Hi everyone! I’m Dan and together with the Ludus Future team we have created the game of my dreams entitled Demon Skin. It has been in development for a few years of hard work and challenges and now it’s finally available on Xbox! I would recommend you to watch the trailer to better understand what the game is all about before I tell you who, what and how you could kill in this game.
Demon Skin is 3D platform game with RPG elements mainly focused on the melee combat. My main source of inspiration was Severance: Blade of Darkness–although the game is 20 years old and just a few people remember it, I personally still find its melee combat system the best one.
Where was a great disadvantage in Severance: Blade of Darkness though – the difficulty curve wasn’t optimized at all. The game mechanics were brand new and quite difficult and the enemies were too aggressive – that’s wasn’t a game for casual players at all. People often simply couldn’t get how to play it. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time for such an approach. As for me, I’ve decided to create a game with a similar atmosphere but make it a platformer with a whole bunch of my own ideas.
Our main character Roy can use three combat stances in the game. By changing directions, he can target the head, torso or legs of the enemy. The player has to switch stances timely to avoid enemy attacks. Each new level unlocks more and more spectacular and powerful combos. Meanwhile, player should always pay attention to stamina level. As soon as Roy is out of breath he attacks much more slowly.
Initially we intended the character to be unable to perform any attacks in that case just as it was in Severance: Blade of Darkness, but that wasn’t met with the approval of our community.
We have also designed a system of additional attacks to appear randomly during the combat. As the stance indication lights up blue,you can quickly select and perform this attack. It won’t improve your damage, but it will buy you a few seconds to perform a super attack.
If at this point the enemy has less than 30% health points left, the player would dramatically finish them off. These mechanic is useful for casual players more interested in narrative and hardcore players alike, as they can perform sort of a ‘fatality’ without any special button combination.
With each new kill, the main character receives experience, which can be transformed into the points to upgrade basic stats – Health, Stamina and Attack. Leveling up unlocks new weapon combos. By the way, the protagonist’s appearance also changes as the player progresses through the game and collects the crystal shards.
Roy has a variety of weapons in his arsenal such as slashing (swords and axes) and blunt (hammers) weapons. The slashing weapons deal 100% damage against the ‘fleshy’ enemies, but are 30% less effective than blunt weapons against other types of monsters. That’s why it would be wise to select a blunt weapon before dealing with insects, skeletons or golems so Roy could deal 100% of potential damage.
All weapons are divided into three categories – common, personalized and artifacts. Not only the quality of your weapon affects the stats but also the weapon combo damage – e.g., while a personalized weapon deals three-to-five-times damage, the artifact one inflicts 10 to 15 times magic damage (though only if the special bar is full at the moment of attack. This bar fills up slowly with every kill).
Enemies in Demon Skin are definitely of some interest. Since I prefer to stick to the High fantasy canon, there are such familiar foes as undead, ghouls, necromancers, dwarves, golems and various beasts. It’s worth mentioning that they belong to different factions and sometimes fight each other – e.g. Derger (dwarf) is hostile towards undead or insects but he won’t fight golems as he makes them. Similarly, mantises attack spiders as soon as they see them, so the player has to make a choice how to act should they find themselves in such a situation.
Basically, it is everyone for themselves. For instance, a player proceeds to the next location to find there three dwarves fighting a giant mantis. It might be better not to rush into the fight. Just wait for an outcome and decide whether to get involved or just pass by with the good old roll move without gaining any experience points, which won’t be a smart move because the number of enemies is limited on each level and they don’t respawn.
Every enemy has a unique behavioral pattern. Since zombies and skeletons are already dead, they just recklessly keep pushing forward. Ghouls and werewolves are sneakier and they usually choose the right moment to attack. Dwarfs can drink a health potion while player is trying to avoid the possible attack, or the other way around they can knock the potion out of the player’s hands preventing the healing. If a player gets in sight of a humanoid enemy, the creature can take a combat stance, indicating that it won’t be a cakewalk for the player. An insect, on the other hand, can try to dig into the ground and then attack from the other side. Such details require a thoughtful approach from the player when it comes to hostile encounters and makes them much less predictable and more enjoyable.
There are no bosses in the game, so to speak, as I believe that the definition ‘powerful character’ goes better with the gameplay of Demon Skin. Althoughusually the boss fight is staged on a certain final point of the level just like in many other games, in Demon Skin these powerful characters may encounter the player wherever it is in line with the narrative.
While playing Demon Skin you don’t just move from one checkpoint to another across the static location as with many other platform games. Say, for example, Roy is running through the ice cave while a huge golem tears off the head of his fellow golem and the player finds this head a bit later. This head is breakable, and there’s some loot in it.
In an another example, Roy is surrounded by skeletons, when a Treant-like creature comes out of the forest, confronts the skeletons and helps Roy escape. You may think Roy is safe, but an evil mage casts a flaming meteorite spell and triggers a deadly snow avalanche. Similar events happen all the time giving a lot of unexpected thrills to the gameplay.
Anyway, it’s up to you to make any of such choices, choose tactics and defeat the evil. As for me, I did my best to give you the best experience with Demon Skin! I can hardly wait for your feedback, and I hope you will enjoy the game!