Shadow Physics Vs Tokyo Squeakers

By Jim Rossignol on September 30th, 2009 at 8:29 am.


This must be the most surreal games presentation ever. Not only is the game pretty far out – it’s Steve Swink and Scott Anderson’s Shadow Physics in more detail than we’ve ever seen before – but the Tokyo audience is armed to a man with some kind of squeaky rattle thing. When anything interesting happens they all shake their rattles, causing a noise like a hundred laughing insects. Anyway, if you can get past that bizarreness, there’s some views of the light-source cleverness in the game and… well it’s too early in the morning to explain it properly. “Change your light source and you change your world…” Go take a look.

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21 Comments »

  1. Inanimotioon says:

    It’s great to see more about this game.
    I was very interested when RPS first posted about it.
    Looks like how the camera is going to work is still a bit rough, but great concept.

  2. Gnoupi says:

    This game looks very interesting, I like much the concept.

    But I hardly see how such concept can be easily playable. You need to control many things, the character, the camera, and the light sources position. Two controls at same time, like character + camera, it’s possible with the new gamepads. But adding control over the light source position (and even harder when there are two, it will be complicated to manipulate.

  3. loeffe says:

    Great concept, seems very interesting.

    Those cricket-noisemakers makes me want to kill everyone in the room, though.

  4. MultiVaC says:

    I remember when I was younger I had a game called Heart of Darkness, where your shadow could interact with the shadows of other things. It was only used for 1 or 2 puzzles, but I thought it was a really cool idea. I like the look of this, somehow this is this first I’ve heard of it.

  5. Okami says:

    It sounds as if he’s presenting this in a room full of adorable, yet totally retarded, insect like creatures.

  6. FunkyLlama says:

    ‘Sense Of Wonder Night 2009.’ I approve.

  7. Tom says:

    Saw this a while a go, looks awesome.

  8. RagingLion says:

    Apparently the Japanese have grown tired of clapping? They’ve found it’s much easier to shake something around to better show their appreciation? Very odd – couldn’t help but laugh.

    And the game looks cool too. They just had a ball you were operating the last time I saw. Controlling a person makes it instantly more personable. Some nice tricks, particularly when having to pay attention to two light sources and therefore two shadows at once.

  9. Krondonian says:

    I’ve frequently thought that banging ones hands together to show your appreciation or as congratulations was a bit odd and animalistic when thinking about it, so I quite like the idea of the shaker things. Probably a more likely reason for them though was an alternative to clapping that doesn’t drown out the speakers everytime you want to applaud.

    As for the game, it looks superb. I wonder if maybe the issue of controlling both the light and the camera is solved by toggling between the two. I don’t think the camera and light ever moved at the same time, though I could have missed it.

  10. Lintman says:

    Looks pretty interesting. Seems like you could get some fun eureka moments while playing.

    I think the squeakers are hilarious. I’d love to go to a business presentation where everyone used those instead of applause.

  11. Jazmeister says:

    I like it! I also like when someone just shakes there thing a half-movement and it goes “qua..”

  12. Steve Swink says:

    The noisemaker things weren’t quite as obnoxious in real life as they appear on the video. They were handed out by the organizers to every member of the audience. They were told to shake them whenever they “felt a sense of wonder.” So by that measure it seemed the presentation went pretty well.

    RE Camera/light controls: we’re using manual camera controls in the demo because the camera system isn’t robust enough to demo yet. It will not be manual in the final game, though, with the possible exception of a Mario64-style look around mode. And the light control will not manual either; we have a bunch of additional mechanics in various stages of prototype, one of which is the ability of the character to pick up and move objects. And objects with lights attached. He can also push around objects with lights attached. So yeah, fret not. Assume not based on janky demo footage as well, I guess.

  13. Gutter says:

    I dearly hope that this will not become a “tweak and retry, never mind trying to find the intended solution” puzzle (like every damn “physic” puzzle that are coming out as of late)

  14. ctankep says:

    Steve: did you meet your dopplegänger / Hudsonsoft at TGS, an’ who imploded ..?

  15. Calabi says:

    This disturbs me. Reminds me of Rocky Horror Picture show. Of wierd crazy people who do weird and crazy things and whom cant express themselves properly.

    Game looks good though.

  16. Joe says:

    Much more civilised than banging your palms together.

  17. SH4RKY says:

    Double Ewe Tea Eff Seriously….. WTF…. are those noise things about?!

    Game still looks awesome. Looking forward to it

  18. JB says:

    This reminds me of Somnia. (Another interesting game RPS introduced me to)

    Does look interesting, I agree with Lintman about the "eureka!" moments.

    As for the noise-makers, really they're no more annoying than almost-constant applause to me.

  19. Steve Swink says:

    @ctankep: we looked around for Shadow Tower/Tower of Shadow/Lost in Shadow but couldn’t find it – I don’t think they were showing it this year. It will be interesting to play it. It looks pretty cool and while there are surface similarities they seem to be going in a different direction than we are. Plus, they’re on Wii which may make it difficult to explore some of the shadow mechanics in the ways we have and are planning to. I suppose some comparison is inevitable.

    But yeah, more = merrier as far as weird shadow concept games go :). Everyone should play Somnia. One thing I’ve noticed about creativity as applied to game design and production: it’s more about the small decisions you make along the way. Even with similar starting points, two teams or two individuals will create different experiences in the end. Even when people set out with the less than noble intention of cloning a game for commercial reasons, the act of building the thing forces them to make many small implementation choices. Through these choices, they inject themselves into the game’s creation, and the resulting experience is different for the player.

    As an example, Colin’s decision to make Fantastic Contraption’s building limited by a construction area. On the surface you could say that Fantastic Contraption is a “clone” of earlier games. But that one small decision, the spatial limit, makes the game a completely different experience.

    In my experience, one tiny decision can completely alter the experience (for good or bad.) It’s weird to me when people focus on surface stuff.

  20. NeonBlackJack says:

    Whoa.
    I have EVE Online going in the background. Its surreal, minimalist space soundtrack really adds to the already bizarre surreality of the video. Awesome.

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