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In the previous post, I mentioned that the initial design for a Lang-caste Nasonovian wasn’t particularly good (mostly because I got lazy and didn’t want to draw any more arms). I mentioned then that I had a better idea that I liked more.
Soprano Lang is a young girl and a combat prodigy. She has much to learn under the tutelage of the academy instructors and even the Hornet herself, but her quick-thinking and dedication to her craft offers her a promising career (Is that a thing people say?). She does have her mischievous side, however, and doesn’t hesitate to prank almost anyone around her.
Nasonovian children are extremely fluffy, almost to the point of obstruction. Many don’t wear clothing until later in their lives, once their fur becomes more manageable. Soprano, as a soldier-in-training, wears modified chest armor designed to fit comfortably around her childhood fluff. Originally, I tried to design her armor to make her look more like a bullet, but I didn’t know how to get it to look like how I envisioned it so I gave up.
I also drew her how she might look like in Hollow Knight: a ball of fur filled with sharp points and mischief.
As a unit in Starfall Dungeon, Soprano is a fast attacker with low health. Like Voyager, she has a massive variety of moves that allows her to function in a number of ways for the party.
It’s been a while since I’ve drawn Bass Hornet and others of her species. She’s part of my old trio with Stark Bar and Morritriole.
As a unit in Starfall Dungeon, Bass provides a passive buff to the rest of the party. This buff is improved when effecting other bee-based units. She doesn’t appear in the Honey Yard of the Forest region, however; she’ll only appear in a later region following plot developments alongside Stark and Morritriole.
Bass’s name was originally conceived when I’d been kicking around a music-based game concept but then more and more aliens kept getting added and then I shifted over to another game idea starring them and now they’re in this game because I have difficulties with committing and focusing. The name stuck throughout and I’ve decided that the “Hornet” part is an honorific denoting the queen. All others of her species follow this naming structure: a personal name followed by an honorific denoting their role.
I’m thinking that the general species name would be “Nasonovian”, after the Nasonov gland and pheromone that determines swarming behavior.
Bass sits at the head of a parliament that is evenly divided among castes, ages, and societal standing. She makes the final and impartial decision on all matters brought before the parliament. She also serves as the military commander; her tactics are brutal and efficient, designed to minimize any suffering that might befall her people.
Cool and impartial, but deeply caring for her subjects: this is the nature of a Hornet.
Physical appearance is controlled by diet, though it takes a few years for changes in diet to reflect in their bodies.
Opus is an Evert, a male of the species. I don’t remember where I got “Evert” from; I think that it involves the sex organs of bees? Regardless, Everts are small and tend towards intellectual pursuits, like bookkeeping or cartography.
As a unit in Starfall Dungeon, Opus primarily dabbles in healing and debuffs as his stats aren’t particularly great.
While Opus does fulfill his work as an Evert, he has big dreams of becoming strong and serving in a combat capacity like a Lang.
Langs are the general combat caste of the species. Almost twice as tall as Everts, they’re fast and strong with keen senses and reflexes. They are not restricted to combat only, however, finding roles throughout their society.
In Starfall Dungeon, the Honey Yard is primarily populated by a generic Lang but there would be a superior, named version also available. However, I’m not sure about Coda’s design. She’s a bit basic and would probably need more of an overhaul to separate her from the generic version beyond a missing arm and an eyepatch (Honestly? I was just tired of drawing arms).
I do have another Lang that I quite like the look of, which I will put up next.
Some notes on how obtaining units would work and on the first two region concepts.
The first is notes on how obtaining units would work and there were two schools of thought there. One was to go the mobile game route with the random gacha system like Fire Emblem Heroes or the core crystals in Xenoblade Chronicles 2… and then I remembered that I -ing HATE that system and I would rather knit my own organs into a sweater than make players rely on it.
The second is the Pokémon route where you capture units in the dungeon with items after damaging them enough. Dynamic and controlled, which is far more fulfilling in my opinion. Plus, there’s no reason why I can’t keep a chance for units to come from the item pools.
Also, there’s a brief note on another function for the barracks: a training room to practice attack timing.
Then there’s some quick notes on the first two region concepts: the Forest and the Industrial Zone.
Each region has a number of sub-regions that are decided upon when the level is first spawned. Each level has different probabilities for selecting the sub-region, making the more unique sub-regions more likely the farther into the overall region you’ve traveled.
Different regions have different unit pools, of course. Fey units like Coby only appear in the Fey Grounds and bee-like creatures, for whom notes will be added later, appear mostly in the Honey Yard.
Past the Industrial Zone, I thinking about:
- a sprawling cityscape with streets and alleys, roofs, and the docks as sub-regions
- a castle with corridors, dungeons, and ramparts as sub-regions
- caverns with simple stone, volcanic, glacial, luminescent, and etcetera sub-regions
- maybe some deific area with mythology themed units?
- space might be a thing I get to eventually, considering the “lore” I’m stocking up on
- I should add a river sub-region to the Forest region. Maybe also to the caverns…
I should do the notes for the dungeon entrance and the store? workshop? next. And there’s still another bee unit I want to design before moving on from that.
I’m still chugging along at this! Slowly and with a lurking sense of shame, but chugging.
It’s the return of Crispy Goods, one of the bosses of that platformer I was plugging away at, combined with an idea for one of the playable characters.
Crispy would be one of the earlier bosses in Starfall Dungeon, probably to initially serve as a roadblock for the tutorial section. It would eventually be able to be obtained as a unit for the player’s use. It’s less versatile than other units, due to its fourth skill slot being taken up by a transformation ability that shifts Crispy back into its boss form with a preset itinerary of skills.
Owls are always associated with wisdom and intelligence, when their massive and cylindrical eyes cause them to actually have rather small brains. Rather, their specialized feathers should give them an association with stealth and sneakiness, so here’s a ninja owl.
Avery is a bit too much like Breath of the Wild‘s Rito for my tastes, but I’m not super sure of how to go about revising his design.
Coby is a good boy.
Folklore says that the markings on corgis are caused by the saddles that the fey use to ride them. So I took my limited knowledge of fey sensibilities and applied that to an anthropomorphized corgi. The tree growing out of his back can change genus, shape, and size to provide a variety of effects. And, while Voyager maintains an intelligence similar to that of a Palico from Monster Hunter, Coby features intelligence equal to humans and vocabulary to match. His devotion to nature has made him many enemies.
For Starfall Dungeon, Coby features many abilities that allow him to function in a variety of roles, similarly to Voyager. His skills are based on significant trees in the world, such as the Kongeegen oak, the Centurion eucalyptus, and the Del Norte Titan redwood. His basic attack, Cloud 9 Boxing, is named after a type of dogwood.
Some notes on one of the other functions in Starfall Dungeon’s hub. The Mana Tree or whatever is magical and hooked into the world’s lifeblood or soaking energy from the Dungeon or blah blah blah. Whatever backstory I assign to this all lead to one function: at the tree, you refill Mana for delving into the Dungeon, heal hurt or incapacitated units, create potions for the dungeon, and upgrade all such related elements.
Healing takes place over the course of delving into the Dungeon; of course, if you want to heal a unit immediately, you can expend Mana to do so at the cost of not having full Mana upon entering the Dungeon next. Reviving a completely incapacitated unit takes place over two Dungeon runs and can also be done through expending Mana.
The other function of the Mana Tree would be creating and upgrading consumables. In terms of Creation, there’s: healing potions, very costly Mana potions, stat buffs, status cures… In terms of Upgrades, there’s: upgrading the permanent Health restoration item that refills after returning from the Dungeon, upgrading your maximum Mana capacity, and transforming lesser items into their superior forms.
Mana is used for a number of actions in the Dungeon. The primary use is allowing units to use skills during battle. Beyond that, Mana is needed to continue to the next floor; if you don’t have enough Mana, your run ends there and you return to the hub.
I touched on the inventory for a bit here. When I get to the notes on the entryway to the Dungeon, I’ll go into more depth there perhaps? I considered a grid-based inventory briefly but ultimately dismissed that notion because that’s an added level of complication that I just don’t care for.
Beyond that, when the player reaches the end of a floor, they get the option to send items that they’ve found back to the hub. They can’t restock, so this is just to clear room for the next floor’s items.
Is there really point, though? Does this even matter? I’ve started so many projects that fell by the wayside, no amount of planning is going to save my gormless, ADHD-ridden fat head.
Here’s some notes on the unit management system, or whatever. What does it matter, you know? I’ve started so many games and never finished any of them because I’m a horrible garbage boy with terrible ideas.
Anyways, the unit management scene provides a number of functions.
- Construct teams of four to enter the dungeon with. Positioning is important for the function of a number of skills. Certain skills function better in the back, such as healing, and others function better in the front, such as shielding.
- Units accrue Power Points that can be applied and reapplied at will to the unit to customize their skills, traits, and stats.
- Increasing stats allows the unit to generally handle later levels easier
- Strength – Damage dealt to enemies
- Health – Amount of damage that can be taken
- Speed – How often the unit can act and how long skills take to “cast”
- Mana? – A general reduction of mana usage? Or would this be best relegated to the skills themselves?
- Defense? – General damage reduction from attacks; Should I just rely on health and relegate damage reduction to traits?
- Skills can be upgraded and more powerful skills can be unlocked by spending points
- Reduce mana cost
- Increase damage
- Add additional effects
- Increase target range
- Skills can be selected for use in the dungeon
- Increasing stats allows the unit to generally handle later levels easier
- Materials found in the dungeon are used to add Power Points to units
- The more powerful a unit is, the higher the quantity and quality of materials that need to be used
- If a duplicate unit is obtained, it is converted instead into a Power Orb that can be used for an immediate Power Point
- I forgot to scribble down the notes on the functionality to equip units with items and gear and the such and the like and such
- Gear can provide significant stat boosts and traits without spending points
So, I continued revising Voyager’s design and I think this is about as good as I’m going to get with this. There was a slight alteration between the final sketch and the action pose because whatever the hell those booties are weren’t translating properly. I might put the paw pads back on her hands, though.
There are some areas in the action pose that need smoothing out; the neck brace and the bottom of the helmet come to mind. And that right leg is still all weird. I don’t know what to do about that. And her face could use some more work, too.
As for Starfall Dungeon, Voyager is the first unit you get. She’s faster than average with otherwise middling stats. Her greatest strength is that she can be extensively upgraded with higher stats and new abilities for a cheaper price than other units.
I’ll need to establish how upgrading works, as well as the units’ select screens and the like.