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Dragon Flight School

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Dragon Flight School
Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 4.31.59 PM
Featured Level

Creator

Wings and Strings

Date created

June 26th, 2014

Play count

600,000+

Rating

4.08 (900+ votes)

Playable character

Moped Couple

Dragon Flight School is a featured level by Wings and Strings. It currently has over 600,000 plays, and a rating of 4.08 from over 900 votes. Moped Couple is the forced character.

Gameplay

The player controls Loar, a reddish-brown dragon character that was custom-made by the author for this map and subsequent maps. Rather than scales, Loar has a fur coat, as the jagged edges help to hide the joints of the vehicle rigging required to create the dragon. Unlike most animal vehicles, Loar has remarkably fluid detailing and limb movement, and the relatively low polygon count allows for good performance at a high frame rate.

However, many first-time players find that the dragon can be difficult to control. The level is therefore designed with integrated tutorials to progressively demonstrate the dragon's controls and handling, especially with directional flight, which requires forward momentum gained by running in the direction that the player intends to fly. These tutorials use common actions performed by players to explain ways to circumnavigate obstacles in a natural and intuitive way. For example, once players learn how to run forward, most of them will accidentally run into the side of an old wooden water tower, where Loar will explain how to fly over obstacles, a helpful skill that will be required for the main portion of the level.

After the flight tutorials, the level explains that there are ten checkpoints in the form of wooden gates that the player must fly through in order to unlock the finish line. First, the player is introduced to a practice checkpoint to familiarize them with the way in which the hit detection is intended to work. The player must fly between two crossbars that define the boundary of the checkpoint. Afterwards, the main course is presented and players are given free mobility over the entire map. A cable is strung between the checkpoints to guide the player as they fly through the course.

At the end of the course, a scoreboard will list any checkpoints that the player has missed. Missed checkpoints display a number, and completed checkpoints display a green check mark. Players can use the numbers posted on each checkpoint to find which ones they missed. Once all checkpoints are cleared, the finish line, marked by a checkpoint with a checkered pattern, will be unlocked and the player can complete the level.

Continued Development

A version of this level was originally uploaded by Wings and Strings last year, before the 2014 site overhaul. However, the user accidentally deleted the original map but was able to save the XML data to create an updated version, with new features including background music, modified tutorials, improved hit detection for the checkpoints, and other fixes. According to Wings and Strings, Dragon Flight School is intended to be a tutorial for future levels with the custom dragon character. Gameplay can be varied, including open world exploration and racing.

Shortly after becoming featured, the level data was corrupted when Dragon Flight School and several other featured levels were hacked. Due to its tendency to change tempo when the frame rate varied, the background music was removed from the level when it was restored. However, the level description still mentions the now non-existent music.

Gallery

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