DevLog #12 – Shoot and smash your way among bullets

Hello everyone! Last week, we gave an overview of the core gameplay loop of “Project Stasis”. Today, let’s talk about the fast-paced aspect of the game: fighting. We will present the main mechanics, and illustrate that with a lot of GIF!

Shield or armor? or both?

The player starts with a certain amount of health point that they should try to keep above zero for their whole journey in order to reach the final boss and win the run. Getting hurt consumes health points. However, we introduced two mechanics that influence the amount of damage the player receives.

  • Armor points absorb part of the damage. For instance, if you get hit for 10 but have 6 armor, then you only lose 4 heath points. Simple, right? Well, there is more depth to this mechanic, but we’ll come to it later in this post.
  • Shield absorb bullets, very similarly to what you can find in the game FTL. When a bullet hits you, one barrier point of your shield gets down and takes some time to reload. The more barrier point your shield has, the more reckless you can get since you won’t take any damage until all of them are down. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Actually, this is not entirely true either, but you get the basic idea 🙂

Of course, enemies can have armor and shields too. Besides, shields only protect from bullets, enemy contact attacks or falling into the void can still hurt you.

First bullet is absorbed by the shield (but not the second one)

Gun and bullet types

You get to fight with your weapon that can hold up to 5 modes. You start with the first mode that fires normal bullets. They behave as explained above with armor points and shields. Beside your limited clip that forces you to reload regularly, you have infinite ammo in this mode.

However, you can unlock other modes in shops, which grant you access to alternative bullets. These act differently and come with limited ammo, so you’d better not waste them (or spend a lot of crystals to buy more of them). Let’s review the first two of them:

  • Piercing bullets ignore shields, but armor better counteracts their damage. For instance, 5 armor points will actually reduce the damage value by 6.
  • Heavy bullets behave like normal bullets against shields, but they almost ignore armor. For example, 5 armor points will reduce the damage only by 1.

Bullet types, armor and shields are designed so that each system presents both strengths and weaknesses to force strategical decisions.

Shooting normal (yellow circle), piercing (blue triangle) and heavy (pink rectangle) bullets

Jump, double jump and dash

We already talked about jumping in a previous devlog where we explained why we implemented a manual jump and not an auto-jump. Since then, we increased the jump strength and added a double jump so that players can reach more easily higher grounds. You also have a dash ability to quickly burst forward while being invincible. You can use it to move faster, dodge bullets or escape enemies. It however needs to reload after use so you can’t chain dash.


Smash that ground

We mentioned players have a gun to shoot at enemies. Nonetheless, your bullets don’t change height so you can only hit enemies at similar altitude to yours (or slightly lower because we added a subtle homing effect). Isn’t that frustrating, since all the game takes place on multi-height islands? Well, we got you covered! You also have the ability to initiate a smash down attack. You will fall quickly to the ground and inflict damage to nearby enemies while also pushing them away from you. Similarly to the dash, it takes a short time to reload before you can use it again. So, you’d better double jump to get high and then hit enemies hard with your smash—then dash away and shoot bullets at them. Or make any other nice move you come up with.

Double jump, then smashing

Other stats and equipment items

We will talk more about leveling up in the next devlog, but let’s have a few word about it here. You have stats that determine your max hp, armor points, number of shield barriers, gun damage, knockback, critical hit chance, accuracy and a few other more.

Status menu

Spending crystals will allow to make some direct upgrades, but also indirect ones through equipping items. Equipment may impact your stats, but also introduce some unique—and more fun— modifiers. For instance, your bullets can get some explosive power and deal area damage. Or they can bounce against walls, travel with weird trajectories. The floorplan of the archipelago can be revealed in your map. Or your smash can summon a ring of powerful falling spikes around you. We currently have 24 items in the game, but we will implement many more.

Smash with a ring of spikes
Bullets with the flak and wave modifiers

This is it for today’s devlog! We hope you liked it, and thanks for reading this far! See you in the next one!