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majugi

Giant Bomb Quick Look

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Spoilers! Spoilers everywhere (including minor puzzle solutions (by which I mean all of Act 2) and possible hints about major plot points).

That said, there's lots of good information in this video.

http://www.giantbomb.com/videos/quick-look-ex-hack-n-slash/2300-8796/

Notes for people who want to avoid spoilers:.

* Early access starts May 6.

* Pricing not set yet but "will be worth it".

* It's very pretty.

* Oliver's 8-bit mode appears to be getting used as a depth-of-field filter which is neat

* Early Access is being used to test mechanics and get new stuff with Steam Workshop.

* Brandon's basically hoping early adopters can stress test the game.

* The final act of the game will be withheld on Early Access launch while mechanics are being tuned.

* THERE ARE PROGRAMMABLE TURTLES INSPIRED BY LOGO. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This game, man.

* "the idea of the game is it kind of -- this is not a sexy word to describe a video game but -- it has a curriculum baked into it."

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One thought I had while watching the video is that I could see a lot of the "game-breaking" bugs becoming annoying for players.

I like the idea of being able to manipulate things to the point of breaking the world and the exception-handling mechanism of displaying an in-game message and rolling back to previous state. The actual run-time errors and exceptions are nice because they're basically just deaths. The concern I have is with resource-depletion bugs and exploits such as the infinite-turtle situation Brandon created. Dying is one thing, but grinding the game to a halt (or having to quit to desktop) actually would be annoying. In real programming, your IDE doesn't freeze when you write buggy code (and thank God for that).

I think this could be addressed by adding in-game mechanisms that will kill you and put you out of your misery if you drop the game's framerate low enough, but that seems potentially error prone and still annoying (maybe players might want to temporarily stall the game on occasion, using a busy loop as a super inefficient way to pause the game). A better solution might be to have the save game UI run in a higher-priority thread than all the game logic, so you'd still be able bail after freezing the world.

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When he was showing that bug it looked like the save game load interface was still running fast while the screen behind it was grinding to a halt. Which makes me think the UI is on a different threat then the rest of the game so it stays smooth even if something is screwing around in the background.

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It was still clear that the stuff occurring in the game affected the performance of the load menu though. Just the menu opening animation was slow as hell. I'm sure this will be resolved in the final version though.

Personally, the big thing that I'm really concerned about after watching this quick look is the length of the game. I've read in an another article that the game has 4 acts, and this quick look just showed Brandon breezed through act 2 in 25 minutes by taking his sweet time demoing stuff and making multiple mistakes. As impressive as the technology is, I sincerely hope that the length of the final game is not representative of that demo, and that the later acts are going to be much longer than what was showcased, otherwise the game will manage to be even shorter than Portal, which was already ridiculously short.

I'll still buy the game for sure, if only as a thanks for the ridiculous amount of time I've spent on the teaser puzzles and what I learned in the process, but I can't help but feel that the final game may be over just when it starts to become interesting. Hopefully I'm wrong.

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It was still clear that the stuff occurring in the game affected the performance of the load menu though. Just the menu opening animation was slow as hell. I'm sure this will be resolved in the final version though.

Personally, the big thing that I'm really concerned about after watching this quick look is the length of the game. I've read in an another article that the game has 4 acts, and this quick look just showed Brandon breezed through act 2 in 25 minutes by taking his sweet time demoing stuff and making multiple mistakes. As impressive as the technology is, I sincerely hope that the length of the final game is not representative of that demo, and that the later acts are going to be much longer than what was showcased, otherwise the game will manage to be even shorter than Portal, which was already ridiculously short.

I'll still buy the game for sure, if only as a thanks for the ridiculous amount of time I've spent on the teaser puzzles and what I learned in the process, but I can't help but feel that the final game may be over just when it starts to become interesting. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Portal was exactly the right length.

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I like the idea of being able to manipulate things to the point of breaking the world and the exception-handling mechanism of displaying an in-game message and rolling back to previous state. The actual run-time errors and exceptions are nice because they're basically just deaths. The concern I have is with resource-depletion bugs and exploits such as the infinite-turtle situation Brandon created. Dying is one thing, but grinding the game to a halt (or having to quit to desktop) actually would be annoying. In real programming, your IDE doesn't freeze when you write buggy code (and thank God for that).

Your IDEs must be friendlier than mine ;) (she says, having just attempted to live debug some import logic that gobbled up every resource under the sun). But yeah, hopefully there'll at least be a quickload hotkey, force stop or similar that can be used to quickly revert lethal mistakes without having to wrestle with a grinding GUI or manually kill the process.

Portal was exactly the right length.

Yus! It was brilliantly paced. Then again I'm one of those heretics that would far rather pay for a tightly designed game that can be completed in a couple of hours than a 15 hour game that's half meaningless padding.

That said I'd be very happy if Hack n Slash were a chunky length, as long as it doesn't repeat itself, the more unique puzzles the better!

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I like the idea of being able to manipulate things to the point of breaking the world and the exception-handling mechanism of displaying an in-game message and rolling back to previous state. The actual run-time errors and exceptions are nice because they're basically just deaths. The concern I have is with resource-depletion bugs and exploits such as the infinite-turtle situation Brandon created. Dying is one thing, but grinding the game to a halt (or having to quit to desktop) actually would be annoying. In real programming, your IDE doesn't freeze when you write buggy code (and thank God for that).

Your IDEs must be friendlier than mine ;) (she says, having just attempted to live debug some import logic that gobbled up every resource under the sun). But yeah, hopefully there'll at least be a quickload hotkey, force stop or similar that can be used to quickly revert lethal mistakes without having to wrestle with a grinding GUI or manually kill the process.

Portal was exactly the right length.

Yus! It was brilliantly paced. Then again I'm one of those heretics that would far rather pay for a tightly designed game that can be completed in a couple of hours than a 15 hour game that's half meaningless padding.

That said I'd be very happy if Hack n Slash were a chunky length, as long as it doesn't repeat itself, the more unique puzzles the better!

It's difficult for me to say how long it should be in terms of the plot. If it's the sort of game where the amount of secrets and things to do around the main quest are numerous, as it seems like it may be, it might do well as a short game, gaining its longevity from the ability to explore each area more deeply or play with the mechanics. But we'll see.

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Yus! It was brilliantly paced. Then again I'm one of those heretics that would far rather pay for a tightly designed game that can be completed in a couple of hours than a 15 hour game that's half meaningless padding.

That said I'd be very happy if Hack n Slash were a chunky length, as long as it doesn't repeat itself, the more unique puzzles the better!

That's being heretic? In that case, call me heretic as well. I too would rather have a short but constantly unique experience rather than a much longer but half-repetitive one. To keep the Portal analogy, half-meaningless padding was the biggest mistake Portal 2 did for me.

But my problem with Portal was not the pace of the game, it was the amount of content. Maybe I'm just that good, or maybe it's because I had played Narcabular Drop first, but I felt like I breezed through everything except when searching my way in the 2nd half of the game. Just when you start seeing everything the game could potentially offer, it's already over. I still vividly remember the dread I felt when I realized I had beaten 2/3 of the test chambers in less than 30 minutes, and the only other time I felt the same dread was by watching this quick look. In contrast, Braid is a short game too, but the challenge is much more fulfilling and the level design showcases pretty much everything, so I didn't feel like it was a problem in that case.

In any case, it's too early to pass judgement. I just wanted to share my thoughts.

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This game is even cooler now -- I haven't followed the progress, but I like the art aesthetic and new perspective. I look forward to playing this.

Smiles

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I'm not liking the early access thing because I have terrible self control. This is a game I don't want to play early, but will end up doing so anyway. *grumble grumble*

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