Turning On The Water Works: Vessel

By Adam Smith on January 23rd, 2012 at 12:27 pm.

Blimp? Check. Strange science device? Check. Sideburns? Check mate.

Physics puzzler Vessel is looking fantastic, with its impressive fluid simulation effects and strange inventive world. Along with the cleverness of the engine’s handling of liquid, the game appears to have plenty of character and the Fluros, which are living liquid machines, remind me of goo balls in a way that makes my pleasure senses tingle. The game is now due on March 1st, landing on its lead platform of PC before PSN and XBLA, which it will drip down to at a later date. Hurrah. There’s a video with some info about the Fluros below and a more extensive developer walkthrough, explaining how the game works.

The walkthrough highlights the focus of the engine, as does this quote from designer John Krajewski: “With Vessel, we wanted to push the boundaries of how hardware power is used in games. Typically, hardware power put towards graphics and physics is only an aesthetic addition. In Vessel, the foundation of the gameplay and puzzles is based in liquid simulation.”

Along with Pixeljunk Shooter, which is unfortunately locked down in Sonytown, these are the most scrumptious fluid simulations I can remember drinking up with my eyes, which is a bit like crying in reverse. We should have some hands-on experience to report before March 1st, at which point the game will available for $14.99 direct from Strange Loop Games, as well as through Steam and other (unnamed) digital distribution platforms.

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21 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    bear912 says:

    My, that looks rather lovely!

    • kukouri says:

      Agreed. Count me interested

    • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

      Adding my voice to the chorus. I just love well-conveyed physics in games and whilst most scratch the surface, I do believe more titles need an awareness of how it can be utilised (be it in straight gameplay mechanics or animation).

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      skalpadda says:

      The first thing this year that’s made me really interested. Lovely indeed :)

    • Adventurous Putty says:

      Gorgeous. If the story can maintain the charm of that trailer, then I’m sold.

  2. Thomas says:

    Hoping to see PixelJunk Shooter eventually now that we’re probably going to see Eden :)

  3. I_have_no_nose_but_I_must_sneeze says:

    This looks promising. I want that man to read me a bedtime story.

  4. faelnor says:

    Lovely Jon Hopkins in the background of the developer walkthrough.

    Trial and error gameplay with that very “gooey” 2D aesthetics reminds me of the first two oddworld games.

    Looking very promising.

  5. MadTinkerer says:

    Is it March 1st yet?

    IS IT!?!

    Awww… :(

  6. Urthman says:

    The music in that trailer is great.

  7. Kollega says:

    I will now put this on my to-buy list. The physics look good. And if they are utilized in a more inventive way than just “get through the grate” (which they most likely are), the game might well turn out to be great.

  8. Monkeh says:

    You forgot Fluidity on WiiWare! :P

  9. LionsPhil says:

    Interesting. Looks kind of awkward, somehow, though.

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      Saul says:

      I watched Alex Bruce (Antichamber) playing an early version of it at a bar in Melbourne. It looked awkward in real life, too. It may just have been that he seemed more interested in messing with the mechanics and trying to see what made it tick than actually progressing, though.

    • Josh W says:

      I was thinking that, it seems like they need more precision in their control scheme:
      Your guy walks like he’s going to be running around the countryside, and then has to do some precision foot placement in order to get the right angles for his water squirting.

      Looking at the bit of the walkthrough about dripping the water down, it seems like even the designer of the game could have done with some way to edge forward, and not keep overcorrecting because of the movement speed.

      For analog controls, that’s easier to do by accident, but they probably need some “edge” button to edge along things, not a walk button exactly but somewhere between that and the speed of crouch in fps’s, or maybe even a little slower.

    • sub-program 32 says:

      I have just played the demo, and I would wholeheartedly agree with the problems stated. The guys movement is very clumsy, or at least the controls make him so.

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    The Sombrero Kid says:

    Looks great, the only thing i’d say & it’s a criticism you could level at probably all indie games, including my favorites, is that the world has a narrative context that doesn’t support the existence of barriers that require buttons to be pressed or things to be exploded that didn’t exist at the time the machines where invented, it’s pretty nitpicky & my suspension of disbelief remained intact until the last puzzle.

  11. Prime says:

    FLUID SIMULATION IN A GAME?

    I’M THERE!

    /Shouty McThrilled