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The Conceptualization of AstroCappy

Laying the first stone. This is the first post of hopefully many, that will comment on the process of going from dream to reality.

Initial Horrible Concept Art

Check out the official website: AstroCappy


I have made some small games before, but at that time I was less experienced in all areas regarding game design and development.

Now I'm eager to invest my leisure hours in a project that will not only teach me but leave me with a finished product that I can be proud of.

Setting Expectations

Although I would love to say this project will see the finish line, I know that life can get in the way. I will try my best to keep the ball rolling, but not making any promises.

I am wearing all hats here: designer, developer and artist (oh god) of this game. That might even include voice acting?

I might use third-party assets if they seem right. I will use AI to help me along the way, but always with enough transformation from myself. Think of it as the machine making the pencil sketches and me doing the inking.

AstroCappy must be a simple game, as all these responsibilities would extend development time to infinity (and am very bad at art). This means that in many occasions I will have to sacrifice some of my ideas to keep the game scope manageable.

What can people expect from these devlogs?

There won't be a confirmed schedule for these. And most of the time they might be short and technical. I will try to include a playable version of the game in each post, so you can see the progress for yourself.

Game Overview

Alright enough with the introduction, let's get to the meat of it. What is this game about?



That's the name.

Usually games have names based on their playable character, or the world they are set in, or maybe about their story.

Cappy is a dog, she is also an astronaut. She is AstroCappy. Experimented on by a mad scientist, she walks on two legs like a human.

I don't want to give away too many details of the story in this section, I have started to draft some of it, but will mostly leave that to when I already have a satisfying prototype.

Genre, Core mechanics & Inspiration

AstroCappy will be a Single-player 2D Metroidvania, shining the spotlight on exploration and combat, as you'd expect from the genre.

I will take some inspiration from games of other genres as well. For now, the main ones are:

Cappy will have different unlockable moves that will help her traverse the world. Think of running, jumping, climbing walls, dashing, etc.

Combat will be primarily focused on attacks at a distance. Instead of the classic sword, Cappy will have a revolver (maybe a laser gun?).

It's very important that the character controller is responsive, fast and forgiving. Empowering the player to play at their maximum skill level.

Story, Art & Music

As I mentioned before, some basics bits of the story have already been drafter. I won't post the full or whatever part I have of the story here, to avoid spoilers, but can reveal the following:

It will be set in a sci-fi world. Cappy, the dog, will crash into an unknown planet and will have to find a way to repair her spaceship. The planet will have many areas to explore.

For the art style, I'm thinking of pixel art, as I'm not good at any art, but pixel art would be maybe easier to keep consistent (even if consistently bad).

I haven't decided on the sound style yet. If I want real voice acting (with a fake language), then it would probably require a more realistic sound style. Otherwise, I can go with a chiptune style. Maybe I can do voice acting but filter it down to sound 8bitsy?


The game will be developed for the web, so that it's playable from the browser without the need to download and install anything.

I will be looking at making this also playable from mobile browsers but if that proves to be a challenge, I will only focus on desktop browsers.

I will look into a way to save progress outside the browser, just in case browser data gets cleared.

AstroCappy will be completely free to play and will have no ads.



I will be using Unity as the game engine. I have used it before, although not for a long time. I will be learning about all the new 2D features that have been added since then.

I'm not particularly fond of C#, but that's Unity's way. This project is not meant to be a coding challenge, and I will be using any shortcut that brings me closer to my game vision, regardless of how technically elegant it is.

For the art, I will be using Aseprite. I have used it before very briefly, and it's a great tool for pixel art.

For the music, I have been looking at Bosca Ceoil.

The project will be version controlled in GitHub, something I didn't do last time.

Development Phases

I have prioritized the development phases in the following order:

  1. Character controller
    • Getting the controls to feel right and snappy.
  2. Web shenanigans
    • Making sure the builds runs correctly on the browser. That games can be saved. That compatibility is good, etc.
  3. Level design tools
    • I will need to be able to create levels quickly, maybe using tilemaps or something similar. I need to figure out a way to move between rooms, etc. Best camera zoom level, etc.
  4. Combat Mechanics
    • Play around with different enemy behaviour and find combinations that are fun.
  5. Story, Art & Music
    • If the previous stages are nailed then this will bring the previous to life. Small bits of the story will be written in parallel to the previous stages as well.
  6. Fleshing out the world
    • With mechanics, story and art in place. This should be the most fun. Getting to build the world and fill it with secrets.
  7. Polishing
    • The last 10% that takes 90% of the time.

Hopefully in the next update there's something for me to show.

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