Sentinel Enemy

Cover for “Trash World News”, issue #1, October 1997
Cover of the first issue of EXAPUNKS’ zine manual, included with the game as a PDF.

This week i have been working on the first enemy character that i plan to have in Xenorogue, a security sentinel that is supposed to keep intruders out of the spaceship. From the start, i wanted something that resembles the EXecution Agents (EXA) from EXAPUNKS; i do not know why, but in my mind the spider-like shape of these robots is synonymous to “security sentinel”. Perhaps because they remind me of the Tachikoma of Ghost in the Shell. I also hopped that this particular shape would be symmetric in all directions and i would not need to draw it four times.

However, my first attempt at drawing these little robots within the 16 × 16 pixels confines of the sprite size was laughably ugly and ridiculous. I will not bother publishing that first design here because i am too ashamed of it. And i highly doubt the result was due to the sprite size, as i am trying to imply with the first sentence; i am just bad a drawing.

In any case, i had to change the design a bit to be more like a little dog with spider-like legs. It looks a bit better than it sounds, actually, and for some reason it was easier to draw and to animate. Also, the dog-like body and movement also reinforces the idea that this is a security robot—i hope.

Easier to draw, but certainly not easy, at least i was not for me, and i still had a lot of trouble animating the sentinel in all four directions, specially the ones facing up and down, that i am still not happy about.

In any case, this is what i ended up with.

Animations of walking, idle, and shooting for the sentinel