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An embarrassing confession about Another World

An embarrassing confession about Another World
« on: March 11, 2011, 10:45:05 pm »

OK... so ever since I started hanging out with other game developers (or wannabes rather, this started when I went to game design university) people have talked about "Another World" (also known as "Out of this World" and maybe more similar names) by Eric Chahi. I remember seeing it in a lecture about vector graphics and maybe I tried it a little bit back then, I'm not entirely sure.

Anyway  – Eric was at GDC this year and people continued the raving about the game (the Sword and Sworcery people mention him constantly). So yesterday I decided to give it a try. It starts of nicely with a little animated movie and then your left alone in a cool looking alien world. After dying approximately 7 times in the water, 1 time by the slug on the ground and maybe 10 times by some panther like creature that you can't outrun I felt like enough is enough (it restarts from the water every time). Can anyone please explain how this game is meant to be enjoyed? Do you have to be a kid back in 1990-something with infinite patience? Am I incredibly clumsy and stupid and should play more until I get it? Or should I just watch the whole thing on YouTube?  Please, I want to understand this important milestone in our field! Any help or guidance is appreciated.

Thanks,
Erik
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Re: An embarrassing confession about Another World
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 10:59:32 pm »

Having played through this entire game I can say it might be worth playing through once. However, it's brutally difficult. You're not incredibly stupid and clumsy. Being a kid back in the 1990's might help. The game IS an interesting experience and it can be enjoyable BUUUUUT yeah, it's fucking hard as hell. If you don't have the patience just watch it on youtube lol.
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Re: An embarrassing confession about Another World
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 11:10:11 pm »

I've had the same experience as you, Erik. I think the game is just too old. Its style of design has become intolerable to us. It's a pity. Let's not make that mistake again!
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Re: An embarrassing confession about Another World
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2011, 06:55:25 pm »

Yes, another world is very hard to enjoy today. I actually think that flashback (sort of a sequel) is more enjoyable. But what really stands out in another world (and not really found in flashback) are 2 things:

1) there is a seamless transition between cutscenes and gameplay that is even rare in today's games. The game is really a landmark in this regard.

2) there is a very interesting relationship developed between you and the alien that is mainly build up from play. This 10 years before ico did something similar (and AWs style is still noteworthy)

Apart from this, the game is mostly a test on your nerves, but if the above seem interesting enough, u might wanna watch aplaythrough or play it with a guide.
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Re: An embarrassing confession about Another World
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2011, 07:48:15 pm »

Visually and technologically it broke new ground. Not only is it a very attractive game but it used an unusual (especially for the time) 2d vector based game engine. This was 6 years before Flash was released!
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Re: An embarrassing confession about Another World
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2011, 09:36:00 pm »

Visually and technologically it broke new ground. Not only is it a very attractive game but it used an unusual (especially for the time) 2d vector based game engine. This was 6 years before Flash was released!
yeah that is not to forget. I think it still holds up technically and aesthetically. It is kinda weird so few games imitated it.
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Re: An embarrassing confession about Another World
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2011, 08:30:54 pm »

Thanks a lot for the responses guys, will try to play it together with some old-school friend I think.
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Re: An embarrassing confession about Another World
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2011, 11:42:05 pm »

Eric's GDC Postmortem - http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1014630/Classic-Game-Postmortem-OUT-OF

Quoted from around the 13 minute mark;
Quote
The big advantage is that the game would be interpreted in real-time, so no compiling was necessary to run the game. That was a key feature to be efficient during its creation.

Twenty years later developers somehow still demonstrate a lack of urgency on this approach ..
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Re: An embarrassing confession about Another World
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 01:44:11 pm »

To compile is to kill.  To see one's mistakes is an essential part of artistic creation. I don't want some compiler to suggest corrections. All it cares about is the machine anyway. As an artist, I care about the people using the machine.
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Re: An embarrassing confession about Another World
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2011, 03:34:13 am »

Eric's GDC Postmortem - http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1014630/Classic-Game-Postmortem-OUT-OF

Quoted from around the 13 minute mark;
Quote
The big advantage is that the game would be interpreted in real-time, so no compiling was necessary to run the game. That was a key feature to be efficient during its creation.

Twenty years later developers somehow still demonstrate a lack of urgency on this approach ..

Oh, this sounds exactly like what I am working on for our upcoming game. I hate how disruptive (and anti-motivational) compiling can be. Also need to check out the talk.
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Re: An embarrassing confession about Another World
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2011, 11:14:45 pm »

Oh, this sounds exactly like what I am working on for our upcoming game. I hate how disruptive (and anti-motivational) compiling can be.

I want to organize a panel at the GDC Europe about how to improve tools and workflow for artistic creation. Would you like to be part of it and share your ideas?
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Re: An embarrassing confession about Another World
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2011, 08:30:04 am »

Oh, this sounds exactly like what I am working on for our upcoming game. I hate how disruptive (and anti-motivational) compiling can be.

I want to organize a panel at the GDC Europe about how to improve tools and workflow for artistic creation. Would you like to be part of it and share your ideas?
Oh sure! I am not sure if I have that many insights in this area though, but at least I can represent "the small company making visual/story intense games" side.

Also, I will be submitting a talk to GDC EU, so hopefully I will already be there for that reason Smiley
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 09:16:00 am by Thomas »
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