Braid Coming To Impulse, Others

By Jim Rossignol on February 18th, 2009 at 8:51 am.


[EDIT: Actual price for this is $14.95.] Exquisitely clever time-bending platformer Braid will finally see a PC release on March 31st, and the $15 pre-orders are up on Stardock’s DRM-free digi-delivery system, Impulse. Blow says: “”I’ve signed the game with 3 different online distributors. One of them, Impulse, has already announced. The other two haven’t put out their press releases yet, so I don’t want to jump the gun saying who it is.” (Thanks, Paul.)

The IGF winner is one of the most heavily praised indie games of the past few years, and has caused many people to say “beeeeoooowwwoop!” in earnest. Creator Jonathan Blow gave a memorable keynote at FreePlay in 2007, in which he both talked up Braid and described the reward scheme of World Of Warcraft as “unethical”. Braid trailer after the click.

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140 Comments »

  1. Sunjammer says:

    How the hell can you be a “Cunt” for delaying a game? That notion practically makes me furious. Devs don’t owe you shit candid

  2. jay says:

    Some of the stuff in this topic makes me feel a little embarrassed to play games on pc.

    It will be nice to play Braid soon though, hopefully with more positive vibes by then.

  3. Funky Badger says:

    Hmmm, the sense of entitlement is strong here….

  4. A-Scale says:

    I still can’t justify paying that much for a platformer. I’ve seen the demo on a friend’s 360 and I know the story, but I don’t get what the big deal is. The story is intriguing, and the time manipulation seems fun, but it’s still a simple platformer. People who are excited, why are you so excited? I want to be excited too!

  5. Hybrid says:

    @Mr Popov
    There’s no price reduction for digital distribution because it wouldn’t be fair to those who buy them at retail.

  6. Kestrel says:

    “generic question here but why aren’t we, the consumers, seeing any price reductions in games due to digital distribution?”

    Because retailers will immediately pull any game that is selling for less online than in a brick and mortar store.

    The real question is why this isn’t illegal…

  7. Kestrel says:

    edit: somehow, Hybrid, I think it has less to do with fairness to the consumer and alot more to do with larger retail operations seeing very clearly that their hour rapidly approaches. They are using the power they still have to shore up their business model, with ridiculous measures like insisting that pricing for DLL be the same or higher (never mind that it costs less to produce and distribute) but it is only a matter of time.

  8. Paul Moloney says:

    It’s weird stumbling across this thread having heard of Braid, but not following the saga of its development and XBLA release, and encountering a 1984esque three-minute hate. I’ve no idea why some people seem to believe that Mr. Blow owes them an exclusive release on their favourite platform to the extent of calling him such names. Where did this sense of entitlement come from?

    While I feel all indied-out lately what with Crayon Physics Deluxe, World of Goo, etc, for $15 I may give this a punt.

    P.

  9. Dr_demento says:

    @ PHeMoX: We all misread stuff on the internet. No worries.

    @ A-Scale:
    Braid‘s time-travel puzzles are really, really clever, much cleverer than I’ve seen in almost any other games. They’re just the right difficulty to be an Achiev- sorry, an achievement to get but not so hard that you end up thinking “what the frack?” and going to a walkthrough.

    Braid‘s music is phenomenal alone, and that it gets affected by the time manipulation (running backwards, slowing down etc.) and still works is nothing short of incredible.

    Braid‘s art style is superlative-defying and beautiful. I love it.

    Braid‘s plot, except for in that damn epilogue, is an awe-inspiring twist on the rescue-the-princess archetype which almost beat out Simon Parkin’s.

    The only thing I don’t like about it is the 2doors1key trap. Bastard. Oh well…

  10. A-Scale says:

    Ok Dr. I’m intrigued. But I wonder if it will be as good on PC as it was using a controller. That and the 15 dollar price tag are my two main concerns now. How long is this game? I’m going to find it hard shelling out 15 bucks for 2 hours of entertainment.

  11. Dr_demento says:

    $15 is definately worth it, its controls should work as well on a PC as they did on the 360, and I’d say it has about five or six hours of gameplay in it – more if you get particularly stuck. One puzzle near the end had a friend of mine thinking for a couple of days before he shouted “of course” (in a queue at Spar) and ran home to do it. It’s not particularly long or especially replayable, it’s true, but it is worth the price.

  12. pkt-zer0 says:

    I’ll say this: I do not think World of Goo is worth 20$, nor does it seem like Braid will be worth 15$. I still pre-ordered the former, and will do the same with the latter. Why? Because even though the content alone might not justify the price, it’s an investment into the future of gaming, a future where more games dare to do something different. And for that, I’m perfectly willing to part with my money.

  13. yutt says:

    @Candid_Man

    Oh, goodness, what a bunch of self-entitled claptrap. Blow is trying to earn a living and support the development of future games, not satiate the every fanciful whim of pretentious whiners.

    You’re just looking for an bullshit excuse to pirate the game. Apparently you need that for yourself, because there is certainly no one here that buys it.

  14. MetalCircus says:

    Jonathon Blowjob.

  15. catska says:

    Piracy tax.

    Anyone who doesn’t play this game because it was on a console first or because they don’t like the developer is an idiot. This game is incredible.

    The sense of entitlement here is ridiculous. Look no further than the comments in this thread to see exactly whats wrong with PC gaming. Developers have to practically suck you off to get you to pay for the product that they created instead of downloading it for free.

    Seems like it was a smart move to delay the PC release, most of the people interested from the get-go probably bought it on console instead of pirating it on the pc.

  16. MetalCircus says:

    I was just making a crap pun about Jonathon Blow’s name. I’ve played the trial on xbox live and loved it. (Just incase your post was aimed at me)

    Can’t wait for this personally. and come on guys, pay the man, the game is great.

  17. Rich_P says:

    Look no further than the comments in this thread to see exactly whats wrong with PC gaming.

    There’s a distinction between entitlement and reasonable expectations, this thread tilting toward the former to be sure. I’m not trying to defend the people who hurl insults at Blow for what’s a trivial matter (my above comment was pretty much about games other than Braid), but rather argue that PC gamers have plenty of legitimate things to be grumpy about (none of which are the fault of the indie community).

  18. Angel Dust says:

    What the hell is people’s problem with paying $20 bucks for this? Most of you certainly pay $50 for polished turds that quite often have the same hour to dollar ratio and if they don’t are padded out with superfluous ‘content’. “World of Goo” didn’t take me 20 hours to finish but I enjoyed those hours far more than the 20 I sunk into Fallout 3, which I never finished. Too many people have a content value = quantity rather than quality. Sure nobody wants to play a 1 hour game but $20 for 3-4 hours of superb entertainment is preferable than $50 for 20-30 hours of bloated tedium in my book.

    I also often find the the short games have very high replay value since it doesn’t require a big investment to have a quick blat.

  19. Candid_Man says:

    About the insult I throwed mindlessly. I would really like to take it back as it had no place in this thread. I’m serious.

    It seems that my usually correct grasp of English registers failed me here. Not a native speaker, please do excuse me.

    Sorry again, to Jonathan Blow and anybody I offended.

  20. elle says:

    Some more goodness in the comments to that newest post: Jonathan confirms talks for aPS3 port, confirms a Mac port and softens his stance on Linux.

    He also says the art makes it hard to do resolutions other than 1280×720, so 16:10 and 4:3 resolutions will have letterboxing.

  21. elle says:

    Look no further than the comments in this thread to see exactly whats wrong with PC gaming.

    Some people are having their morning or afternoon cry over the price, timing of release and distribution method of a video game. This too shall pass. In fact, it practically already has.

    I don’t want to defend anyone here, but PC gaming had the entitlement troll problem when it was in its infancy, had it all through whatever you consider as its golden age, has it now and will have it forever. The consoles have had the same problem for the same length of time, and they probably do it with more venom and less intelligence than anyone’s presented in this thread.

    Whatever the problems are, I doubt this thread holds any answers, much less the answer. I always thought it was because consoles had a lower point-of-entry price and greater degree of convenience, and not because a micro-minority bashes their faces into keyboards on forums over pricing and distribution issues.

  22. redrain85 says:

    There was no good reason to charge an extra $5. Well, other than greed, that is. The piracy tax has already been paid, by delaying the release of the PC version for this long.

    Besides, if Braid had been released on the PC first at $15 and later for $20 on the 360 . . . the same damn outcry would have happened, and don’t anyone try to pretend otherwise.

  23. MultiVaC says:

    Exactly, redrain. It was perfectly reasonable not to want to pay an extra $5 for no apparent reason. That’s the problem with a lot of people’s mindset. “Oh, it’s only $5 more!”, even though it could easily be released for $15. And now it is, problem solved. I don’t understand why people are pointing fingers and calling people whiners. We’re all paying less money for a great game. Everyone wins here. If Jonathan Blow absolutely felt need to charge $20 that would be fine. But obviously that’s not the case, because he lowered the price. If it was a totally unreasonable demand, he wouldn’t have done it.

  24. Feet says:

    @Pags Thank you for linking to Soulja Boy. That was amazing.

    @JBlow Thanks for the price reduction, that was the “right thing”. I might even buy your wonderful game again for that price.

    BUT ONLY IF IT COMES OUT ON STEAM BECAUSE I HAVE POINTLESSLY DECIDED TO BE VALVES BITCH.

    ¬_¬

  25. SofS says:

    I’ve been surprised at the negative reaction to Braid’s pricing since it was first released. I’m as poor as the next guy whose new job doesn’t start for a week, and I definitely understand feeling stingy about money, but answer me this: how often can you pick up a game for less than $20 before discount or resale? $15-20 is about as cheap as you’re going to get for a well-made game on release. I can only think of a few I’ve wanted that have started out lower than that, and they were generally arcadey things that are more about having lots of replay than presenting a big initial experience.

    (Like others, I also wonder at the supposedly dealbreaking $5 difference between the initially-announced price and the current price. I suspect that if it had started at $15, many would have said that it was only worth $10. If it had started at $10, there would have been people (not necessarily the same people, mind) saying they’d pay nothing to play it.)

    I’d also just like to vouch for the game to those who are unsure about purchase. I played the main story through on my friend’s 360 and loved every minute. Not sure why being a platformer seems to put people off of it, but bear in mind that it’s really all about the puzzles.

    P.S.
    For those who haven’t seen it yet, check the link in my name for the way things should be between the PC and the other major formats.

  26. Markoff Chaney says:

    Entitlement? Do I feel I am entitled to having the exact same product on a competing platform for the exact same price? I do have that expectation, yes. It came from studying math and economics. How dare I care about marketplace equality and pricing fairness on my platform of choice? How dare I try to voice my opinion on something I care about?

    It’s got nothing to do with similar products, or non indie polished turds costs 2.5 times as much products. The issue this deals with has to do with comparing apples to apples and wanting to have person A pay the same thing as person B for the exact same product.

  27. drewski says:

    It’s funny that PC gamers think they’re entitled to the same pricing as consoles for indie games, yet I don’t see big long comments threads on RPS complaining about consoles getting games $10 higher than PC because of licensing.

    If a game’s worth $15, I think it’s almost certainly worth $20. Even if it’s delayed. Nice of Blow to wind back the price anyway, of course, but really, you’re telling me a game’s great at $15 but the price of a McMeal turns it into pirate bait?

    FFS.

    As for anyone thinking that $15 is too much for a genuinely classy, interesting and original game – Portal. Now shut up.

  28. Ginger Yellow says:

    “Do I feel I am entitled to having the exact same product on a competing platform for the exact same price? I do have that expectation, yes. It came from studying math and economics. ”

    Um, I’m not sure where in economics it says that everything costs the same everywhere. Costcutter sells bottles of Orangina for 79p. WH Smith sells them for £1.50. That doesn’t generate 100 comment rant threads.

    “The story is intriguing, and the time manipulation seems fun, but it’s still a simple platformer. People who are excited, why are you so excited?”

    Because it’s not a simple platformer! It has the most ingenious, rewarding puzzles of pretty much any game I’ve played. And everything Dr Demento said. The production values and artistry are outstanding.

  29. QuantumGravitas says:

    Uncleloo said: “Small example: Game not on Steam? People flat out refuse to even consider buying it. Another: Absolutely everything gets called a “bad port” these days. Everything. I am not excusing bugs here, but people sometimes forget that the PC’s biggest strength is also one of its weaknesses. It won’t always be as smooh sailing as it is with console games.”

    I agree with the first point. Steam fanatics are the same as any corporate fanboi. But then again it is not entirely unreasonable to want to support one of the PC’s premiere games developers or to want to have only one games/shopping client installed on their machine. However, I cannot diagree more with you on the second. The number of games that originate on, or have their development tailored to inferior console hardware, which are then ported across to Pc generally are poor efforts. How many games still direct you to console controls? Several spring to mind. (e.g: Star Trek: Legacy) How many take advantage of the PC control system without forcing you to either plug in a pad or stick with unweildy key commands shoe-horned in at the last minute? How many restrict their game worlds to console limitations which PCs transcended years ago – eg draw-distance? How many simplify the gaming experience for the console masses? It was not PC’s that invented quick-time, press-button now events.

    There are many genuine reasons to call a game a ‘bad console port’ – PC’s are amazing pieces of kit and too often developers choose not to take full advantage of them because what they made for the consoles is deemed suitable enough. They – the developers – dumbed down the gaming experience for mass consumption (a prime example is to compare the first Deus Ex with it’s console-developed sequel, Invisible War) and when PC gamers raise voices of dissent we get stuck-up people on comment threads accusing us of ‘inflated senses of entitlement’. There ARE voluble morons in every faction who will ruin it for the rest but these people should not detract from what are real and geniune concerns.

  30. AdrianWerner says:

    I like Stardock over Valve, so whenever a game is avaible on both Impulse and Steam I choose Impulse version to let Stardock get my money :)

    And now with the whole Valve Euro pricing diseaster I won’t buy anything on STEAM ever again untill they fix the damn thing. At least Impulse doesn’t make me pay extra just because I live in diffrent country It’s getting ridiculous…I somehow swallowed paying the same for DD as I did in retail, but paying more? Dawn of War 2 on STEAM is twice as expensive as boxed copy in my country..yes…TWICE. What a joke

  31. Paul Moloney says:

    “And now with the whole Valve Euro pricing diseaster I won’t buy anything on STEAM ever again untill they fix the damn thing. [...] Dawn of War 2 on STEAM is twice as expensive as boxed copy in my country..yes…TWICE.”

    Erm, so, don’t buy it. And buy stuff that’s worth buying.

    Sorry, people, but I see people getting so angry about this issue they lose all rationality. I use Steam purely out of self-interest; boycotting it totally is as silly as using it to buy everything:

    * If something is cheap (weekend bargains, value packs), I’ll buy it.
    * If something is not cheap (most new releases), I won’t buy it but get it online retail.

    Simply, easy rules that mean that I get value for money from Steam and don’t spend my time frothing at the mouth on ‘net forums. If everyone follows this method, sooner or later, publishers will be forced to drop their direct download prices.

    Try it sometime.

    P.

  32. AndrewC says:

    I would argue against the ‘simpler=dumbed down’ position. For one ‘dumbed down’ is a rhetorically loaded phrase that implies that console owners are all mouth breathing morons – implies without any of that pesky ‘proof’ business. It’s an easy pejorative used by the fanboys, so if you are using their language it is your own fault for being lumped in with them.

    Secondly ‘simpler’ can be a design decision just as much as it can be a compromise. Is Serious Sam simply a dumbed down ArmA? Is Sega Rally a dumbed down Grand Prix Legends? This ‘dumbed down’ implies the nominally PC way of making games is the only true way of making games, and we’re back into fanboy territory.

    And for the records, the smaller maps of Thief 3 and Deus Ex 2 wound me up no end, but perhaps we should let that pain go? It’s been a while now.

  33. Markoff Chaney says:

    It could be 5$. It could be 1 red cent. It’s the principle of the thing, in my mind.

    As I said before (albeit in other ranting comments), he is welcome to price the game at whatever price point he feels. He can charge 17 thousand dollarydoos for it. That is his right as a producer of content. As a consumer, I have the choice to purchase or not purchase his content at the price point he sets. (This is where many pirates get their justification from and one should realize it’s pointless attempting to argue with someone that would steal replicate penny candy if they could) I, personally, choose to gladly purchase it at the price point already set by his own precedent for the exact same game. Mind you this is a price point that he said was five dollars higher than the 10 dollars he wanted to charge, but Microsoft made him charge 15.

    I don’t want to discourage competition, but I do want to encourage fairness and equality, all things considered. Is the rent/average pay/whatever lower at Costcutter or WH Smith or is one just being a price gouging jerk? I can tell you where, all things being equal for me as a consumer, I would purchase my Orangina. Am I wrong for bringing in an advertisement to WH Smith and notifying them that they could possibly move more product (and make a higher net profits based on volume instead of markup) and have better good will toward and from their community? Idealistically stupid? Yeah, I’m that. Fair doesn’t enter into the real world. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is selling you something.

    I am not in any way trying to defend higher pricing for console games because, honestly, they should cost higher for the simple reason that the cost of the hardware is subsidized by the manufacturer with the expectation that they receive additional licensing fees from software sales to make up for the loss leader of the console. Until publishers have to pay nVidia, Intel, ATI, Asus and every other hardware manufacturer a kick back for putting the game on the a PC (and thusly lowering my initial cost of purchase of the hardware) I think that’s only fair and has a basis in reality in economics.

    Finally, I just want to say again I look forward to this game. It was rough not to pay for funny money on Microsoft’s console to buy it. I’m glad I get to enjoy it on my platform of choice for the same price. Seems fair to me. ;)

  34. redrain85 says:

    @drewski:

    It’s funny that PC gamers think they’re entitled to the same pricing as consoles for indie games, yet I don’t see big long comments threads on RPS complaining about consoles getting games $10 higher than PC because of licensing.

    Well, that kind of goes without saying, doesn’t it? RPS is a PC-centric site, so naturally most of the discussion will be about what we like or don’t like about what’s happening with the PC games market.

    I see plenty of comments on other sites, with people moaning about having to pay more for console games than PCs. Or how about when Valve releases updates for their games on the PC first, for free? Watch the shit hit the fan, every time.

    It happens on both sides of the fence. Don’t anyone try to make it somehow seem emblematic of the PC gamer set.

  35. drewski says:

    It’s the sense of entitlement that is the problem, not whether or not there is moaning on other sites.

  36. UncleLou says:

    It’s funny that PC gamers think they’re entitled to the same pricing as consoles for indie games, yet I don’t see big long comments threads on RPS complaining about consoles getting games $10 higher than PC because of licensing.

    That’s because we pay for our hardware upfront, and don’t have to pay aubsidised hardware off game by game. Bit of a simplification, admittedly, but not far from the truth. :p

  37. AdrianWerner says:

    @Paul Moloney:
    with current pricing on STEAM even the weekend deals are msot of the times more expensive than retail here

    @drewski – no. It’s simple fair play. We buy our hardware upfront, there’s no fee publishers have to pay to console companies etc. It’s not a sense of entitlement, it’s simple distate for paying more without any logical reason besides “I said so”

  38. redrain85 says:

    @drewski:

    I don’t really see a distinction. Moaning is a result of entitlement, and it happens plenty on both sides. It’s not unique to the old-school PC set.

    I don’t believe the majority are asking for fair treatment “just because” we’ve been around the longest and we’re somehow special. We just couldn’t see any justification for charging $5 more.

    At any rate, kudos to Jonathan for lowering the price.

  39. Paul Moloney says:

    “with current pricing on STEAM even the weekend deals are msot of the times more expensive than retail here”

    SO. BUY. RETAIL.

    P.

  40. James G says:

    Just to let folks know, Braid has been announced on Steam:

    $14.99, €12.99, £9.99