Thankfully, Fred never caught on to the cold so he's been busy making a ton of animations for all the desert NPCs and other various odds and ends happening over there! Check these things out: 

Vilya scaring Freddy and Teddy out of a slump?!

A sleeping carpenter lady...

...An archaeologist brushing through the sands...

...a dragon grabbing onto a planet (what in the world could this mean?!)...

...another archaeologist, studying a tablet of some sort...

...Ledge from the Collector's HQ, enjoying some music...

...with none other than Sally, also from the Collector's HQ!

Then we have a bunch of flavor animations, bringing the desert to life:

..and lastly, Vilya again, waiting impatiently for something (probably the release of the new patch):

Quite exciting, no?! The desert has more NPCs than the other most NPC-heavy area in the game Tai Ming, and I'm pretty sure it's the most animation-heavy area as well. We're quite happy with the way things look this far, so hopefully you guys will like it too!

And here's another portrait, that of an archaeologist. I think this is the final archaeologist for now - at least I hope we have enough by now (there's quite a few of them already, to be honest)!

This guy is inspired by none other than Howard Carter, who was the archaeologist who discovered Tutankhamun's tomb!

Alright, time to get back to work - and what better way to start than to make some new portraits?! Here's an autumn fae who will be hanging out in the desert with her friends at the Saloon:

Hey guys! Sorry for the late post this week, we just got hit with a cold here at the Pixel Ferrets office, which means the rest of the week will probably be blog-free, unfortunately :( :( 

HOWEVER, I do have a little something for you, and it's a sneak peek of the Ghost Ship!! Yes, I've started working on the backgrounds and what they could/will look like, and here's a first look, if you will - basically I edited some old stuff, made a bunch of new stuff, and mashed it all together into something that would fit an old abandoned ship kind of setting:

For live decorations, we're thinking tiny crabs, and some more scary stuff like shadows and stuff moving around! That will all fall on Fred though, and he's still quite busy doing desert stuff (I too have some stuff remaining, mainly portraits - but I couldn't help but start a little something on the ship since we'll soon be diving into that stuff)!

I'll probably start working on actual rooms and doing some more concept rooms once we feel a little better over here (I swear basically every single person I've met outside the office over the last week has been coughing or sneezing or actually told me they were sick recently so I guess it's just our turn now T__T)

I'll be back with new posts as soon as I can! In the meanwhile I hope you guys fare better, haha.

See you soon!!

Yes, the closer we draw to the patch, the more tiny fixes we make! Here's a bunch of them again, starting with adding more the rocks by this crossing, to make sure you as a player don't get frustrated when you can't walk over them (before it felt kind of ambiguous whether they were there to block your path or simply decorative):  

Next, we decided to add a fancier door to the math caves rather than temporary spear blockades, giving the solving of a puzzle a slight more oomph as these will open:

We've added more decorations to the ruins as well. We wanted to give it the feel of having had a bunch of traps, many of which have already been sprung, and so we added the remnants of them:

Another portrait appears as well, this one of a caveling hanging out in the saloon: well as some bonus expressions for one of the characters you'll be talking to:

Finally, I decided to adjust the puzzle block colors slightly! Below you see the old version, which we felt were a bit too dark to properly fit with the desert background:

And here's the new, which are much lighter and slightly more yellow, to make them blend in more:

Yes, there's a third portrait this week! So many characters in the desert!! Whew! This one is a carpenter, possibly the daughter of the carpenter in Evergrind City.

Unfortunately, she's fallen asleep on the job, forgetting to mend a broken bridge-- oh my.. Let's hope you can wake her up so you don't have to walk around the entire area to get where you wanna go!

We're drawing closer to the patch and there's still a lot of character portraits to be made, so here we have another! This girl is an archaeologist who works in the desert - perhaps she has a tool or some book that might help you on your way?

The portrait this week features a carpet salesman, selling his wares in the Port Monnaie market area:

Not much to say about this guy, really. Here's the finished sprite:

Can't have a desert with lots of enemies to beat without any rewards for actually beating them, right?! Time to get to those desert drops!

And here we have them, all lined up! Three drops for each enemy, except for the Solem which only has two for now - he will drop a shield as well, so I need to wait for Fred to finish making it before I can do any drop appearance for it.

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