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Enter the World and Mystery of Glo Phlox With the Creative Director



Glo Phlox is an upcoming top-down Metroidvania shooter, inspired by games such as Titan Souls and Hyper Light Drifter, along with bullet hell games such as Enter the Gungeon and Furi. The game starsCordette, a druid who lost her memories after being attacked by a shape-shifting wolf. To learn more about Cordette and the world of Glo Phlox, check out OnlySP’s interview with creative director Justin Sennema above.

Glo Phlox is a narrative based game, starting out with the protagonist,  the elf Cordette, leaving her tribe and getting vengeance on the wolf that stripped her of her memories and powers. Cordette is a white-haired elf that is dressed in red, drawing a strong parallel to Little Red Riding Hood. Along the way, the player will learn about Cordette’s past by using nature to recover her memories and druidic powers.

The white hair of the main character is a smart choice as it helps to make her stand out in the world and allows the player to easily know where they are on screen. She also has a white druidic bird partner which will help the player locate items.

The gameplay is responsive and tight, making the bullet hell sections feel fair, but this does not mean the game is easy. Glo Phlox holds a challenge and demands some practice to beat and enjoy.

The world is worth exploring, the beautiful pixel art and puzzles add to the breadth foresty and varying biomes the game will venture through. Players will find new tools and abilities throughout the area that will grant access to past locations that were inaccessible.

Cordette comes armed with a cross-bolt that is able to shoot different types of ammo. This comes in handy when fighting bosses or even puzzles. Special ammo, though, is not infinite and thus needs to be replenished, making the player look for places to restock. Along with finding ammo the player will discover secret bosses and areas that give special upgrades.

Wandering the world feels much like Titan Souls with different areas and architecture hinting towards more lore and secrets. Exploring looks to be a big part of the story and fun of Glo Phlox, as getting further in the game opens up completely new types of areas to explore and incorporate new characters into the story.

Battling enemies is fun yet challenging as the character can not move while shooting such as older Resident Evil, adding to the anxiety-inducing aspects of bullet-hell fights. Players will have to be on guard at all times and be ready to use a blink-like dodge to get around bullets and time shots just right.

To see the other games that were showcased at EGLX click here!

For more on Glo Phlox, stay tuned to OnlySP on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and check out the rest of our coverage from EGLX 2018.

A graduate of Game Development with a specialization in animation. A true love for all things creative especially Game Design and Story.

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The Long Return Creates a Beautiful Aesthetic in Each Level — An Interview With Max Nielsen



Long Return header

The Long Return is a beautiful third-person puzzle adventure game, following the story of an orphaned cub. The player explores hand crafted levels as the cub retraces the steps it once took with his mother. The Long Return’s level design is familiar yet still distinct and refreshing, taking inspiration from both new and old games to create this muted low poly feel.

This gorgeous, debut project is the work of solo developer Max Nielsen. Although he is currently finalising the game ahead of its release later this year, he took the time to talk to OnlySP to reflect and tell us more.

OnlySP: What inspired you to bring The Long Return to life? Was it an idea you were sitting on for a while or did it come on quite suddenly?

Nielsen: Actually, I never planned on releasing this game, or even finishing it. I had just quit my job at Microsoft and wanted to create a quick demo for my portfolio, so that I could apply for jobs in the industry. At the time I was working on a 2D RPG mostly for fun, and I knew I would need to make something in 3D for the bigger studios to give me a chance. So I decided to make a fairly simple demo with around 10 minutes of gameplay. However, while working on it, I got offered a job as an application consultant at a great company, and they said they would let me work on my own games and run my own company on the side, so I accepted the job and since then I have been working on this game as a hobby on my free time.

OnlySP: Each zone in The Long Return has such a pleasing aesthetic, how did you go about level design in a mostly natural world?

Nielsen: I am a huge Nintendo fan, Zelda OoT is still my favorite single player game ever, and I had just played through Zelda BotW, and wanted to create a world with a similar color palette and feel. After trying out a few different things I decided to use the low poly style because that would mean I could actually model some stuff by myself. I think I’ve gone through the level design of each zone in my game at least 10 times since I started, it’s crazy how much you learn just by trial and error (although time-consuming).

OnlySP: Will the game have a stronger focus on gameplay and location or story. Is The Long Return is a mix of the two?

Nielsen: Since the start I really wanted to tell a story without any words or text, and I have kept true to that. Instead I tell the story using memories and visuals. This does set certain limits to how gripping and detailed the story can be, especially when working with animals, but I think the message comes across quite well. The game is, at its core, a puzzle/adventure game, and you spend most of your time solving different puzzles and finding your way past obstacles, accompanied by an amazing original soundtrack that I still cannot believe is for my game.

OnlySP: Being your first big project game, what have you learned during development?

Nielsen: That list is incredibly long, and hopefully I can create a post-mortem detailing most of it. But I would say the main things I will take away from this project is:

– Plan, research and test; When starting out I kind of just created features for the game by trial and error, this leads to some really messy code. Nowadays I always make sure to properly plan, take notes, research best practices and test everything in a dev-environment before putting it in my game.
– Marketing is a necessary evil, even as a hobby developer with very limited time, I still don’t do enough of it, shame!
– It’s okay to take a day off, don’t burn out, it’s supposed to be fun!

OnlySP: Overall, how long has it taken for you to develop The Long Return?

Nielsen: Roughly a year. But I’ve been working on games for 4-5 years before that as a hobby.

OnlySP: Do you have any plans after The Long Return is released?

Nielsen: Big, BIG plans, haha. While I love this game and all I’ve learned, I am so excited to start my next project. It is much more “my type of game” and I have very high hopes for it. I won’t say too much yet, but it will combine my two favorite genres of single player games; RPG and city management.

The Long Return is set to release in August 2019.

For more interviews in the world of single-player gaming, be sure to follow OnlySP on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. Also, be sure to join the discussion in the community Discord server.

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