Tiny Robots: Machinarium Footage

By John Walker on August 6th, 2009 at 8:51 am.

A new extended trailer of game footage has emerged for Jakub Dvorský and Amanita Design‘s gorgeous-looking Machinarium. The full-length adventure from the creator of astonishing-o-games Samorost 1 and 2, and the lovely edumacational Questionaut, is looking pretty fantastic. We’ve had a play of an early build, and will have a preview of it for you next week. A quick advanced preview of the preview: it’s rather good. You can pre-order it at a discounted $17 from here, should you feel the urge.

The trailer shows a few of the puzzles that will be appearing, but don’t worry, no correct solutions. You can also hear the lovely music, soak in the ridiculously cute robot, and gawp at the hand-drawn backgrounds. It’s looking rather good, isn’t it?

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26 Comments »

  1. DigitalSignalX says:

    That looks gorgeous. Seems likely to be this years indy -must- have.

  2. Rinox says:

    Been waiting for this for a while, based on nothing but early art. Gorgeous indeed!

    • aion kinah says:

      I too caught that Miami demo program – makes you want to be a member of CDI and deliberately get it wrong and smash someone’s really bad car/house/hotel

  3. MultiVaC says:

    It looks wonderful. Anyone know if it will be coming to Steam?

  4. Bobsy says:

    Oddly enough the olde-adventure that most springs to mind is Beneath a Steel Sky. The backgrounds really evoke the grimy, claustrophobic industrial world that BASS created.

  5. Tweakd says:

    “Oddly enough the olde-adventure that most springs to mind is Beneath a Steel Sky.”

    Yes that’s also the first that popped into my head. I have fond memories of Beneath a Steel. Perhaps this will prove to be a good match for it.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    I’m kind of done with games which have a specific “correct answer” but maybe thats me hating on old adventure games, where the right answer was stupid.

    Lovely art though.

  7. dingo says:

    @MultiVaC:

    Yes acccording to the developer comments at
    http://www.amanita-design.net/blog/2009/07/01/machinarium-pre-orders-launched/
    it will.

    Only the version from their homepage will have the soundtrack as bonus though.

    I pre-ordered the game from them now and instantly got a download link for the pre-order pack.
    Cost was 14 EUR something via Paypal incl. VAT.

  8. Lewis says:

    Oh, Machinarium is just lovely. It’s so tactile and playful, yet haunting and beautiful at the same time. I can’t wait for it to come out so I can talk about the bit with the thing, or that part where you have to do that to this. Or that scene.

  9. Xercies says:

    I also get the feeling of Beneath A Steel Sky, weird…

    This does look lovely but I’m kind of wary at the price, i don’t know how big this game is so i don’t know if the preorder price is worth it…

    Thats my only worry but everything else looks pretty damn good.

  10. Lewis says:

    It’s about 7 hours long.

  11. Kua says:

    I’ll be purchasing on the strength of the art alone. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece of adventure gaming. The fact that its interactive brings me pleasure enough.

  12. Ian says:

    @ Heliocentric: What’s wrong with having to tie a TV remote control to a gerbil, dip it in some white wince sauce and hide it in in a VHS case? It’s the obvious way to get that puzzle door to open.

  13. reaper47 says:

    Mmmm I loved Samorost. Give it a try, it’s free.

    This looks like an excellent game.

  14. Clovus says:

    Ya, just played Samorost and the free bits of Samorost 2. It looks like you need to pay $5 to finish Samorost 2. A quick glance at a walkthrough indicates that’s only one more short chapter. I guess it would be nice to support the developer, but I think I’d rather do that by buying Machinarium.

    It was rather fun though. None of the puzzles were ridiculous, although there was a lot of pixel hunting. It helps if you right click on the screen and zoom in on the flash player.

  15. Wulf says:

    Wow, I actually saw this video a number of months back, back on TigSource I believe. It just goes to show how obsessed with this game I am. But then, it pushes a number of buttons in my rather peculiar brain, and thus gets OCD attention.

    - Machine Intelligence.

    As someone enthralled with the concept of The Singularity, I tend to find the concept of non-organic life an intriguing one, and it’s become a rather personal preference.

    Especially non-organic life fashioned after animals or having rather unique design, but that’s another story.

    Still, Mechanarium is all about a society of non-organice intelligences, and the kind of culture and attitudes such a race would have is a fascinating concept, one that adds flavour to a World.

    - Alien Environments

    This is why I lost so much damn time to Uru, The Crowthistle Chronicles, and Myst V; beautifully rendered and realised alien environments. The previous Myst games didn’t really do it for me, but at Uru they managed to reach a level of beauty, believability, and immersion that absorbed me.

    There’s something enchanting about wandering around rather impossible environments, things that most boffins would point and scream “Impossible!” at, and yet environments that retain a sense of cohesion, art direction, and can be comprehended by eye and mind. Things that are rather impossible for Earth, or past the minds of uninventive human architects, yet things which are utterly conceivable, in that they could be out there somewhere.

    We don’t get enough of that in games, we really don’t, and with the advent of the console and MMO boom we’re getting it even less, and that makes me sad. But we do have one new entry with rather alien Worlds, at least… and that’d be this game.

    - An Interactive Environment of Buttons, Buttons, and Levers

    This is another thing that turned the latter Myst games into a psychological addiction for me. I have a mindset that’s filled with glee by the concept of a World which I can manipulate by fiddling with dials, buttons, and levers. In Uru sometimes I’d even leave rading the DRC books until I’d figured out something for myself to see how right I was (often, very) and I rather enjoyed that.

    Push this button, pull these three levers, fiddle with that doohickey… hey, this is beginning to make sense, push those buttons, adjust that viewscope, turn those dials, RESULT! …I see more buttons, I wonder what they do?

    In the video, there’re clearly some rather Myst-like puzzles present, and this could be unhealthy for me, because that could turn that game into a form of mental crack that I don’t put down until it’s completed.

    So if Mechanarium is going to be a long game, I rather fear that because my online friends might see me disappear from start to end.

    - Artistic Vision

    You know, there are a lot of games I love despite a lack of the above points, but there are times when I can almost see how much the lack of inspiration is affecting the artist’s work. I mean, a wasteland like the one in Fallout 3 could have had a real beauty of its down, despite a lack of trees… but it didn’t, and to be honest I’d feel more inspired walking down the local street.

    Thankfully, mods made Fallout 3 a lot more tolerant for me (especally that nuclear winter one, which wasn’t at all fitting but was still rather beautiful nonetheless, and with a tweaked version o fthe rain and snow weather mod, it made sense), but it was still mildly uninspired. When an artist’s heart is really in something, they can create something, even from a dull concept, that can take one’s breath away…

    This is another reason why I like adventure/exploration games, because they do often have this level of inspiration and they do often have me breathlessly gasping ‘Wow…’ at what their artists have achieved, this happens to varying levels, from the astounding to things that are simply inspired enough to make me smile.

    I don’t know if Mechanarium will fall into the holy-crap-that’s-beautiful category (it might!), but at the very least it’s going to be a game that leaves me with a silly grin/smile on my face for most of the time I’m playing it, and I can tell that from the video already.

    - Indie Development and Free/Reasonably Priced Games

    Off the bat, these guys get an instant +1 for giving me the first Samorost for free. They didn’t limit it at all, they just said “Here’s a beautiful adventure game, play it. It’s on the house.” And play it I did. I then played Samorost 2 when that came around, and I paid the pittance they asked for that.

    I know I’m not going to get robbed by developers like these, and in fact, the only time I’ve ever seen an indie-developer engage in price-gouging was with Trine, which was really more cost than the content was worth, but I’m still going to pick it up when they drop it to about £15.

    There are three sides to my reasoning for this, but allow me to exposit a bit first so those two sides make sense…

    I’m not a rich person, I get by but I don’t have fabulous gobs of money to throw around like perhaps most of you do. I admit that most of it goes to bills and such and I don’t have a lot left. I have to decide what I do with my money, and every purchase I make for my own entertainment gets a lot of consideration.

    1.) As I said, my funds are limited. If I can get one mainstream game or three indie games, then I’ll buy the indie games, and almost invariably I’ll have more fun with them than the mainstream choice anyway.

    2.) It seems that the mainstream doesn’t really do avant garde entertainment any more, at all. There are a few (rare) exceptions to this rule, but they come along so rarely that I actually think that they’re indie too until I find out otherwise.

    At the moment, the indie scene is ripe with clever point & click adventures, and beautiful, atmospheric Myst-like puzzlers, all reasonably priced. I’ve bought a large number of these, and I tend to enjoy them a lot, and because they’re indie the devs don’t have to restrict themselves, they can be as risque with their content as they like (see: The Path).

    I find this evocative, and it’s created a huge, neon sign in my mind which reads “INDIE EQUALS ALL THAT IS AND EVER WAS GOOD ABOUT PC GAMING”. I find that this is proved to be true, very often.

    To wrap this point up, some indie developers are even becoming rather famous because of this, look at Telltale for example. Most people don’t even know that Telltale started up as a small, independent developer, and that they still are. They’re very good at what they do, and they’re indie.

    Anyway, the point of all this is that if I want something that’s a little off the beaten track and thinky, will I look to the mainstream for such a thing? Ahaha, no… I’ll look to the independent developers.

    3.) I feel… awkward about giving money to publishers, this is hard to explain but it’s how I am. To divigate into the music industry here a bit, if there’s a music CD I want, I’d rather give the money to the artists themselves for it, or to an independent, small publisher who are known for giving the artists the bigger slice of cash.

    Frankly, I’d rather donate to artists and/or buy their merchandise and get pirated versions of their music rather than buying from The Industry, this way I know that the money lands in their hands. This is the Ohties (or something), not the 80′s, and Dinosaurs like The Music Industry should be left to die off, even if not so gracefully.

    In the past, we couldn’t fund artists directly, these days we can and I see no reason not to, frankly.

    I feel the same way about games, if I see a big, shiny ACTIVISION on something, I’ll likely grimace, because I know how those fatcats treat their developers. However, if I’m buying from an indie developer, or from a fair publisher that gives them the Lion’s share, then I’m happier to hand over my cash.

    And that is why I’ve become a huge fan of all things indie these days, in comic books, music, and — indeed, quite truly — games.

    So to sum up, it seems like this game was made for people like me to like it. …or even possibly specifically me, but I have no idea why that would occur, and it would probably have odd Werewolves in it somewhere if that were 100 per cent true, but I digress… there are many things about this game that leave me in a state of DO WANT.

  16. Taillefer says:

    Possibly my most anticipated game this year, even before everything was delayed.

  17. The Innocent says:

    This looks absolutely gorgeous, which is why I’ll be getting it. So many developers spend such time and money improving their graphics without ever really making them unique or interesting, while Aminata Design seems to just know how to make things perfectly surreal. Both Samorost games were great — visuals you could actually pause to just watch every now and then, and puzzles that fit wonderfully into the worlds’ fantasies without being too obtuse. I hope they can recapture that blend again.

  18. Lewis says:

    Wulf — first impressions: it’s Myst-puzzles, only they make sense.

    It’s a very playful, experimental thing. I found myself entering a new screen and immediately just clicking everything to see what happened. Because stuff does react, unlike most of the time in Myst. It really is total, traditional “play” mechanics — you learn by doing. It’s lovely stuff. A lot of more hardened adventure fanatics might hate it.

  19. Matt says:

    Lewis

    The way you describe it makes me think of Vectorpark’s Windosill where everything you touch does something, even if it’s not part of the puzzle. I loved that.

    The beauty of Machinarium’s graphics combined with this style of gameplay will make it incredible. As such, I’m looking forward to it more than anything this year.

  20. Ozzie says:

    I don’t think adventure fans might hate it.
    Sometimes they’re so starved that they eat crap if they have to (Limbo of the Lost) while still believing that it was a proper meal.
    But Machinarium surely isn’t crap, it looks like a tasty dish!

    The only things that enrage traditional adventure players are keyboard controls and action sequences. Doesn’t look like Machinarium has any of those.

  21. Vinraith says:

    I fear the adventure gaming part of my brain has atrophied. This IS absolutely gorgeous, however. I guess I’ll have to wait and see which part of my brain wins out.

  22. Στέλιος says:

    My word. This looks fantastic.

  23. Cargo Cult says:

    What? Nobody’s mentioned the Cyberiad yet?

  24. Owen says:

    Lovely stuff. Really been looking forward to this for some time now.

  25. Hypocee says:

    Wulf: I hope you didn’t miss Little Wheel.