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game design project knight girl

first look: project knight girl

This article was original posted on Saturday April 27th, 2013.

Welcome to the first look of my work in progress video game, nicknamed “Knight Girl.”

“Knight Girl” concept

The world is set in a fantasy/sci-fi universe, where many alien technologies appear fashioned after medieval design, such as laser swords, dragon-like aliens, and mythical technologies. The art-style will take a pixel based approach, with very saturated and minimalist features.

Growing up, I was always interested in game-design, and one of my favorite franchises was the Metroid series. I fell in love with the atmosphere and isolation, and always wished to emulate that in my own video game, if I ever tried to make one. That is why the gameplay that I have in mind is based on the “Metroidvania style that many people are familiar with. It will take several cues from games such as Super Metroid and embellish on them a bit with a few modern graphical improvements, such as a larger field of view, parallax scrolling, and world size. It will also borrow a few elements from another one of my favorite games, Dark Souls, in the form of resting points that you may be revived at, and a persistent world, even through death.

Experimenting with palettes
Animation test

I intend for the gameplay to be split into two distinct playstyles. The first playstyle will reflect the “Metroidvania” style with your character slowly growing more powerful over time with health and weapon power-ups that are hidden throughout the world.

The second playstyle will be initiated when you die and are revived at your last resting area. Since dying is penalized with the loss of your gathered equipment, and the world remains persistent through death, you will be in a mode I am tentatively calling ‘Flash Mode’, which will feel much more like a platformer. In this mode, you must fight your way back to your death point from the last resting area to retrieve your power-ups, but with extremely diminished capabilities. To offset this difficulty change, you will have the unlimited ability to refill your health or ammo, with a cool-down between uses.

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“Mr. Armstrong” character test

Since this second gameplay mode will greatly contrast the standard gameplay, I hope to create interesting ways to play and traverse the environment, as well as offering a built-in ‘hard mode’ for players who wish to complete the game solely in ‘Flash Mode’.

In addition, steps will also be taken to ensure that a player is not too powerless to retrieve their abilities, by providing different and interesting ways of retrieving, such as unique paths only accessible through ‘Flash Mode’, or finding one-time use power-ups that protect for one death. I am excited to explore the different possibilities this opens for balance of difficulty and variety.

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Original first mock-up (circa 2012)

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more development updates in the coming weeks.

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