‘Single-Player Co-op’ Puzzler Reset’s Trailer Is Amazing

By Nathan Grayson on April 26th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

Sure, civilization may have ended, but the weather is just fantastic.

Wow. Reset‘s premise time-shifting, self-assisting premise sounded incredibly promising when we first heard about it, but the first-person puzzler’s debut trailer very nearly left me speechless. That doesn’t happen very often. I like to speech! In short, though, it’s two-man indie impossibility with looks that seem primed to tackle triple-A games, tear them limb-from-meticulously-rendered-limb, and fashion their extraneous As into a tasteful necklace. A sitting, evidently inactive robot and somber piano music are heavily featured. It’s pretty wild, especially considering that Theory promises “everything you see in the trailer is straight from the in-game engine, no up-ressed textures, geometry or effects. What you see is what you will get. Except hopefully a little bit better since we’re not even in alpha yet.” That sounds like a challenge, every other developer on Earth.

So yeah, you may now return your dangling jaw to a full upright position. Granted, I’m still not entirely convinced. This bit, especially, stands out: “This is however a big milestone for us, and we are going to be concentrating more on the gameplay side of things next.” So this is, in all likelihood, sans elements like AI or even basic interactions between characters and the world. There is, in other words, a big gulf between making a trailer with such retina-searing visuals and getting a game to the same place. I’d be lying, however, if I said I wasn’t incredibly intrigued by this one, so here’s hoping it delivers on the ridiculous promise it’s already displaying.

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99 Comments »

  1. mentor07825 says:

    Very interested. But you’re absolutely right, graphics do not make a game.

    • simoroth says:

      Indeed.

      As a developer, I’m scratching my head as to why they have taken the visuals so far when they aren’t even in alpha.

      Graphics like this are now very feasible in realtime, although a trailer without gameplay tells us nothing as to how the game will look. Its easy to make things look beautiful with a locked off camera. Not to mention if they are really pushing the GPU then they are cutting out 80% of the market who are still on 2008-2010 level hardware.

      That all said, I’m very interested to see where this leads. :)

      • mentor07825 says:

        I’m no developer just yet, but I do programming and physics and I have to say that what would happen when they start to add things such as AI, if any, and interactions such as rudimentary physics and interactions. Frame rates will naturally take a dip.

        If they can add all that without compromising their graphics and stability then more power to them. However, I think that when creating a game graphics should go alongside with gameplay interactions. When I’ve made a few games on group projects graphics certainly took a bit of a back seat, but I assume that’s just a natural outlook to a team compromising only of programmers.

        • Jake Albano says:

          Unfortunately you’re absolutely right…the problem is that most of the time the physics and AI will take the hit, not the graphics. I read somewhere recently that the AI in Deus Ex: Human Revolution had to execute in no more than 1 millisecond to stay in their time budget.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          True. But with off the shelf engines (Cryengine anyone?) and a puzzel game type gameplay, the CPU could be idle for most of the time. Then you have the time to concentrate on just making an interactive story possibly. As long as the puzzels and gemeplay are ok, I see nothing wrong with devoting large amounts of time to the graphics. But when you have a game that demands focus in other areas, it can be a distraction.

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          Mo says:

          The GPU & CPU run more-or-less in parallel, so shiny graphics don’t adversely affect things like AI & physics.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            This reply is totally not in the right place. This one. That is, my one.

          • zarfius says:

            I don’t work for a big game company but I’ve done enough game development to know that it’s not at all that simple. Yes, most of the graphics work is done on the graphics card and sometimes (but not always) the physics work is done on the CPU. These are the things that take most of the processing power in a game engine.

            However, the split between these varies a lot from game to game and it’s compounded by needing to keep them in sync with each other. Most of the graphics work is more to do with material (texture) changes and post-processing effects (shaders) and the physics has limitations on how many objects are active at any one time.

            Once you’ve taken all that into consideration the hardest part is preventing lag. This can obviously happen because of network latency in a multiplayer game but it can also be caused by an overworked CPU when it has lots to do in any one frame. For example, during explosions.

          • Lemming says:

            In a perfect world, yes. But 99% of the time there are bottlenecks and one does effect the other.

          • Alora says:

            Everytime the game draws a frame on the screen it will take X amount of milliseconds. Say you have 30 ms as a target you will have to divide that between the GPU and CPU. Its not a 1:1 correlation, but one will affect the other.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        I don’t care.
        MAKE ME UPGRADE AND BURN MY EYE HOLES WITH PRETTY

    • Jim9137 says:

      Yes, I’ll buy it too. In fact I have been slapping these imaginary bills at the screen for the past quarter of an hour, but thus far no transaction has been made.

      Wait what, there is a game included?

  2. Kaira- says:

    So, it looks pretty and all, but it gave me no idea what the game was. I thought it would have been a Mechwarrior-like shooter or something. Guess I’m wrong.

  3. CaspianRoach says:

    That trailer would be a good application for some CGI studio.

  4. Kynrael says:

    Wow.

    But i’m not convinced : how do you get to run real-time something like that on any common rig??

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Graphics settings. They used to have them on games like Crysis, before everything was designed to run on a piece of 2006 hardware. Old machines won’t run it at max. New ones will.
      Upgrade time. Welcome to PC gaming.

  5. Turbobutts says:

    I usually remain unaffected about a game until there’s a gameplay trailer, but this is very beautifully made, and the game’s premise sounds very interesting. This is definitely going on my watchlist.

    • Turbobutts says:

      Also please stop tagging articles with emoticons, it makes you look unprofessional.

      • Luke says:

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        Harlander says:

        [voice="Professor Farnsworth]Ohhh, a lesson on professionalism from someone calling themselves “turbobutts”! Screw professionalism![/voice]

      • NathanH says:

        Especially that particular emoticon, which just looks like an inept attempt to write “castles kingside”.

      • Gotem says:

        Maybe that is the new staring-eyes tag?

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Oh good, pedantry.

  6. DJJoeJoe says:

    The way the trees just sort of scale up looks weird, might be the actual way trees grow kinda but comes off as weird to me.

    Looks visually interesting, and I tend to like videos games (and they seem to be saying this is one of those things).

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      AmateurScience says:

      Yeah those trees were a bit naff tbh. Apparently there’s an uncanny valley for tree-growth too because that was just weird.

      Looks stunning. Not convinced about the real-time rendering though.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Well you guys have to realize trees actually grow much slower than that

      • Soon says:

        It’s imitating a time-lapse video. To indicate the lapsing of time.

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          emertonom says:

          Right, but–as soon as you see these trees, they’re small, but their branches have all the splits and curves that the fully-grown versions have. Then the whole thing scales up. But that’s not really how trees grow. And that’s leaving aside the issue of the leaves staying in exactly the same places, even though the “time lapse” would presumably involve the trees repeatedly losing and regrowing their leaves, and the fact that all the trees are exactly identical shapes.

          Some of the graphics in the video are amazing–the opening shot, just water falling on pavement, is extremely striking. (The lighting, the textures…very well done.) (The second shot, sadly, suffers horribly from youtube compression artifacting, and is thus rather frustrating.) But the trees-growing bit of the vid is not its strong point.

  7. Josh Wanamaker says:

    THAT was in-engine? Lies. Sweet, delicious, beautiful lies. I must see evidence of this claim, because 99.9% of the time it’s very obvious what’s pre-rendered and what’s in-engine, and that looked like a pre-rendered cinematic, through and through.

    Evidence! I declare shenanigans! Everyone get a broom.

    • faelnor says:

      I’ll light up the stake.

    • f1x says:

      It can easily be the engine,
      but remember its only rendering small scenes, probably without AI load, UIs, etc
      just rendering in real time plain if you know what I mean, I dont know the technical “midgets” of videogame making (I said midgets because it sounds fun)

    • B L Z Bubb says:

      I’ve contacted the angry, flaming torch and pitch fork waving mob….arrival imminant

    • EiZei says:

      The people behind this are former Futuremarkers so that should be enough to convince anyone.

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        Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        You’re too late with your “reason” and “calmness”. The mob is on the way. Drums, drums, in the deep. They’re coming…

  8. Drayk says:

    I don’t know anything about the game but that’s a beautiful trailer.

  9. faelnor says:

    Crikey!

  10. Metaphorazine says:

    Looks delicious! Not sure why everyone’s talking about a robot though, that is obviously not a robot… Watch the section with the reboot sequence again, that’s hair right in front of the camera, not vines.

    • Zepp says:

      hair, beard and some nose :P

    • Drayk says:

      I see two possibilities: The guy is revived in the robot, or the guy is in command of the robot from elsewhere. Maybe even several robots. (the screen says bots standby and signal strength).

    • Josh Wanamaker says:

      There’s a person inside the robot. He’s dead. The robot probably has some kind of nano-technology which has been regenerating his brain over time. It says so on the readout. After his brain has been regenerated, the system revives the pilot with a defibrillator (an electric shock to start his heart). The end.

      This isn’t difficult to figure out. It’s all right there!

      • YourMessageHere says:

        …and it’s therefore not a robot. Mecha suit, power armour, walking tank or any of a hundred other names it’s even harder to take seriously – that’s OK; robot, no. A robot is by definition a complete, self-guided and fully automated thing, not piloted.

        • Josh Wanamaker says:

          I refuse to get into an argument on the finer points of robot/android/cyborg/mech/mecha nomenclature. It’ll eventually degenerate into Real Robot vs Super Robot territory, because it always does.

          The important thing to remember is that I’m right.

  11. Arcanon says:

    Dead Island had a nice trailer too…..and I still do not know what the game is about -_-

    • f1x says:

      Besides the expectations created by the trailer, Dead island is a very fine game, an underated one in my opinion

      • spamenigma says:

        I was just thinking about dead island when I saw the above article and vid, then saw this post…

        With the nice trailer followed by a release that to this day is still bug riddled to hell. Granted some issues I’ve had (it launches on the wrong screen in with my 3 screen setup, are more down to me being a bit more enthusiast, although even sound switching isnt supported without having to quit!) but every time we get a group of 4 of us together to give it another chance some show stopping bugs get in the way to annoy the hell out of us and destroy the immersion.

        And whats with the auto aim not being able to turn off?
        Why in MP when someone disconnects they cant get back in saying its full yet it shows for them and us 3/4?

        We really really want to play and enjoy dead island, dead island seems to have other ideas for us…. :)

        • f1x says:

          Yes it was buggy, I played with some tweaks, but mostly regarding mouse/keyb issues, but besides that I didnt have much problems,
          but I never played online/co-op so I will hold my word regarding that

          I just find the game to be very fun in the end, specially for melee combat and exploration, it actually did something different from the games released by that time, but yes… the bugs, what a shame

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Dead Island is still hands down the best Melee Zombie Bashing Sim (TM) that ever was made.
      Sure, its bugged to fsck and back and unless you mod things yourself the weapons break far too easily, but it has heft and effect and it sometimes even manages to get “threat level of mobs” and “rewarding combat” just right.

      The rest is just infinite fetch quests.

  12. The First Door says:

    That does look stunning… but I’m a little sceptical about it being run in real-time on a non-professional rig. The rain and water, for example, just looks way too good!

    Still, I would absolutely love to be proven wrong!

  13. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    Like I said in the thread, the visuals are nearly literally unbelievable. Until I (or one of our benevolent RPS overlords) play it, I’ll be thinking “What’s the catch?”

  14. pilouuuu says:

    That’s… beautiful! If it weren’t for consoles all games would look that amazing. Even if the gameplay sucks it’ll be a great tech-demo. Let’s just hope the gameplay is good as well!

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      >If it weren’t for consoles all games would look that amazing.

      Sure, just give all developers infinite money and time.

      • Sleepymatt says:

        Yes, because these two guys coding in their bedroom or wherever obviously have infinite time and money….

      • pilouuuu says:

        Reducing good art into poor blurry textures are more a matter of consoles not having enough memory. Bad illumination also depends on the fact that consoles can’t run better engines. It doesn’t mean that developers should spend more money than they already do.

    • trjp says:

      If it wasn’t for ‘consoles’ – games wouldn’t actualy exist – idiot.

      • Dammokles says:

        Before calling others idiots, you might want to look further into the accuracy of your statement. The Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device, often thought of as the first computer game, predates the first video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, by almost 30 years. Consoles did contribute to the rise of video games, but many PC game developers evolved independently of consoles.

      • neolith says:

        TicTacToe, Tennis for Two and SpaceWar! all ran on a computer long before the first console saw the light of day.

        edit: Dammokles was faster.:

      • pilouuuu says:

        Wow! I’ll assume you had a rough night or someone ate your breakfast. I don’t want to think you’re a console gamer on this site. Nobody can deny that we’ve been getting the same game since 6 years ago because consoles can’t run better engines and developers dumb down games to their players and they don’t want to risk innovating.

        I never denied consoles importance in gaming history, I’m just referring to this console generation if it makes you feel better.

  15. Freud says:

    Dead Island had a gorgeous trailer.

  16. g00seberry says:

    They’re calling it Reset? Oh dear. If recent events have taught me anything, they’re going to have to brush up on their Quake 3 skills sharpish.

    • Blackcompany says:

      I see what you did there. I hope they don’t take it too hard.

  17. byteCrunch says:

    1:40 – 1:48 is that a person with a massive beard on the left?

    • baby snot says:

      I think it’s the pilot of the mech sitting on the car. Trailer states a. reconstruction is complete b. reboot c. resuscitation (using defib) of that bearded guy. I think the game is more his story then the mechs…

  18. ecbremner says:

    I’m sorry.. did you say 2 person team? As in one person… and then another person?…. Holy cow… this game could be a steaming pile and I think I’d still be impressed.

  19. Berzee says:

    This is a video about the process I go through every morning; except robot.

  20. wodin says:

    Wall E’s big brother.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      haha glad I’m not the only one reminded of Wall E by this video.

  21. Premium User Badge

    Tunips says:

    I hope they can turn theory into practice.

  22. DeanLearner says:

    I’m saying this in my least sneery voice ever but a cinematic trailer, ingame engine or not, leaves me feeling exactly the same as the hundreds of half life / quake mod sites that have lots of renders of gun models and absolutely no indication of game play.

    I did check their site to see if there was a game play video or even a game play screenshot and there isn’t.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      Yeah I don’t understand why people are impressed by trailers. I mean sure the trailer itself looks nice, but how does this tell me anything about the actual game?

    • fish99 says:

      Got to agree. I don’t really get people getting excited based on a trailer with no gameplay. The game may be wonderful or it may be awful and the trailer really gives no clue. It just tells you it’ll have nice visuals (in the cut scenes at least).

  23. bill says:

    Unreal Engine at al do lovely tech demos too… but that’s because they are just graphics with no AI, physics or anything else running .

  24. Donjo says:

    Meh… Even if it is in game engine it still seems like an animation… this could be anything

  25. TheComputerGamer says:

    The movie ‘Silent Running’ comes to mind.

    • DeanLearner says:

      And now the movie Cool Runnings comes to mind too.

    • Premium User Badge

      c-Row says:

      “Blade Runnings”. It’s like the original, but Deckard is a Jamaican.

      • SiHy_ says:

        Ah, but was he really a Jamaican? People have argued over this for years. Apparently John Candy thought he was but Ridley Scott disagreed.

        • Donjo says:

          If you watch the voice over cut it’s sort of explained- Candy points out that there’s an origami bobsleigh left in Deckards apartment. It could only have been left there by one of the bobsledders.

          • Premium User Badge

            Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            No, he’s an octopus. By the Future(TM) all of humanity will be replaced by octopuses, but they haven’t yet realized their conquest of the Surface World is complete, so they’re hiding their true natures from each other at all costs.

          • RegisteredUser says:

            I love you all.

  26. InsideOutBoy says:

    The overgrown apocalyptic city thing is wearing a bit thin at the moment. I’ve seen about 4-5 upcoming projects with such a setting.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      better that than half-baked ‘fantasy’, New York, or WWII again.

  27. JackDandy says:

    Why are Fins pumping out so many good games lately?

  28. Synesthesia says:

    this reminded me that i really, really want to play the witness. Is it done yet?

  29. Mark says:

    I love how everyone becomes a render programmer once a discussion about graphics pops up.

    Looks very nice both artistically and tech wise.