iGAD (belated) Day 5: Vox

iGAD is a series of blogposts, continuing until I finish [A SHITLOAD] of indie games. Last time I blogged, I took a look at Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon, and now it’s time to check out Vox.

Foreword:

Firstly: my apologies for the lack of updates. A very long long weekend accompanied with a LAN party has the result of taking my productivity out the back and shooting it. It’s not all bad, though – I built myself a new PC, so I can play almost anything at maximum settings now. Good stuff. Secondly, I’m going to be messing about with formatting in the coming blog posts, but I promise I’ll settle down once I find a format that I like. <3

Moving on… to Vox

Alrighty. Now, I’m just going to say the first thing that comes to your mind when you view any of the images that I’ve inserted into this post: yes, it looks like Minecraft, and yes, it looks an awful lot like Cube World (by wollay). If it’s attempting to clone either of these games, though, it still has a very long way to go, solely for the reason that, in its current alpha version (0.17), it’s almost hideously incomplete, and needs quite a bit of tightening up before I’d even call it playable. In the interests of staying on topic, I’m going to just go through a typical playthrough of the alpha, with annotated screenshots, and post my stream of thought.

Upon opening the game: to the character creation screen!

Upon opening the game, you’re given the choice to use “Steve”, a default character, or to make your own. I opted for the latter, who, by default, comes equipped with the same set of gear as Steve does. With my character fully realized, I clicked through to the next menu, to see what my options were in regards to where I’d be playing…

Also known as “this is my excuse for not having working worldgen code yet”

…oh well. Slightly disappointed, I loaded “Voxtopia”, a world which seems to have been pre-built for testing purposes (no worldgen code yet, I think). After walking around for a while (which was marred by the game’s odd handling of mouse movement – I had to check “invert mouse” in the settings), I decided to finally take heed of the perennially-visible “Press I to open/close the inventory” message and see what Vox had to offer. From the available weapons, I chose an “Ice Wand”, and then this happened:

I swear it’s not what it looks like.

Then I crashed.

Upon re-opening the game, I decided to take a look at the deeper customization capabilities for my character – pre-made body parts are available, but the player can also create custom ones through an ingame voxel editor, which is a process which I can only describe as being similar to building something with Lego, but having to step on every piece before you use it. Despite this, the outcome of my efforts were fruitful: I ended up with a veritable masterpiece, which I’m seriously considering 3D-printing and mounting on my wall.

You could say that I’m ‘ahead’ of the curve here with my postmodernist glitch-slash-pixel-inspired expression of emotional distress.


Combined with some cute pre-made body parts.

Who am I kidding? My creation was awful. Time to change subject. To escape the hideous visage of my horribly deformed character (in those fabulous shoes), I went into first-person mode, and immediately started making robot noises, as it seemed appropriate at the time. It didn’t help that I also had a sort of… throwing scythe, I think it was called ingame. It span around in the air, and I fell in love with it immediately, conveniently ignoring the fact that it seemed utterly incapable of actually hitting anything. Love makes us blind… especially to the ridiculously broken lighting system.

That’s a torch in my left hand, by the way.

I ended up ending my brief affair with the scythe, eschewing its spinny presence for something really fun – bombs. Somehow, my character had an infinite supply tucked in his pocket, and, as you expect, he started sprinting around and putting them to very good use. That use, of course, was blowing up everything for no good reason.

I’m channeling my inner Demoman.

After an interminable amount of time, and also after I’d destroyed a significant portion of the map, I decided to stop having my character throw bombs willy-nilly and go inspect the pointy-hatted humanoid, who, until this point, had been vacantly gazing into the distance. First, however, he got stuck in a hole, and had to manually dig his way out, like some sort of plebeian.

Torch: now with 100% more inexplicable fire!

Oh my goodness, I hate her already. I can tell we’re going to have a great professional relationship.

Just kidding. Fuck you, Melinda. Also, I crashed again.

The Verdict (those of weak disposition, please cover your eyes…)

In all honesty, I really can’t recommend dropping $10 to support this on Desura (it’s free otherwise, from IndieDB) in its current state. It’s more of a tech demo than anything, and one that’s fairly underwhelming. I won’t say it’s the worst thing I’ve ever played (see: Mek Warfare, Adelaide AVCon 2012), but at least it has potential, and that’s really what I’m banking on here. When it’s incremented a few version numbers, I might take another look, but right now, it’s just a waste of hard disk space.

The moral of the story is: don’t let Damon write these when he’s really tired.

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