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Dogma: Child of the Fallen is a 2D metroidvania game that follows the adventure of Ashwyn, an adventurer that finds herself stuck in a dream-like scenario where she must traverse through a mysterious cave. Fight enemies that stand in her path, gain new abilities to help her advance, and learn of why she was brought there. Inspired by Hollowknight. Click the image above to play! Below is our sizzle reel.

Role

Artist, animator, video creation, production co-lead

Tools Used

Unity, AnyPortrait, Ferr2D, Clip Studio Paint, Photoshop, Premiere

Designing Enemies

The way we decided to tackle enemies' visual designs were to follow the descriptions and behaviors of each enemy that one of the game designers laid out. From there, I would look for images for inspiration and create moodboards for each enemy. Then I'd consult the team to ask for which images spoke more to them for the enemy's visuals, and then I'd make a few concept sketches of designs that I would again have the team give feedback on which they liked more. After that, I'd adjust their design and make the final asset to be animated and used in-game.

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Animations

As the only animator in the team, I wanted the animation process to be one that could be efficiently done and easily editable. I decided on doing some sprite spine animations as this would be the best method, and I used a Unity add-on called Anyportrait that acts very similarly to things like Spine2D and Live2D. When animating the main characters, Ashwyn and Lore, since they're both dogs I took into mind the ways that dogs typically move such as their eye twitches and tail wagging to add some personality. For the enemies comprised of shadows, I animated them in a way would convey some kind of squishy-ness and wavy-ness, so jiggle bones were heavily utilized.

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Backgrounds

Since our game takes place in a cave, we wanted to have the background still read as a cave but not only be a repeating rock wall tile. As we were using the Unity add-on Ferr2D, we had the ability to create unique and modular tilesets that weren't just square tiles. We wanted the background to have parallax and feel like there were some distant rock structures in the back. I created a tileset that could be used to create different rocky structures that had stalactites and stalagmites, as well as a tileset that could create rock pillars for more varied structures. I made them all white so that their colors could be easily changed in editor to whatever color palette we wanted. To add more interesting elements other than rocks, I created environment set pieces that harked back to our original level ideas (a lava swamp, a crystal factory, and a mushroom galaxy). I also was in charge of making murals to help with visual storytelling in-game, and I wanted them to look like simple cave paintings that someone left behind to tell a tale.

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Challenges and Takeaways

Initially, the team wanted to do way more levels, enemies, and bosses which was way over what our team of 5 could do. Over the course of our capstone, we steadily scoped down all our content into a smaller game that condensed all of our initial ideas into smaller levels. As an artist/animator on the team, I learned a lot about enemy designing that starts from the game design, as well as animating simplified characters in a way that expressed the type of being that they are. I think our game has come a long and good way from our initial prototype and overscoring at the beginning, and the team feels proud of what we all accomplished.

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