Zylatov Sisters

zylatov-sisters.png
  • Role: Game Designer / Level Designer / Artist / Writer
  • Developed by: VGDev at Georgia Tech
  • Available on: Newgrounds and Kongregate
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Synopsis

Zylatov Sisters is a fast-paced local co-op arcade game inspired by games like Bubble Bobble and Super Crate Box. Players control two sisters who must work together to clear each level of deadly robots before time expires. Weapons  briefly spawn onto each level which provide players with unique abilities and new strategies. Zylatov Sisters has proven popular, with over 350,000 players worldwide. 

Role

From the beginning, the Zylatov Sisters team wanted a large variety of enemies and weapons for players to encounter. Each team member was tasked with designing and creating art assets for weapons and enemies. In addition to collaborating on the overall game design, I contributed two enemies, one weapon, two levels, and background art assets. I also added a story to the opening that was kept intentionally superficial as an homage to the original Mega Man

Jumper-Bot - long-range enemy

Jumper-Bot - long-range enemy

Jumper-Bot, the first enemy I designed, can jump in a high arc for long distances. This enemy's movement pattern helps it easily escape from short-range weapons like the default shotgun. The high arc of Jumper-Bot's leap gives it access to areas of a map other robots might not reach, challenging the player to find a way to chase it.

The Ghost - a "hurry-up" boss enemy

The Ghost - a "hurry-up" boss enemy

 

Although I had originally designed The Ghost to teleport around the map randomly, this proved to be overly frustrating in an already challenging game. Working with the team, we came up with the idea of adding the "hurry-up enemy" like can be seen in Bubble Bobble. If players take too long clearing a level, The Ghost appears and chases the players until either they die or kill another robot. We found that introducing this huge robot into the game shocked players and created the time pressure we intended.

 

For my weapon design, I wanted to created something that contrasted with the traditional weapons my teammates were creating. The Zylatov Assault Bubble forms around the player and freezes any enemy that touches it. This new weapon generated a new "tank"-style of gameplay where players could wade into huge groups instead of fleeing from them. The Assault Bubble is one of the few weapons that encourages cooperative play, as one player could freeze enemies while the second player kills them. 

Zylatov Assault Bubble

Zylatov Assault Bubble