fox flux DELUXE
A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux
Hello! This is my 🚧 work-in-progress 🚧 puzzle-platformer about being a little cartoon fox who turns into things. Sometimes that's quite helpful for puzzling and/or platforming! Other times, it is less helpful.
Along the way you may also contest with elaborate contraptions, play a completely unrelated minigame, or ignore all of that and just grab all the candy in sight. But keep your eye on the prize: you've gotta rescue your girlfriend, who has been kidnapped by... your girlfriend. The same one, I mean.
about the game
I've been plugging away at this, a bit at a time, for some years now — and decided it's about time it saw the light of day, so here is a demo! It includes the first handful of levels, which should hopefully give you a couple hours of playtime. Unless your brain is like, way bigger than mine, and you blaze through it in ten minutes.
A few features are accelerated so you can play with them early; a few others have been cut out because um I didn't finish them yet. But hopefully this will give you a general idea of how it plays.
The original iteration of this game was fox flux, a jam game from way back in 2017. You can see why it's taken a while — I had to take a few detours to do stuff like learn to draw. Original fox flux was very nearly the first pixel art I ever made!
Here is an obligatory bulleted list of features:
- Transform into stuff, and back again (hopefully)
- Navigate your way around various thingamajigs that might react to different variants of you in different ways
- Make your way through the world entirely non-violently because what kind of monster would go around stomping on wildlife
- Bump into large bees
- Play an old arcade minigame to earn little bonus artwork
- Visit Star Anise's shop for the best deals on whatever he found lying around
- Push a big rock
- Collect treasures that go into a satisfying grid where you can look at them
- Wonder how the fuck you're supposed to get that star
I don't know when this will be finished — there's a lot to do, and this is largely a one-fox operation. But if you're "hype" (as the kids say) you can chip in on my Patreon to get new builds of the game irregularly; tell me when I totally broke something; and even join the secret Discord channel where I've already spoiled the plot. You can also check out:
- the dev logs I post here (which I think you might get emailed about if you follow my itch account, maybe?)
- my dev blog or, more recently, my cohost
- the fox flux Twitter account
- the Discord channel
I will likely update the demo with some missing features later on — stuff like music and a useful options menu — but won't be adding any more levels or story. If you want more of those, you'll have to either pledge, or wait until I finish!
The controls are currently a little dubious and can't be rebound (yet), but I've been playing with them for months, so they can't be that bad! They're mostly prompted in-game, but in case you forget:
- arrow keys to move
- spacebar to jump + select in menus
- E to interact
- F to use a special ability
- R to use an inventory item
- Esc for menu
- F11 to toggle fullscreen
Gamepads also work, in theory.
The game saves automatically.
- Some sound effects and special-purpose music tracks are missing. Making those is hard whoa
- Any art you don't like is a work in progress
- I didn't do a Mac or Linux build yet sorry
- It is possible, though considerable effort and ingenuity, to render some levels unwinnable. This is a feature. I'm not your mom
- Personally I think the farm level might be a bit too long but that's just more game for you to enjoy I guess
Linux, Mac, and 32-bit Windows users: you want to install LÖVE 11.x either from the LÖVE website or your package manager, grab the .love file, and drag the latter onto the former. Or run `love fox-flux-deluxe.love` in a terminal, if appropriate.
Please note that official releases of LÖVE up through 11.4 have a buggy version of LuaJIT that can cause rare but erratic behavior, including sporadic crashes and the complete failure of collision detection. The provided Windows release includes a fix for this bug, and Linux users will most likely have their own more recent copy of LuaJIT.
|Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Release date||54 days ago|
|Genre||Platformer, Adventure, Puzzle|
|Made with||LÖVE, Krita, Aseprite, Tiled|
|Tags||2D, Cute, floraverse, Furry, Pixel Art, Retro, Singleplayer|
Click download now to get access to the following files:
- 0.10.1 (demo #1 bugfix)53 days ago
- Please enjoy: demo #154 days ago
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you need intergalactic iq to play this game
you gotta be the boltzmann brain 2
So I spent some time going back and getting 200 coins on the first level in order to play the arcade mini-game, but then I mistakenly first pressed 'START' before placing any of the arrows (I thought I'd have to press 'start' to agree to spend my coins and get access to the game). So the character just walked over to the right and then I was out of coins. This was the point where I gave up on the game.
Esc for menu seems to not be working on my setup. I'm using caps:swapescape on linux (X11), and neither the actual key which is escape (located where caps lock usually is) or caps lock (located where esc usually is) bring up a menu of any kind when I start a new game – if menu is something I only get access to later, apologies for an incorrect bug report
oh, interesting. if i turn on caps-swap-esc i have exactly the same problem. you should definitely have access to the menu immediately. sorry about this, i'll look into it
urrggh, this seems to be an SDL bug; it thinks both keys are physical capslock remapped to escape.
that's a little bit out of my hands (though i'll look for another key to use as an emergency menu key), but i found a very strange workaround: if you turn off caps:swapescape, start the game, and then turn swapescape back on, the physical escape key continues to work
(i assume you think capslock should function as escape in the game as well? i'm never sure when i should check key mappings and when i should check physical scancodes)
ah, that is annoying (re SDL bug). and yeah, I'd prefer it to use the key my keymap has as escape unless it's rebindable to that in which case the default doesn't really matter
I think a good rule of thumb for when to use which is to see whether you are using the key for its location (e.g. wasd for movement) in which case it should use the scancode or its semantic meaning (e.g. enter for accept) in which case you should see what the key mapping is. to me at least escape for menu is more a case of the key being used because of its meaning rather than where it is located on the keyboard
pretty awesome and can't wait for it to be finished but i feel like a journalist playing cuphead's tutorial because i cannot figure out how to get that star or that heart above the chest in the first level
video games are harder than they look
tfw a free game demo on itch.io is harder to 100% than a game everyone calls difficult to 100% (i have 100%'d pizza tower up to the third world because thats as far in the game as i got)
This was such a fun game. I can't wait to see more of it. Keep up the great work!
hey, thanks for playing! glad you enjoyed it :)
you know, i just realised each of the letters in the title are stylized based on each of lexys forms. f1 is latex, f2 is slime, the l is stone, and x2 is starcow... if i had to guess based on color the u looks like it could be bee based on the black and yellow, the o and x1 are too generic to tell though... although the o does look suspicously like an unglazed doughnut though but you wouldent pull that on the poor fox... would you?
Finally got the chance to play this and… I’ll admit, the beginning is a bit slow. Like, the first few levels made me feel really like it was just an okay platformer, and didn’t really introduce the juicy mechanics until the very end of the level.
But honestly, playing through the entire thing, it was super fun and addicting. It’s definitely a bit rough around the edges, but it’s the kind of things that are gonna get polished up as you work more on it. Like, as far as serious critique goes, level 1 really feels more like level 0, and maybe it would be more fit if it were explicitly painted as a tutorial and somehow wrapped up with the initial story stuff, so that it’s clearer that it isn’t super representative of the entire game and actually just a tutorial.
Maybe also make the shop with Anise only work based upon the candy you’ve collected in every level, rather than the candy counter going up every single level run. It would probably require reworking the prices, but it feels wrong for this type of game to encourage just grinding out levels for candy, even though full-level runs are pretty fun to work on. I also think it would help if you dithered out the candies you’ve gotten before like the hearts too, although I have a feeling you probably didn’t do that since figuring out how to save that is much more difficult than for the hearts.
In terms of the kinda polish I feel might be nice, when I started playing it really felt like there was no input buffering for jumps, but then I later tried it out and I think there is? I’m not sure. Definitely could use some corner-clipping mechanics, since there were a fair number of times where I bumped into a block and missed a jump that I could have made. No idea how you’d make this work so it still prevents you from making jumps you definitely can’t make, but yeah.
Oh and uh, no idea if you have this planned or not, but I think it’d be really cool to have some kind of fox encyclopedia where you can see all the different forms you can have, and what the abilities do. Not only would it be cute, but it might help also make it clear that the lip balm is the only extra ability that anise gives you… I kinda, really tried to buy a lot from the shop thinking otherwise before I realised that.
Some more spoilery stuff:I must be really dense, because while I *definitely* figured out the star in the first level (become slime, get box), I didn't figure out the last heart. Overall I *think* I figured out every puzzle except that & the arcade in the third level, but I haven't actually executed on it yet.
There are a few spots where using up all the slimes can get you stuck, and I understand why you force the player to pick up the breadcrumbs in the first level. Being able to use up the slimes is a neat mechanic, but maybe it might make sense to have some sort of slime spawner that just infinitely spawns slimes so that cases where it doesn’t matter are a bit easier.
For level 4, it seemed completely unclear to me that you could climb down vines through platforms, and this was the solution to the puzzle. I definitely think this should be taught to the player earlier, since I had dismissed the idea of going down through semisolids long before I got to this level, and there’s enough going on that I thought that it was just something else. I actually discovered it by accident.
And also like, the pace seriously picks up after level 3. I’m not sure if you were planning to add more levels in between (the story indicates otherwise, but there’s also only the first world available, so, who knows), but it definitely feels like a huge difference in tone from the first few levels. Honestly, I like the pace of introducing so many things at once, but if that’s not what you’re going for for the whole game, it might make sense to treat those as bonus levels or something rather than standard fare.
Umm, I think that’s it? Overall, I’m super looking forward to future versions. <3
hey, thanks for the thoughtful feedback!
i'm not quite getting how you think the level progression should go? like, clearly you found 01 too easy and insufficiently tone-setting, but it also seems like you think 04 and 05 are too much (at least for what i'm going for). for what it's worth, i did put a lot of thought into the first level, and it went through a number of major revisions — i very much wanted something that would let the player goof around with the basic movement, even if they have very little platforming experience (and i've already had such a player!), but that would still be a nice quick little romp for someone more experienced. (this is why the tips are on signs, intended to be readable as fast as possible, or ignored entirely if you like.) almost all of the puzzle elements build atop the movement, after all, and if you come in e.g. not knowing that holding the jump button makes you jump higher, the entire rest of the game is going to be completely incomprehensible. and there are people who don't know that! everyone learns it at some point, and i can't guarantee that it won't be my game for someone.
i definitely don't want to call it a "tutorial", because then everyone will hate it, even those who would most benefit from playing it :)
figuring out the right speed to ramp things up is pretty hard. i don't want to dump half a dozen mechanics on the player at once, or the game turns into a clusterfuck of mystery objects — there needs to be something familiar to anchor to. but the game is also inherently complex, so a lot of stuff needs introducing before it can get juicy. i could just put you in a hallway where you run across each of half a dozen objects in a row, but... that sucks, and is boring, and is too artificial to give you a good sense of what's going on anyway.
like, 02 is actually called "the grate outdoors" because it was originally the level that introduced slime, and it was entirely about slime... but then i realized that i hadn't yet introduced any of the things slime interacts with differently (or the same), and you had just gotten your kiss power but not yet used it. i tried having a separate level before it that introduced kissing, but then you spent a whole level basically just kissing your way through heart panel mazes and doing nothing else, and that meant you did two levels in a row with no transformation — the core conceit of the game! so i ended up with what i have now, where 02 is a hopefully smoother run through (a) special abilities; (b) a new kind of terrain, grate-likes, through which your kiss can travel; (c) spikes, damage, and your general invulnerability; and finally (d) hey you can turn into stuff and it interacts differently with some of that stuff. which is still a lot, really, but i think the way it's arranged makes for a semi-coherent "narrative" as each thing leads into another, and then the next level gets to explore slimes in more depth.
04 is deliberately a big adventure — you are climbing a mountain, after all :) — but it really only centers around two things: a new thing you can do (the box) and a new kind of obstacle (signs). and for the most part i think it's a fairly straight shot towards the exit? 05 ends up more complicated thanks to several conflicting design constraints, but it adds a few more things because those things are mostly building on what you already know at that point: here are more things you can turn into, and more things you can pick up. but it does meander a lot towards the end, which is made worse by the heavier focus on backtracking, and honestly i'd like to take a hacksaw to it.
i do like tonal shifts, though. most likely the next levels after where the demo cuts off will be shorter and quicker, focus more on things you already know, and maybe have a clever twist that doesn't involve introducing new mechanics. i guess one big design constraint is that the treasures and hearts are what grant access to new levels, so the whole game is on the precipice of being non-linear, and i have to cram in as many basics as i can before it opens up. the demo is essentially that "cram" part.
so, i don't know. i'm very hesitant to make 01 be about more than the fundamentals (of which there are already quite a few), and i did chuck in a transformation at the end to give you a hint as to where things are going. it would be a shame to lose players on the back of a first level that can be finished in under a minute... but you did keep playing, so it can't be too bad? :)
uhh anyway i also kind of meandered there
the star anise economy is definitely screwy in the demo — the items are intended to be doled out naturally as you collect candy, without ever requiring active grinding, but of course it's hard to space them out when there are only five levels. i just sort of made up some numbers and hoped for the best :) the idea is that in the finished game you'll naturally get a steady drip-feed of shop items, but if you do replay levels for hearts or a better time, or even just go out of your way to get more candy on your first pass, you get a little reward in the form of accelerating the shop conveyor belt.
also, there is in fact a fox encyclopedia, and that would've been one of the very first (cheap!) items you can buy, but it's not finished yet so it's not in the demo. that definitely throws off the item curve, and it would've made it more obvious that shop items are very miscellaneous and not all new abilities.
and for that reason i don't think it makes sense to dither individual candy you've obtained before — other items are dithered because getting them again doesn't really accomplish anything (unless you're going for 100%), but getting the same candy again is still... more candy.
there is definitely jump buffering! the window is kind of arbitrary — offhand i think it's 0.1s — but if i made it any wider then jumping worked when i was still visibly a good distance off the ground, and that felt weird.
i don't know if corner-clipping is feasible, though. i put a kind of ridiculous amount of effort into having pixel-perfect collision, and... well, you won't get shifted sideways out of a cliff from landing on its edge too fast, but in exchange, corners are very fussy about not passing through each other.
it's very interesting that you got the star in 01 but not the heart. you're not the only one, either — and it seems like that heart is more likely to stump more experienced players. it's completely fair, but i suppose it plays with expectations enough to throw folks off. i'm not in the habit of spoiling my own puzzles though ;)
i do actually have a slime spawner, but i didn't want to use it in the first one-and-a-half slime levels for a number of reasons — the best one being that you can't possibly make purrl happy if there are infinite slimes. :) also i think it encourages you to think about the consequences of altering the level, even in subtle ways, and better to do that when things are easy. i do want to fix the softlock at the end of 02, but in a way where you still realize it would've been a softlock if not for... you know, something.
several players have been tripped up by not expecting they could climb down through a platform, which honestly is a surprise to me because i just take it for granted as a normal rule of platformers. (see, this is why 01 is only about movement!) the beginning of 05 makes it pretty obvious, but of course you won't have seen that yet. i might also have accidentally implied this is impossible in 03, where you can't climb back down the vine at the beginning as slime — because slime can't climb at all. i can probably fix this in 01, by putting a platform on the vine that drops down between the two groups of pyreflies and making it pretty obvious what you're doing.
anyway, thank you! glad you liked it. now i just gotta hustle and finish it :)
Oh yeah, I totally agree that my theoretical “maybe the first level is too slow and might lose people” is directly disproved by the fact that… well, I kept playing. Thinking back to 04 again, you’re right that not actually a lot got introduced, but maybe I’m thinking of all the little things too. Like for example, how you can jump three blocks but three blocks + spikes is too high for a normal fox. I felt completely betrayed and also I think it’s excellent game design.
Maybe the reason why I feel like it introduced more was because all those tiny things were just revealed by signs in the first few levels? I dunno, the tonal shift of the signs just going away is great, but also I dunno. I have a feeling that a lot of this critique can be attributed to the bias of “well this is what the first world is like, therefore this is what the entire game would be like” which is very clearly not true, but also kinda true. I dunno. Thank you for making the demo, and good luck on the rest of the game <3
i actually watched a stream where the blocking spikes totally threw someone and they went back through the entire level searching for what they "missed" oops 😩
ok yeah i see what you're saying. there is sort of another shift coming — your encyclopedia also lists puzzle elements, though i haven't yet entirely figured out how that works. but i guess i wanted to make the hand-holding very optional (non-blocking signs) to suggest that mechanics wouldn't really be thrown in your face, and also give you a few levels where you do have to just fiddle with things and see what happens. and even in the earlier levels there are a couple bits and pieces that aren't spelled out explicitly — e.g. that one thing you can do with the mushrooms that some people naturally try every single time and some people never think to try once
in general though i think a big part of the magic of "everything interacts" games is just trying stuff out and being delighted that you discovered a new thing, and i'm trying to find a balance between encouraging that sort of experimentation vs leaving you feeling like everything is arbitrary and this is an inform text adventure
How do I get the heart high above the chest (and also the star near the hidden heart) in level 1? It doesn't seem that I can jump high enough to get either one of them.
you must engage in Shenanigans
the shenanigans for the heart are pretty mild, but stars are intended to be extremely tricky
It's very cute and fun so far! I especially like the way the character movement feels distinctly different in each form; the subtle weightiness in the controls between normal Lexy and Starcow Lexy is really fun in particular.
That said, I read your dev blog about it and your concerns about the game's "horniness rating" and I guess I'd say based on the demo it's probably a "T" or "16+" kind of game; nothing is overtly sexual or nsfw, but there's themes that make it suggestive for a general audience.
I would say Cerise's dialogue and appearance (Moreso the clothes the Bandit is in + the handcuffs, rather than the Loony Tunes "nudity") is the most explicitly traditionally suggestive element- it seems clear this is some kind of flirtatious act between her and Lexy even if it isn't quite sexual.
After that, I'd say most of the transformations feel pretty tame; from least to greatest in terms of suggestiveness I'd probably put it as the stone form registering as a 0 on the "Hey, is this...?" scale and the inflation one as the highest, but that might just be bias because I'm aware it's a kink for some- DragonCave has a balloon dragon that's really no worse. I'd say the cow one seems kind of upper-middle, too, though I'm having trouble articulating why. The udders aren't the problem, of course; maybe it's simply that there's a distinct transformation animation from consuming something (milk) that makes the theme even more overt than in the slime form animation.
That's my 2 cents on the way the game comes across, as someone with a (admittedly much lighter) foot in the same kind of doorways. I don't think I'd recommend it to younger teens or children, but I wouldn't think much of it if I saw a highschooler or adult playing this, and I don't think there's anything in it that's really a "Shield your eyes!" moment. But, I do understand that the minor suggestive elements in the game may limit its appeal, so a more adventuresome and less flirty alternative dialogue may be welcome for others.
Might be worth making a .zip file for the Linux version with the LÖVE 11.x AppImage. Makes it so much simpler that way (don’t need to worry about future versions and lack of backwards compatibility).
yeah, i'll get to linux and mac shortly — the appimage thing seems to be new in 11.4 so i've never touched it before and want to have a closer look at what it's actually doing
FWIW the appimage thing has been there for a while now. I’ve been using it since 11.1, at least.
yeah my bad, 11.4 just made them relocatable. regardless i haven't actually released anything with 11.x (i think), so i've never touched it at all, and the only build code i have is for some incredibly janky frankenbuild with 10.x :)
Oversight: If the treasure is collected in a level, and you then replay the level (for a 100% time) without collecting the treasure, the tally screen doesn’t make it obvious you missed the treasure (as it’s technically already gotten).
Another (but completely unrelated) tally screen quirk is that if you complete the dungeon minigame in Level 5 (which doesn’t unlock anything), the tally screen claims you’ve missed a postcard piece, even though there’s none to be found, and the level door doesn’t have a postcard icon (filled or not) on it.
Bug: Going from Dewclaw Wilderness to the title screen and back to the hub results in the hub music not playing. Going to a place with different fixes it, but changing scenes by itself does not. This doesn’t happen when you go to the title screen from a level.
(Sidenote: Is it good itch etiquette to leave a bunch of bug report comments like this? Kinda feels like I’m clogging up the top space…)
idk i usually edit my posts when i find new info and its not been a bit...
Another bug: If Lexy drinks some starcow-transforming milk while having velocity, she will slide at the same speed without any deceleration until the transform animation is complete.
Here is yet another bug: If Lexy hits a wall while recoiling from a grumblebee and goes diagonally down, she slides on flat ground for a bit with the step sound being played each frame. She instead can go directly down, resulting in her going directly up. (This is not as important as the other scenario, but it still looks kinda weird)
Here’s another bug: if your window resolution causes the black outline to appear and you run away, the background which usually takes up the whole game box is smaller and aligned to the bottom left corner. This gets worse the bigger the outline is.
(Oh, just in case it’s a LÖVE thing - I tested on both Arch Linux
love-gitpackages, and both bugs happen on both versions)
got this too
Dunno if this has been reported yet, but pausing while reading a sign crashes the game with a trace. In any case, this game sure is pretty cool!
got it, thank you! should be fixed in a small update later today
Oh nice, the demo for this released the day after I completed the original. I left a comment/review there if you haven't seen it yet.
The demo for Fox Flux Deluxe is a massive improvement over the original in terms of graphics and puzzle design. There were a few puzzles that stumped me for a bit, though I eventually got wise to a bunch of sneaky tricks! In Manifest Destiny, for instance, I knew to immediately investigate the open wall to the left after discovering something similar in Green Behind the Ears. The cute dialog and interactions between Lexy and Cerise are a bit more sparse, but they're still great as usual and I'm a fan of even more characters being thrown into the mix. I still love all the little details as well, the background of the results screen changing to reflect her current form, the way the grass kicks up as she walks around, the big explosion of clouds when she plummets straight through clouds as a starcow, her transparency when she's a slime, and a few others.
Anyways, after binge-playing the demo I managed to get everything. Maybe. I've got 17 treasure, 40 hearts, 2 stars, 5 completed drone minigames, and a gold trophy for every level *EXCEPT* Something in the Water. I didn't beat all the par times or developer times since I'm not really good at speedrunning stuff, but Something in the Water is still showing a silver trophy with 99.0% completion despite me getting 10/10 hearts and 371/371 candy in a single run. There was a suspicious-looking candy corn behind a wall of bees that I used an exploit to get by, but I was disappointed to find that it gave 0 candy and didn't help with the trophy situation.
Oh, and the exploit is that if you click and hold (or drag) the game window while something is in water, the waves will go wild when you stop. If this is done in a body of water that's large enough to swim in, Lexy will sometimes go flying when you stop. Also, this may be a "you brought this on yourself" kind of bug, but if you start the game without an audio device (I don't just mean a muted audio device, I mean none whatsoever) then the game crashes when it tries to display dialogue.
(EDIT: You can also use the exploit to make Lexy fly absurd distances if you use it when she gets hit. I did this to get the star in Manifest Destiny. Sorry, but that star is EVIL.)
I'm looking forward to the full release, whenever that may be!
Thanks so much for this bigass thoughtful comment! I'm glad all the stuff I tried very hard to do well came across.
There will be more Lexy/Cerise interactions, don't worry — more than in the original, by far — but there'll be a bit more lead-up to it this time around. :)
Thanks for telling me about this..... very strange "exploit"... that relates to a bug I'd been meaning to paper over anyway. It should no longer work. ;) There is a way to get the Manifest Destiny star legitimately! It's just, you know, hard.
There was a bug that caused 100% runs to not be acknowledged if you'd also done the arcade! Sorry, should be fixed in the new build I just put up.
gonna be keeping an eye on this, looks good from the images.
I see that the game is "currently available as a demo" but there are no downloads, is this intended?
yeah sorry, I should have something out in the next day or two — I didn't want to delay updating the itch page until the last possible second, but didn't realize doing it early would... notify anyone? (did it notify you? what happened? oh my god i'm not on the front page am i)
I have no idea what front page means here, but I got notified on my feed since I was following you, so there's that I guess
whoops! did not know that would happen but i guess it's pretty cool actually.
should have actual software up here by the end of the day! (us time)
Bwep. I now leave with that because yes.
Ooh! Nice game page!
Hnnnn Can't wait!!
oh man! I wanted this for so long!
Nice. I did like that one.
This is pretty exciting. I think this is the game that got me over to itch.io.