The Flame in the Flood is a game of survival. Surviving the hostile post-societal wilderness is no picnic. Scrounge for food and supplies, evade the ravenous wild-life, seek out shelter, maintain your raft, and stay healthy. And most important of all, make sure you’re gone when the rains arrive. You will be able to craft items from objects you collect during your journey. Snake bites, fatigue, hypothermia, open wounds, and infection are just some of the ways the world will try to kill you. Happily every affliction has its remedies, whether traditional herbal cures, wound-dressings, or simply a solid night’s sleep. Knowing which remedies slow or stop which afflictions is what separates a babe in the woods from a master survivalist. One piece of advice: address your afflictions in a timely manner, before they develop into something worse.
Everything needs to eat to survive, and to your predators, you’re just a sack of food wrapped in a buckskin parka and cute hat. Like the river itself, our AI encounters are procedurally generated, and the NPCs behave according to rules governing hunger, fear, aggression, and territory. You’ll need to use stealth, traps, distractions, timing, and your wits to avoid becoming a feast for scavengers.
Death is somewhat permanent in that you start over from the head of the river, to try again. But remember: Aesop your faithful hound, will be back with whatever he was carrying at the time of your last death. A small mercy from an otherwise cruel fate.
It was clear the time to move had come when the first rain fell and the cloud mass that spoke of the coming flood rolled south. Scout lashed her few belongings to her raft and set out for higher ground as the water drowned her cook fire. Her only companion the dog whom she had raised from a pup after finding it tangled in a muddy old sack in a river eddy. Her journey would take her through unfamiliar lands of crumbling relics from long ago. It would be a hungry trek, with scarce supplies, cold winds and rain always chasing and weakening her. She would have to build her own supplies from the pieces of scrap she could scrounge, conserve her food for long tracts of barren scrubland, ration what clean water she could find for the days ahead.
“Salvation lies at the end of the river” people say. Scout and her old dog have a long and terrifying journey ahead of them.
You play as Scout, a lone wanderer schooled in the art of wilderness survival. She's seen a bit of everything as she's come of age, and knows how to deal with the challenges of staying alive in a land that isn't interested in helping. Aesop is Scout's companion and beast of burden. He's only been with her a short time (carrying the bag of another unfortunate traveler when they met), and though he’s not much use in a scrap, he can carry supplies, call out clues and warnings, and generally help you navigate the wilderness.
The river journey is a story that stretches from mythology, through classic literature (Huckleberry Finn, Life on the Mississippi, Heart of Darkness) to the film and television of today (Mud, Beasts of the Southern Wild). In The Flame in the Flood, we want to translate all of the poetry, adventure, quirkiness, and melancholy of those works into video game form. The River is the central character of the game. It is the road that sweeps you ahead of the coming storm. It is a place of rest and calm when it slows and of frantic action and danger when you hit the rapids.
River Tech The Flame in the Flood might not look like your typical roguelike, but it does have one important aspect in common with that genre -- the use of procedural generation algorithms to pseudo-randomly create the world as you move through it. Why “pseudo” random? Because driving the randomness are a set of rules for making rivers that are fun and challenging to navigate, and provide for the many interesting choices you, the player, will face: risk the rapids to get ahead of the coming rain? Hit the store on the eastern bank or the gas station on the western? If I miss that gas station, when will the next one be?