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A short article about enemies' design and inspiration.

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When I started to think about enemies, I looked at the main theme of the game: a mop who fights aliens using soap. This gave me some freedom with the look of the enemies and helped me a lot considering my so limited art skills.

The main inspiration has been the alien character from The Simpsons:


For the sake of simpler animation I removed tentacles and added a couple of very stylized feet, and tried to give the alien a dumber expression. This is the result the efforts of one year ago. I tried a couple of times to re-design this art, but I'm kind of attached to the original sketch…

The basic green alien

  • HP: low
  • Attack: ranged (one projectile)
  • Damage: low
  • Spell: none
  • Special abilities: none

Then it’s been easy to recolorize the original alien and add a couple of details to easily obtain more enemies:

The blue alien

  • Hp: medium
  • Attack: melee
  • Damage: medium
  • Spell: none – green smoke – purple blasts (depending on the level, will differentiate the three versions soon)
  • Special abilities: Immune to soap bubbles thank to a red energy shield

The laser blaster

This is more a kind of mechanic considering that is not damageable, but I like to include it in the enemies because of its aspect.

  • Hp: N/A
  • Attack: ranged (pink laser)
  • Damage: High
  • Spell: none
  • Special abilities: none

The red boss

  • Hp: high
  • Attack: ranged +melee
  • Damage: high
  • Spell: green smoke
  • Special abilities: Immune to soap bubbles thank to a red energy shield

The second section (levels 4 to 8) is set on a beach, so I enriched the model with a sub suite to obtain a water themed alien.

The water alien

  • HP: low
  • Attack: ranged (three projectiles)
  • Damage: low
  • Spell: none
  • Special abilities: none

At this point the enemies looked almost all equal, so I tried to sketch some different shapes to add some totally different villains. Trying to get inspiration from the water theme, and from tropical carnivore fishes, I ended up with a sort of pirana.

Pirana

  • Hp: low
  • Attack: melee
  • Damage: low but with high rate
  • Spell: none
  • Special abilities: sticks to the player and continues to bite

Following the same theme, I also designed the final boss of the second section, a giant evil pulpi:

Octopus

  • Hp: high
  • Attack: melee + ranged
  • Damage: high but low rate
  • Spell: purple blasts
  • Special abilities: Immune to soap bubbles

So I added some variation, but the enemies were still being a little monothematic from a gameplay point of view: they had almost the same abilities, just mixed differently. I really needed some gameplay variation in the fights, so I tried to design a couple more enemies which could add some more “spice” to the combat sessions.

Spiky

  • Hp: medium
  • Attack: melee, bounce off the player
  • Damage: low
  • Spell: none
  • Special abilities: Explodes the soap bubbles thank to its spikes

Flying little pulpi (aka head of d…)

  • Hp: low
  • Attack: ranged
  • Damage: low
  • Spell: none
  • Special abilities: Flies!

The last two new enemies added a lot of variation to the gameplay, especially if you consider the several combinations that can be done with other villains: a spiky in front of a green ranged alien forces the player to avoid the bullets instead of simply cast bubble continuously, while a flying pulpi together with a blue melee alien forces the player to interrupt an attack to avoid the projectiles. I’m afraid that sometimes I exaggerated with the difficulty, especially when I tried to combine environmental threats and enemies, but this is something a good playtesting should address.

I have a couple more ideas to implement and playtest, but for these two first ambiences I think I reached a good variety. Perhaps now it's time to renew and differentiate the green-blue-red enemies’ art!

Cheers

SirLuke

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