What is Yōkai?

Yōkai is a simple 2D platformer developed in Gamemaker. It follows a demonic deer soul upon entering the Spirit World, navigating its environment through a series of puzzles to the meditative sounds of nature.

Yōkai was made in 4 weeks as my first student project. Level design, look and feel became an immersive process with the aim of creating a cohesive game aesthetic. It also served as my first introduction to scripting, pixel and 2D art, basic animation and sound design, and I found the experience as a whole to be highly addictive.


What does ‘Yōkai’ mean?

The title is a kanji word for “bewitching, spectre, mysterious” and refers to supernatural creatures of Japanese mythology.




Design Process

The project began with initial concept art, and the idea of using a character inspired by Japanese folklore within an otherworldly spirit realm.

Because of the relatively short timeframe, the decision to keep things as simple as possible proved vital to completing the game . This involved opting for a limited colour palette, silhouettes and very basic sprite animation. All assets were created in Photoshop and Piskel (a free online sprite editor).

Rough sketches of puzzles were drawn and then refined once the assets were put in to the engine. Constant playtesting led to further iteration of positioning platforms and developing more complex scenarios.

The images below are samples of the submitted design document (click to enlarge and select View Full Size).