Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

GDC 08: The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom

9:33 PM on 02.21.2008 // Anthony Burch


Of all the nominated games I saw at last night's IGF, one in particular stuck out in my mind the next day -- not because the gameplay looked great, or the graphics looked sexy, but simply because I didn't know what the hell it was about. That game was The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom (how can you not love a game with a title like that) and, curious as all hell, I headed out to the IGF show floor to get a glimpse of it.

As it turns out, it's a platformer puzzle game in which the player is simultaneously hero, villain, platform, and tool.

Don't know what the hell I'm talking about? Hit the jump to read more about this incredibly interesting student project. 

Alright, watch this: 

Basically, Winterbottom is a platform-puzzler which uses quantum physics and cloning as its main gameplay mechanics. In order to solve puzzles, the player has to complete one part of a puzzle while hitting the "clone" button, then release it. The clone will loop back to its original position and continue to do the action over and over and over, at which point the player can either make another clone to do another part of the puzzle, or just do it themselves.
If this sounds a lot like Jonathan Blow's Braid to you, then you're not alone. I asked the lead designer about the similarities, and he responded that games like Braid or Cursor*10 or Winterbottom all use time as their main gameplay conceits, but that each game uses the mechanic in a totally different way. Braid's time conceits are varied but usually helpful; Cursor*10's exist to make the player cooperate with himself ten times over. P.B. Winterbottom differs from the other in that the Winterbottom clones can always be interacted with, regardless of their timeline. If you make a clone of yourself jumping up and down, you can jump atop your own head to get an extra boost. You can literally make a ladder of your past selves to reach high areas, or smack your clones into the air to reach difficult areas.
We were also showed a really, really cool bit of design where the player is forced to collect an evil, red pie. After doing so, an evil and deadly clone of the player is spawned, who continually runs over the exact same path the player took to grab the pie the first time around. Since another evil pie spawns after the player collects the first one, the player has to find a way to collect the next pie without running into the past version of himself. Collecting the second pie spawns another evil clone who runs over the second path, and the evil clones just keep building up and building up and the player has to constantly find ways to avoid the older versions of himself.
In other words, it looked fucking awesome. Winterbottom, with its general mechanical similarities but assuredly different design differences, showed me that indie developers actually managed to create an entirely new genre: the time manipulation game. 
Think about that for a second.
A group of developers, working for very little money in very small teams, actually managed to invent their own fucking game genre. If that doesn't strike you as completely mindblowing, you're really missing out.
The game isn't available for play yet, unfortunately (we were promised a May release date, as the game has to be done by the USC deadline), but it's definitely a title you should keep your eye on. 

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

El Dango avatarEl Dango
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Boy howdy, does Divinity: Original Sin take a while to get going. But, it was worth it in the end. Probably the most hardcore RPG I've played. Stellar writing, at that! Combat's pretty amazing too. [img][/img]
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
So it seems I've locked into the Neutral ending for SMT IV and now I need to find specific challenge quests and complete them...? How (un)fun! Google is your friend - the videogame.
Riobux avatarRiobux
Interested in playing some Pathfinder? Trying to arrange a Dtoid Pathfinder group for Saturday nights (GMT) on Skype & Roll 20. If you're new to pen-and-paper RPGs, I don't mind at all and can bring you up to speed quick. Just comment if interested.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Local convention had a great selection of game soundtracks 5 for $20! I got Halo 3: ODST (2 disk!), Gears of War 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Darksiders 2 (2 disk!), and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Some of the best soundtracks of the last 7 years!
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Photos and videos are back on quickposts but clipping on some devices. We're going to add a new quickpost editing interface so photos and videos can only be displayed one way (a la twitter) to solve this. Also, a My cBlog link was added to your user menu
Flegma avatarFlegma
Machine-washed my Wii Fit meter yesterday by accident. Took the battery out and let it dry for the night. Luckily the meter still worked - but it had counted a fair number of steps more that day.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Finally killed Ludwig, now if I could only get passed the 2 hunters on the second floor. that 2 some is rather annoying,and her holy blade kills in only a few hits. wish mine was that strong.
Casus Gaming avatarCasus Gaming
After reading a blog post about DMC4 I decided to watch all the cutscenes on Youtube. Tried the games years ago and couldn't get into them, but man that shit was stylish. Likeable protagonists, intense drama... still think DmC reboot wasn't that bad tho.
lewness avatarlewness
me on 1st ff14 raid (void ark): ooh so many people and lights, so many lights, lights, fuck I can't see, what is happening, i don't understand, is it tuesday already, get on the platform fuuuuck, wow void helm
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Just a reminder that you have until the 30th to get your Bloggers Wanted post, "Thankful it's over" in. I'm either going to tell you how I ruined my best online gaming experience or rip Twilight Princess a new one. Maybe both.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Huh. I just found out the developers of Hatred (remember that controversy?) region-locked their game to prevent it from being accessed by Australians. Destructive Creations are more censor-happy than Nintendo, it seems. Where's the outrage?
Oh yeah, I have an account on this site.
Parismio avatarParismio
Ever wanted to get that item behind that safe in the beginning of Fallout 4?:
Shinta avatarShinta
Got Resident Evil 4 Wii for $5. Uh ... this might be my favorite version. I'm just getting headshots nonstop. Did I miss any other Wii games that are frequently overlooked? Like, really obscure Wii games that no one talks about? I'm interested.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Poeple due not aprecciate teh hrdships of bein a squid.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Guys, check out your blogs! Just be sure to bring tissues. I wish I had. [img][/img]
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Anyone see the new Captain America trailer? It's pretty dope!
Shinta avatarShinta You're welcome.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Update: played through Hyper Dimension Neptunia Rebirth, reminded why I don't like the series, and requested a refund on it and its sequel. Not sure if they'll refund the sequel, but if they honor at least the first, I'll use that money to get Undertale.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -