Hey there, galactic friends! Let’s talk Capsule Force aesthetics and the decisions behind them. Capsule Force is a 90’s arcade game set in an 80’s space anime world, but why did we go with this style?
When we started working on Capsule Force, we tried to make a fun, competitive multiplayer game by creating prototypes with a rapid iteration cycle. We quickly put together a game we enjoyed, but the art needed… some work.
Early versions of Capsule Force consisted of white blocks on a black backdrop. We needed to find an aesthetic to match the frenetic gameplay!
90’s Arcade Graphics
The 90’s arcade style was an easy choice. While developing the game, we were playing retro arcade games like Twinkle Star Sprites, Windjammers, Mr. Driller G, Azumanga Daioh Puzzle Bobble, and Money Idol Exchanger. Similar to these games, Capsule Force has high energy gameplay with simple controls that allow for mastery. The flashy in-your-face graphics are a good fit for the energy of Capsule Force, and their simplicity complements the straightforward control.
Retro arcade games have many specific details that make them iconic. We compiled a list and prioritized putting as many of those details and effects in Capsule Force as was humanly possible.
Large explosions, flashy menus, bright italic gradient fonts, arcade style how-to-play screens, and character victory quotes all contribute to the visual movement and pop. Using everything at once can get incredibly busy and hard to parse, so we focused on simple character sprites and colorful worlds with contrasting foregrounds/backgrounds to create a clear, visual language. It’s a tricky balance!
80’s Space Anime Art Style
From the start, we wanted Capsule Force to have a visceral feel and designed the characters to feel extremely powerful and nimble! They can jump, double jump, hover in the air, and fire giant lasers out of their arms. Already fans of 80’s anime, we knew it was a natural fit. The colorful environments and SD character proportions tie together nicely with the retro-arcade graphics.
Some might call it a hobby… we called it research. Combing through hours of Dirty Pair, Macross, Galaxy Express 999, Bubblegum Crisis, and more, we pulled a lot of inspiration from the indoor tech environments and the outdoor frontier landscapes.
We tried to fill the game with 80’s anime visual fx like crescent moon explosions and speed lines. The stuff that makes the best anime so visually memorable. Pixel by pixel, we recreated our favourite parts and inserted them into Capsule Force!
We hope the aesthetics will enhance the game’s intensity as you battle your friends 1v1 or 2v2! Capsule Force will be launching on PS4 come August 25th.