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Cecil

My playthrough of the prototype

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I just wanted to post a quick reply to this thread. I think the world looks really beautiful. There's a huge amount of potential in this game and I think the prototype does a great job making that clear. If this was a demo of a game already available I would have bought it by now!! Excellent work guys, it's such a pleasure to have been allowed to watch this whole process :)

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PC controls make this game almost impossible but I still enjoyed it.

I think the girl needs a bit of a redesign though. I don't like her face, specially her huge bug eyes.

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I think the girl needs a bit of a redesign though. I don't like her face, specially her huge bug eyes.

Really? I rather enjoyed her design.

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Great game given more time it will be amazing. Had some trouble with the camera because I played with keyboard and mouse.

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Since I don't have a gamepad for my laptop, I decided to look into using my PS3 controller. I found this 'DS3 tool' (motioninjoy, which has a sixaxis driver), installed everything, and the only way it worked was using the Xbox setting (paradoxally....).

Anybody has any tips how to improve my experience of this great game on a windows laptop using a PS3 controller? :)

Sorry that my question is ind of off topic....

Jaap

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Played with a controller, had no problems and loved it. I especially liked the puzzles cause they had just the right difficulty so they didn't stop the player from going on too much and still feel challenging. At the end I would have liked to play on for hours just getting up that tower and discover its mysteries, awesome job and my favorite project of amnesia fortnight.

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I played with mouse and keyboard and although I recognized the problems with it I mostly died from trial-and-erroring the puzzles rather than mistakenly running off ledges. maybe Im just an idiot but I solved both puzzles by just trying everything pretty much... I just found it really hard to predict what was going to / what was intended to happen. like swinging in under the crane and starting climbing the rope - I didnt know that was going to happen. (anyone else feel the same?) I do like this general kind of puzzle and like the idea of this vulnerable but stoic adventurous girl swinging around all these big heavy ancient machine parts almost being squashed and pushed off at any turn. really really enjoyed the atmosphere and direction... not so sure about the puzzles.

Im interested to know if the girls animation was speeded up at some point to make for faster interaction, but there wasnt time to adjust the actual movement? climbing up ledges especially. I kind of felt from the beginning that it would have served the games atmosphere better if she was more vulnerable and realistic? but thats just my opinion. (and I realize that a lot of animation like stumbling from high drops etc maybe couldnt be implemented in the prototype but even on the planning stage it seems like pretty extreme platforming.)

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I played with mouse and keyboard and although I recognized the problems with it I mostly died from trial-and-erroring the puzzles rather than mistakenly running off ledges. maybe Im just an idiot but I solved both puzzles by just trying everything pretty much… I just found it really hard to predict what was going to / what was intended to happen. like swinging in under the crane and starting climbing the rope - I didnt know that was going to happen. (anyone else feel the same?) I do like this general kind of puzzle and like the idea of this vulnerable but stoic adventurous girl swinging around all these big heavy ancient machine parts almost being squashed and pushed off at any turn. really really enjoyed the atmosphere and direction… not so sure about the puzzles.

I went through it a fourth time but used the keyboard and mouse. I didn't die but it was definitely a hell of a lot more clumsy, it's extremely easy in terms of platforming but it certainly wasn't nice to play with a keyboard. I don't think they want to support the mouse and keyboard.

I don't think any of the puzzles work logically. Swinging from the bar to the rope looked like magic. All the physics to do with the claw attachment and bridge felt wrong. I don't see how people could go through any of it without trial and error. With the claw it's not so bad because you don't die from choosing the wrong option, at least you get a chance to see that the tiny girl can open the claw with her weight against gravity for the first part.

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While I love the art direction and tone, and personally didn't have any trouble with the WASD controls (the girl would 'catch' when I overshot edges, and with judicious camera control and careful stepping, I could get around fine), I haven't yet completed the demo and have quit in frustration twice - it's quite unforgiving and very anxiety-inducing, design-wise! The visuals, sounds, and overall atmosphere are gorgeous, though.

The bridge is a bit of a babel-fish puzzle, constantly producing unpredictable fail-states that are required to figure out the puzzle. When I finally got that bridge to fall flat and the bloody thing fell out from under me as I crossed it I couldn't help but laugh out loud - it was like a sadistic punchline to the puzzle. There's as much MegaMan 9 DNA in here as ICO, I think.

What consistently leads me to quit, however, is that every failure beyond that point re-spawns me to before that bridge (and typically a broken version of the bridge which appears down, but which functions as if it is up). This makes dealing with the crane extremely anxious and unforgiving business, and strongly discourages experimentation and exploration. I know if I don't get this exactly right I'll be sent a half-level back and have to re-do the blasted bridge with its tetchy collision detection. I'll likely just watch a playthrough video.

I'm being overly critical, though, probably as I've come here immediately after playing. I voted for the White Birch, I'm glad I did, and I'm glad I've gotten to play it. It was a joy getting to see Andy lead the team in his genial, aesthetically-focused way, and I think the team did a great job with the time they had.

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My first two Playthroughs consisted of me ignoring the hole in the wall at the start and walking to the left as far as I could through several "walls" in the level till I fell off the world entirely.

The second I got into the tower and to the part with the bridge, and after trying a few things and dieing a various amount of times I turned it off right there, will see if I can play through it later. xD

I was generally somewhat plagued by camera issues and not having played Ico (due to not owning any console-toys) the game it reminded me the most of was Alice: Madness Returns.

Edit: Yeah I gotta agree that the worst problems seem to be camera control, respawn being handled badly (there should be one up at the claw) or at least the bridge should save its state and somewhat unintuitive puzzle design, for instance I constantly wanted to jump FORWARD from the top of the bridge to reach the other side and it took a while to notice the climbable edge on the claw.

Like the environment, sound and general mood though, I think from the bunch I liked it the most, faults and all. Although Autonomous was more professionally executed and they obviously had the graphics/shaders guys. xD

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Looking at that screen shot, it looks like the girl could jump from the rope onto either side of the stationary part of the claw, and just jump up to the rope again.

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First I'll talk about what I liked. The scene when you pull down the bridge the correct way was really cool and some of her animations are pretty neat. Now for the bad. I wasn't able to beat it. It just kept bugging out for me at the end when I'm jumping for the claw and then I'd fall to the bridge and get stuck in let's do the bridge over again... got stuck in the ground another go and had to restart. So after about 30 min of trying to get somewhere I was frustrated and quit. I think the scale for this game as a prototype might of been too big as not enough time was spent on fixing the bugs.

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Hey, just wanted to say I really enjoyed this prototype, and I really hope it goes into full production. Nice ambiance and platforming. What really made it stand out tho, was the cinematic camera angles. When she jumped for the vines at the very beginning of the game was surprising and awesome.

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audio and puzzle design are beautiful. this one and the black lake both got really impressive atmosphere!

I was thinking of the difference between the level design and the girl design: since they're so different, does this have to do something with the story? like (don't know) she came from another completely different world or something like that?

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I also loved this game, and hated the glitches. I finally got to the claw, tried one thing, failed, and would spend ten minutes trying to get back up there again, sometimes dying by falling on the opening platform--so when I respawned, I'd be back on the opening platform again. I was also a keyboard and mouse player, and don't own a controller--if the game was controller-only, I would never be able to play it at all.

The best part of the game for me was the character of the girl. The little animations like her holding her arm like she was cold; the kicking as she struggled to climb up ledges all made me root for her, even when she was dying 20 times. And of course the correct bridge solution animation was wonderful.

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Hahaha, oh man, watching the latest White Birch Playthrough video felt like watching just retribution unfolding on screen!

I remember being baffled as Andy rushed through the prototype on the live stream, but months later none of the team members seem to be as much in tune with the game anymore to beat it without a hitch. Now we can see them having to painfully deal with all the bugs and glitches and wonky checkpointing that induced a ragefest in almost everyone who had originally played it (at least I like to think so).

But all is forgiven now, everything forgotten, now that they share our pain and experienced it for themselves. :D

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