It’s moving forward
Updated: May 31, 2020
The beginning of this week has been rather slow and mostly focussed on clarification matters. One important issue the design- and art team had to discuss was the overall style our game is supposed to have: since the setting combines cyberpunk aesthetics with elements of traditional Japanese culture one of our big questions was how this fusion was to take place. Would we “cyberfy” traditional Japanese objects by choosing different materials but keeping the same shape (e.g. making ricepaper lanterns out of metal or give them a neon color)? Or should we keep to the general cyberpunk aesthetic and try to integrate traditional pieces as valuable antiques?
The question not only affected the level environment but became very crucial when it came to the design of the enemies: while our environment artists went more into the cyberpunk direction our enemy artists created the elite troupes more in the style of traditional Japanse art with some mechanical elements to it. Therefore, while both designs looked really good they did not mesh well together and so (after several meetings) we decided to do the bigger design overhaul on side of the enemies.
Our old design for the enemy variants was largely inspired by Japanese mythology and featured an animal motive: Furthermore, the elite troupes were supposed to have glowing tattoos to signal that they were Yakuza which meant they had to show a lot of skin.
The re-designs of our elites have much more clothing and neon accents instead of glowing tattoos. In terms of motive, they will wear mechanical Oni masks which will have slight variations in the design (like differently shaped horns) and have a distinct color for each elite variant. The visors of the mask also serve as some sort of diegetic HUD because they are supposed to glitch when the enemy becomes too wounded.
Aside from the enemy discussion and overhaul we also had some internal meetings as designers where we talked about selecting potential rooms for our level generator. The process has not been an easy thing and once again the designer proverb “Kill your darlings” has shown its truth. Out of 14 rooms - the majority of them distinct and with their own strategic merits - we had to pick 6, at least for a start. But who knows, if our environmental artists are working fast we might revive some of the darlings after all.