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Angel's Gear Devlog #1 - Making the Player Character

Howdy gentlemen. This is my first devlog for my new project "Angel's Gear". This game is a sort of Survival Horror with lite metroidvania elements, focusing on animation commitment, struggle, atmosphere, and being uh... cool.

Initially I didn't know if I wanted to lean on horror again. I've enjoyed my vacation in NES-inspired retro feeling games, and sappy stories about anthropomorphic characters sussin' out their personal shit. But, after some glowing feedback on my horror themed Game Jam I feel like, all along, that's what people like about my shit. Ghoulish, nasty, sopping atmosphere with nightmarish demons decorating arid halls. And hey, I like that shit too, so it's about time I got back to that.

A couple different games are influencing this project. Mainly Dead Space and Monster Hunter. I know those games seem nothing alike, but I'm taking inspirations from their gameplay, not so much their vibe. Dead space for the shooty gameplay, and Monster Hunter for it's "struggling" feel. Animation commitment? I suppose that's how I'd describe it.

I began making the game just focusing on the player character. He's called "Soldier" at the moment, but that's bound to change. Or it won't! Perhaps something so bland fits him perfectly as a slightly goofy blank slate.

My initial idea was to have very basic actions, but that what these actions do change depending on the state of the player. For example, when not moving, the melee attack does a kick. But when moving, it's a punch, and when running, a running punch. Capiche? Apply this to dodging, shooting, damage, etc, and you have a simple idea with a lot of complexity.

The Dead Space inspiration came in for my "Lock-On" mode idea. You freeze in place but unlock the use of your projectile weapons, and can aim in 8 directions. You can still dodge and melee while in this state, but normal movement is cut off. I think it will make for really satisfying gameplay, but I feel like it will take a little getting used to and might filter a couple people for it's un-intuitiveness.

Here's a video sort of showing that shit off:

Adding visual flare was next when I completed the movement. Dust particles really helped the feel. I want this to be my most ambitious project yet, visually, thematically, gameplay-wise. I've spent a huge amount of time just tweaking and creating this little guy. It's been a deeply satisfying experience.

Though having a lot of ideas and stuff does not equate to depth. That's why I wanted to keep the weapon count low. I want the game to be complex on a mental scale, not in like, inventory/ equipment. That's why I'm going with just 6 weapon types. Each have their own niche and use, and consume a different amount of ammo. I'm currently in the process of figuring out whether or not I want these to be upgradable, or have elemental based attacks that effect enemies in different ways. I would love to do that, but I worry about bloat. We shall see, we shall see...

Something I didn't expect to be received so wonderfully was my HUD design, so I'm very happy about that. The HUD is just the beginning of the game's visual design really, I want the whole game, every character and enemy, environment, etc., to be as stylish and vile as the HUD. It's going to be interesting to balance the visual elements so it's not one big amalgam of moving parts, but even if it is, it should be a visual treat. I think that's sort of a signature of my work, the visual presentation. I sort of play games for that reason. Presentation is a huge deal to me, and is the reason why I enjoy games. I'm not a graphics whore, but I am an art whore.

I want to indulge my masochism just a little bit with this game. People sort of give me shit for making my games too easy. Okay motherfucker! I'm gonna make this game a pain in the ass muahahahahah. Hard but fair!? Nope. Just pain.

I'm sort of half kidding, but I do want you to die a lot. But it's important for me to make death fun. So I'm making a lot of different ways to die. Also, I plan on bosses having unique ways of killing the player. Like being eaten. Or crucified. Or like, yeah. Just sort of fun fucky shit. That's the plan. Here's a few ways the player can die by normal enemies.

So, what's next? Well, this was just week one. This is going to be a long project, I have insane ideas, and those ideas will take months to come into fruition, but this is a fantastic start.

Next week, I plan on implementing the basic powerups, finishing all the HUD stuff, and hopefully getting around to make the first real enemy. I also want to begin concepting the overall world, and start blocking out character and story beats.

Thanks for reading! See you next Saturday.

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