“Crissaegrim: The War Against Zelrakis” March 2010 - May 2010
Crissaegrim: The War Against Zelrakis was a game made by a four man team using the Torque X Builder, a 2D engine. The team consisted of two level designers, a programmer, and an artist.
The story revolves a space-faring humanity fighting against the extra-dimensional Zelrakis aliens. Players pilot the Crissaegrim space fighter through three levels, using an upgradeable cannon and energy sword that can destroy nearby bullets and weak enemies.
My tasks during this game were to create the scenario and story, design and layout the tutorial and third stage, and find, import, and control all sound and music. This included me composing the entire soundtrack for the game.
The first stage introduces multiple enemy types, and the three main bullet patterns: aimed shots, spiraling shots, and expanding ring shots. Enemy groups occasionally freeze the screen and force combat. Players quickly learn that by collecting Power Ups, the number of bullets they fire increases, felling enemies that much quicker.
The player's secondary weapon is the Space Sword built into their Crissaegrim fighter. The sword sweeps around the ship and absorbs all nearby bullets, and completely erases regular enemies that come into contact as well. It is an invaluable tool for avoiding difficult bullet groupings or combating a large swarm of enemies.
Except for the optional tutorial, each stage ends with a boss battle against a massive and durable Zelrakis. The first stage's boss looks very imposing and can be difficult for those who do not use the sword or move too fast. If players pay attention, though, they will find the boss does not use aimed shots, and thus may find gaps in its pattern to safely stay and fire away.
While the first stage occurred inside an allied base, stage two occurs in space, after the player’s fleet has been annihilated. Wreckage of the player’s allies drift throughout the stage, forcing the player to avoid them or lose a life.
Stage Two introduces more complex enemy behavior, including moving enemies and far more complex bullet types created by having the bullets fire their own bullets. This system creates some of the most impressive, and challenging, bullet patterns, and makes the enemy firing them a top level threat.
The second bosses aims at the player, utilizes the bullet firing bullet system, and uses asteroids as a shields that must be destroyed before the main core is vulnerable. Bosses are where an upgraded gun helps the most, as a standard gun only does one damage, and bosses have over a hundred HP. Combine that with aggressive bullet patterns and shields, and you have an extended, difficult fight.
The third stage was one I created and oversaw, and had the player enter the Zelrakis’ home dimension to turn the tide of the war and defeat the leader of the current invasion force. This stage has the most mini-bosses out of all the others, and the enemies can do more damage and have extremely aggressive firing patterns.
The final boss, the Zelrakis Lord. It is the most difficult of the bosses, with each body part firing a bullet pattern, and each part requiring destruction before the boss is forced into its second and final form.
Torque X was the engine used to create Crissaegrim. Here, we see an in-editor shot of the start of level three. Templates sit outside the level borders, and the blue boxes are triggers or entities that actually happen in-game.
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