Gongbat (Devlog 006) – Like, Zoinks! Groovy New Characters

Gongbat (Devlog 006)

Gongbat is bearing the shark-week costume, “Bruce,” pictured above.

“This is Heavy, Doc”

There may actually be something wrong with the Earth’s gravitational pull after the immense tons of concept work of late builds up and causes a rupture in North America’s tectonic plate. All joking aside, the past couple weeks of development have kept myself very busy with conceptualizing interesting species, spiritual entities, locations, new protagonists as well as antagonists, and design updates. The major screenplay is also flowing together slowly but surely. And as for the usual code renovations, headaches pursue, for only a short while under lack of coffee consumption. All work and no beans makes Zack a dull boy.

Aderus Caverns - New Species

A rough sketch detailing new mystic species that will be found busy living in the Aderus Caverns.

“Life uh…. Finds a way”

-into our dimension, to say the least. Many of the creatures that occupy Etaera, or the world in which Gongbat takes place, came through not-easily-explainable (unless by chaos theorist Ian Malcolm) rips in space-time. They are species with completely different biological makeup, as observed by fictional scientist Drell Coomer. Known to be extremely hard to kill- usually dying only from old age-, possessing abilities only spiritually applicable, and coincidentally historically isolated to the newly colonized Etaera, humans have classified these lifeforms as “Mystics.” They breath without atmosphere, float as we fall, and most lack an ability to freeze or burn. Some say mystics came to our world as watchful protectors, whereas others view them as demonic and evil.

Attempting to inject the spiritual “hotspots” littered around the tiny planet with mystic life, I have spent the past couple weeks designing characters and species filling roles anywhere as small as a split-second cameo, to a pivotal creature with full backstory. A herbivorous bear-like mammal with elongated limbs, taking inspiration from that of a Ground Sloth, that grows organic gems upon its back, will now live alongside other creatures in Aderus. Tiny “Gozermites” are a rabbit/insect melding that usually only act as a minuscule part of the cavern’s food chain. Tall and lanky “Mistwalkers” are wise, long-living crustaceans who seize highly energetic powers used to promote peaceful growth. These are just a few examples of new lifeforms being added to the game. And in case you didn’t know yet, our main antagonist, Hark, yeah- he blames them all for his misfortunes.


Gongbat - Main Protagonists

Rough concept artwork (work in progress) showing off the main protagonists found in the Gongbat storyline.

Lone-Wolf, No More!

Finally, the Gongbat will no longer fly alone throughout this perilous journey. He is now joined by this team of four other main protagonists, all with varying roles, rhyme, and reason. Comet is a young and inexperienced mystic that contributes a relate-able and comedic overtone. He is the Gongbat’s major sidekick throughout the main storyline, willing to help in almost any situation. Previously mentioned Siren is the Gongbat’s mate, a ying-to-his-yang of sorts. She holds the same trans-mutative capabilities and protects weaker spirits from danger. Knix is the leader of the Aderus Bats, a powerful warrior who lost a wing in battle with the Gegasaur, but now wields a robotic arm. He holds a long rivalry with the Gongbat, believing that the “black sheep” of sorts only brings trouble to his colony. Surf is a tiny spirit looking to overcome his weakness in size in order to help save spirits stolen from Aderus. This small but mighty Gozermite will truly shine late in the game.


Level Select - Overworld Redesign

Small thumbnails showing an early concept of the level selection screen to appear in Gongbat.

One Step at a Time

Level Select - Areas Now Divided

Quick concepts for the five main areas in Gongbat, now to be divided into nine playable level sections (~5 minutes a piece).

Now for the boring stuff. Due to the current structure and length of levels found in Gongbat, something has to be done once story-line improvements are made. The ultimate decision found will partition each of the five areas found in the game (Aderus Caverns, Sil Scrap, Trinity Towers, New Metro, and the Museum) into nine playable sections/levels. This will keep each chapter’s complete playtime under five minutes, making this story-driven beast as mobile friendly as possible. This also means that the enhanced bossfights found in the game will be divided and found every three levels or so. Sadly, the final product may no longer be toted as a boss-run of sorts, although the popular Survival Arcade mode will surely still be active for those who may be disappointed.

The good news lies in the planned story level selection screens. Drawing inspiration from other titles such as Super Mario or Cuphead, the level select will now show an over-world view in which players can fly from point to point as they please. Now you will receive a visual representation of where exactly things are happening on Etaera. This also offers support for planned additions in each of these areas, such as side-mission offshoots, Easter eggs and more.


And that concludes this edition of the never-ending Gongbat Devlog! I hope that everyone enjoys these updates as much as I do writing them. Don’t fret, there are a lot of wizardly epic things in the works. I am planning to share a lot of the spoiler-y screenplay for those interested in the coming weeks as well. Also continue checking up on the Official Gongbat Wiki– I am adding and refining pages every day.

 

Your friendly neighborhood game developer,

-Zack

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