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Ibb & Obb Updated, Enhanced Features and Performance

Richard Boeser's Avatar + Posted by Richard Boeser on Sep 20, 2013 // Creative Director, Sparpweed

It’s been about a month since we launched Ibb & Obb, our two-player, cooperative puzzle platformer.

Since the launch, we’ve been working on a patch to fix some bugs that players found, but also to add some features based on the feedback we got.

The most requested feature was to have indicators showing where players are when they fly off screen. Those are now in, along with d-pad support for those of you who prefer that to the analog stick. Also, we managed to improve general performance quite a bit — now everything runs at 60 FPS in full HD, with anti aliasing on.

For us, some of the most interesting things of the last month are the Let’s Play videos that pop up. Often made by players that dive into the game without having played it before or knowing much about it. From a game designer point of view these videos are extremely useful. We’ve seen a lot of people play during development, but it’s different when players know the game is still unfinished or when they can ask you questions directly. The Let’s Play videos feel more real. They show the published product and are often recorded in the player’s home setting.

What makes watching these videos extra interesting is that in Ibb & Obb, nothing is explained. The controls, the mechanics, the goals, it’s all up to the players to figure these out. We very deliberately chose this approach, because we feel that exploring the game world and its logic is a huge part of what makes playing games great. Sure, it might take you a bit longer to figure everything out, but when you succeed, the feeling of accomplishment is much greater.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

//Add Your Own

20 Comments   10 Replies

1

+ Zionine on September 20th, 2013 at 9:26 am said:

OMG Gifs! Sold! …. wait.. what am I buying?

:) I want it on Vita..


2

+ Stranger_Eddie on September 20th, 2013 at 9:42 am said:

Developers, let’s learn this 2 words:

- VITA

- VERSION

After this lesson, you can talk about the game!


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    + Richard Boeser on September 20th, 2013 at 10:03 am said:

    Hi, we’ve chosen to go for the PS3 version, because the game is designed for two player co-op. The game offers both online and local play, but to us local is the most fun way to play. That’s why we chose PS3 as our launch platform.

    Many people have asked for a Vita version though and we do feel it would look and feel nice on the Vita. We’re just unsure how well the game fits the platform.

    How would you prefer to play a co-op game like this on the Vita?


3

+ Zionine on September 20th, 2013 at 10:44 am said:

I suppose there’s the ad-hoc, online co-op feature.
But, uhm.. Is there no single player option on the PS3?


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    + Richard Boeser on September 20th, 2013 at 10:54 am said:

    There is a single player option, but we consider it a crazy bonus mode, not a regular single player campaign. In single player mode you control both ibb and obb simultaneously using the two analogue sticks. You play through the same levels as in two player mode, but it is a lot harder.

    From the ground up the game is really designed for two players. All the mechanics resolve around it. You can play locally or online. Online you can either invite a friend or get matched up with a random other player.

    If you intend to mostly play single player ibb & obb might not be for you. If you a challenging puzzle platformer to explore with a friend, give it a go. There’s a free demo to try and see if you like it.


4

+ Hefestus91 on September 20th, 2013 at 11:08 am said:

I think it would be great to play it on Vita using ad-hoc so I can play with my buddy by my side.


5

+ supermoc10 on September 20th, 2013 at 2:39 pm said:

Holy s***, the co-op mode on the PS Blog.

The Ibb and Obb vids on that channel are my favorites out of everything they’ve done.


6

+ Kazriko on September 20th, 2013 at 2:58 pm said:

I guess I played this game in “Crazy Bonus Mode” then. I wasn’t doing it to solve the puzzles though, using it as solely a multitasking and attention splitting challenge. If I got stuck for more than 5 minutes on a puzzle, I consulted the lets play videos for the solution. Unfortunately, this meant that I got stuck on the 14th level, because nobody has produced a lets play for 14 and 15 yet. :(

Some of the levels are quite devious if you’re soloing the game though. Especially the simultaneous bubble climbing levels. Even doing ONE character on those is a challenge, trying to do both at the same time is aneurysm inducing. I managed to get through it miraculously after about 2 hours of trying.


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    + Richard Boeser on September 21st, 2013 at 2:04 am said:

    Originaly we hadn’t planned for a single player mode to be part of the game. During development when making changes to the level it was common for us to try parts controlling both characters simultaneously. It’s something you get quite good at after a while and though it offers a really different experience, some of us liked the challenge.

    We decided to put it in the final game. Intended for those, like you, who like to test their multitasking skills.

    Maybe I should make a video for level 14. Quite some players asked for hints on that one. Or if you’re stuck you can send me a mail: richard@sparpweed.com


7

+ Kazriko on September 20th, 2013 at 3:04 pm said:

Also, for a Vita version, the one-controller mode might work for it. Other than that, network and local wireless co-op would be the likely ways to go. If they release Vita TV over here, there’s always dual-DS3 mode.


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    + Richard Boeser on September 21st, 2013 at 2:08 am said:

    The Vita TV would definitely be a great fit. Hope it makes it to all regions.


8

+ tusunami on September 20th, 2013 at 4:11 pm said:

I bought this as part of the summer games, its good to see there is a update for this. I’ll have to check this out soon.


9

+ IzoGray on September 20th, 2013 at 4:35 pm said:

I promise my purchase on a Vita version. That’s all I can say.


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    + Richard Boeser on September 21st, 2013 at 2:30 am said:

    I’m writing that down IzoGray : )


10

+ Bloodspoor on September 20th, 2013 at 11:15 pm said:

If it means anything, I would like to put my two cents in on a possible Vita version. First of all, I was anticipating this game for a while when I first heard about it, but was saddened to find out that the game was not going to be on the Vita. My girlfriend and I love to play co-op games on the Vita more so than on consoles or PC. For instance, Spelunky on the Vita is the definitive version of the game (minus the editor) because when you die, you each have your own screen and can wander about rather than get lost and have to follow the flag bearer.

In a game like Ibb and Obb, I could imagine a completely different game than the console where one player is the top and the other plays the bottom, each getting a separate view, forcing communication. It would make ad-hoc play really fun, but online a little hard without mic, so having a VOIP built into the game would be necessary because most people find using Party App annoying and screwy. Forgive me if this post is devoid of reason, as I’m extremely tired. I just wanted to let you know that there are at least two more potential buyers were this to come to Vita.


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    + Richard Boeser on September 21st, 2013 at 2:46 am said:

    Your two cents are much appreciated.
    I think the ad-hoc setup will work fine for ibb & obb and network play can work well with voice chat. The game now already supports voice chat so technically that’s not an issue.

    It’s difficult to predict how many Vita owners would buy a co-op game. It doesn’t seem like the most obvious match, then again we have had many requests for that. We’ll have to base our plans on how well the game does.

    Your idea for a different approach to the ad-hoc gameplay sounds like it could work well. There are benefits to each having your own screen that could add to the gameplay. It does quite soon lead to redesign of all the levels and designing those is very time consuming, you’d partly be making a new game. But I can totally imagine enemies that can only be seen by one of the players, while the other has to eliminate them. That would lead to a lot of tense and exciting interaction between the players. It would make it a bit like Way by Coco & Co.

    Thanks for the thoughts.


11

+ wwwdotjames on September 21st, 2013 at 6:30 am said:

When I first played the game with a friend, I was passing all the stages and without stopping and turning the game off so when I finally decided to stop playing there was no save feature? So when I went back to playing it I was like seriously “I have to replay all the levels I passed again”? but it started us over at the beginning! Is this supposed to be part of the game style or can you save your progress? Not much of a game if you want to stop playing and come back where you left off! Someone please let me know so I can continue to enjoy this great game!


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    + Richard Boeser on September 21st, 2013 at 12:24 pm said:

    The game automatically saves your progress at the end of each level. When you start the game again you should start in Limbo. Limbo is the dark blue area where you’ll see different characters standing in a row. Each of them represents a level that you finished. When both of the players stand on one of the characters you’ll be teleported to that level. If you just walk right you should continue at the start of the furthest level you got.

    Your progress is saved to the accounts you signed in with. So make sure to play with the same acount.

    If it doesn’t work for you send me a mail at richard@sparpweed.com and we can figure out what’s going on.


12

+ PanTheMan16 on September 21st, 2013 at 1:30 pm said:

Richard, I am SO glad that this game was made! As soon as I saw the first announcement trailer, I knew I’d be buying it on day 1. This is the type of true co-op experience I crave. One where you truly need your co-op partner’s help and there is no scoring or competition between the players. That type of experience is what made Portal 2 my absolute favorite multiplayer game, and now I can add Ibb & Obb to the short list of true co-op games.

After my friend and I finished the game, we decided to record tutorial videos for all of the secret levels. It was a super fun project. If anyone’s interested in seeing the videos, my YouTube channel is ClassicalPan, or you can simply search on YouTube for “Ibb and Obb secret level” and our videos will pop up.

I must say, my one and only disappointment with Ibb & Obb is the lack of a story. They are living, endearing creatures and I always found myself wanting to know about who they are, where they’re from, the journey they’re on etc..
Was there ever discussion about creating a story for the game? If so, why did you guys decide not to do it?


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    + Richard Boeser on September 22nd, 2013 at 3:33 am said:

    Hey, I had watched your secret level videos before. Really cool to see. Also you managed to solve the last secret level in a more efficient way than I had imagined possible.

    About the lack of story. There is actually a story, but we chose to not explicitly tell that story to the players. We created a back story that helped us when designing the game. Giving everything a ‘logical’ place in ibb and obb’s world.
    It’s not a deep and complex story, I’m not much of a story teller, but I can give a synopsis.

    The world in the game is that of the Fins. The Fins are those ball like creatures. In the game you’ll pass by three of their cities and a few shrines. You’ll notice the second city has been destroyed. This is because of the evil that mines the split (the line seperating both worlds) for crystals. Mining the split might destablize the world (you can already find gravity leaks in some places) so ibb and obb set out to fight this evil.

    It’s not Dostoyevsky, but it’s in there.


13

+ Russian-JUNKEE on September 22nd, 2013 at 5:34 am said:

Thanks for the update Richard. I’ve been playing and recording single player of this game on my Youtube channel (Brodudegamer). I think you guys are under playing the single player mode. It is fun if you like challenge. It’s funny to see how your brain has difficulty controlling two character on the screen simultaneously.

Also I am stuck at level 14 what’s the secret XD


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    + Richard Boeser on September 26th, 2013 at 7:10 am said:

    Hi, great to hear this. We have the single player in because we know some players really like the super difficult challenge.
    If you’re stuck at 14 that could be at a number of places. Most players have difficulties with the double jumppad part. If that’s where you are, the hint is to have one player in the top half and the other on the bottom. You only need the two jumppads to get further, don’t mind the warp to the right. Gain height step by step : )

    Good luck.


14

+ Stranger_Eddie on September 22nd, 2013 at 10:48 am said:

Richard Boeser

I saw the PS3 version!

Suggestions:

Create a kind of new config for jump (same action when someone press “jump” using the analog stick)

SINGLE PLAYER (new Buttons)

L = Jump for Ibb (or Obb)
R= Jump for Obb (or Ibb)

=======

Vita Version = consider me a high potential buyer!

Cross Play with Vita and PS3 = Consider me a buyer!

New Levels thinking in Single Player only! = Consider me a FAN!

=======

You created an magnific visual puzzle game, but you don´t think in the greatest potential = This is a kind of game PERFECT to play in portable Devices!

And remember = Vita have front and back touchs to explore a lot of “future new functions” example = jumping press back touch, or choose Ibb or Obb to make moviments in frontal touchscreen


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    + Richard Boeser on September 26th, 2013 at 7:07 am said:

    Hi Eddie,

    Sorry for the slow response. I hadn’t seen your comment earlier.
    We tried the mapping you suggest for the single player and concluded the current one works better. It takes getting used to, but in the end felt more comfortable to control. Then again, we might get the chance to later update with both mappings in.

    I think making ibb & obb work on a portable device is possible, but does require some work. Ideally levels would be a bit shorter or you should be able to save anywhere. Also drop in drop out ad hoc or online play would become more important. We would definitely explore the extra input possibilities. Drawing the hint trails would be interesting through the back touch.

    Anyway, thanks for all the suggestions.


15

+ havoksholly on September 23rd, 2013 at 11:13 am said:

I’m excited to try this game out with my friend. This truly takes platform gaming to the next level.


16

+ Welmosca on September 23rd, 2013 at 12:32 pm said:

Nice to know that…I still dont have the game but its always good to see that devs are supporting their games after launch…..I played the demo of Ibb e Obb with my brother and damn that was good…I’ll buy later thats for sure….Ibb e Obb is amazing.Now I’m with everyone asking for a Vita version…while its designed for co-op…you guys could make cross-play…we would be able not just to play with our friends on Vita but also on PS3.

I agree with Stranger_Eddie…well said


17

+ plaztiksyke on September 23rd, 2013 at 1:01 pm said:

Thanks so much for proactively supporting your game. This kind of post-shipping support for a title is what earns my loyalty with blind buys on further products from a developer/publisher.


18

+ Z31K on September 23rd, 2013 at 4:41 pm said:

Patiently awaitong a vita version.. I really hardly have the time to sit at home and play on my ps3.. plus most of the games I play are solo.. :-(


19

+ Stranger_Eddie on September 26th, 2013 at 8:08 pm said:

Richard Boeser

This characters Ibb and Obb have a FANTASTIC potential…

Single and Multplayer missions… Think in BOOTH!…. But REMEMBER

- This game is NOT a FPS, or a Fighting, or a Sport game…

It is a PUZZLE…. and THE BEST puzzles ALL THE TIME the priority IS single player!

I tell you my experience as a gamer who born in ODYSSEY (70´s – to 80´s decade) from Philips (before Atari launch)…

ALL Cooperative Puzzles is going to have the SAME WAY >>> The people will stop to play! Because two don´t want to play the same game for a long time… ONE FAN will play for a long time.. NOT TWO at the same time…

ALL Puzzles focused in SINGLE PLAYER until now, 40 DECADES AFTER LAUNCHED are called as “THE CLASSIC”!

Examples? OK… SINGLE PLAYER ONLY:

- Pac Man = Atari
- Mario Bros = the game called Donkey Kong from Atari and until now Nintendo Consoles have a inumerous games from Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong and ALL variants!

Now take a look in Ibb and Obb = CHARISMATIC; NEW VISUAL…. You created a FANTASTIC “new world” to create inumerous HISTORICAL Puzzles for this and future generations!

Think in it!


20

+ Stranger_Eddie on September 26th, 2013 at 8:33 pm said:

IDEA!

For cooperative mode… in a “different single player mode”

- MISSION ONE: Control Obb (only)… And Ibb is full controled for the machine in perfect moviments… So, Obb (the real player) must have to do the correct actions to finish the levels… >>> TROPHIES for Obb player only and Ibb (virtual)

- MISSION TWO: Control Ibb (only)… And Obb is full controled for the machine in perfect moviments… So, Ibb (the real player) must have to do the correct actions to finish the levels… TROPHIES for Ibb player only and Obb (virtual)

…. Doing this, you are going to create a form to play and finish this game in the minimum of two times!

==========================
Crazy Idea from my crazy brain! =p


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