Secrets of Grindea Recap 540: Zhamla Battle Progress

First of all, thank you everyone for your kind (and funny) comments on the last post! It really means a lot 🙂

With everything that’s happened, things are still a bit slow (last week we had repairmen over for two full days!), but we’re finally getting back into the home stretch of this whole project. Here’s a report on what we’ve been up to:

Fred reports that he has spent this week struggling to create the base frame for Zhamla where he’s facing upwards and has his sword ready. He believes part of the problem is because he just got back from vacation and isn’t quite back into all yet, but also that the frame itself has been a lot more difficult to make compared to anything else he’s made for the game this far. In fact, upwards facing frames has always been one of the most difficult things for him to make, and the bigger the frame, the harder it gets. Usually he would have moved on if he got stuck this long and done something else before returning to it with fresh eyes, but since this is a base frame that will be used as the starting point for all Zhamlas poses facing upwards, he knew leaving it unfinished would only lead to more work down the line when he’d have to adjust any subsequent animations accordingly.

Towards the end of the week, however, he did make some progress, so now the basic frame is done (we think) and he’s finally been able to start animating the final upwards attack animation:

“Didn’t you already make a version of this battle once? How come there isn’t already a frame for him facing upwards?”

Well, in the last fight we were a bit more strategic with our workload: Zhamla kept looing downwards, and if you paid attention, you realize he never looked up at all – hence, no upwards facing frames. Because this is the final battle, however, we didn’t want him to be as static as back then, and so we created some extra difficult work for poor Fred!

Teddy has been working on a “summoning phase” for Zhamla, where he uses only summons! The idea is to have a sequence where you fight against his Frosty Friend Fiend, a cloud and plants while Zhamla is floating above the playing field. Once you defeat Frosty, you’ll go back to fighting Zhamla, who now will have shorter versions of the summons among his other attacks.

Unfortunately Teddy’s work got cut short as his computer completely broke down and died right after completing the base for the fight! We keep having some issues with things malfunctioning it seems. Not to worry, though – he managed to ‘Frankenstein’ a new computer using spare parts from old ones we had in storage, so for now things are back on track (fingers crossed).

For me, work on the production book continues! Recently I’ve been looking at a ton of similar books – production recaps as well as artbooks – to gather inspiration and ideas for the visual design. It’s super interesting when you start paying attention to the layout and design elements of things – not as a consumer, but as someone with a goal of making a similar product.

Seeing how others have solved things like where to put the page numbers or how to use headlines in various ways has been super inspiring to say the least, and will hopefully help in creating a design that’s both visually appealing and easy to navigate. The current plan is for the book to pretty closely mirror the website, using similar colors and graphic details. This, we hope, will create a cohesive look and feel between the game and the book.

Otherwise, writing and rewriting continues. It’s a ton of text to edit and cut down still, so I expect the road to go on for a while yet!

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