Hey all! Last week, I covered a lot of the early gameplay concepts and ideas I had while introducing the story that helped inspire those corresponding elements. Today, I’m gonna give you a sneak peak at the enemies born of the story and environment and let you in on how they came to be!
Originally, I planned on introducing a mix of the good dudes and baddies, but I thought that it might get too long, so let’s just focus on the baddies today! Designing enemies were among the first elements I created when I began work on Project Raga. Heroes are altogether one of the most important parts of a game considering the fact that you’re put in charge of one (or two in this case!) that you’ll be investing your emotions into for the duration of an adventure. Creating likable characters means making them multi-faceted and giving them personality traits that gamers want to embody themselves.
Villains deserve equal treatment. Their many minions turned cannon fodder however, have been created to fit a mold of archetypes that create a diverse set of obstacles that the players must adapt to survive their journey. For Project Raga, I relied on creating enemies based on our perceived senses and injected flavor by linking in the visual theme that you’ve been introduced to over the last few weeks.
As always, illustrations posted are works in project and subject to change.
First off, let’s take a look at the big bad. The Infernal Djinn is the source of all that goes wrong in Project Raga. This is the entity that has turned a palace into a prison and uses his great magic to transform many of the captive prisoners into the minions you’ll be fighting throughout the game.
The Infernal Djinn seen in the form that you first meet him in. I decided to make him a lion as they are seen as such powerful creatures throughout all cultures and not just in India. For this universe, I envision the race of Djinn taking on any sort of animal avatar they want, but I’d only design them around powerful predators to give them an air of majesty.
I’ve been preaching how function inspires form and vice versa, and this is especially true for baddies. When it came to creating and selecting animals based on tropes needed to create a balanced group of enemies, India and the several countries that help bolster this game universe is ripe for the picking.
The first ever animal I chose to fit the function of a sight based threat was the owl. The Owl was the perfect fit in that I likened its strong gaze to that of a security camera, an obstacle in many stealth based games. The owl being perched on a tree branch with a rotating head perfectly mimed a security cam being fixed to a wall gazing for the enemy.
Here’s a few concepts for the Owl enemy, with a potential color palette in the far right. I incorporated a sort of moon element into its horn/beak which I picked up visually from the crest of a great horned owl.
Gameplay wise, the owl is a support type that helps his allies on the field. Being caught in his field of vision freezes the player in place, leaving them vulnerable to be attacked or lose time to make a safe getaway to lower the enemy’s alert status.
The owl being a creature known for its gaze then opened up the conversation for building enemies around the senses, of which are used to the fullest extent for a stealth game. Sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste gave me a lot to play with, but not all of them could be utilized. Perhaps I could mix and match a few, but for the time being, I decided to move onto the next surefire sense - hearing.
Immediately, my thought came to a bat. The bat is a creature known for its large ears and use of echolocation in the dark to “see”. I thought of these enemies as the “goomba” of the game, and be the basic enemy that you might see in most stages.
Gameplay wise, I envision the bat enemy to be slowly patrolling the stage with his head leaned in forward. His large ears perk up hearing footsteps, and hisses out of frustration when he cannot confirm the enemies location. After some time, he releases a piercing shriek that would be visible to the player as sound waves. Should they hit the player, the bat shrieks again, calling over more enemies after confirming their is an enemy nearby. It’d be a dream come true if his piercing shriek could instill even 1/10 the fear caused by the “!” exclamation from MGS!
One of the enemies that may be called in is that of the Rhino enemy type. The Rhino enemy is a powerful beast that comes to “clean up” but can be easily overwhelmed by his own aggression. The Rhino has poor vision from afar but has great stopping power. His head is his shield, so if you find an opportunity to strike from the front, take it and deter his vision! Otherwise, bait the Rhino to charge at you like a bull and let him crash into a wall. There’s a chance that his head/shield may get stuck into a wall or even reveal a secret area!
Design wise, this one I took more creative freedom with. When I envisioned a Rhino, I imagined that a charging Rhino was both the perfect offense and defense. I then pictured an enemy holding a shield with a horn and shoulder charging and from there, eliminated the head to create a ghostly look.
The cast of baddies are all altered by the Djinn, so I got the excuse to create crazy, fun, and weird enemies, and specifically create a world where I could use their “old world version”. For example, the Owl enemy is designed in silhouette to stand/stay perched like a real world owl, which might otherwise look strange in this game world where there could easily be an owl anthromorphized much like Mirza and Yamini being anthro versions of a jackal and fox.
So there you have it! Hope you guys like an early look at the baddies you’ll be facing in your journey! I’ve got a ton more concepts and illustrations of more enemies and obstacles for the journey, but I’ve gotta keep them close to the chest to give you some nice surprises if this thing ever gets off the ground!
Next week, we’ll look at world building, mostly through characters that help in the game either through play or story, or even both. Hope you had a lovely weekend and hope you enjoy the coming week! Until next time, *smooch*