It's been a while since we made the first step in the progress of revamping Arcadia, but now it's time for another: Candy's brother Muffin makes an appearance, ready to give you treats that will make your arcade runs easier!

This week I'm continuing work on Tai Ming's arcade mode stuff, and it begins with changing the initial size of the rooms:
Last week me and Teddy had full focus on getting the house building tools up and running, and I'm happy to say the patch is ready and has been uploaded!! Finally you'll be able to be more creative with your house, adding new rooms and editing their shape or size in more detail.

The full patch notes can be seen here, and as always, we'd LOVE to hear your feedback on these new tools, anything that may be confusing with them, improvements to be made etc. Let us know! You can comment either here or in the thread above (or make a new suggestions post on the forums).

Last week, as mentioned, Fred was also gone on vacation, and since he returns tonight and the build tools are done (aside from some polishing and anything we learn from your feedback), our next move will be to get together and discuss the support skills! Yes, finally! We've put them off for so long, but with the game drawing ever closer to a finished state I guess it's best we finally get to adding them before there's no reason to use them anymore, right?!

We'd like to thank all of you for your input and suggestions in regards to them up to this point, and we'll consider each of them as we move on to iron out in which direction we want to take these spells. Again, though, it's unlikely there will be any kind of healing skills, but most of you are used to the thought of that by now! It's a cool skill to have, but we've made the decision it won't be available in Grindea (unless you're a certain NPC) for a variety of reasons I don't think we need to rehash once more.

What we DO end up implementing we'll only know after tomorrow's meeting, and will be disclosed in a future post!

Since I don't get to do much for the support spells (it's mainly Teddy implementing mechanics and Fred doing animations for them), I'll return to focusing on the Arcadia rework and its new floors until the skills are properly decided and I can make icons for them (likely after some prototyping as been made). We'll keep you updated!
Fred's gone home for a little bit of summer vacation this week, so instead of some animations, let's take a look at the build tools and where they're at as of now!

First up, the add new (room) tool, seen above! The cost of the room will be shown in the middle, and you use the arrow keys to decide where to place the entrance. 

Below, you can see the prototype for the resize tool, where you use arrows to first select which wall you want to make bigger, and then keep pressing the arrow key in the direction you want it to increase. As you do this, the amount of lumber needed to complete the action is shown. Right now it displays with a minus sign, while the add new room does not, but in the end they'll both use the same format. 

You'll be able to pull at the walls however long you wish even if you cannot afford it, but you won't be able to confirm your edit unless you have enough lumber. The reason for this is so that you can try making the room the size you want it and see how much lumber you'd need to make it that big before you go purchase more at the Carpenter. 

Finally, there's the reshape tool, where you can edit the inside of the room. Pulling down (or up) these walls don't cost anything, so you can redesign the shape of your room freely!

There's still some polishing left before we're ready to patch, but we're definitely getting there! Our estimate is that it'll be up and running for Frontline users on Monday at the latest. Stay tuned~

The build update draws closer to completion as we begin implementing the tools needed - and the corresponding menu!

Yesterday, you might have noticed a tiny surprise-patch! While we're working hard on getting the house reshaping tools up and ready, yesterday's patch was of the smaller kind, adding a couple of the item fixes mentioned previously and that skip-quest mechanic that allows you to skip quests you've already completed! For the full patch notes, check the post here~

So, as we mentioned before, we've decided to give you the tools to increase the size of your house, as well as changing the overall shape of each room. Here you can see the progress of prototyping said system, starting with the ability to edit each room's walls:
So, I'm sure you're all wondering what we've decided to do in regards to Housing. Keep it as it is, add a number of layouts or implement a system which lets you create your own rooms?

After considering all the feedback from you guys (thank you for your contributions all of you!), we've decided that we do want to further improve the housing system, and we'd rather do it now while it's fresh in our minds rather than sometime in the future.

Since we estimate the development time will be more or less the same between creating pre-designed layouts or having you guys make those layouts yourselves, we've also decided to go for the the later, allowing you more freedom in your house building endeavors.

This of course means a whole new set of design decision that needs to be ironed out before things can be implemented properly. For one, we need some kind of build tool where you can edit the walls, pull them down or up and change the size of each individual room. This will be a challenge in itself, but will have to wait until the system runs properly (Teddy has already started working on this).

Second, we had to discuss whether increasing your house size would be completely free or something you pay gold to do. The idea we came up with is that each tile/square in the house represents a number of "Lumber" (might change the name later). This means that as you expand your house you'll use up lumber, but should you make it smaller again, you'll regain them. You can purchase the lumber at the carpenter store for gold, though we haven't decided how expensive it will be yet.

As now, there will be a minimum number of tiles each room can be, but you'll have a lot of options in terms of the shape, since you'll be able to move each wall tile up or down. While this system will need a lot of fine tuning, I think it'll be great in the end!

So, this week we'll take a look at the house shaping tools taking shape (ha) and the related GUI elements.. :)

This week Fred's focus has been more enemy animations, as well as laying the groundwork graphically for those weapon stands that will feature any weapon of your choosing as a housing item!

More fixes, this time focused on editing some of the sprites (or creating new ones), so they fit better inside their designated squares!

A winter fae in the desert? Talk about getting out of ones element!

So, we've kept track of your feedback since the housing launch last week, and two requests stood out above the rest: bookcases facing sideways and chairs facing upwards!
Last week we spent three days at GGC, which meant a lot of our usual work was slowed down for a while. Nevertheless, we managed to get the housing patch up and running, so if you haven't tried that yet, go ahead and test it!

The initial feedback seems very positive, and I'm actually surprised to see how many of you seem to really enjoy building your houses! The interiors that have been posted all look great and so creative, I didn't even know you could make such cool layouts with the things we made so far. Thank you for that all of you!

Now we have a lot of interesting decisions to make in regards to the housing system, and we'll have extensive discussions about this during this coming week. First of all, we need to decide whether we'll leave the layout as is, with the single option of changing house size, or implement one of our other alternatives: the option to add new rooms freely, or provide a number of pre-designed layouts.

Each of these options, except for keeping things as they are, will mean a lot more time has to be spent on the housing system. While we'd love to do that, we also recognize the need to finish the game and actually get it out of early access, and so it's not such an easy decision as it first might seem. I mean, ideally, we'd like to add everything possible to give you the most options, but every week spent on housing also means another week before the game can be considered complete.

I guess there's also the option of leaving things as they are for now, and possibly return to the system in the future and then introduce more advanced layout option. We'd still introduce new pieces of furniture, of course, and we've already gotten a ton of cool ideas based on your suggestions! If you have any more ideas for housing and what to do with it, please go ahead and let us know by commenting or posting on our forums!

During the rest of the week, while we discuss how to proceed with housing and keep on reading your feedback, we'll start adding some of your suggested item fixes and continue working on arcade mode! Stay tuned :)

This week, Freds main focus has been getting all those housing icon moving. Here are the finished icons he worked on:

We didn't talk about the hand tool much in the previous post on housing, but the hand tool is a very basic tool accessible from the housing menu that allows you to move around your house and select any furniture piece you want (which in turn brings you into the other tools). The hand tool is also connected to your skin color in-game, and matches that of your character.

Here's the new and improved move tool! We changed the arrows quite a bit, both in shape and color, plus it now moves and has an outline. It works a lot better than the old version, to say the least!

There's also this new and improved version of the carpet tool icon (above), and the stack tool which you've already seen, below:

And here's the style tool, a little bit interesting now that the brush is moving about:

Finally, Kim got a slight redesign to better resemble her portrait as well as an additional animation. In her regular one, she's doing some chemistry stuff, mixing a liquid of some sort. While she's outdoors telling you about the housing science, we thought we'd give her a different animation to better suit the theme (as well as one that doesn't make sounds every few seconds):

We currently haven't decided whether she'll pick her chemistry set back up once she returns inside, or if she'll continue using her newfound tablet instead!
Sooo! GGC is over, and it was a blast. It seems every year the quality of the games keep increasing, and there are always a couple of games that totally manage to blow me away!

For those of you wanting a glimpse of all the game presented at the conference, check out this video:

One of the showfloor favorites, and clear winner of many of the awards at the award ceremony was this little gem called Pump the Frog, made by a bunch of first year students:

Totally charming and so well polished. It was hard to imagine they only had 8 weeks from start to finish, incredibly impressive work! It's also nominated for several SGA (Swedish Game Awards) categories, so its success might continue on to other venues as well!

Another personal favorite was Eyes Align, a visual novel-esque game in which the characters were wonderfully handcrafted puppets that were recorded against a green screen. It's too bad they weren't showcased more clearly in the trailer because they were absolutely delightful:

Finally, I found that one of the more polished experiences was a vertical slice called Refracted Fate:

While it lacked a narrative (for now), everything else felt very complete and satisfying. It also had the best introduction of game mechanics across the showfloor - while a lot of student games tend to forget explaining the controls, this one made them really easy to understand without disrupting your playthrough.

If you want to know more about the conference or would like to see some cool pictures from the showfloor and presentations, head over to the conference website!

Now all that remains from me is writing feedback for each of the games I tried. I guess I know how I'll be spending this weekend! :)
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