Global Game Jam Oddities: ‘4 Minutes and 33 Seconds’ and ‘AVGM’

3 02 2009


I was expecting innovative, completely crazy yet cool ideas from ‘The Big Boys’ at the Global Game Jam, but these… these threw me a little.

Petri Purho of Crayon Physics fame went for the ‘That’s pretty unique’ with a large dollop of ‘What the hell!!’ for his effort, called ‘4 Minutes and 33 Seconds of Uniqueness’. The object of the ‘game’ is to keep the program up for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, allowing the white to engulf all the black. The catch is, if anyone else in the world loads up the game, your game will end. I know… what the hell, right?

Petri explains:

“It’s an exploration to what actually defines a game. You can win or fail in the game, but there is no user input or interactivity of any kind. I was tempted to leave the graphics out completely, but I figured that the white progress bar is abstract enough.”

Fair enough. Onto the second rather odd submission from none other than Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaiel.


AVGM, or ‘Abusive Video Game Manipulation’, asks you to repeatedly click a light switch over and over again to make objects magically appear, so you can then arrange them in a lovely order. Apparently you need to flip the switch 10005 times to win.

See, the problem is that people who understand (and I say that in very loose terms – to understand the man is to be lying to oneself) Mr. McMillen will know that this whole thing is a bit of a micky-take and anyone who actually clicks the damn thing that many times has just a little too much time on their hands (says the guy who’s posting on an indie games site for no personal gain).

This cannot be more obvious in the little comments he makes:

“UPDATE: The game now has 10 different endings that each make a piece of a puzzle. put the puzzle together and e-mail me with the info for a prize!”

Indeed. Two very strange games from three very indescribable minds.

Get Your Cray-On: Update for Crayon Physics Deluxe

16 01 2009


While no-one who has witnessed the glory of Crayon Physics Deluxe can deny that it’s pure beauty itself, it has to be said that the pureness doesn’t exactly last very long.

But not for much longer! Creator Petri Purho has updated the game and its quite a hefty update at that.

Along with some minor bug fixing, the update goes a little something like this:

“First off all, you can now watch replays of your solutions. Second off all, I’ve doubled the amount of stars in the game.

You can now get a second star for each level if you complete the level in couple different ways (Hole in one, Old School and Awesome). I hope that this will satisfy those looking for more challenge in the game.”

To anyone who owns the game, this is clearly very exciting. So go dust off your copy and give it another whirl. Just remember – the crayon is mightier than the sword, my friend.

Penny Arcade Do Crayon Physics

15 01 2009

While I don’t always link the words ‘funny’ and ‘Penny Arcade’ together, they do have their moments.

And here’s one of them! Their recent take on Crayon Physics Deluxe made me chuckle so much, I decided it was actually IS-postable! I know, I can’t get my head around it either.

Click the strip to go straight to the source. Or just click here. Your choice. Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to practice my rhombus-drawing.

Demo Ahoy: Try Crayon Physics Deluxe

8 01 2009


A demo is now available for all those of you who haven’t decided yet whether to put pen to Paypal.

Available from the Crayon Physics site, the demo gives a taste of what to expect. If you still haven’t click that link just given, here it is again. Come on, times a-wasting.

Oh and while it’s downloading, check out my Independent Opinion so you’re at least partially prepared.

Crayon Physics Deluxe – An Independent Opinion

8 01 2009


With Crayon Physics Deluxe getting a release today, I’ve just sat and played my way through. It’s time for the ‘Independently Speaking Independent Opinion’. Hmm. I’m not sure if that name will stick.

Initial reactions were good. The game started off slowly, teaching the basics and the occasional smile was released. The first 15 or so levels were a breeze, usually a simple case of drawing one or two objects in obvious places to get that ball a-rolling starwards. Exactly how you’d expect the game to begin.

Round about the level 16 mark, things start to become a bit more interesting. While gawping has occurred for the last 15 puzzles, the next 15 see the true puzzles enter. Strokes of genius happen before your eyes and the sheer awe emanating from your brain goes from strength to strength.

All this while, the Braid-esque music is soothing enough to make every puzzle acquired feel like a breath of fresh air. Situations which one second seem difficult, the next become blantantly obvious and a gold star is your reward for using your head.


The graphics style, too, is a sight to behold. It just looks fantastic – it’s no high-budget venture, but the look just fits the gameplay so well.

Now… while this is all very well, quite soon it become apparently that, as brilliant as this game feels, looks and sounds, it isn’t going to be lasting very long… as 20 minutes in, you’ve collected 20 of the 80 stars up for grabs. No matter, as you’d presume the gameplay will become increasingly difficult and, therefore, last longer.

But that’s the thing – CPD never really gets difficult. By the time half the game has flown by, the puzzles haven’t really changed that much. The scenery changes, yes, but the actual basics for getting said ball to said star can be applied to almost every level, bar a handful.

While levels 1 – 30 were ‘strokes of genius’, levels 30 onwards are ‘strokes of genius reloaded’. Not that this is a bad thing. – it’s still great fun to play and watch. However when three-quarters of the game has flown by and you realise you haven’t really been troubled a single time… the sense of ‘rinse and repeat’ becomes a little less tolerable.

It must be said, however, that I was fully captivated by it all up until level 72 and then I decided to call it a night, which suggests that while it may be a tad on the easy side, it’s still a ton of fun. Yet the ‘bigger picture’ is still to be discussed – is 2 to 3 hours of gameplay worth $20 of your live savings?

The short answer is yes. Crayon Physics Deluxe is a unique, one-of-a-kind experience, something never really seen attempted before, which was enjoyable every step of the way. The way in which it is presented is delightful and the gameplay itself is at times downright genius. Hmm… maybe that was the long answer.

It any case, with a level editor now at the disposal of many creative hands, the barrage of custom levels which surely will burst forth into the CPD Playground for download will pay for the game on their own. And, as has been shown only recently, it’s usually the creations of fans that outweight the official works of art.

Crayon Physics Deluxe is worth your time, money and/or creativity (depending on if you have any or not). Give the crayon a whirl and let it put a smile on your face.

Verdict: While someone forgot to colour round the edges, it’s still a beautiful work of expertise and craftmanship.

Crayon Physics Deluxe is Go

7 01 2009


The countdown is over, the 7th is here, the crayon is unleashed!

Crayon Physics Deluxe creator Petri declares “It’s here!” and directs us to the official CPD site to give it a go for $19.95. I’ll be giving my opinion soon, you can be sure of that.

Crayon Physics Deluxe Final Trailer Released

6 01 2009


With Crayon Physics Deluxe being released tomorrow, creator Petri delivered his final ‘countdown post’ in his blog, featuring the final trailer for the game.

Check it out below and then head on over to the official CPD site and consider purchasing it.