yes all questions are welcome!
How do you plan to handle destructible environments?
as you suspect it's rather tricky to combine procedural approaches with such a strong art style (not impossible though). Instead we're handling destruction with a combination of two techniques: static things (so basically walls) cannot be fully destructed, but each tileset has alternate versions with varying degrees of destruction, so walls will gradually crumble up if you throw grenades at it, explosions leave black scorches on the ground, blowing up a lamp will damage the nearby tiles, and so on...
Literally everything else - so crates, columns, windows, glass doors, wall-fans, lamps, computers, desks, chairs, cabinets, pipes, monitors, medical equipment, shelves, and so on - can be destroyed, set on fire, electrocuted, blown up, etc. Destroying a dynamic objects generates debris (glass shards, bits of wood, pieces of metal, etc.), which litters the floor permanently, so after firefights the rooms look pretty messy and torn up.
Also, wouldn't it be real time-sink to draw player character and guns for at least 5 angles (completed to 8 with mirrored angles)?
It's actually 8 angles, no mirroring, since the poses are asymmetrical, and you are correct, it is a lot of work! We speed it up a bit however by building the character out of several layers, so for example the "arms holding a rifle" pose is drawn once in all directions, and can then be used with different interchangeable weapons, rather than having to draw the full upper body in all directions for each weapon.
Same thing goes for the legs, since the upper body and lower body are independent, the legs only need to be drawn once in all directions, and can then be reused for different torso / arms combinations.
Additionaly, if we will see projectiles, will you simply rotate them or draw everything for that angle? First one is much more logical timewise but pixels will rotate too
Yes, projectiles are visible, and they get rotated, so the pixels rotate too. It wasn't uncommon though in the 16bit era to see rotated sprites (artifacts included) so we're ok with that ^^ Also not many projectiles are actual bullets, so it only applies to a few of the starter weapons.
How you want to handle independent shooting/moving directions is another question mark for me, since opposite directions can get awkward when upper body and lower body animations come together
As you answered in your next post, it's handled pretty much as in Smash TV. It doesn't get awkward because past a 90° difference between the torso and the legs, the legs will simply change direction. Imagine you are looking right, and walking downward. There is a 90° difference between the torso facing right, and the legs facing down. If you now start walking in the down-left direction, while still looking right, it would look awkward if the legs would face down-left and the torso would face right (135° difference, that looks painful!). Instead the legs will switch to face the up-right direction, so the angle difference is reduced to 45°, and will walk backward instead of forward : you are now moving down-left while looking right and the angle difference between the legs (up-right) and the torso (right) is a cool 45°!
Sorry if that doesn't make any sense, but I will post some animated gifs to illustrate this!
I also suspect that only 45 degree increments might not be enough
This is a very valid point, and with the bullet-based weapons you are absolutely correct, it does look a bit weird, and this is something we haven't fully tackled yet so I can't give you a definitive answer, but we may either try to "auto-rotate" some angles to fill in the gap, though I suspect that will look ugly and out of place, or possibly add some extra angles for the torso and arms, since as I explained above it's essentially 2 poses that fit all situations. But as I said we haven't really tackled this one yet ^^
If you have more questions don't hesitate!