Steven - July 14, 2019, 2:45 p.m.

Hey all, Steven here. As Grobo becomes more and more polished, we have also been looking at areas that we’re lacking as a company. One of those things is providing all of you with information about what we’re doing. We’re hoping from here on out to have update blog posts in addition to our developer’s blog posts to cover things such as company updates, new features, bug fixes, and future goals.

 

First, we have some company updates. We have a new, separate website specifically for Grobo (grobogame.com)! hotchocolategames.com will still be active, but this will be a more direct link to info about Grobo. We are now active on Twitter as well @HotChocoGames so you can follow us with the #grobogame and get quicker updates than just from emails and blog posts. 

 

Our closed beta is out and will be updated soon. To apply for the beta, please fill out this form, and from there we’ll get you set up. We’ve also sent out a feedback survey for those who have played the beta and we would greatly appreciate it if you would take 5-10 minutes to fill it out.

 

In regards to feedback, we’ve been listening and here is a list of changes we’ve made:

 

  • Narrative

    • A more lighthearted narrative that focuses on Grobo so it is more directly tied to what you’re doing

    • The old narrative will remain, but will be part of the collectibles system (which is still in the works!)

  • Main Menu

    • Returning to the Main Menu will no longer play the startup animation. However, exiting from the Main Menu to the Start Screen will play it

  • Game

    • Restarting a level will no longer play the spawn animation. However, starting a different level or exiting to the Map/Main Menu and then restarting the same level will play it again.

  • Score

    • Displays number of stars earned on Map Nodes in addition to in the level info panel

  • Tooltips

    • Brought up to date as they were outdated and disconnected from the current narrative and system

    • Changed to be level specific tooltips/hints. Feedback would be greatly appreciated on the changes.

  • UI Fixes

    • [It’s easier now that you can see everything] Fixed issue where the edge of the game board is cut off on 9:18.5 aspect ratios

    • [The glove now fits!] Fixed issues where text is overflowing outside their bounds

    • [More intuitive] Swapped positions of “Replay” and “Return to Main Menu” on the Victory Screen to be more intuitive

    • [Progress, but still a continued process] General cleanup in several areas and to several sprites

  • Non-UI Bug Fixes

    • [Stable Crate Pushing] Being pushed by a falling crate while also falling is now consistent. Note: the level this could be used in (2-4) will now always result in death rather than equal chances of death, victory, or just standing extremely close to the crate

    • [Keep Them, You Earned Them] No longer can reduce your star score by repeating a level and achieving a lower star rating than you already had

    • [Proper Clairvoyance] Scryer boxes no longer overlap on the crate while Grobo is on a crate that’s being lifted by a repulsion engine instead of scrying in the proper direction

 

We also have some new features that you can expect to roll out in the next update to the beta:

 

  • A brand new chapter with 8 new levels taking place in the factory and focusing on new mechanics: Lasers, Conveyor Belts, and Magnets

  • 2 new, harder levels to the end of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2

  • A total of 15 new levels to play

  • A “Step” tutorial and “Collectibles” tutorial in the prologue, which includes one changed level. “Step” hopefully alleviates some of the “I wanted to walk, but instead I gravity shifted” frustrations. 

  • Updated assets

    • Run animation

    • Spawn animation

    • Repulsion engine asset

    • Electric floors (previously tesla coils)

    • New background track for the Storage Yard. Moved the Storage Yard background track to Old Town

    • New sfx for gravity shift

 

Here is what we’re planning on working on for the future as well. A disclaimer - not all of this might be in the next update to the Beta:

  • An actual icon for Collectibles as opposed to our temporary strawberry (trust me, we’re not Celeste)

  • Implement Collectibles and have the Collectibles Screen be accessible from the Main Menu

  • Revamp the Chapter Select screen (not the map, but the thing before it) to be more streamlined and easier to understand

  • Score

    • Displays scores needed for star thresholds in the game scene while playing a level

  • Adding in build-up animations to the lasers and repulsion engines

  • Adding animated juice to the laser beams

  • More juice and polish

  • Continued cleanup for Grobo’s animations

  • New Death animations

  • Music and sfx clean up (clean loops)

  • Challenge Levels

    • Purely optional

    • Per Chapter so each challenge level will focus on mechanics in that Chapter

    • Accessible after obtaining a certain number of Stars in a chapter

    • Can be completed to earn Gold Stars

  • A gameplay trailer

 

Also, we’ll be showcasing at PlayNYC this year on August 10-11, so please come join us in having an awesome time and experience many more awesome NY-based indie games!

 

Thank you all for supporting Grobo and anticipating its release. We at Hot Chocolate Games all work hard on the game to improve it and make it the best possible version of itself it can be. It’s a labor of passion and love, and all we wish for is that you can feel that when you play Grobo.