140 (video game)

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140
140 game cover.jpg
Developer(s) Jeppe Carlsen
Engine Unity
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux
Release date(s)
  • WW October 16, 2013
Genre(s) Platform game
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Online distribution

140 is a platform game independently developed by Jeppe Carlsen, known for his gameplay direction for Playdead's Limbo. The game is described as a "minimalistic platformer", using electronic music to create synesthesia as the player manipulates their avatar, a character that can take on several basic geometric shapes, through levels in time to the music.[1][2] The gameplay has been compared to other similar games which involve music synchronization like Sound Shapes and the Bit.Trip series, though with difficult platforming elements comparable to games in the Mega Man series.[1][3] The game was released in October 2013.

Gameplay[edit]

As described by Carlsen, 140 is "an old school platformer", but where the challenge is "in syncing up your moves and jumps to the music-controlled elements"; as the player progresses through a level, the music will change reflecting the difficulty of the platforming elements.[3] The player controls a geometric shape - a square when stationary, a circle when moving, and a triangle when jumping, across a two-dimensional environment made up of other simple geometric shapes, with the object to reach the end of the course. Various obstacles and enemies, also represented by geometric shapes, test the player's skills, and should the shape fall or be hit by one of these, they will need to restart at the last checkpoint they passed. Many of these obstacles and enemies have actions that are synchronized to the music, aiding the player in moving through the course; platforms that appear and disappear will do so on the beat, while enemies will fire in time to the music.[4]

Development[edit]

Jeppe Carlsen at the 2011 Game Developers Conference

140 was a project developed by Carlsen in his off-hours from Playdead. The idea originally grew out of Carlsen's attempt at an old school platformer, akin to Mega Man, that involved throwing a ball that would travel in straight lines and bounce off walls to trigger effects. Carlsen also used the project as to learn about the Unity game engine.[5] As he started to add audio samples to the game, he found an interesting juxaposition between the normal platform elements and the music, where the level would "dance to the music", and refocused the game towards its final form.[6] Carlsen had worked on the title for about two years, and enlisted the help of Jakob Schmid, a college friend and fellow employee at Playdead,[6] who created all music and sound for the game, and Niels Fyrst and Andreas Peiterson for art.[7]

Reception[edit]

The game won the "Excellence in Audio" category for the 2013 Independent Games Festival awards,[8] and was an honorary mention in the "Technical Excellence" category.[9]

Edge consider the game to initially appear in stark contrast to Carlsen's earlier Limbo, but as the player progresses in the game, the various mechanics of 140 show similar traits to many of the puzzles and situations that Carlsen had developed for Limbo.[4] Ryan Cartmel of Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 4/5, calling it "gaming minimalism done right." [10] Derrick Sanskrit of the A.V. Club's Gameological Society called 140 "a tightly paced and clever game of precise timing and jumping" and praised its minimalist structure that allows the player to focus on the rhythm and gameplay.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Biesenner, Adam (February 14, 2013). "Limbo Designer's New Game Is Surreal". Game Informer. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  2. ^ "140 - Entrant Page". Independent Games Festival. 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Matulef, Jeffrey (February 14, 2013). "Limbo dev shows off pet project 140". Eurogamer. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "140 review". Edge. 2013-10-16. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  5. ^ Long, Neil (2013-10-14). "140, a synthesis of sound and play from Playdead’s puzzle mastermind Jeppe Carlsen". Edge. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  6. ^ a b Nutt, Christian (2013-02-25). "Road to the IGF: Jeppe Carlsen and team's 140". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  7. ^ Gera, Emily (February 14, 2013). "Limbo gameplay designer goes deep into the world of sounds and shapes with 140". Polygon. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Cart Life, FTL: Faster Than Light, Little Inferno take home IGF awards". Gamasutra. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  9. ^ "2013 Finalists". Independent Games Festival. 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  10. ^ Cartmel, Ryan (2013-10-17). "Review: 140". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  11. ^ Sanskrit, Derrick (2013-10-29). "On the Beat". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 

External links[edit]