Broken: Oro and Casstella

4th anniversary of the best Flash game I ever made

icon26.06.16
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From a young age I grew more and more interested in character design, and by 14 I began designing original characters in a hand drawn (and rather lame) comic called Houndagger. Often drawn during classes at high school, it was quite popular amongst classmates and in two years I had completed four books. I spent a further two years learning to draw anime and began refining my characters and art style, which to this day still remains.

By 2003, half way through the fifth book, I had stopped working on Houndagger. In 2004 I designed a dozen new characters and wrote an entirely new story - Hrugarya. Nothing became of that and I didn't write anything else for five years. Finally in 2009 I wrote a completely new storyline titled 'Broken: The Creation of Earth'. Not really keen to go the comic book route again, on a whim I decided to turn it into a game.

This is where Flash played an integral part. Before mobile gaming and the smartphone era, games were largely developed by well known companies for well known consoles. Flash slowly began changing that. It was available to everyday, regular people like you and me. You didn't have to be an animator or game developer or work years at a big, fancy company to use it. Anyone with the time and willingness to learn could very well create their own games. Using the unrivalled power of the internet, I was able to learn the basics of Actionscript (the coding language used in Flash) and eventually in mid 2011 I released a short demo introducing Broken's story.

The Plot

SPOILER ALERT! The backstory takes place millennia ago when Earth was born, before life, and before the earth as we know it existed. Two spirits were sent to earth to protect two of the most powerful elements - fire and water. Aquaria possessed a vase with an endless supply of water, and her brother, Apollus, wielded fire. Little did they know that Yrill, an imprisoned, evil spirit also inhabited Earth. He stole the vase (along with the power of water) and planned to use it against Apollus to acquire the power of fire as well. Apollus, not wanting fire to fall into the clutches of evil, relinquished his power and buried it deep within the earth - resulting in the center of the Earth being hot. Yrill still fought Apollus, and during their battle, broke the vase causing massive amounts of water to flood the earth creating the world's oceans.

The Trailer

I worked on Broken (the full game) for a year and released the completed version in June 2012. It was uploaded to Deviantart and Newgrounds, and it was also downloaded by other Flash game enthusiasts and uploaded by them to various online gaming sites. Spanning all sites, Broken was played by thousands of people around the world. Reception and feedback was mostly good sprinkled with some bad. The game's merit lay in it's design and visuals. The graphics, art style and animation were widely praised. The interface, game menus and level design are gorgeous with literally thousands of hours put into intricately drawn and animated scenes.

The gameplay, however, wasn't that great. I'll be the first to admit that programming isn't my forte. Although quite basic, it's still playable, but lacks more advanced features. Many people also said the game had a really high difficulty level. Even I struggle to clear the game now - and I flippin' created it!

Over the years I've created many other games in various genres but none at the level of detail and sheer amount of effort as Broken. It remains the favourite amongst all my Flash games. As of early 2015 I stopped developing Flash games. Flash and SWF format files are quickly being phased out as they aren't supported by many mobile devices and are prone to security issues. Flash is now rebranded as Adobe Animate and although it has somewhat fallen by the wayside, it took the uncanny concept of games being created by regular people and made it real - possibly paving the way for mobile gaming and apps to flourish into the multi-million dollar industry it is today.