Thursday, October 30, 2014

Boss Battle Analysis

From one of my favorite games of all time, I'm choosing the boss fight from Darksiders 2 when Death has to fight Samael. Not only is it one of the absolute coolest fights, but it has some interesting "BADASS" things that happen.

The Player is first introduced to the room with Samael sitting on his throne. After a long cutscene, the fight ensues.

The room itself is pretty neat. It's Samael's throne room, which is a pit of flame, lava, and the demonic architecture that is present in Darksiders 2. It's divided into two areas: a medium sized open Platform for the initial fight and the player, and the Throne platform. A retractable bridge connects the two, but is only present at certain times during the fight.

How does this fight integrate the mechanics?

I feel as though this fight addresses Darksiders 2's most valued mechanic directly: dodging.
Samael has many abilities that require the player to dodge-roll at the right time. If they mess up on the timing, they take heavy punishment. It's tricky to get it right in this fight, but challenging and fun!

There is a certain feeling of flow in this fight, that once the player gets his dodging and knowing when to attack right, you feel rewarded.


The Lord of the Black Stone: Samael

Phase 1:

-Samael teleports on top of or near the player, doing various combos.
-He often teleports back to his throne and summons giant fireballs, which he then throws at the player.

Phase 1 ends when Samael's health reaches a certain point. After a small cutscene, the bridge is raised and you can walk up and attack Samael directly. He then casts you off and the coolest part of this entire fight happens...


Phase 2:

-Samael continues teleporting and his combos (but with a few extra stronger attacks).
- He teleports to his throne, then he spawns explosions underneath the player. To avoid dieing, the player must keep moving using the dodge mechanic.

Then cue awesome cutscene.

The entire level layout helps enhance the whole "limited but open space" dodging mechanic. It also gives a clear separation for the player and Samael when he throws his fireballs.


Monday, October 6, 2014


Hey guys! This is a concept I'm pitching for my game design class.

-A game by Walker Paulsen

A jump across the stars to reunite the two lovers!

A long time ago, there existed two ethereal beings named Mharko and Khael, who drifted through the cosmos together. Every day their love for each other would grow stronger, and they lived a happy existence in each other's arms. One day, however, a pink wormhole appeared out of the darkness and dragged the lovers into it's depths. Once inside they became separated and ended up on far sides of a star nebula. Mharko immediately tried to reach out to Khael, but noticed that the gravity on this side of the wormhole was much denser, causing him to remain grounded. In his moment of despair, a blue star fell upon him, lifting him from the ground. With lifted spirits, Mharko jumps across the nebula clouds, collecting the blue stars to keep him afloat until he finally reaches his lover. Once reunited, they will finally be together forever and nothing will separate them again.

A bit about Mharko:

- He's an Ethereal being, an entity made up of the energy of the stars.
- He is in the shape of a full grown man.
- He glows blues and whites like the stars do.
- He will do anything to reach Khael, the one he loves.

  • Star-Crossed is a bittersweet side-scroller set in a nebula cloud, where you play as an ethereal being named Mharko trying to find his long lost lover whom he was separated from in the vastness of space. The only way to reach him is through the energy of the small stars that are left in the cloud that propel him forward. Will Mharko be reunited with his lost love Khael

  • Mharko and Khael are both ethereal beings of the cosmos. This means that they are able to move through space with the power of their will. However, the zone that Khael and Mharko were trapped in has a much denser gravity, making it nearly impossible to traverse the cloud. Inside this cloud, there exists blue stars which are made up of the nebula's energies. These stars have the power to lighten any who touch them. Mharko must use these to move across to Khael.

1. Mharko's ability to stay afloat is powered by the floating blue stars.
2. Red stars increase gravity and take away Mharko's ability to fly.
3. Towards the end of the level, the gas cloud columns slam shut every once in a while, forcing the player to make a choice of when to move.

Quick obstacle sheet: