an intriguing hack & slash shooter

Your journey into game development must have some exciting twists! How did you make that leap into this thrilling world?

I started ENENRA in September 2020, this was around the time I graduated from university. The project was originally called ‘Tempus’ and was a first-person hack and slash / shooter hybrid game with an emphasis on time rewinding mechanics. This changed rapidly into a third person hack and slash game with a broader range of abilities. I had never made a third person game before, or a hack and slash so this was a massive challenge for me.  

I have always loved games like Devil May Cry, Vanquish, Metal Gear Rising and Ninja Gaiden. These games were heavy inspirations for ENENRA in terms of combat and enemy AI. Moments such as the fight against Mistral in Metal Gear Rising are one of my favorite moments and something that inspires me heavily for the future of boss fights and cinematics.  

My academic background involves having studied Games Development in college and Computer Games Design at degree level at University. I have previously worked at Ninja Theory on Hellblade 2 and now currently working for a company called Spliced. ENENRA was an amazing gateway into the game design industry as it was a project to showcase what I have learnt and skills at a true technical level. 

Ah, Unreal Engine – it’s a powerhouse! Could you tell us more about your workflow with Unreal?

The Unreal engine is an amazing tool and is getting better and better everyday! Here’s a workflow for a parkour cling I created in technical depth: 

  • So, one of the newer parkour moves I added was a wall hook or cling, which allows the player to hold on to the wall for a moment before ejecting off. This was all done through a blueprint in Unreal Engine.  
  • A trace would fire in front of the player to check if the wall is in range, get the location of the wall and the impact point.  
  • I would then use this data to have the player character move to the location and impact point with an offset, so he does not simply go through the wall.  
  • During the movement, the animation ‘masks’ the movement to the wall. Movement is stopped immediately, and the gravity is turned down to 0.  
  • Gravity is then turned back on through animation notifiers which then creates the effect that the player is ‘Sliding’ down the wall. This gravity is not at full strength until the player interrupts this animation or the animation blends out.  
  • There is also another line trace which fires from an extremely high position to check the ‘height’ of the location. 
  • If the wall is too high the wall hook is performed, if the wall is too short, a mantle is performed.  
  • ANOTHER line trace is used to determine the thickness of the wall, in this case if the wall is too thin, the character will perform a mantle into flip. 
  • In the case of ejecting off the wall, the script checks if the player is clinging to the wall and if they jump, launch the player in the opposite direction, calculating the height and angle the player must move.

ENENRA sounds like an absolute blast with its emphasis on “abilities.” Can you paint us a vivid picture of what this third-person game is all about? We’re eager to hear more!

In the world of ENENRA every person is born with a Daemon core. Daemon cores are crystalline organs which grant the person abilities. Some people can move as quick as lightning whereas some have fairly underdeveloped cores. One specific group gathers high end daemon core wielders and has created a huge mercenary organization. Enenra the main character we play starts with a dormant daemon core.

There are three stances which grant the player different moves list which include BLADE MASTER, the jack of all trades stance which gives the player a variety of base moves, RANGED SHIFT, which grants the player close to medium ranged attacks and the IRON WALL which is a high risk high reward stanced focused on counter play. 

On top of the stances he also has access to 5 variations of Katanas, The Katanas are embedded with daemon cores which grant the user, if compatible, an inkling of the cores abilities for example the STRAND BLADE and its TETHER abilities. 

Enemies also have their own cores which grant them different abilities! So managing your abilities to counter enemy abilities will be a key combat goal. I created the ability system with the combo count in mind, when the player lands enough hits, abilities become available to him, when he takes damage the count is reduced giving a high risk high reward feeling in moment to moment gameplay, moving away from the traditional combo count and giving it more meaning.  

The combat works on a hybrid free flow system. You are able to freely attack enemies around you by pushing the stick towards them and moving instantly to them in a 360-degree radius. The hybrid part is when you lock on to an enemy, you gain aerial attacks, Executions, and targeted abilities.

The launch date must be a nerve-wracking secret! But we’re all ears if you can share any insights on how you’re gearing up for the big day.

Currently I am around 55% of development through the game, there are around five more levels to create as well as the boss fights and abilities so hopefully sometime mid 2024! 

Your game’s models and animations are jaw-dropping! Are these incredible assets from the store, or did you conjure them up yourself?

The concept for the main character and weapons was created by an extremely talented Michael Adams (@RCaijin) in which we went for a cyberpunk but more organic style. The enemies Ashigaru and Yakubo as well as all the swords were then modeled by Arturo Vazquez (@Dspazio_3D) who did an amazing job on bringing these models to life in this world. He even made the sword have a handle which the character could pull! Finally the main character model was modeled by Fajrul Falakh (@Fajrul97) which has multiple segments for customisation! I am moving away from store bought products and beginning to bring in custom made assets! The animations which are store bought are edited heavily to make sure there is a difference and its cohesiveness with the combat system as mixing animation packs begins to become messy. 

We do love our numbers, don’t we? And speaking of followers, that 21k Twitter fan club must be a riot! How many wishlist-hearts have they conquered?

Currently with no marketing and simply posting my work on social media the number of wishlists on steam is around the 23K Mark! I am super grateful for everyone who wishlisted! 

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