No Time to Explain

Now here s a classy move: tinyBuild s upcoming JetGetters met its $50,000 funding goal on Kickstarter, but the developer is giving backers their money back because of a delay in the development cycle. The game is still coming out, backers will still get their rewards, and it sounds like tinyBuild s in better shape than ever, so it s good news all around.
As stated on the Kickstarter page, JetGetters was delayed because tinyBuild found an investor to help it expand its developing and publishing efforts. Because of the time it will take in bringing our new partners up-to-speed and hiring on additional people for JetGetters we have decided to cancel the Kickstarter, tinyBuild said. The main reason for this is because we feel strongly that if we promise something, we better damn well deliver on it and with the few month delay we won't be able to deliver JetGetters this year.
To make sure nobody feels burned by the change of plans, tinyBuild is also giving all backers the $51 tier reward: all seven of tinyBuild s games, including No Time To Explain.
If you haven t heard of JetGetters, it s a flying multiplayer shooter where you re able to hijack your enemy s ship, similar to high-flying shenanigans you pull off in Just Cause 2. Producer Alex Nichiporchik s original pitch video explains the rest.
No Time to Explain

SpeedRunners, as you might have guessed, is a game about running real fast. It's also a game about jumping and grapple-hooking, two methods of traversal that go particularly well with the above. tinyBuild's game hit Steam Early Access a couple of months ago, though it's just been revealed that if you wait until release you can get an (offline-only) version for free. Wuh? Guh? It's a positive response to the inevitability of piracy - you can hear tinyBuild's reasons below.

In an email to RPS, creator Alex Nichiporchik stated the following:

"I’ve seen it multiple times when people pirate some sort of software, fall in love with it, and then due to constant updates reminders end up buying it, just for the convenience. Basically, when developers provide a good service, people see the value in spending money. Minecraft is a great example. With the constant updates, it’s so clear you should throw your money at the screen – simply provide a service, making it much more convenient than searching for cracks.

"We’ve decided to make SpeedRunners free when it comes out. The local version of SpeedRunners will be available completely free. You’ll be able to download it and play with your friends on a couch, or use any of the offline features (right now we have bots to play against offline). The online part of SpeedRunners will be what people pay money for, it’s the service we provide to players."

It's not the first time that tinyBuild have decided to deal with piracy in a non-self-defeating way. For their previous title, No Time To Explain, they uploaded their game to The Pirate Bay themselves, replacing all the unlockable hats with pirate hats in a move that's a) quite funny and b) taps into our innate desire to collect as many goddamn hats as possible. The move (and the resulting press attention) worked out quite well for the game - so piracy 'ain't all bad, it seems.

In the statement, Nichiporchik also revealed that he's an evil terrorism-funding worse-than-Hitler pirate himself - he's pirated Battlefield 4 (if only to test whether it works on his machine).

SpeedRunners is currently on Steam Early Access - if you buy it now, you'll get the full, online-enabled game when it releases for real.
No Time to Explain
Speedrunners thumb

SpeedRunners is side-scrolling multiplayer racer being developed by DoubleDutch Games and "published" by No Time to Explain developer tinyBuild. It's an unusual situation - indies publishing indies - and makes you wonder if the tinyBuild guys strutted up with fistfuls of cash and business cards that said, "Join us! We're basically EA." According to them, that's not quite how it happened.

"It's by far not a standard collaboration as we're actively involved in the visual aspect of the game, as well as the personality part," tinyBuild tell us. DoubleDutch, meanwhile, get to focus on creating the core four-player competitive platformer.

The goal of the game is to beat the other heroes and be the first to run off-screen. With everyone sharing the same view, that becomes harder the further you are in front - your reduced vision giving you less time to react to obstacles.

Beta testing is due to start soon, with sign-ups open at the tinyBuild site. Steam Early Access is due to start soon after.
No Time to Explain

There’s a fine line between challenge and frustration. Behind it, I hope there’s a firing squad with their guns aimed right at No Time To Explain’s evil mole boss’s grinning face. It’s a platformer that should be great fun: chaotic and endlessly varied. None of it matters though, thanks to a descent into platform hell that’s unfit to lick the gristle from Super Meat Boy’s toenails.

"Difficult moments either rev you up to take another shot or recover disk space."
Here’s the pitch. You’re you. Look down. Close enough. You’re hanging around at home one day, when a you from the future appears, shouts, “There’s no time to explain!” and is immediately abducted by a giant alien crab. Snatching his beam cannon, you immediately follow in search of answers and, for no particular reason, hidden comedy hats. Hurrah! Except not.

Platformers like this live and die on three things – their gimmick, their precision, and the satisfaction of the challenge. Without the first, who cares? Without the second, victory feels unearned and death unfair. Most important of all, the third defines whether difficult moments rev you up to take another shot, or recover some disk space.

No Time To Explain fails them all. The beam cannon (not your only weapon, but the main one) is used for travel rather than killing, propelling you around the game’s map. It’s incredibly fiddly though, especially when combined with jumps or quick deaths like a springboard pointed at a spike trap.

"It’s a test of patience more than skill, made worse by floaty controls."
As such, most of the tough jumps boil down to endlessly abusing the way you usually respawn on the last bit of solid ground you touched, and repeatedly throwing yourself at each problem until you skim through on dumb luck. It’s a test of patience more than skill, made worse by floaty controls, unforgiving timed traps, and regular visits from an unwelcome glitch fairy.

Then you meet that sodding mole. Bosses are always terrible in these games, and No Time’s are worse than most, not least because it’s tough to tell whether you’re having any effect. Unlike previous bosses though, where you can’t die, this horrible fight forces a restart for every screw up until you’ve generated enough raw hate to resurrect Vigo the Carpathian’s whole extended family. It crashed three times, and glitched out several more times. I’d not enjoyed the game up to this point. With that, it burned its last bridge.

There have been some great platformers in recent years, from the harsh-but-fair brutality of Super Meat Boy to the gleefully sadistic I Want To Be The Guy. No Time To Explain isn’t one of them. It’s less trial than error – a game of cheap death and impotent rage. Never knowing what’s coming next unquestionably adds spice, but not enough to compensate for the bland core game it has to be sprinkled over. There are too many better alternatives out there to find time for this one.

Expect to pay: $11 / £7
Release: Out now
Developer: Tiny Build Games
Publisher: Tiny Build Games
Multiplayer: None

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