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Messages - Goatmeal

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Quest for Infamy / Re: Suggestions
« on: July 14, 2012, 10:29:11 PM »
It doesn't really have to be at the fence - it just has to be thrown at, logically, an area that would cause the Blacksmith to look at, and peer off at... instead of just throwing it at the house or something.

Hi, BT!

Just playing around this afternoon, I did find a possible bug:

If you use the glass to distract the Smith in the Evening (red sky after the execution but before the Night phase) to get the tongs, the game won't let you leave the Smith screen with the tongs.  It keeps saying you need to finish up what you are doing and replace them.

Quest for Infamy / Re: Suggestions
« on: July 14, 2012, 06:18:14 PM »
I can understand what you are saying Goatmeal, but the problem with that is you are essentially telling the player "You need to use this item to solve a puzzle later one".

True, but while the puzzle is entirely logical, it wasn't entirely obvious.  I found that throwing the glass against a non-descript fence to distract the smith be a little ... "How was I supposed to know to do that?"    ???

And I do realize that this is a demo, not the full-fledged game.  IQ couldn't have possibly put everything into it (full descriptions for everything, lots of items, etc).

Quest for Infamy / Re: Suggestions
« on: July 11, 2012, 10:55:49 PM »
To reduce the pixel hunt / "click everywhere" trap inherent to point-and-click games:

Add little specific descriptions of the area, and don't be afraid to have the narrator subtley point out things to the player -- things the designer wants the player to know.

When Sierra's AGI games consisted of large, blocky pixels, they couldn't put in the amount of detail that a 320x200/240 faux-VGA game can now.  They would give a general description of the room or screen, and add a bit of guiding info at the end, like:

"There is a table in the far corner and wooden chest at the foot of the bed."


"The ship's navigation computer is currently off-line."

As others have noted elsewhere, this convention was a hold over from the prior generation of text-only adventure games.  It wasn't really a necessity for the newly-evolving graphical adventures, because you could now actually "see" the table and chest in the room, or that the thing with the blinking lights was a computer.  However, because of the limited graphic capabilities, the inclusion of the added text by the 'narrator' in the general room description ensured that the table and chest or the navigation computer were items worthy of further attention by the player.

As game graphics evolved and screens became more detailed and realistic, it turned into the equivalent of visual overload -- if you could see it, perhaps you could even interact with it!  Even more so if you were stuck and couldn't quite 'getting' what the designer expected of you to solve the puzzle or make progress.  Without gentle prodding in the text descriptions, the game would often turn into a pixel hunt, with the player desperately searching in vain for the one item amongst the 'visual clutter' that is truly interactive...

For example:

In the screen with the blacksmith:

--Clicking around the screen gives the generic description of the blacksmith's cottage.  You could also add to that:

"There appears to be some broken glass near the fence."

(Adding adding some bits of glass to the scenery would help sell the concept.)

Clicking on the fence could yield the description of something like:

"The Smith's back fence looks to be the favorite target of bar patrons to hurl their empty shot glasses as they drunkenly stumble home in the night."


"It appears that a number of rowdy bar patrons have chosen the Smith's fence as the target for their empty shot glasses -- or this is the handiwork of one determined imbiber!"

This would help explain the action that could be performed (throwing a glass), and where the item could be found (bar patrons with glasses --> glass is found in bar).

Of course, if this is indeed a nightly occurrence, that would mean the Smith could know exactly what the sound is and immediately go to the fence, not run off-screen.  BUT if it's a rare occurrence or the Smith is usually asleep when it happens, then he might run off screen in search of the unfamiliar noise...

It's certainly something that a savvy designer / writer can work around if it's decided to be an issue.


Again, in the screen with the blacksmith:

-- When the Smith is present with his tongs, he's positioned in front of them.  The tongs are only able to be seen for the few fleeting moments when the Smith fires the metal.  Not sure if that's a deliberate design choice, but you can either reposition the tongs slightly to the left OR... could add to the Smith's description:
"Looks like he's really giving that iron a beating.  A pair of tongs rest against the large tub of water."


In the forest screen with the skeleton and suit of armor:

-- Clicking around the screen gives the generic description of
"You're surrounded by foliage, rocks and trees.  It's a forest, after all."

You could also add to that:
"A lifeless skeleton lies motionless against a rock -- hopefully, it will remain that way."

This could help people know that there is something that can be further inspected on that screen, especially since some demo players have stated not exploring here during the day or early evening, and it was too dark to make out at night...


By adding a small line or two, it can help guide the player or give them a nudge as to what needs to be done.

(Sorry for rambling on here.)

Quest for Infamy / Re: Suggestions
« on: July 09, 2012, 07:57:49 PM »
Greetings, all.

While playing the demo, I thought of two suggestions:

1. Ensure all icons have a "hot-spot" dot, not just the inventory items -- but I believe I read elsewhere that you were already working on it.

2. Once you have read a topic, perhaps make the topic color a medium-brown.  That way, it signifies that you have already read it, and the remaining or new/resulting topics in black will really stand out.  Of course, you can go back and re-read them again if you like.
     Not sure how much programming it will take to keep track of what's been read/'clicked-on' already... perhaps assigning a variable and changing the value? ( var = 0 --> var = 1 ? )  Been a while since I did any programming, and know nothing about AGS.

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