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By Jonathan Balofsky On 23 Jan, 2017 At 10:38 PM | Categorized As Featured, Games To Watch, Indie Spotlight, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I often come across many indie developers on Twitter and one who caught my eye was Warren Smith, developer of Dark Flame. Dark Flame is a 2D metroidvania style game that takes some influence from the Castlevania series, while also taking a lot of influence from the Dark Souls series. I have been watching this game come together for a while now, and Warren has been kind enough to let me play early builds of the game. I want to give some attention to this game because it is one you should keep your eye on.

As I said, this takes inspiration from Castlevania but much more from Dark Souls. This is the perfect marriage of those 2 series in many ways, and I love seeing this come into its own. I have played 3 builds of the game so far, each more expansive and revealing much more of the game. These builds are available for people supporting the game’s development on Patreon ( not a plug, just pointing this out) and are quite extensive. Dark Flame is a game in which you will die numerous times, in many frustrating ways. But it has that “it factor” that just keeps bringing you back, no matter how frustrating it gets. rather than give up on it, a player learns to become more strategic, to plan things out better and find the right way to go about it. It still has a ways to go, and things such as enemy placement and lighting are in need of improvement, and the pacing could be handled better. That said, I am excited with each new build of the game, as it just gets better and better.

The reason I feel you should keep a watch on this game, is because Dark Flame is that indie game that will serve as both a castlevania replacement ( its got the look and wow is that music awesome. I wish you could hear it, because it sounds great), and a game for people wanting a Souls alternative. It is addictive in the best possible way and I think that is the best I can say about a game like this. I am extremely impressed with it, and even with its faults, I think this is an amazing experience. I eagerly await both the next build of the game, and the day it is completed and released to the public. This is indie gaming at some of its best.

You can follow Warren on twitter here. He frequently posts updates.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 Feb, 2016 At 02:32 AM | Categorized As Featured, Indie Spotlight, Interviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatarlogo_500x500_transWelcome everyone to Indie Game Spotlight. Today we speak with Warren Smith, developer of Dark Flame. You can read the interview below.

JB: Obviously your game takes a lot of inspiration from Castlevania symphony of the night. What else inspires your game and what is it that sets your game apart and gives it uniqueness? As well, how do you deal with the criticism that Dark Flame looks too similar to SoTN?

WS: Dark Flame comes from a natural blend of my favorite games. There are quite a few inspirations, but some of the big ones are Castlevania for the art style and “metroidvania” playstyle, Dark Souls for the theme and difficult gameplay, and Diablo for stat allocation and cosmetic effects from equipment. This game has many cool features that sets it apart from its competitors. Some of them are the dialogue choices to affect storyline, magic creation and equipment system, weapon/armor equipment and enhancements, various NPC interactions, secrets, treasures and much more

Honestly, I don’t get much criticism anymore for how the game looks. I believe that when I first introduced Dark Flame publicly, the game’s theme and playstyle wasn’t as profound. I personally would like to think that the game’s art style is comparable to that of a larger company – as that is what I’m striving for. As far as the comparison between the two games – one is inspired from the other but they are both different… Anyways, to answer your question, I would read the criticism, shrug my shoulders, and keep working on Dark Flame.

JB: How did you get into game development? That is what made you interested in and pursue a career in the field?

WS: I don’t think there was an exact defining point when I ‘got into game development’. This project initially started as many different learning tutorials and exercises that were self-motivated. I’ve always been interested in video games and have played them since I can remember. I’ve always thought it would be great to make my own so I just dove into it. Dark Flame is my first project. I’ve been working at it for about three years now and I love everything about it!

JB: What were some of your favorite games growing up?

WS: Well, the first game I ever owned to my name was Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis. I played other games on the NES before that, but I was really into the Sonic series growing up. My absolute favorite game is Final Fantasy VII, as it was the first RPG I’ve ever played and I got totally sucked into the story. I’m also a big sucker for the Souls games and anything with a great story.

 

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JB: What is your main goal with Dark Flame?

WS: Initially, it was a learning experience for me. Now that I am where I am – I want to make the best possible game I can make. Something that is enjoyable and memorable. I want people who play it to have an experience than to just run through another game…

JB: Do you feel there is a healthy market for a game like yours in the industry today?

WS: I do. Then again, I’m incredibly biased towards metroidvanias. I’m not a marketing expert, but I do believe that if a game is good enough, then people will want to play it (as long as they know about it).

JB: What are some challenges you have faced as an indie dev?

WS: Ha! This question should be more like “What are some experiences you’ve had that were NOT a challenge?” Every day is a challenge. On top of just designing the game, I have to deal with multiple failures and struggles with stress on a daily basis. Though, this game wouldn’t be where it is right now if it weren’t for those failures. I have to have these failures to keep me working hard.

JB: The music in Dark Flame’s trailers have been amazing, who is the composer of the music?

WS: Bryan Delerson is the music composer for Dark Flame. He’s created some wonderful pieces for the playable demo that is out now. I’ve also heard some of the stuff that he has in mind for the future of production and it sounds completely wonderful!

 

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JB: The story of Dark Flame that you have revealed so far is very intriguing. What was your inspiration for it?

WS: The inspiration behind the Story of Dark Flame comes from a number of different games. As I said earlier, I love a game with a great story. I also like the dark themes of the Souls games. I’m not the best writer so I’ve sought out Brian Lee and Tom King to do much of the legwork in it. The story will be a great decision-based immersion that will cause you to think about your choices pretty hard… if you like dark stories, then you’ll love what Dark Flame will bring you!

JB: What advice do you have for other indie devs out there who are just getting into game development?

WS: Be prepared to be let down and put way too many hours into something in hopes that people will like it. Game development is something that you need to be absolutely passionate about to pursue. If it is, then listen to feedback from players and don’t give up!

JB: Do you have anything you would like to say to the readership of Real Otaku Gamer?

WS: Yeah – thanks for reading this! I’m really just making Dark Flame because I want to give you a fun and enjoyable game. If you think that Dark Flame might interest you and you love Castlevania and Dark Souls games, then you should play the demo for yourself! Also, I love to hear feedback on this project as well. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see what’s missing because I’m working on the same thing all day every day.

Here is the Kickstarter trailer.

I hope you all enjoyed this. You can visit the website for Dark Flame here and you can follow Warren on twitter @BorishDugdum.