Monday, April 20, 2009

See? Makin' Progress.

So, here's a glimpse at pixel Natalya.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More about the characters

I don't think the last post would really sell anyone about the game, and since I'd like to imagine there being a sense of shared anticipation, I think I'll do my part and talk about my characters some more. So in lieu of any actual in-game postings, here's some more about the characters, starting with Natalya.



In the world of Demon Sphere, there are many people who are capable of using magic due to a shared lineage of godlike beings. Humans in this universe all have some inherent magical power, but few are able to actually utilize it completely. Those gifted as such often lead lifestyles of self-gain through their unique powers. They become adventures, explorers, and mercenaries. Natalya is such a person, who gifted with extreme arcane power unapologetically lives a life of material and monetary gain. Though not strictly amoral or inconsiderate to those around her, she has been known to go on quests that fall into a morally gray area.

In the events of the game, she is employed by The Intervention, an order of knights committed to protecting the world from chaos and destruction. Her particular assignment involves recovering artifacts imbued with devastating magical power. These artifacts, aptly known as demon spheres, contain the knowledge and power of a once immortal being who centuries ago waged war on the mortal world, nearly destroying all established civilizations.

To prevent the demon spheres from being used to fulfill their ancient purpose, Natalya must retrieve the demon spheres at any cost, even if it means killing those who might have them.

Powers and Abilities

Natalya's abilities and powers start out at few in the beginning, but later on she comes to discover more. Her main attack, useable from the start of the game, is the Azure Star. The Azure Star is a magic, diamond shaped knife that she instantly generates and throws at enemies. Despite being a very simple spell, it is capable of going through several enemies in a single path. Using it requires magic power, which is drained slightly after each use. Her magic power can be replenished through several means, such as potions, orbs of concentrated magical power dropped by enemies, and a starting ability that allows her to enter a meditative state after crouching for several moments.


One thing you might've noticed about Natalya's appearance is that she's very "strategically" proportioned and wears a pretty elaborate, kind of skimpy outfit with lots of jewelry. Being set in a high fantasy universe, I thought it would only be appropriate if Natalya followed some of the conventions of the high fantasy archetype, namely those of mid-90s anime heroines. I don't really draw with an anime style in mind, but there's a really cool aesthetic I wanted to follow with Natalya's design. Anime like the Tenchi series, Slayers, and Gowcaizer were known for their "fanservice" characters, and it's that kind of zany, crazy, over-the-top mood I want to capture with this game. Despite having dark characters and themes at the core of the story, I don't want this game to be all grimdark and serious. Ultimately, I'm going for a very lighthearted stupid fun adventure, and characters like Natalya are there to reflect that.

Aside from being based partly off old-school anime women, she's also got a bit of Frank Frazetta in her design with her kind of sultry gypsy appearance. The color scheme took a while to settle on, but I'm proud of the result. The green hair is a nod to Link's hat in the Zelda series. I wanted her to have something sort of Zelda-ish about her, since exploration and dungeon crawling are huge parts of the game.

Not abandoning this.

There's a buzz word for indie game projects that never go anywhere or see completion. Fadeware? Ghostware?

Something. I dunno. Anyway, I'm proud to announce to my ghost audience that this isn't one of those games. For the past few months, I've been doing a lot of concept sketches at work or any place where I have free time. A lot. So much that I'm not going to bother posting but a few of the doodles I've done for this game.

Ghosts, meet Natalya, the protagonist:

Now here's a horrible, horrible scan of her:

Her story is that she's a treasure hunting sorceress who is hired by greater worldly authorities to recover ancient, powerful artifacts from beings of an evil alignment. Not the most original or groundbreaking idea ever, but it'll be a lot more interesting in the game itself.

Anyway, I can gloat all day about how cool I think this game will be, but I know you won't be satisfied until I get some screenshots up or some gameplay footage.

Well, it's on the way. I'm doing the sprites right now, and I'll have some compiled stuff soon. By the way, I've decided on sprite graphics because I'm vehemently against vector graphics for this type of game. I'm very ambitious about this game, and I won't be able to get all the content published on a site if I load it up with tons of vectors. Also, it'll run a lot slower with vector graphics.

Have I mentioned that I don't like vector graphics?