Tag: Curiosity »
What's inside the cube? That's the question thousands of people worldwide have been asking themselves since Curiosity released for iOS last November.
According to the development team at 22 Cans, we're all about to find out, as it's been tapped down now to the final 50 layers. What's in there?
We don't know, but we'll admit we're (sorry) curious. What do you think is in there?
All this week, we'll be sharing our 30 best games of the year, compiled with input from the 148Apps writing staff and editors. Agree or disagree with our choices? Read on and let us know in the comments.
30. Curiosity – what's inside the cube: A year-end list wouldn't feel complete without mentioning Peter Molyneux's strangely mysterious title. What is this game? Is it even a game? Is there actually something at the end of the cube? Whatever it is, the unique massively-multiplayer gameplay that has spurred player creativity and interaction while they try to crack open the game's secrets is certainly original. And odds are that you were intrigued enough to download it and see what was going on.
29. God of Blades: No game this year was perhaps as thematically comprehensive as White Whale Games' homage to 70's pulp fantasy and sci-fi novels and the artwork that graced their covers. The visual style, the way-over-the-top dialogue and character names, and the combat, trading blows to knock opponents back, all contributed to a game that made a firm statement as what it wanted to be. And boy did it ever stand out.
28. Bad Piggies: Rovio finally let players play as those porcine opponents from their Angry Birds games, and decided to focus on their building ingenuity. Best of all, the game's various goals and different parts that were made available really encouraged player creativity, along with timing-based elements, in a well-rounded package. As Dale Culp explains: "Sometimes, this is as simple as putting together a cart and rolling it down a hill. However, other stars require a lot more thought… and some rockets, wings, engines, shaken-up soda bottles and, well, it gets pretty crazy. As players try to collect items, beat timers and fulfill other requirements, vehicles just get more and more elaborate."
27. Bastion: Why does this isometric action game make the cut? Well, while it may still be a ton of fun after its initial XBLA release, it stands out thanks in large part to the amazing dynamic narrator. As Chris Kirby explained in our review: "This omniscient voice tells the story of The Kid and the world of Bastion, but he also narrates the various actions the character makes in the game. Stand around too long and the narrator will add that to the story. Go on a destructive frenzy with the Cael Hammer, and that becomes a part of the narrative as well. The narrator never feels intrusive, and actually makes the atmosphere of the game unique."
26. Slingshot Racing: This racing game used the physics of grappling hooks to make it stand out: the one-touch controls are extremely easy to pick up on, but mastering the physics takes time. Getting to race on the tracks forward and backward brings new challenges. Plus, it boasts both single-device multiplayer for up to 4 people on iPad, and an asynchronous multiplayer mode added in post-release. It all really hooked players in! It's a lot better than that pun, we swear.
25. Duckers and 24. Super Mole Escape: Weeks within each other, two games about burrowing through the ground came out and both were really good. Where Super Mole Escape boasts frantic burrowing gameplay, with plenty of powerups and hazards to quickly react to, Duckers was a more cerebral take on the same concept. Their casts were equally great: felonious moles in one, Mother Duckers in the other. Leaving one game off the list in favor of the other seems downright criminal when both were top-notch examples of how to approach a similar concept, yet in different ways.
23. Juggernaut Revenge of Sovering: Considering Infinity Blade's success in the past two years, it's no surprise that other studios would try to ape its format. This game does have a one-on-one combat base, but outside of that, it goes in its own satisfying directions. It's a great iteration on a tried-and-true concept, as Kevin Stout explains: "The difference between Juggernaut and Infinity Blade is that there’s significantly more to do in between fights in this game as well as tons of different mini-games for players to play."
22. Nihilumbra: Its storyline and dialogue could be overwrought and melodramatic, but its platforming gameplay mixed in puzzle elements that made fantastic use of the touch screen, and often forces players to think and react. It definitely shone through the darkness, and proved to be surprisingly compelling, becoming easy to just go and complete in one sitting. The ending winds up being a great payoff for the melodrama as well.
Penny Arcade's On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3: Zeboyd teamed up with influential gaming web comic Penny Arcade to make the third entry in their series a 16-bit RPG homage. The gameplay is delightfully reminiscent of retro titles, and the dialogue is superbly original. This and the port of Cthulhu Saves The World are both must-plays. Rob Rich says that "It's really been growing on me the more I play. The story is fantastically weird and humorous, the combat is actually fun, and it screws around with typical RPG mechanics something fierce."
Jack Attridge is an exceptionally busy man, along with the rest of the team at 22Cans. Not content with fixing the much publicised server issues with Curiosity, the team is working on a major update, recently teased by Peter Molyneux, mentioning the word "badger". That's not forgetting the plans afoot for the "reinvention" of the god game, courtesy of GODUS, 22can's latest Kickstarter fundraiser.
Fortunately, amongst all this, Jack has found the time to answer a few of our questions when it comes to all things to do with Curiosity and just how he feels about its progression.
"At first we were going to just allow players to tap the smaller 60 billion cubelets that make up the cube one by one. This was to see if the power of curiosity alone was enough motivation for people to carry on tapping with no other benefits," he explained. "Surprisingly, this worked and it's great seeing tons of tweets flying through of people hooked on this…we could have left it as pure as this but we felt that there was more that we could do with the cube."
Jack explained that the inclusion of features such as the potential for combos via rewarding players with more coins, the longer they chip away for has added to the appeal: "…some people out there have been going crazy about getting the highest chain in the world: currently the highest chain is up in the millions! "
As he points out, "…there is an urge in some people to tidy up all the left-over cubelets that are scattered around where people have come and gone, and so for those OCD-type players (there's a few of those on the team) we give coin bonuses for clearing the screen of cubelets." With such bonuses, it enables players to buy small upgrades thus feeling "powerful", while aiding them in their quest to "get to the center faster".
Along the way, Jack reckons that Curiosity can be considered as art. Echoing many of our thoughts here, "…I think it's a pretty ancient perspective to have if you feel that Video Games cannot be art."
"There [are] many wonderful things about Curiosity, the fact that people from all over the world can join together in working towards one goal…Each layer contains some mysterious image and it's really fascinating to see the world unwrapping it like a present before it is revealed in all its inspiring beauty…it's fascinating how each image or colour changes how players interpret the whole experience with some tweets saying one layer feels cold and and another motivating, and even thinking the audio has changed when it hasn't."
"I love that people have chiseled some phenomenal art into the cube that have surpassed my expectations and that literal art is being digested by people through their phones across the planet and then being shared across social networking sites and blogs. People have chipped marriage proposals into it as well as obituaries." As Jack describes it, "...the cube itself is a giant canvas that the entire world can share with no censorship or moderation."
Such feelings are what Jack hopes to be the main benefits for players. "I hope that people feel like they have been a part of something regardless of whether they have made that final tap…especially since it won't be able to be revisited by anyone else after this experience is over."
Having said that, he does suggest that it's not entirely for the sake of it: "…there is something that people tapping on the cube are doing, and are already involved in that they are unaware of. I can't say what that is yet, but in the future…that tapping will have counted for something."
Given that Curiosity is just part of the 22 experiments planned by the team, we asked Jack just what the eventual end goal will be, "The final game we make is something that Peter has been thinking about for 20 years. He considers it the defining game of his career and we are all very excited about creating that experience for the world. The dream is that this final game will be something that 100 million people will play everyday."
Jack's willing to acknowledge, however, that this is a "huge ambition". As he points out, Curiosity managed over 600,000 players in the space of 4 days but that's still a way off such a lofty number. "…by creating these experiments and analysing the tons of data that we get from them we are finding out exactly how we are going to construct a game that can change the world."
A game that can change the world? Suddenly, huge ambition sounds like an understatement. It'll be fascinating to see what 22Cans come up with next, and after GODUS.
If you're interested in contributing to GODUS's development, check out the Kickstarter page.
The meaning of life is something that we've all pondered at some point. For some of us, it's our religious faith that gives us purpose to our lives, for others, it's simply making the best of things and being happy. Ultimately though, it's different for every individual, and some of us can confidently say they have no idea what the meaning is. Somewhat unusually, there's a 'game' that conveys that intrigue quite admirably, whether you think it's a load of nonsense or not. That game? Curiosity, the first title to come out of Peter Molyneux's latest studio, 22Cans.
Curiosity is a 'game' about tapping at a giant cube. Clear a layer of squares and another layer emerges, and so forth. It's been said that only two people in the world know exactly what is in the center of that giant cube: Peter Molyneux and the developer who implemented it. Whatever it is, Molyneux believes it is life changing for that person. Over two weeks in, the secret still hasn't been discovered but popularity doesn't seem to have let off in any way.
We took the time to check in with a few different people to see just what all the fuss is about and attempt to gauge just what's keeping people tapping away at those layers.
One of the most positive opinions stemmed from indie game, Hug Marine's, CY Reid: "As a game concept, I love it - one of the reasons people enjoy games like that is because clicking or tapping repeatedly is so compulsive. There's a mindlessness to it that allows you to simply switch off parts of your brain and relax. Combine that with a massively multiplayer capability and you've got yourself a communal experience with everyone working towards an achievable goal. It's great."
Like any conscientious developer, however, his concerns are on how it's being handled: "my concern is that they didn't anticipate this level of popularity, and they're struggling to keep the game experience smooth enough to justify the appeal of the concept. Asking for donations doesn't help, either."
Regular Twitter followers of Molyneux's account will note that there have been frequent mentions of long shifts, including 36 hour long coding marathons to keep things working steadily.
Spilt Milk Studios's Andrew Smith is similarly intrigued, despite technical problems: "Curiosity is so aptly named I’m not sure that even Mr Molyneux himself was aware of how appropriate it was going to be. Some people are still probably curious about what you do in the game due to the server issues they experienced, but unfortunate technical problems aside I think it’s made everyone who’s played it at least question something about the nature of games and interactivity – just what is it that makes people play. Does it always have to be high scores and headshots? It’s been fascinating to watch so far, and I’m eager to see how the experiment ends."
Pondering if it was just me that was more than a little underwhelmed by the concept, I'll admit to feeling relieved when Joystiq's UK editor, Sinan Kubba, echoed my opinion on the app: "I played it on the day it came out, found it a very interesting concept but not so interesting to play…There are many, many more fun ways to grind…I don't really mind a grind, but there has to be something to it. This is just tapping cubes. It's not slaying orcs, or driving laps. Just. Cubes."
Perhaps, ultimately though, it doesn't really matter what those within the industry think of it. The layers are slowly coming down and the popularity seems to be ever flourishing. A cursory glance at Twitter demonstrates that ably with tweets such as "EVERYONE GET THIS APP OMG. #Curiosity addicttteedddd!!! And its mad creepy but i wanna know the prizeeeeee" and "got my whole family playing #curiosity, that game is too addictive", amongst many other positive and 'curiously' addicted people's opinions.
As one person explained to me, "Wife just said she loves it when she's working on clearing an area and it syncs and it all disappears…knowing somebody else is in the world is right where she is on the massive cube".
Maybe that's all we need? That sense that we're all working together to discover something new and exciting. A concept that's helped us find out a lot more about our world and our universe, all wrapped up in one simple yet oddly beguiling app. Placing our mark on the world is, after all, consistently important to many of us and this app gives us the means to do it with minimal effort.
If you want to give Curiosity a try for yourself, it's entirely free to get involved with. Here's a rather cool, unofficial visualization of how things have progressed so far.
Over the weekend, details have emerged regarding Peter Molyneux and 22 Can's first iOS game: Curiosity.
Peter Molyneux is a name that will be very familiar to many PC and console gamers. Known for his outlandish and over-enthusiastic statements, pre-release, he's been responsible for some of the best games out there from the Populous series to Theme Park and Theme Hospital. He's also been behind the Fable series of games, one of my personal favorites, but also a series that has been overpromised frequently.
Having left Microsoft and Lionhead Studios in March to begin work at new company 22 Cans, Molyneux has just announced details regarding Curiosity.
The title is set for release on August 22 and will focus on players hacking away at a giant cube, made out of 60 million different shapes. It's all in aid of finding out exactly what's underneath all those cubes. Initially, only the player who hits that final blow will find out what's inside, hence the name: Curiosity.
It's best thought of as a social media experiment with 22 Cans studying how this news will spread.
It gets stranger, still, with the prospect of in-app purchases funding everything. A Q&A Session at Indie conference, Rezzed, has reported that players will have to buy a limited number of chisels that will improve their tapping strength. While most of these chisels will be inexpensive, a diamond chisel will also be available, priced at an eye-watering $50,000.
It's frankly pretty bizarre stuff. Will it work? Only time will tell, but we'll be sure to keep up to date on developments as Curiosity could prove to be a fascinating experiment.
Do let us know how you feel about the in-app purchases involved. Would you ever consider spending so much on this kind of app?