Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Developer Praises Complexity of Time-Based Puzzles In "Braid"

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the time-and-again dept.

Puzzle Games (Games) 39

Raven Software game developer Manveer Heir takes a look at the design mechanics of Braid, a recently released puzzle game for Xbox Live Arcade (a review is available at Gamespot). Heir commends Braid's focus on taking an interesting mechanic and exploring it fully through level design, rather than generating complexity with the interaction of many different mechanics. "One of my favorite worlds has time move forward as the player moves to the right, and rewind as the player moves left; Time is being controlled spatially. Another world has the player make a recording of themselves that can interact with certain objects, similar to Cursor*10. ... What is amazing is how complex and devilish some of the puzzles can still be, even though they revolve around the single mechanic for that world. ... Feeling like you have to guess what the designer was thinking is how many old adventure games played out, and it was rarely fun. Feeling like you just made a discovery on your own is what makes this game and games like Portal work so well."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Personally... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24691955)

...I blame the Jews.

FRIZZILST PIZZOIST!!1!

Re:Personally... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24691975)

disappointing, you can do better than that fuck i have to wait 15 second? what the fuck?

The official walkthrough is funny... (1)

GigaHurtsMyRobot (1143329) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692047)

They put out an official walkthrough, which basically says don't use one.

The only thing they say that I disagree with is that it doesn't take trial and error. It certainly does, but that doesn't make the game any less magical. I am stunned by this game and how interesting it is, and that they managed to put a neat story around it. It's a bargain at $15.

There are walkthrough videos on youtube if you get stuck somewhere.

Re:The official walkthrough is funny... (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692117)

Well, they didn't really say it didn't require trial and error, they said it didn't require guessing. Which is true: you have to try different methods to solve a puzzle sometimes, but you're never reduced to pure guesswork--you always have an inkling to go on, you just need to figure out how to develop it.

Re:The official walkthrough is funny... (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692615)

I disagree. There's perhaps two puzzles in the game that are different enough that you just have to stumble upon them or get help. I stumbled across one, and the other I ended up resorting to a walkthrough - and I'm not sure how I would have ever found it myself.

All the rest, though, are wonderfully designed.

Re:The official walkthrough is funny... (1)

Geoff-with-a-G (762688) | more than 6 years ago | (#24693107)

There's perhaps two puzzles in the game that are different enough that you just have to stumble upon them or get help.

Well obviously YMMV, but I managed to actually solve all of them myself, given a lot of retries and several breaks (get stuck, come back to the game next day, fresh view).

Because there isn't much of an explicit manual telling you how everything works, it's important to just experiment a lot. Try things you know won't succeed, just so see how exactly they fail. Often failing something led me to rewind, and the rewinding caused me to notice unusual environment behaviors.

Beyond that, it's just a matter of assuming that every element is there for some reason. If you're fixated on that impossible jump to get that piece you've been after forever, stop. Look at the other elements around that you haven't used yet. It may not seem like they'll help you with this piece, but the levels are pretty sparse. If that thing doesn't help you, it wouldn't be there. Then throw in some Sherlock Holmes - eliminate the impossible, so you can spend more time pondering the improbable.

Anyway, I suppose you're past needing the advice now, having already walked-through, but I can vouch for the fact that they can all be solved, with enough thinking, and it's not really trial and error or brute force. Hell, I probably spent less than five hours on the whole game. Still, easily worth the $15. Brilliant game.

Re:The official walkthrough is funny... (1)

Shipwack (684009) | more than 6 years ago | (#24697449)

What about the "room" with two locked doors, and you only have one key? When you choose hte wrong door to open, the key breaks and you have to rewind. Unless you're lucky, that puzzle can only be solved with "trial and error"

Unless there is some sort of clue I missed...

Re:The official walkthrough is funny... (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24697647)

Again, "trial and error" is NOT the same as guessing. Trial and error is when you know basically what you need to do, you just need to figure out the finer points of it. Guessing is when the puzzle is so obscure, you have no idea even where to begin, and just start trying random things, getting it right in the process.

Re:The official walkthrough is funny... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24701579)

Not necessarily. Trial and error means failure for unforeseeable reasons (you have to TRY and discard approaches that are ERRORS), basically only seeing what you are supposed to do after you fail to do it (e.g. a light flashes and seconds later a beam from the sky vaporizes you*: Only after failing once do you learn that the flashing light means you should take cover). When two choices look equal (i.e. no clues about which is right) and one is right, the other wrong then you have trial and error because you pick one and only learn from failure or success which choice is the right one.

*=Made-up example, not taken from any specific game.

Yay Braid! (3, Interesting)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692069)

Braid was an amazing game. It was rather like Portal, but it didn't have any of Portal's shortcomings: it was a good value (longer game, yet cost less), and had an actual half-decent plot (although it was a bit too complex). Unfortunately, it doesn't have Portal's witty dialogue and brilliant voice acting, but I guess that's life.

The game mechanics were absolutely brilliant, too. I particularly loved the "shadow" mechanic in world 5, those were by far the richest puzzles for me.

FX is everything (1)

emj (15659) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692995)

Maybe they can compete in game mechanics, but the art and experience of Portal is hard to beat,.

Re:FX is everything (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 6 years ago | (#24693435)

The best part of Portal [youtube.com] had zero FX. (art and experience, sure, but FX wasn't integral)

Re:FX is everything (1)

EComni (998601) | more than 6 years ago | (#24693459)

I'd argue that, yes, the experience (mainly the dialogue and humor) of Portal is hard to beat, but notsomuch the art. To me, Portal was a very bland game visually. Don't get me wrong, the minimalist style worked for its presentation, especially when it contrasted with you leaving the facility proper later in the game, but I didn't find the generic surroundings as the massive selling point. Braid, OTOH, with its impressionist-like backdrops, soothing music, along with the nifty rewind/ff/pause to go along with those backdrops and music are all extremely well-done and presented.

Re:Yay Braid! (4, Informative)

shma (863063) | more than 6 years ago | (#24695139)

If you enjoy those 'shadow' puzzles, there is a free flash based game called Chronoton [kongregate.com] which exclusively deals with making copies of yourself to complete objectives.

Re:Yay Braid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24695489)

I actually found that all the hours I wasted at work playing Chronotron made some of the puzzles in Braid much easier. :)

probably won't do well (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24692181)

Your typical XBox gamer won't be interested unless there's a way to kill hookers, so I doubt it will sell well.

Re:probably won't do well (1)

Shipwack (684009) | more than 6 years ago | (#24697513)

It doesn't have to "sell well", just "well enough".

The entire team was about what, six people, max (counting art, music, etc...)?

I heard last week that they made about $800,000. For a multi-million dollar games like GTA4 and Halo, that'd be disastrous. For a small team, that's enough to pay for salaries and start the next game, which is what they are doing right now.

Corrected headline (-1, Flamebait)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692275)

Let's tell it like it is: Developer Praises Complexity Of Their Own Game. I don't really know if it's a good game or not, but Slashdot could be a little less hyping in their choice of headlines for this self promotional advertisement.

Sorry, WRONG (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692485)

Its "Developer praises game that he had nothing to do with".

Its a professional critic review.

And braid is as mind-blowing as everybody says.

Re:Corrected headline (0, Redundant)

SwampThingTom (1348987) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692813)

Huh? The developer they quoted had nothing to do with Braid.

Re:Corrected headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24700955)

Let's tell it like it is: Developer Praises Complexity Of Their Own Game.

Let's tell it like it is: frovingslosh fails to read everything.

I wish the dev would.. (3, Interesting)

aerthling (796790) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692283)

.. hurry up and release a PC version (which plays plays nice with wine).

I have a little pile of cash set aside ready to cram furiously into my computer's floppy drive as soon as it's released.

Re:I wish the dev would.. (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692535)

I have a little pile of cash set aside ready to cram furiously into my computer's floppy drive as soon as it's released.

I suggest you take some of that money and upgrade to a newer computer...

Re:I wish the dev would.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24699631)

one with an ATM drive? (teller machine, you networking nutjobs)

Re:I wish the dev would.. (4, Informative)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692559)

Last I read on the official blog (http://braid-game.com/news/), the Windows version is expected in October, with a Linux version following at some later date

Re:I wish the dev would.. (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692765)

Linux version following at some later date

2038?

Re:I wish the dev would.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24692895)

Oh god, I hope not. Anything later than January 18th would be epoch fail.

(captcha: ideally)

Re:I wish the dev would.. (1)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24695089)

so 2038 is the year of the linux desktop?

Braid is jesus (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692419)

Okay, braid is amazing. What I want to know is when more expensive games with bigger budgets will stop sucking.

Re:Braid is jesus (3, Insightful)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 6 years ago | (#24692697)

answer: when we stop letting the big companies and their bigger budget projects make millions off of cheap, subpar work.

Re:Braid is jesus (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24693003)

When every commercial developer cares primarily about the quality of their games. Some do that now, and they make great games (Blizzard, for example). It'll never happen that all developers are like that, though.

It isn't all bad, though. Even studios who are primarily profit-oriented can still put out great games, it just isn't as common as it is with studios who give a damn about their games. Even EA puts out legitimately good games now and then.

Re:Braid is jesus (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#24693381)

Real answer: as soon as you stop generalizing, which will probably be right after you stop believing your taste is the be-all-end-all.

Re:Braid is jesus (1)

Dr.Boje (1064726) | more than 6 years ago | (#24694109)

Okay, braid is amazing. What I want to know is when more expensive games with bigger budgets will stop sucking.

My guess is that will happen when the majority of video game consumers stop considering good graphics to be the only factor in determining what makes a good game (and by extension, quit wasting money on games whose sole selling point is amazing graphics). Only then will the business model used for most big-budget games become antiquated.

Re:Braid is jesus (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24701619)

Naah, they're already producing plenty of crap when graphics are not a selling point, they simply decide it saves money to cut the graphics down and still make the same game otherwise.

Do you think they really say "don't bother with the gameplay, we've got graphics"? Most likely they just have a bad idea or suck at implementing the gameplay or simply don't have the time/budget to fine tune it.

Re:Braid is jesus (1)

antic (29198) | more than 6 years ago | (#24698639)

I bought Portal as part of The Orange Box for the 360. I don't know that I would've bought it as a standalone game even despite the good reviews - maybe, maybe not. But as The Orange Box combo, the value was undeniable. And I haven't even replayed it or tried Team Fortress yet.

Anyway, now I'm wondering if studios should cooperate to package a release here and there. e.g., big studio has an experimental arm and releases a decent game with 1-2 extra games to sweeten the deal. Or medium studio does a deal with newcomers (e.g., just short of something like Valve actually bringing the Portal crew into the fold) and do a joint release where the newcomers might take 10% of the profit.

It could be that a significant number of people are tipped over that 'should I purchase' threshold given the increased value. This might be especially useful here in Australia where games are frequently released at around $90-110 and it's quite expensive to burn that on a play-once game.

Thoughts?

Re:Braid is jesus (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24701601)

Which one? You mean "when will noone ever release a bad game again"? Er, good luck with that one.

Yawn, TimeShift did this puzzle already (-1, Flamebait)

gmezero (4448) | more than 6 years ago | (#24693445)

...and it executed it far better IMHO.

Braid is a shitty Euro style platform game vis-a-vis late 80's/early 90's (James Pond?!?) using a gimmick done better by someone else. The only thing original about this game is the music, which was pretty good.

Buzzz... pass.

Flamebait? Tell me I'm wrong. (0, Flamebait)

gmezero (4448) | more than 6 years ago | (#24694543)

While I was crude in my post, I fail to see where I was wrong. I know this flies in the face of everyone who is trying to kiss the ass of the indie scene right now, but I could really give a damn about that.

The game is NOT original.

Re:Flamebait? Tell me I'm wrong. (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 6 years ago | (#24704377)

The game is NOT original.

I didn't notice anyone saying it was. They said it was "good".

Somewhat different.

HAL.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?