Developer The Molasses Flood’s debut title The Flame in the Flood was well received following its release in 2016 for Xbox One and PC, before later arriving for PS4 in January of this year. The Boston-based studio’s first outing, a roguelike survival game, put players in control of a young girl Scout and her faithful canine companion Aesop as the pair traverse a huge river, the result of an apocalyptic flood that has left behind tiny islands full of exploration, looting, crafting and danger. Recently announced for an upcoming release on Nintendo Switch, I caught up with The Molasses Flood founder Forrest Dowling recently at Gamescom 2017 in Cologne to find out more about the studio’s decision to bring its debut game to Nintendo’s hybrid console. Here is what he had to say.
The Flame in the Flood was very well-received following its release on Xbox One, PC last year and then on PS4 earlier this year. How excited are you to bring it to Nintendo Switch and have Nintendo players experience the game first-hand for themselves?
Forrest Dowling: I’m really excited because even since the first version we had a lot of time to improve and fix it in a lot of different ways and additionally I think the Switch is a great platform for it. I think it’s a great game you can play in sorta small bites on the go or if you want to sit down and put some time into it, either way, it works and that’s kinda what the Switch is made to do.
For Nintendo fans who might not have had the chance to check out, or see The Flame in the Flood in action before, what is it about?
Forrest Dowling: The game at its heart is a survival game, in which you play as a girl and her dog and you travel down a river by raft where you are stopping off at different places along that river in a quest to find civilization and other people or something else that’s outside there in the world. It’s a randomly generated survival game, that’s based on real world survival techniques and methods.
For fans of survival titles or roguelikes, what do you believe will interest them most about your game?
Forrest Dowling: I think for fans of the survival genre we are doing some different to what people might be used to, so they will have a very different experience, one that we are basing it on real world survival techniques and know-how. So the sort of stuff that you would actually do in a real world survival situation we try and model in one way or another, and the other big difference between us and a lot of other survival games is that we are a survival game that’s all about movement and traveling as opposed to setting up a farm or building a base in one place, so I think it offers a kinda different experience than that. As far as roguelikes go, we do have a very high and hard difficulty setting in which you have the opportunity to lose a lot of progress when you die, so if you’re into that kind of punishment you can experience that.
Will The Flame in the Flood introduce any Switch-specific features?
Forrest Dowling: I think the thing that I am most proud of is that it’s a one to one port and that there have been no graphical compromises that have needed to be made. We are not planning on any additional or exclusive content or features for the switch version. It’s the same as the definitive edition that launched on the PS4.
What challenges did you face, if any, with bringing The Flame in the Flood across to Nintendo Switch?
Forrest Dowling: As the developer of the original, I faced no challenges bringing it to the switch because it has been ported by Curve [Curve Digital] so we were not actually involved in the technical side of it. But I will say that they have done it very fast and it’s running great already so I don’t think they hit any major hurdles.
Nintendo Switch has been out almost half a year now. How has the studio viewed the launch of the hybrid console?
Forrest Dowling: I’ve been really surprised by how successful it has been. Initially, we weren’t too interested in bringing Flame in the Flood to the Switch, but we have seen how excited people are about it and I myself really love my Switch. I picked one up at launch and I think people are really hungry for games for it with good reason but I think it’s an awesome little system, I’m really liking it and I’m really looking forward to bringing the game to it for that reason.
This is your debut game. Will The Flame in the Flood be the first of many Molasses Flood developed titles to make their way onto Nintendo Switch in the future?
Forrest Dowling: We are figuring out what our next title is gonna be right now. I would hope so for a variety of reasons like one I hope the Switch remains popular and viable and I also hope we remain popular and viable in the years to come. My fingers are crossed and I hope my answer to that question becomes yes.
Do you have a release date or price in mind?
Forrest Dowling: I don’t know the price from the top of my head I think it will be in line with the other versions, and it’s releasing in October although I do not have a specific date for it yet.
What does the future hold for the studio post The Flame in the Flood?
Forrest Dowling: I can just say we are working on something new and we are really excited about it and its way too early to talk about because we don’t even really know for a while if we will be able to make it or not. But yes, we have big plans.
We’d like to thank Forrest for taking the time to chat with us.
The Flame in the Flood is available now for Xbox One, PC and PS4 and will arrive for Nintendo Switch this October