Survival Rafting: The Flame In The Flood

Water nice thing.

Many survival games are about building and fortifying, recreating civilisation starting with one single shack or hole in the ground, slowly building up until you’ve got all mod cons and a lovely new fitted kitchen. The Flame in the Flood is about taking what you can and getting the heck out, riding down a mighty river on your raft. Created by a bunch of former BioShock Infinite developers from Irrational Games, it’s a procedural survival game where you’ll need to scavenge on land but must escape down the river before the rains come. And it’s on Kickstarter, looking for $150,000 (£93k).

The river rolls through a procedurally-generated microcosm of American waters, banked by places to stop and scavenge for supplies. Animals, water, the weather, and your own stupid body are all willing to kill you. You can craft all sorts of useful things to help, naturally, and have a dog friend too. Splendid. And it’s so pretty. Look at this:

Developers The Molasses Flood include BioShock Infinite’s art director, lead level designer, senior technical animator, and senior AI engineer.

This is the second Kickstarter this week from Irrational alumni. When 2K closed Irrational Games (or blah blah, whatever), I was quite keen to see what former members might get up to if they went indie and could follow their own visions. For one group, the answer’s The Black Glove, a surreal tale of art, creation, and altering both with time travel. Looks quite pre-revolution BioShock-y, dunnit? The Flame in the Flood is more about the side where society is gone, but you still have lots of water.


  1. masterofchaz says:

    Sounds like a post apocalyptic Huckleberry Finn. Sign me up!

    So that’s two interesting new games coming from ex-Irrational devs. This is good. I’ll probably be backing both.

  2. gwathdring says:

    Holy shit.

    This looks awesome.

    It also looks like it was, in an alternate dimension, a Double Fine game.

  3. padger says:

    Fucking fantastic! Backed.

    This seems like one of those games that was inevitable. Had to happen, but you didn’t know that til you saw it.

    Something like that.

  4. Philopoemen says:

    I’m tempted to back just for the soundtrack; the game is just gravy

  5. Hunchback says:

    Great soundtrack (fucking well done to put the author 1 second after i wondered “wow, i wonder who’s singing this…”) awesome art direction. I hope the gameplay follows with the rest and this might be an epic game!

  6. Geebs says:

    It’s very pretty, but I do kind of wonder whether they’ve oversimulated. I’m not keen on all of the +tired, +exhausted pop ups; and they kind of imply that one of the mechanics will be pedantry about exact levels of player status – because otherwise, the devs seem perfectly capable of just animating the character to imply the difference, which would look much better.

  7. lowprices says:

    Backed. It’s heartening to see some good stuff is coming out of the wake of Irrational closing.

  8. Orija says:

    The aesthetics are fine, but it’s hard to tell how much gameplay depth this project is gonna have.

    • Fontan says:

      I’m just going to go with the flow in this one and see where it shores up.

      • lowprices says:

        There’s a whole raft of things to say about the game though.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Just going to float the idea that this pun thread might be drifting off a bit.

    • SilentDawn says:

      I’m not so sure about this game. i’ll wait and watch a stream.

  9. Blackcompany says:

    Backed. Thanks for posting about this one.

    I was raised in the rural American South on the tales of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I couldn’t not back this. And besides the relationship to quintessential American myths, its nice to see folks doing something new and original as opposed to yet another FPS.

    Dare I say it, but might this be an example of how the expiration of so called AAA gaming – at least, some of it – could actually benefit gaming as a medium in the future?

  10. Brinx says:

    “Music by Chuck Ragan” sold this for me.
    Although as a punkrock person I’m a little disappointed that there’s no mention of his punkrock projects on the kickstarter site.

    • derbefrier says:

      I love chuck regan. Got to see him play a year or so ago with social distortion. That was a badass show.
      As for the game I want to support it just because of chuck regan.

      If anyone here wants to hear more of him I reccomend the album Feast or Famine. Its spectacular

  11. davethejuggler says:

    That looked and sounded fantastic, all except the way that boat moved. It was jerking along in the most unnatural way possible. I hope they make that feel more fluid or I wouldn’t be able to get over it. There also seemed to be very little evidence of currents influencing it’s movement. Great art style though.

  12. tehfish says:

    Holy moly that looks utterly incredible o.O

    I’ve a bit of a soft-spot for survival games like these, but this one potentially could be the best of the lot.

    *starts chanting “please turn out as good as it looks to be” on repeat*

  13. Shiloh says:

    God that soundtrack is wonderful.

  14. Martel says:

    They should add a lower soundtrack but no game tier. I’m over backing games on kickstarter (unless Larian does another one) but I’d definitely toss them a few dollars to help make sure that soundtrack gets made.

  15. Shazbut says:

    I’ve just watched the video on mute because I’m in a cafe and I don’t really see what the fuss is about. Amazing what music can do

  16. BLyon says:

    Loving every bit of this. Survival games are certainly hitting that “been there done that” stride, but it’s great to see some new life in them from games like this and Firewatch. Those water rapids too…

  17. Ralek says:

    Sounds and looks really great. I’ve grown very reluctant when it comes to Kickstarter – haven’t backed anything in quite some time – but this might be worth an exception. I love the music!

  18. KFee says:

    tempted… just because of the music though.

  19. Hex says:


  20. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    I like everything about this except the static cloned water spray particles. Seems like a ran-out-of-time sort of minor oversight, but oh man the rest of the look is SO GOOD. And the music.

    I do agree with Geebs above though the +hungry popups are a bit jarring. Hope they will be optional.

  21. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Charming graphics, good music, very very bleak theme. I won’t try to infer an attitude to the way this video comes across, but it’s making me depressed really.

  22. JRHaggs says:

    My goodness. That is one of the most lovely, evocative trailer tunes I’ve ever heard.


    Buuttt…. I’ll wait for a full release.