Go Clone Yourself: Project Temporality’s SP Co-Op

By Nathan Grayson on January 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 am.

We were happier back then. And significantly greener, too.

I love co-op games, but I have just one problem with them: I hate literally every other human being on the planet. Each morning, I wake up, stare mournfully into the mirror, and ask my reflection why everybody else can’t also just be me. He then stares back, wordless, close enough to touch yet further away than dreams. But now, thanks to Project Temporality, my distressingly narcissistic problems are solved! The answer is time clones. Duh. Why didn’t I think of it before? It was so obvious. In short, you operate within four [Edit: Defrost explains: "You can use any amount (well almost; it is restricted by how many clearly different looking colors we can find) but 10-12 seems reasonable"] different timelines, coordinating the conveniently colored you in each one to solve larger puzzles. Kinda like Super Time Force, only less shooty and more on PC.

Project Temporality’s not just smoke-and-mirrors, either. Developer Defrost Games claims we’ll get to fully engineer each and every timeline with no real limits on, well, time. There can even be time paradoxes, apparently – although you want to steer clear of those. Here are a few rather tantalizing details:

“The core element of PT is its timeline concept. A timeline is a separate copy of you active during a time interval, performing its own actions and interacting with the world at the same time as you. This is not a canned recording of static positions, it is a true recording of your actions. Which means that if you jumped onto a platform in the recording and that platform had been moved before that by another time line then the recording will jump and fall, not land  in the air on an invisible platform.”

“So what is happening is true simultaneous actions from all the time lines and together they create the world you are seeing, so in a very real way you are cooperating with yourself.”

Pretty promising, right? And it should be releasing within the next few months, perhaps even via Steam if the Greenlight machine is kind. Admittedly, the plot doesn’t sound particularly special – a puzzle game in which an unwilling test subject is forced to use an experimental reality-bending technology in a mysterious test facility, you say? – but that’s not what drew me to Project Temporality in the first place anyway. I did. Me. Not any of you, because you’re all the worst.

Kidding. I love each and every one of you like precious baby pandas. The truth is, I’m just afraid of the potential rejection failure in a co-op scenario could bring.

Kidding again. I hate pandas.

Kidding a third time. No one hates pandas.

But no, seriously, you’re all terrible.

Smooches!

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33 Comments »

  1. Prolar Bear says:

    I love pandas.

    Also, hasn’t this been done before by Braid, except in 2D?

    EDIT: grammar failure

    • Feferuco says:

      Also The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, I’d say this looks more like The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom because of all the cloning.

      • wu wei says:

        Gateways also did it exceptionally well and mind-bendingly.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          Shuggy, too.

          • The Random One says:

            The very first time I saw this was on a flash game about a robot. It was like six years ago, on Kongregate or Newgrounds. I don’t remember its name.

            It’s probably unfair to judge from the trailer alone, but this game doesn’t seem to add anything to that flash game about a robot.

  2. MrMud says:

    Sounds like the puzzles in that Ratchet and Clank game for the PS3 a few years ago.

    • Chizu says:

      That’s what I was thinking.
      It sounds exactly like Clanks puzzles in a Crack in Time.
      Admittedly, I quite enjoyed those, so I may have to check this out.

  3. Ravenholme says:

    I’m not saying old unreal engine mod Prometheus… but I’m saying old unreal engine mod Prometheus.

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/prometheus

    • Prolar Bear says:

      Ooohhh I remember this. It was somewhat fiddly and clunk but the core idea wasn’t bad IMO.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      Yeah, looks very similar. Prometheus was fun, I remember spending too much time getting the achievement from having a “past” state kill a newer one.

      The “Epimetheus” mechanic addition was nice too.

    • Defrostgames says:

      Hmm darn is for unreal tournament 3 the only one of the unreal tournament games I didn’t purchase. I would love to try it out and see what they did. Anyway http://www.freewebarcade.com/game/cursor10/ Was a big inspiration but the actual game-play is quite different our coming game-play trailer will try to clarify.What you see in the trailer is only the resulting final time-line. Not what the player experiences. And of course the puzzles and how they are solved are adapted to look flashy :)

      • Mr. Mister says:

        You don’t need UT3 to play it, the UDK version is a standalone.

      • particlese says:

        Thanks for the link to Cursor*10; I hadn’t played it before, and it’s pretty fun. I look forward to seeing your take on the idea!

    • particlese says:

      Oh, cool, updates! Four years old, granted, but it looks like I missed out on some good stuff.

    • Defrostgames says:

      Alright so now I have played Prometheus. And while I can understand from this trailer where people are coming from they are also far off. At first it seemed like Prometheus was just a Curser10 clone (the same game that inspired us for more about that and the origins of this game I refer to http://indiegameschannel.com/wp/2012/08/14/defrost-games-niklas-hansson-on-project-temporality/) Sadly it meant it also contained all the parts that made Cursor10 frustrating. It was also very similar to ratchet and clank a crack in time in that you always start a clone form the same position. But thanks to the epimetheus twist halfway the game grew a lot more on me that was a nice idea.

      But coming from the view of Project Temporality Prometheus like Ratchet and clank or all other games featuring a type of recording from a fixed position for a fixed time is a very different proposition. While in the trailer it looks like you always spawn a lot of clones at the same time you don’t do that in normal gameplay. You can spawn a clone at any time with any length of recording which stays there permanently. This by itself make the game very different not only do you create clones you have to think very carefully about where and when.

      For example in the first puzzle in the trailer the only place you can originate clones from to make it succeed is that specific space between the force fields. Just finding this out is a big deal. Also unlocking us from any specific time limitations also changes the game a lot. We go way deeper into the puzze aspect and mix it up much much more than they did. So it’s two very different games. But we understand your confusion and we will later launch a gameplay trailer that will make it much easier for you guys to get into the core of Project Temporality. I can write a lot of text about this but I’m not sure if I can explain it better than i have done at our indiedb page or the aforementioned interview. But don’t worry just ask and we will try to explain to the best of our ability. And hopefully the next video will clear up a lot of the misconceptions people have. Till then just ask away.

  4. Prolar Bear says:

    Also, in a different timeline RPS wouldn’t feature silly pun threads on every article.

    • eks says:

      That sounds terrible. Why would they even bother visiting RPS then?

      • Prolar Bear says:

        hint hint: “timeline”

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          I’m sorry to say this is one of the weaker starts to a pun thread I’ve come achronos.

          Lets go back to the begining and start over shall we?

  5. Zaxwerks says:

    There have been a couple of flash games one in 2D and one in 3D that had the same mechanic as this where you would have to jump back in time and coordinate with previous versions of yourself to accomplish tasks by activating levers, moving platforms etc. Chronotron was the 2D one, I can’t remember what the 3D one was called. All I can remember is that by about the 5th level my brain really hurt and I wanted to cry. This looks nice and polished.

  6. Mr. Mister says:

    Looks very similar to the MSUC contestant Prometheus, only it operated in different “quantum states” instead of timelines (so no paradoxes result from killing your other states), and it let you use up to 5 states instead of 4.

    Go grab the latest standalone UDK release from the link above, the latest levels are quite challenging

  7. Chizu says:

    Wont this game be incredibly easy?
    You’ll walk into a room and you’ll have already solved it.

    • Mirqy says:

      if my time-clones are anything like me, I’ll walk into a room and have to start shouting at their/my useless selves for having failed to solve it.

    • wccrawford says:

      My other selves never leave any puzzles for me to solve. :(

  8. Defrostgames says:

    Just to clear up some misconceptions the amount of time-lines in the game is not limited to a certain amount we stuck with just a few in the trailer to make it more easy to understand but in the actual game you are using a ton of them.

    There is alot of things about the gameplay that sadly just doesn’t translate well into a trailer so we can’t really show them. But it is quite a different game compared to braid, winterbottom and the ratchet and clank parts. for the rest I have not seen or tried them so I cant say if they are similair.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      A shitton of timelines eh? Will a timeline’s avatar disappear at the moment it spawned another timeline, or will it remain there? Because… http://goo.gl/raSNf

      • Defrostgames says:

        It will remain there and continue to perform it’s actions just as before. And if one dies you die. The actual limit is the number of colors we can make that still looks distinct so I we are guessing at around 10-12 tops per puzzle to keep it clear and easy for the player.

  9. Ravenholme says:

    The aesthetic gives me kind of XCOM-y vibes. That pseudo-cartoony/comic book look.

  10. caddyB says:

    Cooperating with one’s self? Sounds like masturbation.
    I’ll get my coat.

  11. welverin says:

    Hmm, this:
    “My PC can do many things for me, but – aside from its complete inability to provide me with the authentic human connections I so desire.”

    Just doesn’t jibe with this:
    “I love co-op games, but I have just one problem with them: I hate literally every other human being on the planet. Each morning, I wake up, stare mournfully into the mirror, and ask my reflection why everybody else can’t also just be me. He then stares back, wordless, close enough to touch yet further away than dreams. But now, thanks to Project Temporality, my distressingly narcissistic problems are solved! The answer is time clones. Duh. Why didn’t I think of it before? It was so obvious.”

    Is there something else you need to tell us Nathan?

    • The Random One says:

      There are two Nathans from two alternate timelines. They hate each other, but they must share a flat, a girlfriend and their RPS salary. This fall on NBC.

  12. Henke says:

    IT’S TIME…. TO TIME! *bbzzzzwpt!*

  13. Tomatoboxer says:

    This has already been done dozens of times, and I seriously doubt they will do anything new with the concept.