The Gamer's Quarter Forum Index The Gamer's Quarter
A quarterly publication
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

tucked away between the folds of time, safe (or: Braid)
Goto page Previous  1, 2
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gamer's Quarter Forum Index -> Club for the Study and Appreciation of Interactive Audio Visual Media
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
loves your favorite videogame


Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 6563
Location: bohan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
dessgeega wrote:
i havn't played this since i finished it and i'm not really inclined to.

My afterplaying, which does not amount to much, is about the same as my Riven afterplaying: I go and I wander around and look at stuff.


that's kind of a good point.

it's a pretty fast game to just pass through, if you're just passing through. i fight the boss every time i run into it.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dessgeega wrote:
in braid i feel like i'm actually interacting with the world and learning its rules, and that knowledge helps me work toward a solution.

I don't know. I felt motivated to actually solve puzzles in Portal, in Braid I feel motivated to look at a fucking game FAQ because the game and it's solutions are unstructured rubbish. The world two jigsaw puzzle solution for example. Or that puzzle where the key flits all about? Fuck that shit. The game fails when it becomes a rewind fest, and it fails when I blow through the puzzles in a few seconds. It hasn't achieved a mid ground for me yet.

I really don't know what you're talking about with Portal. It wasn't a constant journey of self discovery, but at least they were structured problems with solutions and the game kept pacing. Getting stuck in Braid isn't like getting stuck in DROD because the game sheds one gimmick as soon as you're getting used to it, the game knowingly keeps you a novice because it knows it doesn't have any really great puzzles. As logical as it gets is a red herring or two.
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
aderack
.
.


Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 1104
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you never really unwound the game's logic.

I will agree, if pressed, that Portal is more like following Ikea instructions (it's obvious what to do; now let's see if we can do it), whereas Braid involves more mental gymnastics. Which isn't a criticism; just an observation.

The difference that you're discussing may be that Portal is far more visceral, so if you don't know what to do you can just screw around until you stumble on a solution. That doesn't often work in Braid. It's all about figuring the problems out mentally, then executing them. And since no problem is repeated, every problem presents a new aspect of of the game's logic, meaning you can never just plug in a ready solution. It's all reasonable, and in retrospect all of it is fairly obvious. The problem is in getting to that point of understanding.

Here's a question: Do you like Myst? (And by "Myst", I mean Riven.)
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kuzdu
.
.


Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 70
Location: Washington Heights

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like I had a similar experience to Worm's.

Portal isn't a matter of screwing around until you stumble upon something, I think that there are legitimately multiple ways to succeed at any given puzzle. Sure, there are points that you always have to get to, but between those points there's a lot of leeway. That's why speedruns of Portal are so interesting.

I understand that Braid is supposed to be a very different experience, quieter and more contemplative, and maybe it was Blow's intention to keep things simple. I (think) I understand that each world is supposed to represent a different aspect of memory (playing over and over, imaging a different path, focusing on one point in time), but that still doesn't satisfy the question of why they have to all be locked away from each other. It feels like the explanation is just that Blow didn't want to do the work of making more complicated puzzles.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
Here's a question: Do you like Myst? (And by "Myst", I mean Riven.)

I was 12 when I played it, so I really don't think it's applicable. Yeah I did like it at the time, but I never finished it.

Every braid puzzle up to the fickle companion has been totally transparent to me. Even that came to me a little after I woke up and realized the designer's intention for the level.
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
loves your favorite videogame


Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 6563
Location: bohan

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kuzdu wrote:
It feels like the explanation is just that Blow didn't want to do the work of making more complicated puzzles.


you didn't feel like the puzzles were complicated enough on their own?

i don't feel like putting the going-left-or-right-changes-the-way-time-flows and dropping-this-ring-slows-down-time-around-it into the same puzzle would really have added much to the game, other than confusion. each of these rules takes enough time to figure out on its own.

also: thematic unity!
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
aderack
.
.


Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 1104
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is true that Blow didn't want to make the puzzles complicated just for the sake of being complicated, though. He's said a few times that it's easy to make things hard just by adding in more stuff to keep track of, but it's also annoying to play and doesn't necessarily say anything.

Which is kind of what Dess said.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kuzdu
.
.


Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 70
Location: Washington Heights

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, yeah, I guess I didn't think they were that complicated. A lot of them I figured out in a second, some of them I was really stumped on but only because it was something obtuse, and some I actually had figured out but thought I hadn't because the platforming is a little touchy.

To clarify, maybe I should say multi-part instead of complicated. It's not that I want the puzzles to be hard for the sake of being hard, I just thought they were too short on the whole. It wasn't until a couple of puzzles in World 6 that I thought I was actually being required to plan my movements way ahead.

I think that putting the powers together in a level would have been great, it would just take making the right puzzles. There were quite a few times that I was looking at a puzzle and thought, "if I had that power from the other level this would be easy!"

And it's not that I want the puzzles to be easy (obviously), I just wanted a little more lateral thinking. To look at a puzzle and say, "Okay, I could do it this way, but wait a minute! I could also do this and the this!" Right now there's a little bit of that in Braid, especially in the speedruns, but I would have like to have seen more.

Anyway, I'm sure I'm getting a reputation as a Braid hater, which isn't really true, there are things about it I really like. I just feel like there's a general lack of craftsmanship (I'm going to get in trouble for saying that) in the game design.

Sorry if I'm dominating this thread. I think this may come down to a matter of taste and I do see where you guys are coming from, I just don't feel the same and/or have different priorities when evaluating the game.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Harveyjames
the meteor kid
the meteor kid


Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 3636

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys Braid is number 2 in the GameFAQS most popular! Well done, David and Jonathan!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
aderack
.
.


Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 1104
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few days ago, a bunch of people were nominating Tim for the GameFAQs character battle.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
loves your favorite videogame


Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 6563
Location: bohan

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

part of me died, but not before vomiting
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Harveyjames
the meteor kid
the meteor kid


Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 3636

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worra bunch of snobs, I think it's an achievement to be proud of.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
aderack
.
.


Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 1104
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we need more Youtube tribute videos.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Cycle
Mac daddy
Mac daddy


Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 2767

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubGZh7qSN1A
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
aderack
.
.


Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 1104
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that the Princess?
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Harveyjames
the meteor kid
the meteor kid


Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 3636

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://kr.youtube.com/watch?v=ss3hHxV4Z3k&feature=related
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
WarpZone
.
.


Joined: 09 Nov 2007
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think 'loosening' the game up a bit to allow multiple/advanced solutions might have come at a real risk to the uniqueness and individuality of the puzzles and lead to some unnecessary confusion. A big reason many of the puzzles are so memorable to me is that, in the process of solving them, they began to illustrate a certain concept, and there's a real satisfaction in working through that and realizing you've mastered that nuance of time. If the puzzles had to take into account these other solutions, it'd be harder for them to teach something succinctly, and they'd have to add other objects and distractions to the rooms that'd undermine the clean visual economy: you might be mislead wondering if a certain object served a role in a solution or not, maybe just going in circles rather than snapping the pieces together in an inspiring way. Already there's a couple puzzles that have this problem where I didn't think it was clear enough whether there was a 'clever' answer or I was just supposed to use 'action/skill'.

You could always argue that there should've been these really hard puzzles in an advanced world or whatever to scratch that itch, but then you're looking at how necessary or congruous that would be with the game's vision. Braid doesn't want to be redundant, and layered puzzles where each layer fundamentally resembled something earlier on wouldn't really be showing you something new. And Braid doesn't want to be Time Puzzle Collection: Gold Edition, but a kind of mosaic about time to run alongside Tim's life and ponderings. I think that's enough.

---

*puzzle spoilers*

I do think a small number of the puzzles felt unfair and violated what I thought were some of Blow's objectives, including the Cloud Bridge. The idea here seems to be that you can't find a solution, give up and go on to collect later pieces, and then come back later and notice the platform via serendipity or when assembling the puzzle. Problem is, the rest of the game teaches you that a puzzle can always be solved the first time. I spent a long time here knowing there must be a solution and not even bothering to collect the later puzzle pieces (which would complete the platform). The static cloud in the upper-right added to the confusion because I thought somehow I needed to use it to complete the puzzle, or that it was a clue that I had to use the moving clouds to get across.

I also didn't like the last piece in Crossing the Gap, which hinges on an obscure interaction that's easy to overlook, especially because any other time it happens, you want to immediately rewind and will probably miss it.

Some of my favorite puzzles were A Tingling, Hunt! (World 4), Window of Opportunity, Cascade, and In Another Castle.

Also one in...uh, 5-3. For some reason, that room doesn't have a name.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dessgeega wrote:
you didn't feel like the puzzles were complicated enough on their own?

i don't feel like putting the going-left-or-right-changes-the-way-time-flows and dropping-this-ring-slows-down-time-around-it into the same puzzle would really have added much to the game, other than confusion. each of these rules takes enough time to figure out on its own.

also: thematic unity!

Sorry, I mean they weren't difficult or challenging. The solutions were pretty much constantly self evident.

EDIT: Cloud bridge was stupid and I used an FAQ, fickle companion got me stuck for a bit and then I realized the solution. It was really sad to see the game repeating some locales, I thought that was pretty unnecessary.
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT


Last edited by Worm on Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:39 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
loves your favorite videogame


Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 6563
Location: bohan

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah: the solution to cloud bridge was clever, but it didn't fit the rest of the game. i stumbled on the solution by accident, and i can't imagine any other way to.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kuzdu
.
.


Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 70
Location: Washington Heights

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, discovering the cloud bridge was one of the more memorable moments from the game for me. I was just running around the level wonder how to get the piece, I jumped just for the hell of it and landed right on one of the bridge pieces in the uncompleted painting. It was weird because at first I thought there was a glitch and I was floating in the air for some reason. Then I realized what I was standing on.

It was a funny moment, but yeah, if I hadn't just jumped for it I would have never found the solution.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Cycle
Mac daddy
Mac daddy


Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 2767

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After trying to figure out how to get it for ten minutes, I eventually guessed I would need something in the picture to get that high, so when it came time to go back and do it, I figured it out in a second. Should have been at the end of the world!
_________________


Last edited by Cycle on Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SuperWes
Updated the banners, but not his title
Updated the banners, but not his title


Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 3725

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worm wrote:
EDIT: Cloud bridge was stupid and I used an FAQ, fickle companion got me stuck for a bit and then I realized the solution. It was really sad to see the game repeating some locales, I thought that was pretty unnecessary.


I really how some areas would repeat in different worlds but have totally different solutions because the rulesets were different. Not sure if you're referring to this or just the texture sets!

-Wes
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
loves your favorite videogame


Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 6563
Location: bohan

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, the hunt in particular is brilliant when it turns up in the left-and-right world.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, I solved pretty much all the puzzles really fucking fast. I just remember the 'don't you rewind' gimmick being reused.
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also while I thought it was cute to see an old level redone in a new mechanic, it really didn't impress me that much. I really think this game is suffering from dusty vinyl syndrome, everyone thinks it's this secret little mystery they discovered, when it's really just a average game that a bunch of people will ignore.

It has an obtuse clouded story, it strains it's neck making retro nods, and most of the puzzles are more like something you'd see in Brain Age. I don't blame the puzzles on them because of Portal, so it's pretty chic to keep games easy. I do blame the story on them. The end takes off like a rocket compared to the rest of the game. Yeah, it could have been that good, making the ending good by making all the other points underwhelming isn't a fair tactic. If they at least showed the princess getting stolen and tried to develop more of the game story than the MEANINGFUL MEANING they would have ended up with something much more entertaining.
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
helicopterp
.
.


Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 1435
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anybody ever nicknamed you "Sunshine" before?
_________________
Like you thought you'd seen copter perverts before. They were nothing compared to this one.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I paid fifteen bucks(actually someone bought it for me, but let's pretend) for three hours of entertainment that probably tops off at amusing or good. It starts very badly, and has some definite low points. Then for a minute of the ending it's so fucking excellent, and then it goes back immediately to the books and shit.

I don't get it, it's entirely an art game and supposed to appeal to people who are very discerning, but people are exercising no discernment in their evaluations of it. The shadow level was a wash, the first level was a wash, the damn mechanics weren't explored, and the story could have really been made more substantial. Everyone is giving the game a pass because it was designed to be important.
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harveyjames
the meteor kid
the meteor kid


Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 3636

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who was the 'someone'? I'm guessing:

a.) Your mom

b.) Your care worker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just another sniveling faggot who thinks that if I'm exposed to things that represent poor effort I'll soften up and open my heart up to the world. Instead I'm carefully placing Tim's open mouth (supple lips and all that) on a curb and stomping the fuck out of him, but boy, can you guys keep making pithy comments while you look on shivering!
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cycle
Mac daddy
Mac daddy


Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 2767

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This worm kid is alright!

Still haven't bought this. Decided to hang out for the PC version since it might have more stuff, apparently. I have little hope for a level editor, though.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A level editor would do fucking wonders. Man I'd just bite and take the 360 version, since the lesson of Bionic Commando re-armed is that computer games cost five bucks more and no one knows why, it's a mystery(probably because you'll pay it).

It seems like this game is going to be many people's 1st or 2nd favorite puzzle game, either in front of or behind portal because they've played two fucking puzzle games in their entire lives. Which is easy to do and forgivable, but I wouldn't be handing out GOTY trophies (in my mind) if I had only played The Darkness and Chronicles of Riddick.
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
helicopterp
.
.


Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 1435
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Cycle doesn't like Portal and he hasn't played Braid. At least he's innocent! Anyway, I was just noodling you because I think you're hilariously negative most of the time. Not the fact that you have negative opinions, but the extreme way you present them, Sunshine. I mean that in as good a way as can be meant.

On a real note though: I'm not sure where you're from, and I know the word can have different connotations and less weight in other countries, but I would prefer you didn't drop the f-bomb anymore around here, especially the way you did. You know the one I'm talking about.
_________________
Like you thought you'd seen copter perverts before. They were nothing compared to this one.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cycle
Mac daddy
Mac daddy


Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 2767

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the record, I like Portal. I just thing it's LUDICROUSLY over-rated, and hardly a perfect game, but that's not get into that! Also, I played Braid! Just not the full game. I liked the demo. Mostly.

Oh right, I forgot to mention that I don't endorse the use of the F word. Unless gay men use it, then it's like black people using the N word and nobody cares about that, honkees.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harveyjames
the meteor kid
the meteor kid


Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 3636

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cycle is right, my niggers.

Can we have Worm given the custom title 'Little Miss Sunshine' please?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

helicopterp wrote:
On a real note though: I'm not sure where you're from, and I know the word can have different connotations and less weight in other countries, but I would prefer you didn't drop the f-bomb anymore around here, especially the way you did. You know the one I'm talking about.


I come from the internet, and there it's pretty much generally used as a term of endearment. Am I safe on just replacing it with niggers? As Harvey demonstrated, it's cool, and the only black person who would post here is probably self effacing anyway.
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
helicopterp
.
.


Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 1435
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James. Worm. Stop.
_________________
Like you thought you'd seen copter perverts before. They were nothing compared to this one.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There would be meaning in asking that if you didn't already know it was totally impossible for either of us to abide. Whatever, I'll just say 'wuss' when I mean 'faggot', and you can have your sanitized wonderland which knows no intent, just flat rate offensiveness ratings of words. Also I might point out I would have done the same exact thing if you PM'ed me rather than derailing the hell out of the thread. So, thanks.

EDIT: Okay well I'm rewinding this thread, does anyone want to play apologist for braid? I think it's pretty motherfucking flawed and kind of amusing.
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
aderack
.
.


Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 1104
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your argument seems to amount to "the puzzles are easy and stupid and the game is pretentiously presented". Basically, you're being judgmental rather than curious. So I'm not sure what there is to say to that. You have fun with your opinions! Run like a gazelle in the winter breeze.
_________________


Last edited by aderack on Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
loves your favorite videogame


Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 6563
Location: bohan

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worm wrote:
EDIT: Okay well I'm rewinding this thread, does anyone want to play apologist for braid? I think it's pretty motherfucking flawed and kind of amusing.


no one wants to debate with you because you do not debate.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Intentionally Wrong
.
.


Joined: 09 Sep 2005
Posts: 248
Location: [Subject Hometown Here]

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still trying to decide what I think of Braid. Let's work this from the top; spoilers abound.

The game looks good and animates beautifully. Many people have praised the visual design and artistry behind Braid's appearance; they're right to do so. I like the way it looks. The music is also lovely and effective enough, although I wonder what I'd have thought of it had I not already learned that it was a a fortuitous Creative Commons selection. Likewise the sound effects: would I be as bothered by them, had I not been informed they were stopgap resources that never found suitable replacements?

Braid's use of graphics and sound left a weird taste in my mouth, though. It was too mechanical, too precise. The visual and aural aesthetic was entirely in service to the interactivity and the game's structure; there's no room for embellishment. While this bothered me at first, but it winds up actually working out in the game's favor: it reflects Tim's personality. He has no time for distractions; all of his time and energy are devoted to the task of "rescuing the Princess". (For that matter, I suspect he's actually unemployed at the game's "present".) I tend to prefer the games which aren't afraid to introduce irrelevancies, but that's too cluttered for such a deliberate protagonist.

Let's take a moment for the books. Let me be clear: the books are cringe-worthy. Their metaphors are labored; their symbolism is overwrought. I found it entirely appropriate that such a self-absorbed protagonist should contain such precious text. (In case it's not clear yet, I hold that Braid is a portrayal of Tim's internal world. His house, his paintings, the books, the worlds--they're all mental constructs he's developed to try to come to terms with the fact that he's unable to relate to people of importance.) It kind of reminds me of this book called Ready, Okay!. It's written... badly, kind of, and in a way that's somewhat implausible--yet, at the end of the book, the bad writing and the implausibility wind up being structurally and narratively important, and if you don't actually stop reading because of them, they wind up making the book more enjoyable in retrospect. So it is with Tim's literary aspirations.

Lest you think I'm willing to forgive all of Braid's faults because of its structure, let's move on to the puzzles. I could probably just quote Andrew Plotkin on Riven here:

Quote:
Riven is, at the same time, one of the hardest games I've played, and one of the most solvable games I've played. Isn't that strange? Can you tell I'm about to digress again?

The first thing you learn in adventure game school is: a badly-designed puzzle is too hard, as opposed to too easy. Any idiot can make an unsolvable puzzle with unreadable clues. ... It was not an easy game. I glared and sweated, and I goggled and gasped when the pieces came together in my head. But, you see, I wouldn't have sweated if it hadn't been solvable. I've played games with much more obscure puzzles. ... Those didn't make me work, because I realized that I was completely stuck, and I got a hint. Riven very rarely made me think I was stuck. ... Riven isn't that hard; I always had all the pieces to play with. Therefore I spent time playing with them, and therefore I remember the puzzling and the "Eurekas," rather than only remembering nice scenery. That's exactly what interactive adventure games are for. Riven does it well.


That's Braid, with two exceptions (one specific, one general). The first specific exception is the case of the platform in the painting near the end of World 2. It wasn't hard to figure out, but it felt like a transgression--maybe it was supposed to indicate the fuzzy artificiality of the various Worlds, but it didn't feel that deliberate. It felt more like a transparent attempt to get the player intrigued by the paintings, or to throw a sucker punch and keep 'em guessing. The more general exception is World 3's sudden reintroduction of dexterity and timing as an important player skill. I'll confess that this is just sour grapes talking: I had more trouble with parts of World 3 than any of the other Worlds. The addition of green-glowing objects denied the expectations the first World had built up in the player: now, if you make a mistake, even rewinding to the beginning of the level won't necessarily fix it: you have to rewind and go back through the door you came in from to undo your error. A reversal of space accomplishes what a reversal of time cannot. (But mostly I just didn't like trying to synchronize the three chomping plants.)

Because I'm tired, I'll pick this arbitrary point to present a preliminary conclusion: I guess I like Braid; I appreciate what it's trying to do and the methods it uses to achieve that, but I'm more excited by the idea of games that use the lessons of Braid to tell different kinds of stories with different kinds of methods. The notion of Braid-clones holds no appeal for me.
_________________
Okay!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dessgeega wrote:
Worm wrote:
EDIT: Okay well I'm rewinding this thread, does anyone want to play apologist for braid? I think it's pretty motherfucking flawed and kind of amusing.


no one wants to debate with you because you do not debate.

Sorry, I'll try to 'hm, yes'ify it.

IW: I think it's impossible to not have liked at least some of the puzzles in Braid, though each time I've had someone defend the game it's been a process of diminishing returns "well you must", or "certainly you'd say". Even the negative reviews that didn't like the story are full of stuff about how difficult the puzzles are and how they must have been crafted by a genius. Well, they aren't and they weren't. It seems like people just want to believe in this game, so they're making excuses for it.

These are basically Portal puzzles (nothing wrong with that, but people weren't lauding portal on it's puzzles), and even then they're slightly easier when you realize the solutions are linear and always thematic (you won't solve a puzzle in timeless item world without rewinding/using timeless items, you won't solve a puzzle in shadow world without your shadow, you won't solve a puzzle in ring world without the ring) the only exception is the left/right world, which quickly spits in your face with the fickle companion and that's only hard because it's the first time the mechanic is a serious limitation.

I like Braid too, but it's not a mensa entry level test, it's not some expertly crafted puzzle game, and it's not some amazing artistic statement. I think if Jonathan Blow had made a platofrmer or an abuse clone with this kind of early hype and presentation he'd be getting praised the same way.

aderack wrote:
Your argument seems to amount to "the puzzles are easy and stupid and the game is pretentiously presented". Basically, you're being judgmental rather than curious. So I'm not sure what there is to say to that. You have fun with your opinions! Run like a gazelle in the winter breeze.

Does it need to amount to more? Just because the game insists it's carefully wrought doesn't mean I need to deconstruct it like one of the Bard's plays. Neither of these would be issues if they weren't the basis on which the indie blogosphere is screeching 10/10.
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
helicopterp
.
.


Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 1435
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Intentionally Wrong wrote:
(But mostly I just didn't like trying to synchronize the three chomping plants.)


If we are to believe Mr. Blow, there is a more "elegant" solution to that puzzle. I'm not going to pretend I figured out what it is, though.
_________________
Like you thought you'd seen copter perverts before. They were nothing compared to this one.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Intentionally Wrong
.
.


Joined: 09 Sep 2005
Posts: 248
Location: [Subject Hometown Here]

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worm wrote:
IW: I think it's impossible to not have liked at least some of the puzzles in Braid, though each time I've had someone defend the game it's been a process of diminishing returns "well you must", or "certainly you'd say". Even the negative reviews that didn't like the story are full of stuff about how difficult the puzzles are and how they must have been crafted by a genius. Well, they aren't and they weren't. It seems like people just want to believe in this game, so they're making excuses for it.


The funny thing about human perception is that it's possible to enjoy something without being able to explain why you enjoyed it. (It works both ways, of course.) People experience something, they examine their reactions to decide whether they liked it or not, and then try to rationalize why they felt the way they did. Reviewers seem to like Braid's puzzles! If their explanations why fall flat, that's a failure of the reviewer, not of the game.

Quote:
These are basically Portal puzzles (nothing wrong with that, but people weren't lauding portal on it's puzzles), and even then they're slightly easier when you realize the solutions are linear and always thematic (you won't solve a puzzle in timeless item world without rewinding/using timeless items, you won't solve a puzzle in shadow world without your shadow, you won't solve a puzzle in ring world without the ring) the only exception is the left/right world, which quickly spits in your face with the fickle companion and that's only hard because it's the first time the mechanic is a serious limitation.


I really don't get your equating Braid's puzzles with Portal's. They both involve, uh... pathfinding? A fundamental break in the traditional rules of navigating space? I mean, what's your example of a good puzzle game, one which doesn't have Portal or Braid puzzles?

Quote:
aderack wrote:
Your argument seems to amount to "the puzzles are easy and stupid and the game is pretentiously presented". Basically, you're being judgmental rather than curious. So I'm not sure what there is to say to that. You have fun with your opinions! Run like a gazelle in the winter breeze.

Does it need to amount to more? Just because the game insists it's carefully wrought doesn't mean I need to deconstruct it like one of the Bard's plays. Neither of these would be issues if they weren't the basis on which the indie blogosphere is screeching 10/10.


Can we all just agree that nobody's talking in absolutes here? Maybe the indie blogosphere is, sure, but here, in this thread, we don't need to resort to hyperbole to make our points.
_________________
Okay!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

helicopterp wrote:
Intentionally Wrong wrote:
(But mostly I just didn't like trying to synchronize the three chomping plants.)

If we are to believe Mr. Blow, there is a more "elegant" solution to that puzzle. I'm not going to pretend I figured out what it is, though.

You keep messing with time until you reach a point where the plants will all go down at the same time and then use X+RB to execute a pause. At least that's what I remember, I can try to explain the solution in further detail if you'll remind me where it is.

Intentionally Wrong wrote:
I really don't get your equating Braid's puzzles with Portal's. They both involve, uh... pathfinding? A fundamental break in the traditional rules of navigating space? I mean, what's your example of a good puzzle game, one which doesn't have Portal or Braid puzzles?

I think it was pretty obnoxious how people are trying to make the puzzles seem so super different, when they were both pretty simple brain exercises. A good puzzle game gets you stuck, and a good puzzle game should increase in difficulty as you advance. Pontifex, DROD, Boulderdash, CRUSH, hell, even Metal Gear Solid VR missions are better true to genre puzzle games than braid. If braid wanted to be really good it would have simply explored the only two good mechanics it had fully rather than trying to lump on more mechanics for the sake of the story. While Portal ended with a puzzling whimper Braid ended thinking it was a real platformer. Though at least after the tutorials portal ramped up the puzzle difficulty, Braid repeats the same difficulty ranges for each of the five levels essentially (except for the gimmicks that were super easy).

Quote:
Maybe the indie blogosphere is, sure, but here, in this thread, we don't need to resort to hyperbole to make our points.

Name calling it is!
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
helicopterp
.
.


Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 1435
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worm wrote:
helicopterp wrote:
Intentionally Wrong wrote:
(But mostly I just didn't like trying to synchronize the three chomping plants.)

If we are to believe Mr. Blow, there is a more "elegant" solution to that puzzle. I'm not going to pretend I figured out what it is, though.

You keep messing with time until you reach a point where the plants will all go down at the same time and then use X+RB to execute a pause.


That's it. Just reading it is enough.
_________________
Like you thought you'd seen copter perverts before. They were nothing compared to this one.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Worm
.
.


Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whoa, the playthisthing writeup of braid is precisely why I have to be a screaming maniac.
_________________

Exit stage left, exit stage right, there is no place to run, all the fuses in the exit signs have been BURNT OUT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
purplechair
.
.


Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 378
Location: in my pants

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really see why people flip out so much about Braid. There's lots of little things to like about it - like what dess was saying about learning about the rewind power by dying - but by and large I just thought it was... overworked?

I'd like to say that Braid and Portal didn't really affect me as much as other people because I'm just so goddam smart that the puzzles became trivial, but that's probably an exaggeration. Probably. But in both cases, I just went in and solved the shit out of it, and it mumbled some plot at me between levels, which feels a bit rubbish. I quite liked the solutions to Cloud Bridge and Crossing the Gap, but (or... because?) they have nothing to do with time-bending.

It was an enjoyable enough experience. I liked un-killing things in the final stages, and the various reworkings of games. And revisiting levels with different rules was interesting. It just feels like... well, I've solved it: what next?

If I walked into a games shop and had a look around, I'm sure I'd rather play Braid than 80% of what I saw on the shelves, but considering how much people have talked it up over the last year, and the 'premium' price, I was underwhelmed. I feel like more effort went into the presentation - not just the sound and graphics, but stuff like the rambling text about sweetshops and bombs - than the gameplay. Or something.


Last edited by purplechair on Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:15 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
dhex
Breeder
Breeder


Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 6319
Location: brooklyn, Nev Yiork

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

novelty is a powerful drug.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Intentionally Wrong
.
.


Joined: 09 Sep 2005
Posts: 248
Location: [Subject Hometown Here]

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worm wrote:
whoa, the playthisthing writeup of braid is precisely why I have to be a screaming maniac.


Yeah, I love playthisthing (anything that gives Emily Short another soapbox, really) but every time the99th posts anything I want to claw my eyes out.
_________________
Okay!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
loves your favorite videogame


Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 6563
Location: bohan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's pretty accurate, yes.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gamer's Quarter Forum Index -> Club for the Study and Appreciation of Interactive Audio Visual Media All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group