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Official Braid Thread


Monkichi 3.0
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is there only one way of doing it? I thought I'd kinda fluked it... but not sure.

The penultimate enemy was the right hand guy on the second platform up. I jumped on his head, then flew slightly left to make him resurrect then landed on his head again to get the "double bounce" required to get up to the third level to kill the final enemy. But it was a fluke when I did it. It was only when I did what I suspected to be a mistimed jump that made me fly left and then right again!

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The penultimate enemy was the right hand guy on the second platform up. I jumped on his head, then flew slightly left to make him resurrect then landed on his head again to get the "double bounce" required to get up to the third level to kill the final enemy. But it was a fluke when I did it. It was only when I did what I suspected to be a mistimed jump that made me fly left and then right again!

I did the same... figured that he had to be the last guy. Did a lot of jump to the left then change direction mid air for a second bounce while moving time forward. It did seem like it was fluked a bit because, I thought, it required more skill than just pure logic - but maybe that's the way that puzzle is. The rest of that world fell into place from then on apart from Fickle Companion. That one has owned my mind. I just can't work it out. Will try it again tonight.

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Something that myself and a lot of other indie devs have been moaning about recently are the changes Microsoft have been making to Live to make it less friendly to indies and innovators, and tailoring it to suit big publishers and existing IPs.

I was starting to think I was talking rubbish, as something like Braid comes out after all this moaning, which is exactly the sort of game I'd like there to be on XBLA, and which I'm arguing s being discouraged.

Anyway, Jonathan Blow talks about the situation on Gamastura and it sounds like Braid wouldn't make it to XBLA if he'd started it now, nor is his next game likely to appear on the service, due to the changes they've made to the business model.

But what would keep me from putting another game on Arcade again is just that they've changed the business deal

I wonder if the success of Braid will be enough to make Microsoft rethink?

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I don't suppose you went to Microsoft Gamefest the other week did you Ste? They had a... I forgot the word but like a lecture... or presentation... anyway, I'm sure you know what I mean, they had one of those on XNA. It seems XNA will be what people like you and John are after. Microsoft will have no say on content at all, to quote the MS guy "If there are already 30 pool games on there and you want to to do the 31st then that's fine". It's all peer reviewed and there are no certification processes or anything. You come up with your game, stick it up on XNA, get the appropriate peer reviews (I think it was between 5 or 10) and you game is then stuck on Live at a price point of your choice (Well, you can choose between different preset ones). They will also not remove any content reagardless of popularity, so it will be making money for you until the whole service is taken down.

I think the deal was 70% of the takings go directly to the dev, and this is paid quarterly. Seems like a place to try out new ideas and get them out there into people's homes. You could have Naked War for example, on 360, without having to go through certification, concept approval, none of that. If you guys are still releasing stuff on PC you can stick "Also available on XNA" on the splash screens or promo stuff.

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No, didn't go to any presentation. XNA might be great, we'll see. Depends if there's a viable business model there or not, which remains to be seen.

Being directed towards XNA definitely feels like I'm been demoted (even further) from indie developer to hobbyist.

In other news, a night's sleep hasn't got me any nearer to having a clue how to solve the remaining two puzzles I'm stuck on in world 5. I must be missing something.

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I thought XNA was a framework/API for using DirectX from the .NET Framework.

Why do Microsoft insist on overloading terms so much that you've no idea what anyone's talking about?

It's like when .NET came out, it was a new programming framework as well as the name of Hotmail's user account/login system :D

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[snip] and you game is then stuck on Live at a price point of your choice (Well, you can choose between different preset ones). [snip]

It won't be up on XBLA though, it'll be on XBLCG (Community Games). XBLA will still be indie 'unfriendly' for the foreseeable future. Whether XBLCG can be as much of a success as XBLA has been, makes the distinction between the two portals an important one, I think.

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I thought XNA was a framework/API for using DirectX from the .NET Framework.

Why do Microsoft insist on overloading terms so much that you've no idea what anyone's talking about?

It's like when .NET came out, it was a new programming framework as well as the name of Hotmail's user account/login system :D

I'm not too familiar with XNA, all I learnt was from the presentation I went to, but the presentation was nothing to do with programming and essentially made XNA look like some sort of XBLA which anyone could be part of.

I've never worked in a dev studio, I've been on the "dark side" of publishing and working with MS themselves so I'm probably looking at it from completely the wrong perspective. It seemed like a good deal if you're starting out or want to do independant stuff. Like Ste says though, it depends on the business model. All they went into on the presentation was "70% of the money goes to the dev, this is paid quarterly" and that was pretty much it. No hosting costs or any other costs were mentioned (Other than the £99 or so pounds a year membership fee).

On a slightly worrying note (Well, maybe not worrying), one of the people there did ask "Will it be possible to have a corporate identity releasing games on XNA?". The MS guy paused for a while and said "Well, if they have an XNA account there is nothing stopping a publisher or developer releasing games on XNA".

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It won't be up on XBLA though, it'll be on XBLCG (Community Games). XBLA will still be indie 'unfriendly' for the foreseeable future. Whether XBLCG can be as much of a success as XBLA has been, makes the distinction between the two portals an important one, I think.

Yeah, sure, but there isn't really much of a difference between the two is there? I mean, they'll both be available to Xbox Live users and the community games stuff didn't seem to be stuck in some obscure part of the new dashboard system, it seemed to be fairly front line in fact (I may be remembering the presentation badly though, but I do seem to remember it being pretty easy to access from the dash).

As I said, I have no experience in developing for XBLA or XNA so I don't know what the implications of not being allowed on XBLA are.

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XNA seems both good and bad to me. On the one hand it lets people go and put up stuff that is never going to make significant money and might not even justify the certification costs of an XBLA release, on the other hand it's a ghetto, and one most people will never even look in, and as Ste says it may not actually be possible to make a living on it.

Also, all the console players I think need to seriously take a look at how online retail sites work with reviews and ratings, and recommendations based on what you've bought and what you've said you like, otherwise all that will sell is what's new and being pushed and there will be no decent tail. If they did that then they could present XBLCG along with the XBLA ones (maybe mark them with a little symbol) and people might actually download them.

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Yeah, sure, but there isn't really much of a difference between the two is there?

Hmm, XBLCG will allow just about anything, regardless of quality, as long as it doesn't crash or infringes on existing IP. Maybe there'll be a perceived difference in terms of quality between the two services. Depends what gets uploaded once the system's live, I guess.

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On a slightly worrying note (Well, maybe not worrying), one of the people there did ask "Will it be possible to have a corporate identity releasing games on XNA?". The MS guy paused for a while and said "Well, if they have an XNA account there is nothing stopping a publisher or developer releasing games on XNA".

That is bizarre. So what's going to stop all devs just moving over to XNA then to benefit from reduced bureauacracy and higher margins?

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That is bizarre. So what's going to stop all devs just moving over to XNA then to benefit from reduced bureauacracy and higher margins?

I guess that 'Live Arcade' is the place where Microsoft act as the first party publisher, and XNA is the equivalent of third party stuff. Having your game published on Live Arcade by Microsoft means (I guess) a negotiable royalty rate, advertising and promotion.

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How were you doing it?

I'd managed to get to the platform next to where the ladder drops down by the jigsaw piece, by using the time slow ring up near the switch that released this ladder (to slow down the vertical moving platform to let the horizonal moving platform past, which otherwise would have been blocked - therefore I didn't have the time slow ring available to slow down the falling ladder), then rewound time while on this platform by somehow using the magic effect of the horizontal platform which brought me here, in a way I didn't understand because I was no longer stood on the magic horizontal moving platform.

Then I had to jump on the ladder as it fell down, at normal speed, jumping to the highest point in the ladder, then when the ladder reached the highest point in it's bounce, walking off the ladder to the jigsaw piece.

Except this didn't work, as even at the highest point in the ladder's bounce I wasn't high enough to walk onto the platform, even after about 50 tries, and just kept falling off.

So, unable to think of another solution, I just played it like a game tester trying to break the game, and mashed the buttons over and over for about another 50 attempts, and managed to fluke the collision into bumping me onto the platform. Didn't feel like I'd properly solved the puzzle.

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Don't know if anyone's seen it but JB has identified a couple of bugs in the game.

One happens if you put your paid-for copy of the game on another machine (either a replacement for a broken one or just swapping hard drives) - game reverts to demo mode and you may or may not lose your save.

The other apparently happens on levels with the jigsaw putter-togetherer thing in them. If you get a new piece, add it to the existing jigsaw, then rewind back to before you picked up the piece and pick it up again, your picture will be all kinds of fucked and there's no way to fix it. So don't do that.

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That is bizarre. So what's going to stop all devs just moving over to XNA then to benefit from reduced bureauacracy and higher margins?

Ignoring the bureaucracy angle, the bigger devs / publishers already get the full 70% royalty rate on XBLA. It's only the smaller devs and self publishers who get the slashed rate.

Why won't the smaller indies move over to XNA? That's exactly what MS wants, to reserve XBLA for the big boys.

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Yeah, that isn't the correct solution.

I was talking to Jonathan Blow actually, I managed to break one of the other puzzles, the one just to the right of that one actually, through a similar use of brute force. He said this:

Hmm, that is not the intended solution to that puzzle. I didn't think that was possible -- but I guess it is if you try hard enough!
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Ladder puzzle:

Rewind time when on the ladder until it's at the start of its drop down. I did it more or less the way you did, too. Although I slowed the ladder down. Seems stupidly obvious now, huh?

Hmm, I'm not sure how that helps actually.

I've switched my brain off for a bit now.

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What did people think was the best puzzle in the game then?

I reckon the hunt in World 4, and one in World 6:

The one where you have to flick a switch then come out the room again. Originally I put my ring under the cannon, so I could make it inside. The corridor was just too long to get back out though. I must have tried 50 times, it was so, so close. I was hating the game for making a puzzle so reliant on good platforming. Staring at it for ages I saw that I hadn't used the goombas much so perhaps they were involved... Getting one down was hard enough in itself, then just getting onto the cannon was super tricky too. Finally putting down the ring and doing the puzzle I thought was definitely one of the most satisfying moments in the game.

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Hmm, I'm not sure how that helps actually.

I've switched my brain off for a bit now.

Hmmmmmmmmmm.

When you're on the ladder, climb to the top, wait until you're no longer green, then rewind time. Simply jump off when it goes back up. This isn't how I actually did it but I presume it to be the right method?

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Hmmmmmmmmmm.

When you're on the ladder, climb to the top, wait until you're no longer green, then rewind time. Simply jump off when it goes back up. This isn't how I actually did it but I presume it to be the right method?

I don't think I was green at the time. Or I didn't notice if I was. I thought you were only green when stood on the magic platforms?

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