Carolina Queiroz

(EN) HELL Deep Is Your Love

Jan 14, 2024
HELL deep is your love cover


“Hell Deep Is Your Love”  was my first game created for a game jam (Ludum Dare 48). The jam's theme was "Deeper and deeper."

HELL Deep reached the Top 10 of the most popular games in the Game Jam out of over 2,000 submitted projects and received over 200 feedbacks during the voting period.

 - Technical Information:

Engine: Construct 3.
Available platforms: WebGL e Windows/PC.
Tools I've used: Pen and paper, Miro, Construct 3.

 - The team: 5 developers

Programação: Pedro H. Borba
Arte: Aryana P. Moralli
Game Design: Carolina Queiroz  | João Carlos Lacerda
Música & Efeitos Sonoros: Dan Medeiros

- Download: acesse aqui.

 - Duration: 72 hours.

Game Design:

 - Idea and synopsis

Given the theme "Deeper and deeper", it was instinctive for me to create a game set in Hell because, coincidentally, during the game jam, I was deeply interested in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, and I was also playing a lot of Hades. From there, there was a natural blend of ancient and modern references of mythological elements, bringing the concept of "hell" not only to the character's identity and game environment but also to the gameplay mechanics.

That's how HELL Deep Is Your Love was born, a hardcore auto-scrolling platformer where the main character, a demon named Baphe, loses his powers by falling in love with a human, Elizabeth. With only one life, he decides to descend into the depths of hell to rescue his love, making each mistake potentially fatal. The game merges elements of mythology into both the narrative and gameplay, creating a unique and challenging experience.

 - Mechanics, levels and curious ideas

1. Why an auto-scroller?

After establishing some references for the game's narrative (such as Devil's May Cry, Dante's Inferno and Hades himself), we started thinking about the gameplay. What kind of mechanics would suit this purpose of going to the depths of hell to save your love? And of course, what could be done in just 72 hours.

It was then that we chose this game to be a (mostly) vertical autoscroller. This mechanic adapted very well to the game's concept because it adds difficulty, making the player respect the rhythm of the screen to discover what is coming beneath them, also adding a certain tension and mystery.

Another good thing about auto-scrolling platformers such as this one is that there aren't many of them, so at the time we were proud that we had managed to make a fun game with this unusual choice!

2. The player

To make the vertical auto-scrolling idea work, it was essential for the main character not to be overly complex, allowing players to focus on navigating the map correctly, especially considering the lack of familiarity that many players have with vertical auto-scrollers.

As a result, the player's movement mechanics were primarily built around simple actions such as climbing up/down ropes and stairs, jumping between blocks, and avoiding enemies. This decision was crucial, considering that the main character, Baphe, had no special abilities due to the narrative of being a demon who lost his powers when falling in love with Elizabeth. This design choice aimed to keep the gameplay accessible and intuitive, ensuring that players could engage with the vertical auto-scrolling experience without being overwhelmed by intricate mechanics.

3. Enemies

One of the most crucial decisions regarding enemies was to make them mostly harmless for a significant portion of the game. This choice was motivated by the fact that the player has only one life, and being hit would result in restarting the level, adding to the inherent challenge of the auto-scrolling feature.

This creative solution aimed to reduce potential player frustration. In this game, you encounter enemies such as the classic Medusa Heads (directly inspired by Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) that petrify the player and a wide variety of elemental imps, as we called them. The imps, while not causing direct harm, inflict various negative effects on the player.

Some of these negative effects from the imps include shock orbs that rapidly stun the player, denying their actions, or, for example, the oil imp that slows down the player's movement speed upon impact. Thus, even though the imps couldn't directly harm the player, they could certainly disrupt and demand constant attention, adding an extra layer of challenge.

4. Final challenge and change of perspective

For the progression of the final levels, I decided that, ultimately, in the second and last stage, players would face the challenge of dying through means other than touching the edges of the screen. As a way to balance this challenge, I chose to introduce a horizontal last map, as it's something most players are more familiar with.

As a result, the second stage of our game, which is a group of levels named Gargoyle Hall, features a variety of enemies that shoot deadly fireballs, and there are also cute imps that kill Baphe upon contact.


Gameplay trailer: