PAX East 2012: Four-Week Bastion Prototype Offers Unique Look At Game
I hold that special features for video games have a lot of catching up to do when compared to movies. For example, on my Game of Thrones season one Blu-Ray, I have hours of featurettes about the show, commentaries for all 10 episodes, and histories of the fictional world of Westeros.
Outside of Valve, who is even coming close to that level of content with games? Nobody.
But I was pleasantly surprised when I cruised by the Supergiant Games booth at PAX East to see that the team had brought their four-week protorype of Bastion to the show floor for people to play.
It’s very rare for developers to even have this type of build for their games once the projects are all said and done, bun thankfully the guys at Supergiant kept this very early version of Bastion’s development. Even more impressive was that they decided to let fans play it.
While it’s clear that even after four weeks the game had its fundamental elements in place, all of the details were so far away from what Bastion ended up becoming. The character, to start with, was an unanimated grey render whose legs didn’t even move when he walked. The enemies all used placeholder art from Dungeons & Dragons. There was even a gameplay mechanic where you could pick up items and throw them at enemies (and even throw sticky grenades!). Really the only elements that found their way to the final game were the map that built itself as you explored, the main character’s hammer weapon, and his roll, which from a mechanical perspective didn’t change at all.
With such an early perspective on the ideas in Bastion, and knowing firsthand how the final game ended up, playing the prototype was a valuable and informational experience about how games are made, giving me a real appreciation of just how difficult making a video game truly is.
Supergiant told me they’re considering releasing the early build of the game to the public, so they too can have a chance appreciate a rare look into the world of development.
If you’re at PAX East tomorrow, be sure to stop by and check it out.