Braid Previews in Magazines

Last month’s issue of Xbox World 360 magazine has a great preview of Braid. It’s 4 pages long, and you can tell they put a lot of effort into it. Indies are lucky to get even meager press attention for their games, so I’d like to thank these guys for running such a huge and good-looking feature. It’s risky for a magazine to do something like this; readers are not exactly clamoring to know about Braid; they probably want to know about Fallout 3 or Oblivion 2 or something.

I am a little embarrassed by the “play up the personality of the designer and talk about how cool he is” angle; I would rather people just write about the game itself.

Braid and its visuals also came up, quite favorably, in the discussion column they print on the last page of the magazine.

The editors gave me permission to reproduce the preview here for anyone who’s interested… so here it is. (Click on the small images for hopefully-readable bigger ones.)

Xbox World 360 preview

Xbox World 360 preview

Xbox World 360 preview


Play magazine had a really cool 2-page feature; and in the past, PC Gamer (UK) has printed a very positive preview, and Edge has printed a preview that they tell me is positive, though I don’t quite see it.

(Since we haven’t quite finalized the PC version of the game, we’re not in too much contact with PC game magazines yet.)

15 thoughts on “Braid Previews in Magazines”

  1. Well, I found the graphics-or-gameplay discussion pretty odd in relation to Braid, seeing how the game actually does have great graphics – it’s not like Dwarf Fortress or anything. Or is it that people really do equate “more shaders” to “better graphics” nowadays?

    Anyway, it’s nice to see the game is getting some much needed coverage. I feel Portal has kind of paved the way for the quirky indie puzzle game, so there’d be less resistance from the media and/or gamers.

  2. I second Alex’ request. It would also like to hear why they didn’t work.

    @pkt-zer0: I agree that they seem to think that more shaders means better graphics. I used to say that gameplay is more important than graphics are, but Braid actually changed my mind. I think that Braid as it is now is going to be much cooler to play than it would’ve been with the graphics that Jon made for the first version. It is just much more immersive this way. Of course gameplay is still king, but it’s much more a symbiosis than I used to think.

    I agree with the people in the discussion that good graphics don’t age and aren’t just technically impressive. In this regard Braid has great graphics, since it already doesn’t rely on a lot of technology.

  3. The worlds that got cut, that I remember off-hand, are:

    “Turn-Based”: You make a move, and then a certain amount of time happens (like 1 second), and then it’s time to make another move. Rewind takes you back to the previous turn (there’s no way to stop in between turns).

    “Predictive”: You can see the future before it happens (the game extrapolates forward by 5 seconds or so and show you the results).

    There were various 3D extrusion models, too, both a predictive version and a version where you see the past; the frames of gameplay in the past or future extended out into 3D space so that all of time is a cube. This didn’t provide any extra gameplay value though. I went through designs on paper where you would rotate that cube and try to play a cross-section, but I never came up with anything that would actually make sense to play.

  4. It’s good to see that Braid is getting some respectful and high profile recognition in anticipation of its release.

    This is somewhat tangental, but after reading the Xbox World 360 feature, I have to wonder if you’ve ever played the PS2 horror game Siren? The game is clunky and flawed in many ways, but now that I am sitting down with it, the way the gameplay themes reinforce story and vice-versa remind me of Braid, in an odd way. There’s a PS3 remake coming out soon, but I don’t know if it successfully achieves the same effect. But you might be interested in checking it out, if you ever have some free time.

  5. I never played Siren; hmm, I don’t have a PS3 but by the time the remake comes out maybe there will be enough critical mass to justify me getting one? I dunno, I hardly play anything on my 360 as it is…

  6. Do you know if Braid will get any E3 spotlight time, because so far, I’ve been watching and waiting. Also, when are you allowed to tell the release date? I’m just as excited by this as much as Fallout 3 (*which is a lot).

  7. Won’t a preview ruin this kind of game?
    In other news, I asked David Hellman if we can reprint his “Art of Braid” in our magazine. He didn’t write back, maybe you can be of some assistance?

  8. Yep, I saw that. It’s cool that Braid is getting video coverage, but I am not a big fan of that particular spot — it doesn’t get into why the game is actually interesting, since they spend all their time in world 2; it’s an old build of the game with worse graphics than are in the final; and they once again manage to somehow not give David any credit for the art (and flub the phrasing such that it seems like they are saying I painted all the art). Also, the presenter went on a “learning” kick which just sounded pretentious given what the material he showed actually was.

    Actually, both previews for Gamespot have been unfrtunate (there was one at GDC before this)… maybe Gamespot and Braid are just a bad combo.

  9. My computer just crashed horribly while watching that video. Seems Gamespot and Braid really is a bad combination.

    Also, the guy doing the demo commented that you couldn’t get those two puzzle pieces at the end of the Cloud Bridge level (I think that was the name) until you acquire some new skills or pieces. Is it correct that you obtain new skills a la Metroid, or was this another mistake on their part. I was under the impression that the game only had the basic platformer mechanics and the different ways time behaved, and not upgrades of this sort.

  10. Just hearing about this game for the first time…..somehow…..

    Buying this Day 1 when it releases on Xbox Live Arcade.

    Looks absolutely beautiful in the screens. Amazing how quickly a game can shoot up to #1 on your most wanted list.

  11. Hey everyone, long time lurker and lover of Braid, first time poster. As much as I love Braid (or what the internet community has seen of it) it seems a tad arrogant to be gloating about ‘positive’ previews. A preview, by its very nature should be a non-judgmental piece of writing- a description of the game and the experience the reviewer had with it- not an early review. Just my two cents- feel free to comment back if you disagree.

    P.S.: Are you serious when you say that you would be unhappy with a 9/10? That seems a little too over-the-top to me, but maybe I’m just a cynic at heart…

  12. I don’t mean for it to come across as gloating. It’s more a way to provide information about the game as to why people would want to try the demo or buy the game. Braid doesn’t have a marketing budget, so the only real way that people hear about it is from their friends on forums, or wherever like that. If someone says “why should I be interested in this game?” on a forum somewhere, then here’s one item that someone can point them at.

    This same magazine has a review of Braid hitting the newsstands in about a week, so at that time we can see how the mood of the writing translates from preview to review.

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