A downloadable game for Windows
Assets and sounds sourced from Itch.io, opengameart.org and youtube.
2D pathfinding system from https://arongranberg.com/astar/
Sacrifice is a game about losing yourself for your goals and whether it is worth it. The player controls a character who is locked in an endless attempt to reach their partner. As they fight through it their happiness takes damage in place of physical health. During the attempt to reach their goal they must sacrifice fractions of their soul, which reduces their total happiness but empowers them in other ways.
There were a few small inspirations for this project e.g. Mario (The goal is the same, to reach a person of interest. I have more on this in the future plans section), CoD Zombies (I always enjoyed the endless battling with ways to empower yourself to decrease difficulty), Enter the Gungeon (The style of top down shooting). I wanted to combine some of the ideas from these titles in a simple way, which is why I chose 2D instead of 3D. I didn't like the idea in that there was no end in Zombies, which is why I also took inspiration from Dead Cells. Dead Cells has an almost unending feeling to it, but requires the player to return to the beginning to actually complete the game. I tried to implement the same feeling in this game, by allowing the player to return and retain the increased power they had gotten so far. Although, they also retain the reduced happiness (More on this in future plans). I knew there had to be a reason to choose return or continue, so continuing for longer would increase your power but leaving would mean the earlier levels are easier. I used real life examples as an indicator to happiness and usefulness e.g. Giving up on a hobby you consistently take part in, would mean you are missing the enjoyment you normally get and your happiness would reduce. However, with extra time you can now reach the goal you were pursuing.
If I had more time I would have added more to the story, in that the partner the player is pursuing is always seen at the beginning of each boss fight (similar to how the princess in Mario moves after you reach them). They would be given the choice to sacrifice some of their soul to end the journey the player is on, and they would refuse. I think it would play into the idea of sacrificing for someone who is unwilling to do the same. In the same way, the other person has not seen the character sacrifice anything.
Ideally, I feel this game would benefit from a system of procedural generation in its levels, to really increase the length and usefulness of the return/leave mechanic. It would also remove some of the bore that comes with repeating identical levels continuously. There are currently only two enemies in the game, charmer and brute. The charmer is the representation of other people. If in a situation like I mentioned before (others unwilling to sacrifice), I would imagine that other people would become attractive and the thought of leaving your journey may become more prominent. That is the goal of the charmer, they use their ability to charm and lure the player to them to deal damage. The brute is used to push you away from your goal, as they want to keep your partner from you. I would definitely like to add more enemies into the game if I had more time.
The assets and sounds I used were mostly from different sources and didn't match so well, so I would like to have been able to spend more time looking for the right feel for the game and be able to incorporate animations more heavily. All the assets I thought were good had limited to no animation for characters, which leaves the game looking less interesting. I would also like to add more abilities for the player as currently there is only one weapon. I originally had bomb type weapon, which would be thrown and explode when shot. I found it to be pointless and removed it. I did specifically want to add a spell shield of sorts, to allow the player to occasionally deflect attacks and make them immune briefly. I also think giving the player more incentive to continue into higher levels other than slow increase in power would make for more interesting game-play. So giving them new abilities and weapons at certain points would definitely improve the experience.
In the boss scene I made, the boss uses an ability called lights out. It turns off all the lights in the scene and leaves only one on the player. This makes it a lot harder to avoid the other attack, with the orbiting star. I would have liked to have played on the happiness mechanic by making the only light in the room move. As a lot of people dislike the dark, I could have the player take damage if they stray from the light source for too long.
As I tend to work in 3D with unity more often, I would have liked create this game in 3D but it requires a lot more work to produce the same effect in 3D. I also would have liked to use a tilemap to create my scenes, which would save a lot of time to make more levels but I was unaware of these until late in the project.