Divine Intervention is a single-player game based around building a team of angels and demons that provide advantages in a turn-based combat system. I worked on it in a team of four over two weeks for the Seattle Indies Slow Jam in 2020, where we won Best Narrative.
– Game Designer
I designed the turn-based combat system, wrote the dialogue, defined the angels’ and demons’ personalities, and gave our visual artist outlines for the designs of each angel and demon.
To design the combat system, I started paper prototyping very early on to make sure that the system was fun to play but simple enough that it wouldn’t overshadow the process of building a team. I wanted a combat system where a player was incentivized to break it by finding an effective synergy of angel and demon powers. My philosophy while building the system was that the player shouldn’t be able to break it without any effort, but if they put the work in and built a powerful team, breaking the game is a reward.
We decided early on that each demon would be matched with one of the seven deadly sins and each angel would be matched with one of the seven heavenly virtues. When writing the characters, I wanted to find fun ways that I could merge the figures they were named after with the sin or virtue they were assigned. My favorite character to write was Selaphiel, an angel that is sometimes seen as the interpreter of prayers and dreams, and the one we assigned the virtue of patience. In one sentence, Selaphiel is the person who would stick with a television series for fifteen seasons even as the quality declines, believing that it’s all part of the writers’ grand plan and constantly posting theories on message boards.
After the characters were defined, I wrote out state-based dialogue for all fourteen angels and demons as well as the game’s introductory and ending scenes. The outline of Nari and Yun’s arc was a group effort, but the angels’ and demons’ individual storylines were left to me to create. It was a fun challenge trying to make the same basic conversation structure feel unique and engaging for fourteen different characters.
Overall, I am very happy with the work I did on Divine Intervention. With more time, I would have tested the combat system more extensively in order to balance it and create the potential for more viable builds. However, I am fairly happy with the writing and characters, and I’m proud of what my team and I created.