In the previous article I briefly talked about VFX. Before deep diving into enemies AI and full-fledged combat system I decided to close the topic of character’s visuals and make VFX for all special abilities.

Searching visual style

I started to think and try different options for the character’s abilities. At the beginning I wanted to have unique color palette and style for each ability. For example, green and yellow for the snake dash, dark blue for spider legs, red and purple for tentacle, etc.

As result I got crazy mix of colors and styles on the screen where all the elements didn’t match. It was just a visual noise. I quickly discarded this idea.

I took another look at sword trail FX and got the idea to make this FX as a baseline for all other FXs.

Slash FX

In general I like the contrast of dark blue and glowing light blue colors. I also like the feathers that create slowly fading trail of character’s presence.

Initial ideas was that feathers appear because hero’s sword is decorated with crow’s feathers, but then I got an idea

What if crow’s feathers will become visual attribute of witch sorcery that surrounds the hero? Feathers don’t relate directly to any special ability but they visually connect them with hero and with each other.

Final style

Saying that the final visual style for special abilities can be described as following:

  • Color solution - contrast of dark blue background and light blue glow
  • Contains crows feathers as “slow” particles that stays on the level for some time
  • Contains glowing light blue sparks as “fast” particles to emphasize magical nature of the ability
  • Contains contextual elements depends on the ability (wind, portals, distortion, etc.)

Now let’s see how these abilities are look like.

Special abilities VFX

I’m going to use gif-animations as a preview, but in the end of the article you will find Full HD 60 fps video showcase where you will be able to see all the details in good quality.

Bat wings

Bat wings FX

In fact there are 2 FX - one for flap and the other for glide.

Flap FX contains the following elements:

  • 2 mini-portals that opens on the character’s back and from bat wings appear.
  • Burst of feathers. Part of them are blown down by the wings, another part follows the character.
  • Burst of sparks from the portals.
  • Whirlwinds created by the wings to emphasize movement trajectory.
  • Air distortion behind wings.

For the glide FX:

  • Portals on the back stay until wings are folded.
  • Sparks keep spawning creating trail behind the character.
  • Air trails appear from the tips of the wings.

Snake dash

Snake dash  FX

Transformation into snake

  • At the moment when character transforms into the snake the portal appears and sucks character in. At the same time snake appears from the portal.
  • Whirlwind of feathers appears around the character and also goes into portal.
  • Distortion around portal showing shrinking space.

Transformation back to human

  • Another portal appear and spit character out. At the same time snake goes into portal and disappears.
  • Burst of feathers appears from the portal.
  • Burst of sparks appears from the portal.
  • Distortion around portal showing expanding space.

Snake flight

  • During the whole flight whirlwinds appear behind the snake emphasizing movement trajectory.

Spider legs

Spider legs FX

Spider legs appearance

  • Portal opens on the back of the character, similar to one with bat wings. From this portal appear spider legs.
  • Burst of feathers appears from the portal.
  • Burst of sparks appears from the portal.


  • Portal on the back remains open
  • Sparks flying out the portal to create trail behind the character.
  • On each step small cloud of dust and crumbling stones appear at the point where spider leg touches the surface.


Tentacle cast FX

Tentacle cast

  • Burst of sparks around character’s arm
  • Dark blue “ink” drops around the tentacle.
  • Air trail that follows tentacle shape and slowly fades out after tentacle has been pulled back.

Also there are 2 additional FXs:

  • FX at contact point that represents entangling or sticking tentacle to its target.
  • FX at the character whet he starts pulling towards the tentacle.

Tentacle pulling FX


Apart from FXs for special abilities I also implemented FX for character’s movement:

  • Run
  • Jump
  • Landing

These FXs are much more subtle to keep contrast between “generic” FX and FXs for special abilities.

Enhancing FXs for death and respawn

I already made some VFX for death and respawn animation. I also wrote a tutorial about how to animate simple creatures with shader. But these 2 effects still felt a bit “dry”. So now, having this new visual style for FXs I decided to apply it to these 2 effects.


Enhanced death FX


Enhanced respawn FX


This is how all new FX look in action.

What’s next?

I plan to implement enemy AI and continue working on combat system.

To support project please add King, Witch and Dragon to your Steam Wishlist. To get more updates and materials about the project follow me on Twitter and Instagram.