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Spotlight: Chadthedestroyer2 and After the Flash: Darkness

July 8, 2013

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


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spotlightchadInspired by other builds he had enjoyed playing on ROBLOX, chadthedestroyer2 decided to give “post-apocalyptic survival” games a shot. The result was a series of popular ROBLOX titles called After the Flash. Though each game looks radically different from one another (“Snowstorm” features a snowed out post-apocalyptic world, “Sandstorm” features a desert wasteland, and “Japan” features, well, you get it), the premise is the same. The world has, for the most part, been destroyed. You are a survivor, sifting through the wreckage of what used to be the town or city you called home.

Ever since we released dynamic lighting and shadows, we’ve been keeping an eye on developers who are structuring games around the feature. Chadthedestroyer2’s latest iteration of the series, “Darkness“, does just that. It’s a far different addition to his series, in that the lights are off, and the only way to survive is careful exploration with a single flashlight.

This adds a great deal of mystery and suspense to an already dire situation. For most of the map, you can only see as far as your beam of light travels. Chadthedestroyer2 explains that the goal of the game is very open-ended.

“The objective is to form connections with other players, and to write a great story as you play the game,” says chadthedestroyer2. “There are also plenty of hidden weapons throughout the map and mutants that attack you. Most of the time the real drama happens between groups of people,” he continues.

ATFboat

This drama can stem from numerous scenarios. After the Flash features a police force of actual ROBLOX players who try to keep order among the chaos. As such, there are often shootouts between looters and officers of the law. All of the possible scenarios revolve around choice, which is what makes the game so dynamic.

From a visual standpoint, After the Flash: Darkness absolutely comes alive with detail. Each of the many scrappy towns features huts and structures that look like they’ve been salvaged from spare parts, which, within the context of the story, is most likely true. Exploring this desolate and dark world is not only a core gameplay mechanic, but a visual treat as well. Every room, even ones that seem small or inconspicuous, feature visual cues that make exploring worth your time.

I put down each individual brick in that town,” says chadthedestroyer2. “The hardest thing about building the city was constantly finding inspiration to draw from. I knew I wanted to build a city, but I wanted to build one with substance,” he says. “Every structure looks different from the last.”

ATFguns3

They’re rare, but if you manage to find a gun, check out the custom animations chadthedestroyer2 has been able to build with help from fellow builders Vinya and greatjezi. These are not your average ROBLOX guns and they each have custom built parts–the reload animation on the magnum, for example, is exceptionally realistic. Hit “R” to watch a detailed reload animation, where your character dumps the six shells out of the chamber (and on to the floor) and individually loads each bullet. That’s just one example. The trace fire looks great, as well as the small but subtle explosions every time a bullet is discharged.

Chadthedestroyer2, like many other builders, had been anticipating the release of dynamic lighting. Unlike most builders, however, he didn’t see the implementation of the feature as a way to “brighten” things up. To the contrary–this was his opportunity to build the After the Flash game he had always wanted to make.

“Dynamic lighting was my favorite update of all time,” he says. “Before I had to use fog and it made everything just look off. Dynamic lighting allowed me to make the level feel like a real place. Implementing it was surprisingly simple as well–I just popped over to the blog and started reading about the specifics. It was really helpful.”

When I spent some time with chadthedestroyer2 inside After the Flash, people were excited he was there, to make an understatement. Amidst the barrage of chat bubbles, one question arose more than any other. “When is ATF 5 coming out?” He tactfully ignored the question in-game, but I was unable to stop myself from asking.

aftertheflash2
“To be honest, I’m working on another game right now. I just want a taste of something different for a while,” he says. “I can’t say a lot, but I’ll tell you this: it’s a fantasy RPG with a massive map. I’m finishing it up and it should be ready in about two weeks. I like to work quickly, and work to avoid falling into time traps. I have to move forward.”

“If the game takes off, I’ll stick with it until it fades out. That’s when I’ll start working on ATF 5,” he added.

Chadthedestroyer2 seems shifty about whether or not his fans will embrace his new RPG, though with over 500,000 visits to After the Flash: Darkness, he knows his core followers won’t rest until a proper sequel is built. The real question is: what word is going to be on the end of that colon?

In usual Spotlight fashion, we didn’t want to end the conversation without asking chadthedestroyer2, “what advice would you give to new builders who want to create a popular game on ROBLOX?” His advice:

If you don’t know how to script, use models. Examine them. Take a look at some of the models in my inventory (by going to my profile and clicking “Models”), and get an understanding of what details are acceptable. Practice with those models and build with them. When I started out, I dodged scripting like it was the plague. Learn to build with models, and network with others on ROBLOX to find a scripter that shares your vision. Put some love into everything you create, and people will see that, and be motivated by it.