Red Hot is a game I made in 48 hours during the Indie Speed Run in 2013, and one of the jam games I’m more proud of. I was co-organising the event (as usual with IndieVault and Codemotion), and it was a real feat to be able to look after the venue and make a game at the same time.

Ciro at Indie Speed Run
Me prototyping and testing the game

Gameplay

In Red Hot, you’re inside the cockpit of a spaceship whose entire hull is becoming too hot to handle. You have to use the controls of the ship (represented by a mouse, an Xbox 360 Controller, a PlayStation Move and the keyboard) to use the different features of the ship. But since they’re hot, you’re only allowed to use the hand with the oven mitt on!

Controls:

  • Mouse wheel: scroll it forward to gain speed
  • Xbox Controller: tap any of the triggers to clean the wind shield from space dust
  • PS Move: use it to steer the sheep through the asteroids (press the trigger to activate it, it lights up)
  • Keyboard: when the system becomes too hot and activates the security lock (red interface and warning siren), type the password to unlock it

You win if you get to hyperspace by attaining 200 km/h, and you do so by rolling the mouse wheel fast. You lose if your ship gets too damaged, either from heat or by colliding with the asteroids.

This is it. Very simple controls with a weird, innovative approach, and a sense of impending danger which is conveyed through the interface getting more and more red, and an alarm that goes off at some point.

 

How the game came to be

I got two themes I had to combine: Speed (which was shared with all the other participants) and Oven Mitt (which was my personal theme). I started brainstorming on the first night, but since I was in charge of the venue I decided to get a good night of sleep to prepare for the long night of Saturday.

I kept thinking about the game on the tram on my way home, and in my house. Speed and oven mitt, what do they have in common? At first I thought of something related to baseball, where a fast ball is thrown and you have to catch it with an oven mitt (as if you were a baseball catcher). Then inspiration came: speed and friction produce heat, so maybe you have something which is overheating and you need to handle it with an oven mitt. When I got home, I decided I would take an oven mitt with me to the jam the next day.

When I got to the venue in the morning, I put the oven mitt on and tried to take an Xbox controller with my hand. I was so clumsy with the mitt on! That’s when the inspiration came: I could make a game where the player needs to handle the controls of a spaceship that is getting REALLY hot because it came out of hyperspace too near a star (or sun if you want to call it that). You have to gather speed to escape the star’s gravity and get to safety by entering hyperspace again.

So, Red Hot was born: put the oven mitt on and handle an Xbox Controller, a PlayStation Move, a keyboard and a mouse, all with one clumsy hand! You can see the game in motion here: