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Breaking the World
Posted Aug 8, 2011 - 9:47:41

dream:scape truckThe photo I've put up with this post is from the game dream:scape (which I talked about a few weeks ago). The important thing to note about that screenshot is that it is one the player should never be able to take. How did I get it then?

I broke the world.

One of my hobbies is finding weird, hidden bugs in 3D worlds and seeing if there are ways to get places I shouldn't be able to. There's something highly entertaining to me about finding ways past the illusions of constraint and accessing things I'm not supposed to.

Back in the day, it used to be easy - I'd go look up a clipping code on the internet or something. But since I've been doing 3D stuff on the iPad, and the games I've been playing don't have cheat codes, I'm left exploiting minor bugs the developers missed while designing the world. Maybe they didn't get every last inch of that invisible wall. Maybe they overlapped a platform just an inch too much and I can use that to fling myself over a fence.

Hunting down the bugs is as fun as anything else.

Once I get there, I like playing in fields of forced perspective. I like seeing where the designer stopped making the world to save memory (as portions are meant to be out of sight). I like finding out that two story house in the distance is only built at half scale. And most importantly, as shown in the photograph, I like accessing areas before I'm supposed to be able to get to them.

I guess maybe that's why I like going indie games more than studio games. Studio games have teams of people finding and fixing the very bugs in the virtual worlds I need to exploit for my fun. The game dream:scape was made by one guy. Amazingly, it only has three exploitable points, and only one is useful for getting around the game limits. Out of 30 acres of virtual space, that's actually pretty impressive.

I think I've exploited all of the areas I can in that game, so it's on to the next one. Hopefully I can find something good.
- Traegorn

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