"I didn’t find the original [version of the game], but I made an approximate screenshot of it. You can see it in my journal." — December 1, 2013
Noyb’s remarks: ”The player individually controls a number of robots, each initially segregated in their own portion of a maze. Bumping into a glowing circle makes a new robot visible. Bumping into a switch permanently toggles one or more floor or wall tiles. So the moment-to-moment goal is to activate new robots, use them to reveal previously unseen parts of the maze, and hit switches to reconfigure the maze’s structure to repeat this process. I like the level design concept of a number of different characters physically separated from each other, but still able to affect each other’s progress.
"I didn’t find the puzzles compelling. At any given time there is either only one way to proceed, or there are multiple possible actions whose outcomes the player cannot predict. The player cannot visually tell which tiles a switch will toggle, so there is no way to reason about your actions until after you’ve already done them. Hitting a switch might open a path and close another, telling the player she should have moved one of the other robots to a different tile beforehand, but there’s no way to know this was the intended solution until after she already makes this reasonable mistake. The game lets the player undo moves freely, which thankfully limits the potential frustration. It still doesn’t change that the game’s overall design requires hitting dead ends to learn crucial information, and that the puzzles themselves become trivial upon learning this information.
"By the Void was made for a weekend game jam themed around remaking one of your first games. By definition, this theme excludes those who are just starting game development, but the thing about game jams is that such a limited time frame tends to favor experienced developers, ones familiar and comfortable with their tools. Every hour spent learning is one you could theoretically spend sleeping, coding, making content or polishing. Mechanics or systems that might have taken you months to implement for the first time will feel more natural each time you make something similar.
"Everyone starts somewhere and — no matter what implicit or explicit rankings emerge from game jam culture and coverage — there’s no shame in that. Polished or unpolished, small or large, unique or derivative: first games are important.”