Progress on the desert continues! We've now started implementing things in those desert ruins, where you'll face another boss battle. When I mentioned there was gonna be an Indiana Jones-y scene in here, some of you wondered of what kind... I think this GIF should answer that question for you: 


WIP of course, this is but the first step of the iteration!

Speaking of iterations, we're also working on the boss! This Solem is a very dangerous guy who likes to use his laser in creative ways. Good thing he also slams his fists in the ground, causing giant rocks to fall from the ceiling that can block such beams for you:


(One everything is implemented, the rock will look to be part of the ruin, rather than a random Mt:Bloom-esque boulder!)

He has another fierce laser attack as well, featuring multiple beams that follow you for a little while:


Aside from these, he'll act like a regular, but amped-up Solem, chasing you around trying to hit you. He'll also have one attack where he slams his fists in the ground causing shockwaves to appear all around him, which you'll have to dodge.

Fred's continuing to work on his animations, too, of course so here's a more finalized version of what he'll look like as he blasts those laser beams at you:

In the animation department, Fred has been hard at work with some cool environmental things that will appear in the desert! First up, we have the frozen cacti that will unlock a shortcut further into the desert, once you reach a certain season orb: 


Second, a rope ladder! Since there's a place where we really want the player to be able to move up and down quickly (though only after getting there the first time), we decided to introduce a rope ladder that you'll be able to 'activate' after making your way to it.


No desert is complete without tumbleweed, so Fred has been experimenting with getting those up and running as well! Here's a bunch of his WIP ideas:


He's also making more NPCs, and here we have the progress sheet of the old scientist looking for ghosts! We've decided to name her Dr. Spengler as tribute to a special character in this sort of field. Who do you think that is?






Can't have a beach town without tourists, so the second portrait this week will feature a guy shopping for souvenirs at the market place in Port Monnaie: currently, he's very interested in a t-shirt!



The first portrait this week features the hat salesman of Port Monnaie, which we actually have decided to give quite a story. Because Helmut is a real life name that's simply too good to pass up on, we decided to name this guy just that. However, seeing as we have a helmet called Helmit, we didn't want to confuse people too much by having two characters with very similar names.... So we decided that Helmut and Helmit will be friends! 

As such, you old acquaintance from Tai Ming will make a comeback in the desert town, where he'll be hanging out with this swell fellow: 


Finished sprite:

Okay! Who's ready for more desert fixes?! Seeing as we've named the desert Dragonbone Dunes, we wanted to add more dragon stuff to the area. First step is to make some dragon head statue pillars:


We also wanted to decorate those walls with some dragon wing plates:


But not all fixes on this map are of the dragon-decorative kind! There's also a puzzle, which, as it's now been properly designed, needs a more permanent background:


As part of the puzzle, we decided to add a bonus chest as well, so made a slight extension of one of the rocks to make room for that:


Behold the progress so far, almost done:

...actually, scratch that! Since the cave in the middle is a mushroom cacti cave, I thought it'd be fitting to put a bunch of them outside as well: 


More to come :D

As I believe we have mentioned, once you complete Tai Ming, flashback orbs will activate throughout all of Grindea. While we haven't added any just yet, these flashback orbs are set to give you insights into events that happened before you were around; stories of your parents, Zhamla, and other important events that have occurred throughout the world.

As part of the desert update, at least before it gets released on stable, we'll include a set of these with more to be added in later updates.

The ones we'll include in this update features memories that give some insight into your mother's friendship with the fae, how your parents met, and how Zhamla found his first card! While they might not be vital to the story as a whole, we feel that each of these orbs will give some depth to the world and the people within it.

The dialogue for these have already been fully written, but we'll return to actually implement them once the rest of the desert is done; likely while you guys are all busy beta testing those new enemies and boss fights!

In the end, once the game is done, we want to add plenty of these orbs, to give you a glimpse of many different things of the past. Are there any events or characters in particular you'd like to see? Let us know and we'll see what we can do!
Alright, so as you might know, one of the boss battles you'll be dealing with in the desert is the return of Marino, who wants a second shot at beating you up! This time around, he's leveled up and uses some crazy clone action to make this battle even harder.

As part of the prototyping process we've played around with a number of different patterns and types of attack. Here's an early version of one such attack:


We want to play around with Marino and his clones moving across the playfield quickly, meaning you have to mind where you stand, or even move around in order to avoid damage:


We have multiple patterns like this, which will become more and more difficult as the fight progresses. Of course, there's a lot of placeholder graphics here, but the overall idea is the same: there will be some sort of visual indicator for where Marino and his clones will move next, which fades away once they make that move.

Marino being Marino, he's also learned the noble art of taunting his opponent, but be careful to attack him blindly, or you might come to regret it:




The second portrait features one of the characters I forgot making a portrait for, which in this case is rather silly seeing as I made his shop stand and everything! This is the jewelry (accessory) salesman, selling items in the desert town's market area:



Our first portrait this week is a miner working in the desert! Like the other miners in our game, she wears the typical mining uniform, including the miner hat. The miner hat I use has already been made previously, so I only added it after the rest of the portrait was done:



The final part of our romp with this desert ruin (unless we change up some stuff upon implementation... which tends to happen)!

In this final part we add more detail, but also that fancy mirror and the pedestal holding a very special crystal which might be directly linked to the boss battle in this ruin:





Time for the second part of the second room in those desert ruins! As mentioned before, it's time to start working on the top part of this map, where some forgotten, ancient treasures will be....


After this video there will be one more part where I'll be making some stuff in the middle of this room, as well as mixing things up a bit so each of the sides aren't exactly the same. Stay tuned!



As Teddy has started implementing NPCs, both me and Fred were in for a surprise. Not only were there NPC sprites made by Fred that I forgot to make portraits for, there were portraits of NPCs that Fred forgot to make sprites for as well... Silly things happen when you work on multiple parts of the game at once!

In other words, it's time to start mashing out a couple more portraits, so for a while there will be two presented every week once more.

This guy here is someone selling souvenirs in the Desert Town, though by the looks of his outfit, I wouldn't be surprised if his real job was to be a Collector:


More places implemented means more places that need fixes! Here's a bunch of changes we've decided to make since the desert started getting into place.

First up, closing off one of the caves. Previously we wanted it to look open, but since there will be a map change between them, we felt it's more consistent to use the regular cave doors: 



Second, we realized if you manage to get out of the cave exit to the right on this map, you'd be stuck on this plateau forever (there's a jump-down inside the cave, so you're unable to go back that way... oops):

Some detail changes to the wall here, making it more consistent with how it looks inside the city. Keep in mind most of the wall will be offscreen:


Same thing here, I've changed the texture of the wall and made it more consistent with the size inside town. Also edited the path to align better after you change screen:


We've also added a slight bit of decoration outside the number cave, which will have magical flames as well once Fred has used some of his animation magic:


Finally, as we were looking around the NPC folders while implementing the desert NPCs, we realized we made a collector's outfit for Sally a long, long time ago, but forgot to add it. We'll remedy this in time, and in preparation for that I made a recolored version of her sprite, featuring her Collector uniform:



And now it's time to start the second room of those Desert Ruins! There's been a lot of talk about the Ghost Ship so it's easy to forget we're still not done with the desert, haha. This place is where you'll battle the Solem Boss, and have an Indiana Jones-y cutscene! Let's take a look:


It's all pretty bare so far, but the video got long enough already. In the next part, we'll continue working on the upper part of this map, where a treasure lies waiting!



Next up we have the ghost scientist I think I mentioned before - this person will appear in the lab in Evergrind City in the beginning of the game, where she's investigating the spirit world. Later on, she'll play a part in your ghost ship journey:



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