Hey guys! This Zach again to tell you a little more about Creepy Castle. I've already talked about the scenarios, the combat, the characters, the items, the retro style, and the customization, so what's left to tell you about the game...? Well, I like to think that Creepy Castle stands on its own as a unique action-adventure-RPG, but there's no question that many games that I've played over the last 20-plus years have been influential in various aspects of the games design. In previous posts I've specifically mentioned Castlevania and the Mario RPGs as influences, but there are numerous others - some may be obvious in the impact they've had, and others not so much. Here are a few other ways in which Creepy Castle was influenced by some of my favorites.
Exploration and Ability Gates: Metroid and The Legend of Zelda are kind of the prototypes for all exploration-based, action-adventure games. Like in those games, you'll explore large areas and sometimes come across "ability gates" where you'll need specific items to proceed, or a new item might bring new meaning to a place that was previously thought to be a dead end.
Skill-Based Minigames: I've mentioned before that the battles in Creepy Castle take some cues from Mario & Luigi and other Mario RPGs, but they're influenced by Mario Party as well. Specifically, the battles require technical skill in a variety of minigames. Sometimes you're mashing buttons, sometimes you need perfect timing, sometimes you need keen observational skills...
Picture-in-Picture HUD: A lot of Falcom's classics (and other vintage RPGs) used a good chunk of the screen for the HUD and had sort of "picture-in-picture" window that served as your viewing port into the game world for the actual gameplay. I used the same style for Creepy Castle to give it some retro sensibilities.
Charm and Appeal: One thing I really wanted was to make sure that Creepy Castle had a cute and likable aesthetic for the character designs - something broadly appealing and really memorable, like Kirby and Pokemon. The visual style of Kirby and Pokemon didn't influence Creepy Castle directly, but I was hoping to capture that same whimsical charm. Pretty much all of my artistic inspiration and character design sensibilities come from Japanese art.
Replay Value: When I was a kid, Super Smash Bros. Melee always stood out because there was just so much to see, do, and unlock. It was like a fountain of infinite gameplay. With Creepy Castle's multiple scenarios, unlockable characters, a bestiary of monsters to defeat, and a library of lore to fill, I hope it gives players a little of that same excitement. Even if you've already beaten the game, there are still new things to do and new goals to achieve if you're feeling so inclined.
A Detailed World: I love it when a big RPG or an adventure-style game has a lot of thought put into its world and backstory. Similar to Metroid Prime, King's Field, or the Souls series, Creepy Castle lets learn a lot about the world through the lore and from NPCs that sort of creates an interconnected web of personalities and events. It's easy enough to avoid if you aren't interested in that sort of thing, but if you do want to learn all about the details of this world, then it's there for you to discover and learn about.
So there you have it - how some of my favorite games helped inspire Creepy Castle. They say nothing's created in a vacuum, and that's certainly true in this case. I think that there's still plenty of originality here (there's aren't too many games that star a moth as the main character, right?), but if people play the game and they're reminded even a bit of the classics that influenced me as a gamer, then I'll know I've done something right.