A Journey Through The Sands
The Sentinel is a Cel-Shaded, RPG console game that revolves around turn-based battles, as the Party and the Player’s avatar travel through the environment and the storyline.
The Sentinel story begins on Wolcen, a floating sky island that is governed by The Order (their government) brought to the society by the Guardians, a people separate from the others and living in the main tower of the island.
This group is lead by the main protagonist and his brother; priests that channel the energies and keep the peace. Their job is to keep the barrier up that protects the land from the suns harsh gaze, when Mani is kidnapped and the barrier begins to fall.
The protagonist, Sol and his Sentinel (the Avatar) travel from the tower, recruiting members of the Party while solving the mystery of Mani’s disappearance.
The Sentinel would be a console game as, despite it having customisation and choice, the environment and 3D models would be low-poly with the Cel-Shaded graphics and there would also be realtime Renders, Multiplayer options or Wifi, there wouldn’t be a need for a big processor.
|Why This Type Of Game?|
As a artist I love Cel-Shaded and as a gamer I love RPGs, incorporating them together I thought I would both like to make, but what would also do well on the market with RPGs one of the top genres and Cel-Shaded gaining more and more of an audience, with the popularity of things like anime.
Wolcen – a sky island – is the world of The Sentinel which, on its surface, contains four different tribes separated by streams of water which meets in the centre of the oasis (as you can see in the below photo).
At the centre the oasis is the tower where The Order, the Protagonist and his brother live maintaining the barrier.
The oasis is a critical part of life for the Wolcian’s who rescide on the surface as it is the only place which grows food, plants etc due to the otherwise scorched, rocky earth.
The people live in the surrounding mountains, having hollowed them out generations ago, they do this as no one could survive living out in the open with the horrendous weather conditions.
Wolcen Stays suspended in the atmosphere through the flotation rings that are at around it’s base, which is powered through the matching rings at the top of Wolcen’s Tower (as you can see through the photos below).
The flotation rings are also maintained by the priests.
Due to the harshness of the sun’s rays the conditions can be terrible and dessert like, only more extreme with daily living being very difficult and sometimes deadly.
There are very few materials to create weapons, clothes or other equipment which can lead to infighting as the world is very under-developed with both poverty and hunger.
For more on the environment, please click here.
For The Sentinel the Player has control of:
- Customisation of the Avatar – anything from Anusha’s (the default name) body type, face, expression, colourings, hair style or outfits can be changed according to the tastes of the player.
- Party Skills and Classes – in The Sentinel the Skills and Classes of every character can be built upon, unlocked and changed. This is a very important feature for furthering in the game and something the Player will need to think about carefully.
- Choice of weapons – weapons can break and can be bought from the merchants, however some Classes will only allow for certain weapons to be used e.g. the Healer cannot use swords or axes.
- Different Party members – as some Party members need to be recruited and as there is also Permadeath, the Player controls in their fate.
- Character relationships – there is a support system in The Sentinel when the characters attack with, defend or heal another character. As such, the Player can build upon their relationships, or not.
- Story decisions – The Sentinel builds choice through certain decision that present themselves in game.
|The Sentinel’s Main Focus|
The Player is expected to complete the different winning conditions of every separate battle through the map (such as, “Defeat all enemy units” or “Save Civilians”) while making their way through the story.
The main goal however is to save the protagonists brother, Mani and defeat the antagonist before she destroys Wolcen.
|USP (Unique Selling Point)|
The Sentinel’s environment is quite different in that it is a floating sky island, which isn’t seen too often in mass media however popular it is aesthetically.
|Features of The Sentinel|
The Sentinel’s most noticeable features are:
- The unusual environment
- Voice overs
- Character relationships (support system)
- Customisation (e.g. the Avatar, weapons, character skills/ stats and growth)
- The mixture of 2D and 3D graphics
Since The Sentinel isn’t an open world game only certain areas are open to the Player through the map, and even then its just for missions and/ or battle.
Theres no free roam abilities as you travel to and from places from the map; the Player sees no travel as, as soon as a place is selected they would just be transported there.
Though materials sparse in Wolcen, objects can be taken from fallen energy units or bought from the merchants as there is one at every tribe (as you can see in the picture below).
Such things available to the Player includes:
- Weapons – swords, spears, bo staves, starves, rods, throwing knives, knuckle dusters, whips, tomes, grimoires.
- Herbs and potions – Items primarily used by Healers to raise health or mana, though there are poisons that can be used against enemy units that can be collected.
- Accessories – necklaces, earrings, bracelets, robes, and shoes that can affect stats’
In Wolcen there is extreme temperatures from the exposure from the sun but unlike Earth’s desserts, since there is no planet rotation, that extreme heat continues – twenty-four hours a day.
The barrier that the priests maintain is the only thing that protects the people by taking some of the edge of, but even then the heat is unbearable, long journeys are impossible and the oasis is the only source of pure water and vedatation that can grow. Everywhere else the earth is searing hot (requiring very thick soled shoes), dusty and rocky.
It only rains every solstice and even that is due to the pressure from the barrier changing the atmospheric pressure.
The weather and how the Player’s Party react while battling will be seen by stat changes and HP drops, if they are caught up fighting without adequate protection.
|Day And Night|
Since there is no real time in The Sentinel time is not correctly shown though both night and day will be seen, in different missions for different reasons.
Sol is named after the animating force of the sun in Norse mythology. I did this as he is representative of that planet – which also dictated is colour scheme and is strong personalty.
He is also a “Shifter” – giving him the ability to transform into a wolf called Skoll, who takes care of problems he cannot handle. This is also influenced by Norse mythology as Sol (a god in the sky riding a chariot) is chased by a giant wolf trying to devour him.
As a priest he is given the duty to maintain and protect the barrier, as well as be in a joint-position of leadership for Wolcen.
The Priest Class has two versions – The Sun (for Sol) which focuses on strength and physical fighting.
Mani is Sol’s other half in his duties as he is the animating force of the moon and his abilities echo his brother’s, including his being a Shifter.
Mani is deliberately feminine as he is representative of the moon which is considered a womanly energy and his namesake is, in fact, a Goddess.
The Moon Priest focuses on healing and magic.
Anusha (default name) – The Avatar
Anusha is the Avatar – the Player’s character which can be completely customised so they do not have much of a predetermined personalty, but their loyalty to the priests, The Order and the protection of others.
Every mission and/ or battle will have a set group of enemy units, however they will all be I’m serve or controlled by the antagonist.
Muskaan – The Antagonist
Muskaat is known for her beauty and she often uses this to her advantages to get others to do what she wants. She portrays herself to be a very kind and innocent character but it in reality she is a very cruel character who’ll do anything to get what she wants.
I have deliberately made her both attractive and a women in a femme fatale fashion, as I believe most female character as often portrayed as the weaker sex, or given less important roles in stories.
The Start Menu which will lead into the game after the introduction.
The HUD of an In-Game battle between a Party member and a enemy unit.
A character (Sol’s) Level Screen.
A Character (Sol’s) Skill Tree where points can be allocated to abilities that have been unlocked.
|Music and Sound|
The Sentinel – as it has an emphasis on characters – will have voiceovers, as it will further endear them to the Player, and help with immersion with the game.
Dialogue – or text boxes – will also be on screen in case the Player has hearing difficulties, can’t use the sound for whatever reason or prefers to read.
There will also be music for the opening, cutscenes, effects (like clicking and scrolling) and battles.
All of the above will be optional for the Player, as they can go into their menu and, for example, edit the volume of both the voiceovers and the music, or turn them off all together if they don’t like them or find them too distracting.
In The Sentinel there is no multiplayer option; the one thing the player has to keep an eye on in-battle is all the units in play on their field. Though it is a turn-based style of fighting, controlling multiple units can be quite channelling if they do not know what they are doing, or are not concentrating.
Victory conditions will change from map to map and mission to mission, though the most common would probably be to: “Defeat all enemy units.”