Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Another Look at E3: Closure

Posted by deckard47 on June 11, 2009

[In an attempt to curtail my own slip-shodded methods, I’m going to be writing about some games that I didn’t mention in my initial post/during-E3 scribbles, and this is the first of them. Enjoy]

Closure is the evolution of a flash game (also called Closure) developed by Tyler Glaiel (lead designer) and Jon Schubbe (lead artist). The original game is a clever kind of platforming puzzle game. It’s clever in that it plays with light, space, and what “exists” in the game world. If you wanted to, you could compare it to other clever, not-what-you-expect platformers like Braid or Fez, but it’s much better to look at Closure with as few preconceptions as possible.

In the original Flash game (available here), you played as a person (drawn in black and white, like the rest of the world), who navigated a sparse world, using movable, sometimes unpredictable light sources to reach a door placed somewhere in each level. The trick in Closure (the main one, that is) is that if light isn’t shining on something in the world, that thing doesn’t exist. This translates into a lot of tricky timed and environmental puzzles, whereby you have to figure out what you should shine light on in order to get to where you want to go.

The game looks pretty, in an extremely stark way (black and white are all you see), and the puzzles never reach that “time to quit” phase. It is admittedly not (from the 25 minutes I spent playing it last night) concerned with connecting its action with any kind of story, but it doesn’t really need it right now. It’s fun, and it definitely hasn’t gotten old yet (I’ll play it more when I get home), so it’s better than other recent games in that department.

The new Closure, as shown in the video below, adds a lot of new mechanics and a whole new look to the game. From directional spotlights to pressure plates to physics puzzles, the gameplay in the new Closure looks like it’ll be more complicated and more varied. Just as interesting is the new art direction the game will be taking. Instead of  a black/white palette, Schubbe and Glaiel have decided to go with grayscale + small amounts of color in their game. I think that the original game had a certain elegance to its environments, but that the new colors (and other little additions, like what appear to be fireflies clustering around lights) add a sense of  strangeness (as opposed to Closure‘s almost morose darkness) and foggy intrigue to the levels. Here’s a video of what they’re thinking the game will look like:

It looks pretty cool, even in this early stage. Of course, you can listen to me say “ooh, check out this indie game that’s so awesome,” or you could go check out the original game. As a person who likes this kind of platformer (but is, unfortunately, affected adversely by certain pretensions and tropes present in the other popular offerings like Braid), I enjoyed seeing it at E3, and I enjoyed playing the original version. It’s good to play a game like this after sitting through the hideous opulence of a title like Infamous, I think. I’m sure we’ll see more of Closure soon, and I’ll make sure I post something about it when the game comes out. You can also check out their development blog, which has more videos and some interesting stuff about developing the game.

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