Ticking Over: No Time To Explain Trailer

By Quintin Smith on May 2nd, 2011 at 10:43 am.

That's what I call an expansion pack.

I’m posting this more as a reminder of No Time To Explain’s status than anything else. It started off as a free flash game, then the developers announced they were polishing the game into something more substantial with the best trailer ever made, and since then they’ve amassed almost $20,000 on their Kickstarter page, shattering their original target of $7,000 like a tiny bird flying clean through a windowpane. You’ve still got another 24 days to pledge, with $5 getting you the game at launch (they’re aiming for late summer), a saving of some 50%. For $25 you’ll get beta access and a level editor, and any particularly amazing levels will get into the finished game. Genius.

On April 1st TinyBuild released their first gameplay trailer, which it turned out was just three people dancing. More recently they’ve released an actual gameplay trailer. That’s after the jump.

Is Kickstarter the best thing to happen to indie development for years? Maybe, maybe. Here, I’ll cut and paste a summary I made months ago-

We’ve got renowned Interactive Fiction authors quitting their day jobs to make IF full time, indie devs making adventure games flooded with Americana and magical realism and jetpack dinosaur multiplayer extravaganzas, and even a fund for continued development of an indie game arcade in NYC. Beautiful stuff. And here’s another one. An indie studio made of up industry veterans wants your money to make Knights: Spiral Island, an online FPS boasting crab warriors, star vikings and potentially even “haunted bicycles” and “psychic space bees”.

And out of all of those, Knights: Spiral Island was the only one that failed to reach it’s funding target. Anyway! That trailer.

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33 Comments »

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  1. karry says:

    Compared to the first trailer…meh.

  2. McDan says:

    …what

  3. SilverSilence says:

    Don’t want to sound greedy, but if i donate the 5$ to the KS page will it be a Steam key or some kind of download from their site?

    • BebopBraunbaer says:

      just check out the Kickstarter page. The comments are full of questions like these (and answers)

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    Hideous says:

    Technically, it was one guy dancing at 3 separate times in his life.

    • BebopBraunbaer says:

      was it? i think the time was not seperate at all

    • Premium User Badge

      Hideous says:

      Time travel, man. It was himself from the future, twice, who had come back to dance with himself. So it was only one dude.

  5. Felixader says:

    There is a kinect on that Cupboard at the beginning. X-P

  6. Wulf says:

    I’d totally be for Knights if they actually let me play as those stunningly well-rendered crabs. Crustaceans are awesome! Space knights are old hat that we’ve been doing in cartoons and games since forever. Is wanting to be a crustacean so bad?

    Anyway, I kind of lost interest in it because of that. They have so many interesting foes, like the psychic bees and everything, but the option they’d have you playing as is the most boring one conceivable. Why is that? Do they think that every gamer alive is that boring? That boring? Really? I’m not! Let me have one of those crustaceans, damn it! Though I’d settle for a land-walking cetacean, too. That’d do. Can I have a land-walking cetacean?

    Is it so wrong to want to be a walking whale, bristling with guns? It’d conceptually make the most interesting ‘tank’ in a game, ever. Especially if you bolted some cybernetic gubbins to it. Cetaceans are awesome.

    But yeah, I couldn’t get behind Knights because it was just more of the same. I am Incredibly Boring Man, I have to kill Genuinely Interesting Things. …can I side with the Genuinely Interesting Things instead and kill off the dead-end Incredibly Boring Men? But I’m rambling now, and if you’re o_O after reading this, I don’t blame you.

    (That said, however, I have helped to fund many interesting projects on Kickstarter.)

    • Wulf says:

      You know, even better… sky whales! Whales with magnetospheric & antigravitational drives attached to them, so they can basically swim through the air, still mounted with loads of guns. It’d be like piloting a Combine ship! And I seem to remember that the Combine ships actually were alive, though I’d want it looking more alive than that, sort of a self-made postwhale creature.

      Welcome to my mind.

      (And you could have rather Orz-like symbiotic mecha-fish for ground areas, where the whale has to land. They’d have a telepathic link with the sky whale, and you could use those to deal with sections that you couldn’t handle from the air. The only problem with this though is that I suspect no one would ever want to play it… people would prefer simply airships and humans. :C Still… what a game that would be.)

  7. Blain says:

    Pfft.

    best trailer ever made my eye

    How soon they forget.

  8. Rii says:

    I think the day is coming when absurdity alone ceases to be a selling point. There seem to be an awful lot of games hopping on the “make it as random and nonsensical as possible” bandwagon these days.

    Not that it doesn’t look fun mind you.

    • Wulf says:

      Yeah, but what that says to me is that they’re using absurdity wrong. There are examples of using it right. Look at Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Oddworld, MDK 2, or even Darkspore. Those are fantastic examples of using it right. I’ll agree though that this does look like an example of using it wrongly – in other words, using it just for the sake of absurdity rather than building it into a world where absurdity is an aspect of that world.

      How to do it right? Start off by reading a lot of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, and Grant Morrison, then let your brain churn all that up and come up with its own utterly absurd but at the same time cohesive and believable scenarios. It has to make sense in the context of the world, there should be a story, and then you can have something truly weird and absurd without it just being absurd for the sake of it.

      I’m just worried that this will kill off absurdity, because they’re on the right track, I just think they’re doing it wrong. :/

    • Rii says:

      Hmm. I’m a huge fan of Douglas Adams and have found Terry Pratchett entertaining – although ultimately his signal:noise ratio was too low for me to stick with Discworld beyond a half-dozen novels or so – but I’ve never heard of this Grant Morrison fellow. I shall have to look him up.

      EDIT: Ah. Alas I’m not a reader of comic books.

    • Wulf says:

      Read his later books. They really didn’t come into their own until about 10 books in. The earliest books just felt like Pratchett stumbling around and trying to find his way. If you want my personal recommendation, check out The Watch series. Of all the fantasy books I’ve read, The Watch series is probably my favourite.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankh-Morpork_City_Watch (There’s a list of books, there, and in order, too.)

      As for comic books, yeah, they’re not for everyone. Though Morrison’s stuff truly was marvellous and very unusual for comic books. Morrison did a good job of mixing up absurd and serious in proper amounts. (For example, his run on the X-Men was utterly bizarre, but for it he actually got them out of their silly costumes and into some really nice uniforms.)

    • Wulf says:

      You know, here’s another example…

      My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

      This one should strike a chord with you. >_> I bring it up because it’s had so much absurdity going on. A lot of it is thanks to Pinkie Pie and Spike, I admit. Everything Pinkie Pie/Spike ever tends to have some element of the absurd to it, where Twilight Sparkle is pretty much the most level headed, Pinkie Pie the most absurd, and everyone else falling somewhere in between.

      So absurdity can work! It’s just that it needs to make sense within the context of the world and it has to be tied into a story, in fact, absurdity can really enhance things, and there’s so much about FiM that is just… utterly absurd. There’s so much that one could question (how do earth ponies do everything they do iwthout hands, anyway?) but you just don’t do it, because it’s too wonderful.

      FiM is probably an exemplar of an example of how absurdity does enhance things. Absurdity just for the sake of it never works, but taking something and enhancing it with absurdity makes it work.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      “Quirky platformer” would probably describe about 80% of successful indie titles. It’s a little baffling to me. There’s nothing inherently easy about making a platform game as opposed to a 2D strategy game or RPG. It’s perhaps a convenient medium for experimenting with unique game mechanics.

      I dunno. There’s room in my life for a 2D sidescroller where you blow stuff up. Or something along the lines of Super Star Wars. That’d be great. But at this point, after 40+ hours of Super Meat Boy, anything with jumping puzzles makes me run screaming.

    • Wulf says:

      There are indie RPGs out there, they just go ignored, unfortunately.

      Personally I’m really fond of Dreamscape.

    • Impossible says:

      Actually it is inherently easier to make a fun platformer instead of a fun RPG or 2D strategy game. A good RPG requires a ton of content in comparison to most platformers, 2D strategy games require much more complex game mechanics than most platformers do. It’s embarrassingly easy to make a pretty fun platformer, even if the controls and feel are slightly off. An unbalanced 2D strategy game or RPG with minimal content (ignoring roguelikes) is generally not fun.

      There are plenty of indie RPGs and some strategy games but they generally aren’t good enough to get much attention from the gaming press or gamers at large.

      It’s a fallacy that 2D = easy, 3D = hard, especially with tools like Unity3D and UDK, its almost as easy to make a first person shooter as it is a 2D platformer. Art and level design are definitely more difficult, but even that might not be the case as people become more tolerant of lo-fi 3D.

  9. Teddy Leach says:

    Obligatory: “MY RIBS ARE IN MY EYES! WHY?!”

  10. bit_crusherrr says:

    Wish I didn’t have to pay by Amazon. Lloyds TSB are wankers and levy fee’s if I pay for stuff in anything but £’s

  11. Veracity says:

    > “Quirky platformer” would probably describe about 80% of successful indie titles.
    Someone (people who developed Joe Danger? maybe not – someone, anyway) opined that this is because most independent developers are trying to rebuild the games they grew up playing that have since fallen out of favour with larger publishers. Might be some sense in that. Does it mean we’re only 10-20 years away from a slew of independents wanting to make open world prostitute murdering simulators, though? That’ll be rough without budgets, unless someone can produce a sort of RPGMaker equivalent for the purpose.

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    TheTourist314 says:

    Man, so much hate! I think it looks fun enough to warrrant $5 from me.

    • Wulf says:

      Hate, what hate? o_O I actually had to reread the thread to see if there was any. I mean, I’m fine with calling it when it exists, but I think that sometimes it’s called on an entirely imaginary basis. There were people talking about absurdity in games, but I didn’t see any hate specifically directed at this.

      Is intelligent discourse on a related topic hate?

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Obviously the hate must have been so vile that it was deleted immediately.

  13. Palsang says:

    Why do I hate hating not loving hating these cute little indie platformers?

  14. BobsLawnService says:

    I’ve got some unpleasant things to say about Yet Another Indie Platformer With A Twist ™ but I don’t want to be unpleasant.

  15. Comrade Communist says:

    This trailer is definitely worse, than the previous one. Where is “ВКУСНЫЕ КРАНЫ!” ?

  16. Robin says:

    Sadly, I suspect this is going to damage the whole Kickstarter ethos quite badly.

    The Flash version was a mediocre novelty with a control gimmick that was broken and in no way fun. Better Flash games are being submitted to the market literally every week.

  17. Wedge says:

    Game just doesn’t look like something I’d enjoy unfortunately. The physics blasting abouts just seems frustrating. Then again I’ve never liked an indie platformer since the original flash version of N so many years ago.

  18. edit says:

    Kind of a shame this gets some RPS love while the kickstarter page is still open for business, yet the infinitely more ambitious and undoubtedly revolutionary (considering its `90s predecessor still has some of the most advanced A.I. ever seen in a game, and that this will take things to another level entirely) Grandroids went unmentioned.