Introduction to astria :
Enter the doom world of Astira, a land destroyed by the Cataclysm where all living things are dying. Play as Gwen, an Astrian willing to make his last mover before everything ends.
Enter the Cave, go through each Floor until you make your way to the Earth of Astria
Game design :
You play as Gwen, an Astrian willing to save his planet from destruction. Along your way, you mmet Ajhni, a powerful Ancient helping you in your journey. While progressing through each Floor inside the Cave of Astria, the player gains abilities that allows him to manipulate the elements and solve the different puzzle.
Core mechanics :
Astria was designed to be a puzzle game with 3D platformer situations. The core abilities of the player were design following that goal.
These abilities are :
– Carry Power : the player gains the ability to carry Astrian’s Cubes and Spheres inside the level. Those two are mainly used to activate buttons.
– Blue Energy Sphere : the player can shoot a ball of blue energy, activating certain elements inside the level. This allows him to interract with them from a large distance.
– Red Energy Sphere : the red energy is destructive. It allows the player to destroy a Cube or a Sphere that will respawn inside the level. It is mainly use to untrigger elements or to get back a Cube or a Sphere that is too far away to be grabbed.
– Overcharge : the player can throw Cubes and Spheres. The Cubes will be destroyed on hit unless it lends on a specific object design to allow its progression. The Spheres can be sent eveywhere and will bounce on the walls.
– Build Power : the player is able to build core element on designed locations. Multiples elements can be built in one location, allowing him to combine his abilities to solve the sequence and progress in the level.
In this sequence, the player has to create the correct setup to be able to get this Cube out of the pit. First he builds a cube holder, then a hookpoint next to it. This enables him to hop on the Cube and pass over the beams.
– Shield : the player can activate a shield, protecting him from a special type of beam, including the ones he his able to build using the Build Power. When the player use the shield inside a beam, it allows him to redirect it. This power can be used to destroy elements blocking your way or to trigger specific objects from an infinite distance.
In this sequence, the player uses the beam redirection from the shield to activate a trigger from a very long distance.
– Minigame : the red and blue balls of energy enables the player to interract with a strictly logical element inside the level. Blue energy is used to move the pieces and red energy is used for their rotation. There is multiple goals to achieve with those minigames:
1) Power a blue piece to activate an element inside the level. Multiple blue pieces activation might be needed.
2) Power all yellow pieces to unlock the final plateform.
There is 4 types of pieces :
– White pieces can be moved and rotate. They allows to energy from point A to point B with the correct setup.
– Green pieces are either the power source or a relay. Powering the relay with change the power source.
– Blue pieces are triggers. If connected, they activate an element inside the level.
– Yellow pieces are locks. Powering all of them unlocks the final platform.
– Hookshot : the player can use a hookshot to travel in the air and access some high ground places. This ability was design to add more platformer situation inside the game. Paired with a high air control, it gives the player very high mobility inside the level.
Level design :
Core design :
The levels were designed to look like a maze. The player need to explore the level for a while before he starts to find his way to the next one. I wanted the player to ask himself the following questions :
1) Where can I go with limited world interraction ?
2) How many rooms is there in this level ?
3) Where is the end of the level ?
To help him answer those questions, the player has the ability to visualize a map of the current level. After he his more familiar with his environment, he needs to remember where the activable elements are located. When the player interracts with something, the game gives him feedback of the action he just did. At this point, he can try to understand what he is supposed to do to complete the level.
Level progression :
The level progression of Astria is design in a way the player can learn how to go through each Floor. The game provides 14 levels that can be sorted out through 3 categories :
– Simple level : those levels contains a Power Sphere that add one or more abilities. In order to give time for the player to handle this new power, the entire level (or the very first room) is design in a straighforward way. This allows the player to get more familiar with his new toolkit and explore the possibilities.
– Medium level : those levels requires the usage of all available abilities. The questions mentioned above needs to be asked by the player to help him find the solutions. The solution of each room is inside the room.
– Complex level : those levels are the hardest ones because you may need to use elements from multiple rooms to find the solution.
This pattern allows the player to slowly master new abilities and boost its confidence for the harder levels.
Gameplay example : simple level (second level)
Gameplay example : complex level