On this post we’re gonna talk about how our current game Protocorgi was conceived, a first glance into a description from of our brainstorming document dated June 10, 2013. It read as follows:
Corgi Shooter: parody of 80’s and 90’s shooters, based on different stages and systems from multiple shmups.
Our interpretation for this description is a game much like konami’s Parodius. After a year looking at our ideas we picked Protocorgi to expand on it, the core concept works around a Cyborg Corgi with the ability to change his shape and create a variety of weapons, think of it as one of the many characters from Transformers, My Life as a Teenage Robot or Space Patrol Luluco, among others.
On the beginning our idea for the game’s universe had a very lighthearted setting, this gradually changed into a darker and more bizarre one as we went on the writing of the GDD, with the only exception of the Corgi, which could still pass as a character from a Parodius game without looking out of place. One example of a bizarre enemy could be a giant human faced robotic fish boss.
Some examples of the core gameplay ideas written on the GDD are:
- Switch from multiple weapon paths, similar to the rotation between weapons in Gradius games.
- Evade impending doom absorbing bullet hits that could kill the player if the action is timed properly.
- The ability to stop time which immobilizes all hazards on screen.
At this stage we also used some Gradius assets to prototype some gameplay ideas for the different game mechanics. The first mockup of these game ideas looks like this:
Ancient mockup: Note the force-like powerup and the first iteration of multiple powerup paths.
At the end of 2015 we started to develop the first version of the game on our spare time using Unity but after many problems related to their 2D rendering engine and the need of engine patches or asset store plugins to fix pixel perfection, we decided to scrap it and move on to Godot Engine which works right out of the box for 2D pixel art games.
As today we’re working full time on the alpha stage of the game to showcase some of the different designed mechanics and to test their feasibility. From now on, we’ll be doing some “catchup” posts from the early Godot Engine era with the temporal borrowed Gradius assets to the current stage of development and some more detailed posts about the design of the game.