Hello to you one and all,
This week in the world of Flame Over we’ve been working on a few interesting things.
First up, as I mentioned last week all of our Factory theme’s basic assets are now complete and ready to be turned into rooms and by the end of the week we hope to be able to start working on some Factory-themed mini-missions. Yay! ^^
Now the mad rush for assets has abated somewhat we can cast our eyes across the shed-load of other stuff we still have to get done! ;) This has mostly focused on two areas this week: user feedback and control scheme.
Above: Some electrical fires burn away at the top of this screen. Electrical fires start a new ‘regular’ fire every couple of seconds and can only be put out with the extinguisher. The fuseboard Blaze just found can power down electrical hazards!
On the user feedback front, our electrical fire’s visual effects have changed from a nice but very hard to see blue flame effect to a far more conspicuous pillar of dark smoke. Electrical fuel objects now emit this thick, dark smoke for as long as the power to the level remains switched on, instantly spreading fires to surrounding objects every few seconds and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Once you’ve hunted down that level’s fuse box, however, your electricity-related woes will be a thing of the past! Checking your map and hunting down fuse boxes is fast becoming a go-to tactic of mine… ;)
Above: Now Blaze has powered down those horrible electrical hazards his fire hose will be able to extinguish them. Go Blaze, GO!
On now to changes to our controls and I’d have to say that the single biggest change this week has been a change to the way you control Blaze’s aiming and the camera position during gameplay. It’s a change I am very very happy to share with you, as it’s turned out to be completely awesome!
Up until now we’ve struggled with camera control in the game, which ideally you’d want to control manually with a stick. Tough when you’re making a twin stick shooter…
We wanted Flame Over’s gameplay to have an element of hide-and-seek in terms of checking rooms thoroughly to make sure all fire sources are safe. Fail to do so and you could be moving on to new ground while an inferno begins to spread behind your back. So, being able to quickly and easily check your corners was very important to us.
Above: Here in a Executive-themed area Blaze has just thrown a water bomb at the bottom of the screen and is dealing with some closer flames with his hose. Cash is flying towards him for each flame he’s extinguished.
With that in mind, this week I decided the team should dedicate some time to getting our camera and aiming controls working as smoothly and perfectly as possible.
After lots of experimentation, Gavin’s narrowly avoided bout of stress-related insanity, and thanks to some inspiration on Marc’s part from the Zelda-on-N64 era we’ve well and truly succeeded. Now we’re using our right stick to seamlessly control the camera AND aim Blaze’s hose and extinguisher. But how?
Well, during peaceful moments when Blaze isn’t squirting his hose or extinguisher at something that’s on fire, pushing left or right on the right stick rotates the camera, with the speed or rotation depending on how far you push the stick away from centre.
Begin to squirt your hose or extinguisher and the right stick switches to control the direction Blaze’s equipment is pointed, giving you complete control of both elements. Camera manipulation is ultra precise, speedy and simple. It’s a revelation and something I can’t believe we didn’t hit on sooner. Still, we got there and we’re all very happy with our even lovelier new controls!
Well, that’s about it for this week. Over the next week we should have more to share on Flame Over’s progress – hopefully it’s all good.
See you then,
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