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Indie Spotlight – Warren Smith

Warren is an indie developer from the U.S. who has been working on a project called ‘Dark Flame’. Unlike most of the other developers that I’ve covered (and yes I know it’s been a while since I’ve written one of these) Warren Smith has received quite a bit of recognition for his work thus far. One glance at the game in action, and it’s easy to see why. The design is phenomenal, and the sound is great as well. I had a lot of fun with the demo, and I’m excited to see what Warren Smith does with this game in the future.


Blackman ‘N Robin: What made you want to make Dark Flame? It definitely has that Metroidvania style to it, so is it safe to say that you take inspiration from Castlevania or Metroid?

Warren Smith: I started working on Dark Flame back in June 2013 because I wasn’t really satisfied with the games that were out. I really liked the playstyle of the old Castlevania games, but I wanted more. Since that void wasn’t able to be filled, I decided to make my own game. I loved playing games and have always imagined making my own. I would say it is safe to say that I take a lot of inspiration from Castlevania because it was what started this journey of game development.


BNR: What about Dark Flame sets it apart from other Metroidvania-style games, or other indie games in general?

WS: I think the dark storyline, Souls-inspired mood, and customization will set Dark Flame apart from other Metroidvania games. I believe that the art style will set it apart from other indie games. Though it is still pixel art, it is of a newer age than most of the pixel art that you see in indie games (16-32 bit as opposed to 8 bit). I also believe that this game plays as well as it looks — awesome!


BNR: I love the artwork and the soundtrack, did you work alone on that part of the design? Or did you hire someone else to create the music for Dark Flame?

WS: I’m glad you love the visual and audio assets! I hired a few people to help me out with the majority of art and music assets for the game. I spent a very long time browsing through profiles to find the individuals who I believed would be able to make this project come together beautifully.


BNR: The demo is fairly short, but it is rather difficult. With the exception of length, is this a good indicator of how the rest of the game will feel?

WS: The demo is short due to the current state that the project is in. It is still pretty early in asset development so extending the demo further wouldn’t necessarily be ideal. Metroidvania types tend to heavily rely on content. So I want to make sure that I have enough variations in environments, enemies, etc so that the player doesn’t get bored at staring at the same textures or fighting the same enemies. The scope of the game (when finished) will be much larger and have great replay value (due to the variations in story and customizable gameplay). I would say that the general concept is ideal for the finished game, but it is not it’s complete form. There are tons of changes made to this game throughout the development. This is mainly due to the fact that I want to make sure that the game will be fun without setting things in stone and pushing through.


BNR: When can we expect Dark Flame to be released, and where can readers find more information on the game?

WS: Unfortunately, this is still in an early state of development that I can’t give a hard release date yet. I’m always posting updates of my latest work on my social media sites that are all linked to my official webpage (www.DarkFlameGame.com).


BNR: Thank you so much for your time! I really really loved the demo, and I was hooked on the artwork the first time I saw it. Good luck with the rest of the game!

WS: Thanks for the compliment! As I said before, all I want to do is release an enjoyable game for Metroidvania fans that just can’t get enough! You can always help out by spreading the word about the development of the game or even support my Patreon page to help out with finances!



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