Hello again everyone! We hope you're having a great summer, and staying cool inside playing some games. This month is just a quick update to let you know what's been going on the past few weeks.
First off, we're happy to announce that aside from the Crafting, all the Kickstarter Stretch Goals and Backer Rewards have been designed and programmed. We have just a few pieces of art left to wrap up, and we'll be getting to the Crafting when we revisit the weapons and items in a few weeks. We've also done our best to make the extras part of the main experience where possible. For instance, instead of the Arena being a separate mode it's an actual place in the world you can visit when you want to compete.
One of the rewards we thought turned out especially cool is our $2500 Backer's reward. It was listed as "Design your own enemy", but the backer thought a minigame of chance would add some more variety to the experience. Working together with him, we developed the character known as Jinx. For those with a sharp eye, you may recognize Jinx from the box art we had done a while back. Unfortunately, the character was cut after some story changes rendered him unused, but when we heard the backer's idea we thought he would be the perfect match for it. Jinx will appear at several locations throughout the world, and offers players a spin of his wheel for a chance to win a range of things from gold to stat points and items. Careful though, not everything on the wheel is a reward! You also run the risk of losing your hard earned stat points and gold to Jinx.
One other thing we're very excited about is some recent improvements to the dungeon generation. As you may remember from our previous updates, we've put a lot of effort into it to make sure the game feels varied and well-paced. One of the major breakthroughs that really helped us achieve that was breaking down the areas into "sub-areas" that consisted of about 10-15 rooms with a save point at either end. This did wonders to get things under control, but on the negative side we were left with a mess of a map that had lines drawn all over connecting these sub-areas together. One of our polish tasks was to hide these seams and make the areas feel like one large, continuous location. The save rooms are also inside the area itself now as normal rooms, so it should feel more like a classic Metroidvania experience than ever before!
Lastly, while we worked on the Kickstarter rewards we were playing the game over and over, fixing things, and building our final Todo list to reach Beta. I believe we have identified the weakest and most problematic areas of the experience, as well as what needs polished or is unfinished, and we now have a solid plan to reach the finish line. I know everyone is excited to hear dates, but we're not quite there yet. There's still a few tricky tasks remaining we want to make sure we don't rush.
As usual, thank you so much for your support and patience. We'll have some more updates next month on our progress to reaching Beta!