Raven Software game developer Manveer Heir takes a look at the design mechanics of Braid, a recently released puzzle game for Xbox Live Arcade (a review is available at Gamespot). Heir commends Braid's focus on taking an interesting mechanic and exploring it fully through level design, rather than generating complexity with the interaction of many different mechanics. "One of my favorite worlds has time move forward as the player moves to the right, and rewind as the player moves left; Time is being controlled spatially. Another world has the player make a recording of themselves that can interact with certain objects, similar to Cursor*10. ... What is amazing is how complex and devilish some of the puzzles can still be, even though they revolve around the single mechanic for that world. ... Feeling like you have to guess what the designer was thinking is how many old adventure games played out, and it was rarely fun. Feeling like you just made a discovery on your own is what makes this game and games like Portal work so well."
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