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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: LCD Gamesystem

    - staff

  • Ryan George, Game Design Student, Columbia College Chicago, Radiant Flux

    Radiant Flux is a double sided LCD handheld game where player must actively switch between both sides of the handheld to fight off waves of enemies for nine intense levels. As the player progresses through the game the amount of enemies per level increases.

    Each LCD screen would use roughly the same LCD screen printing with the only differences being the weapons the player wields (Example 1).

    The sides of Radiant Flux represent "Light" and "Darkness". Each side essentially acts as a weapon. These weapons (the Shadow Blade and Light's Fury) can only attack and defeat specific enemy types. For example, Light enemies can only be killed with the Shadow Blade meaning the player must be playing on the Dark side of the handheld. Attacking drains the player's relative meter (Shadow drains Shadow, Solar drains Solar) by one.

    The weapons themselves are also unique in how they attack. The Shadow Blade attacks enemies both in front and behind the player. While wielding Lights Fury players attack the space in front of them as well as the space directly behind their initial target.

    Players can utilize the light (solar power) and darkness (shadow/lack of light) of their surroundings to build up energy. Solar Power/Shadow Power is charged via the solar panel at the top of the game. Solar Power is built from taking in light and Shadow Power increases from the lack of light (Example 2). Players can have a maximum of seven charges of Solar/Shadow power.

    There are two types of enemies: Light and Dark enemies. Both enemy types have similar LCD prints, the only difference being the Dark enemies appear as silhouettes and Light enemies appear as outlines. Dark enemies drain the player's Shadow Power while Light enemies drain player's Solar Power. Upon defeating an enemy the player's relative energy meter charges by two (for example, upon defeating a Dark enemy the player gains two charges of dark energy). When the player is hit by an enemy their Solar/Shadow energy is drained by one. When the player is out of either Solar Power/Shadow Power it's Game Over!

    The button layout of Radiant Flux is very simple (See: Button Layout). Players use the directional buttons on the left of the handheld to navigate the 2.5D playing space. The buttons on the left are the attack buttons. The right attack button attacks the space to the right of the player and the left attack button attacks the space to the left.

    In order to switch sides players would press the "Switch" button, located near the attack buttons for easy access, to briefly pause the game (for three seconds) so that the player can flip to the other side of the handheld without being attacked during the transition. While the player is playing on one side of the handheld the buttons on the other side are disabled. This is triggered by a mercury switch inside the handheld that can tell which side is face up, and which is face down.


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