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The magical puzzle-platforming adventures of a thief, a knight, and a wizard will continue this autumn in Trine 4, developers Frozenbyte announced today. Following a terse announcement for the game last year, now they’ve opened up with screenshots and a trailer and details and all that marketing jazz. Once again, our trio will be leaping around levels, solving physics-driven puzzles and smashing baddies in different ways with their different abilities. Perhaps most notably, Trine 4 is going back to the side-on ‘2.5D’ style of the first two games, after Trine 3’s expedition into the third dimension turned out a little blah.
I often lament that game companies don’t tend to admit when they’ve ballsed something up – paralysed by fear that it’ll affect marketshare or boardmember confidence. Today, we get to see what it looks like when a successful but small developer puts their hands up, admits there’s a problem and explains why. Does it feel any better?
If someone could kindly make a Trine 2 level that’s a big huge grappling hook playground with daring leaps and grand fairytale vistas, I’d be much obliged. Developers Frozenbyte have released public beta versions of the level editors for both its magical puzzle-platformers, you see, but I’m oh so horribly busy this week. They let folks create new levels, edit existing ones, and put together their own multi-level campaigns. A string of grappling hook playgrounds, perhaps.
I remember Trine as being awfully pretty but no, apparently it wasn’t pretty enough for developers Frozenbyte (and, having now returned to the game, it seems my memory’s not quite what it was). They’re porting Trine over to the Trine 2 engine, giving the puzzle-platformer a fairytale makeover and its sequel’s online co-op.
While Frozenbyte may disappearing off on their summer hols soon and don’t know quite when it’ll be finished, they’ve released a beta version so we can all argue with Skypepals over who gets to be the Wizard. (Tip: start this argument then sigh “Fine, I’ll be the Thief” because actually she is the best. Thank the pro-wizard lobbying of Idle Thumbs, I guess.)
It’s not Android games, nor soundtracks, nor books about kettles. The new Humble Bundle is the original, the Humble Indie Bundle 9. And for a ninth time in a row, it’s a corker. With names like Mark Of The Ninja, FTL: Faster Than Light, and FEZ, you can see the dollar signs spinning already.
I remember a review of Zhang Yimou’s Hero which claimed that almost any frame from the film would be worthy of hanging in a gallery. Hyperbolic perhaps but it was> a motion picture not afraid to include all of the the colours, frequently in astonishing arrangements. Similarly rich in palette, Trine 2 brings a beauty all its own to the fields and frozen wastes that are so well-trodden by hordes of wizards and warriors. It’s truly fantastic fantasy art and I’d happily watch a slideshow of both its spectacles and subtleties for hours. All that beauty can be yours for £2.99 this weekend on Steam, which is less than you’d spend on a postcard of a hill. The Goblin Menace DLC is also available now and at £5.09 actually costs more than the game at the moment.
Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure how goblins – lumpy, stumpy little monstrosities – can exist in Trine 2‘s world. I mean, I have to imagine it’s like a snowman going for a stroll on the sun; we’re talking about two entirely opposing forces, and one has to give. So naturally, you’d assume ugly ol’ goblins would immediately explode into flame volcanoes when exposed to Trine’s blindness-curing beauty. And yet, they’re still alive and kicking – and menacing>, no less. So, of course, it’s up to us to fix that little problem while accidentally walking off tall ledges because we’re distracted by all the pretty thi–
Give it a name already, Frozenbyte, so I don’t have to refer to it as ‘expansion’ or ‘DLC’. I’m going for the former because it reminds me of the good old days, as do Frozenbyte themselves. Why am I posting about this gain so soon, having already written about the new areas, new plotline and new abilities? Because there’s a short video showing some environments and short videos showing Trine environments are among my favourite things in the world. Prettier than all the other game-pretties would be if they were baked up together in a pretty little pie, Trine 2 has the kind of world I’d gladly adventure in and then stick around to have a picnic.
Even before Trine 2 launched, Frozenbyte had plans to work on DLC, saying toward the end of last year that the additional content would be about four hours in length. A few details were revealed to some non-PC folk at GDC, including word of a new story that will take place over six stages, which will have puzzles based around light, water, low gravity and magnets. There will also be new skills. Expect the DLC in summer but don’t expect Trine 3 anytime soon, as Frozenbyte’s next title will be something altogether new. I haven’t played Trine 2 yet, despite the sense of contentment and joy that still washes over me whenever I see it in motion.
Expect plenty more of these kinds of updates leading up to next week’s web-wide SOPA protests: it’s an enormously important issue for the future of the internet and everyone who uses it, so we’re giving it our all.
Also declaring themselves strongly against the online culture-trashing folly today are Minecraft-makers Mojang, who intend to make a right old song and dance about SOPA next week, NVIDIA, Trine chaps Frozenbyte, Torchlight devs Runic and retromancers Good Old Games. Positions, statements and assorted protests below. (more…)