Reunion Title

I know Chris just wrote something about the game but we’re often redundant like that.

The game is Reunion by Mike Bithell, I found it on GameSetWatch a few days ago. This is an amazing game. I believe the execution is phenomenal. I need more big sounding words to show how much I like it! Immediately the game reminded me of something I’d see coming out of Cal Arts, such incredibly good design going into it.


Reunion Screen 5

When the game starts the first thing I noticed was simply how pretty it was. Here comes the music man with the flickering firefly moving around him. Suddenly my cursor is in control of the firefly. I move it around to play with the lighting on the character, which is dynamically lit through clever use of Flash’s bevel function. I think to myself “I gotta ‘borrow’ that technique.” Now I’m guiding a musical note through the air and smashing lanterns, rewarded with tones. What a mellow intro. A great way to introduce a story.

While the presentation is great, the game is hindered by the poor framerates I’m getting on these G5’s at work. I know the Mac Flash Player is slower, but it leaves the game almost unplayable. 🙁 And these computers are fast as hell! It made the gameplay a chore because a lot of the time my clicks weren’t registering and when I’d let go the character would still keep walking. I wanted to close the browser every time I fell and had to redo a section but I kept playing.

Every so often there is a new gameplay element added that livens up the idea a bit. But this is ruined by the fact that there is no variation in the background artwork for the entire game. It’s beautiful at first, but you’re never given an award for your hard (and frustrating) work. Just glimpses of the cat that you’re chasing after. The money is at the very end when the scenery changes. It’s beautiful, but the game needs more of that.

Reunion Screen 1

I realize that we live in something I like to refer to as “the real world”, which involves a lot of factors besides spending an entire lifetime on a project. I think this is a game that’s going to leave an impact on people, despite the problems with game design. I know it’s left an impact on me by reminding me to “try a little harder” when it comes to visuals and presentation. Excellent job, Mike!

Check it out at http://www.mikebithell.com/reunion/.

-Bryson

About the author:
Bryson Whiteman (http://www.sonofbryce.com)
Bryson is the guy behind all of the Sokay creations. Heading artwork and development, he's determined to make sure each game has a "distinctively Sokay" quality to them. He's always looking forward for a chance to experiment with new technologies to explore exciting ways to achieve fun.
  • Hey dude did you go to the Art Institute of Los Angeles? If so I think I met you before… WASAP!!!!

  • Yeah I’m pretty sure we went to the same school. I remember overhearing you talk about Thugjacker and I was really exciting and wanted to become your buddy but I never got a chance to talk to you again. I assume you graduated and got a job or something. Anyways what are you up to?

  • Hey thanks for the comments and I agree with your advice. Also I don’t blame you for not remembering me we only spoke on one occasion and you probably had a lot of other stuff on your mind. Anyways check out this flash game I’m working http://denvish.net/ulf/260507/73880_ODgame_prealpha_21.php

  • Oh yeah and Reunion is a neat game but I found the slowdown pretty annoying.

  • Tim

    Mike Bithell is now working at Team Ninja. I’m actually studding a Foundation Art degree course at the university he made this the University of Wales Newport (That is the UWN productions). I too hope to go into computer games design. I think it is a fantastic game also

  • hey… found this site when searching for internet response to the game. Thank you so much for the kind words, a lot of work went into it and it’s great to see that work was appreciated. Just a couple of really small comments I thought might be interesting to you…

    The lighting effect actually uses the inner glow effect, but offset, and feel free to ‘borrow it’ 🙂 it’s a lovely look i found just by playing around a bit with Flash 8

    Oh, and as for Tim’s comment, I’m not at Team Ninja, I’m at Blitz Games, one of the largest (and in my opinion bestest, lol) independent game studios in the UK. That art course he’s on is very good, and comes highly recommended

    Once again, thanks for the kind comments.. and, well, keep an eye on my blog (mikebithell.blogspot.com), i’m working on something new in my spare time with a composer friend, and it’s almost ready to be announced 🙂