2009.05.07

200 megabytes is the size of the entire game. And yet, probably one of the most surprisingly good games in some time.

Braid tells the story of Tim and his journey to find the princess. Its a basic platform game, with the controls just like old Mario, except one thing: you can control time. By pressing a button (and further in game, by some other situations) you can turn back time. Even after you died. If the controls are similar to the famous plumber, the game dymaics is completely different. It is a puzzle game.

Braid is an action-puzzle game about manipulating the flow of time. To rescue a princess, the player journeys through a series of worlds; in each world, time behaves differently. The game provides a mind-expanding experience that is filler-free, treating the player’s time as precious.

The puzzles are very well designed and the difficult progression is a state of art. Considering that it is a one-man work (Jonathan Blow. did it alone, except for the music, which he licensed, and graphics, which he hired a guy for the job), it’s amazingly good.

My grade: 9.50 Metacritic: 93

2009.01.21

I simply don’t get the point when the game producers advertise the engine behind a game. Engine, for those are not familiar with, is the piece of software that deals the core functions in a game: 3D rendering, sound, network, etc. They usually say that their own home-made engine is capable of more graphics in the scene, with more details or more effects (mostly about the graphics power). But more than what?

Unless the company license their engines as core business, like Epic’s Unreal Technology, Valve’s Source or id’s id Tech, there is absolutely no point on advertising it or even giving it a name but creating it some pseudo-credibility to the project.

WOW!! Mafia 2 are going to use Illusion Engine! Whadda heck is Illusion Engine?

These pieces of softwares are complex to create. However, there was a lot of people that were capable to create one from scratch. Today, there are several of them, with different purposes (some are for hookies, some are for 3D pros or only for FPS games) and different quality (some are slow, some have incomplete documentation or lacking of tools). But there are enough that it might be considered almost as commodity.

Unreal Engine is, by far, the most popular among the big companies. Several best sellers were created using its tools and libraries. But dont even think about using it: it costs a fortune! So several companies had the same idea about position their owgame_engines_virtual_war_content_1tely free. Some are worthy to mention: Garage Games' Torque, Blender/Crystal Space and Radon Labs' Nebula Device.

Some good games came from they: Torque is quite inexpensive and it was used on the Penny Arcade Adventures; Nebula Device is completely free with the most permissive, the MIT license, and its behind Drakensang, which Im going to play really soon.