Thursday, October 16, 2014

@ or @

So, roughly last week (early October), I came back to Roguelike development with fighting games on the mind. Images and discussions of the new Super Smash Bros. began to overtake my regular virtual watering holes and it was hard to resist inspiration. And thus, my latest project was born. It's designed to be a kind of "zany", fast-paced Roguelike that takes a lot of cues from fighting games.

Each one of the player characters is being designed as a personality instead of as a class or race. Each one of these characters has unique stat distributions: speed, damage, weight, and hit points. Beyond that, each one of them comes with three unique abilities (ZXC) that are designed around a system of positioning and momentum.

I didn't want to make a game that was inspired by fighting games to feature an unhealthy level of menu surfing, so I needed a way for the abilities to work. Abilities in the game come in two flavors: aimed and dumbfire. Dumbfire moves can be tapped and they'll generally affect everything on the screen (or just the player character). Aimed moves look at the last direction the player moved or attacked in and go in that direction.

In the above screenshot, I'm the sea green "@" and I just punched the red "d" below me. The "d" (fightbot) is normally white, but has a simple animation to flip to red after being hit. In the bottom left region, there's an upside down triforce. This is not actually a triforce, but a directional arrow showing the direction that the player last acted. These two relatively basic (and still under development) features help the player keep track of the battle and aim abilities more easily.

If I tap "z" in the screenshot shown above, then I will use an ability based on my character. In this case, I'm playing Lily - a lightweight fighter with a plant theme. Lily's "z" just so happens to be an aimed ability called Flower Whip, which hits a foe "in front" of Lily and sends her backwards.

In total there are four "complete" characters available, one of which is a secret character. The other three characters are designed to fit into a fairly basic fighting game archetype.

Lily, the lightweight champ. Doesn't hit very hard, highly susceptible to knockback, and moves substantially faster than the other characters.

Norm, the jack-of-all-trades. Effectively the "human" of this game, Norm has no notable weaknesses or strengths.

Fat Mac, the heavyweight slugger. Moves slower than all of the characters, but is exceptionally good at throwing enemies around the battlefield.

Jet, it's a secret to everybody.

There's also a lot of more traditionally Roguelike-y stuff going on, even more than what I did with Dead Man Walking and AndroidLovesKitty. I plan to go over some of that stuff in the near future. I also have plans for at least two more cast members, some information about unlockables, and other cool things.

I'm going to push an alpha release out the door in a week or two when there's a bit more content. Currently I'm quite satisfied with the character designs, but I want to get some more items and enemies in before I go public. Keep an eye open!


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