12 March 2013

Widdop - Full version available for download soon

Downloaded 'Widdop - Trial Edition' today. 3.5GB download, took about an hour before it was ready to boot up. Once it was loaded, Bryn and I signed into a two-player session - mostly cooperative, perhaps a hint of competitive. First impressions - the graphics engine was superb:

Excellent lighting.

Some trial versions limit the area you have access to, or only give you a limited timespan. Widdop Trial Edition locks certain environment variables and user settings down - the realtime weather system is set only to 'Arctic', with no option to access the 'Tropical' or 'Mediterranean' settings. While this served to show off the physics engine to its best, it also reduced access to certain challenges that would otherwise have been available. And since players are unable to level-up their characters, basic extremities were the only ones available, with the super-heated models off the table. I've since heard a rumour that these have actually been removed from the full game, leaving players at the mercy of ambient conditions - this is an outrage, and this isn't the last you'll hear of it from me.

Still, Bryn and I ran through the game's tutorial, which allowed us to get to grips with the physics:

However, we suffered a data bottleneck which lost us control of our character's extremity units, meaning we needed to try to reinstall them for our players. Bryn attempted to install a patch - CoffeeV1.1 - to boost his character, but the weather variables somehow seemed to become more extreme - possibly a time limit, stealthily introduced? Despite only having completed a part of the tutorial, our players' energy bars were drained - game over.

All in all, it was worth giving Widdop TE a go, and I look forward to accessing the full version at some point this year. Apparently the full version will be able to support more players, so it'll be good to see if a number of our clan can get online access at once.

Not wanting to log off entirely, Bryn and I ran the simulator/training package 'Harrogate Wall'. A handy little app with a decent soundtrack, but lacking the far greater interactivity, feature sets, physics and graphics of programs such as 'Almscliffe', 'Brimham' or 'Caley'.

All data logged on Bryn's cycle initiation date, version 41.
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