This Month On Edge
The things that caught our eye during the production of E301
When we weren’t doing everything else, we were thinking about stuff like this
Deus Ex design document bit.ly/deusexdoc Though published in part on Eurogamer in 2013, Reddit user Defaultplayer001 has now acquired the original design document for DeusEx, along with similar documentation for the cancelled Thief4 and Deus
Ex3 projects. While all three are fascinating reads, it’s the voluminous DeusEx doc – called Shooter:Majestic
Revelations – that pulls rank. The 64-page document was created in August ’97 and is covered in handwritten annotations from lead designer Warren Spector. It details the original intention to create a semi-open world, as well as characters who didn’t make it into the finished game, and different endings. But the best aspect is its combative tone, the document riddled with aspirations such as: “Guess what was in the designer’s mind when he created this stupid puzzle.”
Beasts Of Balance bit.ly/beastsofbalance Sensible Objects’ Beasts Of Balance is a beautifully made blend of physical and digital game that asks you to stack chunky model animals precariously on an NFC-equipped plinth. These creatures then appear in a world on your phone or tablet, and each one has a ‘fabulousness’ rating which depletes – in accordance with jealousy of the most fabulous creature in play – every turn. If that rating reaches zero, the animal will die, but special pieces allow you to boost their rating, create hybrids, migrate existing creatures between land, sea and air, and even cast miracles that stockpile lost fabulousness at the cost of imposing timers or tasks. A fine production all round, with relaxed rules that mean you can be as cooperative or competitive with your family as you like this Christmas.
Tricky Mario: Val’s Shellspace bit.ly/marioshellspace Published earlier this year but now getting a wider audience via word of mouth, this excruciating video documents YouTube user Val JP’s arduous attempt to upload a particularly brutal MarioMaker creation. Even blessed with the advantage of knowing the level inside out, its determined creator burns through 32,873 attempts before finally making it all the way to the end – an ordeal that takes him around 61 hours. He’s condensed that process down to just shy of eight-and-a-half minutes for the video, thankfully, but it’s hard not to share his exaltation at the end.
Stand Off bit.ly/standoffgame This tiny ten-level puzzle game puts a Wild West spin on the traditional block-shifting setup, and tasks you with backing out of tense saloon standoffs without a shot being fired. Played top down, you manoeuvre a brown dot around the stages and must reach the exit at the perimeter of each level. Red dots represent your enemies, who will shoot you on sight if you move directly in line with them. You have a pair of six shooters to use as deterrents, drawn by pressing X and then choosing a direction to aim using the arrow keys. So long as you have one of your guns pointing at an enemy, they won’t fire on you. A handy undo button means you can experiment without too much frustration, but each level becomes an amusingly intense extrication as you try to keep all angles covered.