Sunday, March 7, 2010

Darwinia+ Afterthoughts

My review went up at Game Revolution the yesterday but I'm still playing the game on and off in an effort to fully take in the single player mode and multiplayer modes (and clean up some achievements I left behind). Easy one of the better downloadable titles I've played, mostly thanks to the nuanced and satisfying gameplay, Darwinia+ still had some surprises in store for me after finishing my review.

Most notably is the "boot loader" that basically acts as a title screen. I didn't realize it at first, but there are actually several boot loaders programmer into Darwinia+, each a slightly different flavor than the last. Tonight, for example, when I loaded the game, there was a very peaceful piece of Darwinia+'s soundtrack playing as darwinian souls floated upwards on screen. I let this loader play for a good half an hour with the music on loop before actually starting my game.

I've noticed other loaders too though, including a Matrix-rain infused with darwinians that actually falls to form the title of the game. Not all of them are so peacful or interesting though as one loader had some spinning geometry and lots of strange effects with banner text that read "I just programmed this in 8 minutes."

All of the bootloaders were nice touches and I always loved seeing what popped up when I started the game. Why don't more games do different things with the loading screens? Why don't they let programmers do individual "signature" load screens before the game starts?

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