The main mechanic in Arlo utilizes clipping masks, a component I learnt about in 1st year game design when I was making a game called Scope about an elderly sniper who had trouble focusing. The component is simple, you have two images, and the clipping mask lets you see through the first image and into the second image. In the sniper game, that meant we had an image that was blurry, but when you focused the area in the scope became clear.
In Arlo clipping masks are attached to the flames of the flamethrower, and there are two worlds laid on top of each other, one capitalist corporate hellscape, one ashen wasteland. The flamethrower makes use of bullets which it fires out in a cone. Each bullet spawns a number of clipping masks a second and those clipping masks spawn more fire particle affects that burn out after a couple of seconds. This both works to make the fire seem very unruly and successfully simulates the world burning away.
My first attempt to create the system I wanted was to create clipping masks on the mouse and have the flames reach the area that I was clicking. However, due to my lack of technical knowledge I was unable to achieve that. There is also the problem that currently I am spawning way too many clipping masks, to the point where the game is becoming laggy nearer to the end of the playtime. An issue that shouldn’t be occurring due to the small size of the game.
Today I also conversed with friend of the course, Emma Reay, about revelations. I got the impression she liked my idea for an anarchic, anti-capitalist fire fest but saw it as a bit 2 dimensional. The logical step she recommended was to have a look at the book of Revelations, I was making a game (sort of) about the end of the world, so reading the insane ramblings of someone from “the Jesus times” seemed like it could lead places.
Revelations was a wild ride to be sure. I looked up the verses on a website and had a lot more fun than I was expecting. There were various sections about the apocalypse, the 4 horsemen, some dude with a sword in his mouth, some pretty poggers stuff about scorpion horses, and just general shenanigans involving 6 months of torture and some bizarre angels.
Revelations certainly had a vibe, but it was a vibe that was so bizarre I think I would struggle to replicate it this far into the game making process. Some small things I could include would be taking the robots that make up the capitalist hellscape (Humanities replacement in this dystopia) and when you burnt them away it would uncover a human skeleton.
It sounds very cheerful.