Project Flesh has been in development for about 6 months, it has been a huge test as a solo dev, and a much larger undertaking than i imagined, but from my experience this is common among devs. Last week while play testing I came across an issue I had not initially thought about, although I knew how the game should be played, what to do, what I wanted it to portray. To anyone playing without the dev physically next to them, the game was like walking through a thick fog, all the components there but no ability to see what to do with them. So over the past week I have been working hard making the game more accessible and explaining the mechanics in game and showing the player the core decision making of the game and providing incentive to carry on and helping the player not feel lost in a bad way in Project Flesh, all while keeping the atmosphere and immersion that I think makes the game. This prompted me to make an in depth look at the game, please enjoy.
Project Flesh is a 2D Rogue-like about a mutant worm under a nameless city trying to escape the sewers, by killing and gaining enemies body parts, and trying to find its creator.
What is the aim of the game ? what do you do ?
the aim is to escape and survive all of the 10 levels ( 5 levels and 5 boss rooms) getting stronger and stronger as it gets harder to survive the deeper into the pipes you get. Try your hand at finding hidden doors to find new dangers and treasures. To escape each floor you must find and fill a blood meter which will open a grid to the next floor.
Blood Meter -
Randomly generated floor overview -
Limb Replacement -
The main mechanic in Project flesh, upon killing enemies the player can attach their body parts, granting unique abilities and buffs. limbs can be replaced at anytime however this will destroy your current limb. There are 5 main types of pickups -
Eyes - eyes give you buffs and special effects, they do not affect your sight strangely enough, for example a bird eye will give you +1 speed or the snail eye will make passive mobs not run from you.
Arms - arms are one of the most important limbs in the game as they give you two new moves one for each arm, they can be mixed and matched and switched in and out. Any arm will greatly improve your block and for example a rat arm and bird arm will give you swipe, uppercut and punch.
Legs - legs are one of the fastest way to gain speed, but can also give you moves like stomp and jump which can be highly useful, or mix two legs to get greater speed and still get jump.
Mouth - another important limb as this upgrades your headbutt in some way either to a bite or just a larger attack, heavily increasing the damage you do. This will also give you a bit more range and if it is a carnivores mouth will allow you to eat body parts.
Items - These are not limbs but do affect the player or change his appearance like, slime, the spoon, intestines or syringes.
Food + Drops -
any item that is not pickup able that drops off a body can be eaten to regain health, if the player has a carnivorous mouth. For example the rat mouth can eat any body parts, but the frog mouth cannot, the frog mouth allows you to eat flies to regain health. Other methods of regaining health and gaining items and limbs not from bodies are through breakables and containers or the Shop.
Breakables and containers
Chest Tube - a science-y test tube container filled with green fluid and a random item, break it to release the item.
Heart Tube -a science-y test tube container filled with red fluid and a heart, break it to regain some health.
Incubation pod - egg sacs for incubating experiments, break them and an item or limb will appear in a splash of blood.
Puzzle Chest - Mainly found in hidden rooms a chest with a padlock, with the combination being an answer to a nearby puzzle, be careful, you only get 3 tries.
Vent - found in the back of some rooms, although they have a low chance of giving items, if they do it will most certainly be rare.
The shop is in every level, a huge bird hanging from the ceiling of a room, hooked up to a battery pack, if you have 5 coins and you press the button, a wave of electricity will shock the bird causing it to drop an item into the nest below. An old prototype version of this can be seen in the media section of the game.
Project Flesh's combat is much like a brawler but in a rogue like setting, However your move set is dependant on your limbs. the initial move set is just a headbutt, dash and block, but gaining limbs allows you get moves such as stomp, bite, swipe, punch, uppercut. You can also find items that will increase your dash speed or give you plus one to overall damage or speed. Limbs can be mixed and matched letting you create your own ideal move set and can be easily swapped out in the heat of battle, to give you an advantage over certain enemies. there are also combinations in the game, specific buffs for using a set, for example the full bird set or full snake, snake requires you obviously to have no legs and the snake eye or cobra eye and snake mouth, granting you a damage and speed boost.
A few of the enemies in Project flesh from left to right -
Cobra (Boss), Praying Mantis (Boss), Hedgehog, Rabbit, Snapping turtle, Toad(Boss), Bird, Failed Experiment 1, Snail, Worm (Player), Rat, Spider, Frog.
I am hesitant to show more of the bosses as I don't want to give too much away, but I am willing to briefly go into the praying mantis and show off his move set. The mantis is a 2 phase boss, with a quick sharp move set, and an unrelenting pace especially in its second phase, it has alot of health and armour and unsurprisingly should not be taken lightly, as it will tear down your health and shield in seconds.
The mantis has 4 main attacks a devastating lunge with both claws, swipes with both left and right claws in different combinations and a dash, shooting it towards you claws ready. The "dance" display at the end of the gif before is what mantis' do as an intimidation technique, in Project Flesh at half health this signifys its move into phase 2 where it is faster and more reckless so takes less time to attack, almost like it is enraged.
In Conclusion, I hope this article helped everyone understand a bit more about the game and how it works or why they should be interested, as said in the title the trailer will be coming out very soon complete with the first showcase of the games music and a lot more of the new gameplay, thanks for reading.