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OXALIS is a virtual remote ranger application 路 By 01010111

What influenced the game

A topic by Arks馃挗 created Jan 02, 2022 Views: 220 Replies: 2
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Can you tell us a little about the influences of this game? What inspired the setting and design? Cause it looks really interesting.


Of course!

So this game has sort of evolved from an idea that my friend and I had worked on years ago for a cyberpunk game jam. We were both big fans of Valkyria Chronicles and wanted to make a game where you controlled robots in an office building doing espionage and fighting other robots. That specific game never got made, but I came back to the idea every couple of years. 

In early 2021 I was asked if I'd like to make a game for Indiepocalypse, and I definitely did because I really love that project! I started making a game where you played as an archer and could stack power ups to get through levels. It was coming along really well until someone showed me the game Wildfire, which has a lot of similar mechanics and looked way nicer, so the wind kind of left my sails.

This sort of coincided with a few emerging interests I was having - wanting to revisit that robot game, wanting to revisit making a faux 3D game using sprite stacking, and wanting to revive a turn based game I was working on recently, but using a drastically different aesthetic. I sort of threw all my free time into pursuing these for a bit and oxalis began to emerge.

If you look at most of my games, you'll notice I really love working with the Pico 8 palette - I love fun and bright looking games and a lot of my games are pretty carefree and light. Recently though I've been working on a stealth game that I wanted to give a grittier feel, so I had been working with Arne's Psygnosia palette. I've been loving that one so much that I just started using it for oxalis. One thing that the sprite stacking sort of influenced was the scale of things - in previous iterations of the robot game, a robot would maybe be 3 or 4 feet tall, in oxalis they're more like 10 meters or so - this is because doing high detail objects like a desk with a computer, mouse, keyboard, etc is way tougher to render, and the walls felt so small unless they all had a ridiculous amount of slices, so scaling up the robots solved everything.

Once the robots were larger, it really started looking like a Front Mission game, and I'm a huge fan of Front Mission IV so I kind of leaned into that with the UI elements. Ideally I'd like to rework the UI, because I'd like it to have a more unique UI to give it a stronger identity, but for now I'm happy to give people that association because the missions are very combat oriented and it's probably a really good short hand to say "hey maybe if you liked that robot strategy game you might enjoy this one".

Another big influence on this game is the game Uplink. I'd really like a more full version of this game feel more like Uplink than anything else. The scope of this version didn't really allow a lot of that - you can kind of see it in the menu feeling a little bit like an operating system to give the player the sensation that you're not playing AS the robots but you're playing as a person at a computer controlling the robots remotely.

I'm on my phone so I'm sorry for any mistakes! I might add some images later and make this a devlog for kicks 馃槀


In case you missed it, I added a bit and posted it as a devlog! Thanks for the inspiration for it!