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else { Heart.break() } Will Make Players Programmers

Hello World

Erik Svedang’s Blueberry Garden was a delightful, surreal platformer about exploring a world in order to discover how to play the game, so it’s only right his next game would be an even meatier meta-commentary on games: else { Heart.break() } puts you in a world where the game’s code itself can be accessed and altered by the player, prompted on by characters in the game. Blimey!

Blueberry Garden’s artful silliness has been ditched for a world made up of computers and code, where atoms have been replaced by bits. It enables the player to have a meaningful impact on the game. Hacking the world, using code like a mage would use magic. Svedang points out:

The idea is to create opportunities for truly creative gameplay that goes beyond the kind of puzzle solving and stats improvement normally seen in games. Ideally it even allows the player to free herself from the designer of the game! The goal is an experience that borders the metaphysical, and to create a kind of game where thoughts and knowledge mean everything.

There’s more. There’s a touch of interactive drama to it all, an ecosystem where the characters go about their lives. You’ll become part of that world, part of their lives, even as you’re subverting the rules.

The game assumes the players will have no knowledge of programming to start off with, so there’s not a terrifying barrier to entry. And until I have more info, all I have is “Blimey!”. What? It’s last thing on a Friday, be thankful I’ve not fallen asleep forehead down on my keyboard.

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Craig Pearson

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