Posted by Al
Fri, 10th Oct 2014
It’s been another interesting week here at LJ Towers as we move towards finishing Flame Over. We’ve hit alpha recently so now we’re busy heading towards beta, polishing everything in the game, adding the remaining powerups, improving the UI and integrating feedback from players at EGX to improve the experience for all types of players. It’s important we get this right, especially in a game that’s so demanding of repeat play and death after death after death! :) To show you a bit of the progress we’ve been making I’ve added a few new screenshots to this post. Enjoy!
The Lab theme offers far more dangerous layouts. This isn’t gonna end well… :S
As well as heading towards a beta build, we’ve also found time to take Flame Over on the road for the first time, with the aim of getting preview coverage from gaming websites and magazines. While the ball has only just started rolling, it seems like Flame Over is already popular with the critics, which is great considering we’re by no means done yet!
The more dangerous Factory-themed rooms can be tough, but where there’s fire, there’s money!
Last Friday we got the ball rolling with a visit to Keza Macdonald at Kotaku UK. After we’d handed the Vita over Keza spent over an hour playing, repeatedly getting burnt, frazzled and singed before managing to get to the second level. The fact that Keza kept playing with ever-greater determination made me feel like Flame Over’s difficulty is falling on the awesome side of frustrating. While you might die a lot in the first few sessions, you always feel like death was your fault for being too greedy, impatient or inattentive.
After our meeting we got a lovely preview article earlier this week, which you can read here. My favourite part of the whole thing was the starting couple of lines:
“Flame Over is what Spelunky would be if you played as a firefighter. It’s damned hard, but oddly compelling, too.”
I’ve previously mentioned Spelunky as an influential game in the action-roguelike genre, and while we’re very different games in terms of actual gameplay and action, it’s great to be compared to what’s probably my favourite EVER game, even at this early stage.
The Lab features some new hazards including chemical fires, like this one.
We’ve also received another in-depth preview after EGX, this time from Digital Spy, which did a great job of breaking down Flame Over’s gameplay content. You can catch the whole Digital Spy Hands On here.
So far we’ve had some great coverage, with yet more to come as we continue showing the game to plenty of other journos throughout the land. Next week we hope to take in some of the UK’s leading games magazines, so more news on that as and when it happens. :)
In the meantime, you can keep up to date with all things Flame Over by subscribing to the blog, or to ourFacebook,Twitter, Youtube and Google+ pages, where we will be posting all the news from Laughing Jackal.
Posted by Al
Thu, 2nd Oct 2014
Sorry it’s been such a long wait between Blog posts but the good news is that’s only because we’ve been so busy making Flame Over as awesome as possible ahead of last week’s incredible EGX event at London’s soon-to-be-flattened Earl’s Court.
Earls Court was bedecked in The Evil Within stuff. This was on Wednesday, when you could still see the ground. ;)
We were busy tweaking the game as late as the night before the show and have introduced some cool features in the last few weeks that make the game tougher and more rewarding than ever before. Watching our six different fire types attack the player in varied interesting ways, and enabling you to shoot down fireballs in mid-air gives the game a really defensive, panicked feel, which perfectly complements the action. A personal show highlight for me was when a real-life firefighter told me the game felt realistic, something I hope isn’t true for the safety of all the fire fighters out there in the real world. Still, it was a cool moment! ^^
Our small but perfectly formed stand. Paul, Flame Over’s concept and 2D artist, is looking mega-psyched for the day! ^^
While Flame Over could be found in the Vita section on the mega-huge Sony stand, we also had our very own micro-stand in the Rezzed area upstairs. And our stools saw so much action from enthusiastic gamers keen to try out our customised brand of twin-stick firefighting that I swear they were a couple of inches shorter by the end of the weekend.
From the first couple of hours on Thursday morning it was clear that Flame Over is a hit with Vita and PC gamers. We logged over 800 plays on the game between the Sony stand, our 2 Vita test kits and our single PC build, with the vast majority of would-be firefighters being frazzled to death on level 1 or level 2.
This guy was a ninja-level gamer. He managed to get to the 9th level of 16 in only 10 attempts. However, he then died within 10 seconds. Nevertheless, we salute a true pro and Flame Over superfan!
Flame Over is designed to be very tough and highly replayable and that proved to be the case already. One intrepid glutton for punishment eventually managed to get to the Lab theme, but died within 5 seconds of arrival. And that was after perhaps a couple of hours play. He was a supremely skilled gamer and I don’t expect that to be repeated in the vast majority of cases… Needless to say he was a huge fan of Flame Over’s dynamic fires and randomly generated danger. :D
We squeezed in a few interviews with various channels, Youtubers and journalists over the 4 days.
Over the four days of the show we also had a whole load of awesome Youtubers and other film crews and journalists visit the stand. Flame Over seemed to be enjoyed by everyone, in particular DigitalSpy who positioned it as one of their Six Alternative Games of EGX: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/feature/a599528/egx-london-2014-six-alternative-games-to-play-at-this-years-expo.html#~oRr3SCwm6sYlTg
That’s some compliment, especially when you’re surrounded by dozens of incredibly high quality and ultra-original indie games. We were very flattered! ^^
We also had a lovely preview from The Sixth Axis: http://www.thesixthaxis.com/2014/09/30/flame-over-preview/
Also some dedicated Youtubers grabbed some coverage from us, so check these guys out and maybe given them a subscribe? ;)
At the time of writing plenty of other coverage is still incoming, and I’ll be visiting other journos and web glitterati as we move towards release.
Flame Over also featured on Sony’s enormous stand, which is possibly the biggest blue thing ever created. Seriously, look at how blue that is… O_o
Like I said earlier, we are close to getting an alpha build of the game on vita now, so you can expect lots more blog posts between now and release.
So, to keep up to date with all things Flame Over subscribe to the blog, or to our Facebook,Twitter, Youtube and Google+ pages where we will be posting all the news from Laughing Jackal.
Cheers until next time!
More on Flame Over:
Blending top down squirt em-up’ action and ‘Pyroguelike’ game mechanics, Flame Over features fast-paced firefighting thrills, randomly generated levels, 4 different game zones and dastardly hazards at every turn!
Guide moustachioed firefighting legend, Blaze Carruthers, in a race against time and near-certain death! Fight through all 16 floors of the Infernal Industries building in a quest to save it from the dynamically spreading fires threatening to raze it to the ground! Fail, and its Flame Over…
- EXPLORATION! An all-action roguelike full of random levels, permadeath and fire and rescue fun!
- EXCITEMENT! Rescue workers, avoid deadly hazards, complete mini missions, save cats… Shop!
- EXPERIENCE! Upgrade player stats, buy powerups and chase speed runs and high scores online.
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Posted by Ross
Mon, 29th Sep 2014
I’m coming to you a bit early this week to let you know that our mighty chain-reaction-shooter, OMG Zombies, will be one of this week’s Steam Weeklong Deals.
This means that until October 6th, OMG Zombies will have an incredible 66% reduction from its usual price of £3.99 ($4.99) leaving the price at a shockingly low £1.35 ($1.70). So, why not go and take advantage of this great deal here.
OMG Zombies is an awesome reimagining of a genuine classic: the critically acclaimed OMG-Z, a top-ten all-time Metacritic rated PSP game and ranked as Metacritic’s best action title ever released on PSP! The guys at Push Square gave it 89% and called it “a must buy” game, Escape Rope claimed it’s “...one of the best zombie games in recent memory” and Defunct Games gave it an A rating saying it’s “so addictive... I still can't get enough of watching the explosive chain reaction caused from a well-placed bullet.”
OMG! Alert! Alert! The City of Redfield has been hit by an outbreak of exploding zombies! For cool and unimportant reasons these suckers literally explode when shot, showering their zombie brethren with gore and causing chain reactions of showering zombie gibs with just a single bullet!
As a lone cop armed only with bare wit, a large-calibre sniper rifle and bullets coated in a zombie-exploding pathogen, you are the last man standing at the epicentre of a zombie outbreak. Your mission? To succeed where the police and army failed by clearing the streets of 8 different strains of bloodthirsty zombies and stop Armageddon in its tracks!
Use your sharpshooting skills to vanquish 100 branching levels of zombie hell across 40 unique environments in this hugely addictive chain reaction shooter. Earn 400 shiny medals and cold hard cash to buy 100 different upgrades, all designed to MAKE THOSE ZOMBIES EXPLODE!
Now the new and improved OMG Zombies features completely redrawn HD graphics, more gore, more levels, more upgrades and all-new content including 12 trophies, 100+ leaderboards, a 20-stage ‘Prestige’ system and 5 beautifully illustrated endings.