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How To Learn Sign Language

How Games Communicate, Without Saying Anything


Making a player feel lost is one of the most
frustrating things a game can do. Progress is held just out of reach, and your forward
momentum blocked not because of a lack of skill or understanding, but a miscommunication
between you and the game. Now sometimes it’s the fault of the game aaand sometimes it’s
on us, but that doesn’t change the fact that simply not knowing what you’re supposed
to be doing isn’t a position that any player should want to be in. The problem is, that
if you signpost and guide players too much, then you hamstring the interactive, core of
the gaming medium and suck the fun of adventure, challenge and good old fashioned mastery. So how do games get around being too handholdy,
whilst also giving you enough direction. Well I’m sorry to say there’s no special subconscious
trick that’d make for a great thumbnail, it’s simply a matter of communicating in
a more effective way for the medium. When playing games it’s not often we’re looking
out for written or spoken language all the time, and when we are, it’s usually pretty
obvious, but what we are constantly paying attention to is the language of level design,
how stuff is laid out, how stuff looks, how it sounds, all that good stuff. Buuuut before
we can get into that, let me give you a quick semiotics crash course, just so we’re on
the same page. A unit of a language is made up of two parts.
The Sign, And the Signified. The sign is the physical thing, in the case of written words,
it’d be a bunch of scribbles on some paper, the signified is our informed interpretation
of what would otherwise be a meaningless bunch of lines. This is just some random pixels
on a screen to someone who’s never seen latin-based character or can’t read english,
but to you… probably, it means the architect of games. Game design works the same way,
this floppy disc in cave story is coming up on thirty years out of date, yet it’s just
the sign, the thing it signifies is savepoint, a connotation it carries to this day. Even if there’s no words involved, games
can communicate just as effectively with their audience as any book. Signs and Signifieds
are… literally everywhere, everything we see communicates SOMETHING to us, even if
we don’t realise it, and gamedevs can leverage that by showing us something simple and subtle
to communicate something much more complex. There’s a bunch of different ways they can
do this but for ease let’s split them up into Structure, Sound, And Symbology. Let’s start off with structure, which is
quite simply put how the level is laid out in order to subtly direct not just a player’s
movement, but more importantly their eyes. This stuff can be seen everywhere from artistic
composition to architecture… not that I’d know anything about that. Controlling where
a player looks using the structure of an environment allows you to more easily impart information
to them because you’ll know where they’ll be looking, and it also lets you leverage
some quirks of human behaviour to get them where you want them to go. These techniques
are most useful in exploration focused games like metroidvanias, so let’s take a look
at how metroid prime guides you around it’s second major area, the chozo ruins. Entering the main courtyard, two classic techniques
get employed in quick succession. Firstly, these beetles popping out of the ground snap
our attention away from this door here, because we can’t go through it yet. Next, we’re
drawn forward by this lovely arch. Now humans… you guys love doorways, portals, arches, anything
like that. The negative space draws your eyes through it, encouraging your body to follow.
The stairs right afterwards give us a great view of some horizontal lines which draw our
eyes over to this energy tank and then up the implied pathway these rocks and roots
create. Now if you’ve played this game before you
might be thinking, hang on, this is the wrong way, and you’d be right. This detour is
very intentional, bringing you quickly to a dead end we can’t squeeze through to tell
players that there’s some stuff they can’t get to quite yet and they’ll have to come
back later. But why not teach players this lesson with the door down here? Well there
you run the risk of players turning around and leaving the way they came, but when exiting
this upper door we see contained in yet another portal frame, and again drawn to by this line
of motion, the correct path forwards. After a corridor we’re led upwards towards
an obvious door but, oh no! A new enemy! The fast moving war wasps which give us a glimpse
of this room we might have otherwise missed, the save room, quite handy, as we’re about
to fight a boss and get the missiles. Back to the courtyard and some new beetles
have appeared to guide us back through the archway and to the door we were guided away
from before. This is where we get the morph ball and a look at a strange purple door we
might want to remember for much later in the game. Then it’s back out and time to follow
the natural path up to the top level, through here and on to the second part of the chozo
ruins. By controlling the space around the player,
metroid prime directs us without spoiling the lonely, mysterious atmosphere the series
is so known for. The trick is to leverage existing human impulses and stuff we’re
going to be looking at anyway, rather than breaking the spell by intruding upon that
experience. Enemy motion in particular is used all over
the place in metroid prime to show you where you’re supposed to look. The best example
of this is in tallon overworld where these fleeing pirates start off surrounding this
crate of deadly phason you might want to scan but fly away towards the crashed frigate,
prompting you to try and give chase. And they even make a reappearance when you finally
do get there, which is a nice touch. Another great thing metroid prime does is
sound, but let’s give that one a break for my inevitable video on the prime games and
look at something else, how about the unfairly maligned Bioshock 2. This whole game, but
specifically the opening level is a masterstroke in auditory communication, even ignoring the
characters who actually talk. The first and most obvious form of this is simply the environment
of rapture itself. A constant presence is the sound of gushing water and the creaking
of scaffolding as the whole place falls apart. Rapture isn’t just dying any more, it’s
dead and decaying as nature takes it back, a fact that’s difficult to forget as this
sound rarely if ever leaves you completely. The presence of water also highlights something
else, the way our character, subject alpha moves, he’s big, slow and heavy, causing
massive crashes and splashes as he stomps through each level. This Combined with the
weighty sounds of his primary melee attack, the drill, tells us that in comparison to
jack and his weedy swipes from the first game, we’re playing as a creature of incredible
power, and true to form Bioshock 2 is a much more aggressively focused game. It’s not
all power fantasy though, there’s been a lot of care and attention put into Alpha’s
sounds of exertion and pain, particularly when you get your first plasmid. Listen to
that, that’s not the sound of the terrifying big daddies we used to know, this is a wounded,
almost pitiable creature, something falling apart just as much as rapture is. Contrast that with the high pitched, aggressive
screeches of your main adversary, the big sister and the tense violins that back her
up. She’s quick, angry and intelligent, a bigger threat than even you and in every
way your polar opposite, highlighted by those very same violins transitioning into this
somber theme once you’re alone again after facing the big sister for the first time. That’s not to mention the more gameplay
oriented stuff like how the sparking of electricity, alerting you to stuff you can interact with
using your fancy new plasmid carries over much larger distances than it should and cuts
right through the other ambient effects or how the constant presence of again the slow,
laboured breathing of subject alpha in the underwater sections assures players that there’s
no need to go frantically looking for oxygen. Bioshock 2’s opening says surprisingly little,
and yet it communicates so much, not only telling us all about how our main character
feels and moves, but it also makes us immediately empathise with what used to be the biggest
strongest monster in rapture. The final method of nonverbal communication
I want to look at is symbology, and you’ll be happy to hear it’s super straightforward.
The use of symbology is all about communicating using stuff players already know. For example,
what do these things do? Duh, they’re red barrels, they explode! This is a trope that
goes all the way back the the oldest games and even to action movies, and it’s so widespread
that games don’t have to bother telling you how it works, letting them become a shorthand
for serious explosive damage. But what if you want to ward away players
from danger rather than create it. You need look no further than our childhood. Some of
the earliest things we’re taught to fear are hot things and sharp things, and these
lessons become deeply ingrained in our psyche. This is why fire and particularly spikes are
such amazingly effective ways of dissuading a player from doing something. DOn’t stand
in the fire, don’t jump on the spiny, you get the picture. By using the language of
symbols we already understand, games don’t have to waste valuable time explaining them. Games can also create new connections between
things to communicate more complex ideas quickly. In any of the Endless 4X games but specifically
endless legend, synergistic mechanics are united by colour. The science icon is blue,
blue hued arctic regions produce the most science, all the science buildings are blue
and a primary colour for the pallet of the sciencey factions is you guessed it, blue.
The same applies for red industry, green food and yellow dust, and a little bit for purple
industry. These subconscious associations let the game efficiently communicate to the
player and minimize the downtime they spend reading menus. You don’t need to know what
this terrain produces or what this building does because on a subconscious level, you
already know they both make food and can react accordingly. Endless legend also uses a bunch
of symbols for a bunch of game mechanics like attack power and resource counts to further
condense comprehension time and keep you making interesting decisions for as much of your
game time as possible. Of course there’s nothing wrong with going
for something less sophisticated and leaving breadcrumb trails of collectables, because
you know people will do everything in their power to hoover that stuff right up and not
even know why. Oh, speaking of a hat in time a really great way to show the usefulness
of effective nonverbal communication and the issues caused by doing it badly is to look
at A hat in Time. which, if you don’t know, is an indie collectathon platformer which
had quite a long development time, and this means that you can really see the team’s
level design chops evolve over time. The first level, mafia town, has been in the
game since it’s debut back in 2013 and is… kind of a mess. The level is incredibly busy
with a bunch of dead ends, random side bits that draw your attention away from the level
objective and a general lack of visual cohesion. Several times in this world i found myself
circling the whole island trying to find where I was supposed to be, there’s even a great
central orientation point in the form of this giant geyser housing the mafia base, but a
combination of the game’s camera angle and it’s heavy depth of field prevent you ever
really seeing it, keeping your perspective locked onto the technicolour maze of streets
and scaffolding. A hat in time is an exploration focused game,
so it needs spaces to explore, but like metroid before it, that needn’t come at the cost
of players getting lost. Well placed nonverbal communication can preserve that feeling, without
confusing your audience. Unfortunately, these problems extend to the
enemy design, after hitting these mafia goons a few times, they catch on fire! What does
that tell us as a player? Probably to stay the hell away, or maybe hit them with an ice
attack? Nope. it means they’re blocking your basic melee attack and they’re only
vulnerable from above, either to a dive or a standard jump… this is for reasons that
still aren’t clear to me? It’s not helped by the fact that there are non-aggressive
mafia guys also hanging around the level that aren’t a threat and you can’t kill that
look exactly the same. These two design quirks seem small but end up being pretty large conceptual
speed bumps in the way of a seamless experience, by subverting a player’s expectations of
how enemies work and telegraph their attacks, all a hat in time succeeds in is confusing
players who were subconsciously expecting something else. This lack of clear subtextual communication
and direction is frustrating, because it means that the game has to resort to more obvious
means of telling you where to go like these big, obtrusive markers or discovery destroying
spoken instructions. This is all true… at least, for the first world. As the game goes on, it’s communicative
design gets so much better, the final and most recently developed level of the main
four, alpine skyline is fantastic at this, each little area starts off with a broad overview,
shows you a clearly identifiable endgoal at the top of each island and uses all those
great level design tricks like implied pathways and framing to guide you through the stage
whilst still letting you experiment and explore for yourself, it’s amazing to see how far
the gears for breakfast team came in the 5 or so years of development. My favourite bit of communication comes in
one iconic moment in the level Queen Vanessa’s manor. I don’t even have to tell you anything
about this level to show you how effectively it can inspire a very deliberate reaction. HOLY SHIT. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A KID FRIENDLY
GAME. That yawning discordant sound design, the unnatural swap in colour palette to highlight
the red eye, the change in focus and the litany of in-level frames helping to make queen vanessa
look bigger than she actually is are used to phenomenal effect here, all with the aim
of telling you “you can’t kill this thing, gtfo”. All in all, the number one idea you need to
have in mind in order to use level design to talk to players is to let the game do the
talking, and to build the directions to navigate your world into the world itself. Donut county,
a fab little puzzle game uses different coloured terrain to highlight things to suck up with
your magic reverse-katamari hole, it uses the cultural ideas of rabbits liking carrots
and frogs liking flies to ease you into some cool puzzles and the sound of seagulls as
well as this big firework point you to some birds you need to hit with a little firework.
It’s tiny stuff really, but it goes a long way to smoothing out the play experience in
a way that explaining this stuff through dialogue never could. And of course, it’s important to always
communicate in multiple ways, because there’s no way of knowing which signs the players
will recognise or understand in the same way as you. In the case of metroid prime, not
only does the level design itself give you glimpses of optional upgrades, they’re designed
to contrast with as many background palettes as possible AND they make a subtle buzzing
noise to tell people they’re around, see I told you I could’ve used it for the whole
video. And of course, people might have disabilities that say, prevent them from hearing all of
your fancy sound-based clues, so put sprinkle some visual ones in there too. All art is communication and interpretation,
and if we only stick to the obvious stuff then videogames will be unable to portray
more complex ideas. Plus talking to players via level design and innate human responses
to stimuli are ways of transcending barriers of language or culture, and creating experiences
that anyone can appreciate, and everyone can enjoy. But we’re only going to get there
if both developers and players can have a conversation about the importance of the little
things in game design, even if neither have to say a word. Wait did I just imply people should stop watching
game design youtube videos and start experiencing this stuff for themselves? Shiiiiit Oh. It’s you. You’re still here. Well
seeing as you are, hows about I tell you about this cool thing all the kids are doing called
likecomentsubscribebell, apparently it carries with it an almost narcotic high and best of
all it’s free. So really you’ve got no excuse, you want to be cool don’t you? If you want to be straight edge and don’t
want to jump through youtube’s terrible hoops then might I suggest tipping me a few
bucks on Patreon, you get cool stuff like early videos, reviews, recommendations, and
you can even get in the illustrious list of my mysterious benefactors, who are: Samuel VanDer Plaats
Vojdan Paligora Alex Deloach
Derk-Jan Karrenbeld ReysDad
Joseph Robson Joshua Binswanger
LunarEagle1996 Daniel Mettjes
Strategia in Ultima Patrick Rhomberg
Baxter Heal Fido
Brian Notarianni Aseran
Jonathan Kristensen Alexis Cheynas
Chao Thank you to everyone who supports me on patreon,
without you this wouldn’t exist and I will see you, in the next video

100 Replies to “How Games Communicate, Without Saying Anything”

  • I enjoy the fact that you’re playing “oh it’s you” in the background while saying it. That’s a nice bit of meta humour I just ruined by explaining the joke.

  • Level design is one of if not the most important part in most videogames and i feel it's overlooked because of how seamless it is when it's good.

  • Put box on button.
    Never needed to tell you that in chamber 00.

    You just have to wonder how to fill the time without being patronising.

  • You've got such an underated channel mate, always top quality uploads! Coming up on 100k, you can do it! Can't believe more people don't know about or watch this

  • This feeling definantly resonated with me when playing Octopath Traveler that game got so much emotion out of me and I really felt like I was travelling on a great journey.

  • It's disappointing that entire levels of games are designed around exploitation of human psychology instead of just designing authentic or aesthetic levels.

  • There's a later section in Metroid Prime 3 that I think is much scarier. IIRC, its to go get the Seeker Launcher. The pathway is a relatively unblocked research station with several caged Metroids. At the end sits the Seeker Launcher that you can't open… except by removing the energy cell from the station next to it. This turns off all the lights and releases all the little buggers.

    Overall, Metroid does an excellent job at kinda creeping you out in certain areas. The mysterious "Pirate Fear" track in Space Pirate areas make you feel like you have to watch your back for Space Pirates that are going to jump down on you. Couple that with the Pirates' growls and their combat theme, and I still feel a big on edge even after more playthroughs of old areas.

  • I love these videos. Especially since I am finally learning game development, this stuff will REEEAAALLY help me in the long run.

  • I think there was a Banjo Kazooie mod that I saw someone stream once called Banjo Dreamie that had the most obtuse level design ever when I compared it to Banjo Kazooie proper. It was never communicated what ways you could take to the items because notes were the main collectables instead of breadcrumbs, a lot of jumps look impossible and it overall just makes you feel lost. Plus there are no obvious things saying "You can't go here yet" because nothing is properly taught to the player, as opposed to BK proper.

  • Adam, I really love your videos, but you have to work on your articulation. Your research and your ideas are top notch, but how to deliver them is sometimes a little hard to understand at first listen. You are but a small step away from being a awesome channel to being the best channel about gaming right now. Not everyone is a native english speaker, keep in mind that many people can't just easily cope with British- or other accents. This is a 100% constructively meant critique! Keep up the outstanding work!

  • Boi, it’s “signifier” not “sign.” The signifier and signified are the two parts that make up a sign. Someone needs to brush up on their semiotics 😛

  • This channel really reminds me of Mark Brown and Game Maker’s Toolkit channel. This is an awesome thing because both channels while similar analyze game design in their own two unique ways and communicates it in a great way.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, you gained a sub today.

  • This is how you make a YouTube channel: thoughtful and entertaining. Every time I watch your videos I'm vowed. You seem like a true successor to Totalbiscuit. Your videos are not made; they are crafted.

  • Disagree with the points made regarding mafia town, I view the areas main levels as 'surface noise' and the main thing I like about it is as a movement sandbox. The game is fun to control, so it's good to have somewhere to just run around without guidance (ignore the level goals). There is quite a bit that can be found by doing so, and I feel that can only be done in a busy environment. I was still finding new things in the level even having played the whole game several times over, and you need a maze-like setting to do that.
    Chapter 4 by comparison is a hub and spoke of almost linier platforming sections. It dosn't have the same depth.

  • Hey, your videos are really interesting. I have noticed that you have used scenes from Warframe a few times. Any chance we will see it star in a future video? Thanks regardless.

  • Could you kindly check out my tutorial and so on of my game The Lore of Canis and apply your knowledge on that, please? I need some professional feedback of yours! 😀

  • Okeh, my instincts tell me to go up the hallwa-
    lightning strikes
    Q. Vanessa: WHO DARES ENTER MY HOME!?
    Me: uhhhh
    Queen Vanessa slowly emerges and makes haste
    Me: oh fuck no nononon NOPE NOPE AAAAAAAA

    She has no weakness and literally gives you a heart attack

  • I'm glad to finally see your channel growing ;-; it always felt like such an injustice that your videos didn't have more traction with the huge quality that they have, and now things seem to be starting to get in place ! so congratulation on your growth man, keep up the good content !

  • They don't do a huge amount with truly nonverbal communication, but Into the Breach does a great job at using indirect cues to inspire players to keep improving. Things like how the different leaders respond differently to player failure and the comments from the civilians remind you that you are heroes, humanity's last line of defense. You need to act like it. And a hundred people could die if you forget that the blast psion is still there.

  • Hi Adam,

    I really enjoy your videos.
    Currently I am studying movie and TV in Germany to become a game director.
    Since there is no actually way to study it, I am forced to study the normal(movie) art of direction. So your videos help me to find connections I didn't see for myself.

    Where do you get your informations from by the way? Are there books you can recommend?

    Greeting from Germany
    Chris

  • Is it bad that i’ve never even touched almost all of the games you talk about on this channel, and some i’ve never even heard of despite how classic or “everyone must play this”-worthy it is?

  • I'm fascinated by games that (try to) communicate as much as possible without using actual language. Loved "Brothers tale of two sons" and "Hyper Light Drifter" for example. Wish more games would utilize the interactivity of the medium even more to engage players.

  • Hmm..I don't see it. I mean for one second I was confused about the red, but it only lasted one second. It's not like every time it happened I was confused. And you praise alpine skyline, but that level was the least fun to explore for some reason.

  • A Hat in Time is great, but it does have those weird idiosyncrasies; like in the Stage 3 boss battle with the Snatcher where he refuses to turn blue (and thus vulnerable) until you smack him with a blue potion. This makes sense when the stage 1 boss (and maybe the Toilet of Doom) turn blue to signal vulnerability, but the Stage 2 boss and Final Boss never turn blue and can just be attacked after their own attacks. It feels like it could have been much more clever if the turning blue mechanic and blue potions had been better established by that point.

  • "From the title, know in advance that Metroid is one of the greatest game that tell it story without saying anything"
    Start with a metroid music
    I knew it !

  • You should have talked about playdead’s inside… it has no text… no voice lines… I think it would have worked well in this video… btw your a great YouTuber! Keep it up!

  • Not to argue against you too much, but Is feel there's an alternate theory of level design where the feeling of being temporarily lost is a part of the game. You've played the Myst series, I assume? Each game, particularly the first 2, throws you into several environments of fairly considerable size without giving any obvious cues as to where you are and what you should be doing. The first game is both the best at this and the simplest, so I'll describe the main island from there.

    You start on a dock. There are masts of a sunken ship to one side, and a door to the other, as well as a straight path. The door leads to a hologram projector that, at best, will give you a mysterious message that only bears a cursory explanation to what's going on.

    Moving along the dock and then up into the island, you find an area with massive gears that don't do anything, a discarded letter (with the code to get that hologram message), an observatory that lets you view a specific point of sky for a 10 000 year period, a library where most of the books are burned, a full sized model space ship that doesn't open, a fountain with a sunken model boat in it, a series of pillars with random symbols on them, a cabin with a vault, a big tree in a brick enclosure, a power distribution system, and an offshore clocktower/lighthouse.

    Closer inspection of some of these elements reveals that certain ones are connected – a power line from the underground power station to the space ship, for example, and the model ship in the fountain being oddly similar to the one in the docks, but you're largely clueless. There is a bit of obvious player direction being given with the library, in that there are 2 books on stands, the Red Book and the Blue Book, with pages of the same color sitting next to them. Clicking the page and then the book adds the page to the book, making the messages from those trapped within slightly clearer than before, though with the first page, that's slightly clearer than pure static and thus still largely incomprehensible. It does teach the primary progression mechanic of finding and returning pages to their respective books, but that's about all the direct handholding you're going to get.

    Figuring out how to align the mountaintop observatory (which you'll only even know about if you've been looking around a bit and noticed the odd cylinder on top of the mountain) and access it is the first thing you have to do in order to get the clues to progress, but to a first time player, it's a pretty major accomplishment. Getting anything useful out of it is another matter. Some are relatively easy – the safe code for the cabin, the power rating for the generator, but those only get you a book of matches and an open door for the spaceship, respectively. You still need to figure out where to use those matches, and how to solve the bloody piano bullshit in the spaceship.(hint: if you're relatively tone deaf like me, look it up, because dear god that puzzle is not going to be kind to you.) There's also a time that corresponds to a clocktower and a code within that, and some dates and times that can be used with the 10000 year star observatory thing to get some star patterns. From there, you need to find one of a handful of unburned books that has the constellations and figure out which ones you saw (if you're not good at picking out constellations, might take you a bit). The only hint from that mountaintop observatory that actually opens access to another Age (world) on its own is the clocktower time and the code that goes within it, though even that requires a bit of solving, since the code input device is a little tricksy to use.

    Most of the game progresses in much the same manner. Exploration, experimentation, and execution is the name of the game, here. And the first two stages take 99% of the time playing the game. You often feel lost in the worlds of Myst, the islands of Riven, and to a lesser extent, the worlds of the subsequent games. The reason they work is because the places are so damned interesting that you want to poke around them and see what happens anyway. And if you don't, you're probably not the person who would enjoy the games anyway.

  • pretty sure your concept of signified is wrong. the signified is what is intended, not what is interpreted.
    edit: it isn't first person vs seccond person

  • "You humans love arches"? Anything you'd like to share, Adam?
    Adam: "I, too, as a human-person, like the arches. I'm human! I'm human!"

  • Did you really just include DOOM and only talk about the fuckin red barrels?

    It uses a bunch of other things too. For example, in most levels, green lights will be present in areas you need to go to, giving you a sense of direction. Hell, you could have even mentioned that BFG rounds make a slight noise to alert you of their presence. Anything but the goddamn red barrels, which exist in SO MANY OTHER GAMES.

  • Pretty sure the red barrel trope is because we ended up painting containers with explosives in them red to easily say "Do not drop this" or "do not have fire near by" which I am pretty sure was the trascontenarial railroad was responsible for due to the difference in their workers languages.

  • 5:20 hold up people don't like Bioshock 2? Excuse me? It's the best in the series in my opinion, I have a lot more fun playing a big daddy than either of the human characters in the series, story isn't as good as the first game but game play wise it is superb.

  • For another brilliant example of how to guide and prime the player for the experience to come check out NieR: Automata's most excellent "tutorial"

  • god Bioshock 2 was so much better than 1,… Still need to finish either of Prime games, love the 2d metroids

  • 13:12 Chase sequence where the player gets stuck, seems only unfair and frustrating… don't applaud for it…

  • Huh. Mafia town I was navigating by the time I was done with the second mission. That last area had me constantly wondering where I was. Weird how we're opposite like that.

  • I think I got it.
    Jump: Hi
    Jump: look out
    Jump aimlessly: bored
    Jump aimlessly: custom just dance game mode
    Jump in place: tries to see over a rock
    Jump in place: happy
    Strafe Jump: yer gonna die
    Strafe Jump: practicing
    Bunny hop: Where's the carrot
    Bunny hop: I am speed
    Rocket jump: carpet bombing
    Rocket jump: Roamer

  • I would really love to see an analysis like this about Lucah: Born of a Dream because that game uses very little visually yet manages to handle itself pretty well. It certainly has some moments that are frustratingly difficult to understand, so I would be interested to see an in depth look into what works and what doesn't.

  • The message at 15:38 is "Did you actually go through the effort of translating thisc wow. I'm impressed." Note: It was written in Wingdings and the "thisc" is actually what it said there.

  • I personally found alpine skyline to be one of the most frustrating levels to navigate. because in a few places, the same color is used for different islands, I found locating the time rifts incredibly frustrating, it almost made me stop continuing the game because I found them so aggravating to find, i only lucked into two of them without even realizing it. Going just from point a to point b in the level is fine, and the way it sets up each island in advance is nice, but i spent 20 minutes trying to get to one island that just wasn't available until later, and then another 20 minutes going back and forth trying to find the last island i haven't gone to yet.

    Because of the way the zip lines wind around I found it very confusing to get my orientation and figure out where the other islands were in relation to the one i was. "Ok, i'm on this yellow island, and i came here from the south… but I think i want to get to that red island to the east… but if i take the south exit, it takes me back west…..

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