The Gameplay Design of Nevermore - Scarlet

Following up from last week’s post, we’re moving onto the second character from our main cast. After covering the very basics of our combat system with Kyle, we wanted a character that would provide a combat experience analogue to his, but from a different and very important angle. In a sense, you could say that this is the second pillar of our game’s combat system, one that exists as a complement to regular, ground-based combat.

So, without further ado, We’d would like to present you our soaring, graceful aerial warrior. Ladies and gentlemen, let us give a warm welcome to Scarlet.

So, one thing you might notice as we start detailing her move set is that she works somewhat similarly to Kyle. As an aerial counterpart to his ground-based style, we wanted to keep some aspects of both characters consistent, yet still give each of them a unique enough flavor to make them feel different. So, let us begin with two moves that work rather similarly some in Kyle’s arsenal.

Mastering aerial mobility

Crappy Programmer Art 01 — Scarlet’s aerial dash attack

One of Scarlet’s main advantages is, of course, her ability to effectively deal with aerial foes. For this reason, she requires tools in her move set that will allow her to quickly reach these enemies in order to initiate her assault with long aerial combos. This aerial dash attack allows her to quickly close the gap between herself and her opponents and begin her assault quickly afterwards.

Caption: Crappy Programmer Art 02 — Scarlet’s aerial dodge

Being an aerial master allows Scarlet to take defensive action while in the air with greater ease. Analogue to Kyle’s dodge dash move, Scarlet’s aerial dodge allows her to move through enemy attacks unharmed for part of the move due to the presence of invincibility frames. Still, once this move is performed, no other moves or attacks may be used until she lands on the ground again, so the player should be careful with their timing when using it.

Never touch the ground

Jumping is a base mechanic present in games from a wide variety of genres. Platformers, first person shooters, character action games, fighting games, quite a few of them feature characters capable of jumping. As with any feature, it exists for a reason, and this reason can vary greatly depending on the kind of game. In our game, jumping exists primarily not only as a means to reach targets that cannot be harmed from the ground, but it also serves as an evasive action.

Being airborne configures a series of advantages. Since most of the combat proper happens on the ground, being in the air allows a character to avoid a considerable variety of dangerous situations. Approaching a primarily grounded enemy from the air is, more often than not, a safer strategy. For that reason, Scarlet has the following moves at her disposal.

Crappy Programmer Art 03 — Scarlet’s air-to-ground dash attack

Both of these moves share the same base principle. With a little precision, they allow Scarlet to remain on the offensive while enjoying relative safety from the height difference between her foe’s position and hers. Once she hits a foe, she will bounce off, allowing her to either try and repeat the move on the same foe, or target another one in the close vicinity.

Taking the fight to the sky

The last thing to be addressed with Scarlet is the fact that, due to her aerial combat focus, she will often find herself woefully unprepared to fight against grounded foes. Much like Kyle, Scarlet will function better when she’s able to meet enemies in her element, so her longer and more damaging combos can only be performed while she’s in the air. Thankfully, she has one particular move in her arsenal that allows her to quickly and easily take the fight to new heights.

Crappy Programmer Art 04 — Scarlet’s rising staff attack.

This attack functions mainly as a launcher. While it can be used against any foe, be it grounded or in the air, to deal damage, the primary function of this attack is to launch a grounded foe into the air ALONG with Scarlet. This should be enough to put Scarlet in the perfect position to follow up with a devastating air combo against most foes, although it should be noted that not all foes can be launched, so relying on this move for all situations might not be advisable.

That should wrap it up for Scarlet’s aerial combat gameplay design. As with last week, we’d like to reiterate that none of the moves being presented here are set in stone, so things may still be added, removed or modified should the need present itself. Once again, we hope you guys enjoyed this post, and see you all next time. Peace out!

Renato Simonassi Saliba - Game Designer, Writer, Programmer