Hooray! Our first major game is ready for release. I’m Tim Ash from BoxFrog Games and we have been working like crazy with our amazing partners at 2Awesome Studio to finish Lost Wing, and the end is in sight with a release today on Xbox One.
Lost Wing is an all action, adrenaline-filled title. I think most indie developers want to create the kind of game they like to play, and we really wanted to capture the essence of classic arcade games like Tempest and Zaxxon, whilst keeping the gameplay fast and fun. It was our aim to figure out what made those games so engaging and bring that into Lost Wing.
There are several mechanics available to the player including shooting, jumping, pick-ups and time-slow, and it is important to manage your ‘charge’ throughout each run. Although we wanted the base gameplay to be quite simple, we felt it was also important to include a lot of player agency, to add a significant layer of depth to the game. We would often try and follow the design concept of ‘easy to pick up, hard to master’ when considering level design and gameplay mechanics.
The final key mechanic is revealed in the name of the game, you can lose either or both of your wings, and depending on your ship this affects handling and weapons. However, this also gives your ship a smaller profile, so you can fit through narrow gaps and collect better bonuses and pickups.
Balancing the different mechanics has been an ongoing process since day one, it has taken us an incredible amount of tweaking and refinement to get this right, and we have often relied on our player base to help us with that (thank you!). Keeping the game a challenge without it ever feeling unfair was a key design element for us.
We also really wanted to have a lot of variety in gameplay modes, all built around the core concept of speed and shooting, so you will find multiple modes with preset tracks, and much longer campaign courses which are different each time you play, and have bosses to beat. I think our favorite mode is ‘precision’ as the speed for each lap gradually ramps up until it is incredibly intense!
A final mention must go to the music, this was initially based on synthwave artists such as Lazerhawk and evolved into something more progressive to match the build-up of each level, we think it works really well, and we are sure you’ll love it too. You can see the synthwave influence on the art style too, with lots of neon, and an 80s style color palette.
Of course, to truly be considered an arcade game there must be leaderboards, and there is one for every track meaning tons of opportunity for competition. We can’t wait to see your name on the board, and with all our experience playing Lost Wing we can hopefully keep you off the number 1 spot!