...and here we have the second part of those desert ruins! This time we focus on adding wall decorations mainly - there's a bunch of them needed, from the door, to the script tablets where you can read some juicy(?) backstory, to the decorative cacti!


What remains to be done now is all the detail work, adding those small things that tie a map together and give it some personality. We'll save that for next week, though! Stay tuned :)




The second portrait this week belongs to one of the older NPCs of this area - in terms of when Fred made the sprite, anyway! I wanted to make this portrait a while ago, but there was a lot of other characters made that somehow leap ahead in the to-do list. Now, however, it's finally time for mr sunscreen (he applies sunscreen in his animation) to get his portrait!





Alright, time to start working on another interior!! This here is the "legendary" desert ruin, where you'll face a new boss/mini-boss kind of deal and continue the main story!


In this first part I'm focusing on getting the basics done - this involves some color tweaking of the graphics I made before, plus some new stuff. The video got quite long so I've decided to split this in several parts - I think there will be three in total!



Next up, there are more portraits (but we're slowly reaching the end!! Just a few more)... This one's the Lady Mayor, either the actual Mayor or the wife of the Mayor (not decided yet) of the Desert Town. 


In the game, you'll find her on the top floor of the Mayor's house, where she's quite fed up with her husband's ways (I think)! At least, that's how I imagine it for now, we'll see what happens once it's time to write the dialogue and start working out those quests in detail :D


The enemy prototyping continues! This week a lot has happened. First, we change our mind about the bird mechanic I mentioned previously, with different eggs causing different mishaps if you let them hatch. We agreed it got a little bit too crazy and reminded everyone a bit too much of the Mimic battle you just completed, so instead we've been playing around with each egg hatching a swarm of smaller birds to harass the player!


In this first version (above) we used the bat swarm as placeholder graphics for the swarm to test it out. At this point it was also possible to end a swarm by hitting it, however, since you can't remove bat swarms by hitting them, and this mechanic will work and look in a similar way, we decided that you won't be able to in the final version. 

Below you can see the version with the proper bird graphics, made by Fred: 


As you can see in the image above, we've also started working on the final enemy in the lineup - the Solem! He can now dash towards you, slam his fists into the ground, and he also has a laster that will start firing at you after aiming for a short while: 



In the above GIF there isn't much difference between the aim and the actual laser - the graphics are the same, only when he shoots the laser there's an effect on the ground as well. This was the first thing we wanted to improve, as can be seen below: 


Now the laser is slightly bigger, but before we're fully satisfied we'll probably work on that a bit more - as well as adding a proper charge animation for the Solem (which currently is static, as you can see). Other than that we're actually starting to feel pretty good about this lineup! Just a few more tweaks and we'll be happy I think :) 

In Freds department, the NPCs and their animations continue to be made! First, we have the author:


When we're done with the rest of story mode, we actually have plans to add her to the library in Evergrind City early in the game, when she's there temporarily for a signing. We'd like to tie together the whole world of Grindea, and having her (and maybe one or two other desert characters) appear in Evergrind early in the game is a step to make the player feel recognition when you run into them later in the game. 

Next up, an animation for the forgotten farmer, living in the depths of the caves beneath the desert (more to come): 


Finally, the most exciting news.... The very first sketches of the Captain, who will be the boss in the next dungeon: the ghost ship. We have a really cool idea for this dungeon, and this guy plays a key part in it... Stay tuned for more!!





The second ice cream seller is the fiancĂ© of the previous one! I'm sure he's happy to be able to own such a sweet (ha) business with the love of his life - who wouldn't be?!

Right now we haven't decided on any actual use for the ice creams, though it would certainly be fun to be able to buy some. Feel free to share any ideas you might have on potential uses for them! Is there a consumable type you feel is missing? Want more pet food? Let's hear your ideas!



Finished portrait:


Today I've been working on the fundamentals of a new kind of interior, the one you'll find in the desert ruins! I wanted to make something special for it, since it was a while since I made something a bit more 'out there' - the town interiors generally follow the same basics, so I wanted to make something different this time.

What I've done here is I've played around with walls and floor textures, and made some basic decorative things. I'm not 100% sure about the colors yet, I might tint them a bit yellow to make sure they fit the overall desert aesthetics, but once that's done I'm ready to use these things as a base for the remaining interiors I need to make.

The desert ruins aren't huge - only 2 (rather big) rooms are planned, but I wanted to make sure they feel special, hence the extra effort spent on getting a feel for it.

Video showing the progress here:



The first portrait this week is that of one of the ice cream sellers shown last week! She owns the shop with her fiancĂ©, and we have some plans to include these in a quest featuring another duo interested in sweets... Actually making that quest will probably wait 'til the rest of the desert and the quests we planned earlier are finished, though :)



Now that we're done with the Arcadia rework for now, things are happening fast in terms of the desert enemies! Teddy has been making a ton of prototyping and it's now possible for us to play around with the basic enemy compositions.

First, here's a very early look of the Cacute enemy, jumping around, minding its own business:


As mentioned before, our plan for these guys is that they won't focus on the player in particular, but will be dangerous just by existing - as you can see, they launch a bunch of needles with each jump!

The new slime and bird enemies have been added as well, the slime becoming a saw Giga-Slime style as it attacks, while the bird is pretty much an egg-laying bee!



In order to mix this up a bit, we're playing around with having the bird lay eggs closer to the ground, so you can actually hit it while it lays them. Our original idea was to have each egg spawn another bird unless you break it in time, but we're also playing around with having it lay different kinds of eggs, each with a hazard of its own. However, it might end up too similar to the mimic which you just fought, so we might play around with some other ideas as well.


We'll need to play around with it a bit more before we know exactly how these will work in the end. Also, the Solem has not been made yet, and it might mix things up a lot once it joins these compositions!

As for for Fred's work this week, we have a little sneak peek of one of the next bosses you'll run into! Ohhh yeahhh, he's back: 

Marino returns and has learned a new skill! To be precise, he'll be using one of the player skills in his second fight against the main character. We felt that there are already so many humans relying solely on weapons that we wanted to mix it up and add some more skills in this battle. Can you guess which one he'll be using?


There are also some new faces in the desert town (yeah, they keep coming!), this time in the shape of the couple (literally) who own the ice cream parlor! I'll be adding these to my to-do portrait list as well, so stay tuned for more of them in the near future :)




Today it's time for the second floor of the Mayor's house! Upstairs we have a bedroom, with a staircase that leads to the rooftops. Here you might meet the Mayor's wife, who is yet to be designed :)


Finished room, for now (I'm not super happy about the bed so I might remake it at some point!):



The second portrait this week features the person throwing coins into the well in the desert area, shown a while back! This girl is a visitor from Merchant Isle's. What do you think she's wishing for?




The first portrait this week features a lady hanging out in the beach area of the desert town, enjoying the wonderful weather. We've had epic weather here the last couple of weeks too, so it actually fits really well!


Finished sprite:


On to more interiors! When this one is done there's just one more to make, oh my! Time sure flies when you have lots of fun things to do... :)

So this building belongs to the mayor of the desert town, and the story I've come up with for the bottom floor is that he has it open to visitors that want to come in and look at his small but very expensive collection of antiques. Maybe you'll recognize some of the items from your travels back in time... ;)

Unfortunately tragedy has befallen the collection and a statue has broken. If only you knew someone who could fix it.....


Finished floor, for now:


This week in Fred's department, we have the animation for the photographer girl who hands you the photography quest (if you've played the latest Arcadia rework update you might have seen her already), as well as possibly the most important thing in any typical harbor town. What I'm talking about? Seagulls, for course!!






Next up, we have a shield maker! This dude sells shields in the market area of the desert town, sharing a stand with the potion seller and sword smith!


Finished sprite:

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