Another week and another planning meeting! This time around we've decided on more new items to be made, some relevant for the remaining quests, as well as some housing items you'll be able to purchase! Among these will be a painting of the ghost ship (which you've already seen on the ship), an old book, a boat ticket, a skeleton fish you can hang on the wall, and the head of captain bones, which is a pretty crazy idea we've had where you can get his head to follow you around and do his magic to help you out... Not 100% it'll actually make the cut yet but I know a couple of us would be quite excited if it did :)

We've also decided we're gonna (finally!) add the library for this next update. The library has been made (and remade) a couple times already while never having been actually implemented for players to explore, but now that we're drawing near the game's finish and it'd serve as an useful location related to one of the quests we're working on, it's finally time to add it to the game.

Remember how we said we wanted to have finished making these assets before the end of the month? Well, because of these new additions (and the number of animations it turns out we needed for the final cutscene of the patch), it's likely we'll not make that deadline, so here's one more example of how impossible it is to plan how long something's gonna take when you don't want to skim on the polish. Sure, we could have finished this patch without adding many animations to the final cutscene or kept that quest out of the library, but it simply wouldn't have been as good!
And here we have Hikaru, the sword salesman of Tai Ming, stuck in her stand for all eternity... :/ 


The gardener tending to the zen garden of the first Tai Ming map is another: 



Now though, it's time to focus on getting those ghostly portraits out! There will be a bunch of ghosts for you to interact with in Tai Ming, and the girl with the ball is one of them: 



While I now have a bunch of additional things to make for the stable patch, I have some spare time while Teddy and Fred is creating animations and ironing out bugs. I'll make use of that time by making sketches and ideas for the next part of the improvement spree, now taking us all the way down to Pumpkin Woods: 









In this week's Monday Meeting, we've continued to discuss what manner of things need doing before a stable release. Among such things have been deciding on reward items for a variety of quests, as well as the last remaining chest items.

One such reward we've decided upon is another fancy trinket, which will summon spiders to appear around you, and a skull accessory that gives you a lot of bonus damage but will also cause you to take a lot more damage as well!

We also decided upon the proper places for each of the items (which item is rewarded for each quest, and which item can be found where), and that the ghastly salesman will be selling demonic-looking furniture for you house.

Perhaps most importantly, we went through the final cutscene, deciding exactly how it's gonna play out so that Fred can start making animations for it - however, due to spoiler reasons, I'll try to not say too much about that part for now.

What I can say though, is something completely unrelated, which is that in order to make more use of the give-an-item-to-an-NPC mechanic we've decided to add a new 'system', if you will, where some NPCs will be looking for something and you'll be prompted to provide them with a suitable item. These won't be actual quests as you don't know exactly what you're looking for (the NPCs may not even know themselves what it is they need), and the indicator for an NPC being in need of something will be that they're talking to themselves or the player using speech bubbles - like Haddock as he gives you your fishing rod! The alternative would have been to use the blue exclamation mark, but we feel it doesn't quite fit what we want, and the speech bubbles might also serve to make the towns and NPCs seem a bit more alive.

In relation to that, we'll also be changing the 'secret' early on in the game with the tree stump where you can place carrots, giving it an examine button instead of the blue exclamation mark, and instead of having to collect 20 carrots you'll need to figure out what item to put on it. To help the player figure out which item is needed we'll probably make a carving of a carrot on the stump or some equal quite easy hint - it will be one of the first times the player comes across the system after all, and it will serve as a nice tutorial for it, we think!

We're not completely sure whether these new additions will make it into the stable patch yet, but they'll definitely be added before the release of the proper game.
In the animation department, Fred's working on getting a bunch of ghosts ready with their proper animations, making the torch puzzles more visually pleasing: 





So with those in place, the torch puzzles now look a bit more like this: 




And before we move on, time to go back and do some quick fixes to some of the things not yet quite 'there'. First up, adding more carpets to the school, so now everyone gets one of their own:


Can't have too many carpets, so added one outside the café as well:


This laundry has been hanging here to dry forever, so time to change things around and make both new poles and new laundry (hopefully these will dry quicker ;)):


In the hat shop we added another mirror:


As well as updated the target practice outside Robin's house:


First though, continuing on with the Evergrind fixes! This time around it's time for the HQ to get a bit of a touch up: 



With all of us back in the office and a new year upon us, it seemed time to sit down and have a discussion of what's next to come. This is the first in a series of meeting we'll have over the coming days, the rest of which I'll detail in the coming week(s), where we'll try to make a plan for the coming year so it'll be a bit more structured - and hopefully more efficient than the previous one.

Our first order of business is to sort out a plan for getting the stable update up and running, so today we made a list of what needs to be made:

* A few more sound effect requests videos, where we record what animations need sound and explain approximately what's happening or what sort of effect we're looking for. We've already requested most of the sound effects, which are currently in progress of being made by awesome Fark, but there are a few remaining one that we need from things added after we sent the first batch to him.

* Come up with and design the items found in the chests around the ships, a total of four different items. We had some ideas before but we'll finalize it before making the actual items.

* Finish the ghost quest given by the bartender: aside from the three main quest ghosts, there will be a bunch of optional ghosts you can help regain their memories and gather in the main hall.

* A pet skull

* Effects for the cards; again, we have some ideas, but haven't finalized them.

* A proper cutscene to end the stable version; there will be one more part of the story which will launch you on your quest to the final dungeon, after which the true 'to be continued' will appear.

* Make ghosts around the areas with graves such as the graveyard in pumpkin woods, the lonely grave in Seasonne and some proper ghost versions of the characters still remaining in Tai Ming.

* Add Pine's office to Flying Fortress

Once these are all up and running we should be happy enough to release the update on stable - after some additional testing, of course. Our aim is to get this out around the end of the month, though some of the things will likely take a while to finish up due to their complex nature, such as the final cutscene of this patch. Fingers crossed!
Happy New Year everyone! First of all, thank you so much for your encouraging comments on the patch! We're happy you like it, and we'll continue ironing out the bugs as you find them! Sounds are on their way as well, and that little bit of polish left before a stable release. Hope you've had a splendid start to the year; for us, it's finally back into action so let's jump right into it! 

Today we're looking at improving the Dojo exterior of Evergrind City, adding the version of the building that's found in Arcadia (with a few edits), and upgrading the look of the fence and the practice dummies: 



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