Polaris is a 2D platformer inspired by Ori and the Blind Forest. You play as Polaris, the North Star, and your mission is to find and collect your family who've fallen down from the sky.
'We sought out to make something that would bring us back to the pixel perfect past without feeling redundant. We also challenged ourselves with the task of telling an actual story without using any words. A story that we feel still felt more relevant and meaningful than just ”save the damsel in distress”.'
Above there is a GIF showing of the main mechanic in our game "burst", inspired by the mechanic from the reference game "bash". A lot of love and elbow grease went into making that core element be as satisfying to use as possible.
Below there are three GIFs, leftmost one depicting the most common (and most beloved) enemy, the Troll (or affectionately "babushka"). In the middle is the Player Idling and on the right is one of the collectibles one encounters throughout the game.
While working on this project, besides being an active part of the design and direction taskforces, I mostly worked on the player and a little on the enemies. I also, as usual at this point, worked on the sound engine.
I started by making a detailed collision system ("artistic" recreation on the right) that allowed the player to react to specific scenarios of terrain collision. Since we also have a wall jump feature there needed to be a way to detect wether or not a collision on the side was flat enough to give the player the ability to jump. Theres also a need for the player to be able to slide slightly to the side if there is only a grazing collision on a ledge while moving up or down to make the player feel less boxy.
After that I spent most of the rest of the project working on the players "finite statemachine" as well as the main mechanic "burst" (the state that allows the player to grab on to certain things in mid air and propell themselves).
The statemachine system was then adapted to allow the enemies to use it as well, making it very easy for me to make them all functional.
Environment, UI & Character Art
All in all this project was a delight and a large part of why it was so enjoyable was how unified Starstorm was in our vision. I would also like to credit our fantastic animators Elin Carlström(heise-kun), Tova Nyström and Alfred Egnér specifically for bringing our vision to life and for all the memes that kept our morale high!
Below is a button to the itch-io page for the game that includes a download link!
I hope you take the opportunity to play our game and that you enjoy playing it as much as we enjoyed making it.