The Flame in the Flood Journeys the River Unknown
Update: The Molasses Flood recently showed The Flame in the Flood during E3 2015 at the Xbox booth. The game will release on the Xbox One later this year. Check out GameTrailers' Just Played feature from the show!
A self-described "company of AAA refugees," The Molasses Flood banded together with the goal of creating a post-society rogue-lite in the American South.
Their tale, The Flame in the Flood, would not be one of irradiate mutants or supernatural combatants, but rather, that of a young woman's journey downriver with her dog at her side, scavenging for supplies and using her cunning to survive amid the unpredictability of the wildlife and the weather.
More than just a part of the environment, the river is a creature of its own, dynamically generated, wild and fluctuating, shifting and revealing new surprises on every playthrough.
Lead Designer Forrest Dowling credited the openness of Unreal Engine 4's source code as a key component in bringing the river to life, allowing The Molasses Flood's engineers to go as deep into the code as necessary while the rest of the team continued building and testing out new gameplay systems with Blueprints.
Dowling said, "Typically gameplay features need to be built by engineers, but we were able to keep building a lot of gameplay and systems in Blueprint, which freed up engineer time and allowed us to build gameplay with a minimum amount of dependencies. Blueprint has been incredibly empowering for me as a designer, allowing me to prototype and build systems that, alone, I never would have been able to previously."
Dowling said the move to a small team has made them more nimble and loose. And, rather than try to replicate the technical capabilities of a AAA studio - Dowling joked with PCGamesN that it "could almost run on a PlayStation 2" – The Molasses Flood relied upon the particle and post-processing effects of Unreal Engine to enhance the hand-painted textures and create an incredible world that is both haunting and hopeful.