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Closure at Fantastic Fest 2011: New Challenges, New Visuals for PSN Launch

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar Posted by Sr. Social Media Manager

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The world of Closure, an upcoming PSN exclusive, pushes this philosophical question to the limit. If you don’t see that tree, not only doesn’t it make a sound – it doesn’t even exist.

As Austin’s Fantastic Fest kicked off last night, PlayStation hosted an indie arcade filled with games coming exclusively to PSN. You might be familiar with most of the titles on display, as we’ve talked quite a bit on the Blog about Journey, Retro/Grade, and Okabu. As the developers were setting up their stations, I was immediately drawn to a title that we only just introduced you to: Closure.

Closure is being developed by just two full-timers: Lead Designer and Programmer Tyler Glaiel and Artist John Schubbe. Glaiel guided me through the early parts of the game, and answered a few questions for PlayStation.Blog readers.

PlayStation.Blog: After announcing the game here on the PlayStation Blog, you demoed the game at PAX. How was it received?

Tyler Glaiel: A lot of people played the game. A lot of people enjoyed the game, and some of them didn’t do too well on the harder levels of the game! It’s fun to see all of the interesting ways people think when they’re playing through levels.

PSB: Closure started out as a Flash game. What does the PS3 allow you to do that you couldn’t do in a web browser?

Tyler: Judging by a screenshot, Closure looks like a simple black-and-white 2D game, but there are a lot of fancy visual effects that tax the PS3’s graphics card. I spent about two weeks just making the shaders work fast for the PS3. It’s nice to be able to focus on one system configuration.

PSB: We saw a number of characters in the trailer. What can you tell us about them?

Tyler: There are four characters in the game – there’s the demon spider-guy that you start out with who ties everything together. Then there’s a guy who works in a factory [the hard hat-wearing character from the trailer] – that’s pretty much all I should tell you about him. There’s a female character, a redo from the Flash game story. It’s the same as that, story wise, but with completely new levels and mechanics. The fourth character is a secret. You can see that when the game comes out.

PSB: So there’s a story here? It’s not just a puzzler like Tetris.

Tyler: There is a fairly fleshed-out story which is going to be kind of vague in the game, but if you explore the levels, you can find clues as to what it is. Part of the game is figuring that out as you play. But it’s easy enough to just play through the game if you don’t care too much about the story.

Closure for PS3 (PSN)Closure for PS3 (PSN)

The challenge of the game that Tyler alluded to at PAX was became immediately apparent to me. The first few tutorial levels get you adjusted to the idea that once a part of the level falls into darkness, it ceases to exist. While that led to quite a few deaths, it also revealed that there was plenty of opportunity for hidden rewards for the intrepid explorer. While solving what seemed to be a rather straightforward level, I spied a hidden switch that was very difficult to get to. After attempted to reach the switch 20-something times, I finally figured out the puzzle, and collected a fluttering prize. Glaiel told me there’s 30 of these hidden “Silver Moths” in the game; if you find them all, you’ll unlock something good. “It’s worth it, yeah,” Glaiel hinted.

Bonuses aside, just making it through the games’ 100 levels should prove to be a stiff challenge. That’s by design. “It’s going to be difficult,” Glaiel explained. “I have a design philosophy about puzzle games. You can’t really replay them. Once you’ve solved a puzzle, you can never solve it again; you can replay it, but you can’t think through it and solve it again. So there’s a lot of content in the game and a lot of challenging puzzles later on. I just want people to enjoy the game for as long as possible before finishing it.”

Glaiel actually increased the difficulty for the PS3 version from his initial version of the game: “I want the PS3 version to be tougher than the Flash game, but for more people to finish it. Only 0.6% of players completed the Flash game. I’ll be happy with 10% on PS3.”

You’ll get a chance to take on that challenge when Closure opens up on PSN in early 2012.

Add Your Own

TomHoang said:

September 23rd, 11:08 am

Awesome looking game :D

remanutd5 said:

September 23rd, 11:12 am

interesting game , off topic have you guys thought about releasing Heavenly Sword with trophies and playstation move support on PSN ?

Kirkpad said:

September 23rd, 11:14 am

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

No really. Amazing looking art style with crazy looking levels. I’m psyched.

Bluejays20012 said:

September 23rd, 11:15 am

Heavently sword sucks that game is so 2007 lol

ghamdikh1 said:

September 23rd, 11:17 am

cool

Blood_Emblem said:

September 23rd, 11:20 am

Looks very interesting, but being only white and black is abit of a draw back. Not complaining or anything, but I think it’d be better with colors.

mcbuttz78 said:

September 23rd, 11:27 am

Only 0.6% finished the game hahah. wow Uhm .I think alot puzzle gamers are going to eat this up. I will try it out and see if it worth its salt..But thats pretty stiff challange to the playstation brand.. maybe you should give out prizes to those who beat it .

mcbuttz78
vp-psn legionairee group

ModernYorkster said:

September 23rd, 11:33 am

So, this is a PlayStation exclusive?

Nightmare142 said:

September 23rd, 11:34 am

Demo/beta please!

NeoPhantome said:

September 23rd, 11:36 am

I love puzzle games, but i don’t know if it’s the black & white, the 2D drawing style or the gameplay itself, but i did not hook on this one. To me it still seems like a mere flash game :S.

cheerypal said:

September 23rd, 11:45 am

Oh over all ready

infamousXX87XX said:

September 23rd, 12:08 pm

Definitely buying this

ajapam said:

September 23rd, 12:21 pm

Nice. I’m a sucker for games like this. Let’s see what they can do with this idea

sciroccopsn said:

September 23rd, 12:24 pm

nice lookin`

VixDiesel said:

September 23rd, 12:25 pm

Must have a demo.

burningwind said:

September 23rd, 12:42 pm

What is with all the really dark games lately?

Conaaando said:

September 23rd, 12:50 pm

Wow! Nice looking game! Will try this out, for sure.

starBlinky01 said:

September 23rd, 1:29 pm

I played the flash game of this a while ago, it was pretty fun :D

djnealb said:

September 23rd, 1:36 pm

I remember playing the Flash game on Kongregate. It was fun. Hard, but fun.

Pukadon said:

September 23rd, 2:03 pm

This looks awesome.

DrPhiill said:

September 23rd, 2:35 pm

Damn my girlfriend will be mad as i’ll be spending all my money on these amazing games coming to the playstation family!!

nYcFrEeWiLL82 said:

September 23rd, 3:12 pm

music is better than the game imo..theres no way im buying a game thats black and white..and has no guns! NO WAY! even LBP has guns ..that shoot CAKE!!..lol….if theres any 2D game im looking forward to its that HARD BOILED CHICKEN game..looks BAD@SS!

nirojan45 said:

September 23rd, 3:28 pm

wow that title really took me back. I read it as Closure for PSN as in PSN is going down. Yeah I know that probably wouldn’t happen, but still.

Chuckbait said:

September 23rd, 3:58 pm

Game looks cool. Heavenly Sword is a solid game… Cutscenes masterfully done…

This game…..I’m very interested in. Are there Custom Soundtracks?

Kedaro said:

September 23rd, 4:00 pm

Neat I’ve never tried it before, i’ll probably be one of the first 10% to beat it…

I never stop… nothing stops me…

Kedaro said:

September 23rd, 4:03 pm

Oh weird it says in the article that the game was made by two people… but i see three names in the trailer credits, was the third person left un-credited because it was just the audio for the trailer or is he the audio for the game as well?

    Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar

    Jeff Rubenstein said:

    September 24th, 5:11 pm

    The 3rd person is the music composer. I guess it’s a technicality.

Kedaro said:

September 23rd, 4:05 pm

Oh forgive my conclusion, I see… it’s made by just two full-timers… wow if I was sound guy I’d be choked atm…

So the game is made by just two people?

    Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar

    Tyler Glaiel said:

    September 23rd, 8:44 pm

    Chris Rhyne is doing the audio for the game too, but he isn’t a full-timer on the team like myself or Jon. Sorry, the article didn’t really make that clear.

xX_BlackSmurf_Xx said:

September 23rd, 4:19 pm

Can we get skype on the PS3 through an update like you guys did for the PSP? That way we could cross game chat.

DragonNutz said:

September 23rd, 4:23 pm

Fantastic Arcade was awesome! Planning to get most of the games I saw/played there. It was nice to finally meet you Jeff, as well as the developers.

plaztiksyke said:

September 23rd, 5:10 pm

hopefully it gets upgraded to 1080p native rendering and assets by the time it’s released. beautiful games like this really demand full HD, IMO.

the music in the flash game was really great, I hope it gets a full HD upgrade as well.

really excited for this, retro/grade, and most of all Journey.

Psicocrusher said:

September 23rd, 6:10 pm

I will buy it. Without doubt! This looks amazing!

jay4gamers1 said:

September 23rd, 7:51 pm

looks cool think about getting the demo

Future request:
Legend of dragoon
Ninja Baseball Batman

ABTR said:

September 23rd, 9:10 pm

Looks how many awards win nice!!!! i can wait to see on my ps3 But why increased the difficulty? The gamers on this generation play easy games (not me)

    Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar

    Tyler Glaiel said:

    September 23rd, 10:09 pm

    Its not just flat “harder” than the flash prototype. Its harder, but at the same time its a lot more fair. Everything “confusing” or obscure in the flash version has been cleared up and polished a lot in the new one, along with level design that is more about solving puzzles and less about wandering around aimlessly in the dark hoping to stumble upon a solution.

    The other thing is this version will take 6-8 hours to beat (not 100%, getting everything will take longer) compared to the maybe 1.5ish hours the flash version took to beat. The flash version had a really steep difficulty curve, that has been changed. The curve isn’t as steep in the new one, but since its over a longer period of time its possible to keep increasing the difficulty far past what we could do for the flash version.

Adrance said:

September 23rd, 11:11 pm

I was able to get a few minutes with this game at Fantastic Fest and this game is at the same level as some of the other puzzle games out on PSN where you need to constantly be thinking outside the box. I love the music and the black and white art to the game. I think adding color would take away some of the mystery. It’s definitely something all puzzle lovers will have to pick up.

BOSTONJOHN32 said:

September 24th, 4:25 am

reminds me of limbo but w/ more of an “edge” .
so if it can be longer than limbo, it will more than likely have a spot in my hd waiting for it..

again, didnt say it looked like limbo, said it reminds ME of limbo.

@djnealb i would ask you if it is still on kongregate , but figured checking myself would be a way to find out faster,lol..i must have over looked it . wondering if you found it on the banner or if you need to search..
gonna go see

BAEZE_L said:

September 24th, 5:37 am

WHAT A BLATENT RIP-OFF OF “LIMBO”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar

    Morgan Haro said:

    September 24th, 5:30 pm

    While both games utilize a black and white color scheme, Closure utilizes light and shadow as the basis for the gameplay, and not just for an art style. After playing it at Fantastic Fest, I can assure you, it’s got its own identity through and through.

Mister-Nep said:

September 24th, 6:48 am

Wow this looks awesome! I normally don’t like puzzle games, but this has my interest.

kyosukerok said:

September 24th, 7:21 am

@remanutd5 and @Chuckbait

I agree with both.. we need more option of retail games released on PSN… since capcom released almost all of RE franchise.. how ’bout release RE5 on PSN too? and some other older games too would be nice.. they released Infamous 2 when it was just launched.. I dont see why it’s sooooo difficult to add some games of certain publishers that already added on psn

Kedaro said:

September 24th, 10:22 am

Forgive me for earlier, It wasn’t the article that was mistaken, It was me who read the article wrong.

I have worked with amatuer development studios in the past, and have had to see people excluded from various things, whenever I had the reigns, I employed a ‘Knights of the Round Table’ group ethic, so everyone got involved, and then we all took a long look at everything, and made our ‘cuts’ to the overall project, I hastily posted a message in response to noticing what seemed like an attempt to exclude a person involved, as his name was in the trailer, and not on the blog… I realize my mistake however, and appologize for the accusational nature of my message, I’ve just seen “what i thought it was” too many times before is all.

Side note the game looks awesome, I look forward to it.

Hazelhurst said:

September 25th, 9:38 am

This game looks beyond cool. Hopefully it’s as fun as it looks.

barnaclejoe said:

September 25th, 1:41 pm

It really does look amazing. Can’t wait to try it.

gilgamesh21 said:

September 25th, 4:08 pm

Great looking game, and the gameplay sounds fun and challenging too!

I’ll now add it to my list of PSN games I’m really looking forward to:

Closure
Journey
Machinarium
Arkedo 1
Arkedo 2
Arkedo 3
PixelJunk Sidescroller
SaGa Frontier 2 (PS Classic)
Rock of Ages
Storm
Mercury Hg
Eufloria

WelmoscaBR said:

September 27th, 12:37 pm

looks cool and fun cuz I like hard challenges…please release a demo and for sure I’ll check this out.

WelmoscaBR said:

September 27th, 1:05 pm

also…OMG this soundtrack is incredibly amazing.

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