After a few weeks working on menu systems I decided to start work on building the world map. It’s already looking good and starting to bring the game together.
We’ve known from the beginning that building the world map would be a massive task. This is because we don’t just want a simple menu type map that allows you to move between places. We want a fully interactive isometric world map that adds to the game and begs to be explored similar to the map in Cuphead.
Unlocking the World
The map is separated into a number of islands allowing us to block off later areas with broken bridges and such. Much of the map will be locked at the beginning. As you explore you’ll open gates, turn off lasers, and unblock roads until the map is fully navigable. As you complete areas more direct routes through will open, like in the Souls series of games, making the world map quicker to move around on.
Hero Art wonders towards a blue crystal marker on the early world map
Levitonium Marks the Way
We needed some way of signposting playable areas on the world map and decided to use ‘levitonium crystal posts’. A substance called ‘levitonium’ is a key part of the game. Levitonium powers many of the machines (mecha) in the game including Art’s sidekick FT. It is a crystal substance that levitates as it contains a lot of energy and it glows either blue or red. Crystal posts that glow red indicate an unfinished area or danger in the vicinity. Whereas, crystal posts that glow blue indicate safe, complete areas. These complete areas can still be returned to for levelling-up, ingredient farming, finding missed loot, or to get better times in speed-running the area.
Two levitonium crystal posts – one glowing blue showing the area is complete and the other red
We spent a lot of time designing and coding the world map representations of ‘Flawllen tombs’. The tombs are where Art can find Flawless wraiths to beat in fights to the death and upgrade his blades. These tombs will not have crystal posts. Instead, they will have a fire burning on top that can change from red to blue.
A Flawllen tomb – A place where Art must fight a Flawllen wraith to the death for a blade upgrade
Fishing Chat with a Fishing Cat
It’s also possible to chat to NPCs on the world map. In the image below you can see ‘Fishercat Fin’. He’s a one eyed cat who loves fishing but needs your help to see his float. The conversation makes way to a fishing mini-game. The game is both fun and rewarding as the player can gain items by helping Fin.
From sketch to screen – Fishercat Fin loves catching his meals
The World Awaits!
The world map has come a long way in a short time. It really does make sidescrolling levels and areas feel like part of a wider world. Seeing gates open and crystal poles turn from red to blue give you a sense of accomplishment. The locked gates and paths that lead to out of reach places make you want to explore and find out what’s over the next bridge. Talking to NPCs brings the world of cats to life. Couple this with hidden items such as treasure maps and baking ingredients and the world map really is the central hub of the game.
We will have loads more information about ‘The Flawless: Art’s Tale’ very soon. Until then you can keep up to date with all things Flawless and Bare Knuckle on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Ste Wilson is a director, game developer, and programmer at Bare Knuckle Development Ltd. When not coding away on BKD games he can be found playing video games on console and PC. He also makes music under the music maker name of ‘Electric Fan Death’ and loves playing guitar, writing tunes, and producing music.