly refills the bottles for you even when you're not in battle. This way it doesn't feel like you're losing out on refill time when you move from one group of enemies to the next.

We've also decided on what potions we want to have, which so far is a lineup of seven:

* Health Potion - refills a tiny portion of your health
* EP Potion - restores your EP
* DMG Potion - Increases the damage you do for a short duration
* Crit Potion - Increases crit chance for a short duration
* Gold Potion - Increases gold droprate for a short duration
* Arrow Potion - Increases the number of arrow that drops

And finally, the most important one:

* Chicken Potion - Turns the player into a chicken!

Yes, we're serious about that one. Might not be very useful, but fun! We're also considering adding a Speed potion that will increase your cast/attack speed, but we haven't made up our minds about that yet. Anyway, the rest of the week we'll be busy making interface stuff, a new character that will help advertise the new potion system and of course, testing, testing, testing.

There will also be another quest added in the next patch, which will give you the third bottle (the first is given to you for free, and the second will be the reward of Remedi's quest in the Pumpkin Woods). Exactly what that quest entails hasn't been decided just yet, but we'll come up with something cool!

And to finish this week, I'm throwing in another portrait for the desert crew today, once more playing around with rendering techniques for the final (small) version of the portrait:

Now, as we decided a while back, only a small part of Arcadia will be available from the beginning, and the remaining three parts will have to be unlocked: one by building a bridge, and the other two by clearing out trees. As such, this is actually what the town will look like from the beginning:

And below are two versions where just one of the remaining areas have been unlocked by clearing out the woods:

Now, in order to make things look a little more interesting around some of the unbuilt plots, we decided to put in some random props, pieces of wood, boxes and the like, to help signify that these areas are a work in progress until you've purchased them. So below it's decorating time, starting with the Farm, moving on to the Aquarium, the Bank, and finally the Arena:

And now, here's the version of the map where all the plots are visible but none has been bought:

The usual reminder of where we left things off last:

So here we go, time to add the last pieces. For instance, the bridge that will connect the right land mass to the left, once you unlock it:

And then....... Trees and flowers!!! So many! With this step, the fully unlocked version of Arcadia is done (aside from any other minor fixes we might decide to add). Of course, in this version there are no animation or NPCs added yet, but that will happen in the game engine:

Now it's time to demolish everything and make the not unlocked version of each of the plots you can purchase on your journey! Starting off with Remedi's wagon, which will be nothing but a pile of dirt to begin with:

Each of the plots you'll be able to unlock/purchase will have their own signpost, so I decided to make a new version of the extremely old sprite we've been using so far. Should probably replace the one in Story Mode with this one later on, though it might stand out next to the old background graphics, I suppose:

As for the grand fae tree, it too will start off rather small... as a sapling:

There will be more tiny details added here and there in this version, where nothing has been unlocked yet, plus there will be wood covering certain areas you'll have to unlock as well. But that's for another day! For now, this is what things look if you've unlocked all the areas (except the bridge) but not bought any plots yet:

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