Capsized and Indievania creators Alientrap sat down at GDC to show off an early version of Apotheon, their upcoming 2D action-RPG with platform elements where players must strip the Gods of their powers to stop the mad Hera, who sits as ruler of Mount Olympus.
Lee Vermeulen and Jesse McGibney described (and demoed above) combat very different from Capsized that is not quite frantically paced and includes no concept of combos. Instead, Vermeulen and McGibney showed more calculated sword, slingshot, javelin, and shield gameplay. Aiming offensively and defensively was easy, with a full range of motion controlled by the mouse. The shield also has an visible meter which conveys how long it effectively blocks attacks.
Players can also use a torch with a similar range of motion, which showed off the game’s dynamic lighting system. The two developers were very interested in exploring how lighting could be used in later puzzles and stealth sequences later in development.
The team said one thing Capsized didn’t have that players wanted was an online multiplayer battle mode. However, they aim to bring players just that in Apotheon. Vermeulen shared that programming physics-based online multiplayer combat is actually a challenge, but it is one they want to overcome before considering co-op campaign.
Whereas Capsized was very linear, Apotheon will have an open-world, almost metroidvania feel and play to it. The team described its RPG elements, likening it to an early Zelda progression where the players don’t level up weapons stats. Instead, Apotheon players will find and purchase better equipment along with stealing the gods’ powers to succeed.
When asked why the team went Greek, McGibney explained that the art pipeline for Capsized was a nightmare. Apotheon’s pottery style simplifies things, since the art style lends itself well to tiling. Capsized also had a very detailed, chaotic look and was very visually dense. In contrast, Apotheon’s visual style is described as very clear and clean.
I admit the off-screen gameplay video above doesn’t quite capture the striking art. Last month, Alientrap released its first shots of Apotheon, which serve as the best examples until the team releases more in near future.