The Game Developer's Journal: Inspiration: Dragon Slimes and Kirby

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Inspiration: Dragon Slimes and Kirby

Amoenu and the cast have changed many times.
First, they were only a black mass. Then they were a black mass with eyeballs. And finally, a black mass with eyeballs and a mouth! You might laugh that it took a few years to get to that point.

In my young life, I immersed myself in a plethora of different game worlds. But there were a select few that left their mark. Out of those franchises has come inspiration for what you see now.

Now it's time to take another peek behind the curtain.

Characters: Kirby
A whole worldview

Kirby has affected my art style and perception of videogames so much, it's not even funny. First time I played a Kirby game? I was four years old. Four. 

And ever since then, I've geeked over his adventures. Stop for a moment and take a look at Boegull, and then look at Kirby.


Round. No nose or ears. And round. Also notice how the eyes have a single reflective disc that appears white. Even other characters I have designed--whether they be for a game, book, contest, etc.--have turned out more or less similar to Kirby and his enemies.

From that first Gameboy title to 2011's Kirby's Epic Yarn, whole ideas of how to form art and draw have been affected. In fact, Japanese Manga as a whole is another culprit.

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
Be Flexible


Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime is a sub-series of the Japanese cult-hit franchise. To be honest, I don't know much about it (much less if it really is that popular). The one game that got my attention was Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime for Nintendo DS.

The player stars as a sky blue creature named Rocket. He is of a species called slimes who inhabit the world. The only other race seen in the entire game is a strange breed of  scruffy-looking platypuses.  I really enjoyed the game; there was so much freedom in the giant tank battles. That was the core mechanic. 

Basically, you had to destroy the enemy's towering machine by stuffing all kinds of weird ammo into your turret. You collected ammo all over the game world, while at the same time rescuing fellow slimes from prisons scattered here and there. Prisons, if I do recall, were treasure chests.

But onto the focus of this section: I believe that Rocket was the main inspiration for Amoenu's moveset. You see, the player could streeeeeettcchhh Rocket out like a rubber band and let 'em fly. So that inspired the ultra-flexible amoeba arms and the sling action.

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