The Gameplay Design of Nevermore - Sam

So here we are at last, the very last playable character in our series of gameplay design posts. It’s been quite a ride thus far, and we’d like to take a brief moment to extend our most heartfelt thanks to all of you who’ve been taking some time to read these posts every week, it’s quite the honor to see you guys taking interest in our project!

So, this one is a rather interesting character, perhaps the most unusual in the cast. He’s a rather quirky fellow, but one with an immense heart and an intellect to match. My good friends from around the world, say hello to our skilled yo-yo fighter, Sam.

So, one might wonder what exactly is his specialty considering his rather unusual choice of weaponry. His yo-yos provide him with a rather good reach, but his direct combat skills aren’t exactly prime choice, with relatively short combos and low damage attacks overall. His movement options aren’t anything to write home about either. The true way to make Sam shine is, however, through an often common mechanic in beat’em ups that we decided to employ as the focal point of his gameplay style: Grabbing.


This move is where it all begins. This is the most basic special attack in Sam’s move set and, while it deals no damage on its own, it allows Sam to grab an unsuspecting foe and enter into what we’ll be calling “grab stance” from now on.

Crappy Programmer Art 01 — Sam’s yo-yo grab

The successful use of this move opens up a sleigh of options that Sam can utilize depending on the current situation. Once a foe is hit with this move, it’ll be completely immobilized for a while, until it manages to either break free or some other condition causes it to be released.

It’s punishment time

This is a rather simple and straightforward attack that can be used after Sam enters grab stance. By using it, he can punish his defenseless foe by continuously causing damage for a while, releasing the foe after a couple of hits.

Crappy Programmer Art 02 — Sam’s yo-yo punishment

While the use of this move keeps Sam completely defenseless while beating the living daylights out of his foe, it’s the overall most damaging option Sam has to use against a single foe, so it should be ideal for use against solo opponents, or mixed in with some of his other abilities.

Yo-yo expertise

Holding an enemy captive comes as a bit of a two-edged sword, since while it does allow you to completely immobilize an enemy, it renders Sam himself completely motionless and, thus, rather defenseless. Still, having an enemy in his grasp does give him a rather interesting option to deal with incoming dangers. One thing about Sam’s gameplay philosophy that we wanted to capitalize on was the idea of using his opponents against each other, and you can see that aspect in a couple of his attacks, like this one.

Crappy Programmer Art 03 — Sam’s yo-yo power trick

This is a move that allows Sam to deal with approaching foes by performing a yo-yo trick against those incoming threats using the captive opponent. The attack deals damage to both captive foe and any others it hits, and can be performed multiple times to any side, so Sam can cover both flanks effectively. This move also has an alternative version that can be used against airborne enemies, allowing him to defend against incoming aerial threats as well.

You spin me right round

While that’s all fine and dandy, there are some times where your opponents are just too far away for you to reach. Or maybe you just need to let go of your grabbed opponent right away in order to avoid enemy fire. For those cases, Sam’s got you covered with this one nifty special move.

Crappy Programmer Art 04 — Sam’s yo-yo throw

With this move, he can hurl your grabbed foe towards another opponent, or just in whatever general direction you desire, spinning like a tornado that can hit both aerial and grounded foes. This move deals considerable damage to any opponents hit by the spinning enemy, and it also damages the enemy itself, making it a good finisher move after mixing up some of his other moves.

That’s a wrap, folks! With this post, we’ve finally covered the gameplay style of all of our playable characters. We sincerely hope you guys have enjoyed exploring this aspect of the game with us, and we’ll see you all next week for another round of Nevermore!

Renato Simonassi Saliba - Game Designer, Writer, Programmer

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