The Flash

Flash (Xbox 360/PS3)
I was the Lead Designer on Flash and as such was responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of the game. I wrote the majority of the design document and kept it up to date on a monthly basis, created all of the early white box levels to test out game play and worked on all level elements (missions, stunt opportunities, camera cuts, traffic and pedestrian implementation, etc.) with a junior designer while overseeing two other designers as they fleshed out the combat system.

I interfaced with every other department as well as both our publisher and representatives from DC Comics making sure that everyone maintained a cohesive vision for the game and worked especially close with the level artists to bring the two main cities to life.

Unfortunately our publisher Brash went out of business and the game was thereby canceled after only a year into the project. This video sample here is all that remains of the game and gives you a good idea of the level design and game play elements I had a hand in creating.  You’ll see plenty of samples of Flash running around town, running up the sides of buildings, doing stunts off of jumps, grinding on rails, and there are even a few shots of the combat system.

Our level building tool set was a conversion of Gamebryo tools reconfigured to work in Maya. Our AI was a visual state machine that was a custom conversion of Visio.

The biggest challenge we faced was how exactly to handle his running.  Running at the speed of light was just not going to happen.  Not only did we find that people had a really hard time steering him when he ran too fast (The Flash has super human reflexes to be able to turn on a dime…normal human gamers do not) but in the early stages of development we also found him running so fast he could get ahead of the level loading.  I wish I could say we found ways to fix all those things, but at the time the game stopped we had only just started addressing these issues.  We had trigger volumes all over the game that would assist in loading and unloading of data to try to make moving between locations seamless.  We added in controller functions that with a button press would allow flash to turn at 90 degrees or do a full 180.  We had begun to mess around with creating soft collision around objects so Flash would slide around them rather than crash into them.  Moving fast is what Flash is all about and we were dedicated to finding ways to represent that to the best of out abilities while still making him fun to play.

Flash is the game I am most proud of and I am truly heartbroken that it never saw the light of day.  Even at the early stage of development it was in when production stopped, it was already a really fun game to play and so many cool features were just beginning to come online.  Everyone was incredibly pleased with the progress of the game, especially DC who at the time said it was the best representation of one of their heroes they had seen.  I honestly feel that this game had potential for being something great and would have been a shining example of what I can bring to game development.  And if the fan response to this video is to be believed (over a million views and still climbing….not bad for something that was never advertised as being out there) there are a lot of gamers out there who would have loved to have played it.