Playful Pottering: Else Heart.Break()’s Gameplay Trailer

Fridays, you know?

I’ve gushed about how pretty else Heart.Break() looks before, but what’s going on beneath those PlayStation-era polygons? This new six-minute uncut gameplay trailer might seem like the perfect way to discover what one even does in the game, what our goal is and how we’ll achieve it, but… seemingly nothing major is resolved, nothing visibly changes. Which I suspect is the point. It’s six minutes of moving through a city that’s new to you, trying to learn your way, poking at and interacting with things, and chatting with people who aren’t there just to drive the plot forward.

Finding and staring at a map, fiddling with a jukebox, paying for coffee by actually deducting money from your account, watching life go by in the streets, picking your seat in a coffee shop and chatting to people, it’s all very pleasant. else Heart.Break()’s supposedly about some sort of political goings-on in this futuristic city, but it’s also about life, love, and the little things.

Creator Erik Svedang says they hope to launch the game at “the beginning of next year”. He also notes, “We’ve had some complaints about how annoying the speech bubbles look, so that’s something that we’ll definitely try to fix too.” I’m glad; they really do look daft.

12 Comments

  1. mukuste says:

    First time I heard of this; it looks really intriguing. Bit of a shame that there are abrupt transitions between parts of the map instead of seamless open-worldly goodness, but I won’t hold that against something that’s so pretty and tries something new.

    • Viroso says:

      Funny I was watching it and thinking the opposite. I thought “Oh cool, separate screens”. Separate screens can be cool too. Each room has its own personality so to speak, by separating them, each room feels more unique, which in a way creates landmarks on your mind.

      When it’s just one fluid world, certain areas that’d be their own unique locations become part of the same undefined area, so to speak, in a player’s mind.

      At the same time, as things aren’t connected, you can’t actually see for yourself how small the map is and it gives them more freedom to build areas. They don’t actually have to connect each location, they can just build what feels interesting.

      It sort of creates the effect of cutting out all the inane parts and inane travelling and getting you straight to the meaty parts of town. And it’s funny because in an open world game you can do that with fast travel but it just doesn’t have the same effect, when it’s one big world, it feels like the world is being wasted halfway through the game as you decide to fast travel only.

      With separate screens only the interesting parts exist and it feels more natural travelling through them than fast travelling.

      So putting these two things together, it makes the city feel larger, having more clearly defined spaces and hiding from sight its true size.

      • mukuste says:

        Different strokes for different folks. I really like just travelling around in open-world games, not really caring how long the trip takes as long as it’s enjoyable. I usually don’t use fast travel since I find it relaxing just to explore the world and take it in. Virtual tourism.

  2. LogicalDash says:

    The depth of field is TINY. Why??

  3. RARARA says:

    Just replace the text bubble font with the font already implemented in the menu.

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      yhancik says:

      Yeah the typeface doesn’t really match, and is anyway a bit.. weak. The speech bubbles are also huge, their round design taking a lot of space. A more rectangular design would probably be more efficient in that case link to bdnet.com

  4. manwejml says:

    Reality check for everyone, this is what PS1 games actually looked like :

    • Baines says:

      Yes, this is closer to PS2-era graphics. But part of that is the texture quality.

    • Viroso says:

      They also looked like this

      link to youtu.be

      and this
      link to youtu.be

      I think what makes this game remind people of PS1 is the lighting, the squarey forms and the textures. The two games I’ve just shown, with some anti-aliasing and slightly better textures wouldn’t be so far from else heart.break

  5. aliksy says:

    What coding convention has both class names and function names start with capital letters? This bugs me every time I see this. I keep thinking it should be Heart.break();

  6. tumbleworld says:

    It looks lovely, but I really, really hope that he’s having the text rewritten by a native English speaker. The stuff in that demo is jarringly clunky, and in a text-based adventure/thing, you really need the text to be as elegant as possible.