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Caapora - Oath of the Forest is a stealth-based third-person single player game, where the player embodies the animals of the Amazonian Rainforest and fights to reclaim their land from loggers, poachers, and companies. By shapeshifting between animals, the players will destroy the enemy camps and drive them away.

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Article Written by Afonso Rosa.

Greetings.

I am Afonso Rosa, the Game Designer here at Koala Kompany, and I would like to welcome you to our 6th devlog for Caapora – Oath of the Forest.

In our previous devlogs we discussed specific details of Caapora's game design, such as our game core, our game pillars and our gameplay loop. In this devlog we are going to go take a deep dive into one of our core mechanics for Caapora, which is also one of our Game Pillars, the ability we refer to as Shapeshifting.

Shapeshifting

The Basics
This ability allows the player to change between animal forms, having a total of 3 different animal forms to utilize. Each form has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. For the player to be able to tackle the challenges presented by the game they will have to swap between each animal and utilize them accordingly. Before going further in-depth on the Shapeshifting ability, we will now briefly go over each animal form.

Caapora - Player shapeshifting


The Animals
The 3 animals the player has access to are:

  • The Jaguarundi
  • The Frog
  • The Tapir

The Jaguarundi is the stealthiest animal, being able to prowl between the shadows and hide in plain sight from its enemies, it is also able to sniff out its enemies to pinpoint their location.

Caapora - Jaguarundi sneaking


The Frog is the most ingenious out of the 3, being able to use its tongue to achieve results impossible to the others. By aiming and shooting its tongue at specific targets the Frog can disable and destroy machinery and even create puddles to hide itself in.

Caapora - Frog destroying generator


The Tapir is the fastest, the strongest and the biggest between the 3 animals, it may be unable to hide due to its size, but it can face enemies directly, pushing them out of its way to make for a quick getaway.

Caapora - Tapir pushing enemy


Learning Curve
Mechanics in videogames tend follow the core principle of “easy to learn, hard to master”, the Shapeshifting mechanic is no different. Shapeshifting allows the player to start using it without any difficulty whatsoever, but has the player learn and adapt to utilize it to its full potential.

Here are some examples of the player being adept at Shapeshifting:

  • The player might be running away from an enemy with the Tapir and as soon as they escape the range of the enemy's lantern, they swap out to the Jaguarundi. Given the Jaguarundi’s properties the player can remain undetected even if the enemy had previously spotted the Tapir.
  • The player has turned around the corner as the Jaguarundi and they happened to run into an enemy looking directly at them, if the player is partly hidden due to an object, they can switch out to the Frog to become fully hidden.

Caapora - Escaping as Tapir and shapeshifting


To Summarize
Shapeshifting allows the player to swap between 3 animal forms, each having a specific in-game role. The Jaguarundi is a master infiltrator but lacks in ingenuity and raw strength. The Frog allows the player to destroy enemy machinery but is otherwise weak and easily spotted. The Tapir is a big brutish animal, and it makes use of these traits, being able to rush past and knock enemies out of its path. Shapeshifting, being one of the core pillars and mechanics of our game, provides the player with an easy to use but hard to master key gameplay element, that will accompany the player throughout the entire game.

Thus, we have reached the end of this devlog for Caapora – Oath of the Forest, we hope you enjoyed reading up on the intricacies of our Shapeshifting mechanic.

Stay safe and remember to clean up your forests! Lest a shapeshifter come looking for revenge…

Read up on André’s last article on how he made the tools we use facilitate level creation here.
Don't forget to check our Twitter for minor updates and news! Follow us on Koala Kompany.

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