The (jazzy) making of Thirty Flights Of Loving


Thirty Flights Of Loving [official site], a needle full of adrenaline pumped straight into the brain, is an enduring slice of Only Videogames Can Do This. A cut-up of all the best bits of spy movies with none of the context – you have to bring that yourself, which is the best part of it – and a delirious barrage of high-speed exploration, super-cool action and implied maxi-emotion. It is, I would venture without hesitation, unforgettable. In the absence of more Thirty Flights, here’s the next best thing: timelapse videos of its creation, with a lovely jazzy soundtrack throughout.

Blendo Games’ series of making-of videos are both mesmerising, as a whole world gets built before your eyes (and some of it really does look like assembling a model kit) and startling, in terms of how much work went into what seemed like fairly simple things.

A cuboid cat, for instance, or an exploding glass effect. 30 Flights’ aesthetic may be comparatively simple, but it’s an unbelievably meticulous construction – as we also found out when we chatted to the dev about all the secret cinematic homages it contains.

The below embed should kick off a playlist for you, but to pick specific scenes a la carte, have a look-see here:

Oh – we also consider 30 Flights Of Loving to be one of the best short games around. Dig in if you’re as time-starved as I am.


  1. geldonyetich says:

    Personally I found it to be a bit pretentious, in that it was less a game and more a series of vignettes, but I’ll definitely agree it did something different and created a memorable experience.

    I’ve seen VR movies stand well with less effort nor effective deliverance, so perhaps I could stand to be a bit less critical.

  2. Archangel says:

    Extra-super-triple-yay for Brendon Chung. Blendo’s work is universally quirky, entertaining, and extremely clever. I suppose I’m not surprised that the games’ apparent simplicity belies an imperial shed-load of work, but it’s fun to see it in action like this.

    PS Brendon: please make more games.

  3. Seafoam says:

    Thirty Flights of Loving was a masterpiece.
    15 minute experiece that made me emotional for weeks, say what you want but that’s going to have to be some kind of merit.

  4. ephemeris says:

    Is good but it was the predecessor “gravity bone” That sold me on Brendon Chung, It is this amazing story told in 5 minutes. The ultimate short story in game form. Totally worth your time(it’s free)

  5. poliovaccine says:

    As much as I also agree that this game deserves to be lavished with praise, I wouldnt say for a second that “only videogames can do” what it does. On the contrary, it’s so affecting cus what it does is skimmed so deftly from movies and books. Being free from chronology lets it jump straight to the next relevant part, the next “good part.”

    I still like QuadCow for the best Blendo game, cus I like the sense of interactivity the most, and it feels most like a complete game, whereas I might say Thirty Flights or Gravity Bone are some of my favorite short stories, favorite interactive machinima, something more precise than just “games,” because really they challenge the whole notion of games as having, yknow, fixed parameters in the form of rules of play with a discrete winner and loser. I read a book about backgammon once which asserted that “all games are war games,” and up until games like these from Blendo I would have called that pretty universal… except for frisbee… (btw, a certain military-sim enthusiast who writes for this site might appreciate that book, actually – it’s called Backgammon: The Cruelest Game, and if that title doesnt grab you then I donno what will haha).

    Anyway, I always felt like these Blendo classics were significant precisely for taking a few lessons from movies and novels and adapting them to the medium of games, which itself may have been unique unto games up til then, but I wouldnt say anything in Thirty Flights or Gravity Bone is exclusive to games – just the contrary, if anything, and that’s what it does that’s so clever and new: it learns from other media in ways that big-budget games have wished to do, and failed to do, no matter their titanic budgets, for years and years. Everyone wanted to create that “cinematic” experience, and then some singular indie showed up to show the EAs and the Ubisofts how to do it right.

    That all said, I do absolutely realize why the author says that “only videogames can do this,” because the experience *is* unique, not just “cinematic,” and you dont get to choose where the characters walk in any given room in a movie, and ultimately I’m not trying to make semantic quibbles here so much as have an actual discussion. I think these Blendo games deserve that. I just feel the need to make this disclaimer, lest anyone think by saying this I’m trying to be especially critical of either the games or this article. Rather, I just got a fairly different takeaway from the experience, which is that, what it does best, it shares in common with film and novels. Hardcore Henry was like the inverse.

    I would say “only videogames can do this” about the synthesis of cinema and codex-reading in Mass Effect, or the utter protagonistlessness (or visceral celebration of violence, for that matter) of many classic, enduring shooters. I would say about Thirty Flights, not that “only games can do this,” but rather that “this game beat movies at their own game.”

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    Aerothorn says:

    Meanwhile, I’m unable to get Gravity Bone to run on Windows 10 – always crashes about 2 minutes in, no way around it, even in compatibility mode :(