With the third Tai Ming zone up and running, and the base of the dungeon essentially completed, it's only natural to have a meeting to discuss the feedback we've gotten!

Before uploading the patch our inhouse testers had given us two point of views on the third zone: one said it was impossibly hard, the other said it's too easy. The general consensus after uploading the patch seem to be it's somewhere in between those two (yay), but we'll keep monitoring your comments and make adjustments to the difficulty accordingly.

Aside from the usual bunch of bugs and a couple hotfixes, things seems to be sailing pretty smoothly and now all that remains is cleaning up the placeholders, await sound effects and polish things up for the stable release, which is our next goal!

So, for the next stable release, we'll basically clean up Tai Ming to the best of our ability and launch the dungeon when it's properly completed. We'll also be adding a couple of things to the dungeon before patching as well, namely:

* A couple more NPCs in Tai Ming's first zone
* A secret chest...somewhere I won't say
* New shop items

We'll also make a slight change to the Mimic battle so that the Mimic spits out the puzzle block's ...plate thingy.. (the thing you push it onto) when it dies, rather than it being there from the beginning. It felt a bit unsatisfying to push the block onto it only to be rewarded with nothing until the battle's done, so that had to be fixed!

Now, as for what happens after Tai Ming... Previously we had an idea that we'd do a vote for what you people would like to see added, but after discussing our options today we realized there are so many things we feel need to be added ASAP, that we'll probably end up doing all of those and only save the super optional stuff for later. More about that later!

And now, some new stuff! More precisely, Arcade Mode backgrounds!!

Third and final Mimic boss portrait! ...there will be more actual new stuff after this one, I promise ;)

So while we take the feedback you guys are hopefully pouring over us right now (and while I work ahead with some Arcade Mode background and polish for the stable release), I thought I'd show the remaining Mimic portraits since I didn't have time to add them last week and they're shown so quickly in the game!
.....aaand as of yesterday, the frontline patch is finally up!! This includes the third and final part of Tai Ming (albeit without the proper sound effects and with some placeholder stuff). Patch notes can be found here!

Naturally this weekend has been spent crunching a bunch of stuff we wanted to include in this patch, so we're all quite spent and now eagerly await your feedback. For me, a playthrough took about 40 minutes - how long did it take you? What did you think of the twists and turns? How was the balance? Please feel free to share anything and everything here in the comment section of on any of our forums!

Meanwhile, here are two of the about 500 minor edits we made throughout the weekend. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to collapse into bed! :D

There's still some way to go before the third zone is completely ready, but we're sooo close now I couldn't help myself but had to make a tiny preview of what you'll see~

Whoever could this be?!

With Tai Ming's third zone nearing completion, it's only natural to have one or two Mixed Bags towards the end!

As mentioned in yesterday's meeting post, it's time to expand the Zone02 entrance map!
First of all sorry for no update this Friday! I've actually been sick for about a week and ran out of scheduled posts - oops. I'm getting better now though, so I'm slowly getting back to work.

Before I got sick though, we had another Monday, and another meeting! Well, we don't do these meetings every week, although we probably should have them more often than we currently do since they're so great at making sure we're staying on track.

This meeting we talked about a lot of stuff, but the main focus was ironing out some final (?) remaining questionmarks about the third Tai Ming zone.

First up: The Entrance Map.
While you have not yet been able to enter it, some of you might have seen it in my previous blog posts. When testing the entire dungeon in one go, we realized that when zoning between the second and third Tai Ming maps, the distances felt kind of awkward since there wouldn't have been enough space on the left to account for the graveyard.

Some might feel this is a trivial matter, and that you can just use your imagination to imagine you passed through an underground corridor and appeared in a completely new place (we haven't exactly made sure everything fits together perfectly in other places), but we felt like this map might improve if we added some kind of holy corridor as buildup to the shrine, so that's basically what we'll do.

What year is it? 
Some of you might have asked this question already, with all the time jumps in the dungeon! We've had multiple discussions about whether or not to include years, either when you zone or/and added somewhere in your journal.

The obvious argument for is that it would hopefully make it easier to know how much time has passed between certain events. However, there's also the risk of annoying people who forgot what the previous year was, and now gets another year presented. This happens to me a lot in movies: in the beginning they show the setting and present us with which year it is, and I go "oh okay so we're in the 1600's", and promply forget what the last two numbers where. Then, a while later, there's a jump and they show another year, also 1600's, but since I didn't remember the whole year I have no idea how many years have passed in either direction (is it a flashback?), until I get it based on the context. In those cases the years did nothing but annoy me, since I had to rely on the context to grasp how much time has passed anyway.

It is our hope that we'll provide the player with enough such context that there won't be a need to know the exact year. We haven't completely thrown out the idea though - if it becomes too confusing, we might add them after all.

The Desert
After Tai Ming comes the desert, and as such we had another talked and decided that before we update the Stable beta, we'll add the bare minimum of the first desert map - most likely only the background and something blocking your way from continuing (so no enemies or NPCs or anything like that).

The reason? Those "this area is not in the game yet" notifications. Once we add the first desert map we actually won't have any of those anymore, and I'm pretty sure you guys are just as annoyed by them as we are! Nothing throws you out of a game as much as a blatant reminder that you're only playing the beta.

Temple of Seasons Story?
And now for something completely different. Did you know that we, from the beginning, intended to have picture carvings here and there in the Temple of Seasons, telling the story about the player character's mother Charlotte and how she came to save the fae that one time? Don't worry, we won't add that right now, but we did have enough time during this meeting to reiterate that we will add it at some point. Likely after the main story is done.

Spirit World Objects
Finally, we talked a bit about the spirit world and what kind of objects should appear when using the skill. We want certain things to be able to appear in order to create puzzles and challenges - such as a bridge that only exists in the spirit world, and so on. During this discussion we talked about what they should look like graphic wise.

Right now we're thinking that we should go full on horror style - having the objects be made of bones or dark goo or other creepy things you'd associate with ghosts. We're still balancing on an edge where we're not sure if it's gonna be too creepy or not (the game hasn't been that scary until that point, even if we begin to see some darker things in Tai Ming), but hopefully it'll not feel too off in the end.

If you guys have any suggestions for what you'd like to see graphic wise in the spirit world, let us know in the comments! :)

No boss without a boss portrait! Time for the Mimic~

And now, some mixed stuff!

One of the things we've been focusing on lately is the cutscenes surrounding the Mimic fight. And with this one, we have a question for you guys!

Finally, the third and last stage of the Mimic boss room... Time to bring in some Mt. Bloom!

The second stage of the Mimic boss fight brings another version of the boss room!

And it's finally time to begin work on the final background of Tai Ming: the boss room!!

With Tai Ming and Mount Bloom's housing items finished, it's time to create their miniatures and add them to the game!

And here it comes, the batch of spoiler portraits mentioned before. Do not venture forth unless you're ready to get some heavy spoilers!

Remember the Mimic? Improvements have been made, and the prototyping goes on!

Time for another Mimic preview! This time of his third and giant phase~

So... Compared to the basic batch (and like any other housing batch, this one is.. a bit overwhelming!

Time for the final batch of themed housing items for a while now! Tai Ming, bring it on~
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