Developed over 6 weeks half-time using our in-house engine TGA2D and Tiled as a Level Editor.
Reference game: Zelda: A Link To The Past
Top Down Perspective
A challenge that is especially prominent in Top Down games is good verticality as they can often feel flat and boring.
We came up with several gameplay moments which utilized verticality in different ways. This gave the feeling of a more dynamic world and allowed us to foreshadow and lead the player during gameplay. An example is having a locked door on the level above to indicate that a key must be found and make sure that the player sees the door even though they haven’t specifically gone there to investigate.
Bridges was especially powerful as it gives the player a sense of depth and progression.
As a team we wanted to create an open world game, but with a relatively short scope this was hard to do. We found many ways to provide player agency by opening up the world for exploration and providing optional pickups which would help during combat and dungeon.
The objective of the game is to find all the needed ingredients and stack them up in the village. Which order these ingredients was to be picked up in didn’t matter, creating a lot of player agency and choice.
To keep the experience fun and navigateable we divided the world into different clearly recognizeable biomes and areas.
It was important for us to first sketch out the levels on paper to save time. This let us do major changes in minutes and helped the team figure out what needed to be done.
Our approach this project was to quickly build up the world to be able to playtest and start iterating early. This helped the whole team see what still had to be done and how far gone the project was.
The pictures below show the three first versions of the first dungeon in the game. This helped make the building process much quicker aswell.