Posted by Ross

Balancing Flame Over

Hi everyone,

This week I’m going to take you through what’s been happening with Flame Over in the last 7 days.  We’re at a stage where we have two of our four in-game themes fully designed, with the other two having all their hundreds of assets built, save a few remaining items and four mini missions or so.  We’ve also completed our first bunch of hazard rooms which have been a real blast to create.  These involve Infernal Industries’ (that’s the building Blaze is saving) rather over-the-top security measures that have been added to the Executive rooms.  Just beware of deadly laser walls and destructive sentry guns – that’s all I’ll say on that front! ;)

As we’ve kinda closed the door on some of the finished content, it’s natural that we begin to think ahead to the end of the project and balancing our gameplay some more.  Luckily for us we have a ton of easily editable game stats and parameters to tweak which can profoundly affect the speed, difficulty and the game’s overall level of danger in just a few moments.

With that said, although it’s easy to change settings, hitting the sweet spot to create something truly awesome can be quite a tricky process.  In the last couple of days we’ve been tweaking these stats a whole bunch, primarily those to do with fire and health loss/regeneration and despite some initial concerns on my part, I think we’ve hit something pretty special now.  Our levels have evolved into a tighter and far more varied experience and seem really jam-packed with fires that come at you from every corner.  This has been a really tough proposition in terms of keeping the game’s frame rate locked at a minimum of 30fps, which so far I’m happy to say, we’ve achieved!

As you might expect, the fire in the game is really proving to be a fearsome opponent.  It builds at a rapid pace from small, slow burning isolated fires up to raging infernos that can engulf an entire room in seconds.  That’s especially true in the posh and more densely furnished rooms of the Executive suite, which have tons of flammable materials to burn.  Fires can also create other hazards when they reach their peak intensity too, including unstoppable walls of flame and moustache-singeing backdrafts, to name just two.  These can both damage poor old Blaze as well as spread fires from room to room so you’ll have to think very carefully before opening any doors!

When the flames reach their peak, they will appear to attack Blaze by spitting out large fireballs in his direction. Having different sized fires threatening the player in different ways, rather than just causing damage when in range, has proved a really popular addition with the team here.  It’s definitely something we’re really looking forward to exploring in more detail in the next few weeks.  All very exciting stuff!!

So, it’s been a tough week with lots of changes happening and lines being drawn under some content that has taken ages (you wouldn’t believe how long, trust me) to get right.  But all-in-all things have reached a new height in terms of fun and playability which I’m really happy about :)

That’s all for this week.  Have yourselves a great weekend! ^^



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