Author Topic: Baba is You (puzzle game)  (Read 898 times)

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Offline Forestidia86

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Baba is You (puzzle game)
« on: March 18, 2019, 11:16:09 pm »
"Baba is You" by Hempuli Oy is a puzzle game where you have to get your character to the goal of each level.
It's generally a box push puzzle but with a twist: You can change the rules of the level by pushing them around. So you can change the rules in some levels that way that e.g. a boulder becomes the goal etc.
It seems like an interesting idea to me, especially since it allows you to "reprogram" the level, which needs other thinking than a mere box push puzzle.
I only played some of the levels so far, but even in the beginning there were some tough ones for me.
I personally like the idea behind the game since it has programming aspects without need to know programming languages.

(Quite some time ago I came across of a Java based game (forgot the name) where you had to change the rules to get to the exit. It really needed you to get into the programming language, which had its good and bad sides. Baba is you is in the same spirit but non-programmer friendlier and integrates the rules into the box puzzle game mechanics.)
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 11:23:01 pm by Forestidia86 »

Online namida

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2019, 12:54:37 am »
Looks interesting, but it's also a bit on the pricey side. I might keep an eye out for if it goes on sale.
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Offline chaos_defrost

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2019, 09:15:04 am »
Baba is You is exceedingly good. First learned about it from a blind racing tournament about a year ago, after I saw the demo, I was pretty sure this would be a launch-day buy. I was not disappointed, and it keeps getting more interesting the later into the game I get. Highly recommended from me.
"こんなげーむにまじになっちゃってどうするの"

~"Beat" Takeshi Kitano

Offline Simon

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2019, 06:40:33 pm »


Homepage
Jam build (demo)

Very nice find. Immediately, I'm getting envious that I didn't invent this game myself. This feeling is extremely rare to happen at first sight of a new game. One deep core idea leads to enourmous variety, without too many gimmicks.

Looking forward to play it with Forestidia.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 06:45:48 pm by Simon »

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2019, 08:41:47 pm »
Thanks Simon for the link to the demo, I'm too spoiled by the pricing in mobile gaming and feel slightly hesitant like namida to pony up $15 on the outset.  I probably will still wait for a sale but having a demo to evaluate should certainly help. :thumbsup:

It definitely looks like an interest, unique evolution of the rather well-tread genre of block-pushing puzzle games.  On the one hand, we had seen a kind of programmability in even games like Lemmings/Lix, where you basically get to program the Lemmings/Lixes but on an individual basis rather than en-masse (the analogy is even better on games like Lemmings 3 where getting to a pick-up skill is part of the puzzle), and at the same time there are also other game elements (eg. terrain, exit, entrance, traps) which have fully fixed behavior.  And then the block-pushing puzzle games of course long had elements with fixed behavior, but whose behavior can be controlled in limited, predefined ways (as part of the fixed physics of that element) via other elements like switches.  This game takes the neat step of dissociating elements from behaviors, and make "behaviors" themselves another game (meta)element, providing you the ability to completely change the behavior all instances of a particular element--kind of like a super-switch that can in some cases turn one type of things into another type altogether.

Offline 607

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2019, 08:44:18 pm »
That's great, thanks for sharing!
I'd but it if I had a Switch. ;)
The only game with a similar mechanic I know is Nitrome's free platformer changeType(), where you swap around blocks with enemies, coins with springs and so forth, but you can only have one swapping active at a time.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2019, 09:34:34 pm »
Unless you insist on playing on a console, the game is also available on all the major PC platforms including Mac and even Linux, if I read the game's website correctly.  You can get it through Steam but it's not a prerequisite for any of those PC platforms (again, if I read the website correctly).  The demo Simon linked to seems to be Windows-only though.

Admittedly, it might be nice to have it available on Android or iOS, though I understand and sympathize that the developer may not be willing to commit to the kind of pricing models common on mobile.

Online namida

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 02:00:18 am »
Quote
Admittedly, it might be nice to have it available on Android or iOS, though I understand and sympathize that the developer may not be willing to commit to the kind of pricing models common on mobile.

There's nothing preventing a developer, at least on Android, from going with a more traditional pricing model of a single up-front cost. Many games, especially ports (eg. the Final Fantasy and Ace Attorney ports) do this.
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2019, 05:21:04 am »
True, but even then I think there'll still be greater pressure to charge a lower up front cost on mobile then you would for PCs and consoles, especially for lesser known, independent developers.  $15 is a hard sell against the swamp of the usual free-to-play and $.99-ish USD games common on mobile appstores.  Ports at least tend to have the benefit of already built-in name recognition for the game as well as more established developers/publishers.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2019, 07:32:20 pm »
I've completed the 13-level demo last night.  It was pretty enjoyable.  The gameplay is excellent.  I think I understand the behaviors encountered on all levels except the last one--the exact outcome as you move baba(s) around under the initial rules state is still fairly unclear to me.

$15 still feels a bit steep a price, considering the simplistic nature of the graphics, sound and music (I understand it's a purposeful stylistic choice on the part of the game designer, but still, it's one less thing to justify a higher price on).  So most likely I'll still be waiting for a sale of some kind before considering buying the full version.  Did they say anywhere how many levels the full version has?

Through testing, it looks like the demo actually will cycle through any level files it finds in its directory, it's not hard-coded to 13.  Makes me wonder how easy or hard it might be to reverse engineer the binary formats of the level files and thereby potentially create your own levels to play using the demo.

Offline Raymanni

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 07:09:42 am »
I've been following the developement of this game for a while, and I just now found out that the dev is finnish. :XD: I'm definitely going to pick up the full game at some point, but like ccexplore, I'm going to wait for a sale (or a physical version on switch).

Quote
Makes me wonder how easy or hard it might be to reverse engineer the binary formats of the level files and thereby potentially create your own levels to play using the demo.
The game is apparently made with Multimedia Fusion 2 (A game maker-like engine), but I don't know if it has a build-in system for saving levels or not. This could be used as a potential starting point.

Offline Simon

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2019, 02:21:00 am »
Quote from: ccexplore
Did they say anywhere how many levels the full version has?

Allegedly at least 200, and level editor is planned.

I still haven't played Baba, will play this weekend.

-- Simon

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2019, 06:42:29 am »
I think I understand the behaviors encountered on all levels except the last one--the exact outcome as you move baba(s) around under the initial rules state is still fairly unclear to me.

Ok, fully understood now.  Confusion was primarily due to a sort of naturally occurring visual obfuscation:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

--------------

200 levels is actually quite a lot, I don't know if it's $15-a-lot but does help a little in making a case for the pricing.

Offline chaos_defrost

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2019, 07:05:36 am »
As far as length for price goes, one of the beta testers (who is way better at puzzle games than I am) just finished a 100% run, and that took him 40 hours despite having seen a lot of the levels in some form. The game has a lot of content (and some well-hidden secrets from what I've heard, though I've yet to find any).

That said,

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
"こんなげーむにまじになっちゃってどうするの"

~"Beat" Takeshi Kitano

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2019, 10:23:41 pm »
Makes me wonder how easy or hard it might be to reverse engineer the binary formats of the level files and thereby potentially create your own levels to play using the demo.

So as it turns out I didn't read the webpage for the demo very carefully.  There is actually built-in level editing functionality in the demo, as noted on the demo's website:

Quote
(Secret:
§/~ Is Editor (Sometimes | or \)
+/- Is Levelchange
S Is Save
Tab Is Menu
Mouse Is Work)

The tab menu lets you see all the available objects and behaviors, which you can select and place into the level.  It looks like the demo only has a subset of all the objects and behaviors available in the full version (based on sample videos on the webpage for the full version), plus I think the level area size is limited compared to full version, so even with level editing in the demo, you will not be able to replicate the full version experience manually in the demo.  Nevertheless, the demo does seem to provide a pretty good showcase of what the gameplay is like.

Sample videos of the full version also shows that there are improvements in the UI compared to the demo (the overall style is still very 8-bit old-school).  For example it looks like grass is more visually distinct from empty in the full version, and they make subtle lighting changes on rulewords to help visually highlight active rules.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2019, 07:27:42 am »
Just want to add that even the music may be improved from the demo.  At least there's more variety.

Baba is You OST

Basically, the demo version is more like an early beta, less like a limited free trial of full version.  It's equivalent to those beta/demo versions of Lemmings, Lemmings 2 etc. people have talked about and posted here in the past, usually consisting of just a few levels to give you a taste.  You can probably expect slightly better graphics, music, sound and gameplay in the full version.

Online namida

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2019, 09:57:01 pm »
Quote
Makes me wonder how easy or hard it might be to reverse engineer the binary formats of the level files and thereby potentially create your own levels to play using the demo.
The game is apparently made with Multimedia Fusion 2 (A game maker-like engine), but I don't know if it has a build-in system for saving levels or not. This could be used as a potential starting point.

I own both MMF2 (though long since lost my discs, still have my legit licence key though, and I think I have a pirated but uncracked ISO somewhere which can be used together with the legit key) and its sequel, Clickteam Fusion 2.5.

There's no inherent support for external saving / loading of levels, but with a bit of effort it's very possible to use text-based custom formats (binary is possible too, even without a purpose-built extension, but it's very tricky). Many larger games built in it do exactly that.
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Offline 607

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Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2019, 11:56:47 am »
Basically, the demo version is more like an early beta, less like a limited free trial of full version.
That is always the case, if the demo is the original Jam entry. ;)