These drawings are some of the early ideas we had for finishers including the shoryuken (in the style of Worms), an area of effect blast, and a smaller range unidirectional attack. In the end, we settled on the current decision (inspired by the hammer in Smash Bros) because it allows the character using their finisher to have a larger window to eliminate multiple other characters.
The character for each person in the class is being designed by another random person in the class. The themed choices for the character avatar, generic melee attack, special ability, and double jump will be described in a high level manner and then translated into beautiful pixel art by Ben, Darian, and Tomas and converted to a balanced adaptation of those abilities by the programmers, Alvin and Marcus, and the functional systems designer, Pietro. Jesse B will consider the art, the abilities, and the gameplay to create an initial balance for the character, which I will help incorporate into the already existing library of characters and maintain when other characters are added. Peter will create environmental art with help from Natalie and work with the level designers Alex and Zac to make some awesome battle arenas.
Two previously undiscussed features were added today and they are important consequences of our design choices. The first is the knockback that occurs when one character hits another character. Knockback is required in a game like this, not only for visual stimulus/feedback, but also because of the way the power bars are charged. If two players were to walk up to each other and repeated spam their basic attack without moving the other person, then they would both reached special at nearly the same time; turning this game into a Mario Party button mashing mini-game where the fastest clicks per minute wins. (Not to bash Mario Party, one of my all-time favourites) The knockback separates the two player by moving the player who received the hit while the hitter gains power and stays stationary. The absence of knockback in certain situations also communicates that a move is uneffective or has been blocked. Collectables are another way to gain power for (a) characters who are are fighting against a character who has an advantage over them and (b) players who are not confident to rush into battle or know their enemy is holding the finisher until they get closer to each other.
I am excited to begin working on this project, the next stops are character creation and the first prototype. Go artists! Go programmers! Go team!