Over the past weeks, we've focused on Eclipsed's game concept and narrative and revealed our first environment concept art studies. It is now time to focus on one of the most important parts of game design: game mechanics and gameplay.
In Eclipsed, these two issues are intrinsically connected to Aelizia's story. Her life changes when, after manifesting both Light and Shadow abilities, she becomes a threat to the ruling family. To survive, she must escape them using the same abilities that condemned her. These two abilities give Eclipsed's players two different gaming experiences: a confrontational one, where players attack guards with rays of light and are able to move forward, and a stealth one, where players merge with shadows to pass by without being detected. Naturally, players can also alternate between abilities, using one or the other according to their preferences or the situation in front of them.
When it comes to developing our game mechanics, we started with the Light ability, which lets players use a light ray to stun the guards, allowing Aelizia to move forward in the map without the remaining guards being warned.
This ability has two main parts: the aim, where players move the mouse around to choose the exact place they want to target, and the throw, that is, the actual launching and impact of the projectile, which in this case is a light ray.
We started the aim development with the appearance of the crosshairs in the HUD and a slight zoom in which focuses on the target, helping players have a better aim. In addition to the zoom itself, the camera's position is also adjusted so that Aelizia doesn't interfere with the action. Furthermore, "leaving" the aim mode happens much faster than entering it, to ensure a more fluid gameplay with a fast transition between the aim and Aelizia's "escape".
Every time players enter the aim mode, a light ray is instantiated. If that light ray isn't thrown, it is eliminated and disappears when players leave the aim mode. When the ray is thrown, players have to wait 3 seconds until they are able to throw the next light ray.
When players are aiming at the target, the camera moves according to Aelizia's movement, which, in turn, is conditioned by the location where players are aiming at.
As mentioned, in aim mode the camera's position is adjusted so that players can have a better perception of where they're aiming at. Furthermore, while aiming, Aelizia cannot run. If players press the key to run when they're "leaving" aim mode, Aelizia will immediately go from walking to running.
If guards are hit straight in the head, they will be immediately stunned. However, hitting another area means that more light rays will be needed to knock out the guards. The light rays effects on the guards haven't been implemented yet, since they will only be developed when we move on to our guard's AI prototype.
As you can see, this is only a prototype of our Light ability game mechanic, so it still has to be "polished", especially when it comes to the animations (which are only temporary placeholders) and the UI elements (which will be studied and updated), but we believe it's a very accurate representation of what will be implemented in the final build of game.
Next, we'll be moving on to Aelizia's concept art development. As the protagonist of the game, she represents the soul of Eclipsed, so whatever decisions are made regarding her style will be the foundation of many of the remaining art style choices.