Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Played Lately: The White Birch - Prototype

  • Purchasing access to Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight is one of the best decisions I've made this year. I've watched day after day as these games took form over the course of two weeks. When the opportunity came to download the prototype, the game I chose to play first was The White Birch.
  • Inspired by Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, The White Birch is a puzzle platformer, drenched in atmosphere and beautiful to behold. It is amazing to see what the team achieved in just two weeks. There are some clever puzzles and mechanics, fun animations, and great scenery.

  • Since I watched the playthrough on the Double Fine livestream, I didn't have any difficulty finding my way up the tower. The only issues I ran into were matters of execution. I was able to play the game to completion on my first night, but could not complete it on the second night I tried. I want to blame the game and its prototype status, but I also know that I get impatient and fail to play properly.

  • If there is one thing I don't like about the prototype, it's the ending and the fact that it has one. It is such a huge tease. I want the game to keep going, prototype or not!

  • More seriously, though, there is a lot interesting from an intellectual point of view in playing a prototype. Of course it isn't perfectly smooth, there are a few interesting bugs, and it is short. The Amnesia Fortnight documentary showed the team fighting a bug that would leave the main character in a flying state after a cutscene. They decided that, since they couldn't solve the bug, that they would just have her reset at such a point. She does a little hop occasionally that is a side effect of the fix. I'm sure it drives them crazy, but I think it's awesome to peak behind the curtain.

  • If you are curious too, there is still time to get access. The Amnesia Fortnight Humble Bundle is still available for the next few days if you want to try all of the prototypes and documentaries. I'm only one game in and it's already worth it.

© 2012 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

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