Lysis blog

15th February 2014

About Fly Away Home

I'm very pleased to finally release a game I've had sitting on my hard-drive for a long time: Fly Away Home.

Labels include 'new type', 'stunt', 'effect', 'variant' and 'Boss'.

Level icon array from the main menu.

So what is so great about it? First and foremost I think it's really fun, and the progression works really well. I tried to put in a nice variety of levels - you can see this before you start the game, where many of the unseen levels are labelled with a teaser of what you will eventually find. These include 'new type', 'stunt', 'effect', 'variant' and 'Boss'.
Level 1 introduces the movement scheme without moving hazards, then the game introduces a new creature type each level. After this some of the levels have other special effects - graphical effects or variations on the other creatures. I like to put little puzzles in my games, and managed to get a few in here.
The levels are divided into groups of eight, with the last in the group providing a new challenge.

I'm very proud of how well the game plays. Having to track, predict and cope with numerous simple movement paths is of course a traditional gameplay mechanic, but I think it works well here because of the precision of the collision detection system, and another old favourite, careful randomisation of the initial state.

While I've tried not to make the game too difficult, it's undeniably a dexterity skill game. To make it more amenable to the casual player I've put in an infinite continues system. Hardcore players can try to get as high a score as possible, while those who hate going back to the start after losing their lives can keep on progressing, and restart from any level they've reached.


It would be remiss of me not to mention that part of my inspiration was an old game "Daredevil Dennis". This had the screen-wrapping display with short-cut holes, where completing a level involves travelling across the entire screen several times. Besides the unusual layout, I also used something of the motion system - the gradual acceleration and timed jumping over or passing under the hazards.



Fly Away Home level with all six standard creatures

I was also really lucky to get some lovely artwork from two artists. The in-game pixel-art is by Rivaledsouls (the blurry backgrounds which are generated procedurally), and the title page image is by Rose Dragon. I was so impressed with this that I also got her to create some extra pictures for the story which you can see by completing the game.

Bonus material

Here is the gorgeous title-page art for your desktop wallpaper, or other personal use:

Title page art thumbnail

So that's it. I hope you liked it.

Go play Fly Away Home now.



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