A side-scrolling, sprite-based platformer from a Brazilian game designer, Thiago Assumption, called Dragon Soul has taken flight on IndieGoGo. The developer is looking for $20,000 to complete his project that he started working on while studying computer science. The game is a throwback to the old-school titles on the NES or Sega Genesis, where simple reflexes and hand-eye coordination play a big part in completing the game.
The story revolves around a shaman’s apprentice who gains the ability to transform certain body parts into a dragon. This includes the ability to do strikes with a dragon claw, or use a dash attack with his dragon legs, or briefly glide with his dragon wings.
There’s a gameplay teaser demo showing off the character and some of his moves, as well as some of the platforming. You can check it out below.
Retro 16 bit side-scrolling platform game. Inspired by nostalgic classics as Metroid, Mario and Mega Man. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dragon-soul
There’s obvious potential but I think a lot of what’s holding the game back are the sprite animations and designs. I’ll be the first to say that sprite animation is not easy, not by a long shot. While pixel art is much easier to animate when you’re going for the whole 4-bit or 8-bit look, things get tough when you’re going for the 16-bit look. You have to add a heck of a lot more detail and the running animations are usually the one thing that hang up a lot of game designers (pro-tip: when animating 16-bit characters try to grab three real-life key frames of a sprinter from the side, one where their right leg is out front, one where both legs are close together and one where their left leg is out front. Using those key frames as reference frames helps a ton and allows you to fill out the rest of the animations a lot easier).
If the character sprites gain a bit more shading, and some of the animations are fixed up (especially the walk/run animations) I think Dragon Soul could definitely draw in the appeal of a wider audience. It’s not easy if you’re not an animator, but maybe Assumption can hire in an artist to help out in that arena.
Nevertheless, the concept isn’t bad and the idea of gaining new dragon abilities throughout the game would be a nice throwback to titles like Demon’s Crest. As far as the gameplay goes, the programming looks solid. The game physics and attacks seem to work properly and the platforming looks workable. The hardest part for most games is getting solid programming laid as the groundwork, so Dragon Soul at least has that part out of the way. As mentioned on the IndieGoGo page…
“Much of the game engine already is ready, along with their main functions: movement of the character and enemies, crash, damage, drop items and others.
“What did really remains to be completed in the project is the artistic part, creating more sprites and images. It will also be invested on the part of audio. Sounds and music of the game.”
You can learn more about the game by paying a visit to the IndieGoGo page